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Old 01-24-2020, 04:05 PM
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06 Rubicon locker issue

Been reading here since 2015 when I bought my 06 LJ Rubicon with 19K miles on it. In it's former life it was a cream-puff tow behind a Bluebird motorhome. I use it as my everyday driver/offroad vehicle. It recently had the 4 wheel drive indicator light on the dash light up when in 2 wheel drive and not in 4 wheel, and then quit working altogether. Next trip was in the snow and I needed to engage the lockers which wouldn't. Bought and replaced the mopar indicator switch and the locker switch. No help. So I know the fuses are good, and the locker compressors run as I grounded both the hot wires on the switch connector and they ran. I get no lights on the dash when I hit the switch but they do light up with the mileage reset button/key on trick to check the dash lights. I have read that the locker system won't engage without the transfer case being in low range, but couldn't find anything but the indicator light switch on the transfer case that is electrical. Don't know how to check the relays for the lockers but to have both go out at the same time with the fuses being good didn't make sense to me. Help needed and thanks in advance.

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Old 01-24-2020, 09:29 PM   #2
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It is not a switch on the rubicon case it is a linear variable resistance potentiometer




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Old 01-25-2020, 09:00 AM   #3
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To me... It sounds like a shorted wire, damaged connector or loose connection one of the wires. I would begin with a thorough inspection of all of the wires, starting with the ones between the diffs and the transfer case, then anything coming out of the transfer case. Because it lit up on the dash in 2WD, my gut would lean towards a short or broken wire that was shorting out to ground. Making the computer think it was on, when it really wasn't. Look for chaffed, broken, damaged wires or connections on things.

Only cost to check is a little time crawling around.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I re-read my message and realized I didn't make clear that the 4 wheel drive indicator light works after replacing the indicator switch on the transfer case...the lockers still don't work after replacing the locker switch.
Digger, where is the potentiometer? Is it part of the linkage for the transfer case handle?
Thanks again and I am going under this afternoon to check all the wiring again.
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:23 PM   #5
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On the rubicon case that thing with 2 wires you are calling a switch has a plunger and varies voltage which is how the rubicon
Pcm knows what the transfer case is in

On the non
Rubicon it is just a switch but On the rubicon it is a linear pot and you check it by comparing resistance across two pins to amount plunger is depressed

There are only two things with wires on the rubicon transfer case one is a speed sensor on rear output other is a linear pot to sense which position transfer case is in

With stock locker wiring they won’t lock unless that linear pot shows 4wd low resistance to pcm

Non rubi just a switch connected to cluster indicator light but not on rubi


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Old 01-25-2020, 05:54 PM
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Checked out all connections and wires and everything looks good. Thanks for the expanded explanation on the potentiometer. I’ll have to check the resistance as I shift through the transfer options next. When I push down on the locker switch even the light on the switch doesn’t light up. Are there any other conditions that need to be met before the system will engage?
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:49 AM   #7
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The switch will not light up unless it detects the transfer case is in 4Low. If the compressor is running it is trying to engage the system. Have you checked the hose from the compressor to the diff?
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:25 PM
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I just pulled the new 4wheel drive indicator potentiometer and checked the resistance...got .43 with no pressure on the plunger. As I advanced the plunger that changed first to .195 and then to .343. That sounds like it is acting the way it should based on Digger’s explanation. Wen the vehicle is in 4low and I am crawling along and hit the switch nothing happens...no lights on the switch or dash and no compressor action. When I pulled the switch there is power to the connector. That’s how I checked that both compressors come on when grounded. Anybody know how to check if the relays are working? Thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep them coming.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:33 PM   #9
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Per FSM
Full extension 20 mm position 6 no value listed

Position 6 - 20mm no values listed


Position 5 - 18mm 57-64 ohms not used

Position 4 - 16 mm 199-211 ohms
4 Lo

Position 3 - 14 mm 389-431 ohms
Neutral

Position 2 - 12 mm 650-719 ohms
4Hi

Position 1 - 10 mm 1124-1243 ohms
2 Hi


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Old 01-26-2020, 09:34 PM   #10
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Thus unless pcm sees 4 low resistance of 198-211 ohms it will not allow lockers to be activated


