"service awd" light. Problem solved!

"service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby rubrbulits [OP] » January 11th 2011, 11:47pm

I thought I would share the solution to my problem since I have read other threads with similar issues. I just bought this 2005 AWD Astro Cargo Van for my business. I live in Iowa so the AWD is great! It has 170,000 miles on it, but they are highway miles from the previous leasee. From the start I noticed a kind of slight "grabby" feeling as I would accelerate from a stop on dry pavement going in a straight line. After reading threads about the Auto TrakII synthetic lube, I had the transfer case fluid changed. The mechanic said I already had the Auto trakII in the transfer case, but it was old and broken down. That fixed the problem with the "grabby" issue immediately! My main issue however has been that the "service awd" light would come on and off, and when the light was on, I had no awd. It would happen like this. When I go to start the van, most of the time I would hear a clicking noise in the kick panel by my left foot. About 4-5 clicks. Then the light comes on and stays on. Then, I get to my next job site, turn the van off, start it back up an hour later and no clicking sound or "awd light". More than half the time the light comes on though. I figured it could be the encoder motor, but didn't want to spend $581.00 on a hunch, "dealer price". So I found out I could get a non-OEM encoder motor at Oreilly's for 145.00 + 25.00 core, lifetime warranty. I just installed it today and it works PERFECT! I know this because we just got 6 inches of snow. I am curious to see how long this encoder motor lasts though. Thanks Astrosafari.com!
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Phantom » January 12th 2011, 1:16am

Great to hear you got it fixed , good to know there is an alternative to the dealer price
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Matrixx » January 12th 2011, 11:19pm

That's a great write-up rubrbulits, thanks for posting it.

I'm sure this will definitely help others in the same situation that you had.:)
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby redfury » January 13th 2011, 12:26am

Yup, that's the problem with these electronically controlled drivetrains...the average guy can't just dive into them and figure out what the problem is without a proper scanner. I was just quoted $275 to have my van thrown on the computer and have the PCM and transmission gone over to have the proper parameters set. I could do it myself, but I'd have to spend $500 for the software and cables to hook up my own Laptop...crazy!
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby JuneauCabbie » January 13th 2011, 6:01am

redfury wrote:Yup, that's the problem with these electronically controlled drivetrains...the average guy can't just dive into them and figure out what the problem is without a proper scanner. I was just quoted $275 to have my van thrown on the computer and have the PCM and transmission gone over to have the proper parameters set. I could do it myself, but I'd have to spend $500 for the software and cables to hook up my own Laptop...crazy!


As soon as I have a little extra cash, I'm buying an UltraGauge, mentioned in another thread here. See http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/index.htm

I wanted a tach, but this not only has a digital tach, but a full scanner, including the ability to reset codes. And only $60!
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby JuneauCabbie » August 4th 2011, 8:11pm

Unfortunately, I discovered that the UltraGuage only resets P engine codes, not other sensor codes. So I can't use it to clear the "Service AWD" light.
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby rubrbulits [OP] » November 26th 2012, 11:42pm

UPDATE! Since this post I've replaced the encoder motor twice. It originally lasted about 2 months, The next one made it about 3 months. Oreillys wont warranty the part anymore so I have been driving with the SERVICE AWD light on for a while now. Now that its almost December I crawled under my van to test the encoder motor and it of course is shot. I guess I will try an OEM part this time, it's really all I can do at this point.
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Don1806 » December 6th 2012, 12:55am

Any idea what brand the Encoder Motor from O'Reilly's was? There are numerous brands of aftermarket and rebuilt units available through Rock Auto, Auto Zone, Advance etc. with a full range of prices as well. Just curious which brand you had the quality issue with. Thanks.
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Don1806 » December 6th 2012, 4:40pm

Disregard my last question. Looked at O'Reilly's website and for the price you quoted the motor was a Cardone which is a rebuilt motor. Just saw your other post where you thought it was a Dorman. The Dormans are over $ 200.00 but are new, not rebuilt.

