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Stuck in 4WD-L any help?

17 Feb 2020 10:22 #218653 by fishjoe
Hi guys,

I have a 2008 jimny love it.

Don't have any modification.

Now it comes with a problem, My transfer case has malfunction. It used to be intermittent failure including changing into 4wd, or changing from 4wd to 4wdL, or change back. Now I have got it stuck in 4wdL won't change back.

Pushed and hold the button but nothing happens, I can feel it "tries" to work as the engine idle rev lowing a bit as it's consuming electricity. After few second it started flashing 4wdL light. I then push 4WDL button it's back with with normal, just normal in 4wdL. Driving with no problem under 4wdL no warning sigh what's so ever.

This problem happened once before but it just stopped for a long time, last time I tried push the button and hold for few times then it suddenly back to work until just few hours again . I haven't found any luck yet,

Does anyone have any clue? I pressed brake and clutch when I doing it. I know how to switch the system when it is working.

Many Thanks.

Zhou Yu

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17 Feb 2020 10:51 #218654 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
Sounds like the transfer box switch is not happy. Check all the wires into the transfer box that they are in good condition and firmly attached. After that it's probably the switch itself just be careful removing it as it has a small ball bearing detention that tries to escape when you take it out of the transfer box.

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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17 Feb 2020 11:28 #218656 by sniper
Replied by sniper on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
There are switches that control the transfer box 4H and 4L. It sounds like you have a 4L switch fault.

Can't guarantee that is the fault, but it sounds similar to the failure I had in mine. New switches are around £60.


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17 Feb 2020 12:31 #218659 by facade
Replied by facade on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
Most likely a switch or wiring fault as above, but try it again with a front wheel jacked off the road, just in case there is too much strain on the transmission for the motor to overcome.

If it suddenly breaks, go back to the last thing that you did before it broke and start looking there :)

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17 Feb 2020 16:17 #218661 by CC Baxter
Replied by CC Baxter on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
Not a permanent fix you understand but this trick normally frees things off.
Reverse hard and hit the brakes, then try normal procedure. If that fails gently rock the car backwards and forwards on the gears whilst pushing the 2wd buttons.
This should get your car running in 2wd until you have chance to track down the fault.

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17 Feb 2020 20:01 #218670 by mlines
Replied by mlines on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
THis can happen when it is in 4WD and the vacuum system has failed after 4Wd was selected.

If so you could short out the 4wd vacuum sensor switch under the battery to fool it into thinking it has a vacuum



2003 M13 early KAP build.
3" Trailmaster lift with 1.5 Spacers on front
Customised winch bumper and roll cage
235/85R16 Maxxis Bighorns on 16" Rims, 4:1 Rocklobster, Rear ARB locker and on-board air
Corrected arms all-round, rear disks, Recaro seats and harnesses

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17 Feb 2020 20:42 - 17 Feb 2020 21:19 #218671 by fishjoe
Replied by fishjoe on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
Update: First of all thank you everyone for reply and comments. I'm sure they'd help in solving the problem.

However, I doubted firstly, the switches, as the 4wd mode is already in and running with no issue, if its the switch it should have been problem when I tried to put the 4wd in, at least indicators would somehow flashes, even if it broke when I was already in 4wd, it should some more warning lights. But in my case the Jimny in 4wdL functioned normally. Yellow "L" indicators only flashes when I tried to change it to 4wd from 4wdL and nothing mechanically happened, and when I push the 4wdL button to "change it back"(tells the system I tried failed then put it back), the flash stops, everything back to normal in 4wdL.

I also doubted the vacuum leak, also because it acts normal in 4wdL mode no problems no flashes at all, if the vacuum fails it would affect the free wheel hub and the whole 4wd system would show error. I did actually try to switch the mode when I turn the key to ignition but without the engine on actually (good to have a manual car), it fails to change and the green "H" pattern 4wd light start to flash not the L, I then start the engine tried again, "H" stops flashing, and everything back to beginning of the problem. So this further proves, NO or LOW vacuum would show different symptoms, not very likely to have close relation to my case.

Someone told me to reverse and brake, I tried, also drove then hard brake, and tried to drive in 4wdL then run neutral to stop, even when I jacked up the car first thing I tried is to spin the lifted wheel front and back hardly couple of times. Sit back into car and try the change, nothing happens. So I believe it was not mechanically jammed, but still big thank you.


I read some other forum someone mentioned about solenoid, I thought it might be the cause. I had experience in solving solenoid issue for a starter motor, guess they somehow are similar. So before I get the switch checked and vacuum checked, I simply jacked up the vehicle and lie down of it, gave it few gentle bashes on the metal cover of the solenoids with hammer, starting again, and tried. Guess what? PROBLEM SOLVED! 5 MINS.

Of course I'm looking for a replacement solenoid and try not to use 4wd again before repaired. If have to I'd only use high speed 4WD, and only switch when completely stopped. Don't want the intermittent problem become a constant "push button and hammer bashing" 4wd, eventually one day it will refuse the bashes at all. Won't let the it come too early before parts found.

At the end I HIGHLY RECOMMEND EVERYONE TRY THIS FIRST if symptom is same, its so simple worth a try even it's actually some other issue.
Last edit: 17 Feb 2020 21:19 by fishjoe.
The following user(s) said Thank You: gusthegorilla, CC Baxter

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17 Feb 2020 21:43 #218675 by kirkynut
Replied by kirkynut on topic Stuck in 4WD-L any help?
Thank you for your input with what the solution was. I'm sure if will help others out in the future.

Look for a good second hand solenoid as I believe that the price of new ones will make you feel unwell from what I've read!


The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...on-continues?start=0

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