2002 Chevy Tracker 4WD engagement pro...

Rickreall, OR

#22 Nov 21, 2010
tony in maine wrote:
My recently acquired tracker came with retrofitted manually locking front hubs, I can only assume due to the failures others have mentioned on this board while the previous owner had it. Not sure if this is a viable alternative for others to try or how economically practical it is. I'm unsure of cost to the previous owner, but seems like it would eliminate any of the issues mentioned at the expense of convenience.
what year isyour tracker ????

Rickreall, OR

#23 Nov 21, 2010
what year is your tracker ????

Cincinnati, OH

#24 Nov 22, 2010
Update to earlier post:
Both the actuator and the pump on my vehicle checked out per the book, but would not reliably engage. I replaced the actuator, since I had the axle out already to replace a damaged engine oil pan. The old actuator in my early (1999) has intentional air bleed holes, but the replacement actuator is sealed (no bleed holes). Apparently, when the pump get a little old, it can no longer keep up with bleed hole air loss - thus the design change to seal the actuator. So far, it seems to work, and since the actuator is now new; if it has any further problems, I will have to replace the pump. Since both pieces checked out per the manual, this problem was very hard to diagnose - It is the only problem I have EVER had that still could not be completely figured out even after having completely disassembled it.

North Chili, NY

#25 Dec 3, 2010
Hey Brian in Somerset PA. I know it has been a long time since you posted and probably will not even see this but I am having the EXACT problem with my 2001 tracker (light out in dash, 4wd not engaging) did you ever find an answer to your problem. Lake effect snow season is starting and it is a bad time to not have 4WD. Does anyone else know?
Roy en Oaxaca

Puebla, Mexico

#26 Dec 13, 2010
The spring loaded actuator ring in my front differential is air tight. All the hoses are sealed. Soapy water showed no bubbles.

The actuator pump has started cycling. The 4WD light goes off when the pump cycles. 4WD works.

This leads me to think that there is a check valve in the pump itself that is leaking.


Milwaukee, WI

#27 Dec 19, 2010
I have a relative with this exact issue. Light out, 4wd inop. Pump cycles and builds pressure properly. I suspect the actuator that engages the front axle is faulty. Can anyone describe how big of a job this is for DIY repair. Cost for parts? Any other diagnostic requirements to check?

Dickinson, ND

#28 Dec 29, 2010
i have a 2002 chevy tracke it started shaking really bad in gear at a stop but when take the rpms up it stops and when i put it in 4x4 it makes a reall loud clunkindg noise
ken in ohio

Williamsburg, OH

#30 Jan 22, 2011
benzo wrote:
<quoted text>
kriz, did you figure it out...i am having the same problem. thanks, benzo
having same problem, repair shop traced it back to a wire going
to circuit board in computer for the air pump.trying to find
manual lockout hubs to fix problem
ken in ohio

Williamsburg, OH

#31 Jan 22, 2011
having same problem, repair shop traced it back to a wire going
to circuit board in computer for the air pump.trying to find manual lockout hubs to fix problem . up $250 in time spent and still no 4wd

Cincinnati, OH

#32 Jan 24, 2011
ken in ohio,
Lock out hubs from an earlier tracker are readily available, but you also have to lock the actuator into engagement - either by sending 5 PSI of air to it all the time (assuming it is still functioning), or by mechanically holding it into engagement. The latter requires removing the axle from the car, and the differential from the axle. Someone described holding it into engagement by fitting a ring made of 4 appropriately sized tie wraps behind the large metal washer of the actutor, permanently engaging it. The required engagement would be measured (probably 4 to 5mm) and a tie wrap with about that thickness at the connection joint would be selected. The use of 4 tie wraps allows for the 4 tie wrap connections to hold the ring engaged every 90 degrees around the ring. The tie wrap tails would be cut off, and the actuator should stay permanently engaged, and the new lock out hubs would replace the disengaement function. I would also try to get quality tie wraps capable of high temperature (unless you want to go through that process more than once). BTW, I work in Dayton.

Winnipeg, Canada

#33 Feb 6, 2011
RE: ok I have a 02 chevy tracker zr2 2 door convertible, I go offroad alot there for in this season I need 4wd. i noticed when i was in four wheel high it pulled to the right and made a weird high pitched noise. then it would make a loud bang noise and jump back into 2wd. the next day i tried to use it and it did it again. later on that day i was going to check my mail which i use my tracker for and i got stuck in 2wd. so i stopped put it in 4 wheel high and nothing except 2wd. then i tried 4 wheel low, again nothing. now i tried 4wheel low with the power switch. Still nothing but one spinning wheel in the rear and i had to get pulled out which is embarasing being that i am usually the one pulling tow trucks out of trouble. any suggestions????

