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Thread: Advice on transmission transfer case problem

  1. #1

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    Advice on transmission transfer case problem

    About a week ago I noticed a slight new noise that sounded like a front wheel bearing starting to make noise. It grew a little louder over a few days, until, about three days ago, it suddenly sounded a lot louder and was harder to determine as to location. I knew something was clearly wrong, so I jacked the truck up and checked the front wheels. Everything was fine.

    I had my friend sit in the truck and bring it up to about 15 miles an hour when the whine/howl was very clear. I climbed underneath and tracked the sound to the area just in front of the transfer case and immediately under the 4x4 and gear shift levers. I checked the transmission fluid level and the actual transfer case fluid levels and they seemed fine.

    I then removed the square side plate to the passenger side of the housing just under the shift levers, and a tiny amount of oil dripped out and a little water. Above this square plate is what appears to be a typical drain/filler plug, but, when I removed it, it had a spring just inside which used the plug bolt for depression. I also noticed some wear on the front of the teeth of the most front gear behind that square plate.

    My questions are:

    Shouldn't there be a lot of oil bathing the gears behind that square plate?

    What is that area of the drive train called? It seems to be behind the transmission and in front of the transfer case?

    If it should have more oil in it, what is the proper filler plug location; is it the plug immediately above the square plate with the spring? And what is the purpose of that spring?

    Is the wear on the teeth bad enough to be concerned with?

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  2. #2

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    Seriously, nothing? This site seems to have some really knowledgeable people; I can't believe know one knows what part of the drivetrain this is or whether it needs oil.

    To anyone who can help, thanks.
    Hans

  3. #3



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    Our resident 4X4 guys are Mopar_JA and PowerRam348. I haven't seen them around for a couple of days. I'm no expert in the mitsu 4X4 but as far as the questions. That looks to be the 2X 4X selector. That should receive it's oil from the main transmission it's self OR from the transfer case. If the trany was low then that area won't get any oil. If you haven't run it in 4X4 for a long time the oil could have made it's way back to the transfer case. I don't know the 4X4 tranys. I haven't been through them my self. I'm fairly certain that your transfer case uses ATF in it and not gear oil. It's also possible that the trany is the same way. Some had gear oil some had ATF. I know we have an owners manual that will tell you what to put in there in there, look in the manual section. I think it covers your year of truck.
    When you pulled the trany fill plug out did oil run out or did you need to stick your finger in there and then down to feel the oil? If in then down then it was low. You can also fill it to the top drive the truck on to a steep slope and pull that cover off and see if anything comes out. It should pour out of there.
    There should have been a lot of oil in there. About an inch or 2. Is there a plug on the cover?
    There should only be 2 places to add oil. #1 in the trans and #2 the transfer case. The trans is on the drivers side about half way up the trans. A large 17 or 19mm plug depending on the trans they used. Normally you will see a drain plug gasket between the plug and case. The transfer case is on the back of the case about half way up. You can see it on one of the pictures near the speedo cable.
    The plug with a spring is not the fill plug. That keeps it in the gear you selected, 2X or 4X.
    As for the whine it sounds like the bearing is bad in there since you said there was no oil. So no matter how you look at it it will need to come apart at this point. Send mopar_Ja a PM asking him to look at your thread and give his advice.
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  4. #4

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    Yeah! Really appreciate the thoughtful, qualified, response. Appreciate all your points and ideas and will forward the question as well. Free beer or boat ride if you make it up this way.

    Hans

  5. #5



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    I talked with Mopar_Ja he says it is feed from the transfer case. So you need to drive it in 4X4 mode every 5 months. He also says it probably burnt up the out put shaft bearing. He also says it should take gear oil in the trans and transfer case.
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  6. #6


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    You should also engage front hubs if you have them about the same time frame to keep them lubed as well. Yes tranny and t-case use same type of gear lube 75-90W GL5 rated by the manual, but they (DO NOT) share so you have to fill each one separately. The area and plate you are talking about is the PTO blank off plate. The fill plug you are referring to is the 4wd shifter detent, the actual fill plug is on the aft side facing the rear end, centered of case behind the speedo cable check your photo 1 you will see it peeking out. Proper fill level is through that hole till it comes out that hole. The wear on the teeth is that a groove worn into the teeth of the front gear if so that's bad, and the worse news is you can not just replace that gear. That whole shaft has to be replaced it is the Counter shaft for the t-case its one piece unit.

  7. #7

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    Again, thanks. I use my 4x4 fairly regularly but the caution is always good advice. In this case, after learning that the lube pickup for those gears behind the flat plate came from the transfer case, I drained the transfer case and discovered that there was only about 2 cups or so of oil. I refilled the transfer case and everything seems/sounds hunky dory. I've only put about 25 miles on, but so far so good. I think the apparent lack of damage originates from relatively slow, conservative driving and a solid shot of good luck. I still wonder how it is that it went from no perceptible noise to very slight over the course of a little under a week, and then from very slight noise to significant in 24 hours ... Oh well, I am happy with a little ignorance if my tough little truck still gets me down the road.

  8. #8


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    Only reason I can think of for noise: Oil impregnation; old school trick (everyone listen up) before any bearing replacement pre-soak all bearings for at least 24 to 48 hours prior to install.

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