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Old 01-27-2020, 09:14 AM   #11
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It would likely be much easier to bypass the factory wiring and troubleshooting and just wire up some new switches. I did this when I swapped my old rubi axles and t case into my current LJ. It was very easy to do, and might save you some headaches.
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Old 01-27-2020, 04:13 PM   #12
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Also, your jeep may have to "relearn" that it is a Rubicon. After replacing my transfercase switch I verified that the old one was bad by measuring the resistance and also verified the new mopar one worked properly. However, it still didn't work until I disconnected the negative battery terminal for 2 minutes and then held the trip odometer reset down as I turned the key to "on" but not start. The gauges run through initialization and the Jeep figured out it was a rubicon again. The lockers started working once the Jeep realized it was in 4Low. I have a theory that the PCM only thinks its a rubicon if it measures resistance on the Tcase switch. Measuring an open or closed value one time, makes the PCM think its a non rubicon until it is told to preform the check again. If you test the old 4wd switch and it is in fact bad, then thats totally the problem and you have an extra locker switch. If that doesn't work you may have unusual resistance in the wire to the transfer case switch or some other issue.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:43 PM
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Can't thank all you guys enough...saved me a bunch of money! So here's how it went. I pulled the 4wheel drive indicator potentiometer and tested it and it gave me roughly what Digger posted it should. I had already replaced the locker switch with a new after market from Parts Geek and had the dash all back together. Went over the wiring twice and found nothing. Tried Swautex's re-initializing the Rubicon brain twice with no luck. Last resort was pulling the new locker switch and plugging the old one back in and tried it once more with success! All is good with the world. I remember my Dad telling me about new electrical parts sometimes being bad out of the box so a big thanks to all the experience from everybody. Going Jeeping at the Tejon Ranch here in Central California Friday. Thanks again.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:39 PM   #14
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My 4wd light would not come on until I did the rebrain thing (which I found on the interwebs). The lockers took a little extra time to come alive probably from atrophy. The first time I tried it , it didn't work, but I drove around for a bit after the rebrain it it came on and then it decided to start working. I still need to change all the fluids in the diffs and do a visual.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaustex View Post
I still need to change all the fluids in the diffs and do a visual.
I was fortunate enough to meet the first (and previous) owner after I bought mine in 2014. (He also involved in Scouts). I found out he had the fluid changed about the 70K mark (it had about 114K at the time). Last year while it was on the lift at a local trusted mechanic's shop, I had him pull the diff covers to change the fluid and inspect the gears. (He is noted for his differential work in the community, and does sub contract work for other shops). I happened by when he had the covers off and they looked pristine (almost 130K at that time).

You don't have to pull the covers to drain the diffs, but it gives you a chance to get a good look at them.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreen65 View Post
I was fortunate enough to meet the first (and previous) owner after I bought mine in 2014. (He also involved in Scouts). I found out he had the fluid changed about the 70K mark (it had about 114K at the time). Last year while it was on the lift at a local trusted mechanic's shop, I had him pull the diff covers to change the fluid and inspect the gears. (He is noted for his differential work in the community, and does sub contract work for other shops). I happened by when he had the covers off and they looked pristine (almost 130K at that time).

You don't have to pull the covers to drain the diffs, but it gives you a chance to get a good look at them.
From what I have seen of the quality of work the previous owner did, I need to see those difs. When I changed the fluids in my JKUR I just used the drain plug since I bought it brand new and I trust myself... What gets me is this guy was in his early sixties, yet his logic is something I would have done in high school. For example, he re-wired the coil to the PCM for no damn reason. I asked him if there was excessive resistance in the wires or an open condition and he said no. He told me the lockers worked, but they obviously didn't. However, since the Jeep was rust free and priced 4K lower than what I would have expected, and being that I was the first one to show up on a craigslist posting, I would have bought the jeep at that price with a blown motor. If I let another person look at the Jeep I know it would have been gone for that price.

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