Mechanics

4X4 FRONT AXLE

2002 GMC Sierra • V8 4WD Automatic • 125,000 miles

I have a 2002 gmc sierra 4x4, the front wheels will not engage when I put it in 4wd. I have a 2 inch leveling kit on the front thats the only mod. The axles are fully engaged with the front end, and the actuater on the front is engaging when 4x4 is selected what could be wrong inside the front diff thats not letting it lock in? The front shaft spins when in 4x4 but the front will not lock in? Can the plunger on the front axle not be extending enough to lonck it in? HELP! Thanks, Mark
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Mistermnkim
February 12, 2011.



Here is a description of the system for a better understanding.

Selectable Four Wheel Drive (S4WD) Front Axle Description and Operation

The Selectable Four Wheel Drive (S4WD) Front Axle consist of the following components: • Differential Carrier Housing
• Differential Assembly
• Output Shafts (Left and Right Side)
• Inner Axle Shaft Housing
• Inner Axle Shaft (Right Side)
• Clutch Fork
• Clutch Fork Sleeve
• Electric Motor Actuator

The front axle on Selectable Four Wheel Drive model vehicles uses a central disconnect feature in order to engage and disengage the front axle. When the driver engages the 4WD system, the Transfer Case Control Module sends a signal to the electric motor actuator to energize and extend the plunger inside. The extended plunger moves the clutch fork and clutch fork sleeve across the inner axle shaft and the clutch fork shaft and locks the two shafts together. The locking of the two shafts allows the axle to operate in the same manner as a semi-floating rear axle. A propeller shaft connects the transfer case to the front axle. The differential carrier assembly uses a conventional ring and pinion gear set to transmit the driving force of the engine to the wheels. The open differential allows the wheels to turn at different rates of speed while the axle continues to transmit the driving force. This prevents tire scuffing when going around corners and premature wear on internal axle parts. The ring and pinion set and the differential are contained within the carrier. The axle identification number is located on top of the differential carrier assembly or on a label on the bottom of the right half of differential carrier assembly. The drive axles are completely flexible assemblies consisting of inner and outer constant velocity CV joints protected by thermoplastic boots and connected by a wheel drive shaft.

From the symptom description, either the actuator plunger is not extending sufficiently to engage or the fork components are faulty.

KHLow2008
Feb 13, 2011.