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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > 4x4 Drivetrain

4x4 Drivetrain 4x4 Repairs & Problems

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2019, 08:35 PM
Baz Baz is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Help Required

Hi Everyone:

New to the site and have to complement you all on how helpful it has been bringing my 2008 Trailblazer LT back to life.

It appears that I have the dreaded transfer case failure as while up on a hoist with 4x4 engaged, I can grab hold of the front driveshaft with my hand and stop it from turning. (Suspect worn out clutches?)

Would it be better to rebuild or buy a used transfer case?

Your opinions would be great.

Baz
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2019, 12:27 AM
EnvoyBoy2004's Avatar
EnvoyBoy2004 EnvoyBoy2004 is offline
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2004 GMC Envoy SLT
Graphite Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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Whoa, hold your horses! This is not necessarily a transfer case problem. You need to determine if when you switch between 2WD and 4WD, you hear two motor sounds. These are the Encoder on the TC and the actuator on the front disconnect.

It would be helpful if you provide your vehicle info, mileage, service history or any other problems or indications.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:32 AM
Baz Baz is offline
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My unit is a 2008 trailblazer with 155000 km on it. The unit had been sitting for a year, and I picked it up for quite cheap.

I have so far replaced all bearings & seals in the front differential, along with the anti-sway bar mounts. (all the bearings & seals were in bad shape with the sway bar mounts broken. When engaged in 4x4, the front differential runs quite quietly.

The transfer case looks like it had been apart previously as the two cases were sealed with compound rather than a factory gasket.

I replaced the encoder motor, rebuilt the front disconnect and replaced that actuator. Both are working fine when I engage 4 wheel drive. The front driveshaft starts to spin, the front wheels turn, but in our latest winter storms, when I engage on the road, there is absolutely no help from the front wheels. (They will not spin even on glare ice) There are no issues with the indicator lights on the 4x4 system. All work fine. 2h auto 4H 4L

A local shop here suggested to me that in the real world, if I can stop the front shaft from turning while the unit is up in the air in 4 wheel drive, all things point to transfer case problems (Which makes sense to me)

So best way to describe things is that it feels as though power to the front wheels is not happening under load.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2019, 01:18 PM
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EnvoyBoy2004 EnvoyBoy2004 is offline
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So based on all this info, it might appear to be the TC. Have you tried to stop the front driveshaft while in 4HI (nor A4WD)?

Do you hear the 2 motor sounds when switching between 2HI and 4HI?

Have you looked at the condition of the TC fluid?
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:46 AM
Baz Baz is offline
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Hello Again:

There is no difference with slippage in 4h or 4L. everything appears to be working as it should except for being able to stop the front driveshaft with my hand while it is engaged. I should point out also that when I switch back to 2wd, everything disengages as it should.

I did change the transfer case fluid with GM auto trak II and what was drained out looked to be fairly recently serviced. (It was also the auto trak II which I drained out). As mentioned, I am sure this transfer case was apart once as the two cases were sealed with RTJ compound (and not a factory gasket).

I can't think of anything but a worn clutch pack that could be causing the slippage. But I am open to hear any suggestions.

I should also mention that before I changed the Transfer case shift motor (the original was no good) I was able to manually shift the transfer case to each position with very little problem with channel locks. Everything appeared to be working as it should be.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:04 PM
Baz Baz is offline
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One More thing.... has anyone had a similar issue and what was the fix?
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2019, 12:43 PM
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Lynch Lynch is offline
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Could be the motor the engages the clutches in tc. Maybe its not engaging all the way?
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:12 AM
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rcott01 rcott01 is offline
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If it was me, I would go to a pull yourself junkyard and just get another transfer case. After pulling the drive shafts and unplugging everything there are 5 bolts holding it to the trans.....then it just slides off(about a 20 min job). Around me they usually charge around $100 and you get all the motors and sensors that are attached to it. And most have a 30 warranty so if it doesn't work you can either get another or your money back. These GM 360s are very plentiful in the yards, so finding one shouldn't be a problem.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:26 AM
Baz Baz is offline
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I bit the bullet yesterday and found a used Transfer case with warranty on E bay. I am lucky enough to have a brother in law with a hoist, transmission jack so R&R will be pretty fast.

I managed to finally hunt down a clutch pack so if there is any problems with the used unit not working, I can at least re-build the original at my leisure. The used unit had 80,000 miles on it (sightly less mileage than mine) . I will keep my fingers crossed. The used unit cost me $140 bucks which is 10 bucks less than a clutch pack.

I spoke with a GM tech and he did say worn clutch packs are not unheard of with these units, but not real common problem. Bearings and case leaks are mostly the issues with the cases themselves he tells me.

As mentioned, my original unit had definity been apart at sometime in its life, but most re-build kits do not include clutch plates.

Keeping my fingers crossed here.
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