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Old 01-30-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
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Location: Howard, Kansas USA
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Help, 1997 Z71 4X4 problems

I am about at my wits end with this truck. Here is a little background, my truck has been pretty much problem free for the past 185000, but recently started acting up, first, the transmission went out (broken sun shell) So i had it professionally rebuilt, when i got it back, everything worked as it should, but not too long after, the 4X4 stopped engaging. Figured it was the actuator, and sure enough, a new actuator solved the problem. Now today, when locked in four wheel drive, i get a pretty severe grinding noise from, what sounds like, the front end. I have only driven it 420 miles since the total rebuild.

My question, is it possible that my actuator has already went bad and isn't extending far enough, or does this grinding sound like a symptom of a larger problem? Is it possilble that the transmission guy didn't do something correctly? I also noticed that my battery may be getting a little weak, as I listened to the radio for a couple of hours in my shop, and then the next morning when i went to start it, it started a little hard, and my clock was reset to 1:00.
My truck drives just like it should in 2 hi, but grinds in both 4 lo and 4 hi.

thanks for any suggestions, this thing is killing me with all of its problems.

1969 K10 Custom 10
1997 Z71
2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2006 King Ranch
1980 Wife

Last edited by griesel72; 01-30-2010 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: Help, 1997 Z71 4X4 problems

My truck has done the same thing for the past 20,000...come to think of it, the past 20,000 with a new transmission......

1979 Chevy K10 (H/D Front end) - 350 w/ Holley Truck Avenger, Weinald Intake manifold, headers, bored .060 over, mild cam, Built up TH350 (TranStar Shift kit) with a part-timed NP203 t-case SOLD ($3,000)
1997 Chevy Silverado 1500 - 4.3 vortec, extended cab, 21 highway MPG, stock. "Red" SOLD ($3,000)
1987 Toyota 4wd Pick-up - work in progress, future DD SOLD ($1,850)
1998 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 5spd Quad cab - old 12 valve with some work done
2004 Chevy Silverado - Black, 4x4, 5.3L, stock for now

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Old 01-30-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: Help, 1997 Z71 4X4 problems

Shot in the dark here, but check the output voltage from the alt/batt. Is it running low? I wonder if low output from the charging system or battery might cause a low voltage to the actuator and it won't actuate fully? Just a thought. Also from what I remember when I worked at the parts store the actuator was somewhat universal (we only carried one for GM's that you had to splice the connection onto). Is it possible that it fit but wasn't the correct one?
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:26 PM   #4
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Re: Help, 1997 Z71 4X4 problems

It could very well be the actuator. first thing I would do is use the warranty to get a new one. Most should come with like a 90 day warranty from any of the big parts houses. Take it in and try a new one. If that fails look deeper.
If it ain't broke broke don't fix? Get a hammer.
'89 K1500, Reg. cab/long bed, 350/700r4, 285/75-16.
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