Question about 1994 GMC Jimmy

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1994 GMC Jimmy 4WD not working

In the last few days we've had a totaly of 2 feet of snow, so i've been using my 4WD pretty regularly. I drive very slowly, and when I'm using it, it's always 4Hi not Low. Today when I was headed to work, I tried to turn the 4WD off (it's push button) and it wouldn't go off. I didn't have a lot of time, so I drove to work, doing about 45mph (for some reason I felt I shouldn't go the normal 60mph =] ) While at work, I called a friend who said to try reversing my truck for 30 or 40 feet, and then try to disengage it. I did this, and it worked. When I got home, my landlord still has not really plowed my drive way, which normally isn't a problem because I have the 4WD, but when I went to turn it back on, it simply flashed (both Hi and Low), but nothing. It didn't come on. Does anyone know why this might happen, or what I can do to fix it? If a repair is needed, can anyone give me an estimate? The 4WD is the main reason I have this vehicle..so I hope it's not too expensive to fix. Thanks in advance!

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  • StephanieB Dec 23, 2008

    I just tried that and it seems to be making progress. I can now hear the clicking that it usually makes when engaging, but still nothing. It's only lighting up when I put it into neutral first, and then press the 4WD button, which i've never done before. I'm going to try again tomorrow. Thanks for your help!

  • StephanieB Dec 23, 2008

    Do you have an estimate as to how much I might have to pay for this? I appreciate your help.

  • Anonymous Dec 29, 2008

    i have the same problem with my 4 x4 it works when it wants to but 4 lo works all the time i was told there is a electronic switch located in or near the glove box which i hear clicking when it acts up its the only thing that isnt replaced
    and the part is not cheap around 300 and change i was told



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Having worked at a GM dealership I saw this problem many times. While it is true that the vacuum actuator and switch are very common problems, the problem you are having is due to the encoder motor on the transfer case. This was also a rather common problem on the earlier S series. Unfortunatly the encoder motors are rather expensive and are more than just a 15 min job to install.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

  • Wolfen1176 Dec 24, 2008

    Aftermarket encoder motors usually go anywhere from $100 - $250. Your looking at about an hour to put it in. At my shop I get $400 installed.

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I'm not entirely sure this may be the problem, but I think I know what it is. On the older model S series blazers and jimmy's, they had an air actuation that locked your front differential. Which essentially means that when you press the button for 4wd, there is a little valve that opens and creates a vaccum. That vaccum pulls a pin, activating your 4wd. What may have happened is that it may be stuck halfway between 4wd and 2wd. Your symptoms sound like this is the problem. You may have to do to a shop to get that repaired. It should not be costly, as it may just be a matter of them hooking up a damaged vaccum line. Or you can go an alternate route, and go to a 4wd store (such as desert rat) and purchase a differential lock cable (runs about 125 dollars.) and have that installed. All in all, either route you take, you are probably looking somewhere around 150 to 200 dollars to have it repaired. But it does'nt sound like there is anything majorly wrong with your 4wd. Just the 4wd activation system.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

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I used to have a 95, when this would happen I would push the button for low, wait a few seconds, then push High. Do it a few times and its might work.The backing up thing to get out of 4WD always had to be done, cuz its a GM vehicle. they are all like that. Every single one of them. Thats why I now drive a Honda.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

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