Question about 1995 GMC Sierra C1500

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'95 GMC SUBURBAN

It is automatic trans with manual shift to 4x4, but when I pull the stick in to 4x4 position (either Low or High) won't engage, does not lock

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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

Posted on May 01, 2009

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1 Answer

How can I put the suburban into 4x4


I have a 1994 4x4 Suburban. In mine, there's a stick on the hump in the floor, and I'm sure this is the case with yours too. This year model does not require that you get out and lock your wheel hubs. There are labels that are supposed to light up to tell you if you're in 2wd, 4wdHigh, or 2wdLow, but mine don't seem to work. If it's dark out and I can't see the labels, I just have to remember that 4wd High is all the way towards me, 4wd Low is all the way forward, and 2wd in sort of in the middle (but closer to me than the actual middle).

To shift into 4wd High (which is what you'll use for most purposes, like driving in bad weather), just pull that stick back towards you in one swift motion. You can do this while you're parked or while driving forward down the highway.

To shift back out of 4wd High and into 2wd, just push that stick forward a little bit, to where it was before.

To shift into 4wd Low (which is what you'll use only for extreme conditions, like off-road mudding or getting out of your driveway in super deep snow), you have to be stopped. You can NOT just shift into 4wd Low while you're going down the road. First, put it into Neutral (with the shifter on the steering column), Then push that stick on the floor all the way forward. Mine is hard to push, so I use my foot.

To shift back into 2wd from 4wd Low, you need to be stopped and in Neutral also. Pull the stick back towards you to the same position it was in before. (Not all the way towards you, or you'll be in 4wd High instead of 2wd.)

Hope that helps.

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1 Answer

Won't go into 4 low


Have you tried shifting the automatic transmission to neutral, or if manual transmission- place shift lever to neutral position, then shift the transfer case to neutral position wait a couple seconds then try shifting to 4 low- if you have manual hubs, engage those last. This removes most of the potential mechanical resistance that should allow for the transfer case to shift.

If it still will not go into 4 low you may be dealing with damaged teeth, bent shift dog or worn internal bearings inside the transfer case. As I recall, that was NOT a shift on the fly transfer case.

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1997 GMC Suburban electric 4WD will not engage 4WD


Check the actuator cable that activates the front axle disconnect. It is bolted to the inner fender and the cable runs down to the axle. If you apply vacuum it should pull in and shift the interlock. To see if it is working, jack up the right front so the tire clears. The tire should rotate pretty free. Now engage the interlock. The tire should become harder to turn and the front drive shaft should turn. Now engage the 4X4 (with the trans in park) and see if you can still turn the tire. You shouldn't be able to turn it with the interlock activated.

Keep us upodated (remember to rate this answer).

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3 Answers

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make sure your in nutural, or park then if you have hub locks turn them to locking position. then shift small shifter if available into 4 wheel low or high. or may have just a push button to engauge. then shift into low or high. then you may use your regular stick to shift or just shift into drive w automatic.

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I have never driver a 4 wheel drive. I am going from portland oregon to phoenix az. not sure how or when to switch to four wheel. does the truck need to be in park? etc.


Do you have manual locking hubs on the front? If you do, you have to turn them to 'lock' position. If you have automatic hubs, you skip that step. Never shift into 4x4 low range while moving. You must come to a complete stop to shift in or out of low range. Regular 4x4 (high range) can be engaged while you are moving. Let off the gas, and put it in 4x4 high range, do the same to go back to 2 wheel drive. Vehicles that are part time 4x4 (can be shifted in and out of 4x4) should never be driven in 4x4 while on a dry surface, as you can cause excessive wear or even failure of the system. So only use it in snow, off road, etc. Have a safe trip!

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1 Answer

Grinding in and out of 4 wheel drive


You say 'new' truck, 09? or new used? I have had 3 Fords, 3 w/ manual trans. case, if you go into 4x4 Low range, you must come to a complete stop before shifting the trans. case to 4x4 mode, and I always put trans (automatic) in neutral before slipping into 4x4, it engages smoothly, no grinding. 4x4 high range can be put in while moving, but I would let off the gas pedal, shift to 4x4 high range, then resume accelerating. If there is any grinding going on doing it as above, something isn't right. Check the trans. case fluid level also, to make sure that's not an issue.

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Ford has 2 types of 4x4 system engagement. One is a knob on the dash that you just turn to 4wheel drive high or low. The other system is the 4x4 transfer case shift on the transmission tunnel (hump) between the driver and passenger seats. To shift into 4 wheel drive high while driving, just let off the gas and shift transfer case into 4H position, and continue driving. To shift into 4 wheel drive Low, stop the vehicle completely, put transmission in neutral, shift transfer case into 4Low position, put trans. in gear, and start driving. I am assuming before doing the above, you have locked in ( turned the front hubs to 4 wheel drive position.) Any further questions, let me know.

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