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Discussion Starter #1
was wondering if anybody know anything about the front differentials on 2014 ranger 4x4--my front wheels do not engage and ive jacked it up and been through all that--when i unhook wire harness that goes to the differential and test the two wires i have 12 volts coming from the machine at all times whether the switch is in 4x4 mode or not--ive even tested it with just the key on and engine off and still have 12 volts?--i would of figured i should have zero volts with 4x4 switch off?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yes i dropped the fluid--had a little color too it like it had a very small amount of moisture in it but very very little---im confused on the grounding part?--the harness has two wires--one is the positive one is the negative?--isnt the negative the ground?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
doesnt the actuator engage when 12 volts is applied like closing a circuit?--and also i just changed computer not long ago and would that have anything to do with it?
 

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Differential engages when the ground is made.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Differential engages when the ground is made.
so to reiterate if i have 12 volts on the two wire harness at all times whether switch is on or off that tells me the switch is bad and also if i have 12 volts at all times and my differential isnt engaging that says the differential is trash?
 

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I am going to need a wiring diagram before I can answer that. The AWD system in these machines is "on demand". There are sensors that tell the computer when there is enough difference in speed between the front and rear wheels to engage the front. Your switch might be bad, I don't think you should have 12v to the front axle with the switch off. But the front diff won't engage unless the ground is completed through one of the sensors further down in the system I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
so i unplugged the harness at the differential and took a loose 12 volt battery i had laying around and hooked it to the harness going into the differential and jacked it up and put it in gear and the the front tires spun---it doesnt make sense cause i had 12 volts at the incoming harness before--so anyway i just stuck a switch on the dash with a different power source and it engages no problem when i flip the switch
 

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See Post #10, the front diff works by controlling the ground of the circuit, not the power side. 12V to the front diff makes no difference unless the rest of the system after that works properly. Is the new switch on the power side or ground side of the circuit?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i just took one of the wires and grounded it to the frame and and ran 12 volts through a switch and it engages off and on with the switch perfectly---the engagement device only has 2 wires---i didnt investigate but one has to be positive and one negative?---just like a light bulb both need to be present for it to light or in this case engage---with only being a 2 wire system it shouldnt matter which wire is broken--im connected directly to the differential--theres no other system involved--there may very well be sensors on the rear tires that send signals to the computer that may send the signal to engage but ive eliminated all that by sending power directly to the differential--the way i understand it the engagement device is like a contactor magnet--when volts are applied it closes or in this case engages and when power is taken away it opens or disengages?
 

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Yep, you bypassed the on demand part of the system and made it on when the switch is turned on. Not trying to be a dick, but the next owner is gonna be pissed that you bypassed the system instead of finding and fixing the original problem. It's fine for a temporary repair or part of the diagnostic process but not so much for a permanent fix.
 
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