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4 WD will not disengage

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  • Bruce McCracken
    Bruce McCrackenParticipant

    Hi Guys,

    Toyota Raider D4D 3L 2014 – Automatic – Mechanical 4WD shift

    Recently had reason to tow the caravan out of a dip and along about 8kms of gravel…all in Low 4×4. However,thereafter she would not disengage to High (4×2) and made some noises in the transfer box. After persisting I was able to change back to 4×2…why i do not know. I read many opinions but would appreciate a more experienced one..

    What is the cause of this dylema…

    Many thanks


  • Andrew Middleton
    Andrew on

    Due to not being a mechanical expert on Toyota’s I couldn’t definitively tell you what’s wrong, but it sounds highly likely to be a solenoid issue.

    Andrew Middleton
    Andrew on

    Upon re-reading your question I’ve come to realise that you have mechanical 4wd actuation, not electronic like the latest Hilux’s, making my response redundant. We’ve forwarded the question to a local expert Ronald Hairbottle of 4×4 Traction.

    Ronald Hairbottle
    Ronald Hairbottle
    Ronald Hairbottle on

    Bruce, with any part time 4×4 system, the transfer case will always be slightly wound up when locked into 4×4.

    Reason being that the front & rear differentials are being locked together in the transfer case.

    When turning, all 4 wheels needs to turn at different speeds to complete the turn, but because the front & rear axles are locked together, some wind-up occurs in the transfer case.

    Wind-up is when additional load is placed on the internal gears, keeping them meshed tightly together.

    Trying to shift the transfer case from 4H or 4L back into 2H, will be difficult, as the additional load on the gears keep the teeth meshed and prevents disengagement.

    This is easily remedied by doing the following:

    • Keep driving in a straight line, which gives the gears time to release the tension, before shifting to 2H, or
    • Reverse in a straight line for a short distance to release the tension on the gears, then shift to 2H.

    This same phenomenon happens to the difflock in your axle, and is remedied by driving in an S to allow the wheels to differentiate, thus releasing pressure on the gears, which will let the locker release.

    Bruce McCracken
    Bruce McCracken
    Bruce McCracken on

    Hi Andrew and thanks for re-routing

    Hello Ronald,

    Mechanically, your very descriptive illustration makes sense.

    So with transfering between camps this morning I tested again and experienced the same “wound up gears” phenomenon …I chose the straight line reverse and forward option for about 10 metres and at standstill the gear change for both H & L were effortless.😁

    Many thanks indeed



    Willy Pittner
    Willy Pittner
    Willy Pittner on

    Hi Bruce,

    I had similar problems with my Landcruiser. The reason for the wind up might be one of ttwo reasons. As you probably travel in 2×4 most of the time the rear tyres tend to wear and get slightly smaller han the front as they freewheel most of the time. Secondly you might have replaced 2 of the four tyres when worn (always advidable to change all four)

    To alleviate the problem turn to the left or theright while going backwards or forwards and at some stage you will feel the gear lever slip out fairly easily. Once you get the hang of it it is fairly easy to master.

    I hope this helps




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