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New truck with some issues and future plans. 05 buick
Swap the 4474 Tcase and have all the time awd or make it 2wd?

Do the swap! 0% 0% ( 0 )
Make it 2wd 0% 0% ( 0 )

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Post New truck with some issues and future plans. 05 buick 
Hey guys, its been awhile but im back with a new truck and some plans that i want to talk feasibility with you all. This was the best forum for the gmt 400 platform and theres still a few of you guys left so i want to pick y'alls brains. This is a bit long and probably badly written but im a worker not a writer. Im also on my phone so sorry for any errors. TL;DR at bottom

So as the title says i bought a 2005 buick rainier AWD. It has a 4.2 inline 6 with a 4l60e boat anchor transmision and an electronic AWD transfer case. Those electronic transfer cases have been the pain in my ass with every truck thats had one and this one is no exception. Other than what im about to list its a really nice teuck and i like.using it as a commuter instead of my 08 Impala SS.

A few days ago i was driving home from work with cruise on doing about 80 and the truck jolted and sounded like it dropped the bottom end of the engine. I slow down and hit the right lane and feather the gas, truck accelerates and drives normal. I stay about 65 in the right lane and it jolt again and feels like it tried to lock the transfer case and front diff in and started making a horrible grinding noise. I pull off and have the truck towed the rest of the way home.

When i jacked it up to inspect it i found both front wheels locked together and could spin together but not independently. I checked the front drive shaft while having the fron tires spinning and it had no movement but there was ressistance and a grinding clunking noise coming from pinion. I pulled the encoder motor off the transfer case snd manually moved the selector to the 2wd position and spun the front tires again. This time while under the truck i could spin the front driveshaft both directions while the front tires where being turned foreward.

I have not removed the front diff for inspection but im 90% sure that the either the pinion gear is stripped or the spider assembly has failed. Since i dont really want to spend $400 on a junkyard diff and because i had a set of front axles from my buddies trailblazer that we replaced last month. I removed the front axles from the truck and installed the outer splined flanges into the hubs and torqued them down. I have also removed the front driveshaft and the encoder motor from the transfer case making it a 2wd only truck.

Now the truck seems to run and drive fine but i have noticed that i get alot of tire scrub from the back when making tight turns like it has a locked rear diff. It also has an occasional clunk in the rear when going from foreward to reverse while turning.

From what ive found through my google searches is that this truckwith opt code gt4 should have an open 3.73 diff in the back. But some where optioned with a limited slip in 2wd trim and trailblazers in 2wd and 4wd trim. Im going to look into the rear end in a day or two while i wait on a sensor and tie rod ends from rock auto.

So theres the rundown on what im working with and haveing issues with. Now comes the brain picking and technical banter that will decide what i do with it from here.

As of now it needs a new front diff and possible rear diff. I can get both for around $650 and if i have to do both i can swap to the opt code gt8 4.11 ratio diffs. Both sets would cost within a few dollars of eachother and would seriously helpnthe get up.and go of this thing cause its a dog. Should i go ahead and just swap both for th 4.11 gearing or just replace the front if the rear ia in good shape?

Suspension wise it has leaky air bags in the back with wore out struts up front and i plan on replacing them within a month or so if i can make it reliable. I am also toying with the idea of lowering it a little and swapping to the trailblazer ss wheels in the future.
They have a bolt in airbag delete spring kit thay costs the same as 1 airbag and alows me to lower it in the future.

As for the AWD system, im pretty sure i will also need to replace or rebuild the transfer case because it shows some signs of damage and neglect. Junkyard units start at $350 and go up from there.

What i want to do is replace ths electronic transfer case with a borg warner 4474 AWD tranfer case out of an oldsmobile bravada. Its the same case the AWD astro vans had and the typhoon and cyclonez back in the day. I can get a 4474 for free or not much more out of a runninng truck and rebuild it for a few hundered bucks

Im not 100% but im pretty sure it will bolt to the existing adapter and spline to the existing output shaft of the transmission. And if not i know i can find a combo that will work somwhere my transmission guys hoard. The 2 major things are going to be getting the drivshafts tweaked due to a slight size difference and a possible diffent output spline on the transfer case.

Im in this truck about $1,200 after putting on 4 new tires, new brakes, new plugs, and new coils. So im not mad that it has issues but i want to get a plan together on what i need to get to make this truck awesome.

I want to do the 4474 transfer case swap, possible.4.11 diff swap, lower it 2-3 inches, rebuid the boat anchor and maybe not blow it up, and possibly add a turbo or put one of these eaton sulerchargers i have on it for.more power. Make it kind of like a tribute the AWD turbo blazer from 15 years before and be a fun family truck to drive

What i want to know is what are your thoughts or questions or concerns on this project. I want to get feedback from the guys on here i turned to for help on my old silverado and the guys that are newer and working on thier trucks or just scrolling through and found this interesting.

I bought a teailblazer cousin and the awd shit the bed. I want to replace it with an older awd system and cut the electronics out. Truck also needs new fromt diff and possible rear diff so changeing to 4.11 gears is about the same price. Also some talk on adding boost later, rebuilding the 4l60e, and some suspension mods. But mostly just drunk ramblings from some guy on the internet about his truck.

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I would use the transfer case from the Trailblazer SS it will be a bolt in and go for you. It is the NV120. The BW4474 is acceptable and I see on the surface no reason or difference than the NV120. Just another option. Check the splines and yolks. I had a 2007 Trailblazer short wheel base with the 5.3, essentially a poor mans TBSS. I swapped in the NV120 no problems. There are three different rear ends for these vehicles 6cyl, 5.3v8 and 6.0v8. The 6 cyl has the weakest small 10 bolt (7.5/6 IIRC) the 5.3 got the 8.5/6" 10 bolt and the 6.0L for a 14 bolt. If you are changing out the whole axle go with one from a 5.3 and get the beefier rear end. Fronts were all the same so that does not matter.

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The I-6 got a 8.0 ring gear with aluminum caps.

Its in between the 7.5/7.6 and the 8.5/8.6.


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Thanks for the onfo on the rear end guys. Ive got one out of a 5.3 truck for $150 and im picking it up and swapping it tomorrow. I might go ahead and get the front diff too and replace that since im under the truck anyway.

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