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Old 09-13-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
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4WD Indicator Light?

Hello all,

I picked up a 97 TJ, 4.0L, 5 spd a few weeks ago and I'm still going through it to work out the bugs. Like an idiot I never looked to see if the 4WD lights came on in the dash when I put it into 4WD. Mechanically the Jeep does go into 4WD, however the light never comes in the gauges. My mechanic mentioned there might be a switch on the transmission itself that needs attention, but it was only a guess. Nothing has been checked yet. All the other gauge lights appear to be working. Anyone have any idea what the culprit might be and how to fix it? Please let me know! Thanks!

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Old 09-13-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Not sure. But mine does the exact same thing.
Wanted to post in here so i could be subscribed for answers

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Old 09-13-2011, 11:35 PM   #3
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Yes there is a switch on top of your transfer cases that controls the light. If I remember correctly they are around $60 at the dealership
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:43 PM   #4
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How hard is it to change youself?im assuming the skid plate has to come down. but does the t-case?
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:56 AM   #5
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Any other specifics on the switch on top of the transfer case? Any pics of the location, part #'s, possible to change on my own? Please let me know, thanks!
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:48 AM   #6
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Ok, so I located the switch and it looks pretty straightforward to get to and switch out. It doesn't look like removing the skidplate is at all necessary. I'm attaching a photo to show where it is underneath the Jeep. I crawled under the driver side and found it pretty easy. You can see the connector unplugged from the switch where I found it. I did this for the photo only. My question still however is if there is anything special in swapping out the switch? Is it a simple unbolt? Are there better quality switches than others? Most TJ's seem to have the NP231 Transfer Cases, so I've seen the switches available online anywhere between $14.89 shipped on eBay or $37.99 on other online stores. What do you guys suggest I do?
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:15 AM   #7
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EXCELLENT POST, as I have the SAME EXACT ISSUE on my "new" 97 Wrangler I just bought two days ago. Like you, I drove away from the dealer without ever checking this out

I love this forum, as there are so many great people willing to help out. And to think that I was about ready to go at the bulb!
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:23 AM   #8
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I have the exact same issue...
but before I drop any money or time on a switch, I'll remove the gauge cluster and check the bulb. not sure how to check it? swap it with the seatbelt bulb (or any that you KNOW work).
Remember not to over think a problem, start easy and cheap, and go from there.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinfulDragon
I have the exact same issue...
but before I drop any money or time on a switch, I'll remove the gauge cluster and check the bulb. not sure how to check it? swap it with the seatbelt bulb (or any that you KNOW work).
Remember not to over think a problem, start easy and cheap, and go from there.
To check the light, and all other gauges hold the trip reset button and turn key to the on position, it will do a self check/test of everything in the dash, pretty cool. If the light comes on then itsthe switch or the wiring at it
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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WOW kfd!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:50 AM   #11
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Although not sure of what years it works on, but it works on my 2000
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfdjason7620 View Post
To check the light, and all other gauges hold the trip reset button and turn key to the on position, it will do a self check/test of everything in the dash, pretty cool. If the light comes on then itsthe switch or the wiring at it
Holy crap that was cool, just went and tested this, my lights work (crap).
Worked on my 01
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:54 AM   #13
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinfulDragon
Holy crap that was cool, just went and tested this, my lights work (crap).
Worked on my 01
Glad I could help you save a little time!
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:17 PM   #15
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Yeah, I remember once I installed some white face gauges in an old TJ of mine. I forgot how to make the gauges cycle through their functions like that. This is a much simpler way to check the light itself in the gauges rather than ripping them apart to check the bulb. As I showed in the picture earlier, the switch looks simple enough to get to and unbolt, I would just like to know if there is anything special in removing the old switch and installing a new one? Anyone who can help, please let me know! Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:58 PM   #16
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I was like what the hell lol am I moving? Ya I have the same problem with my 97 not lighting up in the 4wd, after doing that still didn't light up, so it has to be the bulb right?...
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:40 PM   #17
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that or maybe the wires/connection?
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:43 AM   #18
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Yeah I swapped my tranny in April and my light didn't work till 3 days later, I was like....... hmmmmm Idk why
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfdjason7620 View Post
To check the light, and all other gauges hold the trip reset button and turn key to the on position, it will do a self check/test of everything in the dash, pretty cool. If the light comes on then itsthe switch or the wiring at it
Holy smokes - I had no idea. That's pretty awesome! But yeah, mine's doing the same thing - it goes into 4wd, but no light on the dash (it did come on during that nifty check, though). Going to check that switch this weekend.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:44 AM   #20
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My 4x4 light hasn't worked properly ever since I installed the semi-tummy tuck skidplate which pushed the transfer case way up. I suspect the 4x4 switch connector and its wiring might be jammed into the floor. I'll check it out just as I can get a round tuit.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #21
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Would love to know what ya find out Jerry
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:04 AM   #22
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Anyone with a 97 TJ, that cluster light check trick isn't going to light up your 4WD light. I checked my bulb and wire connections, all ok. To make the final assessment that it was indeed the switch, I took a pair of pliers and with the Jeep ignition in the on position I took the wire connector out of the transfer case switch and jumped the wires and created a ground. Low and behold the 4WD light lit right up when the Jeep was put into 4WD. Just thought this info might be helpful for those with an older TJ. Also, I just bought a new switch on eBay for the NP231 Transfer case for $14.89 shipped on eBay. Nice and cheap fix. Good luck to everyone! Thanks for all the help!
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:00 AM   #23
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Just Checking

