4x4 dashboard knob switch vs Manual shift lever - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 05-22-2008, 09:03 AM
Tall Pine
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
4x4 dashboard knob switch vs Manual shift lever

I have always preferred the manual 4x4 shifting levers but am considering buying a truck that has the dashboard knob switch. Is the knob switch something to be avoided, does it have a bad failure rate?

Is it a PIA the fix the vacuum mechanism (or whatever is used) when it does fail? I'm thinking of a trailside fix here-thats when it will go out and when it will need replacing.

TIA
Tall Pine is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 05-22-2008, 09:10 AM
67Cuda
Tape On
 
67Cuda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have an electric shift and have never used one, but I think simpler is better for shifting into 4 wheel drive.

2004 Hemi RAM Quad Cab 4X4 (Big Horn Edition)
SuperChips 3865
Borla Single Out Exhaust w/new y-pipe
Vararam Intake
Hellwig Swaybar
Bilstein Shocks
Step Bar
All Terrain T/A's
Sirius Radio
67Cuda is offline  
#3 Old 05-22-2008, 09:21 AM
NK
Registered Confuser
 
NK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,365
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
the 4x4 lever just looks tough, i'm glad i don't have electric. I dont think the switches have a high failure rate, but we've all seen them fail.
NK is offline  
#4 Old 05-22-2008, 09:27 AM
Tall Pine
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Yeah, I lean that way myself. But I ask because I am hot on the trail of a used truck and that is the only drawback it has. These trucks are somewhat hard to find and this one is priced right.

Im conflicted...do I let it go, wait longer and maybe pay more later, or do I take it with its good price and electric 4wd switch?

Perhaps some idea of the rate of failure, and the ease of repair will help me decide. If it was a cinch to fix on the trail, I could just keep a spare switch in the truck for that inevitable day.
Tall Pine is offline  
#5 Old 05-22-2008, 09:34 AM
stickshiftsrule
what's your left leg doin
 
stickshiftsrule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Grafton
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What exactly is so "hard to find" about the truck you are looking for?

I always try to get the manual lever(s).......

But, as I understand it.....the trick is to engage the (electric) system every so often to keep it from freezing (rusting?) up.

-Used to own
2005 RAM 1500 4x4 R/C S/B Flame Red
4.7L V8, 6-speed manual, 3.92 LS
stickshiftsrule is offline  
#6 Old 05-22-2008, 09:44 AM
Tall Pine
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Stick,

Its a diesel, low miles, the color I want, auto tranny, one previous owner, QC, SWB, etc etc etc. Trust me, there arent many in the 700 mile radius I have been searching in for the past 3 weeks. Add in a cross country ATV trip Im planning for in June and its got me re-thinking this one, possibly immaterial part.

The Suburban I owned 10 years ago was a fairly easy fix. My friends and I joked that the vacuum activated switch/part looked like a hot dog. I could definatley keep a "hot dog" in this new truck if it was easy enough to isntall trailside.

Any ideas on what is needed to fix this when it does go bad?
Tall Pine is offline  
#7 Old 05-22-2008, 09:50 AM
stickshiftsrule
what's your left leg doin
 
stickshiftsrule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Grafton
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do not know what is involved in fixing a bad switch......but
That's a pretty big purchase, I wouldn't "settle" if it was me.

-Used to own
2005 RAM 1500 4x4 R/C S/B Flame Red
4.7L V8, 6-speed manual, 3.92 LS
stickshiftsrule is offline  
#8 Old 05-22-2008, 09:54 AM
RB24
2010 SRT8 Challenger
 
RB24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Liberty Twp
Posts: 12,435
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my bro's ram, as well as mine, both have the electronic 4x4 switch on the dash...no issues

2010 SRT Challenger
2012 SRT 300
RB24 is offline  
#9 Old 05-22-2008, 10:01 AM
Maxtcc
DirtRunner TreeDragger
 
Maxtcc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Outbound
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have the electric shift, and honestly there is nothing difficult about it.
It is as reliable as an auto trans is.
and as for fixing it in the outback there is no difficulty it is just a switch, you can always just connect the wires if the knob did break , but why would it , you don't turn it harder to make contact when the mud is sticky.

If you maintain your 4x4 mechs , lubing and cleaning, as you would anything else like your engine there is no reason to be wary of the electric switching.
And as far as the mechs of the elect switching you are actually less likely to harm them as the control module checks for you that all parameters are met to go into 4-lo.
eg if you didn't come to a stop and shift to neutral before selecting , it waits until you do before engaging
not saying you would but on the manual shift you might try to engage 4-lo without coming to a complete and non-rolling stop, and this would stress the transfer case

I have both the manual 4x4 in my jeep and the elect 4x4 in my RAM and have not had an issue with either. Even though I know I have rushed the shifts in the jeep whilst having a grand time.

