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1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

This is a discussion on 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; my 1995 chevy wont engage the 4x4 all the time and if it does it usualy takes a few minutes ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging


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    my 1995 chevy wont engage the 4x4 all the time and if it does it usualy takes a few minutes to kick in i think its my vacume in the transfer case but i dont know a whole lot about the assembly never tooken one apart so if you have any ideas or segestions please let me know the truck has 151xxx miles on it and the 4x4 was used everywinter

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    Registered User redchevy914x4's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    the 4wd acutator on the front differential is nitorous for going on on these trucks. Wouldn't hurt to get that checked out
    1991 K1500 RCLB, 4'' Trailmaster w/pro comp springs & Bilstein 5100's, 315/70R17 Kelly TSR's, Weld Mountain Crushers, 4.56 yukon gears

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    have you ever had one apart? and do you have any diagram links ?

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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    Quote Originally Posted by redchevy914x4 View Post
    the 4wd acutator on the front differential is nitorous for going on on these trucks. Wouldn't hurt to get that checked out
    X2
    The actuator is the only part on the front axle that has a electrical (no vacuum,vacuum only on S10) connector going to it. Well there is also a connector ran to the switch (next to actuator) that tells the truck the diff is coupled.
    The actuator is a cylindrical part about the size of a coke can. It is filled with a special fluid that expands when heated. You can remove the actuator and bench test it by running 12 volt to the pins. Plunger should extend within a few seconds.
    The bad thing about this part is that it is poorly engineered, well also it uses heat, so if it is cold out, or packed with snow, it might not work. I would just replace it if it fails the bench test. GM offered, don't know if they still do, a actuator to convert it to the newer style electrical motor actuator. The last few years of the OBS had these, I think beginning in 98.
    Is your T case push button or manual floor lever. The push button t- cases also have there issues.
    Last edited by alancamby; 01-12-2011 at 03:13 PM.

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    i have the manual floor lever. the cold thing makes sense because it was working earlier in the day then i put it back in 2 for no reason ended up cought on a snowbank and 4wd wouldn't engage. could the age and heavy use of 4x4 wear out the fluid and make it less eficient

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    i have the manual floor lever. the cold thing makes sense because it was working earlier in the day then i put it back in 2 for no reason ended up cought on a snowbank and 4wd wouldn't engage. could the age and heavy use of 4x4 wear out the fluid and make it less efficient?

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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    I don't know what leads to the failure. Some of them failed when the trucks were still under warranty. Just a bad design.
    Since you have the manual t-case, I would say it is almost has to be the actuator on the diff. When you shift the t-case it instantly connects the front drive shaft, but the 4x4 light will not light until the actuator has completed the coupling in the diff.
    The power will be lost in the front spider gears until that actuator is done.

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    well today i found out the hard way why my 4wd is dead... i have a broken front diff shaft and i dont know how i didnt here it snap but today i was driving home from my girlfriends house and i started to here a loud clunking and i originally thought i snapped a drive axel and it was flopping around so i pulled over and climbed under my truck my cv axel was fine but i yanked on it and felt play so i drove strait home and climbed under with a better flash light and found that my dif shaft was what was giving the slop so i jacked up the truck and sure enough the wheel spun freely so i defiantly have a broken diff shaft i just dont know why it took 45 miles before it became noticeable. my plan is to drop the front dif with the cv axels and put cv nubs in the wheel hubs to keep pressure on my wheel bearings so they dont smoke up. i plan on disconnecting the front drive shaft from the transfer case and just driving the truck like a 2wd so i can at least drive it while i have my dif at the shop so i can rebuild it and still have my truck for every day use. does this sound like a good plan or does anyone see any flaws with it. if i have to replace alot of parts in the dif do you think it would be a good idea to get a junkyard one and just put new seals and fluid in it?

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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    It is hard to tell without being there. You said you jacked up the truck and the wheel spun freely, which it should in 2wd. In 4wd, the tire (pass side for example) will not spin if the drivers tire is still on the ground. Also, with the thermal actuator, the axle will uncouple with the ignition off. Drive flanges on the axle are normaly a little sloppier then expected when pushing up and down. New trucks have a slight up down movement in the stub axle. You are right about using CV ends to keep the bearing inner rings together after removing CVJ assembly.

