Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) eliminates aberrant proteins from the ER by dislocating them to the cytoplasm where they are tagged by ubiquitin and degraded by the proteasome. Six distinct AAA-ATPases (Rpt1-6) at the base of the 19S regulatory particle of the 26S proteasome recognize, unfold, and translocate substrates into the 20S catalytic chamber. Here we show unique contributions of individual Rpts to ERAD by employing equivalent conservative substitutions of the invariant lysine in the ATP-binding motif of each Rpt subunit. ERAD of two substrates, luminal CPY*-HA and membrane 6myc-Hmg2, is inhibited only in rpt4R and rpt2RF mutants. Conversely, in vivo degradation of a cytosolic substrate, ΔssCPY*-GFP, as well as in vitro cleavage of Suc-LLVY-AMC are hardly affected in rpt4R mutant yet are inhibited in rpt2RF mutant. Together, we find that equivalent mutations in RPT4 and RPT2 result in different phenotypes. The Rpt4 mutation is manifested in ERAD defects, whereas the Rpt2 mutation is manifested downstream, in global proteasomal activity. Accordingly, rpt4R strain is particularly sensitive to ER stress and exhibits an activated unfolded protein response, whereas rpt2RF strain is sensitive to general stress. Further characterization of Rpt4 involvement in ERAD reveals that it participates in CPY*-HA dislocation, a function previously attributed to p97/Cdc48, another AAA-ATPase essential for ERAD of CPY*-HA but dispensable for proteasomal degradation of ΔssCPY*-GFP. Pointing to Cdc48 and Rpt4 overlapping functions, excess Cdc48 partially restores impaired ERAD in rpt4R, but not in rpt2RF. We discuss models for Cdc48 and Rpt4 cooperation in ERAD.