2003 4x4

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2003 4x4

Postby ICKYVIZITOR - January 27th, 2012, 7:06 pm

MY 2003 escape 4x4 wont disengage. We recently had snow and i engaged the 4x4 from AUTO - On and now it wont disengage. The rear wheels are binding up when turning. Never had a problem before i switched IN on. The light goes ON and OFF but nothing changes any ideas?
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby jbone2470 - January 27th, 2012, 8:05 pm

Maybe check the fuse/relay in the kick panel 30a in location 26. If not blown then maybe taking it out will reset it. or unhook neg battery term for a few minutes see if it resets...hope its just that and nothing major like mechanical..Hows your fluid level in PTU?.Might wanna check that too
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby ICKYVIZITOR - January 29th, 2012, 3:36 pm

Thanks for the response JBONE But No Luck, Does anyone know if there is a way to disconnect the 4X4 sensor or Servo to leave it with only FWD. I think it will break something if i can not get it to come out of 4x4. The wheels are binding up bad when turning otherwise it works great. Has anyone had this happen to them? What did you do? :?
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby jbone2470 - January 29th, 2012, 5:23 pm

Try to pm wptski, he seems to know more about this than I...Or hopefully someone else like tomw or slavrenz will chime in... :beer: :popcorn:
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby Bwk2000 - January 29th, 2012, 9:05 pm

If you're still having the issue, you can try the following:
1) Remove/ check BOTH fuses 26 & 4
2) Check the 4WD relay switch itself
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby ICKYVIZITOR - January 30th, 2012, 12:23 pm

BWK2000, I will give it a try tonight hope i can figure it out soon The wife is getting stir crazy and i have to get it fixed!!!
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby wptski - January 30th, 2012, 4:04 pm

Principles of Operation—Electric Shift

The front-wheel drive transaxle utilizes a transfer case unit to transfer power through a driveshaft and universal joints to the rotary blade coupling (RBC) mounted to the rear differential.

The mode select switch (MSS) has two positions: AUTO and 4X4 ON. In the AUTO position, the system is in two-wheel drive until the front wheels begin to slip. The spinning of the front wheels causes a relative speed difference between the front and rear axles and turns a rotary blade mounted in silicone fluid. The turning rotary blades builds pressure in the silicone fluid, which pushes a piston, compressing the clutch plates of the RBC and transferring torque to the rear wheels. The torque applied to the rear axle is a function of the difference in wheel speed between the front and rear wheels. When slip is no longer present at the front wheels, the system reverts to front-wheel drive.

The 4X4 ON mode energizes the four-wheel drive relay, which supplies power to the integral electrical clutch to lock the RBC and transfer power from the rotating driveshaft to the rear wheels. In the 4X4 ON mode all wheels are driven full-time until the switch is turned to another position.


The 4WD relay is supposed to be located inside the center console near the rear power point, it could be stuck. You could pull the fuse but it seems that is also powers the door locks and the GEM module(not good). Another fuse for the 4WD module alone, you could try pulling that, OOOOOORRRRRRR if all else fails, climb underneath and pull the connector to the clutch. If that don't work, you have a mechanical problem.
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby ICKYVIZITOR - February 10th, 2012, 5:05 pm

Thanks Guys no luck with the fuses or relays where should i start with the Mechanical Check-out? Any thoughts. :?
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby Bwk2000 - February 11th, 2012, 2:05 pm

Your options are getting somewhat limited here.

Recommend you disconnect the electrical connector thats right on the RBC.
If it's still locked in 4x4 mode, the problem is a stuck RBC ... unfortunately, this is a replace only part, it's not servicable.

Good luck. Keep us informed.

Cheers, Kai
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Re: 2003 4x4

Postby ICKYVIZITOR - February 13th, 2012, 5:26 pm

Thanks Guys i will give it a try and keep you informed.
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