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98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

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Old 10-03-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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Exclamation 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

i have a 98 blazer 4 wheel drive .. the problem im having is the vacuum canister under the battery box that pulls the cable to engage the front axle into 4 wheel drive wont let go and release the cable when u put it in 2 wheel drive .. something isnt lettting the vacuum off of the canister and i cant figure it out .. i didnt know if there is another valve somewere that releases the vacuum from this canister ... this hose that comes from it goes somewere behind the motor and then i cant see it anymore .. someone please help me cuz winter is comming and i would love to have my 4 wheel drive working right before winter comes .... thanks guys
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

Shouldnt 1998 have and electronic actuator on the transfer case? I didnt think 98 would use vacuum
Old 10-03-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

Here's what I've learned so far trying to get mine to work. The vacuum canister under the battery box only engages when in 4 lo. It is for additional traction when in sand or pulling steep hills. In 4 hi it should not be engaged at all. That line goes to a vacuum switch and on some vehicles is located on the firewall. My 96 doesn't have it there, however. You should be able to remove the rubber hose (pull straight down) Then see if the cable moves freely by pushing the rubber part in and out. It should be spring loaded and move by itself into the extended position. (this is the UNLOCKED position)
Old 10-03-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

there is a vacuum solenoid valve up by the firewall, it might be that.

didnt see the last post sorry, but I did include the factory manual location
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Last edited by moon509; 10-03-2010 at 07:02 PM.
Old 10-04-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

ill have to go out and see if i can find that vacuum thing on the firewall i didnt notice it when i was looking at it before .. anymore help is still greatly appreciated too guys thanks again
Old 10-04-2010, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

I was reading through the service manual, but it did not give diagnostic info. I think it is a switch, so it's most likely the culprit.
Old 10-05-2010, 03:08 PM   #7
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

Quote: Originally Posted by moon509
I was reading through the service manual, but it did not give diagnostic info. I think it is a switch, so it's most likely the culprit.
Just got back from my local transmission shop. I was wrong saying the vacuum canister only engages in 4 lo. (I'll have to reread my owners manual.) My Jimmy is still stuck in 4 hi but the tech at the shop disconnected the vacuum hose at the tee up the line a few feet and plugged the hose with a golf tee. This disconnected the front axle from the drive line. The transfer case is still engaged but is not driving the front axle. Have to drive to Detroit tomorrow and he said this will al least get me down the road with no damage but my fuel mileage will suffer. When I have more time, will out her into the shop for repairs. He believes that the "motor" is frozen, giving the signal it is stuck in 4wd, thus, not releasing the vacuum on the canister.
Old 10-06-2010, 12:00 PM   #8
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

Quote: Originally Posted by Easy48827
Just got back from my local transmission shop. I was wrong saying the vacuum canister only engages in 4 lo. (I'll have to reread my owners manual.) My Jimmy is still stuck in 4 hi but the tech at the shop disconnected the vacuum hose at the tee up the line a few feet and plugged the hose with a golf tee. This disconnected the front axle from the drive line. The transfer case is still engaged but is not driving the front axle. Have to drive to Detroit tomorrow and he said this will al least get me down the road with no damage but my fuel mileage will suffer. When I have more time, will out her into the shop for repairs. He believes that the "motor" is frozen, giving the signal it is stuck in 4wd, thus, not releasing the vacuum on the canister.
Are you sure the transfer case is still engaged with it in 2HI? Grab the front driveshaft and try to rotate it to be sure. If it is free, your problem might be the vacuum switch on the transfer case that activates that actuator. 98 3-button setups have a switch on the transfer case. Cheapest thing to try. Look in the HELP! section of Autozone. Replace it and cycle it through all of the modes (but wait about 10 seconds between shifts). If it works, you might have just solved your problem.

If it is locked (or you can't get it into 2HI), it might be your encoder on the transfer case (likely) or the computer (less likely, but common). Also check the ATC fuse under the hood. I once got it stuck in 4WD and it was the ATC fuse. GM dealer put a 10A instead of a 20A to try to defraud me. Also try pulling the 4WD fuse for about 10 seconds to reset the system. If it works, it is electrical (TCCM (computer) or the encoder). If it is engaged, in 2HI and the encoder is working (going through all the modes properly), you might be looking at an internal transfer case problem.
Old 12-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
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Talking Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

Just an update. The Blazer worked fine driving around with a golf tee in the vacuum line and it hurt the gas mileage only slightly to my surprise. I was working on another issue and discovered there is a fuse for the 4wd. Replaced the fuse reconnected the vacuum line and voila! Wish the trans shop had checked the simplest of things!
Old 12-16-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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Re: 98 blazer 4 wheel drive no releasing help !!!

you always check fuses first..simplest things go passed people sometimes but now your question should be why did the 4wd fuse blow or was missing in the first place...this would mean the circuit in the truck was overloaded by something causing the fuse to blow.....may be a problem in the near future for you
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