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When I'm in deep snow and need 4 wheel drive I put it in neutral and shift to 4 Lo. I can hear it shift and can feel it is in a low gear ratio, but when I put it in drive I am instantly stuck and can only see one wheel spin. The same with 4 Hi. Now, if I put it in AWD I can drive right out of the deepest snow. I can see all four wheels turning. Does anyone know if this is a common problem with envoys? Is there something I can check like an actuator? I have an 03 envoy sle 4.2L 4x4.
 

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When I'm in deep snow and need 4 wheel drive I put it in neutral and shift to 4 Lo. I can hear it shift and can feel it is in a low gear ratio, but when I put it in drive I am instantly stuck and can only see one wheel spin. The same with 4 Hi. Now, if I put it in AWD I can drive right out of the deepest snow. I can see all four wheels turning. Does anyone know if this is a common problem with envoys? Is there something I can check like an actuator? I have an 03 envoy sle 4.2L 4x4.
Do you have the locking differential (G80)? If you don't, all 4 wheels will not spin at the same time to begin with. The A4WD works by putting power to the front wheels when there is slippage with the rear wheels. Personally, I would not use 4LO to try to get out of snow. If you are spinning and still moving, I would just put it in 4HI and keep moving. But, if the 4x4 is working in A4WD, then something could be wrong. I have heard the actuators being problematic, but as far as how to check that I do not know ... I'm sure someone else will chime in with more info.
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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If it works in A4WD, but not in 4HI or 4LO, but you can hear/feel it shifting, it smells like a T-case issue... but that's not something I'm prepaired to diagnose on a couple of sentences...

Mike
 

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Exactly My Symptoms Last Winter

When I'm in deep snow and need 4 wheel drive I put it in neutral and shift to 4 Lo. I can hear it shift and can feel it is in a low gear ratio, but when I put it in drive I am instantly stuck and can only see one wheel spin. The same with 4 Hi. Now, if I put it in AWD I can drive right out of the deepest snow. I can see all four wheels turning. Does anyone know if this is a common problem with envoys? Is there something I can check like an actuator? I have an 03 envoy sle 4.2L 4x4.
Those were my symptoms last winter. I took it to a nearby dealer, and they replaced the transfer case shift motor. They charged WAY too much - $500 for the motor, 1 hour to diagnose the problem (the warranty company paid 1/2 hour) and 1/2 hour to install. I'd expect this should cost $300 - $400 at a good independant shop. $250 if you do it yourself.

-- Dan Meyer :coffee
 

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:iagree: had the same problem couple weeks ago replaced the motor and now i have 4 wheel drive
 

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Its a small world, yesterday I had pulled into an empty office buildng parking lot (not plowed) with about 4-5 inches of week old snow (kind of hard and icey. As soon as I got all four wheels in the stuff I was stuck. Put it in 4 Hi and still was stuck. 4 Lo still stuck, I could hear the hi wind in the front hubs, and feel and hear a low "clunk" when putting it in 4 Lo. Yet still stuck, I stuck my head out the window and saw the front driver side wheel not spining in either 4 Hi/Lo. Tried to rock it out with no luck. Sat for a while and thought what the hell I'll try Auto4wheel. Saw the front wheels had power and was able to get out with no problem.

Got on the forum today to post a queston about this and found this thread started today. I guess I have to get a new transfer motor then? I dont know too much about this, but could it be an "encoder" (I think its called that)?
 

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i have the same problem, when i was stuck in the snow, i put it on 4hi and i notice that the 2 oppiste tires are only spinning, one wheel on the front and the other wheel in the back. not all 4 wheel are spinning. the only way i got out is i put it at A4wd. so anybody are sure that its a transfer case motor?
 

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That is just the beauty of a vehicle WITHOUT a locking rear differential.
 

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i have the same problem, when i was stuck in the snow, i put it on 4hi and i notice that the 2 oppiste tires are only spinning, one wheel on the front and the other wheel in the back. not all 4 wheel are spinning. the only way i got out is i put it at A4wd. so anybody are sure that its a transfer case motor?
No... YOURS is working how it's supposed to work... Without the G80, the ONE rear with the least traction and the ONE front with the least traction will spin, and will spin at the same rate as each other. With the G80, both rears spin, and the one ONE front with the least traction spins. Unless you've built some hardcore off-road rig (or have a Wrangler with the Rubicon package), you will not spin all 4 tires on a slippery surface.

Mike
 

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No... YOURS is working how it's supposed to work... Without the G80, the ONE rear with the least traction and the ONE front with the least traction will spin, and will spin at the same rate as each other. With the G80, both rears spin, and the one ONE front with the least traction spins. Unless you've built some hardcore off-road rig (or have a Wrangler with the Rubicon package), you will not spin all 4 tires on a slippery surface.

Mike
So it sounds like in A4WD both front wheels engage with a jerk to get you out, just before it has time to just let one wheel spin.
 

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:iagree: I was thinkin the same thing.
 

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So it sounds like in A4WD both front wheels engage with a jerk to get you out, just before it has time to just let one wheel spin.
sort of, but not really... Keep in mind that when A4WD engages, the rear(s) tire(s) is(are) already spinning, so what you gain in insantanious traction before the one front spins up, you lose because you're already spinning a rear wheel. I'd much rather just be in 4WD to begin with.

BTW, in case there was any question about who I was replying to (in my quote), I was only replying to Boomer, saying that HIS was operating correctly... Everybody elses' to this point is jacked up. Boomer just didn't know how 4WD with open diffs worked, and thought he had a problem, even though the "symptoms" were different from the ones in this thread.

Mike
 

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I never used 4LO and we have some real deep snow here in Utah. Not having a locking dif will make a 4x4 look like a fool at times. Locking dif on a RWD or FWD car may have more luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank You "everyone" for the incredibly informative responses to my first thread ever on this amazing website. I am very pleased with all the answers and they were very helpful.:thx
Now I have alot more questions: like the codes on the sticker in the glove box. I cannot find a code,G80 or NP8. I found a GT4 and a NP5. I wonder if this indicates that my envoy "doesn't" have the G80 gear???:confused:
Obviously, I will call the GM dealer with my VIN and request the correct part number for the "encoder motor" before purchasing one. I see that once you buy it it's not returnable.
Again,:thx:thx:thx, all your answers are great!
 

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Thank You "everyone" for the incredibly informative responses to my first thread ever on this amazing website. I am very pleased with all the answers and they were very helpful.:thx
Now I have alot more questions: like the codes on the sticker in the glove box. I cannot find a code,G80 or NP8. I found a GT4 and a NP5. I wonder if this indicates that my envoy "doesn't" have the G80 gear???:confused:
Obviously, I will call the GM dealer with my VIN and request the correct part number for the "encoder motor" before purchasing one. I see that once you buy it it's not returnable.
Again,:thx:thx:thx, all your answers are great!
If it doesn't have a G80 code on it, you don't have the locking diff...

Make sure you say the electric motor on the transfer case... There are several encoder motors, and I'm not sure if the motor on the front diff is also called an encoder motor... I'd just leave the "encoder" part off, and just say "the electric motor on the transfer case, that engages the front drive shaft" if it was me...

Mike
 

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Thanks Mike, I'll remeber that. I don't plan on replacing the part until it warms up. I'll be posting a thread as soon as I replace it and let everyone know how it goes. :thumbsup:
 
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