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manual vs electric 4x4. Are they the same?

17542 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  DodgeThisCTD
So I was talking to a dealer today and mentioned that I wanted the manual 4x4 shifter and he told me that it's the same as the turn dial, that it isn't actually manual anymore but it works on the same principle as the turn dial. Says that it is still an electronic signal that is sent to move the actuator not an actual linkage. Is this true or is he just trying to sell me? I can't see it being the same if both are offered. Told me the only difference is that the manual shifter costs less?
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i dont know but if they arent the same id go with manual shift cause ive been having electrical problems with my dial. keeps wanting to go into four wheel drive when i turn truck on and sometimes while crusing down the highway the lights will start flashing. took it to shop but they said nothing was wrong
 

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If you want a mega, you are gonna end up with a electric 4wd.

They are not the same t-cases, but, they do work the same...

So, I guess your salesman is correct... They work the same, the both transfer power to the front axle when selected to do so.

However, they are not the same and parts are not exactly interchangeable..

Merrick
 

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I just looked at mine and there's a linkage from the T-case shifter to the T-case, so I don't think its electric or has an actuator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for looking, I didn't think they would be the same. My dad had problems with his electronic shifter, wouldn't disengage, that's why I wanted the manual. I have always driven older vehicles and never once had a problem with the manual shifter.
 

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Apparently you can't even get a manually shifted transfer case anymore with the new trucks. I asked. Electronic is all they have. I love the manual shifter in my 01.5. I know from experience that in the winter time it takes a good amount of effort to shift into 4WD on the fly. Usually I make an effort to do it from a stop only, but on ocassion I've had to do it on the fly. I can't imagine relying on an electric actuator to do the job on the same truck, in the winter. At a stop, sure, but on the fly, I'm not so sure it'd get in.

None the less, I did order a new 09, and it has the electronic shift. I guess I'll find out if it works or not, though the new truck will not likely see any winter driving.
 

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My electronic 4x4 shift on the fly works well for 4-Hi. Great when I hit sand. 4-Lo takes being in Neutral to go in.
 

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i hate the electronic actuators. even on fords they stink, i like to know when it actually works and not have it fail when i need it. thats just me tho
 

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mine is a 08 manual works great never had a problem out of it but I would rather have the manual shifter rather than electronic
 

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hey when i turn the key and let the lights come on, my 4wd light starts flashing, and i hear a clicking noise like its trying to switch to 4wd and it just keeps making that ratchety click noise underneath, i took it to dealer and they said nothign was wrong and they took it out for a 30 mile, 1/8 of a tank ride.. anyone know what this could be?
 

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i hate the electronic actuators. even on fords they stink, i like to know when it actually works and not have it fail when i need it. thats just me tho
haha thats funny, the electronic actuator on my transfer case cracked some time ago, and a couple weeks ago we had the worst roads of the year, fiance was driving my pickup and wouldnt go into four wheel. go with manual. it will always work
 

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hey when i turn the key and let the lights come on, my 4wd light starts flashing, and i hear a clicking noise like its trying to switch to 4wd and it just keeps making that ratchety click noise underneath, i took it to dealer and they said nothign was wrong and they took it out for a 30 mile, 1/8 of a tank ride.. anyone know what this could be?
I got that when it was new. Seemed like it needed to break in just a bit to go in right everytime. Try rolling just a bit or if you are rolling forward, turn ever so slightly so that your front and rear drive shaft arent turning exactly at the same speed. If it is in between the two, it will wait until it is able to mesh before it locks it in. In 4lo though, make sure you put it in neutral before turning the knob. Also, you may have to let off the brake or allow the truck to move ever so slightly to get it to catch, that is of course if it has an issue. Now that I have used 4wd quite a few times, never have any issues with it. I while back, I was getting issues with it locking into 4wd but that was like the first trip I had used it on. Now that I have used it a bunch, works perfect.

I can tell you that a manual shift transfer case and electronic are not the same. Manual shift will lock right then and there when that lever is pulled. Otherwise that lever doesnt move. With the electronic, you kind of have to wait for the computer to confirm it is locked before it will keep the light solid. There is a slight delay but all well. I perfer a manual transfer case personally but a manual transfer case can also pop out of 4wd if you are romping hard. So you will have to hold it in. With electronic, there isnt that lever weight to knock it out so the actuator keeps it in no matter what the romping is like. In that aspect, I love my electronic. I have just learned to read ahead a bit to give myself time to lock in the 4wd as I approach something nasty.
 
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