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4WD won't work

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Old 11-28-2004, 09:53 AM   #1
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4WD won't work

I have a 94 GMC Jmmy 4.3cpi, the 4WD won't engage. There is a button with a light in it for 4WD when I push it the light blinks then stays on, this is what it should do. I can hear a clicking in the dash and under the front end when the button is pushed but it does not engage. Any ideas thanks in advance Bill
Old 11-28-2004, 11:13 AM   #2
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Re: 4WD won't work

First try to engage the 4lo. If you get low range, then the problem is a switch in the front pumpkin. If you don't get low range, then the problem probably is a bad motor in the transfer case, believe its called the encoder motor?.
Old 11-28-2004, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: 4WD won't work

I had this problem and the dealer said it was like 420.00. So I put a solid axle in the front, and then I put in a 231hd. No more encoder motor.
Old 11-28-2004, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: 4WD won't work

my 4wd is doing the same thing. it stopped working last winter when my truck was stuck in 3 feet of snow and i was really cranking on it to get it unstuck. What could have broke?

I know the encoder motor works because i just replaced it, its just that the front diff. won't engage. What do I have to replace?
Old 11-28-2004, 04:02 PM   #5
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Re: 4WD won't work

look under the battery for th4 4x4 servo. it looks like a cruise control servo.
or could be the vac switch in the t-case. thses trucks were know for the vac switch to go bad. whick would cause it to suck tranny fluid into the vac lines to the servo. whick cause's the rubber to get soft and weak. which would cause it to not hold vac or tear the rubber.
the only time i saw the encoder motor go bad is when the power seat grounded out on the track causing it to fry the motor. that motor runs on a circut breaker along with the power seat and door locks.
Old 11-28-2004, 04:40 PM   #6
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Re: 4WD won't work

my 4 wheel does the same thang ill press the button then go to pull it and it wont switch out from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive it really sucks when we all go mudding because now i have a 4x4 i still cant use it
Old 11-28-2004, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: 4WD won't work

Quote: Originally Posted by dweh54
First try to engage the 4lo. If you get low range, then the problem is a switch in the front pumpkin. If you don't get low range, then the problem probably is a bad motor in the transfer case, believe its called the encoder motor?.
I have this problem on my 98 Jimmy, Lo 4WD engages, but Hi will not, where do I find this switch? does it have a name?
Any help appreciated.....
Old 11-28-2004, 09:07 PM   #8
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Re: 4WD won't work

i work at a chevy dealer and have had several vacuum switches on the tcase go bad, there was actually a recall for it, but it is relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, I think that was mostly on early 90's blazers/s-10's on later models 97+ I have seen wiring problems, caused by corrosion/waterleaks at the transfer case shift control module, located on the passenger side behind the little kick panel at the right under the glove box, check for corroded wires there, or the module may be bad...try using a known good module, if it works...there you go!
Old 11-28-2004, 10:43 PM   #9
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Re: 4WD won't work

so on a 90 s10 4.3 4x4x that wont chang to 4x4 what should i look at the switch or the box in the cab ???
Old 11-30-2004, 12:14 AM   #10
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Re: 4WD won't work

check the vaccum switch on the tcase, it is probably stuck tthey all are
Old 12-01-2004, 05:43 PM   #11
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Re: 4WD won't work

Ok...so how about this. 4lo will engage and disengage, 4hi will engage and then i have to go in reverse for about 10 feet to get it to disengage.
Old 12-01-2004, 06:33 PM   #12
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Re: 4WD won't work

On my blazer the transfer case will engage, its just that the front diff. will not. And I replaced the actuator under the battery a little over a year ago, could it have gone bad again?
Old 12-02-2004, 02:02 AM   #13
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Re: 4WD won't work

remember, this is a gm product we are talking about, things can always go bad...AGAIN
Old 01-08-2005, 12:45 PM   #14
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Re: 4WD won't work

i am haveing the same problem on a 2001 4.3L 4x4. I had a dealer shit it to the transfer case contol module. it is like $300 to relpace. where exactly is ti and how hard is it to get to so i can go to a junk yard an get one. my stupid warranty does not want to cover it. thaks
Old 01-12-2005, 06:21 AM   #15
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Re: 4WD won't work

Follow up, I finaly got around to getting it fixed. It turned out to be a burnt vacuume hose ral cheap fix, I guess I lucked out. Thanks to all who replied,Bill
Old 01-23-2005, 08:29 PM   #16
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Re: 4WD won't work

I can't get my 4 wheel drive to work at all. When I press the button for 4hi, you hear it click in underneath the vehicle and the light swithes to 4 hi, but it's still in 2WD since only the rear are spinning in snow. When I put the vehicle in 4lo, you hear it lock in in the rear, but the front tires don't engage again. (I am in Michigan and have snow right now). Any ideas??? please help!