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortCircuit1987 View Post
Anyone with a 97 TJ, that cluster light check trick isn't going to light up your 4WD light. I checked my bulb and wire connections, all ok. To make the final assessment that it was indeed the switch, I took a pair of pliers and with the Jeep ignition in the on position I took the wire connector out of the transfer case switch and jumped the wires and created a ground. Low and behold the 4WD light lit right up when the Jeep was put into 4WD. Just thought this info might be helpful for those with an older TJ. Also, I just bought a new switch on eBay for the NP231 Transfer case for $14.89 shipped on eBay. Nice and cheap fix. Good luck to everyone! Thanks for all the help!
Just wanted to be clear on this. So you ran a wire from the negative side of the switch to the frame? Also, did you splice it in with a crimp, or what?

Thanks for the post, great info! Mine's also not working, so I'm going to work on this, I just want to be sure I do it right.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:19 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortCircuit1987 View Post
Anyone with a 97 TJ, that cluster light check trick isn't going to light up your 4WD light. I checked my bulb and wire connections, all ok. To make the final assessment that it was indeed the switch, I took a pair of pliers and with the Jeep ignition in the on position I took the wire connector out of the transfer case switch and jumped the wires and created a ground. Low and behold the 4WD light lit right up when the Jeep was put into 4WD. Just thought this info might be helpful for those with an older TJ. Also, I just bought a new switch on eBay for the NP231 Transfer case for $14.89 shipped on eBay. Nice and cheap fix. Good luck to everyone! Thanks for all the help!
Cool, so ShortCircuit simply did a "short circuit"! (LOL).

Actually, I had to replace my fuel gauge bulb this past weekend, and put one of the new ones in place of what I thought was the burnt-out 4x4 bulb. After doing the power-on test, the bulb still didn't light (as you mention above). I suspect it is the switch on the t-case. When I changed the t-case fluids last month, I pulled the switch out and cleaned it, but that still didn't work. Guess I need a new one.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #25
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4WD indicator light

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortCircuit1987 View Post
Anyone with a 97 TJ, that cluster light check trick isn't going to light up your 4WD light. I checked my bulb and wire connections, all ok. To make the final assessment that it was indeed the switch, I took a pair of pliers and with the Jeep ignition in the on position I took the wire connector out of the transfer case switch and jumped the wires and created a ground. Low and behold the 4WD light lit right up when the Jeep was put into 4WD. Just thought this info might be helpful for those with an older TJ. Also, I just bought a new switch on eBay for the NP231 Transfer case for $14.89 shipped on eBay. Nice and cheap fix. Good luck to everyone! Thanks for all the help!

So I have a question, Will simply crossing the two wires of the switch elicit the 4WD light to come on or do you have to do something else in addition to crossing the wires. You mentioned that you crossed them and created a ground? Can you explain? In my 04 Sport i know the bulb works correctly from testing the gauge cluster during startup however when I cross the wires I dont get any light. This makes me hesitant to go out and buy the switch. Please someone advise...
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:42 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfdjason7620

To check the light, and all other gauges hold the trip reset button and turn key to the on position, it will do a self check/test of everything in the dash, pretty cool. If the light comes on then itsthe switch or the wiring at it
Holy poop, that's neat. To bad my 4WD light comes on during the test, yet it won't come on in 4WD. Oh well, I sure as hell won't spend $60 to see 4WD light up on my dash.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #27
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Issue

So I guess what Im trying to get answered is this. If it isnt my 4WD bulb that is the problem and then crossing the wires at the switch doesnt light up the bulb, is there anything else in between the two that could be the culprit?
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #28
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...I didn't even know there WAS a 4WD light ...

Keith
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:07 PM   #29
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I have no idea what the setup for an 04 TJ looks like with the transfer case switch, gauge cluster trick, etc. I can only speak from my experience with my 97 TJ. With my year, the gauge cluster light up trick isn't going to light up the 4WD light. Putting the Jeep in 4WD, unplugging the wires from the transfer case switch, jumping them and bumping it against the frame to create a ground will light up the 4WD light, assuming your bulb in your dash is still good and your transfer case switch is the culprit. It was for me, and switching it out for $14.89 shipped through eBay fixed my problem and has worked ever since!

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