I had my early 80's Jimmy towed and 4wd doesn't engage anymore

About 1/2 hour after it was off the wrecker, I noticed the front hubs were hotter than a son of a ......
I tried putting it in 4H and 4L, but the auto hubs don't feel like they engaged.
In the mud, only the rear wheels would slip - it was definitely only in 2wd.
I'm going to let it sit overnight and try again tomorrow night after it's cool.
What's the consensus - am I screwed? If I'm lucky and it works tomorrow, is there something I should do to make sure I don't do further damage? I'm new to 4wd, but handy in general with automotive work so I'm not afraid to rip something apart.
Thanks for any help.
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wrote:

Is this a mini blazer/jimmy or fullsized. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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This is the short wheelbase Jimmy.
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Oh, wait - I think I know what you mean. It's the fullsize before they made them smaller. It's like the size of a Suburban, but shorter in length.
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wrote:

Okay. If you have auto locking hubs like I do on my 89 suburban, they are designed to disengage when moved backwards in 2wd. The fact that yours were really hot is not a good sign. While my hubs have been trouble free since it was new I have never had mine towed. At this stage of the game I suggest that you pull one of the hubs to inspect it and see if it has been damaged regardless of whether they start working again on their own which I think is not too likely anyway. It does not sound encouraging. There may be some liabilty on the tow company as when in doubt they should use a dolly. You do have my curiousity up though and I will have to refresh my memory on the internal design of them. I have had mine appart a few time to check lube in them and they come off easily. Make sure you do not loose the little bearing that rides in the end of axle stub inside of hub when it is in 2wd. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Yea, it's no better today after cooling down. Do you know of any good web references that would show the guts of a system similar to this to give me something to work with?
Also, in your opinion, do you think it's better/easier/cheaper to replace the auto hubs or go to manual ones at this point?
I could try and go after the tow company, but I have a feeling that would be a huge uphill battle.
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wrote:

I have the factory manuals here and I can post info on request but my site is down for moment because of server hardware issues. I am hoping the it is back up today as it has been down for a few days. As far as the hubs if they need replacing, if they are toast it would be cheaper to put manual ones on at this point. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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wrote:

Not if you brought it damaged parts and bills. If they say no, take them to small claims court because they are most likely liable. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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I agree with the SnoMan on this one. I used to tow for CAA / AAA an
they were always reporting to their drivers of vehicle claims bein paid out for drivers negligence and not using dollies.
I myself have had my old 4x4 towed and had a few drivers want to leav the front tires on the ground.
When I worked for CAA they specifically said not to tow th auto-locking chevs unless on dollies or a tilt-deck tow truck
-- Edmonton ChevGu ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Edmonton ChevGuy's Profile: http://www.Automotive-Usenet.com/member.php?userid=4 View this thread: http://www.Automotive-Usenet.com/showthread.php?tI00
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On Wed, 9 May 2007 15:01:12 -0500, Edmonton ChevGuy

This is nice to know. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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On Wed, 9 May 2007 15:01:12 -0500, Edmonton ChevGuy

So, help me understand this a bit more. When you do tow this way, what is it that gets burnt? Is it most likely the hubs or could it be something in the transfer case? I have not done anything with it yet and don't need to right away. This is not a primary vehicle for me.
As I said in an earlier post, I'm mechanically capable, but 4WD is a new animal to me and I'm just starting to figure out how the guts work. If I know what I'm looking for, I can probably do something with it.
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wrote:

It is in the hubs, not Tcase. There is a clutch in them that is activated in reverse when not in 4wd that it seem can burn up when towed some distance in reverse at speed. The clutch only would when no drive is applied to axle irself so it is not a issue when using 4x4 in reverse. I am going to have to pull service manual tomorrow and refresh my memory on that hub design. Mine have been trouble free for 18 years and 180K miles. I do check the gear in them every 5 years or so. I do not run it in mud and such as it is a family travel vehicle, not a off road toy so it does not see 4x4 used much maybe once or twice a year these days. In its younger days it was used more. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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uploaded diagram here
http://members.shaw.ca/richard_foster/hub.jpg
tried earlier but it didn't go thru

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That's excellent. Thank you very much for that. It will be a big help.

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I think the only thing I need to know now is if I need one of these auto to manual conversion kits that is sold separately from the manual hubs themselves. I'm not sure what that is. I know I don't have the 3 hole cover which seems to be asked a lot.

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