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4x4 not engaging-started to trouble shoot

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by KatWalk, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. KatWalk

    KatWalk Member
    Messages: 83

    Possible storm in northeast this weekend and no 4WD!!! 95 Chevy 3/4 ton, 350 auto, reg cab. Yesterday.....pulled floor shift into 4WD no problem....shifted back out of 4WD no problem..no noise, no grind, no nothing. Today, no 4WD. First I checked all fuses, then I checked to see if I had power to the accuator. I have power to the accuator. I removed 4WD accuator and put 12 volts to it and the piston came out as it is supposed to. Re-installed accuator and still no 4WD. Any suggestions?? Thanks in advance if you are able to help. Ryan:drinkup:
     
  2. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I have the same truck just 7 years older. If you remove the actuator and push a rod or stick or something clean in the hole can you push the plate and does the 4x4 light come on? You may need to rotate the front wheels (jack up and use jack stands) and have a helper observe. My truck did the same thing last year between storms and this site saved me. If this engages the 4x4 the actuator is basically dead. you can search this site using the key word actuator to find the solution.
     
  3. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,138

    My old 95' 1/2 ton did the same thing,your dealer will have an "updated" actuator,around $100,it's almost inatant compared to the old ones,much faster.
     
  4. Yard

    Yard PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 15

    I have the same truck (95 K2500HD) with a similar problem. My 4wd usually engages but it takes a long time. I installed the updated actuator and required wiring harness about 4 years ago.
    I also removed the actuator to check it and it seems to be working fine. According to the parts person at the Chevy dealer usually they either work or they don't. I still haven't figured out my problem.

    Be sure to try what tovoninc recommended. This should rule out any internal axle damage. When I replaced my actuator I did so because my dealer diagnosed my no 4wd as a bad actuator, when in fact it turned out to be a broken axle end. You would have thought they would have tried to engage it as tovoninc says to do! I was at least able to get them to cover the axle repair even though it was out of warranty time wise.
    Also make sure the transfer case is engaging. Pull the shift into 4wd and with the truck on the ground and in park you shouldn't be able to turn the front drive shaft with your hand.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  5. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,138

    Good point Yard and tovoninc,I just went ahead and replaced mine,i got lucky i guess.
     
  6. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I ended up replacing my thermal actuator with a cable actuated assembly. The cable end mounts under the dash and you pull the cable to lock the axle after the transfer case is shifted. I bought it online but I forgot the name. If anyone is interested I can post the name - I still have the box at home. I just like having something mechanical to engage!
     
  7. KatWalk

    KatWalk Member
    Messages: 83

    Good ideas...

    Thanks guys...will try first thing tomorrow(Friday) morn. Tovoninc, if I use the rod to push the plate in to engage the four wheel drive and it still does not turn on the light, any idea what the next step would be or is it a problem in the transfer case?? Thanks for your help. I have an '89 that I got stuck in mud two years ago and blew the accuator and changed it and have had no problem since.
     
  8. Yard

    Yard PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 15

    KatWalk- You could also have a bad 4wd indicator light switch on the front axle or transfer case. The manual says to replace both if one is bad.
     
  9. phoenix827

    phoenix827 Member
    Messages: 98

    Think you are talking about the "posi-lock" system.
     
  10. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Phoenix that is the name. It has worked well.

    KatWalk, if the light still does not turn on with the plate pushed in? just make sure that the indicator switch is connected and checks OK. all fuses check OK. If you push in the plate and the front wheel are off the ground and the transfer case is in 4x2 you should be able to spin one front wheel and the opposite one should spin in the other direction. when the plate is out each tire should spin freely. If all this checks out????? :confused:
     
  11. phoenix827

    phoenix827 Member
    Messages: 98

    Is it the same as a dodge CAD axle?
    I know on the dodges, (pre 94 at least) you can llock the cad and put regular hubs on them. Hmm, maybe not on the D60's tho. :confused: Well, I am no help! lol
     
  12. Yard

    Yard PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 15

    KatWalk- How'd you make out?
     
  13. ggwash21

    ggwash21 Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    if you still cant figure out whats wrong check the passengers side where the CV shaft bolts to the diff, and see if it moves back and forth in the diff is so there is a snap ring that is in the diff that came loose and causes this we just had that go wrong on our 1995 2500 it will kick in and out when ever it wants its just somethign to check out. its the same thing as a "C" clip comin out of the diff but the CV joint will stop it from coming all the way out
     
  14. KatWalk

    KatWalk Member
    Messages: 83

    rude awakening!!!!

    I changed the accuator with a Napa part and had no luck..returned the part to Napa. I tried to pust a rod into the accuator hole as recommended by Tovoninc and could not get the light to light up or the wheels to spin in opposite direction. I brought the truck to a "reputable" local trans shop and told them everything that I did. He then said...."YOU NEED A F*****G ACCUATOR"."These trucks same crap all the time. The old style that you have is about $350-$400 to fix and they have an upgraded version that requires some additional wiring that runs about $700." The old style accuator from GM cost me $145 and as you know about 10 minutes to install. I told the guy to bite me that it would be $250-$300 to install the accuator and that I already did the accuator.His response"Oh Jesus, all that after market crap stinks...go ahead, get the damn truck out of here then!!!" Sorry so long. I got the original GM part and installed. I have four wheeel drive now and the light in the floor does not light up. I took that apart and check connections and bulbs and fuses. The long and short....I have 4WD and no light. A 95 with 140k and no light will have to do for now. The shop rate there was $88 an hour and another place that I actually bought the part was $132 hour. I was shocked. Thanks again for the help. Ryan
     
  15. Yard

    Yard PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 15

    $700 Wow! I'm glad you ran away from that place. The cost at the dealer is around $135 for the updated actuator and wiring harness. Four years ago it was only $90. I don't know how long GM says the install takes, but I can't imagine they charge more than 2 hours labor. As you know the actuator is a quick job and the wiring harness isn't that hard either. That's a nice profit maker for that tranny guy!
    I'm glad your 4wd is finally working!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2003
  16. KatWalk

    KatWalk Member
    Messages: 83

    Yard....I am pretty sure it is a supply and demand thing. Still though, without any education or info gathered from you guys I would have been at the mercy of paying whatever the price was. The dealer said the parts for the upgrade would run just shy or $200 and would take about 2 hours. Still cheaper that $700!!! Thanks again to all that responded. Possible snow tonight into tomorrow12/14-12/15 and we can try it out.
     
  17. KatWalk

    KatWalk Member
    Messages: 83

    GGWash is on the money!

    GM Accuator got us through the last storm but there was definately times that the truck just was not in 4WD. I conceded to take it to dealer and have upgraded accuator system installed and they called to say the the front right axle had something broken in it. Said they had to replace a spacer, bearing and a couple other things but it will be all set. Hope this isn't a sign of what the winter has in store for me!! Thanks again.:waving:
     
  18. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    The dealer's diagnosis makes perfect sense. All the normal checks panned out. If all else fails take it to the dealer! Good luck through the rest of the season!
     
  19. thundercat99

    thundercat99 Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    chicago first storm bad actuater

    up to 9 in of the white stuff my actuater goes out only 25000 miles on this one original lasted 90000 what can i do to stop this from happening , is there better in the aftermarket world or can i convert to manual hub or mechanical actuator already lost a 1000 plus for the night dont want it to happen again

    , thanks ahead of time
     
  20. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Could this possibly be a Chevy problem? Couldn't be can it, aren't they the best truck? Maybe I should check the actuator or the piston that you are talking about or the fuse on my FORD.