As for failure rates I haven't heard anyone here or elsewhere mention that their selector switch has even failed to work.

oh as for fixing, there is one screw to hold the dash bezel in place, you pop that off remove the two backing screws for the switch swap the wires to the new switch , replace the screws pop the dash bezel on install one screw and you are done. And that is a factory fix not a trail fix.


Don't fear the knob.

Off-Road Package Club Member #36 Quad Cab Club #21
287 Enthusiast #265
#265 RED TRUCK CLUB

2005 1500 SLT QC 4X4 4.7L

Molten Volcanic Red, Raider Canopy, S/S Mesh in Grill, Skid Plates, light group addition, wheel well liners, Silverstars headlights, p/p TB, tricked switch group, o/b compressor, Hi-lift, Line-X, Air Horn, Power Tailgate Lock, hose clamp anti-tailgate theft device, 600W inverter, Front&Back receiver, Winch, AIR=RAM power-wire, AIR=RAM scoop, Spectre CAI from AIR=RAM, Holux m-1000 GPS.

Last edited by Maxtcc; 05-22-2008 at 10:06 AM.
Maxtcc is offline  
#10 Old 05-22-2008, 10:06 AM
RB24
2010 SRT8 Challenger
 
RB24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Liberty Twp
Posts: 12,435
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxtcc
Don't fear the knob.


2010 SRT Challenger
2012 SRT 300
RB24 is offline  
#11 Old 05-22-2008, 10:12 AM
stickshiftsrule
what's your left leg doin
 
stickshiftsrule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Grafton
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxtcc
I have the electric shift, and honestly there is nothing difficult about it.
It is as reliable as an auto trans is.


Just kidding.....couldn't help myself.

Seriously, he's right, and the electic shift is all but the standard nowadays, so it might even be a good idea to learn how to swap one out on the trail. Because pretty soon that is all you are going to see out there.

But it's your money, make sure you don't regret your purchase.

-Used to own
2005 RAM 1500 4x4 R/C S/B Flame Red
4.7L V8, 6-speed manual, 3.92 LS
stickshiftsrule is offline  
#12 Old 05-22-2008, 10:17 AM
stickshiftsrule
what's your left leg doin
 
stickshiftsrule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Grafton
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh yeah.......I did a search for you...perhaps this will help.

http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/show...c+4x4+problems

http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/show...vice+4wd+light

-Used to own
2005 RAM 1500 4x4 R/C S/B Flame Red
4.7L V8, 6-speed manual, 3.92 LS
stickshiftsrule is offline  
#13 Old 05-22-2008, 10:18 AM
Tall Pine
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Well, that truck is now sold so my decision is put off a little longer.

But I wanted to finish this thread and tell you what the local Dodge shop told me. The tech said the failure rate isnt an issue, he hasnt seen any lopsided failure rates, elec vs manual. Take that for what its worth-he didnt say how many he's seen.

But he did tell me the elec solenoid is very easy to change out. Its not vacuum operated. The solenoid is on the front of the front axle, very easy to get to and replace. 4 bolts and an electrical connector. A very easy trailside fix if you have the right sized wrench.

He did say that the 2 systems operate differently. The manual system works by moving a rod in the transfer case to engage power to the front axle. He said on the elec versions, the transfer case is always spinning the 'pinion' and that its the solenoid on the front axle that locks up the power to the axle.

The tech suspected that theoretically the T-case using the elec system
might get more wear on it 'pinion' since its always spinning, whereas in the manual system it isnt spinning until activated by the shifter on the floor. I am clueless here.

Well, thats what I found out. Anyone know more about these different T-cases?
Tall Pine is offline  
#14 Old 05-22-2008, 10:24 AM
Tall Pine
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickshiftsrule


Just kidding.....couldn't help myself.

Seriously, he's right, and the electic shift is all but the standard nowadays, so it might even be a good idea to learn how to swap one out on the trail. Because pretty soon that is all you are going to see out there.

But it's your money, make sure you don't regret your purchase.
Thanks Stick, you sound like my buddy who swears by his 6 spd NV5600.

I totally agree with the buyers remorse thing. I think I know what I want and will just have to be patient. Thanks to you all for the help.
Tall Pine is offline  
#15 Old 05-22-2008, 10:59 AM
stickshiftsrule
what's your left leg doin
 
stickshiftsrule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Grafton
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No problem

One thing if you do get the manual t-case
dynatrac (sp?) makes a manual hub conversion kit (but it's pricey).

