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SergeantMajor

Neutral Tow Kit for 2003 Ford Explorer 4x4 XLT

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I am trying to find a Neutral Tow Kit (part no. 1L2J7H332-AA) for a 2003 Ford Explorer 4x4 4Door V8. My local Ford dealer is telling me Ford does not make such a kit now nor have they ever made such a kit for any V8s, only have kits for V6s. I even showed him the 2003 Ford Towing Guide that specifically shows that my vehicle works with that install. I also did a check for this part on the Ford Parts website and no such part number is found there. Do any of you know anyone that has a new or used kit for sale or any mechanic that can do the install? I have seen messages on this board dated back in 2006 though 2008 that says this kit can be built yourself with about $12 worth of easy to find over-the-counter parts. Perhaps someone has this type of build plan that I can get a copy of?

I also checked out the REMCO website. They do not build a Driveshaft Release Kit for my truck and that website states that the Ford Neutral Tow Kit will not work with my make/model of truck. I have read numerous posts on this website as well as several others that specifically do say the kit will work and are actually using it on their Ford Explorers.

My 2003 Ford Explorer XLT is a 4 door with auto transmission and a V8. My 4x4 system has 3 buttons on the dash labeled 4x4 Auto, 4x4 High, and 4x4 Low. I have only used my 4x4 system a few times, but it was a lifesaver when I did need it.

I am retired and currently live in So. CA, but am willing to drive just about anywhere at this point to have a Neutral Tow Kit system made and installed, rather than buy a trailer to tow my Ford Explorer on. Any additional info is greatly appreciated; especially a person or place that sells and installs these kits.

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Sarge,

Like yourself I have seen the kit listed. But each time I think that it is installed when new. You said that they make a kit for the V6. Check and see if the transmission is different. You said your trans. had 4X4 Auto, 4X4 High and 4X4 Low. This might be where your problem lies. It could be a completely different unit. Just point to ponder.

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Finally we have found some luck with this one. Nick Russell of The Gypsy Journal is sending me the wiring diagram. The cost to make the truck towable is a $2 LED light/wire harness and about $25 labor to flash a particular code into the computer that can be done at any modern day mechanic's shop. Looking at a total cost of about $30 to $35.

Before Nick called me, this is the info I had found on the subject:

It appears the part is no longer made, but did find an out-of-state Ford dealer that has them available. They quit making the part in Nov. 2009. At the time the part was still being made, it cost $30, but now the part is no longer in production, so it costs $350. The kit consists of a wiring diagram, a diode, and a wire with an LED light on the end. Takes Ford less than one hour to download some info into the computer and make the install. Looking at about $400 to $500 total cost (parts and labor) plus travel expenses.

I want to say thank you very much Nick Russell.

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Hi SergeantMajor, I had the kit installed at a Ford dealer last summer here in Canada, specifically Sudbury Ontario. I have a 2003 Ford Explorer 4 door 4X4 XLT with the V6. I have the exact same buttons for the 4X4 functions on my dash. You are right the part costs around $30 and one hour to install. The original part number for the kit has changed, I will reply later when I find my documentation. The kit is only a plug/wire/led light which is screwed to the under side of my dash around my right knee. I'll try to get the data to you later tonight. Maybe the part number I have is still available from Ford, I know the service manager had to get in touch with the engineering department to access what he needed. The onboard computer does need to be flashed with a different code.

Will get back to you as soon as possible.

Cheers

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Mike;

I appreciate any info you can come up with. The only thing I need a mechanic for is to plug into the computer and add the code. A simple LED light and a wire is the only other thing needed. Here is the code, but can't find a Ford dealer or independent mechanic that will program the code for me.

USING NGS SERVICE (GREEN) CARD

CONNECT TO VEHICLE VIA THE DIAGNOSTIC CONNECTOR

SELECT “SERVICE BAY FUNCTIONSâ€

SELECT “4X4 CONTROL MODULEâ€

SELECT “NEUTRAL TOW FUNCTIONâ€

SELECT “EXPLORERâ€

PRESS TRIGGER AND SCROLL TO ENABLE OR DISABLE

PRESS TRIGGER AGAIN AFTER HIGHLIGHTING THE DESIRED STATE

PRESS “DONEâ€

USING NGS+

SELECT PROPER VEHICLE AND MODEL YEAR

SELECT DIAGNOSTIC DATA LINK

SELECT 4X4 MODULE

SELECT FUNCTION TESTS

SELECT NEUTRAL TOW ENABLE

SCROLL TO ENABLE OR DISABLE NTF AND PRESS TRIGGER

USING WDS

CONNECT TO VEHICLE VIA THE DIAGNOSTIC CONNECTOR

FOLLOW HOOK UP SCREEN

AFTER WDS DISPLAYS VEHICLE INFO, SELECT TOOL BOX ON TOP OF SCREEN

FROM ON SCREEN MENU SELECT “MODULE PROGRAMMINGâ€

SELECT “PROGRAMMABLE PARAMETTERSâ€

SELECT “NEUTRAL TOW FUNCTIONâ€

FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ON THE WDS TO COMPLETE OPERATION

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Hello again, just found my documentation, the kit you were quoted was P/N 1L2J7H332-AA, the one they installed on my unit was P/N 1L2Z-7H332-AB, looks like newer version. It was $29.81 and I believe it was a straight plug into an awaiting receptacle. You may want to ask if that # is still good at the Ford dealer. Will inquire further here about the availability of the kit. They were quite able to program my computer with the instructions that came with the kit.

