How to take apart 4wd actuator? - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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How to take apart 4wd actuator?

Anyone ever take apart the 4wd actuator? I have been having intermittent loss of 4wd. The issue is the front. I tied back end to tree to verify and neither front wheels turn. Have never had a code flash. All splines and driveshaft seem good. Talked to dealer and he figures it’s the actuator. Is there supposed to be oil in the actuator? I ask as I did have some in there when I took it apart. Also another thing I thought strange is the plug has power whether it’s in 2 or 4wd. I don’t understand how these magnets in these actuators work. Please help. Btw it’s a 04 450 and I’m the original owner. Thanks.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 11:54 AM
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Don't think the actuator is serviceable. It's an electromagnet and I think the switch grounds it to actuate it.


You could run constant ground the green wire going to the actuator, and 12V to the orange/white wire and see if it stays engaged. If not, you'll have to replace the actuator.


I would buy an entire front diff used. The new actuators are $$$. Cheaper to buy a whole front diff with one attached.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 06:29 AM
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I have 2 good 450 front diffs that are electric ( 2002-2004 ) , both with all the speed sensors and actuators on them , $200 each , don't ship , southeast Louisiana pick up ----considering just the actuator alone cost about $450 from Honda , $200 for a front diff , 2 $75 speed sensors and $450 actuator is a good deal
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Mister Muskeg View Post
Anyone ever take apart the 4wd actuator? I have been having intermittent loss of 4wd. The issue is the front. I tied back end to tree to verify and neither front wheels turn. Have never had a code flash. All splines and driveshaft seem good. Talked to dealer and he figures itís the actuator. Is there supposed to be oil in the actuator? I ask as I did have some in there when I took it apart. Also another thing I thought strange is the plug has power whether itís in 2 or 4wd. I donít understand how these magnets in these actuators work. Please help. Btw itís a 04 450 and Iím the original owner. Thanks.
I have a spare one for a 500 that just needs a new bearing so if you get any good info on this please let us know. From observing the one I have, I tend to agree with Jeep.......again.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well I ended up buying a complete used diff with actuator and swapped it out. My 4x4 works again. It does appear you can replace the bearings in the actuator but need special tools to take it apart.

One question I do have still is how much oil is supposed to be in the actuator. The original one I removed did have some oil but not a crazy amount. The used one I swapped in had a lot more oil in it when I removed the speed sensor. Both cases diff was drained prior to removing.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 09:18 PM
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I can't tell you about oil in the actuator , never tried to take on apart ------- I can say I had troubles with mine a few times where I lost 4x4 in the woods , I done away with the electric shift front diff on my 2002 , put a 2000 front diff and a 4x2 kickout , lost my speedometer but don't really need it
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