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Unread 05-14-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
ErikTheRad
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93 GC 4x4 shift lever issues, linkage

Just a couple days ago I bought a 1993 Grand Cherokee Laredo with the 5.2 V8. This is the first Jeep I've ever owned. Its got its share of irritating issues, but it runs and drives really nice.

The Jeep is full-time 4x4, but there is a 4x4 shifter lever that has 3 positions-- full-time 4x4 (shifter forward), neutral, and 4x4 low (shifter back). I was having issues with the 4x4 lever, it was stuck in the full-time (forward) position and would not move no matter what I tried. So, I jacked er' up to take a look at the linkage. I found that a cross-pin in the linkage had slipped out of its support on one end--- this cross-pin is supported on one end by a bracket on the frame, and on the other end by a small hole in the side of the trans case. The cross-pin had somehow come out of the hole in the trans and slipped down, locking up the linkage. I was able to get the pin back in the hole and pryed it over to seat it in the hole. Then I lubed up all the pivots and joints with grease. Now the shifter lever was working and I could shift it through all the positions just as slick as snot on a doorknob. I started the truck, put the trans in neutral, and pulled the 4x4 lever into the neutral position very easily. When I tried to drop it further back into 4x4 low, it gnashed the gears sumthin' gnarly....... so I gave the lever a sharp forceful snap and CLUNK, it dropped into low. I drove the truck around my backyard for a bit (I have an acre of property) and could easily tell it was in 4x4 low. So I stopped the truck to put it back into full-time, and again with the gear-gnashing unless I forced it in with a quick jab. Then I decided to give the whole process another go, just to make sure all is well........ but it wasn't. Again, the 4x4 lever was stuck just like before. A quick inspection of the linkage revealed that the cross-pin had slipped out of the hole again. I put it back just as I had done before, and now the lever rakes through the 3 positions like butter so long as the truck is off and I'm not actually engaging the 4x4 low.

So, whats the deal? I can sit and pull the 4x4 shifter lever in and out of all-time to neutral to 4x4 low all day long, as long as the engine is off. But as soon as I start the truck and actually try to engage the 4x4 low, that damn pin pops out. What the heck?

My other question: is the gear grinding when going in and out of 4x4 low normal? Are you supposed to force the lever into position past the gnashing?

Thanks for any help!!!

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Unread 05-14-2010, 01:51 AM   #2
ratmonkey
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1. When shifting to n or in and out of lo you need to have the tranny in neutral.
For lo you should be rolling at roughly 3-5mph for smoothest transition.
2. Its popping out due to the tranny and/or motor mounts being bad.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 06:00 AM   #3
ErikTheRad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
1. When shifting to n or in and out of lo you need to have the tranny in neutral.
For lo you should be rolling at roughly 3-5mph for smoothest transition.
So if the trans is in neutral, how can you be rolling 3-5 mph?

Quote:
2. Its popping out due to the tranny and/or motor mounts being bad.
Possibly, but the engine mounts are fairly new and the trans mounts seem to be in very good shape. Nothing is loose or sloppy and there isn't any movement of the engine or trans. I'd think that in order for a bad mount to be causing the cross-pin to come out, the mounts would have to be a REALLY bad shape. Besides, the cross-pin doesn't pop out when I drive around normally, only when I try to engage and disengage the 4x4 low.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 06:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
2. Its popping out due to the tranny and/or motor mounts being bad.
A likely cause but there are others. For example, worn bushings on either (or both) ends of the rod.

Running the linkage between the frame and transmission was just a bad idea to begin with.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 08:32 AM   #5
JrMechanic
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As ratmonkey said, you need to have the transmission in N before you shift into low. Get rolling around 3-5mph, shift the transmission into neutral, then give it a hard yank down into low. Don't stop at neutral.

You can also do it with the engine off (or transmission in neutral) while stopped. The drive line just needs to be free of any binding (I.E. you can't be stopped on an incline.)

A little bit of grinding is normal.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
ErikTheRad
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OK, apparently I lied. The shift linkage cross-pin does indeed come out when driving the Jeep around normally. I just checked it after going to pick up my kids from school, and its out again. I'm gonna have to come up with a fix.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 10:44 PM   #7
ratmonkey
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Even with worn bushings those things stick into the mounts a really good ways, like half inch on either side. I'd triple check your engine and tranny mounts.

If it were popping out while using it I would say its the bushings.
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Unread 05-15-2010, 04:07 AM   #8
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Mine pops out all the time, like every trail ride. Brand new engine/tranny mounts AND linkage bushings. Like he said, the rod sticks in the frame-side bushing quite a ways and I can't for the life of me figure out how it can get out. Its driving me crazy. I've resorted to ripping the linkage off and shifting the t-case lever by hand.

My plan is to divorce the linkage from the unibody mount using a YJ style bracket, i.e. only mounts to the transmission. Like this.
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Unread 05-16-2010, 05:17 AM   #9
ratmonkey
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Novak shifter. I may be selling mine. If my twin sticks show up soon.
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Unread 05-16-2010, 11:45 AM   #10
ErikTheRad
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What if I were to fabricate my own bracket that could support the cross-pin on both ends and mount that bracket to the frame only? This would eliminate the trans case as a support, and so it wouldn't matter how much the trans moved. I think I could come up with something.
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Unread 06-26-2013, 04:08 AM   #11
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So 3 years later, I'm ready to try and fix this thing. I plan to do as I briefly described above, fabricate a bracket that will eliminate the transmission as a support for one end of the cross pin. This way, the pin is held in place and attached ONLY to the frame of the Jeep, flexing and moving of the motor or trans should no longer matter. Unless theres a better/easier fix, and thats where your advice comes in.

Very sad seeing the helpful replies from Ratmonkey on this thread. Kiss your wife and kids and tell them you love them EVERY SINGLE DAY, cuz you never know what tomorrow might bring.
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