Hey I know it's been over a year since you posted this but, I am having a very similar problem with my 2001 4 wheel drive standard. I am getting a slight bouncing when in two wheel drive and when shift into 4 i get worse bouncing followed by that high weird high pitched noise you mentioned. I was wondering if you ever found out what it was. If you could email me any advice it would be greatly appreciated. RobynHendrickson@gmail.com
charlie pinkham

Half Island Cove, Canada

#34 Feb 11, 2011
After driving in a snow and rain mix my in my 99 tracker one day before a drop in temp my 4x4 would not engage. After reading problems on this site I started looking and found that when I took off the air hose off the pump it started to pump. The next step was the hose on the front diff and there was no air coming threw because of ice in the steel line. I then replaced the steel line and it worked fine. Just make sure the rubber hoses are tight.
Karen R

Watertown, NY

#35 Mar 3, 2011
I own a 2003 Tracker. My 4WD light flickers on and off. I have had this problem since 2005. I have brought the Tracker in at least 2x's a year since then. They have replaced several parts, but the light still flickers. Now...after 6 yrs they are telling me it's the vacumn pump, which they noted twice before, but never replaced. They want $900.00 to fix it. I said why wasn't it replaced back when you indicated that the vacumn pump was intermitingly loosing vacuum which causes light to come on? I got the run-a-round. I have contacted GM at least 6 times, but they have never had the courtesy to return my calls. Anyone have suggestions?
R Tater

London, KY

#36 Jul 12, 2011
where is the paint numbers on a 2002 tracker?

Dartmouth, Canada

#37 Aug 15, 2011
I have a 99 Tracker with the same problem, I checked the pump out & it will suply 6 PSI in about 2 sec & then shut down & the pressure holds good but after about 10 sec something clicks & the pressure drops to 0 & the pump will not start again till you go back to 2wd & then back to 4wd. Does any one know if when in 4wd there should always be a constant 5-6 PSI air suply and if not why is the compressor shutting down??
Sue L

Pittsburgh, PA

#38 Aug 22, 2011
Chuck Lind wrote:
Hi..yesterday I was at my farm on the gaswells roads that were covered by 6+ inches of new snow. I usually tool around in 2WD until I need the 4WD. It's an automatic with automatic locking hubs.
I started up a hill, tried to engage it in 4WD, but the 4x4 light didn't come on, nor did it engage in 4WD. I backed up, put it in neutral, park, etc., but to no avail. I couldn't get the 4WD engaged. Finally, I was spinning the rear wheels in a desperate attempt to climb the hill. Finally, it engaged in 4WD.
This is the 2nd time I got in a "fix" with this. What might be wrong. Freezing cold weather? Something else.
When you put your Tracker into 4WD, pull the shifter towards you to lock it in. I have a 2002 Tracker and this is the only way mine will stay locked into 4WD. My friend bought her 2002 Tracker several months after me and had the same problem until I showed her what to do and now she doesn't have any problems.

Denham Springs, LA

#39 Oct 12, 2011
I have a 2002 chevy tracker 4x4 nd the other day I locked it in 4 wheel for about 15 mins and took a drive nd I noticed my 4wd light will blink on and off. Anyone having or had this problem?

Laconia, NH

#40 Oct 15, 2011
i am having some problem no pump at all and new pump is 350 bucks new any way around bypass vacumm ????

North Pole, AK

#41 Oct 15, 2011
I have an 01 tracker and when I invade the4wheel drive it sounds like the gears are shearing of and no light any thouhgts

Montréal, Canada

#42 Oct 18, 2011
Thank you all for your messages.

We took apart the actuator pump to discover a broken wire.

It was in the small motor (long cylinder) where two wires connect to the two brushes. With the tip of a iron, was able to solder the wire back. To test, I took a 12v battery and made the small motor spin.

Here is my easy test.
first test, remove pump from vehicle.
disconnect electric wires and hoses from actuator pump. Once the pump in your hand, use a 12 v. battery and with alligator clip wire (or regular wire) connect inside the connector, pin 1 to one side of battery and pin 3 to other side of battery(pin 2 is middle one). You should hear the small motor spin. If motor spin, then you should feel air coming out of pump (where hoses are connected). If motor turn and no air, then solenoid is disconnected(broken wires).

With a ohmeter, very easy to identify which wire is broken.

Once pump in your hand, remove the square cover slowly with a flat screwdriver, prying sideways as little as possible to unbend cover. Once inside, you will need to remove two small screws holding a solenoid. Carefully, push the three wire and pull solenoid out. You can test your solenoid by doing the battery test again. If working, you will see the tip (round plastic on top) moving when you connect to battery. Disconnect and reconnect a couple of time to confirm. If not working, identify which wire is loose. With a small iron, solder it back

If motor is not working
Once out, you will see the head of your spin motor. Remove lock washer, unscrew the 4 screws holding the motor to rest of assembly. Pull motor out. You will need to unscrew small allen screw inside the small cylinder on top of motor. That done, you should be able to release core of motor and get access to wire on the bottom. Mine was broken at soldering point. I put the tip of ohmeter on brush and the other tip on connector, and in my case, no contact. Solder faulty wire. While putting core back pull brush away from center to allow core to get back in position.

Glad I've done it, put everything back, testing with my battery a couple of time while building back the unit, making sure my wires were intact.

Lift all four wheels of the ground, connect the pump and test, and happily, working.

That pump is more than 600.00 cdn. at GM.

With patience, you could do the job in three hours, giving you time to discover and not break anything.

I had to redo the job because I broke a wire on solenoid and did the whole process in 45 minutes.

You can take the pump out and take your time to do, truck will be running on two wheels. Just cover your connector on truck side with tape so not to ruin your contact over a long period.

Hope I inspired other to do it and save.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Chevrolet Tracker Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Tracker motor 10 hr Lori 1
chevy tracker battery not charging (Jan '08) Feb 17 Harper 19
2003 Tracker - Ticking in the dash Feb 7 Brian L 1
2002 Chevy Tracker Manual Hub Conversion Jan 30 gfranzen 1
Tension idler or harmonic balancer Jan 30 James 1
Charging issue Jan '17 James 1
Help Jan '17 Jim needs help 1
More from around the web