It seems that the front axle on my 01 gmc sierra is actuated even when in 2wd, is it possible that the actuator could be stuck in the in position keeping the axles engaged instead of free wheeling? I would have assumed that the actuator would normally fail in the rest position!
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Re: front axle stuck engaged
W9fro..In1995, and other model years, the actuator used to engage the transfer case into four wheel drive is oil filled with a heating element.
When you select four wheel drive the element heats up, the oil expands and engages the transfer case. Unfortunately if the actuator fails, the truck remains in four wheel drive. GM has an improved actuator so the problem does not repeat.
As always, check the basics, power, grounds and switch at floor select before replacing the actuator.
Also, if the truck is truly stuck in four wheel drive, you can tell by turning the truck in a tight circle. If the front end wants to "bunny hop" it is definitely engaged.
Best of luck, let me know.
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There are 2 switches (one on top of the transfer case left side above shifter) this then sends power to the electric actuator to engage the front axle. Quite often the actuator is internally shorted causing fuse to blow. I'm sorry I don't have a schematic in front of me. The second switch is on the front axle and will illuminate the 4wd light when engaged. It could be shorted but won't inhibit 4wd operation (its a separate circuit). Remove the connector at the front axle actuator and jumper it directly to battery (using a fused jumper). if it operates, and fuse doesn't blow, then you have a wire chaffed to ground. Most often its near the front axle harness that gets rubbed thru. If the fused jumper blows then obviously the actuator is no good. I hope this helps some.
Check the 4WD fuse and the illumination fuse in the I/P fuse block. Also check the Transfer Case Switch and the Front Axle Actuator for a fault. I would say that the Front Axle Actuator is the most common failure. I think there is even an updated actuator asy available. Check with you local chevy dealer for price and availability.
actually that first soultion is wrong it is correct on smaller pickups but on the full size pick ups they use a differnet sytem
there a electric actuator on front axle
there be two elctrical plugs on front axle u want the bigger of the two other one is just to turn the 4 wheel drive light on
un plug actuator then remove actuator after it removed plug it back in but leave it out of axle turn key on and shift down to 4 wheel drive the actuator should move out if it dont that your problem if i does move this isnt your problem it either the tranfer case or in front axle
Take the front axle actuator out of the axle. Plug it back in and have some one push the 4x4 button. The actuator should move, it's a liniar motor. If it doesn't then the actuator is bad or there is a wiring problem. If it does there is a problem in your front diff or some where else in the system.
I'd take a guess and say it's the front actuator.
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