Question about 1998 GMC Jimmy

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4WD does not engage.

I have a 1998 GMC Jimmy...it does NOT have automatic 4WD, the button switches are 2WD, 4Hi and 4Low.
Sometimes no indicator lights are light. At other times, the 2WD light is lit. Regardless of a light or not, the buttons do nothing. No light changes, no transmission noises/sounds of any kind. I replaced the switch and the same problem still exists.

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  • krsmechanic May 28, 2010

    check and see if thier is a cable like a throttle cable running from under the battery to the front axle that is the engage servo it is activated by vaccum and the sloenoid is there by the battery the servo for the cable is under the battery let me know so i know what system you have

  • robcurtiss3 May 28, 2010

    I'm pretty sure I have the vacuum activated system with the actuator under the battery tray. I haven't inspected the actuator yet.

  • robcurtiss3 Jun 07, 2010

    I finally got time to pull out the battery and battery tray. I did NOT see any vacuum hoses in the area, only the device that activates the 4WD and a small rectangular box with wires going to it right there next to it.

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  • 196 Answers

Depending on which transfer case you have, there will either be an electronic actuator or a vacuum actuator that engages the front differential. On the backside of the transfercase there should be a round metal tag bolted to the case. It will have a number on it that starts with NP. Either an NP241, NP246, etc. This will tell you which case you have. Grab a repair manual at an autoparts shop, and it will show you the location of the actuator for the specific case you have. If you have a vacuum actuator, check the vacuum lines going to it first before replacing it. Twelve years does a number on rubber vac lines under a vehicle. You may just have a leak in one.

Posted on May 28, 2010

  • robcurtiss3 May 28, 2010

    I did have vacuum issues in the past...it was the hose to the cruise control that had deteriorated/popped off...The symptom I had was the heat only going through the vents. Here's the strange part...after not working for 6 years of my ownership, the cruise control started working the other night! I'm glad it is fixed, but am always weary about phantom-fixes.

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