1997 K1500 4x4 problem

Discussion in 'Chevy C/K Truck Forum' started by Beck9018, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Beck9018

    Beck9018 New Member

    I have a 1997 K1500 that doesnt seem to work properly in 4 low or 4 high. It will shift into both but when its in either it doesnt move forward or reverse that easy. It rolls for about 5-10 feet then locks up if I'm moving forward like someone puts the brakes on. If i try to push the gas to make it move it act like it doesn't want to. Any ideas what could cause this?
  2. Boonduff

    Boonduff Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    If it acts normal in 2wd the problem is in the transfercase. To check set the parking brake and block the wheels. Remove both driveshafts place transmission in nuetral and transfercase in 4wd. The output shafts should spin by hand, if they don't it confirms a problem. It is most likely a chain or a shifting problem. These transfercases are very easy to rebuild, other than normal tools you'll need a good set of snapring pliers. You can search the web for rebuild kits or individual parts and a service manual. Good luck
  3. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the club.
  4. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    A couple of things I would check:

    Are you doing this on pavement while turning? That kind of behavior is normal under those circumstances (until something breaks).

    Wheels all the same size? That kind of tension can be caused by wheels of different sizes.

    Any chance someone has rebuilt/replaced one of the differentials and not matched gear ratio?
  5. Beck9018

    Beck9018 New Member

    Alright one thing i forgot to mention is that I had already replaced the transfer case with a used one out of a suburban in much better condition because of another problem i was having. It did this same thing when I had the last transfer case in so I dont think its the transfer case itself unless they both have the same problem; and no all the tires are the same size all around and it does this in a straight line. The gear ratios are exactly the same on the front and the rear. (3.73) I'm thinking either the actuator on the front axle isn't fully doing its job or the shift motor isnt working properly, but not sure on that.

    ---------- Post added at 04:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:36 PM ----------

    @Boonduff- Thanks for the reply. I tried what you said and here's my results. The rear shaft spins absolutely fine, the front shaft spins normal if I spin it clockwise (facing the rear of the truck), but doesnt spin very easily when I rotate it counter-clockwise but it does rotate, what that means I don't know.
  6. Chevrolet

    Chevrolet New Member

    Same problem on both transfer cases sounds unlikely. And the front axle actuator shouldn´t be able to cause this problem. To me it sounds like it´s the front differential wich is the problem. Lay down under the car while in 2WD mode and turn the front propeller shaft. If it stops after a few turns in either way, that´s what stops your truck from rolling. Then the problem is the front diff. Hope not, but sounds like it to me...
  7. ShadowRejects

    ShadowRejects Rockstar 100 Posts

    This is the stragest issue ive ever heard of LOL. well i dont think it would be the drivetrain because even in 2wd all the components move up front. Unless you have a free-wheeling hub. Jack up your truck on the front and make sure the diff works by spining the tires. Then with the help of two people (if this is possible for yall) move both the front tires in a forward motion to get the components moving. Just to see if it isnt locking up or straining. But my guess is it's the transfer case not going fully into gear. But i may be wrong
  8. Chevrolet

    Chevrolet New Member

    Yes you are wrong. At least when you say that everything moves up front even when in 2wd. the front propeller shaft together with the diff should turn independently of the wheel drive shafts when in 2wd. The front axle actuator disengages the drive shafts from the diff when in 2wd.
    If the tranfercase doesn´t go fully in gear I dont think it would not act like this way either because when my transfercase is not fully in gear it pops into 2wd when I´m getting traction.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  9. Boonduff

    Boonduff Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    Actually you are wrong. The front actuator only disconnects the passenger side inner axle. The driver side cv shaft is always connected to the differental.
  10. Chevrolet

    Chevrolet New Member

    Really? Didn´t know that. I´m sorry. But any way, if one shaft is disengaged, the other one won´t turn the differential carrier and the propeller shaft, it will only cause the differential gear wheels to turn in the differential carrier. So in Beck9018´s case, it could be a ring/pinion failure, since he has changed the transfer case, but the problem remained. Or it could be a differential gear wheel failure, then it would turn the whole carrier and propeller shaft even when in 2wd, but then the problem would appear even in 2wd, when turning.
    Have you found he problem yet or scrapped the car? :glasses:

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