There's two styles of "axle disconnect" for the GMT360/370 vehicles.
The "4WD" version that actually disconnects the front axle in 2WD mode; and
The "AWD" version that is permanently engaged, forever and ever, Amen. The AWD version is a lower-fuel-economy, greater-wear "cost-cutting" move by GM.
If you're breaking shift-forks, I'd be looking into "why", not replacing the actuator with an AWD unit. Seems like something in the front axle/differential is binding.
The AWD "actuator" should physically fit, and provide A4WD, 4WD, and 4-Low with no option for "real" 2WD. Whether this would cause "codes", I can't tell you.
The problem is the 3" lift in the front. That's too high. I'm assuming here that that is all suspension lift. Your CV axles are at too great an angle. When the suspension unloads the axles drop too far out of the inner housing, and then when the load is suddenly placed on the suspension again the inner axle is shoved back into the housing, and if it's not properly aligned it will bind. That's why the shift forks are breaking.
If you really need to have 3" of lift up front, only lift the suspension 2" and use a body lift to get the other 1". Your axles will be much happier! And install limit straps on the front suspension. A limit strap is a piece of heavy duty webbing, much like a tow strap is made of, and installed so that the axles will not drop down too far, potentially binding and breaking the shift disconnect fork.
There are a number of good videos on YouTube about limit straps and how they are installed.
Sorry to have to say it, but I really think the underlying issue is the way your truck is set up.
Went n double checked things, it's not a 3" front. It's only a 2" with 33s. Cv axles aren't at hard angles. I bought the SS model axle disconnect, that comes without the actuator. How do I get the disconnect to engage once installed, jus splice together the actuator wires? I know it's gonna lock my front end but is it as easy as my brain is telling me?
Lmao it's jus a shitbox. Gotta make mistakes to build something better down the road. So with my LS model disconnect, it has the actuator on it. The SS model doesn't, so how do I engage the disconnect once it's in.
So did you go with the AWD fixed disconnect? Were you able to leave the old disconnect electric module unplugged and wrap up the wires? Or did it cause error codes? Didn’t know if I could leave the elec cable unplugged if I need to leave the cable plugged in and strap module to the frame somewhere?
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