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Old 05-09-2019, 07:24 PM   #1
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Transfer Case Disengages on Hill Climbs

This is a followup to a series of posts on 6-10-2014 that discussed the problem of Quigley installed transfer cases disengaging when going up hill.

For years I have had an occasional problem with the transfer case in my Quigley modified, 2003 Ford E350 popping out of gear when hill climbing in low range.* I recently had a chance to meet some of the good folks from Quigley and presented them with this problem.* They came up with a few thoughts of what might be causing this to happen, like the rubber shift lever boot installed backwards, but could not come up with a definitive fix.* Sabrina Grace, their Product Support Rep, exchanged several follow up emails with me.* She was very helpful, and was able to tell me the exact model of Borg Warner transfer case (model #1756) that they installed in my van, and she suggested a repair shop in my area that could help me evaluate and fix the problem.

I gave Larry at Full Tilt Off-Road Equipment in San Clemente, Calif. a call and set up an appointment.* Larry took a quick look at my van's drive train and suggested that I run most of the fuel out of my oversize fuel tank before he could help me.* It seems that in order to remove the transfer case for inspection he first had to lower the oversize tank, and that was best done with an empty tank.* So, a few weeks later, after a trip to Anza Borrego, I returned to Larry's shop and left the van with him for a week.* In the end, Larry found that my transfer case was in good shape, but he did send the shift cam out to a local machine shop where they increased the depth of the detent on the cam for a more positive engagement with the linkage.* The machine shop said they have done this for others with Borg Warner 1756 or 1356 transfer cases with success. I have not yet*had a chance to put the modification to a test, but I wanted to let everyone who has had the same problem know of another possible solution.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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I had the same problem, and after checking the linkage, motor mounts, etc, I opened the transfer case and discovered that the planetary gear set had too much end play, and the center bushing was moving out. There is a thrust washer in the bottom of the gear set that wears, allowing too much movement. A new planetary set fixed it right up, and I've had no further problems. Oh yea, it's a BW 1356


https://www.transmissionpartsdistrib...UaAoQkEALw_wcB
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
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Like arctictraveller, I’ve had my BW1356 apart as well, after having it pop out of gear on deceleration.



Mine was caused by the plastic guides (part of the shift fork) worn out, a result of the fork sitting cockeyed, because salt ate my case and allowed the detent spring to force the shaft out of position. Not a common issue.



While playing around with my shift linkage a few months later, trying to get it to work better, I noticed the hole cut in the sheetmetal floor was real close to the shifter shaft. My shifter knob was also rubbing against the new seats I just put in, so I really needed to get it all straightened out. I removed and bent the shaft to my liking, repaired the loose shifter knob, and clearanced the floor hole with my grinder. I wanted to make sure the engine torqueing over under heavy load wouldn’t cause the shifter to get bumped out of gear.



I also wound up replacing the 7yr old ‘hard as Chinese algebra’ rubber shift boot, to a new more pliable one, with the idea the boot itself could in the future, cause it to pop out f gear.


While I had the T-case apart, I did wonder about the detents, but didn't pursue anything. Looking back on it, like my shifter hole modifications, I could see how deeper detent ‘notches’ would be a further step in the right direction.



Funny that the shop mentioned that was a popular mod. Thanks for sharing
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:40 AM   #4
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As far as I know the newer vans with the NV271 transfer cases don't have this problem. Been driving mine for 11 years now and never any problems with the transfer case.
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:33 PM   #5
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Had what TomsBeast described happen in my van too.

Salem-Kroger told me to cut out the transfer case shift lever hole larger and to replace the rubber boot because pressure on the shift lever from those things could cause pressure on the shift forks inside the BW1356.

That didn't work and they rebuilt the worn shift forks inside the BW1356 transfer case under warranty.

And that fix lasted about a year, just long enough for Salem-Kroger to go out of business...

IMHO, "Bravo. Sierra."

Think about what happens on deceleration.

The wheels which are mounted to the rear of the van's frame turn the driveshaft against the engine which is mounted on engine mounts attached to the front of the van frame.

IMHO the frame is twisted on deceleration which puts pressure on the transfer case shift forks.

IMHO, the solution is to install the push button transfer case electric shift control motor from a Bronco electric shift BW1356 (like my Bronco) and totally delete the manual shift lever linkage.

The BW1356 electric shift control motor is available on ebay separately from the BW1356 transfer case.

mgmetalworks has the brilliance to make an adapter for our situation. Someone should ask him...