I'm having a Dorman put on mine today, so will update if there are any issues or problems with that one as well. Keeping my fingers crossed. I've bought other Dorman products and had no issues, so hoping that hold true for the encoder motor as well.
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Bread Van » December 6th 2012, 6:51pm

Sounds like you need to get an OEM encoder from a JY. OR, better yet, find out why your encoders are going out. Sounds as though something else might be going on and killing your encoder motors.
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transfer case motor refurb

Postby sadglad » March 17th 2013, 10:40am

I refurbished my transfer case motor and thought someone might like seeing what's inside. Yes, I have more time than money at the moment.

I'm not sure this is a worthwhile project but I was reluctant to buy a new motor based on the bad experience rubrbulits had with them. Worst case scenario the refurb would not work and I only lose a little time. The brushes and commutator looked like they had enough material left to last long enough to make a refurb worthwhile.

I don't like the design of this part. I think it could have been made so the motor could be replaced as a separate part rather than replacing the whole assembly. The planetary gearbox and the gears in the flat housing probably account for 90% of the cost of a new unit and they look like they would last forever. The electric motor itself is nothing more than you would see in a cheap toy and could be sold at low cost. As designed, you have to take everything apart to remove the motor. Dumb.

I had the typical symptoms discussed earlier and measured high resistance across the motor terminals. Light came on about 75% of the time when starting the van. Once I got it apart there was a lot of carbon floating around and the commutator was solid black instead of copper color. I cleaned them up with small needle files and contact cleaner then blew everything out with compressed air. Resistance after was .5 Ohm.

The hardest part of the project was putting the brushes and springs back in the motor. The front part of the motor holding the brushes can only be separated by about .5" so you are working through a small gap. The brushed are held against the commutator by some little springs. You need the dexterity of a three handed brain surgeon get them coiled up and back into place while keeping the brushes in position. Now that I have a technique figured out I could probably do it in 1/4 the time.

The planetary gearbox is held onto the front of the motor with three spiral tension pins. I drilled them out but in hindsight I maybe could have pressed them out and reused them. I ended up drilling and taping the holes and using screws to reattach the planetary housing to the motor.

So far my service AWD light is staying out since putting it back in. Time will tell if works long term.
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transfer case motor refurb

Postby sadglad » March 17th 2013, 10:46am

Some pics from the refurb.
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6.jpg
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transfer case motor refurb

Postby sadglad » March 17th 2013, 10:48am

more pics
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7.jpg
8.jpg
9.JPG
10.JPG
11.jpg
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transfer case motor refurb

Postby sadglad » March 17th 2013, 10:50am

more pics
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12.JPG
13.jpg
14.jpg
15.jpg
16.JPG
17.jpg
18.jpg
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Drummernaut » March 17th 2013, 4:55pm

Nice work!

Thank you
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Alaskastreamin » April 20th 2013, 2:31am

Looking on rockauto.com I see two motors. One is listed as a 4wd actuator (listed under drivetrain) and has a yellow arm in the flat sided hole and the other is listed under " transfer case" (motor) and looks identical but without the yellow lever. $117 vs $301.

I just bought a '02 AWD with no light on dash and old owner reported won't go into AWD. They had computer swapped and still nothing. 82k miles. Now I am reading on what to look for.

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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby Drummernaut » April 20th 2013, 9:01am

Alaskastreamin wrote:I just bought a '02 AWD with no light on dash and old owner reported won't go into AWD. They had computer swapped and still nothing. 82k miles. Now I am reading on what to look for.

Ron


Since this post was about a service AWD light being stuck on because of a bad motor, I would start or look for another post about no service AWD light. There is going to be a different cause for this problem.
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Re: "service awd" light. Problem solved!

Postby tgwms » December 8th 2013, 11:11pm

Thread resurrection!

Long time lurker here; I appreciate the time you all have put into this excellent resource.

Does anyone have re-installation torque specs for the servo motor and front drive shaft bolts? Neither the Chilton or Hayes has the AWD parts, so not sure if they take a good 'uhmpf' or if they need a certain torque for proper function.

Thanks all!
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