Question about 2003 Chevrolet Blazer

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Push button selectors do not shift transfer case from 2WD to 4WD. Rumor has it that moisture is in the vacuum line.

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Under the battery there is a electronic vacuum valve that engages the 4wd,thes often go out,and your shift buttons will still show that 4wd is engaged,but isn't.I have had several s series blazers,and this component has failed on most of the trucks.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009

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My 1997 GMC Sierra lights for 4hi and 4lo blink when i push the 4hi button and then goes back into 2hi. but when i push 4lo it locks in and works fine. I tried changing the 4wd motor on the transfer c


THE TRANSFER CASE MOTOR IS ONLY FOR 4WD LOW. That would have never been the problem as soon as you confirmed it shifted into 4wd Low. 2wd and 4 Hi work off of vacuum. You may have one or two issues. A vacuum leak up by the front axle that engages the 4wd HI or the sensors on the transfer case.

Nov 22, 2013 | 1997 GMC Sierra

2 Answers

Got. A 2003 f150 4x4 got problems with 4 wheel drive locking in and stay in drive shaft turning front wheels not


Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ).The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem ( this is what you seem to have, the transfer case is engaged and will drive the front shaft mine was a key on engine off test ).

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
sscullys_185.jpg
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
1.Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
2.Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
3.Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
sscullys_187.jpg
4.Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
5.Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
6.Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
7.Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_186.jpg

Usually the case is cracked vacuum lines from the solenoids, the next common is a cracked vacuum reservoir box, and 1 time I have seen the mount for the vacuum disconnect motor broken ( motor floating free so it could not push against the axle )
sscullys_188.jpg

Aug 28, 2011 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

I can not get power to the motor to engage my front axle on my 4x4.


Power as in 12 V DC ? if yes, you are not in the correct area, the front axle is locked in and out of 4x4 mode with vacuum.

Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ).The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).


Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
sscullys_200.jpg
Item #10 in this diagram
sscullys_10.gif
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
1.Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
2.Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
3.Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
4.Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
5.Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
6.Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
7.Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_199.jpg

- If the front drive shaft turns:
For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

Jul 30, 2011 | 2000 Ford F150 Flareside SuperCab

1 Answer

4x4 not working


Not too sure if you have a New Body Style 2004 or a 2004 heritage ( same as the 99-03 body style ) :
Here is both sets of checks for either option

**** 2004-2008 ****

Operationally vacuum holds the IWE ( Integrated Wheel Ends ) out, and once vacuum is removed the spring engages the IWE.

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
1.Shut of the truck ( still jacked up, and supported ) remove the vacuum lines from the IWE. The spring should push the gears in, without the vacuum line on.
2.Check the vent line ( tube that is routed into the engine compartment with nothing attached to it ), for blockages.
3.If the vent line is clear, and with the vacuum lines off the IWE should be engaged ( both front wheels locked ).
4.If they lock, the problem is with the IWE solenoid not shutting off vacuum to the IWEs. There is a TSB on the 2004-2006 IWE solenoids, a newer revision has been made, and used from 2007 and newer MYs.

- If the front drive shaft turns:
1.Check the fuses for the 4WD system ( If ESOF system ) . These are #11, #29, #30 and #111. Use a meter to check the fuses while plugged in, there are pins on the back of the fuse for this. Use a known good ground and check each side of the fuse with the other meter probe, with the meter set to V-DC ( check the scale if a setting that it will read at least 13 V DC ).
2.With the key on, if the ESOF system have someone turn the mode selector from 2WD to 4WD while hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ). Some times the shift motor will get stuck ( lack of use ? ) and the dead blown hammer will free it up.
3.There are 2 relays ( in the small engine compartment fuse / relay panel - ESOF only ) for the 4WD system, one is the CW ( **** Wise ) one is the CCW ( Counter Clock Wise ). These are full size relays, that can be bench tested, or a quick remove and replace test with the high beam relay in the cab fuse panel ( Relays R03 ). 1 at a time, remove the CW & CCW relays and install them in the position for the high beam relay, and test the high beams by pulling back on the MFS ( MultiFunction Switch ). If the high beams work with both relays, the CW & CCW relays are not the issue ).
4.Check the connector on the transfer case for the shift motor, to make sure it is not corroded.


**** 1997 - 2003 ****

Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ).The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).


Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
{ picture of shift motor }
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
1.Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
2.Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
3.Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
4.Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
5.Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
6.Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
7.Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
{ Picture of Vacuum diagram )

- If the front drive shaft turns:
For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

May 22, 2011 | 2004 Ford F150

1 Answer

I have a 2002 ford f150 xlt fx4 4.6l engine. 2 door reg cab. i have a 4 wheel drive shift lever. the 4 wheel will only engage on rare occasion and only after pulling into 4 low then to 2 high then back...


For the 2002 MY ( this is in the 2006 Section, just want to call it out to others that might find the solution, this does not apply to the 2006 MY )

Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ).The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).


Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
{ picture of shift motor }
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
1.Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
2.Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
3.Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
4.Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
5.Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
6.Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
7.Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_148.jpg

- If the front drive shaft turns:
For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

I am going to take a SWAG that it is 1 of 2 places, both cases the front drive shaft is locking into place.

1. The front vacuum shift motor is not moving ( vacuum or vacuum line issue ).
2. The contact plates for the shift motor are not making contact and are not signalling the GEM that the transfer case state has been changed.

I'd start with the front axle off the ground test, and see which way to go, before you start repalcing items.

Mar 27, 2011 | 2006 Ford F-150

1 Answer

My 98 f150 was in 4WD Hi this morning when I started it. Selector switch is in 2WD position. 4WD Hi light is on, hubs (or front differential) is engaged and transfer case engage. (Feel front wheel hop...


If the switch was in the 2WD position and the transfer case was locked in a 4WD range, my 2 SWAGs would be bad switch or the connector to the shift motor is damaged / corroded or the fuse to the transfer case shift relay module is blown ( fuse # 17 ) / problem with the transfer case shift relay module.

This is without knowing if the truck was used in 4WD the night prior, and shifted out just before turning off. If this is the case, the shift motor might be stuck, and a few hits with a dead blow hammer to the transfer case might jar it free again ( do not use a metal hammer, it could damage the transfer case ).

The vacuum shift solenoids on the firewall are controlled by the GEM ( Generic Electronic Module ) which is grounding either the 2WD or 4WD solenoid, depending on the shift plate contacts in the transfer case. ( when in 4 or 4H, the contact switch plate signals the GEM, which in turn grounds the correct solenoid ).

Pulling the switch will not cause the transfer case to go back to a default position, the switch has a resistance level for each mode, and needs that value to operate the shift motor.

The resistance values for the switch between the 2 dark blue wires:
2WD - 4100 to 3700 ohms
4H - 1050 to 1150 ohms
4L - 380 to 340 ohms
- find the wire locations on the switch, mark them and remove the connector to test the resistance.

Just my opinion on the order :

1. Check the fuses for the shift motor
2. Try the old school shift method, back up ~ 50' put into park or neutral, and shift from 4WD to 2WD.
2.1. This is to see if the transfer case shift motor is bound up, and reversing might release it
3. Try hammering the transfer case with a dead blow hammer while someone shifts from 2WD to 4WD. You only need the key in the run position, if it happens quick enough after running the engine, the vacuum reservoir will still have enough vac to operate the solenoids. Don't chance running yourself over.
3.1. If this frees up the shift motor and the vacuum has bled off, you can try starting the truck and shifting into 4H then back to 2WD to get the front axle to disconnect or manually vacuum operate the front disconnect motor by applying vacuum to the pink vacuum line on the shift motor on the front axle.

Mar 05, 2011 | 1998 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

KinlogworksI have A 2003 F-150 Super Crew. I have only used th4 wheel drive a few dozen times. about a mounth ago i switched it into 4 high and nothing happened. problem also in 4 low. any advise?


Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ). The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
{ picture of shift motor }
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
•Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
•Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
•Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
•Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
•Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
•Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
•Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
{ Picture of Vacuum diagram )

- If the front drive shaft turns:
•For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
•For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

Jan 18, 2011 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

2003 F-150 regular cab automatic transmission and the 4WD will not engage.


Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ).The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).


Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
- If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
- If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
{ picture of shift motor }
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
•Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
•Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
•Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
•Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
•Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
•Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
•Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_111.jpg

- If the front drive shaft turns:
•For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
•For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

Jan 10, 2011 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

2 Answers

1995 gmc jimmy will not shift out of 4wd high


sounds like the vacuum lines are either pinched or the vacuum pump is shot. try getting a mechanic look at the lines on and around your transfer case... also try checking the fuses for the 4wd selector. let me know how it goes

Dec 26, 2008 | 1999 GMC Jimmy

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