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The Transfer Case

Old 08-24-2015, 07:37 PM
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Default The Transfer Case

Hey guys,
So I am redoing most of my heep at one time right now. The front end is torn apart and I will be picking up a 36mm socket tomorrow so I can remove the hub assembly to get at the axle and u-joints and then put in the new calipers, rotors, brakes, etc.
Tonight I decided to move further back and tackle a transfer case leak. I believe I have the 231 transfer case (I have a 97 cherokee sport with Command Trac) I took the rear driveshaft off with no problems. I then removed the washer, u-clip, and seal at the rear. I then removed the screws on the first and second most housings from the rear (the leak is coming from the second closest housing to the rear. The issue I have run into is that I cannot remove either housing and I do not know why. There shouldn't be anything else holding it together should there? The only other thing I can think of is that the jeep is in park, and since I have the front end on jack stands I don't exactly want to start it and shift to neutral to see if that is the issue (dont want it falling off the jack stands and costing big money). Oh yeah, and I removed the speedo sensor to access one of the housing bolts and inside there is a small ring dangling from the driveline and rattling back and forth so it will be interesting to see what that is.
Thanks,
Nick

Last edited by SixShooterXJCherokee; 08-24-2015 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SixShooterXJCherokee View Post
I believe I have the 231 transfer case (I have a 97 cherokee sport with Command Trac)
Command Trac is the 231. Shifter pattern is 2-4H-N-4L

I took the rear driveshaft off with no problems. I then removed the washer, u-clip, and seal at the rear. I then removed the screws on the first and second most housings from the rear (the leak is coming from the second closest housing to the rear. The issue I have run into is that I cannot remove either housing and I do not know why. There shouldn't be anything else holding it together should there?
There is another snap ring behind the seal. It goes snap-ring, washer, seal, and then another snap-ring against the inside bearing race (ignore the large snap ring against the outer race).

Once those are off you will then need to break the RTV seal around the housing. A large putty knife with a dull edge works well for this, you can drive it in with a mallet then walk it around the edge.

Oh yeah, and I removed the speedo sensor to access one of the housing bolts and inside there is a small ring dangling from the driveline and rattling back and forth so it will be interesting to see what that is.
Is it the plastic gear? They are just pressed into the sender and fall out on their own, no big deal
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:21 PM
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You don't have to start the jeep in order to shift into neutral.

You can turn key to run without starting it and shift into neutral.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ehall View Post
Is it the plastic gear? They are just pressed into the sender and fall out on their own, no big deal
Thanks for all the help and replies.

It is a metal ring just dangling inside. I wouldnt have been near as concerned if it was plastic.
I took out the front axle u-joints and put them back in today and I will be reassembling the front end tomorrow night. Thursday night I should be able to get to the transfer case. I will get the rear two housings off and let you guys know whats up. I will probably start taking pictures and restart my build thread (gonna have a lot of new parts and before and after pics to show).
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:26 PM
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Hey guys so I was talking to my local mechanic and he told me that if I just take off the front housing that a bunch of gears and stuff will fall out. Is this how XJ transfer cases are (the 231)? So I started pulling out bolts where the transfer case connects to the transmission. All I have left is the three bolts up high close to the body and I cannot seem to reach them or break them loose. Any advice?
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:37 PM
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Jeeps are really simple setup, just a splined male shaft sticking out the trans, and a splined female shaft on the transfer case. Both of them have their own seals to prevent fluid loss when separated.

Put a floor jack under the transmission pan (with a piece of wood to cushion), remove the crossmember, lower the transmission. You need a full-length ratcheting 9/16 wrench, and a shorty ratcheting wrench for bolts that are near the floorpan. There are six of the nuts around the perimeter (google images for pictures of the layout). If its old enough, the nuts might have rusted to the studs and the whole stud might come out, that's okay.

It helps to break the shafts free to put the transmission and transfer case both in neutral to relieve any binding. It will slide right off and land on your sternum when its loosened up. When you reinstall, put the transmission in Park and put the transfer case in 2WD so you can rotate the rear output shaft to help engage the splines, I need a helper for this part since I can't hold it in place and turn the shaft by myself.

Last edited by ehall; 08-29-2015 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for the help ehall. I have 3 of the 6 nuts off I just have not been able to reach the top three. This morning I will lower the tranny and transfer case and I should be able to reach them.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:29 AM
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Ok so I have all of the nuts out. I only could find 5 not 6. Is there another one hidden somewhere? I cannot seem to get the transfer case off either. I tried beating it with a plastic covered hammer and it would not budge. The jeep is in neutral.
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:25 PM
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Ok so I have the transfer case off and I can see where there was a rather large hole in the gasket. The next issues are there was a piece of the very rear cover that broke off inside and formed its own ring that was rattling around back there and it would appear as though a gear may be wallowed out. What do you guys think of this? The rear drive has 4 or 5 degrees of play in it.
Attached Thumbnails The Transfer Case-jeep-transfer-case.jpg  
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:06 PM
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You need to spend an evening watching transfer case rebuilds on youtube
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