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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
cooky
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VC, how bad is it???

I purchased a 97 zj laredo, all original, a month ago.
Before the obligatory full fluid changes(my opinion), the vc failed and did the bunny hop.
After changing the transfer case to fresh atf 4, it is much better, but not perfect.
My question is how bad is bad? It does not bunny hop, but on dry pavement it will leave a tire mark(light) on the front outside of the turn(full lock).

So I have 2 questions....
Opinions regarding if the vc is shot......???
Would the mopar transfer case fluid help?

My gut says I need to change the VC.... Just happens to be worth asking before spending...

Thanks,
Rob

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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:08 PM   #2
BuzzZJ9er
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I would say swap the entire TC. From what I have heard on here it more costly and a hassle to replace the VC. It is also a sealed unit in the TC so different fluid won't make much of a difference. Somebody chime in and correct me if I'm wrong though.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
just_urd
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I'm sure some will say swap it, and some will say replace the VC. Depending how mechanically inclined one is, swapping it would probably be easier than replacing the VC. I'm still on the fence myself about my transfer case.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 11:30 PM   #4
NewtoZJ
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I love the 249 Transfercase. It's a drive and forget 4WD option. Makes it a no brainer, but the cost to fix it is a huge downside.

It's excellent in wintertime driving. I never had any trouble in the snow or ice. It just plowed on straight and true. Do some searching and find a good one to swap out. They even have some good deals on rebuild kits if you're soo inclined.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 11:57 PM   #5
BuzzZJ9er
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtoZJ
I love the 249 Transfercase. It's a drive and forget 4WD option. Makes it a no brainer, but the cost to fix it is a huge downside.

It's excellent in wintertime driving. I never had any trouble in the snow or ice. It just plowed on straight and true. Do some searching and find a good one to swap out. They even have some good deals on rebuild kits if you're soo inclined.
Where I am it sucks in the winter. When your front end just slides into a corner and you have no control.... Not good. I would rather the back end come around and have a better chance of staying in between the snow banks.
So for me it's a no brainier to swap. Plus I want to be able to lay patches with my niner. Lol
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Unread 04-30-2013, 01:48 AM   #6
Timo_90xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzZJ9er View Post
Where I am it sucks in the winter. When your front end just slides into a corner and you have no control.... Not good. I would rather the back end come around and have a better chance of staying in between the snow banks.
Huh? How about trying to go a little slower to the turns, and only then jump on the skinny pedal.. VC is basically inactive until it detetects wheelspin, so going to a turn with a VC that is in good shape you're basicvally RWD until you hit the skinny pedal.

You can get seriously nice 4- wheel powerslides with the 249, there's no way you could go through corners and speed as fast when either in RWD or with a 242 4FT or even in 4hi (4hi is WAY worse in snow than 249s AWD regarding understeer). I've had absolutely zero issues driving with the 249 in winter, no understeer or anything. Just the contrary I've felt it's great in any snow.

However, I did swap in a 242 because I wanted RWD and 4hi. I will miss the AWD 4wd mode though.. If the VC is shot, it sort of sticks in 4wd and feels a lot more like locked 4wd than the smooth action it is supposed to give you.


VC swap isn't that hard actually, the only PITA is the lockring on the topside of the rear housing. By lowering the tranny as low as it drops you gain fairly access though, and after removing the lockring you can unbolt the rear housing and the VC pulls right out. No need to split the case or anything
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Unread 04-30-2013, 03:52 AM   #7
a70eliminator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
Huh? How about trying to go a little slower to the turns, and only then jump on the skinny pedal.. VC is basically inactive until it detetects wheelspin, so going to a turn with a VC that is in good shape you're basicvally RWD until you hit the skinny pedal.

You can get seriously nice 4- wheel powerslides with the 249, there's no way you could go through corners and speed as fast when either in RWD or with a 242 4FT or even in 4hi (4hi is WAY worse in snow than 249s AWD regarding understeer). I've had absolutely zero issues driving with the 249 in winter, no understeer or anything. Just the contrary I've felt it's great in any snow.

However, I did swap in a 242 because I wanted RWD and 4hi. I will miss the AWD 4wd mode though.. If the VC is shot, it sort of sticks in 4wd and feels a lot more like locked 4wd than the smooth action it is supposed to give you.


VC swap isn't that hard actually, the only PITA is the lockring on the topside of the rear housing. By lowering the tranny as low as it drops you gain fairly access though, and after removing the lockring you can unbolt the rear housing and the VC pulls right out. No need to split the case or anything

I completely agree as i have also done a few of them, install is actually very easy, custom made my own design snap ring tool and learned a trick for re positioning of the snap ring that makes the job a breeze. Still bottom line is about 350.00 for the part.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:27 AM   #8
Candymancan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzZJ9er View Post
Where I am it sucks in the winter. When your front end just slides into a corner and you have no control.... Not good. I would rather the back end come around and have a better chance of staying in between the snow banks.
So for me it's a no brainier to swap. Plus I want to be able to lay patches with my niner. Lol
What now ?? My 5.9 the rear end spins in rain and snow and super heavy throttles on turns if i give enough gas.. I think the problem you have is your VC is toast and or your just going to quickly in turn on snow..

