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Operation manuals Operating the 4x4 and locking differential

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Can't get my 95 Geo Trackers 4WD to work. The indicator light works still but the wheels themselves won't engage. Can anyone plz help me out with what might be my problem?


For Trackers (and Sidekicks) of this era (1989 to 1998) the front axle locking device is a locking hub on each front wheel. (There are no actuators until the model change in 1999.) Locking hubs come in two flavors, Manual and auto locking hubs. A look at the from wheel should tell you what you have. Manual hubs have a knob like lever with the word "lock" and "free." Auto hubs say "Auto-Locking" right on them. Both types of hubs require servicing periodicity. (Normally annually.) This means removing and disassembling. Then cleaning and light greasing before reassembling. There are some good videos on the web on how to service the manual hubs. Auto hubs are a little harder to ensure they are working properly, but some people like them. (Not me.)

Please note two things:
1. Due to differential action, BOTH hubs need to be locked for any power to be applied to the front wheels.
2. Trackers of this era are PART TIME 4x4, NOT all wheel drive. They have nothing providing for different wheel speeds front to back like a center differential. This means they should NOT be used on non-slippery surfaces like dry pavement. Beside causing handling and braking issues, it can destroy your transfercase driving on dry pavement in 4x4 due to what is called "driveline wind up".

PLEASE if you do not understand this, look it up... if you still do not understand, ask and do not use the 4x4 until you do.

Feb 18, 2015 | 1995 Geo Tracker

1 Answer

My 4x4 won't engage on my 98 Jimmy. Think it's a problem inside the front differential possibly.


there should be a solenoid on a front differential it could be electrical or could be vacuum operated but I would check there. I had an issue with my brother in laws 4x4 and we change the solenoid and everything worked fine

Jan 16, 2015 | GMC 98 99 00 01 Blazer S-10 Jimmy Bravada...

1 Answer

1989 chevy 2500 4x4 not engageing


front differential has a electronic modulator / actuator it engages / lock in front differential they burn out frequently I bought a manual one from my local 4X4 shop no more problems

Dec 17, 2011 | 1989 Chevrolet C/K 2500

1 Answer

It WONT lock frontend in when shifted into 4H or 4L. 4WD lights dont come on either


my Chevy C2500 has an electronic actuator / solenoid in the front differential they burn out frequently. They electronically lock up front differential. I bought a manual actuator from a 4X4 shop for $250.00 no more problem and no worry that if I had bought another electronically operated one it might burn out way back in the outback

Dec 16, 2011 | 1995 Chevrolet K1500

1 Answer

I lock it in 4x4 but dash light doesnt come on and it doesnt lock the front wheels


The system that operates the 4x4 on your truck is operated by vacuum. There is a switch on the transfer case that directs the vacuum to a vacuum motor on your front differential. verify there is vacuum being applied to the switch first. Then you need to find out if the vacuum is going to the vacuum motor on the front differential.
The 2 most common problems that happen is a stuck switch on the transfer case or a siezed vacuum motor.

Oct 30, 2009 | 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 Club Cab

1 Answer

S10 4x4 wont work


check the fuses supplying the front viscous-coupling system solenoids, there should be at least one fuse for this marked AWD or 4WD. Also the locking hubs or the front differential may be damaged from engaging 4x4 while moving.

If it is an auto then the fuse or box fluid levels are likely areas to check.

If the fuse is found to be intact, check the relays click when 4x4 is selected, and replace the necessary relay if it does not operate.

You will need the service manual for your car to locate and identify the correct electrical equipment for the 4x4 function.

Oct 24, 2009 | 1994 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

4 Answers

What is the difference between full time 4x4 and part time 4x4 on a 96 jeep cherokee


like it says full time is all the time part time disengages the one differential for slightly better fuel milage at the expense of less off road capability

Aug 03, 2008 | 1992 Jeep Cherokee Limited

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