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Old 09-09-2009, 12:44 PM   #1
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Transfer case chain problems and ????

Bare with me as i am new to all this but I have had some mixed advice given to me. Last weekend I was playing off road when I noticed a problem. When i reached the top of a hill and hung on the belly the front tires were trying to spin as well as the back tires (I am not locked)... Anyway I heard a "pop, pop pop" and a guy there said it sounded like it came from the front, which I agreed, and said he thought it maybe the ring and pinion??? i raod another 4-5 miles in the woods and drove 40 miles home and never had another issue.. Another guy there said before I left that it sounded like the transfer case chain slipped over the gear.. I have 94,000 miles on it and just put a 3" lift and went to 33" tires last week and this was first I have ever heard/experienced this problem.. I was told to just keep driving it and it would eventually get worse and until then just have fun.. another guy , which i respect, told me not to chance it and go ahead and change the chain that I didnt want it coming apart on the road while driving at 50+ mph...

2nd issue - I am not sure if this is unrelated but since I put the lift on I have developed a "tap tap tap" when starting out in first gear and seems worse when turning (i think worse turning left)... Anyhow i cant hear it just feel it in the floor... I have looked several times and visually cant see anywhere anything is hitting.. I once had a mustang that I put a after market H-pipe on that was too close to the floor and when I would get on the motor it would tap the muffler against the floorboard and this feels the same way but I just cant see how the muffler (or anything else) could be hitting anything as it looks like plenty of spce between everything....


Any advice is appreciated...

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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To the number 1-
Sounds like your chain is a little loose. So the chain gets a little slack in it and slaps the gears. Mine does it every once in a while not really a big issue for now. Your chain will not come apart on the road. The main reason is the chain is not spinning unless the truck is in 4 wheel drive. My chain really only makes those noise if I get really low in the rpms like 500 and the truck is boggin out.

To number 2--
Get a buddy and a pizza put the the truck on jack stands (big ones) and start the truck and roll it through the gears. Turn the tires left and right and see where the noise is coming from. IF I had to make a bet I am going to say front left u joint on the axle. To test is even easier jump under your truck grab the u joint with your fingers and if you can move the u joint in the caps that is most likely your problem.

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:23 PM   #3
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Thank yo so much for the quick reply............
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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if you want you can remove the back part of the t-case with it in the jeep and inspect the chain.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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what would I be looking for??? Would it be signs if it were slipping?
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:07 AM   #6
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Yeah there would definitely be signs. You'd also noticed a pretty good amount of shavings etc... on the magnet inside along with possibly some grinding on the inside of the case.

As far as your noise I'd bet money that it's rear driveshaft vibes. Do you feel it in your seat or up by your feet? I'm guessing you did no TCase mods whens you put the lift in? If no SYE then you probably are getting a little bit of driveline vibe upwards of 50 or so also?
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:00 AM   #7
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It sounds like the chain is old and stretched a little. If you remove the back of the t-case your not going to be able to tell because the shafts won't be held into place properly. I don't know if it will work this way or not but you might try removing just the tail shaft housing and try looking to see if the chain is tight or not. I've not tried it so I don't know if you can get in that way or not.

I would imagine that there wouldn't be too many shavings on the magnet from the chain as the chain skipping only happens a few times generally and only when in 4WD. I've not seen any grinding on the inside of a case before.

This is what it sounds like when the t-case chain skips teeth on the gears. It happens about 6 times in the video. Does yours sound anything like this?


If it is then the chain will need to be replaced. If your going to be ripping into the t-case you might as well rebuild it with new bearings, seals and all that. A fairly easy upgrade is to find a Chevy S-10 transfer case and use the the guts from it to put into yours. The gears and chain are wider and therefore stronger and the planetary gearset has 6 planetary gears instead of the 3 in yours. You'll need to keep the jeep main shaft so your speedo gear will work. Just something to think about.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
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Yeah i think it kinda sounded like that but not near as frequent.. It only did it a couple times and thats it but then again i didnt do a ton of strain on it after..

At 50+ it is smooth as can be.. No I didnt do the SYE and I cant feel any vibrations other than starting off. I changed the right front axle u-joint and think the problem is solved in starting out.. I will know this evening when I drive it some to see.. I said earlier i thought it was worse turning left but I could have got that wrong and may have been worse turning right.. As for a little test drive after the front right axle joint, i didnt feel it..

Once more I will post the results from the drive later today..

As for the chain... Seems I am getting some controversial info on whether or not to let it go.. For now I think i will just monitor it and see what happens.. Hoep I am not making a terrible decision...
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Ya, mine is getting worse. It's not designed to withstand a 350 and 35's. It used to not be as frequent like yours is now. Your chain doesn't need to be replaced right away. It is just showing signs of its age. If you aren't out every weekend wheeling it I wouldn't stress about it too much but I would plan on replacing it or upgrading it in the next 6 months to a year. The chain itself isn't required or used for normal 2WD daily driving.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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Then again the chain might still be fine. Mine has 181,000 miles on it with some tough wheeling on 35" tires under it's belt and unless I'm as deaf as my wife claims I am (and I couldn't possibly be THAT deaf ) it's not making any noise yet.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:03 AM   #11
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My wife probably thinks the same thing about me.

I've not heard a ring and pinion skip teeth so I don't know what it sounds like. It has to be one of the 2. What else would make that kind of sound under load like that. A ring and pinion would have to be pretty far out of adjustment for it to do that wouldn't it?
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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Well after my riding around yesterday i noticed he thump in the floor in first is almost completely gone after replacing the right axle u-joint.. I only noticed it 1 time and it was very faint feeling... Absolutely no vibration or anything at high speeds so if I understand right would mean I have no need for the SYE..
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:52 PM   #13
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Sounds like it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:31 PM   #14
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More Help please...........

OK just when seems I got it all under control a MONKEY WRENCH comes along...

I just thought I had diagnosed my problems then this.. Not sure if it is part of the old thump/tap I had but tonight on way home from football game I decided to take the shortcut through a ditch.. I slightly bogged the motor in first gear and was driving straight when i heard and felt a constant "tap, Tap Tap" in the floorboard.. It wasnt loud and not viloent.. It kinda feels like what i would think a loose arm but not sure.. Should I try to tighten the cam bolts from where I put the lift on and if I do woll that throw out the alignment I paid for??? What else could be loose to check???? It really felt like something going up and down and although it wasnt hard it was definitely felt in the pedals/floorboard of drivers side..

THANKS AGAIN
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:47 AM   #15
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My 93 yj is making a noise like that, after reading this i am really convinced that the chain is the problem, however, mine makes the noise constantly due to it being in 4wd constantly since i do not have my rear driveline connected... does this sound like the problem? I took my jeep to a local shop and they just barely looked at it and said i need a whole new t-case without even taking it apart or testdriving it. They said it would cost 1200$ and i dont have that kind of money. What should i buy as far as a rebuild kit and chain to save me money? my cousin is an EXTREMELY good mechanic and can rebuild the t-case if recommended...

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