How do I know if my transfer case is going out?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jonrpick, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. jonrpick

    jonrpick 3/4 ton status Premium Member

    Jun 2, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Marietta, GA
    I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I just tore down my rear axle and the bearings look good.

    So, when the rear axle (with less than 5k miles on it) "died" I took it into Pep Boys. Bad idea, yes...but I figured they could at least diagnose the problem. They're the ones that said it was a bad pinion bearing. But they would only have known that if they'd torn it down, right???

    Ok...while it was on the rack, they checked a few things. One thing they mentioned was that the transfer case would probably need a rebuild soon. They said it had metal shavings in it.

    So I get the K5 back to Atlanta, and it's in the garage. The transfer case leaks...


    If it ran out of fluid, it would start shaving off metal. It doesn't matter that I've mainly used it in 2WD, there's still moving parts in it when I'm going down the street.

    Prior to tearing down the axle, these were the symptoms:

    Noise and slight vibration begins before I hit 10mph.
    Noise increases with speed, but better when the drivetrain is under load (acceleration).
    When cruising, or no load (just maintaining speed) it's unbearable and scary.
    Not so bad when decelerating (negative load).

    The drivetrain is 700R4 --> NP208 --> 10-bolt with 3.73's.

    Discuss...please :D
  2. obijuan

    obijuan 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

    May 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    San Antonio TX
    umm what i would do is basically set it in N and chock the wheels. then while its in N move the slip yoke part of the shaft at the tailhousing up and down to see if theres excessive play. if there is it could be the bushing at the end of the tailhousing. then take the shaft out and check for play in the output shaft in all directions. could be a bad bearing somewhere. and then finally i would take the fill plug out and check for fluid level/condition and chain tightness.
    after that, im out of ideas. tell us your findings.

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