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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I've got a 2000 1500 with the manual 4wd lever on the floor and my 4wd doesn't work. When I put it in 4wd I get a light on the dash that shows 4wd but it isn't engaging. Doesn't make any funny sounds or anything. I read if the actuator is bad you won't get a 4wd light on the dash so i'm not sure if that rules out the actuator or not. What's the easiest way to check the actuator?

thanks
 

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Do you feel the 4wd engage? My 2003 lets me know when it happens; sometimes it feels like I'm being rear-ended. It does have the push-button, being an SLT model.
 

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If you have a garage, park the truck in there with your window down and leave the key on ignition (not accessory) but with the engine still off. Shift the lever from 2 to 4 high and you should be able to hear the axle actuator. It sounds like a little electric servo because that's pretty much what it is. With the engine running, you more than likely cant hear the servo getting power. The 4x4 light is dependant on the servo getting power. Its possible it may be getting power but may be stuck and not engaging the front axle.
This is not to be confused with the encoder motor on the auto transfer cases.
If it sounds like that is engaging, and your transfer case lever feels like its shifting right, them either something major is broke in it, or you're actually in 4 wheel drive and can't tell. It should go in and out of 4 high on the fly smoothly without making any noise or clunks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a friend sit in the cab this weekend and go from 2 to 4high like you suggested. with myself under the car I can hear the motor making noise, just like a servo like you suggest however 4wd is not engaging. With me outside the car and my buddy going back and forth I can see the front driveshaft spinning when 4wd is engaged, and not spinning when 2wd is engaged.

Is it possible I have a bad or weak actuator? perhaps it is making noise and not pushing the pin in because it is not longer powerful enough?
 

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With your buddy shifting it in to 4hi try tapping on it, it could be stuck from not getting used. As far as testing it I don't believe there is one other then short of pulling it off and then hitting it with 12 volts to see if it kicks.
 

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remove the actuator from front diff and there will be a metal slug or puck some call it you'll see in the hole. use a big screwdriver or ratchet handle and stick in the hole and push in with reasonable force and you should feel the slug plunge back about an inch or so. then have someone rotate front driveshaft while you push in on the slug and see if front diff is MECHANICALLY capable of engaging. front wheels should then spin too if engaged. if no then you have internal front diff problems. if yes then replace actuator motor on front diff after making sure power and grounds are good and not have high resistance. the light on dash is lit by the switch made into the front actuator when its fully extended out and locked, not by the switch on t-case, switch on t-case is what sends power to the front actuator.
 
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