Question about 1998 Chevrolet K1500

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I cant get my front diff to unlock the trasnsfer case unlocks to nutral but diff stays on causing driveshaft to spin all the time. what could be the problem and woh can i fix it?

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The front differential does not unlock, the wheels do on some 4wd.
If your vehicle has unlocking front hubs, you will see the large mechanism at the center of the wheel, on the outside.
The best is to have manual locks that you turn by hand.
Some are electric or vacuum, but they are not as reliable.
So if the drive shaft to the front is always being spun by the wheels, then check the hub at each front wheel.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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4wd not engaging. Check actuator and seems to working properly. Jacked front end up and and when in 4wd the front tires spin freely. Any suggestions?


Does the driveshaft for the front wheels turn when in 4wd? The actuater might work but the diff lock for the front wheels might have broken. If the front driveshaft does not turn when in 4wd, the transfer case might be the problem.

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Look under there and see, but I think they (the hub locks) are engaged by vacuum motors.

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4wheel drive wont engage


First, start checking the fuses an there is also an electrial activaced switch at the transmission or transfer case that may be bad.

95-96
Your control knob should say 2wd, 4auto, 4low.

First, we need to narrow it down to a transfer case issue, or a front axle issue.
Step 1) Jack up the front end and place it securely on jack stands.
Step 2) Verify that the front driveshaft turns by hand. When turning the front driveshaft by hand, the front wheels may or may not turn. Do not be alarmed if they don't turn. This is normal for your vehicle.
Step 3) Start the vehicle and let it idle. Place your foot firmly on the brakes, place the transmission in NEUTRAL, engage 4low, then place the vehicle back in park. DO NOT ENGAGE ANY GEAR!! The lurch as the transmission engages could cause the vehicle to lurch and potentially fall off the jack stands.**If you can turn the front driveshaft, the transfer case is not locking. This could be due to a mechanical issue with the transfer case itself, or an electrical gremlin with the control system. Start a new thread with the results of your checks, and we'll go from there.
**If the front driveshaft does not turn, the transfer case is locking properly and we need to continue searching.
Step 4) With the front wheels in the air, engine idling in PARK, spin one front wheel. The other wheel should spin the opposite direction. If both wheels spin in opposite directions, then the front axle *should* be properly engaged. Take it for a test drive (after safely lowering it to the ground, of course). If the front wheels do not spin in opposite directions, there is a problem with the front axle. This could be due to a mechanical problem with the diff, or a failure of the center axle disconnect to engage the passenger side axle shaft. Start a new thread with the results of your checks, and we'll go from there.

Troubleshooting the CAD on a 95-96 is a bit more involved than I want to get into here, and the problems can vary widely. This'll get you started.


97-01 4-door and 96-00 Sports
Your control knob should say 4auto, 4high, 4low.
First, we need to narrow it down to a transfer case issue, or a front axle issue.

Step 1) Jack up the front end and place it securely on jack stands.

Step 2) Verify that the front driveshaft turns by hand. When turning the front driveshaft by hand, the front wheels should turn. (If only one turns, don't be alarmed. One wheel sometimes has more resistance in the brakes, bearings, or CV joints. This is normal)
Step 3) Start the vehicle and let it idle in PARK. Engage 4high. DO NOT PUT THE VEHICLE IN GEAR!!! Crawl underneath and see if you can turn the front driveshaft.
**If you can turn the front driveshaft, the transfer case is not locking. This could be due to a mechanical issue with the transfer case itself, or an electrical gremlin with the control system. Start a new thread with the results of your checks, and we'll go from there.
**If the front driveshaft does not turn, the transfer case is locking properly and we need to continue searching.
Step 4) With the front wheels in the air, engine idling in PARK, spin one front wheel. The other wheel should spin the opposite direction. If both wheels spin in opposite directions, then the front axle *should* be properly engaged. Take it for a test drive (after safely lowering it to the ground, of course). If the front wheels do not spin in opposite directions, there is a problem with the front axle. Start a new thread with the results of your checks, and we'll go from there.


'01-'03 Sport and '01-'05 Sport Trac
Your control knob should say 2wd, 4high, 4low

The transfer case in these trucks functions essentially like the 1st-gens' 13-54 t-case. (i.e. it uses a lockup collar engaged by the transfer case shift motor) The troubleshooting procedure is very similar, but you don't need to worry about hubs or center-axle disconnects engaging.

Step 1) Jack up the front end and place it securely on jack stands.
Step 2) Verify that the front driveshaft turns by hand. When turning the front driveshaft by hand, the front wheels should turn. (If only one turns, don't be alarmed. One wheel sometimes has more resistance in the brakes, bearings, or CV joints. This is normal)
Step 3) Start the vehicle and let it idle in PARK. Engage 4high. DO NOT PUT THE VEHICLE IN GEAR!!! Crawl underneath and see if you can turn the front driveshaft.
**If you can turn the front driveshaft, the transfer case is not locking. The shift motor could be falsely reading an incorrect t-case position, or it could be a mechanical issue with the case itself. Start a new thread with the results of your checks, and we'll go from there.
**If the front driveshaft does not turn, the transfer case is locking properly and we need to continue searching.
Step 4) With the front wheels in the air, engine idling in PARK, spin one front wheel. The other wheel should spin the opposite direction. If it does, the system should be properly engaged. Safely lower the vehicle to the ground and take it for a test drive. If the wheels do NOT spin in opposite directions, there is a problem with the front differential or axle. Start a new thread with the results of your checks, and we'll go from there.


Keep us updated.

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Drove my suburban in the driveway, tried to back out and it sounded like i hit something in the back under vehicle, there was nothing there. now vehicle will not move at all. i am getting alot of different...


1)check that the park brakes are not seized on.
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1 Answer

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You did not specify what year it is. You need to know what controls the front diff-lock, is it vacuum or electronic? If it is vacuum then you need to inspect the system for vacuum leaks and/or faulty vacuum devices (switch on transfer case, diaphragm on front diff, etc). If it is electronic you need to have it checked for codes, and/or service the differential controls found in the front diff casting.

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Chevy Tahoe 2001


Place vehicle in 4wd (high or low). This will hold the front drive shaft still for the rest of the test. Jack up the front end of the vehicle. Remove the actuator. Have a buddy spin the right front wheel while you use a long punch or screwdriver to try to manually engage the diff. The left front wheel should spin in the other direction if the diff is good. Also before you check the diff you need to grab the front driveshaft and make sure it is locked, If it spins freely when the truck is in park and in 4wd with the front end raised then problem is in transfer case. If you can't make the diff engage manually with punch then the problem is in the diff. If front diff engages manually then the problem is the actuator. Hope this helps..

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