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Front axle won't lock in

Discussion in '1983-2005 S-Series models' started by harv72, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. harv72

    harv72 Registered Member

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    Front axle won\'t lock in

    My 1996 Blazer will not lock in the front axle. I had it in a shop this weekend and we narrowed the problem down to the axle. The transfer case is engaged, the vacuum actuator is pulling the cable, and both ends of the cable were connected. We pulled off the cable on the axle house to see if we could engage it manually. The rod would only move a 1/4 inch or so either way. What could go wrong on the inside? Is it worth tearing into or should I look for a replacement front-end? Could the shift fork be "gummed" up? Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. scotty1

    scotty1 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Front axle won\'t lock in

    Sounds as if the collar won't slide onto the splines of the axle from the differental side. This is how they were able to do away with locking hubs, real great invention central axle disconect( CAD). It is possible the splines, or the collar, have become damaged. If this is the case the axle, collar may have to be replaced, the entire front drive would have to be dropped and torn apart. It may be cheaper to have a junkyard unit ready to swap in. Depends on how much it wil cost plus you will need to make sure the gear ratio matches
     
  3. Danno

    Danno 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Front axle won\'t lock in

    I've got the same problem with my '95 Blazer. Transfer case acts like it's shifting (I can get into 4Lo no problem), but the front end never engages.

    I'm just going to save up a couple grand and work on it later this fall.
     
  4. ChevBlazin

    ChevBlazin 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Front axle won\'t lock in

    Danno, I think I had the same problem on my 84 S-10. There is a vacume switch mounted on the top of the transfer case. It should have 2 or 3 lines running into it. It's a bitch spot to get to. It will unthread out of there. Thats all mine turned out to be. If you want to check go under the hood and squeze the vacume plunger (looks kinda the same as the thing for cruise control). If the shifter is engaged in 4 this should engage the front wheels too. This should narrow it down to that vacume swithch thats on the T'case.
    I think they sell those posi lock levers that will depress that plunger under the hood, because the vacume switch can be unreliable?? not sure.
     
  5. harv72

    harv72 Registered Member

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    Re: Front axle won\'t lock in

    Thanks for the information. I'm convinced that it is something inside the axle, so I'm going to save my pennies and have it worked on this summer. The local dealer wanted $275 just to open up the differential, but I found a tranny shop that will drop it out and open it up for $100. Any ideas on the cost of a junkyard unit?
     
  6. stump

    stump Registered Member

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    Re: Front axle won\'t lock in

    The junkyards that I have been to want anywhere from $50-400 bucks for a front diff. (the most common price being around $200)
     

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