Should have very little to no play. My suggestion: Go with your first thought and have the U-joints replaced.
I own an 2002 Sierra SLT K3500. I have just found out about the pin hole in the transfer case the hard way.
The truck only has 65K on it and is driven very little through the year. I purchased the truck to pull a fifth wheel 28 ft travel trailer. I have owned the truck sense it was new. I have been very happy with the truck up to this point.
Now it is at the dealership waiting to be diagnosed. There is a heck of a noise coming from the transfer case like two gears trying to mesh up. What do you want to bet the trans case is bone dry and the damage has been done? I called the 800 number GM and was told to take the truck to the dealer to be diagnosed and then call them back.
I priced a transfer case from a re builder in Memphis. His cost to me was 1500.00 and I have to install it. If GM doesn't take care of it I'm screwed. There should be something we can do about this problem. This happens too often to be a coincidence. The pump vibration causing the hole makes it a GM issue. It is a design flaw.
I have a 2000 GMC Sierra 5.3 4x4. I have a bit of a small issue with my truck, nothing serious. I have 300,000 km on my truck rolling on a new tranny.
I am disturbed with this transfer case issue, I will have to keep an eye on it. My transfer case/module works perfectly and always has, I pull a 25 ft 1991 trailer that maxes out the truck by 100 kg and it seems to do OK.
I can still see the design flaws by GM. It is totally crap. They aren't stepping up to pay for some that break early.
Good trucks should all have 10 year/150000km warranty in my opinion.
We have 2 GMC heavy duty vehicles. A 1999 GMC Suburban 2500 and a 2001 GMC 2500 HD Sierra. Both our vehicles have holes/cracks in the transfer cases. Every friend we know with similar vehicles have already been through this or are watching it happen now. Unfortunately our warranties were expired years ago, so no dealer fixes, but it seems that with so many like problems, there should be some manufacturer responsibility. I know, good luck, right?
I have a 2002 GMC 2500 HD 8.1 Vortec, with 99500 miles on it and I just replaced the transfer case because of a hole in the case where the pump is. I can see I am not the only one with this problem. GM needs to step up and help out. I bought the replacement at the local dealer. They said it is not a common problem. But when I asked him for the gasket between the tranny and transfer case he said to me "Boy, we sell a lot of these!". Sounds to me like someone is changing a lot of transfer cases. I know of four bad ones in the last month.
I have used J.B.Weld on boat engines to oil pans, and was amazed; if you let it harden, it's just as strong as the metal.? It can't hurt to give it a try on anything. I think the reason it worked so well for me I cleaned the area free of any grease etc when I applied it, and I let it set up for a few days.. There isn't a lot of pressure in a transfer case; I would give it a shot.? I think if it didn't work, I would try a welder if the part is hard to change or expensive; they can weld all types of metal, but I would bet the J.B.Weld would work. They have used that on things for years with great results. Only a person who has $$ falling out of his pockets would tell you you're crazy to try it? I love the stuff on certain things; it's amazing how well it works, as long as you let it set up.. Good luck.
That's hardly broken in... My 2000 has 176k on it and she's going strong with no major repairs and no accidents. Awesome trucks I think. Hope all goes well with yours.
I wonder what the latest experience you are having is???
I am considering buying a GMC 2500 with low miles, but am having second thoughts.
Thanks, David in Idaho.
I have a 2000 Sierra 2500. It has 266000 miles on it with very little maintenance. Before that, I had a 1992 GMC Suburban that had 252000 when I traded it in. The service 4wheel drive light is on now, traded a dash switch with my son, and same problem for me, his worked fine. I'm guessing it's most likely the control module.
Would not hesitate buying another GMC truck; by far the best vehicles I've ever had.
You need a different trans shop. Just got a rebuilt. Put it in myself for $1300; would have been $1800 if they did it.
I had the same pin hole problem in the transfer case of a 2001 Sierra 8.1L, and that happened at about 55,000 miles.
Guess what... GM told me in so many words to stick-it, and wouldn't even offer to meet half the expenses. It was the pump in the transfer case, not installed properly, wearing a hole from the inside out. Even the GMC dealer that was doing the repairs called GM to try to get them to cover this, and they wouldn't.
Be extra careful of rebuilds, because after the rebuilt transfer case was installed, it went bad at about 12,000. I had a third transfer case installed, after doing some research, and I found out that a standard transfer case can be beefed up with an anti-fracture kit installed. Needless to say I had over 3000.00 in transfer case problems.
Good luck to any of you with a GM transfer case problem.