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  1. #1

    Default four wheel drive trouble

    2002 Suburban K1500 auto/electronic transfer

    On vacation in outer banks, nc.
    No power to front wheels.

    No "service 4wd" idiot light.

    Front axel actuator is working, with front raised:Front wheel will spin in 2hi and front drive shaft does not turn. In 4hi front wheel will not rotate and front drive shaft rocks when wheel is rocked.

    Transfer shifts into all ranges, light flashes then goes solid, rear diff jumps when transfer completes shift, definately can tell when it is in low by the way the transmission shifts. Also will shift into nuetral, transmission in Park- vehiclw will roll.

    With rear raised and transfer in 4hi or 4lo, rear tires spin in the air but front have no power does not pull it off the jack. With front tires on sand and rear on pavement and in 4hi, rear tires spun of pavement- front just rolled out of sand didn't spin.

    Thought maybe the front were locking with vehicle raised but not fully, and maybe power from transfer was overpowering them. Threw a new actuator at it($120), no change.

    Wondering if the transfer motor is changing the gear range but not sending the signal to shift power to the front? That motor is $181 and a little more envolved with limited tools at a rental house.

    Any ideas suggestions greatly appreciated.

    ---------- Post added at 04:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:51 PM ----------

    Talked to a guy at a four wheel drive specialty shop, he said if everything is happening correctly electronically, switch lights work properly, transfer motor changes gear range, actuator locks in front axel, then it is the clutches inside the transfer case and it will have to be rebuilt.
    Last edited by dmatre; 08-15-2011 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Sr. Engineer ahm1127's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Pennsylvania, United States


    Having similar issues with my 05, were you able to fix it?
    Everyday I wake up is a great day! ;-)
    05' Chevy Suburban, 11' Ford Fiesta

  3. #3


    No, it was the clutches in the transfer case. With the vehicle on a lift the front wheels were driven, but could be stopped by hand. Vehicle is covered by an after market warranty, they found a transfer case from an '05 with 78k miles and had it installed at the dealer. The tech said he flushed it a couple of times with atf and then filled it with the synthetic transfer fluid. I paid a $100 deductable, I think the total was around $875. So far so good. I took it to a dirt road and punched it in 2hi and both rear wheels spun (G80 Locker) for a few seconds before the vehicle moved. Punched it in 4hi and it just drove off smooth and steady like pulling away from an intersection casually on dry pavement.

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