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How to ensure your 4wd is engaged?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by crahm, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. crahm

    crahm Registered Member

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    Yesterday I went back to the mud to retrieve my canoe. I engaged my 4wd but might have done it incorrectly? - I was parked in front of a tree, moved the floor lever to 4wd, backed away from the tree, turned and proceeded down the trail, getting in the mud, to go get my canoe. At the first deep crossing (2' water/mud), the truck went in and stopped. I couldn't power out. I climbed out and had my wife give it gas while I watched the tires - only the rear tires were spinning!
    I hiked about 1/2 mile, got the John Deere 78 with 4wd and then pulled my truck out. Later, I played with the lever and could feel the front act differently (limited slip in the front). So what went wrong? Thanks. PS, always know where the tractor is on the ranch!
    Charles Rahm
     
  2. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    You didn't say what T-case you have and the year of your truck isn't in your profile. Since you didn't say anything about locking the hubs, I'll assume it is an 82+ with auto hubs and a 208 transfer case. These have a tendency to "pop out" of 4HI because the lever is not quite far enough back. I find that it helps to pull the lever back to neutral and then go back forward to 4HI. You may also need to adjust the shift linkage a bit.
     
  3. crahm

    crahm Registered Member

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    My K5 is an 87 so whatever transfer case came from Chevy is still in there. I do have the stock auto hubs, and limited slips in the front and rear.
    Thanks!
     
  4. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

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    First, any time you switch directions (drive to reverse or vice-versa) the auto hubs will unlock and take some time to re-lock.

    Second, last time I got stuck, I had to shift up to 4-hi and back down to 4-lo to get the wheels pulling again. I don't know if it was the hubs or the transfer case.
     
  5. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    Get rid of your auto hubs. They disengage in reverse. I had a problem a couple of weeks ago with mine on the suburban trying to pull my boat out, they wouldnt engage at all. I tryed tapping on them to lock up, even giving it a running start and nothing. So I replaced them with superwinch manual hubs.
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    If you have auto-lock hubs that disengage in reverse (and while you're in 4WD) then your hubs are broken. They are designed to unlock ONLY if you back up while in 2WD. The "backup in 2WD to unlock" feature has created a lot of confusion about their operation. /forums/images/icons/frown.gif
     
  7. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    I know that they are supose to only unlock in reverse in 2wd, but when the get old and worn out they disengage in reverse in 4wd, or they get stuck in 2wd position.
     
  8. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    That's true. This could be a story of hubs that are starting to wear out. They can also get stuck locked.

    They will not engage in reverse, but they are supposed to stay locked in reverse. In forward, you just have to have the front driveshaft turning to engage them, whether you are moving or spinning. What you can't do is get stuck in 2WD, put the T-case in 4WD and then throw it in reverse, because the hubs will never lock.
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Make sure your 4wd is engaged when you want it by getting manual hubs. Auto hubs are junk.
     
  10. crahm

    crahm Registered Member

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    In my first post I mentioned I backed up first after putting the truck in 4wd. Then drove forward a couple hundred yards. Maybe it didn't engage the hubs then??
    What about adjustments underneath to the transfer case?
     

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