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4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

This is a discussion on 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 8.1 liter auto and I decided since I only bought it a ...

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    8.1 powerhouse 8.1 powerhouse's Avatar
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    Post 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage


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    I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 8.1 liter auto and I decided since I only bought it a month and a half ago, I should test out the 4 wheel drive in it. I have the push button system on my truck too by the way. I drove it into my back yard, stopped on the wet grass, shifted the transmission to neutral, pushed the 4HI button and shifted the transmission back into drive. I drove it around my backyard then stopped. I then tried to spin the wheels and only the rear wheels spun alittle. I tried the 4LO button and it went into LO range but only the rear wheels spun when I took off quickly. When I push the buttons, i hear a "clicking noise" coming from underneath the truck. Also, each button has a light next to it. I push 2HI and the light stays on. I push 4HI or 4LO buttons and the light blinks. I also tried to put the transfer case into neutral by pressing and holding the 2HI and 4LO buttons together for 10 seconds like the owners manual says and it won't go into neutral either. If anyone has any idea what my problem could be, please let me know. If you need any other information, let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks.

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    Every Mile a Memory gitingrdone's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    My 2000 1500 is doing the exact same thing. Only it will go into neutral. Are your abs lights on on the dash? Or do they ever go on while driving?
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    Registered User 2500ak's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    Well, the most common problems on these trucks in order of descending likelihood are:

    The switch: shifts randomly, lights go out ect...

    Grounds - under the driver side door and on the driver side firewall: Random shifts, loss of gauge and switch power, lack of engagement.

    Encoder motor sensor: Is a gear driven sensor which keeps track of its position. Sometimes those gears strip or skip which causes the control module to get confused and lock it up, this will throw a code.

    Encoder motor itself: A heinously expensive part, which will also usually throw a 4WD code, and lack of engagement.

    Actuator: on the encoder motor responsible for engaging the front axle, OBS seem to have more problems with them.

    Control module: rarely goes out usually due to a ground failure.

    I know all of this because I replaced all the the above trying to get mine working again, everything but the control module.

    Missing front driveshaft: not very likely, but that would case it too.

    I'd say you might have an incomplete ground, and that you should pull the three on the frame on the drivers side of the cab, clean them with break clean, sand them, reattach them, the put some enamel on them to keep them from rusting. Sand and clean the one on the firewall too.

    If its not that my moneys on actuator.
    Last edited by 2500ak; 06-15-2008 at 12:36 PM.

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    Registered User 2500ak's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    Quote Originally Posted by gitingrdone
    My 2000 1500 is doing the exact same thing. Only it will go into neutral. Are your abs lights on on the dash? Or do they ever go on while driving?

    Yours is almost certainly a ground, I've had that happen before. It was the one on the firewall coming loose actually killed the computer control module. Fixed the ground all the lights stopped flashing, modules still dead.

    If anyone knows where that control module is, I still need to replace it and can't find it.

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    Astute as fek. DarkCharisma's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    Actuator or motor, most push-button t-cases have problems related to those, if they do have problems at all.

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    8.1 powerhouse 8.1 powerhouse's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    I haven't seen any ABS lights come on while driving or ever for that matter. I am going to have the actuator checked and see if that is it. I am just going to make the dealer pay for this because they already owe me a grand for the crankshaft sensor that I had fixed by someone else. They had to almost pull the engine to have the sensor replaced! Great place for a sensor. I also have heard that the 2001 8.1 liter trucks have been recalled for this sensor. How come the 2002's haven't been recalled too?

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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    My bet is the push button switch

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    8.1 powerhouse 8.1 powerhouse's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    The push button switch works because when I push it, I hear something switching over under the truck. The front axle just isn't engaging. While in 4LO, I have the LO Range but just to the rear wheels. I am thinking it's the Actuator but we'll see soon enough because I will be getting it looked at as soon as possible. The lights next to 4LO and 4HI flash when I press the button.

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    Every Mile a Memory gitingrdone's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    did you get anywhere with this?
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    8.1 powerhouse 8.1 powerhouse's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Wheel Drive doesn't engage

    I got the problem fixed and it was just a broken wire under the truck somewhere. Had my mechanic fix it and since It only took them 15 minutes to fix the wire, shrink wrap it and cover it back up, it was a free repair. Now it's going to be time to "Dress up" my truck alittle. (Now that everything works the way it should) Thanks to everyone that has helped me with the Crankshaft sensor and the 4x4 problem.

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