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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,
I could not find an answer to this anywhere. If it's there, I cannot see it.
2008 Nissan Xterra Off Road, when switching from 4Hi to 2WD the truck takes unusually long to get out of 4WD mode. I had a problem with the solenoid few months back that was responsible for this switch. It would put the truck in 4WD for no reason with the switch placed in 2WD position. The solenoid was replaced be the dealer. At this time, when 4HI is engaged with the switch, the truck switches to 4x4 with the Dash Showing this as such (truck picture on dash). When this is done in reverse, the "truck picture" on the dash flashes but, it takes a very long time for the truck to get out of this mode if at all. When I say long, I mean 4-5 miles of suburban driving, with Red Light stops. I have tried to disengage it Neutral, in Park, restart the car. I am not sure whether this is the solenoid being stuck again or a more significant problem. Driving speeds go up to 40-45mph. When I mentioned that this is unusual, it's because this is my 3rd X, and I have never experienced this taking this long prior to now.
 

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Likely just normal drive line lash and binding. From day one my 2008 has been the same way. Try coming to a complete stop, then backing up. If it stops blinking within say 10 to 15 feet, then you don't have a problem. Often on mine it'll take a blip or two of the throttle going down the road, letting off and coasting is usually enough to release it, but it depends in how hard and for how long I was in 4WD and the outside temps too.

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When did you last change the t-case fluid? I don't believe, but don't know for sure, that a R&R of the actuator (the solenoid you're talking about) requires a fluid swap ... so level and condition might be worth double checking.

I have this problem with old (and especially cold) fluid in the t-case ... invariably, in that instance, I have to go through a harder turn (like a right or left from stop, on surface streets) to force it to disengage. I have similar symptoms to what you describe, and often a full linear stop or variation in load will not allow it to disengage.

Thus far, I've just attributed it to fluid age and the t-case being sticky ... so, not an especially big deal (in my view), but if it doesn't clear up with a fluid swap it could point to a larger problem I suppose.
 

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This was a problem with mine when the front 2 U-joints were bad. The slight amount of play did not allow my 4x4 to disengage properly and it took some romping around and throwing it in reverse to get it to disengage faster.

The R&R of the actuator does not require a fluid change. Every time I dropped her when I was troubleshooting my 4wd I lost a drop or 2.

How many miles do you have on it? My front u-joints were shot at 65k.
 

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Good thought on the u-joints, I probably need to do mine ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback guys.

gpzguy,
the temps were -20* here, with the windchill down to -40*.
so this may have added to it somewhat. Although, I recall that this has started when the temps were still at 40*.

skibum315,
I dont recall when/if T-Case fluid swap done. I usually do it with the Diff at 35k miles. I know that I stalled with this in terms of mileage this time. I just cannot recall at this moment if it was done last year.

I did notice not too long ago that when I cornered at an intersection the mode did switch to 2WD. It wasnt until I made that turn that this has happened.

N.Y.X.
The rig has 69K on it. I have just gotten the drive shaft and axle shaft assembly replaced not too long ago. I haven't considered the front ujoints yet.

My other 2 X's had 0 issues for 70-80K each. This was bulletproof until this last fix a month ago.

The Truck is still on warranty for another week or so and, I am considering getting an extension again.

Considering that you guys drive with this "issue", has it caused you any problems? Or is it more of an inconvenience? Has anyone taken it to the dealership for a resolution?
 

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Only time it really crops up for me is during around-town winter driving ... and especially on the highway, when it's more difficult to unload the t-case. Usually if I've switched out, and the actuator is waiting to comply (indicator flashing), it will have done so by the time I think to check it again after exiting the highway (can often be a matter of many minutes before that happens) or moving to more plowed major streets from snow/ice covered neighborhood streets.

I have not noticed the behavior when leaving trail off-road (back onto pavement) or anything like that ... I don't particularly consider it to be problematic behavior.
 

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The u-joints will start a bad vibration over 40 mph as the front drive-shaft is no longer balanced. Other than that, I cannot think of an issue other than inconvenience. The way that the solenoid/TC Motor is designed it is spring loaded so it can switch to the correct position matching the 4wd switch position even though it is not dis-engaged. So if it takes a long time to dis-engage properly the spring in the unit would be receiving more wear than normal and could pose a problem down the line (if that makes sense). However that motor/TC is the same on most of the 4wd nissan's so they are found fairly easily on the cheap. Mine was $75 shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
skibum315
Thanks for the Reply again. I don't think that I had a chance to use the 4WD more than a handful of times in the woods, this year. Not until now. But everything that you are describing is what is happening to me.

