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emergency actuator jury rig

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by tovoninc, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I have a 1988 K2500. Based on searches, the thermal actuator is history after a hard day of plowing. Another storm is hitting in the morning so I need 4x4 real bad. Is it possible to rig up the actuator so it engages the 4x4 front diff? I plan on buying the tellico cable actuator but I won't have it until after this storm.

    Does anyone know of a source open on Sunday that would sell any style of actuator????

  2. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    Tony,i do not know of a way to "overide" the actuator,thats not to say it cant be done,i have replaced mine with an updated model from the dealer for $100 a couple years ago,i would give a local dealer a call,i know it would be sunday but it will only take a minute to get one off the shelf,i'm pretty sure you won't find one at a auto parts store although there are aftermarket companys making them,thats the only fix i have for ya,maybe these guys will have something more,good luck
    I just thought of this now,probably a long shot....Maybe borrow one from a buddys truck?they swap out very quickly,unhook the harness and screw the actuator out.just a thought,it would get you goin!
  3. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Thanks Arc Burn,
    there is a local dealer open on Sundays. Since sales are down I may be able to talk them into getting one.

    Thanks for the reply,
  4. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654


    Napa sells them, Ive had good success with one I put in a 93 Suburban, kicked in much faster than the stock one.

  5. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    As a temporay fix I removed the actuator, cut off the rubber boot, measured the length with the plunger extended. I removed the plunger & spring leaving the inner "tube" that held the spring. I cut a piece of 1/2 diameter CRS stock to the correct length. placed the stock in the tube and reassembled. As I screwed the actuator into the diff opening I rotated one of the tires to be sure of engagement. I plowed this morning and have no adverse affects.

    FYI: do not plug in the actuator as it might short out something. Also you can drop the tranfer case out of 4x4 but the light will not change.

    I ordered the manual actuator online last night but this will get be by for now. This may be of help to some else if in a pinch like I was:)
  6. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    One problem you may find if you try to put the fast actuator in an older truck is that while it will start to thred in it will bind short of bottoming out. I ran into this on an 88 K3500. There is a difference in the shape of the housing near the mounting hole and the larger diameter of the new style actuator hits the housing and does not allow the actuator to fully thread into the mounting hole. It would go if you force it but I think it will also break as it is a palstic housing on the actuator. Not sure how, or if, this would affect a 1500 or 2500 from the early years.
  7. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    Interesting point Alan,mine went in a 95 half ton but the upgrade unit went in fine so i'm not sure about the older heavier trucks.
    John,i didn't know you could get those at Napa,i never even tried!
    Tony-i was thinking of something similar as you did but wasn't sure how brave you were so i never mentioned it,actually i didn't want to be the reason you screwed something up in your front end!good thinking,got you out of a jam:)