You might want to post in the diesel section also.

-Used to own
2005 RAM 1500 4x4 R/C S/B Flame Red
4.7L V8, 6-speed manual, 3.92 LS
stickshiftsrule is offline  
#16 Old 05-22-2008, 11:05 AM
White2500
Registered User
 
White2500's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i dont kno to much about it , but my ZR2 blazer had the push button 4 wheel drive and while i was in vermont during a massive snow storm towing a 16 ft trailer with quads on it the ****ing thing shit the bed. so after spending the night on the side of the highway waiting for a snow plow to go by i will never buy something like that again.

2003 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4
SRT 10 Hood / 55 watt 6000k HIDs / 8 inch progressive rate coils./ King 2.5 shocks / 37x13.50x17 Toyo M/Ts / 17x9 Dick Cepek DC-1 wheels / Thuren Cross over steering / Thuren track bar / Thuren Fox steering shock / Pure performance long arms / Bushwacker pocket flares



Elite White Truck Club Member 129



Radiant Appearance Auto Detailing
Clinton, CT 06413
860-575-5874
AUTO MARINE PRESSURE WASHING

White2500 is offline  
#17 Old 05-22-2008, 11:17 AM
NJDodger
Lets go DEVILS!!!
 
NJDodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 2,129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had an issue this winter where the axle disconnect solenoid failed. It failed to engage properly and when i tried switching the 4x4 back into 4wd it flashed the Srv 4wd light. The transfer case did shift (you could hear it) but the axle wouldn't engage. Unfortunately I was 160 miles from home when it happened.

It held together for the ride home and luckily it stopped snowing and the roads were clear. 2 days later when I went to shuffle my trucks around i heard a grinding. The axle was half engaged and the entire assembly had to be replaced. It was all covered under warranty and there was a TSB on the 4x4 system done as well.

2006 Dodge Ram

NJDodger is offline  
#18 Old 05-22-2008, 12:11 PM
Tuned4Smoke
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Thousand Palms
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickshiftsrule
When I ordered my Mega that was the only way it came and I put some hard miles on the truck and have not had one problem yet. The tech you talked to isnt making sense. If you have a 3rd gen then there is no actuator on the front axle. That was the 2nd gen with the cad engagement assembly. The electric actuator is on the t-case. It doesnt matter about electric or manual the front drive shaft still turns somewhat in 2wd. To stop that you need lock out hubs.
Tuned4Smoke is offline  
#19 Old 05-22-2008, 04:39 PM
Tall Pine
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Smoke-

I got more information from a dealer who said the manual lever (in the '06 anyways) is actually a glorified electronic switch. He says both the dashboard switch and the manual floor lever send an elec signal to the Tcase.

This makes it sound like the Tcase is the same no matter which system is in place. Does this jive with what you know?

The real asnwer would be if someone knows if there are more than one T-cases for the 3rd gen 2500/3500's. The build sheet on this dashboard switched system says "DH3 Elec shift-on-the-fly Transfer Case".

I'll try to get a build sheet on a manual activated truck and see if there is a difference.
Tall Pine is offline  
#20 Old 05-22-2008, 05:01 PM
ptgarcia
Where 'da white women at?
 
ptgarcia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fontana, CA
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are 2 transfer cases for the 2500/3500 trucks. Both made by New Venture. I'll have to check on the model numbers for each.


Edit: The electronic shift is an NV273 and the lever shift is an NV271.

Paul

2006 3500 Megacab 4x4
ThurenFab Suspension

Last edited by ptgarcia; 05-22-2008 at 07:04 PM.
ptgarcia is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to use most of our features, you must first register.
Please enter your desired User Name, your Email Address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
The registration process requires you to activate your membership by following a link in an E-Mail that will be sent to you immediately upon completing this form. You must enter a valid email address or you will not receive this activation code and you will NOT be registered. Your E-Mail address is NOT publicly available to anyone as policy.

AOL E-MAIL USERS: Please click HERE for important info pertaining to your e-mail address.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Generic Chrysler Diagnostic Trouble Code List tactransman 1G Dodge Durango General Talk 0 10-18-2007 01:27 PM
Generic Chrysler Diagnostic Trouble Code List tactransman 2G Dodge Durango General Talk 0 10-18-2007 01:27 PM
P0601 Error jgonick 1G Dodge Durango Performance Talk 7 06-11-2004 12:33 AM
help changing shift knob fjteal 3G Dodge RAM - Interior/Exterior Talk 6 12-16-2003 01:48 PM
T-case shift knob wyseman 3G Dodge RAM - Interior/Exterior Talk 7 08-08-2003 06:59 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome