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PK Ranger 4WD selection problem / resolution

Discussion in 'PJ/PK Ranger / Old BT50' started by Les PK Ranger, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Robert Kinsey

    Robert Kinsey New Member

    G'day Ian,

    Have a look at for replacement Ford Ranger (and many other makes and models) parts. The replacement Transfercase motor will set you back about $180.00 AUD (including shipping - Economy 3 to 11 days),1443918,drivetrain,transfer+case+motor,10323

    I quite often save myself half the money I would normally spend on parts from suppliers here in Australia from these guys. I have purchased quite a few things for my Explorer and if you can wait the two weeks for delivery then all the better.


    muc the truck likes this.
  2. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Think you will find thats the US ranger which is not at all the same as the ranger in the rest of the world. Explorer on the other hand it makes perfect sense.
  3. Robert Kinsey

    Robert Kinsey New Member

    G'day Mac_Man,

    The transfercase motor will be the same part. Yes you have to watch what parts you order. Especially with a right hand drive vehicle.


  4. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    I would be surprised if they were at all similar, different motors, different gearbox
  5. jacnden

    jacnden Well-Known Member

    Now Ime not 100% sure , but all the shift motors for older borgwarner t/cases appear the same . The movement between 2hi and 4lo is 270 degrees , the operations are all the same . My Chinese car has the same part number as a older ford Lincoln 4wd. To me just looking at them the only difference is the plug and some have a speed sensor and some don't.
    Then there is this, and you can bypass all the electrics
    I've been in touch with the supplier about fitting one to mine, just got to crawl under the car in the mud?!
    muc the truck likes this.
  6. Actuator

    Actuator New Member

    Hey Robert,
    Thanks for info mate.Had a quick look at rockauto they had a couple there but plugs were different.Had a fellow member got me a new one for a reasonable price.I fitted it on Friday and all is well so far.Down the track i will order another and have as a spare as i have no confidence in these things if i wanna go to fraser for 2 weeks.Thanks again for reply Robert .......good site this one. Cheers Ian
    Robert Kinsey likes this.
  7. muc the truck

    muc the truck Well-Known Member

    I thick you could modify that to work with a motorbike throttle cable in the cab and a push bike brake cable to operate the lock pin
  8. oldlux

    oldlux Well-Known Member

    Just cut a hole in the floor to put your hand through.
    muc the truck likes this.
  9. Robert Kinsey

    Robert Kinsey New Member

    G'day Ian,

    Glad you got it sorted mate. I ordered one for my 1998 Explorer and they sent me one for a 97. Good thing I now drive the 97 and not the 98. The 98 model does have speed and wheel slip sensors with a different wiring harness to the 97. My point is yes you have to watch what you get from them but You can generally build one good working part from two if need be. I wouldnt pay $1200.00 for a shift motor though.


  10. Ziggy246

    Ziggy246 New Member

    I have a 2008 Ranger. Has anyone figured out the which Dorman Motor will fit an operate on the Ranger?

    I have been searching trying to figure out how to cross reference the two and not finding anything. I am in the Caribbean, Barbados to be precise. And to replace it from the dealer is about $2500USD
  11. ronje

    ronje New Member

    I've been having the same problems for about 12 - 18 months.
    I was hoping you guys had come up with an answer.
    I've been going through the Borg Warner, Dorman, Mazda and Ford shift motor part numbers for the last 12 months.
    It's like spaghetti junction.
    I think I've got it worked out.
    At least to the stage of putting up $200 to get 1 sent here to replace the one I've got in the 2008 BT50.
    If it works, I'll tell you the Dorman model number.
    If it doesn't that's $200 down the drain and I'll slink off.
    I'm sure not paying over $2,000 (from local Mazda place yesterday) or $1,700 (from local Ford place yesterday as well).
    Parts fella from the US has been asking around his associates for info but they seem just as confused. Very good of him to help out.
    Will let you know as soon as I can put it in.
    Then I'll pull the old one apart to see what's wrong with it.
    I'm happy to bet that the motor is OK and its simply the switch (4 position) which tells the shift motor how far to turn the 4WD selector link which is faulty.
    That 4 position switch receives instructions from the 4x4 control module which in turn receives its orders from the 4x2Hi, 4X4Hi and 4X4Lo switch on the console next to the gear selector on auto models.
    The 4 position switch doesn't look like a switch at all. Its in a round die-cast aluminium flat box attached to the shift control motor itself.
    Here's a photo of mine in situ with a part number on it. Borg Warner number?
    Look up any Dorman shift control motor for a diagram.

    Attached Files:

  12. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    here is a photo from a previous page showing its sliding contact style switch and likely just oxidised
  13. Ziggy246

    Ziggy246 New Member

    Ok. I have my fingrrs
    I have my fingers crossed you've found an inexpensive solution.

    However, just throwing out there... I emailed Dorman with the OE part numbers and they said they don't have a cross for our Ranger/BT50 4WD T/Case Motor.

    Additionally, it seems like the KIA Sorento/Hyundai Terracan Motor does the trick.

    Once I can confirm, I'll have to bite the bullet and pay USD$300+ to get one.
  14. ronje

    ronje New Member

    Hey Ziggy
    You'd have a US Ranger wouldn't you? Assembled in Mexico or South America? If that's the case, then the Dorman 600-931 should fit it.
    We're having trouble with BT-50/Ranger parts in here in Australia 'cos ours were assembled in Thailand. Part number equivalent disconnect.
    Your VIN number will tell you if it'll fit.

    Look up Dorman 600-931 on e-bay from newautopart in Washington State and send him a message with your VIN number.
  15. ronje

    ronje New Member

    Another thing I noticed was on the unit that had been taken apart (photo just above).
    If you look closely at the 5 little wipers on the lid circuit board each wiper has three contacts. Note that the outer wiper solder point to the circuit board has a rusty streak. That indicates water at some time.
    Also note at the black muck collected on each of the 5 little wipers. Most muck on the outside wiper with less as you look towards the centre wiper.
    Then look at the corresponding tracks on the bakelite disc which has the contacts making up the switch.
    They are most contaminated from the outside and decreasing as you look in towards the centre.
    I'll bet my last dollar that the problem is due to water ingress through the water proof sealing ring.
    Water has gotten in there and that's what has oxidised the tracks. In moving, the little wipers have become contaminated with oxidisation and become intermittent in contact.
    Hence the contact problems.
    I see some earlier comments about arcing from high current through the wipers. Not so.
    Its simple oxidisation from water.
    Probably clean up OK but you'd have to re-do the waterproof sealing. New rubber ring or augment the ring with something suitable.
  16. Ziggy246

    Ziggy246 New Member

    I actually have the one assembled in Thailand. Those models come out to the Caribbean.

    So i have the same problem ya'll have.
  17. Ziggy246

    Ziggy246 New Member

    I couldn't figure out how to get the unit open without destroying it. That would be a good start for me. Lol
  18. ronje

    ronje New Member

    I come bearing good news although the Dorman shift motor that I bought isn't the correct one for me.

    I found a person in Aus who has a number of new Transfer Case shift actuators (as he calls them) suitable for PK Ford and Mazda BT50 earlier models. Vehicles made/assembled in Thailand.
    Price is AU $499 each. New. Will work
    I bought one from him (he's about 120km from where I live in Rockhampton Qld). Fitted it in and it's fixed the problem.

    Previous to that, I had pulled the old motor apart and cleaned the rotary switch tracks and wipers which were a little dirty but not bad really. Used the finest steel wool (super super fine was the description) but still gently. The "inside" track (yellow wire) is the common/ground contact back to the CPU and speed sensor. That track is 360 degrees so the wiper is in permanent contact with the track surface and gets dirtier first. The other tracks vary with breaks in them. So the wiper for that track passes onto the fibreglass backing disc and gets "cleaned" regularly. Lack of the "common"/ground back to the CPU also affected the speed sensor hence the speedo dropped to half.
    It turns out that the motor itself was also seized and wouldn't respond to the signals being sent by the transfer case CPU. Hence no turn on the motor worm drive and no turn of the rotary switch. As a result no signals from the rotary switch back to other pins of the transfer case CPU to tell it what position the switch and hence vehicle was in.

    The diagram titled Transfer (5R55S) put up by somebody earlier was the key to the fix.
    Once I saw that the tracks on that diagram translated to the rotary switch from my crook case it was all over rover.

    Identifying the wire colors via the wipers showed where the switch wipers needed to be position when rotated to perfom the 2WD, 4H and 4Lo switching. A childs drawing protactor allowed me to draw arc lines on that 5R55S diagram and find the positions exactly even though I had put the top back on the rotary switch cover.