(1998 GMC Jimmy 4.3 vortec V6)
Old 01-23-2005, 09:01 PM   #17
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Re: 4WD won't work

take the battery out and the tray out. look at the servo under there. see if its ripped or if the rubber is soft.
if theres a way you can jack all four wheels off the ground. see if the front shaft coming out of the t-case is spinning. if so there a problem with the servo
Old 01-24-2005, 10:59 PM   #18
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Re: 4WD won't work

I actually found where the problem was. There is a vacuum hose splitter up by the ABS control unit, a hose rotted off. Thanks for all the suggestions though!!!
Old 05-16-2009, 05:55 PM   #19
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Re: 4WD won't work

hey i got a 2000 and i can hit it in 4x4 hi and low and it sounds like it engaged but the front wount work at all ( i had a wire clip brok and the wire grounded out on the abs braket i got it fix and stuff blowning fuse) i need help i got stuck on the beach and i surf so it made me so mad. PLEASE HELP
Old 12-29-2010, 02:08 AM   #20
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Re: 4WD won't work

Quote: Originally Posted by gaxeclipse98
hey i got a 2000 and i can hit it in 4x4 hi and low and it sounds like it engaged but the front wount work at all ( i had a wire clip brok and the wire grounded out on the abs braket i got it fix and stuff blowning fuse) i need help i got stuck on the beach and i surf so it made me so mad. PLEASE HELP
I am also having problems with my 99 S10 LS 4X4; Both of the CV joints were recently replaced, I was driving in Chicago last week and when I came off of the exit I hear what sounded like a loud whirring/spinning sound. I later found out that it was the 4X4 actuator/servo under the battery tray that was making the noise. We replaced much of the vacuum line system, checked all vacuum pressure and all is good up to the 4X4 actuator under the battery.

After this, we put the truck on 4 jack stands and engaged 4X4 HI in Neutral, shifted to D and saw that the front drive-shaft was spinning, but neither of the front wheels would spin. Same thing for the 4X4 LOW; My dad tried to manually engage the front differential using lock-jaw pliers and pulling on the wire coming directly out of the front pumpkin (4X4 servo?). We tried many different combinations of shifting and trying to manually engage it with no luck whatsoever.

As of right now, I can still drive the truck, although with the same whirring and whizzing sounds in 4X2 HI, and with a loss of power and what seems to be a spinning of the CV joints or 4X4 in general when in 4X4 HI/LOW. The sound is coming from the passenger side each time and we are about to begin the so-called arduous task of dropping the front-diff. Any advice and/or troubleshooting tips would be greatly appreciated!
Old 12-29-2010, 03:24 AM   #21
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Re: 4WD won't work

Quote: Originally Posted by s108202
so on a 90 s10 4.3 4x4x that wont chang to 4x4 what should i look at the switch or the box in the cab ???
Your 90 s10 should be a manual shift tcase like my 91 jimmy with the np231 tcase its prob that vacuum piece under the battery as there will be no electonic crap for ur 4wd if it was my 85 you could have someone move the shifter and watch the vacuum piece move but on these new ones i donno
Old 02-17-2014, 10:13 AM   #22
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Question Re: 4WD won't work

Quote: Originally Posted by The_Burning
I can't get my 4 wheel drive to work at all. When I press the button for 4hi, you hear it click in underneath the vehicle and the light swithes to 4 hi, but it's still in 2WD since only the rear are spinning in snow. When I put the vehicle in 4lo, you hear it lock in in the rear, but the front tires don't engage again. (I am in Michigan and have snow right now). Any ideas??? please help!

(1998 GMC Jimmy 4.3 vortec V6)
I am having this exact same problem. Right now. Mine is a 2000 Chevy S10, 4.3 litre. Can you tell me if you got yours repaired and if so, How? I'd appreciate it
Old 05-28-2014, 12:49 AM   #23
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Re: 4WD won't work

I have a 1999 S10 4X4. 4.3 liter manual shift. Replaced the 3 button switch on the dash. 2WD works and 4WD LO works. Can not get it to go into 4WD Hi.

However. If I disconnect the battery for a few minutes, then connect it again, the 4WD Hi WILL work fine. After driving for a little while, if I take it out of 4WD, It wont go back into 4WD.
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