I would like to post up a thread asking for arctictraveler's and TomsBeast's input when I rebuild the forks on my BW1356.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:43 PM   #6
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I can offer a couple insights:
From the reading I had done, rebuilding my own t-case, looking at how common a select few parts are (the range gear and the shift forks) it’s a good guess as to what causes most t-case issues.



http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ure-20947.html


  • The plastic guides on the shift forks get brittle and break off, causing slop in the system, and allowing the gear to come out of engagement.
    • Just about every place who sells t-case parts has these both in stock (I have a great story about how replacement parts demand causes redesigns)
    • I think they go bad from the t-case getting low on fluid, age, or some other (unknown to me) factor.
  • Having the selector gear pop out of gear several times under load, rounds off the teeth where they first engage, sometimes they roll over and gall so badly, the gear won’t engage low gear at all.
  • The shifter mechanism is mounted to the t-case itself. Acceleration and load torque the engine and t-case one direction, deceleration torque it the other way. Worn engine mounts might allow the t-shaft shifter to contact the body side to side, but it would require hitting the body fore and aft, to pop the t-case out of gear. Side loading alone, can’t put any force on the shift forks. If you and I were looking at an opened up t-case on the bench, I could show you what I’m talking about.
  • I’m 80% certain the electric shift BW1356 uses a different case and rotary gear selector sleeve (maybe other parts?), than the manually shifted unit, so a conversion isn’t a simple bolt on deal. A guy would be better off locating a 90’s Eddie Bauer Edition Bronco and robbing the t-case from it. IMO electrically shifted transfer gear cases work fantastic for selling new trucks… but after 6-7 years of moderate service, the t-case’s electric servo motor or connections go bad, letting you down at the worst possible moment. There’s many forum entries on try to troubleshoot and fix an electrically shifted t-case, which IMO just adds another thing to go wrong, rather than fix a problem.
  • I think ArcticTravller’s planetary gear assembly lost it’s thrust bearing, or at least increased clearance from wear, and was popping out of gear.
The forks are an easy to replace once you get the t-case on the bench. You also want to inspect the inside of the t-case where the oil pump's anti-rotation bar contacts the case, they are known to wear through on higher mileage cases. I came up with a fix for that (see the above link)



I hope that helps
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:54 PM   #7
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Tom it certainly does help! And you are correct that the manual and electric shift BW1356 are internally different.

So if the OP doesn't mind. Since my push button TC experience with 400,000 miles (200,000 each on two different push button Bronco's) has been stellar, should I put a BW1356 electric shift in or a NP273 electric shift?

Is the VSS a problem with the latter? And is there a way to solve it?

Do you have pictures or can you describe how the driveshaft hooks up to the back of your flanged transfer case and how it runs to your differential. I.e., is there a center support with a spline which allows for in and out slippage?

My van's transfer case is splined with a one-piece driveshaft slipping into the transfer case and running straight back to the flanged output on the rear differential.

P.S. You have a great wife!

Additional: "[T]he parts are not identical between an electric shift and a manual shift . I have had both apart laying side by side trying to do just what your saying and it just flat out wont work there are alot of parts different in the electric case for the way it shifts its not just an electric motor running a manual shift linkage its way different . Ill find the breakdowns I have or Ill just take pics of the 2 units the electric one still lays in pieces both units failed from the oil pump line cracking and falling off"

From:

https://broncozone.com/topic/4098-bw...alpush-button/

Also see:

https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum...-56k-easy.html

and see:

https://broncozone.com/topic/12774-b...ft-conversion/
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
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I’ve had three of these apart lately, and I’ve never seen any wear on any of the shift forks. I’m guessing that 90% of these transfer cases were rarely used in 4WD. In 2WD, power flows straight through without ever putting any wear on the forks. The less common heavy user of 4WD will no doubt see a lot more wear, and need for a rebuild sooner. When you buy one of these from a junk yard or Craigs list, you will never know what you’ve got unless you take it apart. Once you have it apart, you might as well rebuild it and once it’s in good shape you should be fine for many years and miles. Personally, I prefer a manual shift with fewer parts to fail.
The electric shift boxes also require some electronics if I’m not mistaken. I spent some time combing salvage yards with Ramsey looking for electric shift cases and the proper little black box to operate it. I seem to remember that Agile only used electric shifts but I don’t know why.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:36 PM   #9
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I still have the first set of shift forks somewhere which were replaced by Salem-Kroger under warranty. The plastic tabs were worn down to nothing as pointed out to me by them. As you know if you drive like we do on snowy icy mountain roads during the Winter you will be in 4x4 constantly. And constantly driving up grade and down grade.

You mentioned the gandolf of this 4x4 subforum. I am envious of you. You spent time with him in junk yards. What a blessing! Last night I went to agileoffroad.com website and didn't see him listed as a "team member." How is Ramsey and what is he doing now?
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2002 E350 ext.; 160K; 7.3L; 4R100 (w/4x4 deep pan & filter); 4x4 conv. w/2007 F250/F350 coil frnt axle (oppos. dual Bilstein press. shocks cured DW) diff chg from 3.55 to 3.73 (bad!); BW1356 t.c. (bad!); LT265/70R17/E Michelin LTX M/S2; Engel MT60 Combi Fridge-Freezer; 4 BP 380J pv panels; Auragen 5kw AC gen. in top alt. position; Webasto Dual-Top; Voyager top. 1995 5.8L EB Bronco, bone stock.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E350 View Post
You mentioned the gandolf of this 4x4 subforum. I am envious of you. You spent time with him in junk yards. What a blessing! Last night I went to agileoffroad.com website and didn't see him listed as a "team member." How is Ramsey and what is he doing now?
Ramsey passed away a few years ago. There is a memorial to him planted in the sand dunes above his favorite campsite in Baja
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