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Jerry Newton
Jerry Newton, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4830
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, L1, Master GM Technician. Over 20 years of bumper to bumper GM experience.
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Equipped with electronic selection 4WD and electronic 60

Customer Question

Equipped with electronic selection 4WD and electronic 60 series OD trans. Light does not alway illuminate on switch and recently, coming out of AWD, I heard grinding when going into 2wd while stopped. Seems as if the front axle or transfer case is between somewhere. Do I need a switch, an actuator, a shifter part or what? What do you think? I am unclear as to how this operates and where the action is located.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 months ago.

I can explain how this system works, and then you can use that information to find the cause of this noise.

When you shift to 4WD, two things occur: one, the transfer case makes a shift that engages the front driveshaft, and two, the front axle engages. The front axle has a disconnect on the right side, when in 2WD, the front wheels are not locked together through the differential. In 4WD, there is an electrical actuator that moves a lockring and locks the two halves of the right front axle shaft together. Both of these things have to happen for 4WD to work.

The transfer case shift is usually seamless and noiseless, aside from maybe a light clunk. The front axle shift is generally very quiet and not noticeable. If it's making a grinding noise, you need to try to determine whether it's coming from the front axle, in front of the truck, or from the transfer case, which is basically under the driver's seat under the truck. Once you determine which component is making noise, we can determine what to do about it.