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Unread 06-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #1
Thegdog
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Vari-lok with 242 swap

So it seems that my VC isn't working. I am ok with having it replaced in the summer, but I read a lot of people are doing a swap for a 242 TC. I understand I can even use the shifter that is in the jeep. So only TC and Drive shaft need changing. But I have a question regarding the 242, will this in any way affect my Vari-lok axles? I have this thought that the 247 communicates with the Vari-lok either electronically or Mechanically. Am I crazy?

Also my shop charges $75/hour, so what would the cost difference be between the swap and a new VC?

I plan on getting a used 242.

Thanks in advance!

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Unread 06-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #2
lazyWJ
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You are crazy on two counts. First for thinking the transfer case communicates with the axles, second for considering a swap to the 242.
In other words you can swap to the 242 with no issues, but the 247 has a much, much better full time system. Depending on your application though, that may not be a factor. Up here it's a lot of snow/ice/combination conditions where the 247 trumps the 242 so I would replace the coupler. If you're strictly on road or off road though, the 242 is fine. You can put it in 2wd and do easier donuts
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Unread 06-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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I am going to a 242 shortly, IMHO for wheeling a 242 with permy 4wd is better than the 247. The 247 in Hi needs slip to drive the front wheels, the 242 doesn't.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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to answer the OP original questions, whether you go with a 242 or a 247 a swap is going to be less labor overall vs. them pull the case, splitting it and doing repairs and having to reinstall said case.

so if you can find a used transfer case for cheap, which they are out there for $100-200 then a straight swap will be much cheaper than a fix labor wise.

I would suggest going with whichever is cheapest and easier for you to get, obviously a 247 from a 4.7L would be the ideal candidate. if you go the 242 route you might have a hard time finding one from a 4.7L in which case the cases will have to be split to swap input shafts and will up the labor costs.

so really you need to shop around and see what you can find. 242 or 247 will not affect axels either way, just whether or not you have 2WD and a part time lock
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Unread 06-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
Thegdog
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Thanks for all the help on this! I am leaning towards putting the VC in. Anyone know of a place to get one that isn't $600? I will ask my mechanic how much he thinks for labor.

How hard is this to do your self? Planning on fixing it this summer.

Also I live in NC. Not much snow, but lots of ice in winter. Also this Jeep will no doubt see mud.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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First and foremost, there is no VC in a 247. Its a progressive coupler powered by a gerotor pump, not a sealed unit like the viscous couplers in ZJs. Second, between parts and labor and still having a subpar system, fixing the 247 is not worth it. The 242 gives so many more options. 2wd, an open full-time 4wd, a locked 4wd in hi gear, and a locked mode in low gear. Not to mention it takes cheaper fluid and is far less prone to failure.

Also, there is no communication between the transfer case and vari-locks. I am one of the few on here that have vari-locks and a 242 and it is by far the best system that was never available from the factory.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezflip
First and foremost, there is no VC in a 247. Its a progressive coupler powered by a gerotor pump, not a sealed unit like the viscous couplers in ZJs. Second, between parts and labor and still having a subpar system, fixing the 247 is not worth it. The 242 gives so many more options. 2wd, an open full-time 4wd, a locked 4wd in hi gear, and a locked mode in low gear. Not to mention it takes cheaper fluid and is far less prone to failure.

Also, there is no communication between the transfer case and vari-locks. I am one of the few on here that have vari-locks and a 242 and it is by far the best system that was never available from the factory.
I am assuming its pretty simple to do? Compared to the PC replacement.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thegdog View Post
I am assuming its pretty simple to do? Compared to the PC replacement.
Yes, its very easy. You can do it yourself with just hand tools and a buddy. The case is about 80lbs so its a little difficult to raise and lower while laying on your back. But if youre not a complete sissy, its pretty easy.

The worst part of the whole swap is the top bolt on the transfer case. You can lower the transmission crossmember to give you more room to work up there and it helps a lot, but its still blind and you have to turn the wrench basically 1-2 clicks at a time.

After the case itself is up, its just a matter of moving the shifter cable to the other hole on the bracket on the transmission, and replacing the rear drive shaft.

You have a few options for the shifter inside the Jeep. You can just put stickers down to mark the new positions, you can replace the entire shifter assembly, or you can go to a junkyard and grab the bezel.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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I have a TC swap down to 2 hours on my jeep working off the ground, helps it being lifted though! Just need some suitably stubby spanners to get at the nuts at the top of the case. Very easy job if you have a car lift to work off.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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I'm not a hardcore wheeler, just a guy who likes to play in the dirt so take my opinion with that in mind. I love the quadradrive exactly as jeep sold it. Sand, snow, easier rocks, I've never wanted an option that I don't have with the 247. A 242 would be fine too, but I'd pay more to keep my 247 than I would for a swap. And with the hardcore guys taking 247s out for swaps, maybe you can find a decent used unit for a good price. A want to buy ad here is where I'd start.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 06:50 PM   #11
Thegdog
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Thanks for all the responses. Basically I really only have two priorities here.

Cost and Reliability. Both systems seem very capable.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C101Commando View Post
I'm not a hardcore wheeler, just a guy who likes to play in the dirt so take my opinion with that in mind. I love the quadradrive exactly as jeep sold it. Sand, snow, easier rocks, I've never wanted an option that I don't have with the 247. A 242 would be fine too, but I'd pay more to keep my 247 than I would for a swap. And with the hardcore guys taking 247s out for swaps, maybe you can find a decent used unit for a good price. A want to buy ad here is where I'd start.
Everyone is quick to toss the 247, most of them don't understand how it works though. The 247 has a superior FT setting and virtually negates the need for a PT high setting. The FT setting in the 242 is poor by comparison. It offers 2wd though (still not sure of the utility of this setting) and the option to lock in high range which works only marginally better than the 247 in high. Depends on what your objectives are really.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 08:01 PM   #13
Thegdog
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Honesty I am ok with either system. The question is which one is less expensive and reliable? (I realize that I may have to choose between these two, in that case RELIABILITY). I am going to wait a while to fix this, but I would like to keep it under $1000.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #14
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I've had both systems. Actually I've had quadradrive and have selecdrive currently. As far as snow and slippery higher speeds the 247 works flawlessly (at least mine did). Can't say that about 242 though, it doesn't seem to react as quickly for sure but it works in its full time mode. Having a 4hi is a personal preference but like I said my 247 worked extremely fast. I may have been lucky. Either way a swap is going to be cheaper than a rebuild. Even if you need a input switch.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #15
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I kept my 247 and am willing to sell it , but it's from a 4.0
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