73 cj5 transfer case issue

73 cj5 transfer case issue

SickCj

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Evansville, Indiana
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tube chassis rock crawler 22r toyota powerplant

stock 73 cj5
Hey guys. New to the site and the jeep world. Bought a pretty solid 73 CJ5 . Had the AMC 232 i6 fresh rebuilt and all new bolt ons. New clutch, ect. During the first test drive yesterday, i noticed when in reverse with the wheels turned hard, once i push in the clutch, the jeep abruptly stops as if the brakes are applied. Once that happens, i cannot get the trans or transfer case to shift in or out of any gears. Found the small mount on the far left of the transfer case was worn, so i added some washer and made it solid. I assumed the transfer case may have been twisting. I went out for a drive this morning and got up to about 30 and all was well until i pulled into a parking lot. It seems as if the front in starts to lock up. I can hear a loud popping and it jerks violently. I limped it to a parking spot, but before i could get there, something locked the front wheels solid. Once that happens, I cannot get the trans or transfer to shift. If I get out and roll the wheels by hand, it frees up I had to do this moving 3 mph for about a mile until i was able to get it home. does anyone have any ideas as to what might be wrong. It basicly seems as if the same thing was happening with the transfer case mount loose like it was or tight how it is now. any advise will be greatly appreciated. Im ready to get my CJ on the road.
 
While preforming this test drive, by any chance, were you driving on the asphalt in four wheel drive?
 
While preforming this test drive, by any chance, were you driving on the asphalt in four wheel drive?

I tried the transfer case in all gears to see if the problem changed. I was on the asphalt. The problem was still the same. It does have warn lock o matic lock outs. I have them rotated to " Free". I tried locking one just to see if by chance it would change the outcome, but doesnt seem to make any difference. I'm pretty sure its the right front wheel.

P.S. Sorry for making my first post for tech help. Just not sure what the issue is. Thank you.
 
So, you are saying that the right front brake is sticking? That can be caused by an internal collapse on the brake hose not allowing the fluid to release.
 
So, you are saying that the right front brake is sticking? That can be caused by an internal collapse on the brake hose not allowing the fluid to release.


Not a brake issue. Definitely drive train. I pulled the drain plug on transfer case and there is traces of metal shavings. Maybe a bearing goin bad. My good deal seems to not be such a good deal. :censored:
 
it could also be the U-joint on the right side binding up due to lack of lube or just wear. I'd jack up the front end and try turning the tire while someone else is turning the steering wheel.
 
it could also be the U-joint on the right side binding up due to lack of lube or just wear. I'd jack up the front end and try turning the tire while someone else is turning the steering wheel.

It has new U joints, but I will jack up the front end and see if it binds up. Thanks for all the ideas guys. Keep em comin. :)

Is it possible that the transfer case is still ok even with shavings on the plug?

Im startin to fell I bought a lemon.
 
When checking the u-joints it's possable for them to bind at full turn if the steering stops are not set right. ie can turn to far.
 
It does have warn lock o matic lock outs. I have them rotated to " Free".

If the lockouts are "free" the front wheels should have nothing to do with the trans or t/c.
With the front of the jeep jacked up and in gear see if the front tires will spin freely.
 
Hi

First - I don't think you have a "lemon". All jeeps with a few years of age come with a small list of fix-its.

One common issue with 4 wheel drive is that the geartrain can get locked up if there is no give between the front and rear axles. In particular, asphalt does not allow the tires to give and will apply a lot of pressure to the drivetrain. I would suggest that you only lock the hubs or run in 4WD on gravel or dirt trails/roads. Or snow. Something that has some give to it. The Dana 20 transfer case is gear driven and does not provide an differential action to allow slip.

It sounds like you are experience some degree of drivetrain lock-up. However, the symptoms as you describe it suggest you may have a broken part somewhere making this problem.

1) Try to isolate the trouble. Is it definitely the front axle? Does this happen in 2WD also? Is it only when you turn the wheel sharply, which causes the front differential to bind ?

2) Pull off the selector hubs. Are they disengaging when in free mode? I had an old pair of lock-o-matics. In free mode, they actually worked in "auto". If I engaged the front driveline with 4WD, they would apply torque to the wheel. You may have a hub that is sticking. Or maybe someone has installed a locker up front and with a stuck hub, you can't run at all. Just guessing...

3) If necessary, pull the front driveline free. This will completely isolate the front end and may help determine what is binding. If it still binds, obviously this points to the transfer case or rear axle.

Once you isolate the trouble, we can probably help you find a solution.

Good Luck - Waiting for more info. John
 
I would think that if you had something that broken in the trans or tcase that it would be making a bit of noise at all times.

Id do what the other guys said and jack the front up and spin the tires at full lock and see if the brakes are locking up and or look for a mechanical binding.

Thing is if the hubs are unlocked the front diff/axles shouldn't really be in play.
 
Last edited:
Ok. Got the trans transfer case out. Im not sure of the gear pattern. Heres what it seems..

4W
2W
N
2W
4W

Any insight would be great.

Its a Dana 20 according to the tag
 
Seems to me you are somehow still in 4H. As noted, with the Lockomatics, they will be engaged even if set on free, if there is loading on the front driveshaft. It doesn't take much either. Just trying to turn that shaft by hand to get to a grease zerc will engage the hubs. I would be checking the transfercase shift linkage closely.
 
I thought that all the way fowards was 2w so I did have it in 4w high when i was driving on the pavement. There is defineately alot of small chunks of metal in the bottom of the trans and tc. I have not opened the tc yet, but with the shifter out of the trans, I cannot see anything obvious other than some marks on some of the teeth from the "chunks". Anyone have some suggestions on where to start? Or just start disassembly?
 
If you've been in 4wd there might not be anything wrong.
 
So you dont think I should not be concerned with metal chunks in transfer case and trans? I just don't see how that can be ok.
No this not ok. Sounds like it's time for a rebuild. IMO
 
So you dont think I should not be concerned with metal chunks in transfer case and trans? I just don't see how that can be ok.

Metal chunks are never good. Yea rebuild it.
 
Just separated trans. Rear bearing has half of the balls missing.gonna separate tc next.
 

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