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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for advice on a course of action to take with respect to replacing and upgrading my Sonoma 4WD capability.

Truck: 04 Sonoma 4.3L auto with 3-button 2WD/4WD selection with 60k miles, second owner.

Problem: Mid-pandemic started hearing the squeal of a partially engaged transfer case differential with squeal/front-end scrape as speed increased but couldn’t locate a vacuum leak. Seemed like I had 4WD engagement (crabbing on gravel) when using 4WD but ultimately ended up having my local trusted mechanic seal the lines so I didn’t completely wear out the internals.

My gut instinct is that I wore out the front axle disconnect based on how long it took for me to troubleshoot that noise and miles I put on it. I found this write-up too late and it’s why I capped my lines to run 2WD Only.

So real question: This truck has a long life ahead of it in my garage and I eventually want to make it a more capable off-reader for hunting, probably eventually fitting a small lift to fit bigger tires and replacing suspension components etc.,. What are some options I have with replacing components/front ends? I saw a lot of different swaps etc., is there anything to do simultaneously? Most suspension parts are worn up front, and replacing wouldn’t hurt. I’m conflicted on how involved replacing worn transfer case components are, and if it’s better to just replace original front components all in one go, or are there aftermarket options that are more robust? General consensus on cutting out the electronic selector and going for the posi-lock kit or just replace worn gears and get 4WD capability back.

I have access to a variety of lifts and equipment free of charge, skill is lacking but I have a lot of military coworkers who are gearheads through and through on my base.

Thanks for your consideration and time.
 

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Read this sticky:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Appreciate the time for your response. I had linked to that sticky in my post. What that 63 response thread didn’t have was anything in the way of path numbers for replacing the gears. The only part options I saw were to do the bravada swap.
 

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98 2.2 Extended cab, 2001 V6 Extended cab Sport Suspension, 2001 V6 Extended Cab 4x4
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For me personally, I say put it back how GM made it for best results. But that's me. Others here will tell you to convert the 4wd selectors to manual because of the faulty actuator. Well my 203K truck still has the factory actuator and it still works just fine. Not every one will have the same results but if it lasts that long on one truck, I know there are many more out there with no issues. Several aftermarket companies make replacement units, my advise there is to stay away from the cheaper store brand stuff. Get a name brand (except maybe not the BWD). WIth the front axle, you should be able to remove the actuator link from the front axle and inspect to see if you wore it all out. If I remember right the cable is kinda fiddly to get disconnected but only needed a small pic or screwdriver to get off.
 
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