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4WD Actuator Cable Guides

What to Consider when Purchasing a 4WD Actuator

When doing long-distance drives, you’ll never know when you’ll pass by rocky or muddy terrains. And if you love to conquer the roads less traveled or you regularly visit a relative in the suburbs, you’d better take good care of your 4WD ride.

If you think its 4WD actuator has seen better days, have it replaced before saying yes to any off-road or long-distance trip. Here are some of the factors to consider before you purchase the replacement actuator that fits your ride well and addresses your needs:

Part compatibility

Your new 4WD actuator will not be efficient or may not work at all if it isn’t compatible with your ride and all the components it needs to work hand in hand with. So before shelling out some bucks for a new unit, make sure that it is specifically designed for your vehicle.

When purchasing online, you can ensure part compatibility by getting an actuator that’s made to replace your old actuator’s part number. It’s also wise to read the part description to find out all the specs and features of the part. See to it that all the specs of your new actuator match that of the old. Besides efficiency, getting a compatible unit also ensures easy installation.

Quantity sold

There are replacement 4WD actuators that come with gasket and clips but don’t include harness. Some units include pig tail and terminals while others are sold as a kit, which comes complete with wiring harness, gaskets, clips, relay, terminals, mounting brackets, and other hardware you may need to ensure easy installation. You should base your choice on what you need.

If your actuator necessitates replacement due to age and regular wear, chances are all the hardware securing it in place have also worn out along with the actuator, so it would be a good decision to replace them all at once.


It’s always wise to get a product that’s backed by good manufacturer warranty as this is an assurance that the makers have confidence in the quality and performance of their products. The warranty will also get you covered in case you discovered that the 4WD actuator has manufacturing defects after using it for some time.

How to Replace a Bad 4WD Actuator

There’s no better way to enjoy the great American outdoors than to take your ride for a drive and engage its 4WD system. With this feature, you need not worry about going through rocky or muddy terrains because you know you’ll have good grip. But, all the fun and thrill can end up suddenly once your 4WD actuator stops working.

It’s a good thing that replacing this component is fairly easy. You just have to get the right replacement unit and installation will never be a problem even for a novice DIYer like you.

Difficulty level: Easy

What you’ll need:

  • Sealant
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Hydraulic jack
  • New 4WD actuator
  • Wrench or socket set

Step 1: Prepare the vehicle by parking it in a solid, level ground and engaging the parking brake. Brace the rear tires with wheel chocks to keep the vehicle from rolling.

Step 2: Roll the hydraulic jack underneath the vehicle, positioning it under the car frame. Raise the vehicle’s front. Secure it by placing jack stands under another section of the vehicle’s frame.

Step 3: If the vehicle is outfitted with a front differential carrier shield, you need to remove it using a wrench or socket set.

Step 4: Locate the 4WD actuator. It would be wise to consult your owner’s manual first before starting with the task for you to know the exact location of the part. Once you’ve found it, detach the electrical connector from the actuator.

Step 5: Remove the actuator from where it is installed by turning it counterclockwise.

Step 6: Get your replacement actuator and compare it with the old one. If it’s a perfect match, then apply sealant to the threads of the new actuator. Make sure to use the right sealant. Consult your owner’s manual for your manufacturer’s recommendation.

Step 7: Carefully install the 4WD actuator by inserting it in place of the old one and turning it clockwise. Tighten the actuator to the manufacturer’s specifications, which can be found in the owner’s manual or in the note or label that comes along with your replacement unit.

Step 8: Connect the electrical connector to the new actuator. Reinstall the front differential carrier shield, if your ride is equipped with one, and lower the vehicle.

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