The Dodge ram 4 wheel drive not engaging, there are some issues with the four-wheel drive, and it just acts like it’s not working. So I’ll show you what I found and then proceed to fix it. What I found was that the passenger side axle had to be stripped. I think it’s a pretty easy job, so you’ll go ahead and pick it up. Remove the wheel from the CV axle, and then you will disassemble that front end.
The job to pop up the steering knuckle off is not that difficult. It’s more like checking the stuff shaft or pulling the axle apart.
I hope you know how to pull the knuckle steer, and you know we’re talking ball joints. There’s another trick on the front end that’s simple enough on Dodge that it will remove that caliper sideways, remove the top and bottom ball joints nuts. You can see it by using just the air hammer rattled the top one. You can use any method, but basically, you need to remove the steering knuckle off to get to the axle shaft.
Check The Passenger Side Front Stub Shaft on Your Dodge Ram 4 Wheel Drive
You may need to remove so much dirt from the front axle. Then you will remove the bolt and remove the strong seal. You can use a hammer, a chisel, and maybe it can break it because the seal is quite hard, but it is also a bearing retainer all at the same time, so it makes sense. So, the condition of the stub shaft for the passenger side axle maybe isn’t good. So you need to replace it with a new one. But before that, perhaps you want to know how this thing works. So, I will explain to you; this disconnects the axle shaft if you’re unfamiliar with the 4WD or how the front axle works. But there’s something else in there holding the stub shaft. So it would be best if you pulled the front axle actuator to see the mechanism.
Inside the front differential is a coupler. When you engage the left side axle in four-wheel drive, the actuator has a fork that goes over it. It makes everything into one piece to see all those locks together, trying to turn the front axle so it locks it together.
Then when you put in two-wheel drive, one-piece stays still and blocks together like full-wheel drive. So it’s a pretty simple concept. Dodge has been using it for many years. Previously it was vacuum actuated, but now they are electronic.
You can see if it’s just a series of shift forks. They’re the tiny electric motors that drive it in and out. Almost all front-drive manufacturers use it except for Ford. Of course, they have an integrated wheel and hub unit but an absolute disaster that always breaks. So I don’t think it’s anything complicated but a reasonably simple system and usually works pretty well. After all, it’s a pretty simple concept, the mechanics are pretty familiar with it, and if you’re not, that’s how it works. Now you need to remove the stub shaft and inner bearing race, and you can see what it looks like.
But at this point, hopefully, all the damage is only on the shaft, not the bearings.
You will need to look inside the shaft house to see and confirm the condition of the bearings.
You can use a brake cleaner and a nylon brush to remove any stuck-on dirt. I think you are lucky if you have seen bearings that are still in good condition.
Install the New Front Passenger Shift Stub Shaft
But first, you should get some bolts in it just for straightening purposes only. You need to apply a little gear lubricant to spray it on the bearing to make it spin smoothly. The outer bearings on stub shafts are usually prepackaged with factory grease, so you won’t have to worry about that. Next, you can install a new seal slash bearing retainer as well. You have to do it by installing it without doing any damage, so you have to do it right on the first drive.
You can then start the four bolts and make sure they are centered in the holes. If the bolts aren’t snugly positioned, you can apply a light hammer stroke on the edges to continue until all the bolts are firmly in place. You can torque these bolts to 21 ft/pounds.
Replace the front axle actuator but make sure the bearing on the shift fork is in good condition. So make sure you don’t break it or force it on. Just straighten it and screw it in. Don’t forget to plug it in, or you won’t have a forward drive once it’s done. Tighten, clean everything so that when the gear oil rises to the sides of the axle, you can make sure there are no leaks.
Now you are ready to reassemble the axle shaft. The new front CV axle from Chrysler is excellent because sometimes, the aftermarket CV axle is terrible. They don’t seem to engage in the stub shaft. So, for whatever reason, they don’t seem to fit.
Once you’ve finished installing everything, you can start making sure the actuators are working. Make sure the axle rotates appropriately, and you know your 4×4 is back to normal. I know that you can fix the Dodge ram 4 wheel drive not engaging issue, quite simply, but it requires a lot of special tools.
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.