Question about 1989 Chevrolet K1500

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4x4 front axle wont disengage its electric

I have a 89 chevy 4x4 we upgraded the front end solinoid and had to add a new wiring kit to make it work now the front end just stays engaged what could i have done wrong

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Re check your wiring it souds like you may have crossed some wires, or wired it where the switch is always on. The electrical componet you have is much different than the original vaccum type 4 wheel drive engagement.

Hope this helps

Posted on Apr 15, 2009

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89 gmc sierra 1500 4x4 wont go in and the transforcase works just the front axel wont engage


There is an electric switch on the front axle toward the passenger side. These are notorious for failing and they aren't too expensive. If you have a test light you can check for power at the wires before you replace it.

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I have a 91 k1500 ext. cab 4x4 and my 4 wheel drive wont engage . what all could it be?


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Dec 19, 2010 | 1991 Chevrolet K1500

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My 4 wheel drive will not shift out of 4X4 when i put the shifter in 2H. It will eventually shift out after a while but not when I want it to. If I pull the fuse in the dash, it will not do it at all.


On the full size, the front actuator is electric, not vacuum.

When in 4wd mode, a switch on top of the transfer case conducts 12 volts out to the actuator. Wire #50 (brown) is the 12v feed, and it conducts to the light blue wire (#900) to the actuator.
When shifted out of 4wd, the switch opens up and no voltage goes to the actuator.

I'll assume it is the actuator, if the plug to the actuator is getting 12 volts when in 4wd.
The way this actuator works, is it is a sealed chamber that gets heated by voltage. When it heats, the pin in the end swells and pushes a shift fork in the front differential. The shift fork engages a spline on the passenger side of the differential, and boom! you have 4WD.

GM offered an upgrade to this actuator that is a motor instead of a heated device. However, it requires a small harness addition, a spacer, and a new actuator. It is about a $150 to $200 option.

Good luck. The actuator is usually the problem 90% of time but recheck all of the wire harness just to maker sure there is no short before replacing any parts. The actuator may not be fully engaged or disengaged and the fork to the spline may be what is causing the whining or grinding noise you hear.

88-UP C/K ACTUATOR UPGRADE
VEHICLE SERVICED: 1999 CHEVROLET FULL SIZE
PURPOSE: IMPROVE AXLE CONNECT ENGAGEMENT TIME AND
COMPONENT RELIABILITY.

SYMPTOMS: NO FRONT DRIVE AXLE ENGAGEMENT WHEN SHIFTED INTO 4X4.

Obtain the following GM part numbers:
(1) 26060073 Actuator
(1) 88959465 Harness/Spacer Kit

Apr 07, 2010 | 1996 Chevrolet K1500

3 Answers

1993 K1500 4 wheel drive not engaging. What is


On the full size, the front actuator is electric, not vacuum.

When in 4wd mode, a switch on top of the transfer case conducts 12 volts out to the actuator. Wire #50 (brown) is the 12v feed, and it conducts to the light blue wire (#900) to the actuator.
When shifted out of 4wd, the switch opens up and no voltage goes to the actuator.

I'll assume it is the actuator, if the plug to the actuator is getting 12 volts when in 4wd.
The way this actuator works, is it is a sealed chamber that gets heated by voltage. When it heats, the pin in the end swells and pushes a shift fork in the front differential. The shift fork engages a spline on the passenger side of the differential, and boom! you have 4WD.

GM offered an upgrade to this actuator that is a motor instead of a heated device. However, it requires a small harness addition, a spacer, and a new actuator. It is about a $150 to $200 option.

Good luck. The actuator is usually the problem 90% of time but recheck all of the wire harness just to maker sure there is no short before replacing any parts. The actuator may not be fully engaged or disengaged and the fork to the spline may be what is causing the whining or grinding noise you hear.

88-UP C/K ACTUATOR UPGRADE
VEHICLE SERVICED: 1994 CHEVROLET FULL SIZE
PURPOSE: IMPROVE AXLE CONNECT ENGAGEMENT TIME AND
COMPONENT RELIABILITY.