    Once I had the positions marked, I just had to I figured out (with multimeter and sense of humour) what the starting position of the gear driven by the motor's worm drive should be in when in 2WD. That was my starting point. That position had a range of 30 degrees rotation until the tracks on the circular switch changed. The next one to connect 90 degrees rotation clockwise (looking from the track side) to was 4H and that arc was only 7 degrees wide so that was the one that had to be marked very accurately.
    Putting the rotary switch unit back in meant that the positions marked had to actually be a mirror image 'cos they were marked on the BOTTOM of the switch unit as it went in upside down.
    Had to stop and think a few times.
    Put it all together, lined up the starting point onto the V section connecting rod protruding from the transfer case and bolted it in.
    Went for a drive and it all worked perfectly.
    I've put the new unit back in and kept the repaired one as a spare.

    So that's another option for you guys. Repair it.
    For your info the color coding for the wires is:
    yellow.... ground/common (the diagram calls it E)
    orange... position 1 (the diagram calls it D)
    brown/white... position 2 (the diagram calls it C)
    white.... position 3 (the diagram calls it B); and
    purple.....position 4 (the diagram calls it A).

    The thicker yellow and orange wires are for the motor itself (more current so thicker).
    Don't know why the diagram uses both numeric and alphabetical identifiers. Leads to some confusion.
    I'm not a mechanic and not young. So if I can do it then most of you guys can as well.
    For those who don't want to DIY, the guys contact details for $499 will be up on here after I see what Ziggy wants to do. His case is probably a bit more desperate.
    Ziggy email address here
  19. ronje

    ronje New Member

    Haven't heard from Ziggy.
    Chap to speak to is Rohan in Gladstone Qld.
    Ph 0422-981454
    AU $499

    At $499, the pricing is low enough to deter any DIY'ers from doing their own repairs although both the shift motor itself AND the circular disc are pretty well bullet proof and can be easily repaired. So a repair task is doable and viable if the price was anything like what the others mentioned above are charging. $800 to $2,200.

    That might be an opportunity for somebody. Repairing faulty TC shift motor actuators. I'll be happy to send what I've found to whoever wants to give that a go.

    To be honest, I needed to see if I could still do that sort of problem solving exercise starting from scratch. Figuring out what/why something does a task and how it does the task before trying to diagnose the problem that its encountered and coming up with a fix.

    More satisfying than finding a source of supply using a computer. Got my hands dirty. Brain exercised etc.. I'm satisfied that I still can so I'll move on. Have enjoyed the trip down "nostalgia lane"

    Fitting is easy. The V shaped rod from the transfer case means that the unit will only fit on 1 way (the correct way). Just get under the vehicle and its 3 small bolts. Don't know where those guys got $300 to fit it from.

    I've put my repaired unit back on again and it works fine. Was confident enough to give it a tryout in 4WD at a tidal rock/gravel/mud boat ramp down near the mouth of the Fitzroy yesterday. Worked fine. Now have Rohan's new unit as a spare.

    I bought a Dorman 931 to play with (as I said I was going to) and found that the circular tracks didn't have the right switching sequence so it wasn't any good. I already knew that I might be stuck with it once I bought it so I'm not complaining. The other bits (motor, geared cog disc driver) can be generic spares for friends' cars with similar problems.

    I'll send info over to the US parts guy who tried hard to help me. He might be able to get info from Dorman for an equivalent Dorman number. They played dumb with me about it.

    Knowing about these electromechanical actuators as I do now and looking back over the previous posts, there was a lot of common sense spoken particularly in improvising possible solutions to the problem. I guess that's part of the aussie psyche.

    Anyway, we've now collectively come up with 2 solutions that work and at a realistic price.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  20. amazon196969

    amazon196969 New Member

    Mine went after a water/mud experience at approx 30,000km, back around 2013(ish)...still not fixed as don't want to waste any more money or give more $ to ford for something I feel they should have fixed being it was within the warranty period and diagnosis documented via email just after the issue much so, I just purchased a more reliable and REAL 4x4 (BJ40)... I wonder if it's possible for a class action...there is one open for other ford vehicle types built around 2010 (only petrol models apparently)... wonder if it's worth doing something like this as it seems after googling this issue over the years it is extremely common...
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017

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