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1997 GMC Z71 Front Axle

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by roscoe, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. roscoe

    roscoe Newbie

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    "Dad I didn't do anything!!" The front transfer case was replaced as the original was split open. Engaging four wheel drive results in a flashing 4HI or 4 LOW indicator light. I jacked the truck up completely off the ground and ran it in four wheel drive. The front wheels were motionless despite the front driveshaft turning. I can get a used front axle for $200.00 at a local recycler. I just have to determine geat ratio. I will disassemble the original before I purchase a replacement to see if it would be cheaper to repair. It looks pretty straight forward. Can I just unbolt the axle from the frame, disconnect a couple plugs, remove the front driveshaft and CV joints?? Any advice?? Thanks!!
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    if the fornt axle is not turning i would look into the actator first, they will cause that and are a lot easier and cheaper to replace
     
  3. ct85k10

    ct85k10 1/2 ton status

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    x2 those trucks had a problem with the thermal actuater if you are going to be using 4wd a lot you might want to look into one of these
    http://www.4x4posi-lok.com/app_chevy-k.html
     
  4. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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  5. roscoe

    roscoe Newbie

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    The actuator in the transfer case is working fine. I wasn't aware of any actuator in the front differential. The Haynes manual I have doesn't illustrate the internals to the differential. Anyone know of a website that may have the schematic I need?
     
  6. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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  7. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    the actuator is on the outside of the front pumpkin, on the top side i believe, should be a black shield around it..
     
  8. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Also it's the only thing on the front differential with wires going to it.
     
  9. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    here's a front diff from a 93 K1500, you can see the actuator running parallel with the passenger side axle tube. this angle is like you would be looking at it from the base of the radiator support as it sits in the truck.

    there is a switch on the transfer case that tells the front diff that it is engaged, leave the switch unplugged and it should act just like a normal solid axle transfer case, and engage when you put the shifter in 4hi. might check your actuator, as well as the switch on the TC, i believe it is on top of the TC.

    IMAG0462.JPG
     
  10. guz71

    guz71 1/2 ton status

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    that little round box with the wires coming out of it. The old thermal actuators are notorious for going out, i would go with the posi lock, its a pretty easy swap. Im pretty sure you dont even have to take the differential apart or pull the axle. Ive heard of those thermal acutators going out(when in engaged into 4wd) if you get in some really cold water even.
     
  11. roscoe

    roscoe Newbie

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    I guess I do not have clearance to view your picture. My front axle has two sets of wires going to it. I recognize what you are referring to. It is on the passenger side of the housing. Can I pull it without draining the axle?
     
  12. guz71

    guz71 1/2 ton status

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    im not sure about that, try to find posi locks website. I remember reading an article on there how to remove the factory actuator and replace it with the posi lock.
     
  13. guz71

    guz71 1/2 ton status

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  14. kwissman

    kwissman 1/2 ton status

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    There is also a known problem with the switch on the dash. I had mine replaced under warranty as it was doing the same type of thing.
     
  15. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    the "switch in the dash" didnt come out until later in the run, most of the earlier versions were still floor shifted.
     
  16. roscoe

    roscoe Newbie

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    I pulled the actuator and applied 12vdc to it for about 20 minutes. It did warm up as it is supposed to but did not extend. I had a 40% off coupon for NAPA so I bought a new actuator, installed it and it works fine. I guess after the one year warranty runs out and the thing fails again, I'll replace it with a posi-lock provided I still own the truck. Thanks for all the help!!!
     
  17. OrangeCrushK10

    OrangeCrushK10 1/2 ton status

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    I wish Posi-lok made a kit for the old Grand Wagoneer's with selectable front D44. I could really use one.
     

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