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    there is a distinctive sound coming from the front driver side and a good half inch of play and when i spun the tire, even in 2wd the axle from the diff to the transfer case should spin

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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    half inch is to much.
    Ok, so you are saying the front drive shaft will not spin, is this what you are calling axle from diff to t-case?? Yes, drive shaft should spin in 2wd.
    Spinning the tire will not necessarily spin the drive shaft in 2wd. there are spider gears in the diff and you are not coupled to pass side.
    good luck

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    Registered User Chronic Issues's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    i got the same exact problem!! 95 tahoe i bought a new actuator but it didnt make a difference. mine floor level also and i can hear my tcase engage its like "click" but it wont engage. i hooked up the gm code reader and on the abs reader the code 25 and 26 came up it was the left front speed sensor fault and missing left front speed signal wonder if that has nething to do with it.

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    i have an abs light on as well i haven't gotten around to reading the code yet thats interesting

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    and tomorrow im diving into this truck because im not pay money to have this think sit in my driveway and look good i pay to drive it so im dropping the diff tomorrow and diving in.... sounds fun

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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    same man the tahoe started acting funny 3 days ago putting n **** not running right like its missing or out of tune. so the coder read 32 on ecm. which 32 is the egr valve and map sensor so im getting those and 2 lower ball joints after putting 600 bucks of rubber on the rims the ball joints r next.. im 2 front brake lines away from having all new brake system. new radiator transmission seems like every month somethingelse. my 4x4 i have no clue but the same as u. something in the hub is fucvked

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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    yea i just had to run new wires to my fuel pump because there was a short somewere so i said **** it and did it overkill style... (how i get **** done) i could have this thing submerged in water for years and as long as i had air goin to the engine it will start, and now i need to replace the little locking cylinnoid for when i put it in park it wont unlock if i drive the car for more than 30 min and then put it in park so i find myself waiting 20 min to get the truck in gear talk about suck a small part being such a big pain in the ass

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    Registered User Chronic Issues's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    that does suck. i replaced the brake line behind the gas tank over xmas break i should of pulled the pump n filter. every brake line must have been rusted through but the two front ones. lol i replaces the rest got a monsters transmission and it blew one side of my radiator out lol 200 bucks bought someonlses junk n made it into my hobby lol. thinking about the thermostat to bc sometimes i can see it stick and reach like 220+ then open so yeah and the lil thing that screws in the manifold beside it. see i engaged my 4 wheel n let my dad drive it like 10 feet while i looked under it and even grabbed the front drave shaft to make sure it was pulling and it was ( didnt have 2 sets of jack stands otherwise i would of raised it up n tried it lol. my 4x4 is pissing me off thoughbc its gonna let me down in the snow

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    Registered User Bhuntley's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    yea i have a new sending unit, pump and filter from about a year ago so i knew that wasn't the problem. but yea my 4x4 is pissen me off especially because i have a 2 1/2 ton paper weight sitting in my driveway right now but tomoro its goin sky high and the hole assemblies getting dropped im going to bench test my actuator wile im at it

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    Newbie but tryin to learn 11ellswrob's Avatar
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    Howd all this pan out?
    It seems like I have the same symptoms... I got the manual transfer case rod and the actuator should be good because the 4wd light comes on..I havent had the truck on the road yet after the 4wd died but Im hopin it isnt the same problem.
    Mine stopped working in the middle of a mud pit. Got stuck and had to have a Ford pull me out, and he told me that the rears spun and the front wasnt...but I know I had 4x4 when i entered the mud...
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    Re: 1995 chevy k1500 4x4 not engaging

    Quote Originally Posted by 11ellswrob View Post
    Howd all this pan out?
    It seems like I have the same symptoms... I got the manual transfer case rod and the actuator should be good because the 4wd light comes on..I havent had the truck on the road yet after the 4wd died but Im hopin it isnt the same problem.
    Mine stopped working in the middle of a mud pit. Got stuck and had to have a Ford pull me out, and he told me that the rears spun and the front wasnt...but I know I had 4x4 when i entered the mud...
    hey i ran into the same thing, 4x4 worked fine then i sank and only my rears were spining, i noticed the 4x4 light on the floor went out, checked fuse fuse blew, kept blowing them, like a week later now i put a fuse in it dosnt blow but i still dont get 4x4, actuator? its 5 speed with 4x4 lever no push button. its also a 95. let me know what you guys think, i gotta change my starter then im gonna mess with the actuator because they want snow tomorrow. thanks in advance.

 

 
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