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Old 06-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
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"Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Folks, my 2004 Ford with Quigley 4x4 has developed a barely noticeable "clunking" from the transfer case when in 4x4 mode (high or low). On dirt you'd be hard pressed to notice it above the road noise and rattling from stuff in the cabinets and all that.

On dry pavement (attempted only for diagnostic purposes!) it is more noticeable. Rolling forward (slowly) the t-case can be felt to vibrate... we're pretty sure its from in there and don't doubt the diagnoses of "something is wrong". Everything appears to operate just great though.

So, what do we do about it? I'm loath to ignore such a thing. My mechanic suggests a rebuilt Jasper Engines "BORG WARNER T CASE" which is basically just a replacement of the existing part. That part would run me like $1258 before labor costs. Or I could have the existing t-case pulled and sent in for repair from a local builder in Denver at an unknown estimated total...

I've contacted Quigley for their suggestions as the conversion on this vehicle was only about 3years ago but I'm anticipating they'll say I'm beyond any warranty period (I'm also hoping they'll surprise me).

Do you all have any suggestions? What else should I be thinking about?

Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

You have checked and double checked all driveline components haven't you?
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Hi;

Driveline clunking is very common with U joint issues.

I just ordered a T case from

TRANSFER CASE EXPRESS
1285 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94606
(510) 533-2273
Fax: (510) 533-2298

They shipped it from their facility in South Carolina. $750.00 including 3 day shipping. Google them and check out their web site. These guys are pros.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Like they said! Check drive shaft splines, pinion nuts, and J-Joints, etc. first.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Thank you for the responses.

I'm over my head here but trying to learn. After the mechanic offered his opinions I took it to a friend with experience on 4x4's and we took a look. The drive shaft *feels* solid (yanking on it) and the sound does not appear to be originating from anywhere near the front wheels. Perhaps I don't know enough to do more than take it to a different mechanic for a 2nd opinion.

Is it possible for me to check the pinion nuts and j-joints myself? How do I do so?

At very slow speed and creeping the van forward it is possible to rest your fingers on the transfer case and feel the thunk like its from in there.

Thanks for the reference to Transfer Case Express.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

frozen ujoint or rusted cup .

pull the drive lines off at the transfer case and see it the noise is still there when you put it in gear and if not its a Ujoint if its is your rebuilding the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pritikin
Thank you for the responses.

I'm over my head here but trying to learn. After the mechanic offered his opinions I took it to a friend with experience on 4x4's and we took a look. The drive shaft *feels* solid (yanking on it) and the sound does not appear to be originating from anywhere near the front wheels. Perhaps I don't know enough to do more than take it to a different mechanic for a 2nd opinion.

Is it possible for me to check the pinion nuts and j-joints myself? How do I do so?

At very slow speed and creeping the van forward it is possible to rest your fingers on the transfer case and feel the thunk like its from in there.

Thanks for the reference to Transfer Case Express.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:18 AM   #7
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Most likely what you have is a Borg Warner 1356 Transfer Case, which is "Chain Driven" meaning the front output is driven by a wide belt style chain, as opposed to a Gear Driven unit like a Atlas, Dana 30, NP205....

It is very common for the chain to stretch slightly over time, and the looseness can be felt and heard, but is not serious. I have had some that were so stretched that they would skip in 4Lo under hard loads, that is bad. You can check the chain backlash by holding the rear drive shaft steady and rotating the front back and forth by hand. Do this with the T/C in 4Hi or 4Lo and the front hubs unlocked so that the front drive shaft can be turned without interference from the front axle. You will both feel and hear the chain backlash.

A new chain is around $100 and rebuilding a Transfer Case is really quite easy - any mechanic worth his salt can do it in under an hour or two. Rebuild kits are around $125

R&Ring the T/C is also a doable task for the shade tree mechanic and probably worth a couple of hours shop time as well.

Rebuilt T/C should run around $750.

Your's does not sound like it is bad to me as you describe it, and not something to worry about.

To eliminate other U-Joint and Slip Yoke issues, jack up the vehicle so that the drive train is not loaded and then check for looseness.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Check around and see if you can find a shop that balances drivelines. They are usually the experts when it comes to loose driveline components. I'd have them check the driveline and have it balanced before I replaced the transfer case. I think my transfer case has some issues and I had the driveline worked over and balanced by Six States. I still have the growling/vibration problem but I'm confident it isn't a driveline issue.

http://www.sixstates.com/products/products.jsp
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Since the issue is noticeable in the driveway I doubt a drive shaft balance is an issue and anyone can confirm bad U-joints.

After rereading the original post, you are testing this on pavement - the different distances that each tire rotates, because of different turning radius for each tire and differences in diameter of each tire will cause some driveline binding and wrap up which will greatly exaggerate any chain back lash or other normal lash in the driveline.

Get the van on a lift so that everything is unloaded and then inspect all U-joints, slip joints and and Transfer Case lash. Should be easy to find the problem or lack thereof.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:22 PM   #10
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Re: "Clunking" transfer case - advice requested

Start by being certain what you have. Send your VIN to Quigley and ask for their entire build file. They will send you a parts list via email of every part put on that rig. Then your questions can be directed to parts specific solutions.
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