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.

Feb 15, 2014 | 1994 Chevrolet Suburban

1 Answer

F150 4wd will not engage


Manual shift or Four-Wheel Drive Systems - Electronic Shift I'm assuming you have electronic shift because you refer to relay clicking behind the instrument panel . Principles of Operation Transfer Case - Electronic Shift
The four-wheel drive, electronic shift-on-the-fly feature electrically shifts the vehicle transfer case between 2WD, 4X4 HIGH, and 4X4 LOW. The system mode is selected by the operator through the mode select switch (MSS) on the instrument panel. The operator is informed which mode the system is in by two instrument cluster indicators, one for 4X4 HIGH which is 4X4, and one for 4X4 LOW which is LOW RANGE (in 4X4 LOW both the lamps are on). Shifts into 4X4 HIGH can be made at any speed. When shifting into 4X4 HIGH with the vehicle stationary, tooth blockage may occur, preventing shift completion. When the vehicle is driven above 8 km/h (5mph) the shift will complete. When shifting in or out of 4X4 LOW, the generic electronic module (GEM) requires that the vehicle speed be less than 5 km/h (3 mph), the brake pedal be applied, and the transmission in NEUTRAL (automatic transmission) or the clutch pedal be depressed (manual transmission). (The digital transmission range [TR] sensor informs the GEM when the automatic transmission is in the NEUTRAL range position.)
The gearmotor encoder assembly is mounted externally on the transfer case. It drives a rotary cam which moves the mode fork and the range fork within the transfer case between the 4X4 HIGH, 4X4 LOW, and 2WD range positions.
The GEM uses two relays to control the gearmotor encoder assembly shift between 4X4 HIGH, 4X4 LOW, and 2WD modes. The GEM controls the pulse vacuum hublock (PVH) solenoid which supplies engagement and disengagement vacuum to control the hublocks.
The GEM accomplishes shifts by interpreting inputs from:
  • mode select switch (MSS)
  • vehicle speed signal (transmitted from the ABS system)
  • gearmotor encoder plate position
  • brake pedal switch
  • digital transmission range (TR) sensor (automatic transmission)
  • clutch pedal position (CPP) switch (manual transmission)
  • ignition switch
Based on these inputs, the GEM controls the shifts into 2WD, 4X4 HIGH, or 4X4 LOW with the following outputs:
  • low to high relay (clockwise)
  • high to low relay (counterclockwise)
  • pulse vacuum hublock (PVH) solenoid
  • gearmotor encoder assembly
The electronic shift-on-the-fly (ESOF) system has a feature which allows the driver to override the vacuum operated hublocks. When the front hublocks are manually turned to the LOCK position, the hublocks are locked at all times, overriding the vacuum operated system. If the front hublocks are manually turned to the AUTO position, the hublocks can only be locked by turning the MSS to 4X4 HIGH or 4X4 LOW position.
Do you know what DTC'S - diagnostic trouble code's are ?
GEM Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Index
GEM Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Index DTC Description Source Action C1728 Transfer Case Unable to Transition Between 2H and 4H GEM CARRY OUT the electronic shift function test. REFER to Function Test - Electronic Shift in this section. C1729 Transfer Case Unable to Transition Between 4H and 4L GEM CARRY OUT the electronic shift function test. REFER to Function Test - Electronic Shift in this section. P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Malfunction GEM GO to Pinpoint Test F . P1804 Transmission 4-Wheel Drive High Indicator Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test H . P1808 Transmission 4-Wheel Drive Low Indicator Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test I . P1812 Transmission 4-Wheel Drive Mode Select Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1815 Transmission 4-Wheel Drive Mode Select Short Circuit to Ground GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1819 Transmission Park/Neutral Position Switch Short Circuit to Ground GEM GO to Pinpoint Test F . P1820 Transmission Transfer Case Clockwise Shift Relay Coil Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1822 Transmission Transfer Case Clockwise Shift Relay Coil Short to Battery GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1828 Transfer Case Counterclockwise Shift Relay Coil Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1830 Transmission Transfer Case Counterclockwise Shift Relay Coil Short Circuit to Battery GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1832 Transmission Transfer Case Differential Lockup Solenoid Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test G . P1834 Transmission Transfer Case Differential Lockup Solenoid Short Circuit to Battery GEM GO to Pinpoint Test G . P1865 Transmission Transfer Case Contact Plate Power Short to Ground GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1866 Transmission Transfer Case System Concern - Servicing Required GEM CARRY OUT the electronic shift function test. REFER to Function Test - Electronic Shift in this section. P1867 Transmission Transfer Case Contact Plate General Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test E . P1876 Transmission Transfer Case 2-Wheel Drive Solenoid Circuit Failure GEM GO to Pinpoint Test G . P1877 Transmission Transfer Case 2-Wheel Drive Solenoid Circuit Short to Battery GEM GO to Pinpoint Test G .
Your best bet , take it to a qualified repair shop .

Jan 07, 2018 | 2000 Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cabs

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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3 Answers

4wd how to enguage


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.

Jan 27, 2010 | 1998 Isuzu Rodeo

1 Answer

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!

Dec 13, 2009 | 1994 GMC Jimmy

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.

Aug 15, 2009 | 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD

1 Answer

How to shift into 4wd


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.

May 16, 2009 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

1996 Yukon 4X4 Electronic Shift on Fly.


I had the same problem with the shift on the fly push-button 4x4 on my 97 Suburban. GM Shop manual indicates that it could be due to an encoder error on the actuator motor. Try pulling the transfer case fuse to reset the transfer case control module. Wait at least one minute. Re-install fuse then re-try operation. Did it last week and that saved me a trip to the dealership and extensive troubleshooting.

Nov 15, 2008 | 1999 GMC Sierra

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