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Got this question in an email.

I was driving it down the highway on a rainy night and I wanted to engage the 4x4 just to keep everything moving. When I changed from 2HI to 4HI, my revs shot up and there was a bunch of grinding noises. I threw it into neutral and pulled onto the shoulder. When I walked around it, I could smell burning but everything else checked out. I got back in and put it back into 2HI and drove home, no problem. I tried 4HI again when I got home and it would not move; I could feel the engine rev and it would try to go forward, but it was like I was against a brick wall.

I left it for a day and then tried it again in 4HI, this time it would move but there were grinding noises, put it back into 2HI and it was fine. All this happened right before Christmas so I could only get it in to the Dealer around the corner from my house L. I went to bring it in and even in 2HI it was now grinding! They took a look at it said they needed to drop the front transfer case to see what was wrong. When they dropped the case, the fluid was pitch black, smelled burnt and they said the clutches were shot (along with the plates, seals, etc). I found a rebuilt front transfer case for half of what they wanted and they put that in for me. They went to road test it and now they think that the front differential has problems too! They ran through the transfer case while it was up on the hoist and they said it was smooth and quiet. The noise (they say) is definitely coming from the front differential… They said that they would have to drop it before they could asses what the problem is (10hr remove and reinstall without the parts and overhaul).

Have you ever heard of this problem before or be able to shed any light on it for me? I’m not sure if it is worth while to shop around for chevy differential parts as I’m not even sure what it may need yet. Do you have any idea of $$$ for differential repairs?
 

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After owning a 1988 Full size blazer (getting out and locking hubs) and pulling lever into 4x4 (clunk with authourity). I can atest that these new trailblazers are a wee bit on the wimpy side. With all these vacuum switches and electric switches. Mine acts rather goofy from time to time too. Not having a true transfer case and front axel...who knows. My buddy always wants me to go trail riding. I always think ya thats a one way trip to the dealership$$$.
...did you hear that...unplugged just called me a city slicker. LOL
 

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I'm not getting all the clunking - yet, but I think I'm having similar issues. I could smell mine through my heater fan (or AC -tried them both). I had the burnt differential fluid changed and it stunk horribly. It's at the dealer now to figure out what's going on. I will post the results when I get them. I'm thinking something (other than the fluid) burnt in the differential - I'm sure it's going to cost me a pretty penny to fix this one though. My 'situation' is posted under "differential issues?". I'm just trying to figure this one out, since I don't want the mechanics at the dealership to charge me my first born.
 
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