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t-case won't shift into 4 low

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by MJD82, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    I have recently acquired an 88 ford f-250 with a 351 overdrive auto with floor lever activated 4x4 w\manual hubs the truck has been a plow truck for at least the last 8 years so 4 lo has never been used. the lever will move fairly easy between 2 and 4 high but it will not shift past 4H into Neutral or 4 low. Ive tried to rock it in 4H and 2WD to see if the drive line was bound but no luck has anyone else experienced this?
  2. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    Did you put truck in neutral and push down on the lever while pulling into 4 lo? Don't force it ; they are known for beaking.
  3. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    I believe I did, I have owned other fords with the same shifter I know it was in neutral but now I gotta go make sure im not being an idiot thanks for the advice
  4. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Not only make sure your truck is in neutral, but you also have the brake pedal pushed down and the truck running.
  5. Dustball

    Dustball Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    For an '88, you don't push down on the lever. It has to go sideways then back. The brakes and the truck running have nothing to do with the physical shifting of it. It does help to have the transmission in neutral to relieve any driveline bind. Do not have the transmission in gear with the engine running when shifting the t-case either from 4hi to 4lo or from 4lo to 4hi or you will get a loud ratcheting noise.

    Most likely it's corrosion and a lot of lube right at the pivot on the t-case adapter helps. It also helps to back the large pivot bolt out enough to get things moving, lubricate it heavily and just snug the pivot bolt back up.

    Whenever I have the transfer case linkage off on one of my Ford trucks, I usually cut off the tab on the t-case linkage plate that makes it necessary to shift the lever to the side when shifting into neutral and 4-lo. Once the tab is cut off, it's just a straight forward and backward shift movement which is much easier but a bit more risky when shifting in and out of 4hi on the fly.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  6. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    I have not had a chance to work on the truck since my post but thanks to everyone who responded I defiantly have a good place to start on figuring out the issue
  7. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    there are 2 different T-cases used in the 88 year trucks. the BW 1356, which requires the shifter to be pulled towards the drivers door to shift into neutral and low, and the BW 1345 which requires you to push down to shift into neutral and low.
  8. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    I believe its the bw 1356 thats just by the shift pattern on the lever its self the problem is that i cant even get the lever to move to the left just back and forth between 4H and 2WD
  9. big_belly4ever

    big_belly4ever Member
    Messages: 30

    When my fords 94,01,03 dont get put in and out of low or high 4 wheel drive over the summer they stick or dont move. if i can get it going and keep moving it starts moving and gets easier thru the snow year, however I have had to take to my dealer and they lube them or something an the work slicker than a runny nose then.Dustball aludded to this. Hope this works for you. Lee
  10. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    Thank for the advice guys, dustball an BB4ever you guys were right I crawled under there sure enough the linkage looked like hell nothing a can of white lithium couldnt fix its tough but it moves into low now i blasted the tranny linkage while i was at it it moves slicker than snot now:drinkup:
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I used 1/2 of a can of PB Blaster and had the oldest son keep shifting it till I got my 89 free and shifting. While your down there hit all the little shifter pivots on the transmission linkage. Also under the hood.Get them working smooth then hit with lithium grease. Hit the bolt that is used to adjust the linkage to the tranny too. <--- You will thank god you did this little step. Sooner or later you will have to replace the park / backup light switch.