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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
capcyclone
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Front driveshaft disconnect - 249

So, an interesting topic came up at my work today. A guy has a '97 zj with a 249 transfer case. His front driveshaft is disconnected - presumably because the VC was bad, but he doesn't really know why (it was that way when he bought it).

I'm thinking of buying it from him for my son, but would definitely want to either swap the TC or do the VC swap. If the driveshaft has been disconnected - is there anything I'd need to look at/do besides trying a VC swap, reconnecting and see where that leaves me?

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Unread 04-30-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
Snowfan2
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The shaft may have been removed by someone seeking better mpg. Put the shaft back in and see how she rolls.

Be sure to run it up to highway speeds and check for noise and vibes in the front diff.

Maybe the VC is toast, maybe not. I have a good 249 for cheap if you need it.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #3
WkndFun
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I did the same to mine when my VC went bad.. Sounded like an extremely bad wheel bearing, and anything over 40mph was impossible. I just found a rebuilt 249 off a buddy and swapped that in for the time being. A VC repair kit are really only found on Ebay and are more than a new transfer case. The VC is actually a discontinued part. Even after I swapped the TC, I kept the front driveshaft out for awhile. Or even the 2 hour road trip to the offroad park. Believe it or not, I gain almost 2mpg with it out..
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
WhiteOut
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Originally Posted by WkndFun View Post
Or even the 2 hour road trip to the offroad park. Believe it or not, I gain almost 2mpg with it out..
No you dont. With the shaft in or out, everything still rotates. There may be small gains, but nowhere near enough to measure. If you have swapped in manual hubs, then its different, but you will never make up the cost in gas savings.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
jt_armstrong
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Wouldn't a new VC just sieze up if you ran it with one driveshaft disconnected?
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Unread 05-03-2013, 08:54 AM   #6
PolkaPower
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Originally Posted by jt_armstrong View Post
Wouldn't a new VC just sieze up if you ran it with one driveshaft disconnected?
For you it would. 93-95 are designed different. 96+ it's ok to take the front shaft out.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
capcyclone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jt_armstrong View Post
Wouldn't a new VC just sieze up if you ran it with one driveshaft disconnected?
In my case, I was suggesting that I'd put a new VC in and reconnect the front driveshaft. I'm one of the weird ones on this forum that likes the AWD 249.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
kg6mov
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New vc and a new driveshaft, good to go. The 249 is a great case.
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1996 ZJ Green Laredo V8, 2.5" OME and Bilsteins, 31's, Holes drilled in the roof.
1998 ZJ Platinum Limited 5.9, New engine and trans, no front driveshaft, but it's pretty

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"Coulda had a V8!"

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I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #9
capcyclone
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So we bought the '97 for my son. We reconnected a front drive shaft. All seems okay.

I've seen my next question asked more than a few times - but how can I determine whether the VC is bad or not? I've read about doing the figure 8s in a parking lot - and that if there is a lot of "binding" - that's a good indication of VC trouble. But can someone describe "binding" in this context? What occurs? The vehicle will have a lot of hesitation to do the turns? There will be excessive rubber marks on the ground? Both? A better description of what people mean when they say "binding" would be a big help to me here.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
PolkaPower
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Hopping, wobbling, hard to turn, lumpy feeling, and black tire marks are sure bets.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
kg6mov
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If it drives like it's in 4 part time then the vc is bad. When it dies it basically locks the shafts at the same speed and will act funny in turns.

Figure 8s are the best test. Take a drive around the neighborhood first to get things warm.
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1996 ZJ Green Laredo V8, 2.5" OME and Bilsteins, 31's, Holes drilled in the roof.
1998 ZJ Platinum Limited 5.9, New engine and trans, no front driveshaft, but it's pretty

"Whats wrong with a PT Cruiser?"
"Coulda had a V8!"

96 build thread

Niner build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas ZJ1 View Post
I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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