Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Front Disconnect AWD Sleeve / Grease Fitting / Poor Mans Mod

G80, GU6, GT4, GT5, WTF? This section is for gearing and driveline stuff.

by Trail X » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:51 pm

First up, the poor man's disconnect mod.

It's really simple. See that little bolt with two nuts on it in the picture below? That is inserted into the actuator plunger hole, and it keeps the fork engaged at all times. Basically it acts like the AWD sleeve does, but crappier. The only down side is that it does throw a service 4WD light every time you put it into 4WD, because the plunger is not allowed to actuate all the way.

Image

One way around that last issue is to fabricate a plate to go over the actuator opening, and just using a longer bolt to perform the same function. As a result though, the actuator must be mounted/hung elsewhere in the chassis.

After a teardown of using this method for a year and a half, the parts seem to be wearing normally, and the needle bearings seem to be in good shape. After the prior year and a half of equivalent use, but without this "poor man" mod, my bearings had died - for a second time. Anyways, here are the pictures from the poor man mod teardown. Pretty good overall.

Image

Image

This time, rebuilding for the disconnect for the 4th time, it was fixed the right way:

This is the AWD sleeve from the Bravada. GM part number 12471636. Really just putting that there for people to find in the future. Cheapest I could find it was about $70.

Image

The last item I wanted to play with was adding a grease zerk, to allow greasing of the two outer bearings without taking the CV out, or taking the disconnect apart. There's a perfect spot on the outer collar.

Drilled a 7/32" hole. The zerks seem to be 1/4-24 thread.

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I didn't have a tap for fine thread, so I only tapped one thread worth (to get a bite), and then had to force the zerk in to place.

Image

This is where the fitting drops the grease:

Image

Mounted, the zerk is accessible without removing anything:

Image
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by Gordinho80 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:00 pm

Awesome! I'll most likely be adding a zerk to my disconnect. Not running the AWD Sleeve this time around... as my breakdown has already gotten pretty costly. I am doing the poor man's sleeve, though. I am capping my actuator hole and hanging it somewhere out of the way.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:07 pm

Great idea on the zerk.
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by Moots1288 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:27 pm

Seen this before.. Glad JD did the write up on it, great idea. I'll probably be doing it also.. One day when boredom sets in.
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by Trail X » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:32 pm

Moots1288 wrote:Seen this before..


Really? Not trying to pass the idea off as my own if it isn't, but I really hadn't seen this before.
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by navigator » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:50 pm

great info JD. I still need to pull off my disconnect and inspect/re-grease.
I have new hubs that should arrive today. I might do it all at one time.
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by Moots1288 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:58 pm

JamesDowning wrote:
Moots1288 wrote:Seen this before..


Really? Not trying to pass the idea off as my own if it isn't, but I really hadn't seen this before.

Some kid on Instagram.. It was his dads idea to install a grease fitting after he had an exploding 4WD.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:06 pm

The guy that wont use facebook gets ideas from instagram....hmmmm maybe I need to check out this instagram thing. I was hoping it would go away like I keep hoping twitter will.
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by Moots1288 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:13 pm

HARDTRAILZ wrote:The guy that wont use facebook gets ideas from instagram....hmmmm maybe I need to check out this instagram thing. I was hoping it would go away like I keep hoping twitter will.

Hahah why you got to hate! Instagram is different then Facebook... You should use Instagram. But none the less it's a good idea and good write up James
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by bgwolfpack » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:26 pm

JamesDowning wrote:
Moots1288 wrote:Seen this before..


Really? Not trying to pass the idea off as my own if it isn't, but I really hadn't seen this before.


Post subject: Re: Front Axle 4WD Disconnect

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:18 pm





It's almost too bad you couldn't drill and tap a Zerk fitting in the case.

You didn't see it but, it was brought up. :angry whip:
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by Trail X » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:50 pm

Sweet... yep, I guess I did see it. Must have been mulling around in my head for the past 3 years and I forgot it's genesis. Randy - is your kid on instagram?
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by bgwolfpack » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:54 pm

No. The only internet access the kids have is for Online school only. Ages 14 (male), 10 (female) and 8 (male).

