How to test transfer case

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  #1  
Old 02-27-17, 01:30 PM
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How to test transfer case

I bought a beater truck for property hauling.
1994 1500, not sure yet if it's C or K series.
Guess old fool I am. I tested 4x4 yesterday in parking lot.... It's a floor shifter, so seller put it into Low 4, light came up by the shifter, truck creaped down the lot, he said - see, it works, light and noise and such.
Manual transmission.
Ok, so I took truck home. In my wisdom, I took it up the hill, cruised through wet grass in RWD and parked by chicken coop. Decided to move it a bit forward - it's slight up slope - and could not move. Rear wheels simply spun in mud and grass. But hey, I have 4WD! Enage Low4 - no light, front wheels do not spin. Go for Hi4 - same story.
Truck only dug deeper into the wet clay.
Call seller - NOW he tells me he removed front driveshaft as it was broken. Ah, you can get it for cheap from junkyard...
Anyhow, so I have a 4x4 truck sitting in mud without front driveshaft and unknown 4x4 condition.
I can get driveshaft for $142 off ebay. Plus strap kit for $15.
My dilemma is - do I even bother if 4x4 - transfer case - is not working or, simply turn around and resell it as is. I should recover most or all of what I paid for it - brand new tires themselves are around $700, canopy, etc.
So how do I test that transfer case in situation like this? I have no trust in that light, truck is not on the best maintained side. So it may come up or not, regardless of how t-case works.
But if it works, sure, I'd get driveshaft and use truck. I need beater hauler.

Any ideas? How to test t-case?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-27-17, 02:05 PM
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His story doesn't sound good! Driveshafts almost never break although the joints could have been bad .... so why didn't he hang on to the old driveshaft?

4 wheel low will make the vehicle crawl - doesn't matter if the front axle is engaged or not. Other than that not I'm not sure how to test the transfer case. You could lift the rear off the ground and look for yoke to turn when in 4 wheel drive.


Does the truck have full time or locking hubs?
 
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Old 02-27-17, 02:22 PM
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Manual floor shifter. Not even sure if it has electric t-case motor. I always heard that floor shifters are very reliable.
Truck has only 120 000 miles.
Does not matter what he said. It is what it is. I saw differential end of it - looks good. I am yet to see t-case attachment. Hope nothing is broken THERE.
There is no way to even do the "crawl" test as I need to get truck out of mud on driveway first.
Then I have 14 days and counting what to do with it. Engine actually ran yesterday very well. It's out of tabs, so I have to buy drive permit to get to emissions station - or say to hell with it and donate. Write it off.
Actually quite mad at myself. I don't blame the guy, it's his choice. My eyes saw what my hands were buying.
 
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Old 02-27-17, 02:26 PM
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His text said: The front driveline broke U joint so I took it off.
 
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Old 02-27-17, 02:45 PM
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Sounds like you need to pull it out of the mud first. My only real experience with 4x4s is the ones I've owned since moving on a mountain. I broke the front diff yanking to hard on one but have never had any transfer case issues. Except for my current jeep, all my 4x4s have had as many miles or more than yours.
 
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Old 02-27-17, 02:50 PM
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Yep. Worth come to worth, wife's RX350 has locking 4WD. We should be able to pull the truck, it's not as much mud as it's wet grass after weeks of rain.
I'd like to keep the truck, I need a beater hauler - but don't really want to start spending $$ on it. 150 here, 100 there, soon it is worth what could have been simply bought to start with...
 
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Old 02-27-17, 04:45 PM
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I go with Mark, Jack up rear wheels and put in 4 wheel and see if yoke turns.
 
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Old 02-27-17, 05:34 PM
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with it being a manual shift i would say its safe to assume it works. reason the light is not coming on is because it need to see the front diff lock(vacuum controlled?) and it wont with out moving alittle bit to allow the gears to sync. doing the rear end jacking and seeing it turns wont prove much because with no resistance it will turn even in 2 wheel drive.
 
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Old 02-27-17, 07:39 PM
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Well, the light DID come up when we tested it. I say jack rear wheels and lock t-case and see output shaft turns for the front end.
 
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Old 02-27-17, 07:57 PM
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Being a chevy guy and having numerous trucks the 4x4 you have of that year is very simple.

Since its a manual throw there is no motor in the t case.

When you put the t case in 4 wheel there is a vacuum switch on the t case. These go bad. If the light dont come on thats probably the reason.

That switch in turn activates a vacuum atenuator which is usually located under the battery tray. This device pushes and/or pulls a fork in the front diff to lock it.Its a cable that runs to the attenuator to the diff.

The acid from the batterys sometimes damages the attenuator. Need to check its operation.

