Over the years I have used the 4WD without any problems. Yesterday, while I tried to move from 2H to 4H, The lever will not move out of the 2H position. It has been maybe six months or longers since I have used it.
Thanks for the reply kairo, Yes, I have tried at all different speeds, power applied, coasting, Parked, In Neutral, In Gear, In Reverse, It will not budge. I pulled the boot off the lever, but there is no real access from there.
And all the linkage underneath the vehicle is fine? No sticks or rocks kicked up and got wedged in there (Hey, stranger things have happened). Check for obstructions and shoot a bunch of silicone lube underneath. Pull HARD. the np231 on my XJ was sticky sometimes and required quite a yank to engage.
Got it on a lift yesterday. Nothing appears out of place on the linkage. The cable end was moving slightly when trying to engage the handle. I suspect something wrong in the lever assembly unit. What can I look for there?
I would def not force it. Perhaps undo the linkage and see if the lever will move easily in and out of 4WD. If it does, then it's in the transfer case. I'm reaching here, I wish I had mine in the air to peek at it too.
Okay. Heres the fix in this instance. I bought the electronic Service Manua online and downloaded. This makes it really easy to remove the console and the lever mechanism. I disassembled the shift lever mechanism and found nothing that would keep it from moving. With the shift lever mechanism loose and out of the way, I was able to see the Transfer Case lever from the top. It appeared the shift lever handle was "Slightly moving" the Transfer Case Lever. So I decided the trouble was in the Transfer Case. So, I grabbed the trusty 2 foot crow bar and applied "gentle" persuasion between the housing and the lever. No Luck. So I drove the Jeep down the driveway with the guts still unassembled. I again applied more gentle persuasion and after about 3 attempts it came loose.
I stopped and screwed down the shift mechanism assembly. I then drove again and it shifted easily between all gears. My hypothesis is the lever in the transfer case has very slightly corroded from not being used frequently.
A WORD OF CAUTION!!! Understand the risk of doing this procedure and applying too much force! If something breaks at this point, It will be very, very expensive to fix. It worked this time for me, It might not work for you.