: switchable 2wd?

04-03-11, 04:26 PM
I had a 2007 Avalanche that had a switch to go from 2wd to auto to 4wd high to 4wd low

I was wondering if anyone has looked into this for their Escalade? I'm thinking it's a different transfer case, maybe even the wiring is still in place?

Just imagining how much better the Escalade would be better on gas if we could switch to 2wd and auto when we wanted to.

04-03-11, 06:26 PM
It's a fairly efficient AWD system as it is. The bigger reason to do it is wear and tear on the tcase and front differential. As of yet, I've not seen it done and yes, it's a different tcase.

04-03-11, 06:40 PM
I am Impressed how well it does as a AWD over my Hummer H2 I had. It was something I was thinking of looking into with the H2, but traded it and my avalanche and got the escalade.

so the thought is still there. maybe something to mess with after the warranty runs out. but seeing some are adding SC's and turbo's maybe someone ventured with this idea

Think it would just make the escalade that much better on fuel if we could drive in 2wd

04-03-11, 11:08 PM
I think the 8.5 rear differential/axle is marginal for 6.2's....Only recently has GM been allowing Avalanche owners to opt for the 6.2. The torque split coming from AWD reduces the load on the rear differential. 2WD ESV's come from the factory with 9.5 rear ends. I put a 9.5 ESV rear end in my EXT after it ruined an axle after the C clip retainer flange failed allowing the axle to move outward, taking out the brakes and ruining the splines of the axle and differential....no power adders were installed at that time. I would like the option to go to 2WD as well...Avalanches have had an upgrade? to their front differentials this year. And there is major wiring changes....The real question is ABS and traction control, etc.....It would seem less problematic to modify a 6.2 Avalanche to look like an Escalade than to modify an Escalade to accommodate the part time 4WD of an Avalanche. There have been several cases of supercharged Escalades breaking rear axles and shredding rear driveshafts using the stock 8.5 rear ends.

04-04-11, 10:24 AM
that is some great points! changing a front clip, tail lights and dash agreed might be easier. however, I wanted the SUV vs the Avalanche body so that's why I wanted to change.

I would say regular driving shouldn't take such a hard hit on the rear end, I mean if I was pounding on it all the time or adding a SC/Turbo options I would see that excessive power and pounding would take it's toll on the rear end. but for regular driving I would see this as a BIG gas saving option. Anyone know if the wiring harness is the same on the avalanche/tahoe/yukon is the same as in the Caddi?

04-05-11, 10:21 PM
Keep in mind the avalanche system is inferior in terms of response. The Escalades and Hummers have center differentials, which means the front and rear can spin at different speeds while engaged. The avalanche can never do this. The other diffence is that the auto mode on the avalanche turns your front driveshaft at all times so you still lose a mile per gallon while turning it. This is the reason the 4wd Escalade hybrid uses the same transfer case as the chevys. It allows 2wd but 4wd sometimes. What I don't like about the auto mode is the latency of the transfer case electronically locking when needed. I had a chevy that nearly swapped ends on the highway in snow while the front was not engaged. This never would have happened with full time awd.

So here is a question. Does the hybrid have the rear axle of the 2wd or the awd?

04-06-11, 03:30 PM
prosseda, Sorry don't know.

8.5 to 9.5 rear requires 1/2'' approx shorter rear driveshaft. Hadn't thought of the differential action of the transfer case or the latency of the shifting.

Maybe someone with an Hybrid would look under and count the retaining bolts on the differential cover of the rear end so we would know.

04-08-11, 10:42 AM
Interesting points, glad i brought it up before attempting. something i'd like to see what all input is before i consider doing this.