Check the t case switch
Check and change fluid in t case. 2 1/2 qts trans fluid I belive. atf 3.


Last check the vacuum lines near the brake booster and canister. These lines dry rot and there are two lines that run to t case and attenuator.

My 96 chevy 4x4 had those issues of the light not coming on or off and getting stuck in 4 wheel sometimes. It was the switch and vacuum lines.

Those transfer cases were/are pretty bullet proof IMO. They are chain driven.

If the front yoke spins when in 4 wheel you know its working..

If the truck has any motor but the 6.0 then its got the NP 241.

New Process NP241 Transfer Case Specs
 
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Old 02-27-17, 07:57 PM
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Get a tool that will turn front output yoke on transfer case and see if it is solidly connected without slipping to rest of drive train. (jack up rear wheel first and see if you can turn it with tool on front output yoke -- 4WD engaged of course.) The results will tell you if it is good or not.
Yes, front drive shafts are expensive and prone to rapid wear if not serviced regularly. (retired mechanic talking)

RR
 
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Old 02-27-17, 08:18 PM
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Yes. and basically most if not all systems work like this. Only difference is you dont have the motors in the t case or the front diff.

Its manual shift and an attenuator..

This is slow to watch but very informative if one does not know about the 4 wheel drive systems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47m7QAPrpsI
 
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Old 02-28-17, 08:25 AM
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Well, I got to get it out onto asphalt first. And the way it is, by the time I get home I am 1. beat up and 2. it's basically getting dark.
Then I need to take it to emissions. If it passes - I fix the truck. If it does not - I resell it or donate. Would have been a pricy lesson but it is what it is.
My problem with this is that I actually like the truck. I like how it's beat up. Old. Has no fancy shmancy stuff in it. heck, does not even have radio. But it somehow appeals to me.
So it all goes down to emissions. Of course, if it does not, you can produce a receipt that you paid over $200 towards emissions repairs and they tab truck for 2 years. Then you simply do this game every 2 yrs.
But it's 250 or so for that, 100 for front driveshaft, registration fees, and at that point it is more feasible to simply resell it and maybe hunt for something better. You can rent truck many times for what it costs to buy a beater. And all I need is haul lumber or soil or bark ever so often.
 
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Old 03-01-17, 08:31 PM
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Ok, so I have good news and bad news.
Good news is - engine started from first crank and works very well actually. Better news is - I drove out of where it was stuck in RWD with no problem today. No idea why I had so much trouble before.
Kicked t-case into LOW, light didn't come up - but truck crouched and creeped. So I am pretty sure t-case engages.
Btw, there is no vacuum lines and such below battery. There is tone of empty space everywhere in engine bay. Also, t-case looks like it does have electric actuator. Maybe vacuum. A long cylinder coming out of its side with some cable to it.
Bad news. Frame is rotten where driver side rear leaf spring shackle is. Rotten. Even missing shock on that side and attachment for it. So doubt I can really load it with dirt and such.
Let me see how it does on emissions. If it passes and is tabbed, I'll get it to buddy's shop and weld some bars there to re-enforce it, so that I do not lose rear axle some time.
 
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Old 03-02-17, 03:47 AM
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Is there a reason you didn't crawl under the truck before you bought it? I like to check out everything I can when buying a used vehicle ..... but I've missed stuff before too

I've welded up more than one truck frame before. I'm not a great welder so my patch work doesn't always look nice but it kept the vehicles on the road. I had a similar issue with the right rear spring on my F-100, welded it up maybe 10 yrs ago and have loaded it down with fire wood, mulch, scrap metal and dirt/sand multiple times. It's held up fine.
 
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Old 03-02-17, 08:07 AM
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Same reason as always - being human. "checked" on everything - or so I thought. Missed no driveshaft and rotten frame. Plus rain, dark, getting old? The usual?
It's rather a simple reason actually. I have been hunting for a property truck for over a month. To find that 1. whatever is no expensive is junk; 2. whatever is not real junk is priced easy premium over KBB dealer retail; 3. trucks sell in heartbeat.
So I rushed. Human, only human. I got tired of driving around for nothing.
 
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Old 03-02-17, 12:30 PM
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I know, I bought a used jeep once with electric windows. Before I bought it I checked every window to make sure they went up/down except the driver's window. Don't know how I missed it but that window didn't work I lucked out though as it was just a broken wire.
 
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Old 03-03-17, 03:24 PM
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Well, tomorrow is the D-day. Got driving permit, take him to testing station. Passes - we'll have some fun.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 02:22 PM
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Passed emissions flying colors.
I'll get it up on the lift at buddy's shop to assess the rust....
 
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