SYMPTOMS: NO FRONT DRIVE AXLE ENGAGEMENT WHEN SHIFTED INTO 4X4.

Obtain the following GM part numbers:
(1) 26060073 Actuator
(1) 88959465 Harness/Spacer Kit

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2 Answers

The 4x4 do not engage on my 1990 chevy pick up what do i need to check first


On the full size, the front actuator is electric, not vacuum.

When in 4wd mode, a switch on top of the transfer case conducts 12 volts out to the actuator. Wire #50 (brown) is the 12v feed, and it conducts to the light blue wire (#900) to the actuator.
When shifted out of 4wd, the switch opens up and no voltage goes to the actuator.

Check voltage at the connector for the front actuator (at the front differential - it looks like a large bullet that threads into the front diff.) If it has 12 volts, the actuator is the problem. If it does not have 12 volts, check the transfer case switch and the power feed to the transfer case.

I'll assume it is the actuator, if the plug to the actuator is getting 12 volts when in 4wd.
The way this actuator works, is it is a sealed chamber that gets heated by voltage. When it heats, the pin in the end swells and pushes a shift fork in the front differential. The shift fork engages a spline on the passenger side of the differential, and boom! you have 4WD.

GM offered an upgrade to this actuator that is a motor instead of a heated device. However, it requires a small harness addition, a spacer, and a new actuator. It is about a $150 to $200 option.

Good luck. The actuator is usually the problem 90% of time but recheck all of the wire harness just to maker sure there is no short before replacing any parts. The actuator may not be fully engaged or disengaged and the fork to the spline may be what is causing the grinding.

88-UP C/K ACTUATOR UPGRADE
VEHICLE SERVICED: 1994 CHEVROLET FULL SIZE
PURPOSE: IMPROVE AXLE CONNECT ENGAGEMENT TIME AND
COMPONENT RELIABILITY.

SYMPTOMS: NO FRONT DRIVE AXLE ENGAGEMENT WHEN SHIFTED INTO 4X4.

Obtain the following GM part numbers:
(1) 26060073 Actuator
(1) 88959465 Harness/Spacer Kit

Jan 20, 2010 | 1992 Chevrolet K1500

1 Answer

4x4 locks in ok but when locked in it real loads also shimmy and ginds just some times on the front end


On the full size, the front actuator is electric, not vacuum.

When in 4wd mode, a switch on top of the transfer case conducts 12 volts out to the actuator. Wire #50 (brown) is the 12v feed, and it conducts to the light blue wire (#900) to the actuator.
When shifted out of 4wd, the switch opens up and no voltage goes to the actuator.

Check voltage at the connector for the front actuator (at the front differential - it looks like a large bullet that threads into the front diff.) If it has 12 volts, the actuator is the problem. If it does not have 12 volts, check the transfer case switch and the power feed to the transfer case.

I'll assume it is the actuator, if the plug to the actuator is getting 12 volts when in 4wd.
The way this actuator works, is it is a sealed chamber that gets heated by voltage. When it heats, the pin in the end swells and pushes a shift fork in the front differential. The shift fork engages a spline on the passenger side of the differential, and boom! you have 4WD.

GM offered an upgrade to this actuator that is a motor instead of a heated device. However, it requires a small harness addition, a spacer, and a new actuator. It is about a $150 to $200 option.

Good luck. The actuator is usually the problem 90% of time but recheck all of the wire harness just to maker sure there is no short before replacing any parts.

88-UP C/K ACTUATOR UPGRADE
VEHICLE SERVICED: 1994 CHEVROLET FULL SIZE
PURPOSE: IMPROVE AXLE CONNECT ENGAGEMENT TIME AND
COMPONENT RELIABILITY.

SYMPTOMS: NO FRONT DRIVE AXLE ENGAGEMENT WHEN SHIFTED
INTO 4X4.

Obtain the following GM part numbers:
(1) 26060073 Actuator
(1) 88959465 Harness/Spacer Kit

Jan 09, 2010 | Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Cars & Trucks

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