What is instagram?
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by Conner299 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:55 pm

Couple of questions, about this mod. Anything, I have ever seen with a grease fitting, has an escape for old grease. When new grease is pumped in, old grease is pushed out. U-joints, tie rods, etc. Does the disconnect have the ability to bleed out old grease? I'm guessing no. If thats the case, what is the possibilty of over-greasing the disconnect, if that is indeed a possibility? What would the suggested grease amount, and time span be, for services to the disconnect?
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by bgwolfpack » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:00 pm

Conner299 wrote:Couple of questions, about this mod. Anything, I have ever seen with a grease fitting, has an escape for old grease. When new grease is pumped in, old grease is pushed out. U-joints, tie rods, etc. Does the disconnect have the ability to bleed out old grease? I'm guessing no. If thats the case, what is the possibilty of over-greasing the disconnect, if that is indeed a possibility? What would the suggested grease amount, and time span be, for services to the disconnect?

Good question! You think like James!

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Post subject: Re: Front Axle 4WD Disconnect

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:44 pm






"I had considered it, but you can over-grease things".
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by Trail X » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:09 pm

I believe the extra grease will bleed through the seal.

I used to think it could be over-greased, but now I'm not sure. The only reason I thought over-greasing could be bad, was that it might overheat. But I am not sure that's a real possibility. Plus, air is one of the best insulators, so my thought is that a grease-filled cavity might not perform any worse than a grease/air mix.

My plan is to pump a few shots of grease in when I change the oil... every 8k or so.
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by DirtyBacon04 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:33 pm

I've never had to re-grease my disco, simply because i replaced it when literaly every part of it broke (including both halves of the case). However, I've done alot of greasing on helicopter parts and most the grease joints were similar to the homemade sway bar links that some have made. Those were designed to not be air tight/pressurized, and usually had high pressure grease fittings only, to force old grease out. thats the way we knew it was greased enough, is when we saw clean grease purging as well. However there was one spot on the tail rotor that would only allow 2 pumps MAX. Coincidentally enough, this was also the only low pressure fitting. What I'm getting at is, I'm unsure of the seal set up on our disco, and whether or not it's safe to intentionally purge grease from a sealed unit. Purge = slinging. So plus it would be all icky and gross and I hypothesize it would cause premature wear of seals. Seems like an even trade off without being able to know a "grease level" while it's mounted.

Not to take away from the brilliant idea, though!! Good work, James.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:59 am

Where did you find the sleeve for $70?
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by Trail X » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:31 am

GMpartsDirect for $73... but shipping was $19. So, you're right. $92 total.
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by BlackLT » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:38 pm

This post is actually about the poor mans mod.
My disconnect wouldn't engage. With the passenger tire up and switch in 4 Hi, when I would spin the tire it gave a faint clicking.
I pulled the actuator motor and when I tried to engage manually the part of the shift fork I was pressing on would go in and out slightly - thus the clicking - it would not engage.
I don't know if the post on the fork is broken or if the gears somehow got rounded - when I tapped on it, it would engage.
So I thought I'd do the poor mans mod until, at least until, better weather.
I was concerned that with that spacer the motor would try to move every time put into 4WD - and possibly either harm the motor or weaken the spring.

All that to say;
What I did was put the switch in 4WD which extended the actuator.
Then I got my disconnect engaged.
I could then bolt the motor back on with it keeping the disconnect engaged.
Then I cut the black wire going to the motor so it stays in the extended position.

Now its always engaged and no trouble lights.

You guys that wanted 2WD Lo. Why couldn't you cut that black wire and extend it to inside the cab to a switch. Flip that switch and shift to 4 Lo - the transfer case will shift but the disconnect won't engage. Just a thought - maybe won't work? (you might/probably would get a light - for what I'm doing, I don't)
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by DirtyBacon04 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:09 pm

I was unaware people wanted 2lo.... interesting idea though, especially for someone's first post (i smell a lurker).
Where's our EEs for this one? The theory is good, but I would imagine that the motor would only activate for when the signal is sent from the selector. So there would be no way to go from 2lo to 4lo. it would have to be 2lo, back to 2hi, (flip switch) then back to 4lo. Not entirely sure of the use of 2lo, ultimately. ALSO not sure what, if any, wear/damage would occur to xfer case/front diff/disco by not having the front engaged in 4lo. If my mental flow of tq is accurate, wouldn't in a way put the drive train essetially in 3lo?
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