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Old 03-13-2017, 10:42 PM   #1
LBJ
1977 Bonanza/'04 Silverado Z71
 
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2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

This is the last year for the manual 4WD selector on the hump. Been working fine till now. Got out in the sticks over the weekend and tried to engage 4WD Low range but the shifter was stuck in 2WD. With lots of attempts to make it engage, finally went in low range 4WD but still had trouble moving into other selections. I could hear some gears grinding in some of the attempts to change modes.

Now, before Thanksgiving 2016, a guy rear-ended me which only caused some light sheet metal and bumper damage. I was able to drive the truck for another month without any hiccups and turn it over to the repair shop for new bumper and paint. Never sensed any trouble with the drive-ability of the truck. Could the rear-ending have damaged the 4WD system? Auto Transmission, not manual shift, by the way.

I've never paid attention to see if the shift linkage is outside the tranny system so don't know if the selector is internal to the transmission or outside. Just wonder if it just needs some grease and adjustment? I'm gonna be pissed at myself for not checking the 4WD before I got the truck fixed for ALL damages and closed out the claim on the other guy's insurance, if the wreck damaged the 4WD.

Thanks for your ideas. LBJ
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:01 PM   #2
95 S_Trucker
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

Its possible stuff could have shifted in the collision. You'll have to inspect the linkage. Have someone shift the lever through all positions. Look at the linkage while they are shifting. Look for binds/bends.

Another option is to unhook the linkage at the transfer case. Then see if you can move the shifter freely.

FYI, they had floor shift 4wd up until 2014.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:16 PM   #3
LBJ
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

95S, Since I was in Fort Worth today, I stopped by the Chevy Dealer I bought it from. It was lunch time and mechanics were gone to eat for longer than I wanted to wait around. I'll get back to it one day soon, next time I'm in Fort Worth. Yes, maybe something got torqued a bit.

When I bought it in 2004, the Salesman told me it was the last year for the 2WD/4WD floor selector and also last year for rear disc brakes. He said that the 2005's had already gone to pushbutton 4WD selection. So, that's what I am going on.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:44 PM   #4
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

I crawled under the truck this afternoon. Looked at the 2WD/4WD shift linkage - nothing bent or broken. No visible damage to the frame or anything that I could see. I did test it again earlier today and to try to shift into 4WD Hi Range, all I got was a grinding of gears when I pushed it forward. Never engaged the Hi Range 4WD due to grinding noise.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

I've been able to get the floor selector lever into 4WD Low Range fairy easy. Still hard to move into 4WD High Range, but I can get in there by putting the transmission into Neutral and then pushing it pretty hard. Kind of grinds the gears, but it goes. Still not sure what's going on, but all I really ever need in the 4WD Low Range out in the boonies.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

I have been able to get the floor shift lever into all 4WD ranges by using it briefly almost every time I drive the truck. I made a mistake in saying it would go into Low Range 4WD easily when it was actually High Range 4WD. But, now I can get it into Low Range by putting the tranny in Neutral and then moving the shift lever forward. I think the collision may have affected it to some degree, but it still works. Maybe by also not regularly using the 4WD very often could factor in as well.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:42 PM   #7
dennislbrooks
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

My 2006 is manual on the hump and my 2015 Duramax is manual on the hump. I did not want to pay the extra $325 or so for the option, however with an auto trans it may be easier getting out of 4Lo. Probably easier just turning the truck off. Both are WTs.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:43 PM   #8
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

Hi Dennis, does your lever sound like it's grinding the gears when you try to put it in 4WD Low Range? Mine does, and to actually get it in Low Range 4WD I have to cram it forward pretty hard, even having the tranny in Neutral. I hate to grind the teeth off the gears, so, next time I have to use 4WD I'll just go with High Range 4WD.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:34 PM   #9
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

Usually if I have a need for 4L, I am in Park, and yes I get a clunk when engaging. Nothing that concerns me. Not sure why with the auto trans it is like something holds the 4L from shifting back to N -- in Park or Neutral on auto trans. It is a struggle. There is nothing wore out as I only use any 4wd maybe 4 times a year.

I have no problem with 4H.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
LBJ
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

OK, well, this is the first 4WD truck for me. Now seems to be working normally which is a good thing.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:42 AM   #11
LBJ
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

Update on my 4WD problem. To keep the 4WD working smoothly, I routinely shift into HI Range 4WD every time I pull into my (long) driveway. It goes into HI 4WD even while rolling. For LO Range 4WD, I have to stop, put the tranny in Neutral (to keep the gears from grinding) and move the shift lever all the way forward. But, it still goes into gear. Like all things mechanical, you need to use them regularly or lose them!
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:30 PM   #12
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Re: 2004 Silverado 4WD Lever is Hard to Engage 4WD

I have the exact same problem with my 2500hd, I use 4hi pretty frequently but nothing more than backing up a stone hill, no abuse. I get grinding gears when I try 4low, even with the transmission in neutral. I didn't try to cram it into 4low just becuase my luck it would ruin the transfer case.
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