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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have an 08 Dakota sport AWD. When I bought the truck the 4x4 switch on the dash was missing. I purchased a selector switch from Dodge and tried 4hi and 4low. Both engaged as suppose to however when I switched it back to AWD it does nothing and stays in 4Hi. The selector switch says 2WD not AWD. Did Dodge parts department give me the wrong selector switch? Dude behind the counter said it didn't matter and it was the correct part number P68021674AB. If it is the correct part is their anyway to disconnect the front drivetrain so my tires stop fighting each other or will the traction control still be engaged if I disconnect the front end? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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You have an AWD transfer case, that means it has a locking differential in it. When you shift into 4 hi, that differential locks up and splits power to the front and rear equally. When you shift into AWD, the differential isn't locked up. The differential still allows power to reach all four tires but if one end is on a slippery surface, all the power from the engine will spin the tires on the slippery surface while the tires on a solid surface gets no power. (The same effect that happens when you see one tire spinning when you're stuck)

You may not hear, feel or otherwise notice the differential locking or unlocking. Your t-case is also a two speed unit. 4 hi and AWD uses the high gear. 4 lo is the only thing that uses low gear, and AWD isn't available in low range.

Finally, it's not a good idea to remove the front drivetrain. If you remove the front axle half shafts, the wheel bearings will come apart. The last thing you want to see is a pair of tires that look a lot like the ones on your truck rolling down the road ahead of you. The only other thing to remove would be the driveshaft, and thats not a good idea either. One, you will have to keep the transfer case in the 4 hi position for it to even move.
And second, it's hard on the t-case. After awhile, you'll be replacing it.

AWD isn't bad at all, they work great in bad weather. If it's working correctly the tires will never be fighting each other because it's designed to run with power to all wheels.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the info. I did not want to disconnect anything on the front drivetrain. Question for you. Do you think the selector switch would be the reason it will not go back to AWD and is stuck in 4Hi?
 

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Yes, it could be the selector switch. It could also be the solenoid at the transfer case. What you could do try is back it up a few feet. Also try spinning the tires in reverse then try shifting it again. if that works, it's possible that the drivetrain was binding and needed to be relieved for it to shift. If you're not familiar with operating 4wd and AWD, you don't want to use 4wd on pavement (because of the locking differential) AWD should give you sufficient traction for wet or slippery pavement. 4 hi or 4 lo should only be used on dirt, sand, mud, or deep snow, never on pavement.

Ed
 
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