N.Y.X.
now that I thought about this it was the front drive shaft u joint that disintegrated on me a month ago. I have experienced everything that you described. Made it to the dealership as the joint was coming apart. It was covered by my extended warranty so I at least did not eat that bullet. solenoid/TC Motor was replaced 3 months back because the truck would get into 4HI with the switch being in 2WD. It would not reset until restarting the car. At least this is what the dealer mechanic told me. I supposed it makes sense. Although, I wouldve thought that that would have been more of an electrical issue. Unless, that solenoid needs to be de-energized/energized (dont know what state its normally in)

This is my only car at this time and I can only ride the bike in warm months so will most likely get that extended after all. With the gas prices high and over sized BFGs making me loose an additional 1-2mpg I don't think that I will be modding this thing any time soon. Unless I get an urge to slap the Shrock front end back on again.

If I take this thing to the dealer what would you guys suggest I tell them? Or, do I just tell them the symptom and let them play?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update

I did notice that the truck with get out of 4HI into 2WD when making a turn. It will switch on occasion in the straight lane but I cannot see a pattern yet. It does switch even when making a slight turn from the stop, very gentle without the truck swaying. Stopped by the dealer last night. He automatically pointed out the 285 BFGs on it. Said that he has seen this with over-sized tires, to where some sensor is not activating, but is when making a turn.
I made an appointment for next week. I did tell him that this isn't my first xterra and isn't my first set of 285 BFGs. BFGs have been on the truck for over a year and I haven had a problem.

Any Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If it was because of the tire size half the people on this forum would be complaing about this issue.
Xterra_Brit,
I do agree. These guys are specialists in creating smoke. They create expectations right of the bat to have something to fall back on later.
 

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My 2011 started doing the same thing this past winter. I discovered that turning would cause it to switch back to 2wd from 4hi when it would start to act like that.
I found another thread on here where several other people are reporting the same issue.
I am curious what the dealer will say if someone takes their X in for this issue.

sent from my wireless handheld interweb gadget
 

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Too bad the manual transfer case is no more. That's one thing I liked about my old truck. Blipping the throttle, varying speeds and crossing your fingers just to switch from 4wd to 2wd is ridiculous.

One thing I don't miss is manual hubs though. While they could just be left locked, getting out and doing that got old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another update

Guys,
here is another thing that I noticed today.
We just hit 32F* and above today. So, everything is melting.
Streets are not longer snowed in, just wet.

Last night, while it was still cold and semi-snowed in, I tested the shifting and sure enough, still there. Turns off only while turning.

Today, I tested it on a straight road (wet) and it switches off, what seems like, properly.
Turned 4HI from the stop and started driving. Switched to 2WD at about 40mph, guage blinks, let go off the gas, tap it again, the truck shifts to 2WD. Did the same while driving and switching between the two. I duplicated this on a straight line 4-5 times.

Whoever is having this issue too, can you test this on a non slippery pavement. I wonder if this is a normal behavior in slippery conditions. As if the truck actually senses the little slip that it gets (if any, cause I have All Terrain BFG) and does not allow for the switch. Or maybe this is temperature (outside) related. I wonder if you put your truck inside a garage, and tested it the next morning. Perhaps its the solenoid/tcmotor acting up due to the extended freeze.

I will continue to test this for the next couple of days. I do have an appointment for next week but now I'm wondering whether I'll even go. If they can't duplicate it I'll be paying $50 deductible for nothing.

Keep an eye on this please. And, I'll post any updates.
Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I actually notice the total oppisite to you, lol.

We've had some cold temps here (-30C/-22F) and that didn't seem to affect the speed mine swaps in/out of 4Hi.

I also notice mine switches better when it's slippery (snow) than on pavement.
That is strange. With mine, the speed did not matter. It only switched back to 2WD when turning. Today, it actually switched back on a straight, seems as if the way that it used to.

I never really payed attention to this until I noticed something was off recently. It used to be that the rig switched back from 4HI to 2WD at any speed as long as you stepped off the gas for a second or two. So, now that it doesn't it seems off.
 
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