Re: when i shift int 4x4 the front axles do not engage
While there are several thing you can check, one of the most common things is the front axle actuator. These are know to be problematic when it is very cold outside. The actuator is screwed it the front axle housing and has two wires running into it. You can check to see if it working by unscrewing the actuator then, WITHOUT the truck running, put the truck in 4 high and the turn the key to the hot position. The plunger insinde the actuator should extend. If not it is bad. If it does extend and you would like to dive deeper into this problem, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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No hubs on 2002 Chevy 2500. I'd check the front axle actuator (engages front axle when 4WD is engaged). Belive it's on the passage side axle tube of front differential. Could be wrong, but that's what it sounds like. Or the front ring/pinion is shot. They don't turn when not in 4wd.
A lot of these troopers had a module on the side of the transfer case that put the unit into gear. They go out fairly often. Also check the solenoid on the front axle that engages the front axle as they are another problem that will cause the front axle not to engage
There are two parts to the 4X4 engagement. One part is the transfer case actually shifting into four wheel, and the second part is the front axle engaging.
If you have a manual shift, as long as the linkage is working, the transfer case is engaged and the problem will be in the front axle. If you have an electronic shift, you can determine if the transfer case is engaged by the lights on the switch. If the switch lighting is correct, the problem is in the front axle. If the lights are not correct, reset the encoder motor module (located behind the ash tray, listen for the clicking when you press the 4X4 button) by disconnecting it for a few seconds and reconnecting it. If this doesn't correct the problem, it's probably the encoder motor. (located on the driver's side of the transfer case) After you change the encoder motor you may have to reset the module again.
Front axle-verify the servo (either air or electric) is operating the clutch fork in the axle by removing the cable end in the axle. Sometimes it's a small shear spring that breaks. Otherwise, usually it's the shim kit and/or fork that need to be replaced. Parts are cheap, but it takes some time because you have a lot of parts to remove.
There is a actuator on the front axle. These are notorios for going bad. The new one will usualy come with a slug (round piece of metal) to install in front of the new actuator so it will engage your 4X4 faster. The factory setup was slow due to the pin having to move so far. The actuator will be towards the front of the vehicle on the passenger side of the differential.
Have a great evening
Find the accuator on the front axle it has a two wire pigtail and threads into the axle housing. Check for power and ground if you have both when the transfer case is in 4x4 the replace the accuator. They are available at most parts stores and are a very common problem. Let me know how it goes.