A good vc there is only like 10% or so power in the front for post 96+ zj's... But anyone who says its inactive doesnt know what they are talkin about.. trust me.. I swapped my VC for a new one like 1 1/2 years ago there is deff power in the front end when im driving.


Now as for doing the viscous coupler swap... It took me like 8-9 hours to do, but 3 of them were driving to the store for stuff i needed and being on the forums for help.. Prior to changing the VC the most work i ever did on a car was an oil change... I never dropped my tranny either... I used a jack and block of wood to hold it up and dropped the cross member to get it outa the way but i dont trust dropping something so heavy 1 inch or so... So i just worked with the cramped spots.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candymancan View Post
A good vc there is only like 10% or so power in the front for post 96+ zj's... But anyone who says its inactive doesnt know what they are talkin about.. trust me.. I swapped my VC for a new one like 1 1/2 years ago there is deff power in the front end when im driving.
I consider 10% of the torque directed to the front wheels to be "basically inactive" Then again, it only takes about 1/8" of a rotation of the wheels for the VC to grab and transfer up to 50% of the torque to the front, so whenever you get wheelspin the front is there with you.

I really like how the VC works and how unnoticable it is. Compared to 242s 4ft that really only gives you traction either at the rear or front, but never on both axles when it is actually needed. 4FT only truly transfers the 48/52 torque in dry road when none of the wheel are loosing traction. It's very easy to notice the downside of the 4 full time; go to a steepish slippery hill, try to move. You'll be spinning the wheels and go nowhere. Put in 4hi and you're up the hill. In most cases, you'd get up there with the 249 as well
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Unread 04-30-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
HighLonesome
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I hate the 249 case. Replace the VC and wait for it to fail again.

The fluid has no effect on a failed VC. What makes a difference is getting is warmed up. Take a 20 minute freeway drive and I bet you'll find its bound up. Plus when they fail, its like driving around in parttime 4wd on pavement. You can google the effects of that behavior on your drivetrain. Depending on how long its been driven like that, you may have other things to worry about.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 08:03 AM   #11
PolkaPower
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Yep. VC is a sealed unit. Fluid doesn't make a difference to it. Easy to replace just a PITA lock ring is all. I like the 249. First one lasted ten years. I replaced it and now I don't have to worry for another ten years. I don't even know if I'll have this ZJ then. Down side is tires. They all have to match up and have the same amount of wear or it starts to activate the VC which wears it out faster.

Swapping the Tcase you will need to mess with the rear drive shaft lengths, an get a shift bezel in addition to the other Tcase with a rebuilt kit. Not sure if you will need any other trinkets. So it's really about the same amount of money spent.

The black marks your tires are leaving is from the VC. A bad one will wear the tires out on the front outer edge among other things it puts tress on.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
capcyclone
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So is there a good write-up here regarding the VC swap? I've read some good ones on the TC swap, but I haven't found a good VC swap write-up. Maybe my search skills have deteriorated?
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Unread 04-30-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
PolkaPower
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Here is one. He took his case off to do it. I left mine in. It's more of a pain to leave it in but I was lazy and it worked. Once you get the snap ring for the tail cone off it only takes about 20 minutes. http://www.masoncomputing.com/np249/
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Unread 04-30-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
capcyclone
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You were able to access the various snap rings well enough without it being on a bench? How did you have the vehicle lifted? Was it in a shop on a lift - or just on jack stands? How long did the process take you?

You got your VC from Transparts Warehouse/Ebay - right? Did the VC come with new snap rings - or do you just keep the originals? The snap rings look like they'd be easy to bend or warp during removal - so I'm curious the condition of the additional parts you remove when you're swapping the VC.

Wish you lived in Phoenix - I'd talk you in to coming over and helping me.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #15
PolkaPower
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Originally Posted by capcyclone View Post
You were able to access the various snap rings well enough without it being on a bench? How did you have the vehicle lifted? Was it in a shop on a lift - or just on jack stands? How long did the process take you?

You got your VC from Transparts Warehouse/Ebay - right? Did the VC come with new snap rings - or do you just keep the originals? The snap rings look like they'd be easy to bend or warp during removal - so I'm curious the condition of the additional parts you remove when you're swapping the VC.

Wish you lived in Phoenix - I'd talk you in to coming over and helping me.
The only thing it comes with is the VC itself so you may want to get a new rear bearing. Luckily mine was still good. I re used all the other stuff.

I have a 2" lift with larger tires so I was able to lay under there and work on it. You can jack up the frame rails and put stands under there if you need to. I don't think you would have to jack the axles up but you could do that too. I used a mechanics mirror to see the top of the access plate to get to the snap ring. A lot of it was working by feel. I made a snap ring tool out of an old pair of pliers I cut down. Here is the link.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/r...249-a-1275779/
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