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front axle engagement

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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front axle engagement

I know this has been gone through before(looked it up). But, since I'm a n00b, I figured I'd add a video . My 01' ZR2 isn't engaging the front axle. I started the truck, and yanked the battery, so I could get a good look at the actuator in action. It seems to work fine, but I'm assuming the cable is sticking. I can move the actuator all the way in if I push on it with my fingers, but it really fights me. I haven't taken the cable off yet, but I'm assuming it should move pretty effortlessly?

http://youtu.be/a9YF-0zX6FQ
Old 10-16-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: front axle engagement

^ do the same thing, but drive forward at 2-3mph. what is probably happening is the teeth are not lining up in the axle tube.

the cable should be easy to pull on, and you should be able to engage it by hand from there. get a buddy to spin the front driveshaft by hand in 2WD while you pull the cable. if its super hard to do or doesnt lock up, the cable could be frozen. i know mine was a tad rusty since the cable had a break in the outer protective cover.






cause...


also you should be able to take off the little front axle sensor, and it should look like this when its engaged.



depends how much you enjoy modding the truck, you could swap over easily to a manual pull cable so you can get rid of that vacuum stuff.
Old 10-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: front axle engagement

Do away with all the vacuum and cable crap and install a bravada axle shaft.

I have a few bravada shafts, if your interested pm me.
Old 10-17-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: front axle engagement

[QUOTE=tippmann243;7977450]Do away with all the vacuum and cable crap and install a bravada axle shaft.

This is the way to go. I bought my truck and replaced every vac line switch and actuator associated with the 4wd to avail My problem ended up being the clutch gear was chewed up in the front diff from being partially engaged. I replaced it and it worked for about a year. It started acting up again. Sometimed it would lock up the front,sometimes not. When I push the 4wd button its because I need it right then! It would have been much cheaper and easier to do the bravada shaft from the beginning. I just finally did a couple weeks ago and its a great feeling knowing its going to work now.
Old 10-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: front axle engagement

i added the 4x4 posi lock system to my truck and have avoided this problem. being stuck in mudholes twice with the vacuum actuator with a hole in the bladder is no fun, makes for cold wet night. my questions is though hunting season is coming up and i was wondering could i leave the front diff engaged and only operate the transfer case button on the dash during the day while i'm hunting because i am always needed 4 wheel drive. would i damage anything? i know this would kinda be like locking a toyota hubs.
Old 10-18-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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Re: front axle engagement

^ yes, leaving the front diff engaged is no different than the bravada shaft mod. its just that your front driveshaft spins all the time now. if its not balanced you could have a vibration....other than that, no big deal.
Old 10-19-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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Re: front axle engagement

ok well if no damage will try it whole lot easier
Old 11-03-2012, 12:12 PM   #8
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Re: front axle engagement

Well, I bought a new cable, and still no dice. The front engagement was still really tough, and never worked. So, I bought a bravada shaft from Tippman! After pulling the drain plug on the diff, the oil started coming out silver! I just changed the front diff oil not 2 months ago too, after having the vacuum actuator on the t-case partially engage the front axle. Apparently, that damage was serious! Glad I put a bravada shaft in it!



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Old 11-03-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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Re: front axle engagement

Glad i could help. I had a perfectly working system on my zr2 and STILL went to a bravada shaft. However i dealt with all these issues on my old 92 sonoma i had when i was 16.

It sucks not having 4wd when you need it the most.
Old 11-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #10
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Re: front axle engagement

Wow! Man that gear is chewed up!! Yeah good deal on the bravada shaft. I'm still sticking with my posi lock for now


It would be a good idea to fill up the diff, run it for 10 miles or so then drain and refill with fresh fluid to flush that metal out.

Just curious, did you own the truck while that gear was grinding? Or just recently bought it? I'm just wondering how much it had to grind to do that sort of damage.
Old 11-03-2012, 01:45 PM   #11
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Re: front axle engagement

I was going down the road a couple times and mine just started grinding out of nowhere, must not have been fully disengaged. Hope mine doesn't look like that.
Old 11-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
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Re: front axle engagement

I bought it in ohio, and drove it back to michigan. Then drove it for a week. The humming was annoying, figured it was wheel bearings. Changed both sides, and there was still a tiny bit of noise. Changed out the vac switch on the t-case and flushed the front diff. 4x4 never worked as long as i owned it(august).
Old 11-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: front axle engagement

Thats the same gear I had that was chewed up. I replaced it and it was acting flakey again so I did the bravada shaft. The new gear was getting ate up also when I removed it.
Old 11-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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Re: front axle engagement

how does the Bravada shaft work? What all is entailed in changing it over? Thanks
Old 11-06-2012, 05:23 PM   #15
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Re: front axle engagement

Quote: Originally Posted by purplesonoma1
how does the Bravada shaft work? What all is entailed in changing it over? Thanks
The bravada shaft eleminates all the axle disconnect crap and make the pass side intermediate axle a solid one piece.

I still have a couple left. PM me for more details.
Old 11-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #16
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Re: front axle engagement

I have a noise that seems to be coming from the front axle. It only happens when in gear and is louder when everything is cold. It sounds like light weight (sheet metal) parts spinning next to each other. Does anyone have any ideas?
I was thinking maybe the gear rubbing, how far does the actuator move? Mine only moves approx. 1/4in, is that normal?
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