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Old 02-20-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
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Transfer Case question

I can tell the story up to the point where nothing worked, but I have no clue what actually happened.

I went down to the mountains this past Sunday to check on our hunting camp. The snow at the end of the drive was a couple of feet or so deep from the plows, had gone through several freeze/thaw cycles so was pretty hard. Took me two tries to bust through, went up and over on the skid plates like a sled, then up the drive about 100 feet until I started to bog down so I parked it. 4WD was working fine. On the way out, I did the sled routine again, then headed down the road to a friends place to check on it as well. Same routine to get in the drive, 4WD worked fine. On the way home the roads were really salted and there was a lot of anti-skid(sandy gravel) put down, so after an hour of that I could only see out of the windshield. I stopped at the car wash when I got back into town and ran it through the autowash which has a series of jets that wash the bottom. Fast forward three days to Wednesday night, temps dropped like a stone, snow started, so Yesterday morning I needed 4wd to negotiate the ice and snow. I yanked up the transfer case lever (which did not feel right), backed out of the driveway and ZINGGGGG......gear noise in the front end. Levr back down to 2wd, back up t 4wd, managed to make it about 200 feet and ZIINGGGG again. I pulled over, did the 4wd-2wd-4wd shift again, 200 feet ZINGGGG, gear noise again. I gave up and got to work in 2wd with lots of cursing. As a WAG, I put the Jeep in the garage last night with a heater on, kept it at about 45* all night. Backed out this morning and it slipped into 4wd nice as you please.

I know my CJ's were totally mechanical with the transfer case and front axle hubs, this is obviously different technology. What happened??

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:10 AM   #2
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Check the linkage would be my thoughts on it. Perhaps the temp had something to do with it. Metal got hot, then cooled and linkage moved etc.

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Old 02-20-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
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Not sure what it is, but the (ZINGGGGG) sound effect were pretty cool!!!
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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My 4wd was doing that to me too 2 weekends ago. I don't know what it was, did your jeep not want to move either? Or was it just gear noise? If I dropped mine out of 4hi to 2wd then rolled about 15 feet and put it back into 4hi it was fine. Weird.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
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Sometimes thats the bad part about the auto-carwash places, where the water jets can reak havic, especially during winter. Sounds like the linkage might have been frozen pretty good and based on what I think your ZINNG noise is supposed to be, sounds like it was trying to shift but the syncro or chains/gears were not matching up.

Double check your linkage to make sure things appear ok, not loose or anything broke.

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Old 02-20-2009, 01:19 PM   #6
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Update

after sitting in the lot for several hours with windchills in the single digits, I went out at lunch and tried the shift into 4wd. After 20-30 feet it made that same noise like something is not quite engaging all the way.

I messed with the lever, went forward, backward and everything seemed to be fine????

Tonight it will go back in the garage to warm up, tomorrow I will be under it with a trouble light to check that linkage. Right now my "faith in the 4wd meter" is right around zero.

Thanks for the input. Craig
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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You may have water in the T-case. When it freezes it is not allowing the gears to fully engage.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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Final Answer (I think)

Based on what I found, even after a long time in a semi-warm garage, there was a layer of ice up on the top of the skid plate. I must have scooped a bunch of that heavy plow snow/ice with the front of the skid plate busting into the driveway at camp, then scooped another bunch backing out....x two driveways.

I followed that up with a rinse of nice fresh water and colder temps, froze the linkage, or in some way kept it from moving completely.

It works fine now, 13 degrees last night and shiftwed like a champ this morning.

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