Push button 4wd vs Stick 4wd ~ Chevy Silverado

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by ChevyFan, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Well, I did some thinking about it and I went and sat in that truck again. I've got mixed thoughts about this.

    Why I want a lower trim level
    First off, I'm looking for a lower trim level, this is so I can add accessories myself. I'll talk about this in the other thread I started on this topic.

    Reasons For NOT wanting a floor-shift 4WD.
    Really, 95% of the time I do not need 4WD. When I need it will be 1) bad weather, 2) when I start to look for land out of the city to build a homestead on, 3) going on vacation up in the mountains a couple of weeks each year, 4) we plan on getting into more stuff next year like camping, boating, etc. That will take me to places off the beaten path more. So, the idea of a push-button or rotational-dial 4WD 4x4 selector means that I get that floorspace back.

    Reasons For wanting the floor-shift 4WD.
    Well, just because it is manual and if I do decide to do more off-roading in the future ... which may be a real possibility, then I'll just have to reach down and throw it into gear. I've read antidotes from people on both sides of the issues on this so there can be failure in both systems, but they're rare in post-2001 Silverados. However, there are less parts and electronic components that can possibly fail with a manual system.

    Thoughts on upgrading later?
    In theory, if I got a less-expensive and less-equipped truck, say a WT work truck with all power options except for the 4WD selector. Wouldn't you think that if leg and foot space really did become an issue that I would be able to buy the parts to turn it into an electronic 4WD system? I'll check with my people at the GM Dealerships that I go to ... and I could be hopelessly naive on this, maybe it takes a module or controller upgrade, I don't know. Essentially they're the same systems except there is a solenoid system that is activated by the dial (and a module I'm sure) that will control the transfer between 2WD N 4HI and 4LO.
  2. Boonduff

    Boonduff Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    I may be wrong, but aren't the electric shift transfer cases all Auto-Trac cases, and the manual shift cases are part-time.
  3. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    When I put my truck into 4x I don't hear anything. I knew it was in casue I was on the beach and punched it both front and back dug.
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Could be, I'd like to learn more on this. I just asked a contact i have who runs a GM parts department said he has no idea ...

    Edit: typos
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  5. the phantom

    the phantom Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    How does he ruin it???:lol:That was kind of a funny mistype.
  6. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I have replaced shift solenoids on 3 different trucks and a switch on another one this year.
  7. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    You've seen more fail in one year than I've seen fail in a lifetime. Yikes!
  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I've had both electrically switched and lever actuated, cant say one has left me stranded more than the other. I do prefer a lever though, nothing says low four wheel drive better than shifting the lever and hearing the gears engage.
    Now if they'd just come back with locking hubs too.
    On newer trucks swapping from lever actuated to electrically switched isnt as easy as putting in the switch's, it's a transfer case swap along with having the computer programmed and a few additional servo's and wiring. About 2 days labor all together.
    The final drive gear ratio on the two cases is slightly different too, so you have to take that in account also.

    One other issue with the electrically actuated case is if you ever decided to build an extreme off-road truck you cant use any of the doubler or expander T-cases on the electrical switched case, theres compatibility issues and you need to swap to a lever actuated case to do that.

    Not that you'd ever think of selling your truck but one with an electrically switched case has a little better resale and is easier to get rid of, people have gotten lazy and dont like to reach down and shift anymore.
  9. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I won't buy ANYTHING with "Feminine Four Wheel Drive" unless it is SOOO cheap that I can't pass it up!
  10. RAV52202

    RAV52202 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I prefer the Stick over the electronic. I do like the 4 auto, that was nice when i had it. I miss the center console though, because of the stick.

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