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4-WD Actuator

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Four Season's, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Four Season's

    Four Season's Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I have an '89 Chevy 2500 truck. I have noticed that when I put the truck into 4wd, it is slow to engage. It probably takes 30 seconds for it to engage and the same for disengaging.

    I've been told that the actuator for the 4wd is an electric switch that heats up a chemical which engages a fork in the transfer case (or something like that)...Have you guys ever changed this actuator?

    I was talking with a guy the other day and he said he put a new actuator in his truck and it was still slow to engage. Any opinions?
  2. jmassi

    jmassi Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I believe Chevy makes an updated version of the actuator that is supposed to aleviate that problem. I know of a few guys that had the same problem and replaced the acuator with the updated one and they have no problems. 4wd engages quick. Ask your local dealer parts department. Good luck! :drinkup:
  3. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    I replaced mine last year on my 91 - I didn't notice much difference in time, I just replaced it since it was 13 years old, and I didnt want to have problems with it. Simple to do unplug a couple of plugs, unbolt the actuator and install the new one. Be very careful with the connectors and plugs being 14 or 15 yearas old they can be brittle. Put a little Di-electric grease in the connectors to prevent corrosion. Took maybe 1/2 hour.
  4. tuna

    tuna Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    The old accuators are filled with a gas that is heated then expands pushing the plunger to engage the front end.The new replacements are all electric no gas and are a lot less problematic.
  5. redhenny16

    redhenny16 Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    The new style actuator from GM is what you want. You will also need a new wiring harness kit to install it. I have installed alot of these new style actuators and they work way better than the old style actuators. As soon as you pull back on your transfer case lever, your front axle is engaged.
  6. Four Season's

    Four Season's Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks for the answers. I am going to call my chevy dealer and definately get the updated actuator

    UP BRETT Junior Member
    Messages: 2


    I have a 95 1500 and had the front end actuator go bad. I put in a cable operated one made by Posi-lok. This way if the cable breaks I can still crawl under the truck and engage or disengage the front end.

    Brett :)
  8. ptllandscapeIL

    ptllandscapeIL Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    how big of a job is it to change it yourself?????
  9. ptllandscapeIL

    ptllandscapeIL Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    my guy who repairs my truck told em around 300 bucks to do the jiob he jsut replaces his on his 94 k1500 and he plows also...so is it worth to have it done by someoneor do it yourself any help?
  10. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    from my earlier post, I think the part itself cost around 100 from the dealer, if your time is worth 200 bucks then have someone do it, I think I only used one socket, and some patience with the connectors.

  11. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    When did the "new style" actuator go into production?

    I have a '98 K2500 (old body style) and have had some trouble with the transfer case going into Low, but not engaging the front axle (4 HI seems to engage right away). I have adjusted the linkage which seemed to work, but not sure if it really solved the problem for good.
  12. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Does the harness kit for the updated actuator just plug in or does it require splicing of wires?
  13. newonejwp

    newonejwp Junior Member
    from eastern
    Messages: 1

    actuator wireing

    I installed a new acuator but it does not work. I'm thiking I have the brown wire spliced wrong. Is it to the brown at the switch just below the floor lever