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np 205 troubleshooting and rebuild???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by poinzey, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. poinzey

    poinzey 1/2 ton status

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    I am trying to troubleshoot my 205 so I can order the parts to repair it, but this is my first experience with a transfer case. I would like to figure out what parts i need to order before I drop the case so I can get the rebuild done in 1 day and try to keep the cost under $200. The symptoms are...it is extremely hard to get it to shift. I was able to get it to shift to 4lo with it up on jackstands and putting the tranny in drive and reverse several times, but even then it did not feel like the gears were meshing smoothly. Once I got it into 4lo I drove it down the block, drove great, but I was only able to get it to go back to N and then 2hi with it rolling.

    Anyone with more experience have any ideas??? From what I've been able to gather searching the forums, it might be the pads worn off the shift forks. In looking at the rebuild kits available, it doesn't look like any have the forks in them. So, I am in a quandry about what to order. Do I need to just get the standard rebuild kit that is like $135 and order the forks and clutch seperate? Or could I just get a seal kit with the forks and clutch? Man this can be so confusing.

    O, and on a side note, I'm still searching the salvage yards around here for a used one, but I've only found one so far for $350!!! Heck, for that much I could get the complete rebuild kit!
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I can't be much help on the rebuild unfortunately, but there is a writeup on this board somewhere on how to do it. Hopefully this thing isn't in the truck still, and needed as a driver?

    FYI, I was able to take the rear output/front input assembly out without taking ANYTHING else out of the case, and I was able to get a gander at one of the shift forks. (as well as all the parts on that side of the case) So for inspection, I would probably pull the bearing retainers off, and take a peek inside at everything I could WITHOUT pulling it all the way apart. You might get lucky and see an obvious problem.

    I bought my seal kit from www.nationaldrivetrain.com I believe kit number K205. On sale for $17.xx. Of course, I didn't ask about shipping/handling (they didn't tell me to my credit I guess lol) which ended up being $15! Anyways, if you can get a good deal on a complete rebuild kit (if its what you need) you may have a hard time beating them, as long as shipping isn't 50%! Cheapest I could find a rebuild kit before was around $230.

    My 205 is a '91, so probably a lot less wear than yours, but the bearings I took out were all in great shape, and although I had planned on it, decided not to replace them. At $30+ EACH, I couldn't justify it. They turned fine, no evidence of wear or damage, so I didn't. I'm sure the bearings are one of the reasons the kits are so expensive. I wouldn't have minded doing it, but the project has already become costlier than I expected.

    It seems that a lot of time, wear on the forks results in hard shifting with trannies, so I'd suspect the 205 to be the same. Did you search (if you can) for something like "shifting 205" here? I didn't notice any coating/pads on the shift fork I saw, but I wasn't looking closely either. I'm curious now what, if any, coating/pads the 205 uses on the shift forks.
     
  3. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    There are no pads on the shift forks and there are no clutches. When shifting, the gears will not mesh smoothly if it is still turning. There are no syncro's in the 205. With an automatic in neutral, the output shaft will still spin without a load on it, so you might want to try shifting the transefer case as soon as you put it in neutral so there isnt time for the output shaft to start turning. I doubt a rebuild kit will fix your problem with hard shifting. 205's are hard to shift even when new due to the ball bearings being under alot of pressure into the detents. Maybe give us some more specific info on your problem for a more specific answer.
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Maybe it's the manual trans compared to an auto trans, (haven't played with an auto/205) but I've never had a complaint with my 30 year old 205 being hard to shift into gear. Well, let me re-phrase that...I've never had a problem shifting out of 2hi. 4wd back to 2wd is another story though, and seems to be "the norm".
     
  5. poinzey

    poinzey 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, maybe I am looking at this wrong then. What would be the proper proceedure to shift from 2hi to 4lo? From what I understand the 205 does not have synchomesh gears, but should it really be that hard to shift???
     
  6. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    I just let my truck come to a complete stop, and while holding the brakes, pop the tranny into neutral (TH350) and then push the lever forward from 2HI to 4LO. If there is any resistance, then I take my foot off the brake and let the truck roll as I push on the lever......it pops right in.:D My almost 34 year old, unmolested NP205 works flawlessly.:waytogo:
     
  7. poinzey

    poinzey 1/2 ton status

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    Sweet!!! I'll try that this afternoon and see how she does. :)
     
  8. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    205's can be hard to shift if the gears are not in perfect mesh (non syncro-ed t-case). A newer one tends to shift a little harder than an old one as the detent springs are weakened and the teeth on the gears are worn allowing for easier shifting. The forks on a 205 do not have plastic wear pads, they are part of the forks. If they wear and the clutch ring starts to contact the main portion of the fork you can have shifting issues. If the case was injured due to improper shifting (as I've seen in one case), the clutch ring and engagement teeth can become deformed causing hard shifts. Unfortuneately it requires a tear down to properly diagnose. The 205 in my pulling truck shifted "about average" after I rebuild it. I have a 700r4 Auto in it. It was not bad shifting from N to 4Hi or 4Hi to 4Lo, but sometimes going from 2Hi to 4Lo took a little movement from the truck. All shifts were performed with transmission in N and foot on the brakes. If/when I had trouble, I just took my foot off the brakes and let the truck roll SLOWLY and it shifted fine. When I installed the locker in the rear it seemed to make shifting a little tougher, and when I installed the locker in the front it made shifting a bear (I'm assuming the added driveline bind). I noticed traveling in a straight line 10-20 ft before coming to a stop helped alot (if I had the front wheels turned it was almost impossible to shift). I tried shifting it again with the front hubs unlocked and it shifts "normal".

    Try a few different shifting techniques and see if it makes it any easier. Also check to make sure the shifter pivot is properly lubed. Most (if not all) factory shifters (at least the ones behind TH350 Autos) had a grease fitting at the end of the bolt that holds the shifter on for lubrication. You may want to check that as well as a sticky shifter will cause tough shifting and has nothing to do with the t-case itself.

    If you do decide to pull it and need any info, just send a PM.
     
  9. poinzey

    poinzey 1/2 ton status

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    Great News!!! It looks like its just my newbiness that is the problem for now. I am able to shift it fine, but it does seem to be a lil tricky. Once I get a feel for there shouldn't be any problem. I tried shifting at a dead stop with the tranny in nuetral, no luck most of the time. But, if i put it in nuetral while it is rolling forward slowly, with the hubs locked in, it shifts through all the gears just fine. Now I can spend the money that was earmarked for the rebuild on a seal kit, new gear oil for it, new front wheel bearings, new u-joints, .... :grin:


    Thanks for all the help guys, yall are the greatest. Now I can make the run to Gilmer on the 15th, I'm sure the boys will love that. :)
     
  10. manning

    manning Newbie

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    np205 trouble shooting

    on my 77GMC(blazer),with 350AT and 205 transfercase,i am having difficaulties to shift to 2H.as a matter of i can not go to 2H @ all.what should i do?
     
  11. 454k30

    454k30 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    These cases are hard to shift. I use the same procedure as leadfoot with a lot of success. My old 205 had a damaged shift rail that made shifting into 4-lo impossible. Anytime I have had my case get "stuck" in gear I roll the truck back and forth until it pops out of that gear. Good luck you'll.
     
  12. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    best mod i did for mine was twin stick shifter setup. it shifts like butter now.
     

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