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Unread 11-03-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
the88thpianoman
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Shelf life of a new transfer case?

Long story short, the transmission shop has had my transfer case opened up four or five times now and can't find anything wrong with it. Each time they put it back together it has varying degrees of functionality and shifting issues. I'm getting ready to just swap the case entirely to have one that I know works.

I'm looking at this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/242J-TRANSFE...item2a142c910d

Brand new, never installed. Build date of March 2006. Any concerns with the case having sat around for five years without being used? Or should this be good to bolt up, fill, and drive it?

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Unread 11-03-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
the88thpianoman
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Also, is there a factory manual for rebuilding the case? If I replace mine entirely, I want to rebuild it properly so I can at least get some resale out of it, especially since it has a new oem chain in it.
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2003 WJ in Jeep Green Metallic, 4.0/242/4.10's. 4" Teraflex springs w/ RE monotube shocks and IRO short arms, cheap intake w/ amsoil filter, 2.5" hi flow cat and back exhaust, lots of lights and other misc crap.

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Unread 11-03-2011, 03:35 PM   #3
MadderThanMax
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No concerns whatsoever on the metal parts, Seals may be dry pending on how it was stored but in theory, should be a plug in and play job really, making sure you use the correct fluids!
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Unread 11-03-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
CJ7-Tim
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What kind of issue are you having, the transfer case pretty much either works, or it doesn't

The Jeep Factory Service Manual covers removing, repairing, installing, adjusting, and troubleshooting every part and system on your Jeep. They are well worth the cost.

The NP-242 is simple, I would suggest you find somewhere else to take your Jeep for transmission and transfer case repairs.

Buy a used NP242, put in a new chain and new shift fork tabs and it will be nearly as good as new. 94% of Jeeps have never been shifted into 4x4 or left the pavement
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Unread 11-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
Planetcat
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I would think zero issues for the new 5 year old case. You could talk to these guys too: www.transfercases.com. They know transfer cases.
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Unread 11-03-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
the88thpianoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
What kind of issue are you having, the transfer case pretty much either works, or it doesn't

The Jeep Factory Service Manual covers removing, repairing, installing, adjusting, and troubleshooting every part and system on your Jeep. They are well worth the cost.

The NP-242 is simple, I would suggest you find somewhere else to take your Jeep for transmission and transfer case repairs.

Buy a used NP242, put in a new chain and new shift fork tabs and it will be nearly as good as new. 94% of Jeeps have never been shifted into 4x4 or left the pavement
I apologize in advance for the following novel:

I have the five other texts, the body, chassis, powertrain, transmission, and supplement manuals, but not the standard FSM, and there aren't any up on ebay right now either.

Basically, I've had problems with the transfer case taking a long time to shift between 2wd, 4pt, and 4ft. Mainly that it sticks in 4pt, and takes a while to shift to 2wd or 4ft. So while I'm having the transmission rebuilt, I have the shop crack open the transfer case while it's out anyways.

First time the transfer case is open: Shop says that the chain is stretched. Replaces chain with a new Morse chain. Replaced shift fork pads at my request. No other problems noted, put it back together and bolt it up. When driving, 2wd is fine. 4pt has a horrendous howling sound. 4 ft still howls, but not quite as much. Shifts into 4pt from 2wd or 4ft instantly. Shifting from 4pt into 2wd or 4ft, the transfer case stays in 4pt regardless of shifter position, miles driven, coasting in neutral, stopping, driving in reverse, every trick to get it to shift. The only way to force the case out of fpt is to forcibly bind it up on pavement in a sharp turn, once or twice, then the case pops out of 4pt into whatever the shifter position is.

Second time the case is open: Shop cannot find anything wrong with it whatsoever. No explanation for not shifting properly or the howling noises. Put the case back together and back in the Jeep. When driving, the howling is still present, louder in 4pt, slightly less so in 4ft. Case shifts into 4pt immediately with the shifter, but 2wd and 4ft are still delayed, but after a few minutes or so of driving, eventually shift out of 4pt, without having to force the case to bind up.

Third time the case is open: Shop cannot find anything wrong with it, but at my request is getting a warranty replacement on the new chain to see if this solves the howling. Put in the second new chain and put the case back in the Jeep. When driving, the howling is unchanged in 4pt, still horrendously loud. In 4ft, still howls, but less than 4pt, and less than with the first new chain. Tolerable. Shifting is still delayed into 2wd and 4ft, 4pt as always engages instantly. Decide to live with the limited functionality.

Fast forward one month. When driving at low speeds, starting to hear a grinding sound that is loudest at 20 mph. Suspect the transfer case and drain the fluid. While draining the fluid, it looks like red metallic paint. Refill with fresh fluid and bring back to shop a day later. Grinding noise is slightly quieter with fresh transfer case fluid.

Fourth time the case is open: Shop cannot find anything wrong with it. Most of the transfer case is spread out on a workbench. Cannot find any wear on gears, chain, or anything. Magnet in transfer case is clean, so it may not have been metal I observed in the fluid I drained. Still no explanation for poor/delayed shifting, and the only guess for the howling is that the original chain developed a wear pattern with the gears, and the new chain is mismatched to that wear pattern.

Through all this, 4 lo has worked flawlessly and has no problems with the shifter popping back up into neutral or anything. When the Jeep was newer and I shifted the case when driving, it would always shift immediately. Shift lever, take foot off gas, feel slight click in transfer case shifter as the case went into whatever mode I put it into, resume acceleration. It never used to stick in 4pt, but that gradually onset with mileage, and immediately got significantly worse once the case was opened up and put back. All the parts inside the case do look just about brand new. I'm willing to replace whatever parts I have to to get the case to function like it used to, but I have no idea where to go from here, and the shop has no idea why it isn't functioning like a brand new case.
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Check out my build thread here: Life lessons and budget build
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Unread 11-03-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
CJ7-Tim
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A 231 will perform well off road, and none of the 5 231 XJ's I have owned have had any T-case shifting issues.

To me the 242 is more for daily drivers in winter climates. I don't see much need for it in Tampa. But, it was your choice, so I will go with it.

Temperamental shifting in 242's is not unusual, IDK if is a design issue or a maintenance issue.

If you want a 242 you should perhaps consider that new one. Myself, I would freshen up a well cared for used one, it's not difficult or technical at all. And I would also find another trans shop. A simple 242 refurbish should not cause all those problems.


One more thing, you are using ATF in the transfer case, right ?
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Unread 11-03-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
the88thpianoman
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There are some low mileage used ones not far from me. 32k miles on one for $400, and another with 38k for $290. I may well decide to swap in one of those if I can't get the issues with mine ironed out. I know there are going to be some issues with shifting on this, but this has been pretty over the top.

Main reason I like the 242 is the 4 full time. Not exactly much snow down here, but the combination of interstate driving with florida rain makes the full time setting the most used on my transfer case. Honestly about 90% of my driving is in 4 full time just so the traction is there if I need it.

Fluid has been nothing but mopar atf+4, changed more often than it probably even needed. The shop may well have filled it back up with regular dex III, but I can't imagine that causing any of the problems I've experienced. On that note, I have heard that higher mileage transfer cases may prefer a lightweight motor oil over the original transmission fluid, which I might try for the hell of it if I'm going to swap the whole case anyway.
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Check out my build thread here: Life lessons and budget build
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