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I'll Direc your TV
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Still working on different things on my truck. This issue has been around a while, but since I rarley drive it other than to Home Depot, it's been on the side burner.

96 K1500, Auto, floor shift T case. The 4x4 actuator is not the stock thermal one, I repalced it a few years ago with an electric one, and added in the extra wire harness that the electric actuator needs.

The 4x4 does not engage when put into 4, the T case engages ( in two the front drive shaft spins freely, in 4 it is locked in gear). I replaced the actuator thinking that was the culprit, though I did not have a blown fuse. Then went looking for a broken wire and found a few spots that were bad but not broken. Replaced the Transfer Case Switch yesterday and still no 4x4. No fuse blown either.

I'm not sure where to even keep looking at, tempted to just wire the actuator to a toggle switch.

This just popped into my head, does the 4x4 indicator light on the floor shifter have anything to do with it? As in does it need to be good to continue power or something like that?

EDIT: Also forgot to mention, that after changing the actuator, I actually tested to see if power was being sent to it. It was not, only about 2 or 3V was coming into the actuator with the truck in 4, that is what lead me to think it was the t case switch. I found a corroded connector on there from when I originally added in the electric actuator, replaced it all with good solder connectors. I did not check for power after that, but everything from that point to the actuator should be fine (barring bad "new" parts).
 

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Axle breakin' 101
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3,119 Posts
Dont they make a cable operated kit just for this reason? I remember it used to take forever for my '91 Sonoma front end to engage so i made a cable actuator with a locking pull cable/choke cable thingy.
 

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I'll Direc your TV
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8,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
How difficult is it to go back to "the old way"? Meaning, the stock thermal one.
Pretty simple, just buy the thermal actuator, remove the little harness that came with the kit for the new electric one. Though that may work, but it's going backwords...but i guess if it gets me working 4x4 :confused:

Dont they make a cable operated kit just for this reason? I remember it used to take forever for my '91 Sonoma front end to engage so i made a cable actuator with a locking pull cable/choke cable thingy.
I remember seeing those for about $100 a while ago. I wanted to keep the system working like it was meant to, but maybe that's what i'll have to do.

Seems like all I do is chase electrical gremlins on this thing

EDIT: Found it. $159, they're not giving them away. https://www.lmctruck.com/1988-98-chevy-gmc/cd-1988-98-front-differential-cable-lock-kit
 

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Axle breakin' 101
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3,119 Posts
Pretty simple, just buy the thermal actuator, remove the little harness that came with the kit for the new electric one. Though that may work, but it's going backwords...but i guess if it gets me working 4x4 :confused:



I remember seeing those for about $100 a while ago. I wanted to keep the system working like it was meant to, but maybe that's what i'll have to do.

Seems like all I do is chase electrical gremlins on this thing

EDIT: Found it. $159, they're not giving them away. https://www.lmctruck.com/1988-98-chevy-gmc/cd-1988-98-front-differential-cable-lock-kit
Yah but that way you know its engaged.
 

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Registered
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1,119 Posts
Just do the slip over and lock the front axle in. yes your drive shaft will turn all the time . your transfer would allow it to rotate freely. But you will not have to worry about it be locked in or not.
 

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Gustafson
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9,048 Posts
Pretty simple, just buy the thermal actuator, remove the little harness that came with the kit for the new electric one. Though that may work, but it's going backwords...but i guess if it gets me working 4x4 :confused:



I remember seeing those for about $100 a while ago. I wanted to keep the system working like it was meant to, but maybe that's what i'll have to do.

Seems like all I do is chase electrical gremlins on this thing

EDIT: Found it. $159, they're not giving them away. https://www.lmctruck.com/1988-98-chevy-gmc/cd-1988-98-front-differential-cable-lock-kit
Yah but that way you know its engaged.
I agree
 

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I'll Direc your TV
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8,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So, I have yet to address this problem any further, but the last storm and almost getting stuck in my driveway made me want to.

Had a thought last night, does the 4x4 bulb in the floor panel have to be working in order for the power to be sent to the t case switch? As in if the bulb is burned out, the 4x4 wont work?
 

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Hang all the thieves
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1,664 Posts
I've heard of situations where things like that have been true, but I cant recall if it applies to your truck. Otoh, at least a bulb would be a cheap part to throw at it.
 

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offensive 2 the sensitive
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2,834 Posts
So, I have yet to address this problem any further, but the last storm and almost getting stuck in my driveway made me want to.

Had a thought last night, does the 4x4 bulb in the floor panel have to be working in order for the power to be sent to the t case switch? As in if the bulb is burned out, the 4x4 wont work?
Id check to see if the bulb is getting power. If its not then its likely not getting a signal that its in 4x4 which would also mean its not getting a signal to engage the front axle. Worn out internals in the case maybe.
 

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Skymaster
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2,514 Posts
I put one of the posilock cables on my old 2nd gen dodge. Best thing ever. No guessing if 4wd will work and you also get 2 low.
 

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I'll Direc your TV
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8,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Ended up purchasing a Posi-Lock kit for the truck, I wanted to keep it factory, but I do like the idea of getting rid of all the electronics.

Have not had a chance to install it yet, will post some pics when I do in case someone has a similar issue and goes the same route.

On a side note, I have two electric 4x4 actuators for sale. If I can find it, I have a brand new wire harness to swap over from the old thermal actuator to electric, and I will be taking off the one from my truck now.

$50 for actuator and new harness
$30 for actuator and used harness
 

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I'll Direc your TV
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8,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Got the PosiLoc installed last weekend. It went ok, took a lot longer than I should have, I think. The system seems ok, some parts are built nice and stout, but others are just zinc plated steel. Not sure it's really worth the $125 I paid for it, but since they're the only game in town for it...

Here's the pics of the install, disregard the random wire that looks like it's plugged in to the lever...it's just an extra that dropped down :sonicjay:



https://postimages.org/





I greased the rod that engages the diff, and sprayed everything down with WD40, I plan to respray everything each time I change the oil to help stave off rust for as long as possible. The system seems to work great, and I have 4x4 again. It's pretty simple to use, push in the red button and pull the lever out to engage the diff for 4x4.

Time will tell if it lasts, but looking at it and it seems that if you keep regular fresh grease and lube on everything, it should last. quite a few small parts that are just zinc plated though.
 

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Hang all the thieves
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1,664 Posts
Do yourself a favor, and grab a can of Fluid Film. It'll hang on longer than the WD40.
 

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I'll Direc your TV
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8,437 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Do yourself a favor, and grab a can of Fluid Film. It'll hang on longer than the WD40.
I thought about that the next day, while watching a video of a guy using fluid film to coat a trailer.

Gonna pick up a can today

Also, you can just peak the new frame that was sanded and coated. I will endeavor to get more pics of it as well
 

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Banned
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7 Posts
suggestion

In the event that I can discover it, I have a fresh out of the plastic new wire tackle to swap over from the old warm actuator to electric, and I will be removing the one from my truck now.
 
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