Will get back to you with more later.

Cheers

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Mike;

Thanks, I will give Ford a call about P/N 1L2Z-7H332-AB. The Ford Service Department would not be so hesitant to flash the computer code if they were installing their own part. Since your Explorer is a V6 and mine a V8, that might make a difference. They are telling me that the part is still made for a V6 but not a V8.

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Roy Jameson, owner of Freedom Automotive of Hesperia, CA, did the homemade Ford Neutral Kit for my vehicle. Cost was $50 labor for 45 minutes of work and $5 for a 12 volt LED light. This is an extremely easy fix to allow my 2003 Ford Explorer 4x4 with V8 to be a Dinghy vehicle. The work consisted of cutting off the Green Plug (with two wires) under the right side of the steering column, completing the circuit with two short wires and an LED light, and then plugging in the computer and clicking on the option to allow Neutral Towing.

Once the 12V LED was in place, I had the mechanic confirm that following the sequence of steps below that the transfer case was in neutral. Make sure the vehicle is secured (won't roll away)

1. have the engine running

2. put the shift level into neutral

3. turn the key back two positions (off but not locked)

4. indicator light will come on and then turn off

5. press the brake and the 4X4 auto button for about 5 seconds

6. the indicator light will flash 4 times and then stay on

7. release the brake and the 4X4 button

8. transfer case is in neutral

I did not have to purchase the $350 Neutral Tow Kits plus $30 shipping costs from a Ford dealer in WA. Also, please note that REMCO puts out bad info on their website and by phone stating that the 2003 Ford Explorers with V8s and 4x4 can not be used as Dinghy vehicles. Even most Ford Service Centers put out bad info as well by stating my vehicle can not be towed four wheels down, even though their 2003 Ford Dinghy Guide states my vehicle can be used as a Dinghy. Once the work was completed, the vehicle was tested by towing it several miles and it tows just fine now.

Once again, thanks to Nick Russell, of Gypsy Journal for telling me exactly how to make the homemade Ford Neutral Tow Kit for a total cost of $55 fully installed vs $380 parts/mailing plus $150 labor.

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Looking through the archives, I just found this thread...I too am in the process of setting up our 2003 Ford Explorer for flat towing. I've done all of my research and will NOT be paying $249.00 for an LED light and some stickers! In speaking with a Ford Tech (off the record) about the proceedure of having the ECM programmed for the Neutral transfer case, he told me that I should check to see if it might already be pre-programmed. He told me that some of the ECM actually came programmed from the factory inclusive of the Nuetral Tow.

The problem around here is that none of the Ford dealerships that I've contacted (so far anyway, will program the ECM for me because I didn't buy the kit from them (I even offered to pay for the re-programming).

Having said that, I know the proceedure for for putting the transfer case in neutral, but what is the proceedure for getting it back into the normal driving mode??

Any help will be appreciated.

----

Mark T.

Hamburg, NY

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I have a 2004 F150 Lariat 5.4 High Performance, Automatic 4x4, has a switch on dash for switching from 2wd to 4wd high and 4wd low. Is there a Neutral Tow Kit for this vehicle so I can tow it 4 down?

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CM, 

Welcome to the Forum. You may have already done so but go back and read this post. It speaks of doing just what you are looking for.

But yes there is a kit from Ford, you just need to talk to them. In this post is a step by step post on installing the kit.

Good luck and again Welcome.

Herman 

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I have a 2004 F150 Lariat 5.4 High Performance, Automatic 4x4, has a switch on dash for switching from 2wd to 4wd high and 4wd low. Is there a Neutral Tow Kit for this vehicle so I can tow it 4 down?

Thanks, I was looking for the $55 version. Is it the same as the one for the Explorer?

I couldn't find a post for my 2004 Lariat F150.

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OK - deep breath. V8 Explorer 4X4s (and Sport Tracs) need a neutral micro switch installed in the shifter (or wire up a manual switch) in addition to the neutral tow light for the 6 speed models - 07-10. And progamming the 4X4 module is required. Now the Ford programmer is called 'IGS' instead of NGS, procedure is the same.

The kits are still available, but dealerships don't stock them - they have to order them from the supplier and this takes a few weeks. They cost about 250 bucks, but include all the instructions and the warning decals. I bought mine from a dealership in Las Vegas - Gaudin Ford. They sent me the wrong one to begin with, took it back and got me the right one.

Edited by dheadv8q
Add dealership info

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