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All wheel drive is just that-- All wheel drive-- not to be confused with 4 wheel drive . The difference is with AWD there is a 3rd diff in the transmission that allows the front and rear wheels to operate at different road speeds . When 4wd is selected that 3rd diff is locked and so both front and rear wheels drive at the same speed regardless of ups and downs in the road surface . This results in a torque wind up in the drive train and places load on "U" joints --splines --CV joints and gear teeth . The grinding on turning corners will be the CV joints trying not to flex because of the torque wind up . How to prevent this problem=== Do not use 4wd on hard road surfaces === as the tyres cannot slip to relieve the torque Restrict the 4wd use to snow , mud and loose surfaces TO fix the problem unselect 4wd drive and reverse several yards to release the pressure in the drive train and the actuator has a chance to pull the gear out of lock up. If that doesn't work check that the actuator is actually working
I would guess your differential. Raise your rear end and try rotating wheel, it should make the other wheel spin the opposite direction. I'd the other wheel doesn't spin, I would say it's your differential.
You probably have a front drive splined disconnect assembly that has gone bad. This assembly engages the front differential when 4WD is selected. Below is a figure of the item, it is on the passenger side of the differential area.
96 chevys have a ifs (independent front suspension) this give it more ground clearance but does not have lock out hubs, the cv axles go into the front differential an spin freely until you put it in 4wd, how this works is your transfercase spins the drive shaft that goes into the front differential an while you put it in 4wd it sends power to the actuator to lock the front differential. if your front end isnt pulling you either popped your 1 of your cv axles but if you did this you would know because it makes a very loud thunking noise while you're driving, my guess is you have a short thats not sending power to the actuator. check to see if the wiring harnesses are connected and check if the fuse that operates the 4wd in the cab of the truck is not blown. also actuators for these trucks are horrible they go out alot
sounds like your rear differential has some internals gone or going bad if it wont move at all in two wheel drive then its probably gone sorry. the planetary and spider gears need replacement or the splines on the rear axles are sheared off take you diff cover off( be ready for about half a gallon of gear oil to spill out.) look real good at the axle shafts and gears try to move stuff around. if there is excessive play that could be your problem. hope this helps
It doesn't take long to learn when and how to use your
truck's 4WD system. Follow these steps and you'll feel confident about
engaging the system the next time you need to get out of a slippery
For a conventional system, where you can select 2WD or 4WD, the
instructions refer to engaging 4WD. For trucks with permanent 4WD, they
refer to locking the center differential. Time
to your owner's manual to find out how to engage your truck's 4WD
When driving in snow, mud, or just going off
road, shift into 4WD when you get ready to leave solid ground. If you
have lockable front hubs, lock them for those operations.
severe conditions, use low range if available. Before shifting into low
range you must either stop or slow down to at least 3 mph to prevent
When you return to normal conditions,
shift out of 4WD or unlock the center differential. If the shifter
doesn't want to move from 4WD or the differential lock stays engaged,
don't panic, becaue the problem is normal and is caused by pressure on
Try backing in a straight line about 10 feet and try to
the shifter again.
If the shifter still won't move, try backing in an "S"
pattern while trying to move the shifter.
you have lockable hubs, don't forget to unlock them when you return to
permanent 4WD are set up for everyday driving, but not necessarily for
maximum traction on slick surfaces. Engaging the differential lock
increases the vehicle's traction capabilities.
operate a locked 4WD on dry, hard surfaces. Doing that could cause
damage to the driveshafts, differentials or transfer case.