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Gary, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17157
Experience:  15 years GM master tech
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I have a 1999 Tahoe, when in 4x4 it seems to be slipping.

Customer Question

I have a 1999 Tahoe, when in 4x4 it seems to be slipping. Almost like missing teeth on the ring gear. how can I narrow this down? Could it be the transfer case? Or a sensor?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry for the long wait

only in 4WD it will do this ?

do you hear the noise under the truck or from the front of the truck ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
only in 4x4 and in the front
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

if you run this up in the air in 4WD can you hear the noise from the front axle itself ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a way to get all 4 tires off the ground to try this. I was hoping you could tell me if it could be the transfer case or some type of sensor
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

anytime there is this type of noise it is not a sensor

can i ask when in 4WD the 4WD works and powers the front wheels but it just makes noise ?

i am sorry for all the questions but i want to be sure to give you the correct answer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can I terminate this? I'm not happy with the service. I've already told you I think it's the ring and pinion but you keep asking questions about the front end.... I'm trying to narrow down other possibilities befor I tear apart the front end. Just please terminate the thread
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

sometimes we have to ask a few questions to be sure on your problem

if you hear this noise only in 4WD and it is from the front axle itself the issue will be the ring and pinion or possibly the front axle not fully locking into place which would make the same type of noise

that is why i asked if the 4WD will work correctly or not as it matters if it does or not

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I can't answer that at this time because I can't get the wheels off the ground to run it to see for sure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I Guess I'm just dissapointed because you haven't told me anything I didn't already know. I'm pretty mechanically inclined and work on my own stuff. I thought I'd ask a certified mechanic to help narrow it down before I tear it apart. I guess I'll chaulk it up as a loss, thanks anyway
Expert:  Gary replied 1 year ago.

ok that is fine

what you need to do is remove the drive shaft from the transfer case to the front axle if the noise goes away the noise is from the transfercase internally

if the noise is still there with the shaft out the problem will be the ring and pinion in the front axle OR the front axle is not fully locking in which is usually caused by a broken inner passenger side axle tip or the washer behind the inner axle shaft broken causing the front actuator not to be able to fully lock into 4WD as that point i would pull out the front axle actuator and see if you can fully lock the front axle by hand then the issue will be the ring and pinion or the side bearings or the pinion bearings which for any of those repairs the front axle needs to come out to be repaired

we do not know the customers skill level

i am real sorry you are disappointed but with this noise being a few things that can cause it we have to ask a few questions on the issue as we have seen so many things cause this noise and we want to be sure to narrow the issue down to the problem area without guessing

it is not cut and dry of a 100 % common oh its this or its that

if you have any questions please ask as you can always get me back for FREE through this post any time with any follow up with this question anytime even after you rate us here at Justanswer as i do not get credit for my work until you rate us here