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Discussion Starter #1
So I finally bought an Xterra! I'm away from it right now though visiting family for the holidays so no pictures, but I promise to post some when I get back.

Anyway the truck came stuck in 4Hi. The previous owner claims that it simply needs a new "actuator". Does this sound right? Thanks guys!
 

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Does it make any noise when you try to take it out of 4Hi? You show head it turning (also the engine needs to be running). You can also take the actuator off and manually select at least to see if the transfer case selector moves and you can test the actuator at the same time.
 

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Any other warning light on? ABS failure (warning light on) will lock up the transfer case controller and prevent it from shifting.

The 4WD indicator (LCD display), what does it show? Is it blank with the amber "4WD" in the meter lit up?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No other lights on, except in the 4WD LCD display it shows all 4 engaged, but it doesn't say low. I drove it home from the sellers place about 30 miles and it did fine. A little rough parking and navigating a tight parking lot.

I haven't tried it take it out of 4Hi yet but the previous seller says it simply doesn't do it.
 

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The main question is, we need to know the results of when you take it out of 4hi and what happens/.... i mean for real, have you put it in N, shifted to 2WD, waited 30-45 seconds, then backed up for 10 seconds in reverse? need to know what it does when you try to shift out of 4hi.

This is a common thing with 4wd, and i've experienced it with my xterra and many HMVEE's....

*EDIT** also, i do not recommend driving it in 4hi outside of the speed specs... i believe it's 60 MAX in 4 hi.. and i wouldn't even do that...
 

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I drive in 4wd hi on pavement all the time. No avoiding it in icy parking lots, that have dry pavement patches.

Try to remove the actuator and select 2wd manually. Pretty common to happen if truck is in 4wd and the battery runs dead.
 

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I've had numerous run-ins with being stuck in 4hi. It has always come down to the relays under the hood.

If you are swap the transfer shift hi and transfer shift low relays and see if you can get out of 4 hi.

If so then just get some new bosch relays at a parts store and put them in. I have had this problem so many times that I carry spare relays with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've had numerous run-ins with being stuck in 4hi. It has always come down to the relays under the hood.

If you are swap the transfer shift hi and transfer shift low relays and see if you can get out of 4 hi.

If so then just get some new bosch relays at a parts store and put them in. I have had this problem so many times that I carry spare relays with me.

Didn't think of this! Thank you very much!
 

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No other lights on, except in the 4WD LCD display it shows all 4 engaged, but it doesn't say low. I drove it home from the sellers place about 30 miles and it did fine. A little rough parking and navigating a tight parking lot.

I haven't tried it take it out of 4Hi yet but the previous seller says it simply doesn't do it.
Turn the knob to 2WD, go drive around the block, see what happens. The previous owner may have have had it bound up in 4WD and didn't know how to get it back into 2WD and gave up.
 

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Turn the knob to 2WD, go drive around the block, see what happens. The previous owner may have have had it bound up in 4WD and didn't know how to get it back into 2WD and gave up.
I know. I'm amazed that after days and all the conversation, it sounds like the very first step of "try yourself" hasn't been done. :tard: :dontknow:
 

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This is the reason I switched out to an Atlas. I know it's a crazy expense, and not for everyone, but after experiencing this issue twice I grew frustrated. Both times the actuator and all the relays checked out fine. First time cost me a tow to the dealer, to which the dealer told me they simply drained the fluid and magically fixed it. The second time I never identified the problem. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know. I'm amazed that after days and all the conversation, it sounds like the very first step of "try yourself" hasn't been done. :tard: :dontknow:
One would think that would be the obvious first step. SMH
Of course! The thing is I left the truck back home and I am out of state visiting family for Christmas and New Year's! I won't be able to actually check until I get back, and until then I've got a decent amount of free time so I thought I'd start collecting information. I specifically wanted to ask questions about the prevalence of this problem as caused by a faulty Actuator because the previous owner, a seemingly intelligent man with a degree in mechanical engineering, said he had done some research and had diagnosed the problem as such.

This is the reason I switched out to an Atlas. I know it's a crazy expense, and not for everyone, but after experiencing this issue twice I grew frustrated. Both times the actuator and all the relays checked out fine. First time cost me a tow to the dealer, to which the dealer told me they simply drained the fluid and magically fixed it. The second time I never identified the problem. Good luck.
Thanks for the input!

I can't wait to get back to my new Xterra. I bought it literally 18 hours before my flight to my folks place. Once I get back though I need to get this stuck in 4wd issue fixed and start shopping for some 285/75R16s

Also you guys were on point about the white paint. I grabbed this one because of the low miles but it has several rock chips that are rusting in the paint.
 

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Best of luck. After removing the actuator it was not difficult to manually shift mine in and out of 4hi/4low. It simply became an issue of reliability to me. Most of my off road trips include several hour of driving just to get to the trail head. I didn't like the thought of climbing beneath me vehicle, after a day (or week) off roading simply to shift out of 4wd. Or worse yet, the though of not having 4lo or 4 hi on demand while on a steep, off-camber, shelf road in remote CO. It is a frustrating game and I wish you the best of luck. Let us know if you find the culprit.
 
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