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Old 01-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #1
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Did I damage the transfercase???

I was using my Son-in-laws 2011 Rubicon off road with the transfer case in low range and both lockers locked.
I think that I maybe made a serious mistake. WHEN I SHIFTED IT INTO LOW RANGE, I MADE SURE THAT THE RUBI WAS NOT MOVING AND THE MAIN AUTOMATIC TRANS WAS IN NUETRAL. IT SHIFTED IN VERY SMOOTHLY WITH NO NOISE. WELL WHEN I SHIFTED BACK FROM LOW RANGE IN THE TRANFER CASE TO HIGH FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, AGAIN THE VEHICLE WAS NOT MOVING, BUT I FORGOT TO PUT THE MAIN AUTOMATIC TRANS IN NUETRAL AND THE GEARS CLASHED VERY LOUDLY AND THEN I HEARD A LOUD THUD. Well it seems to be shifting o.k. and nothing external blew apart.
Do you think that I seriously damaged it internally? Should I minimally take it in and have the transfer case oil changed? Are they strong enough to handle this type of abuse occasionally?
I also noticed that the lockers will also lock in four wheel high range. I thought that they would only activated in low range.
PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS ONE, SO THAT I CAN TELL MY SON-IN-LAW WHAT WE NEED TO DO!!!

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:00 PM   #2
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Those hardened gears can take a lot of grinding, you are ok. Any small metal flakes from the gears are captured by the magnetic drain plug anyway. If the Jeep has 25k miles on it without a transfer case oil change then by all means go ahead an do it.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:02 PM   #3
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It has about 23500 miles on it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
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You ground the gears and the loud thud was when the gears engaged. Make sure it goes into and out of 4H and 4L (in a grassy/sandy/wet/snowy area) a few times and if it does, you'll be fine. Yeah there might be some extra metal shaving from the experience but if it's running fine otherwise, don't sweat it. It wouldn't hurt to shorten the fluid service interval for the transfer case. I've done exactly what you did dozens of times on a few 4x4s many years ago and all those transfer cases outlived the rusty frames and 100,000+ miles. Lesson learned and doubtful any harm done.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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I think you'll be ok but if the diff oil hasn't been changed yet, now's the time. Very easy to do in the driveway.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverton34 View Post
Those hardened gears can take a lot of grinding, you are ok. Any small metal flakes from the gears are captured by the magnetic drain plug anyway. If the Jeep has 25k miles on it without a transfer case oil change then by all means go ahead an do it.
X2. If you had it in 4L and then went into 4H locked. It will appear that they're locked for a few seconds and then it will disengage. Or, there could be a glitch but I doubt it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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I really appreciate your comments, which is starting to make me feel somewhat better about my mistake.
If it was mine, then I would not be so concerned, but if I am responsible for damaging somebody else's, then I want make it right with them!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:13 PM   #8
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Just because the lights of the diff lock is on doesn't necessarily mean they are on. Mine stay on and flashing till I turn my car off.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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Yes, the lights stayed on until I pushed the switch the opposite direction inward at the top, then the lights went out.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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Just because the lights of the diff lock is on doesn't necessarily mean they are on. Mine stay on and flashing till I turn my car off.
And what "car" is that, the Subaru.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:38 PM   #11
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As others have mentioned, don't sweat it, it's very unlikely you caused any kind of damage at all.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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I have a 2003 x and a 2012 Rubicon and have done the same thing a couple of times to both of them. Mine have not given me any problems after the grinding, or the bang when it finally engaged. The transfer cases are built very rugged to withstand abuse, but in moderation. I would suggest to your son in law that he change the oil in the transfer case and also the diffs and transmission with the current mileage that he has on it. All component's have a certain amount of break-in wear and changing fluids will help to remove it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #13
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It should be fine. They are pretty tough. Does your son in law know this? cuz although on one hand id like my GF's dad to tell me if he beat up my jeep(accidentally) on the other I might like to be kept in the dark.

but the biggest thing to think about to prevent this is that you really should be moving 1-3mph and tranny in neutral to get it to mesh well. The trans case gears are not synchronized in low range which is why you need to do this. It might be able to do it stopped but it's not optimum and it won't do it every time
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #14
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^^^^^ What JKJeeper06 is saying (2nd paragraph) is right. It's sort of an inconvinence to get to 4Lo in the Auto. Neutral, little roll, then it slides in. I run into this all the time. You get the hang of it before too long though. I've had the THUMP happen a couple times,...I have to believe that someone took that in consideration when they built the thing.

You should be fine, though.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #15
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Exactly. It's too low of gearing to have it synchronized so they just have to make it robust enough to handle a thunk now and again

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