Low T-case Fluid Level. Is this a problem? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
lupinsea
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Low T-case Fluid Level. Is this a problem?

While inspecting things I noticed my t-case fluid was low and added 13 oz, or nearly half a quart of ATF, to my NP231 transfer case. Is there a chance any permenant, long-term damage occured to the transfer case from being as low as it was? I didn't notice any wierd grinding noises or anything . . . only what I would call a low-grade squeal or whine from 2 mph to 10 mph or so, then it would fade out. Initially I thought it was the "angry sparrows" syndrome common to TJ's.

Also, the t-case fluid seemed a darker shade of red than new fluid. Is this normal after 3500 miles of use? Or is it an indication I should replace the fluid in the transfer case?

Thanks for the help guys.


- Jay
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 06:33 AM
igofshn
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Think about it? Does it cause a problem if you are low on oil in your engine? I would say yes it can cause a problem. Did it? Maybe not, It depends on how long it was that way and how hot it got during that time.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 10:16 AM
Jerry Bransford
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At the least, I would drain the t-case and refill it with a good brand of ATF since you say it has darkened... possibly from getting hot. The specific type of ATF doesn't matter. Hard to say if any long-term damage was caused by the low ATF but since it could at least splash around inside the t-case, perhaps you got lucky. Just drive it after replacing the ATF and go from there. Hopefully it is ok.

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
lupinsea
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Just finished draining and refilling the t-case fluid. It was a darker red but not as dark as I had initially thought. And there were zero metal shavings or other debris in the t-case (poked a clean finger in the drain hole and tried to scoop some out) so I think I dodged a bullet.

One thing that did strike me as odd: The FSM says the t-case should take about 2.2 pints of fluid (1L or 35.2 oz) but I added a total of 3.2 pints (51 oz.) until the fluid started coming out the top fill plug. Does this strike anyone as strange? Any idea on why this might be? I do have a belly-up skid plate so the engine/transmission/t-case isn't tilted as much as other Jeeps. This would raise the fill plug up in relation to the transverse axis of the t-case. But I didn't think it would make such a difference.

- Jay
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 03:35 PM
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About a year and a half ago i got my jeep back (long story, lets just say it involved an ugle seperation) and it had VERY little fluid left in the t-case. I had no idea how long it had been driven this way so i did basically what Jerry suggested. So far so good, guess i got real lucky.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 05:48 PM
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea
One thing that did strike me as odd: The FSM says the t-case should take about 2.2 pints of fluid (1L or 35.2 oz) but I added a total of 3.2 pints (51 oz.) until the fluid started coming out the top fill plug. Does this strike anyone as strange? Any idea on why this might be? I do have a belly-up skid plate so the engine/transmission/t-case isn't tilted as much as other Jeeps. This would raise the fill plug up in relation to the transverse axis of the t-case. But I didn't think it would make such a difference.
There's a ATF capacity difference between the transfer case for an automatic vs. a manual transmission, so that's probably the discrepancy you noted. You perhaps noted the capacity of one type but you probably have the other... I forget which has the greater capacity though. More ATF is a good thing!

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post #7 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 06:06 PM
Quarry Adams
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The level of your atf is not as big a deal as say the level of your motor oil, Since your t case uses a spalsh lubrication method. Same as a tranny. More fluid would most likely be to your benefit.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 08:11 PM
BigWaylon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
There's a ATF capacity difference between the transfer case for an automatic vs. a manual transmission, so that's probably the discrepancy you noted. You perhaps noted the capacity of one type but you probably have the other... I forget which has the greater capacity though. More ATF is a good thing!

the FSM only lists one capacity...the 2.2 pints figure he originally posted...

there is no seperate listing for the t-case based on the transmission...

(not that means that there isn't a difference...it's just not in the FSM)...

Greg

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 09:05 PM
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWaylon
the FSM only lists one capacity...the 2.2 pints figure he originally posted...

there is no seperate listing for the t-case based on the transmission...

(not that means that there isn't a difference...it's just not in the FSM)...

Greg
There are two different capacities listed in my '97 FSM that depend on transmission type.

Page 0-2: 2.2 pints if the tranny is an automatic but 3.25 pints if the transfer case is bolted to a manual transmission.

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-13-2005, 09:41 PM
BigWaylon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
There are two different capacities listed in my '97 FSM that depend on transmission type.

Page 0-2: 2.2 pints if the tranny is an automatic but 3.25 pints if the transfer case is bolted to a manual transmission.

interesting...I looked at the '01 FSM...just on the chart with lubrication info...has the axles, transmissions, etc...but just the 2.2 pts amount...

no idea how much I put in mine...just filled it to the bottom of the hole...

Greg

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