Destroyed second front diff

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Hi guys

I'm hoping to get some advice.


Last year my dad drove the 2012 (new shape) ranger in wet leafy country roads. I suspect through boredom he turned on the 4H switch, and turned it off after a bit. Later in the journey on the motorway, the front differential gave up and basically detonated. We had the vehicle repaired, and had a £3k lesson on why not to use 4x4 on kinda grippy surfaces...


Last week, in the snow, we used the 4H range again. Obviously the previous repair bill was on our minds and we tuned off the 4x4 system while on snow, dash light went out as expected. Again later in the journey on the motorway, front diff destroyed itself.

Truck's again being repaired, and we asked the mechanic why this happened again - to be told you need to reverse to disengage 4x4??! It doesnt say that in the manual!

I find it hard to believe its supposed to be this easy to destroy the Ranger's transmission - I see loads around and they don't seem to be littering the hard shoulder as much as ours does!

Can anyone advise if they have had this happen or what we are doing wrong? (The second time we were so careful to disengage it on the snow!)




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thats a load of rubish about driving in reverse. 

Shifting between 2H and 4H
Note:  When shifting to 2H, all the stability control (ESP) functions are reactivated.
This can be done with the vehicle moving up to 110 km/h (68 mph), but only with the accelerator pedal released. During the shift the indicator lamp will flash.

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Yes, you may have to drive in reverse to fully disengage 4WD, but you will KNOW it didn't release properly because of increased road noise and steering effort, and not turning it off shouldn't break anything anyway.   The front wheels (and front diff) are chain driven, with the idea that the chain will slip before anything major breaks.  You should get a kind of a thumping sound like you are going over a speed bump if the chain is slipping.  

Most 4x4 trucks disengage the front wheels from the axle in 4x2 mode, the Ranger (us spec, not sure about the global model) is one of the few that keeps it live at all times and simply engages and disengages the 4WD transfer case to activate 4WD, so the front diff will be spinning regardless of 4WD mode selection... so i recommend checking the oil level in the front diff, be sure it isnt slinging it all out or something.  

Also, be sure all 4 tires are the same.  Do not mix brands, old and new, etc.  They need to be very close to the same size all the way around, measure them to be sure they are the same size.  If the tire sizes are far enough apart, you can cause damage to the 4WD system.


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