1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

2003 Ford 350 diesel pops out of 4x4 occasionally

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by mjc5018, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. mjc5018

    mjc5018 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I am a newbie to this site. I was plowing about 15 inches of snow this past storm in the Northeast. After the 28th hour of running the the truck pretty hard the 4x4 on occasion will disengage. I don't know the truck isn't in 4x4 until the truck kicks sideways while pushing snow. I can tell only the back tires are spinning so I let off the gas and it slams back into 4x4. I frequently checked my hubs for being hot while plowing and didn't find this to be the case. The 4x4 light stays on, I have electronic shift on the fly with auto-locking hubs. I talked to one guy who has a F-250 and said he had the same problem. He took his truck into Ford and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. As a result he made the diagnosis that his Hubs may have been frozen. I'm not sure if I buy this. I have read that it could be the transfer case, or vacuum seal which I'm not real familiar with. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is a procedure that I am hoping to tackle myself. It would save me some time if in your post you would share with me how difficult fixing this problem is. Thank you in advance for all suggestions. We are expecting another storm here so I may be forced to take the truck in for service.
     
  2. Pinky Demon

    Pinky Demon PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,121

    Are you locking the hubs manually or depending on the ESOF system to vacuum lock them for you?
     
  3. mjc5018

    mjc5018 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Auto-locking Hubs

    I have always depended on the ESOF system to lock the hubs.
     
  4. drp

    drp Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 170

    I have seen this before also, it was frozen ESOF hubs, set on auto. Lock them in manual for plowing.
     
  5. mjc5018

    mjc5018 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    One of my friends is trying to talk me into replacing the auto-lock hubs with manual ones so there is no questions if they are locked or not. He says they shouldn't break the bank and may be a good place to start. If frozen hubs isn't the problem, any other ideas on what the issue may be?? Thanks for the replies so far!!
     
  6. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    I would agree with manually locking your hubs. If you lose vacuum you will lose your 4wd. I would try it like this first before you switch them out.

    If it gets wirse when it shifts out, have someone watch as you drive forward, and see if the axle shafts turn. If they do then you know it is trhe hubs.

    I always have mine manually locked in. I like having both, it is nice in the summer if you need 4wd for a little bit you can engage it from the cab and not have to get out.
     
  7. Pinky Demon

    Pinky Demon PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,121

    There is no need to buy manual hubs. The stock hubs you already have, have a lockout feature. As long as they freely turn, you are fine. Just lock the hubs, and then go from there.