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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
My 78 CJ has an 86 drivetrain... so T5, D300, D30, D44.
Everything seems to work fine (axle gears are a bit too high) except the D300 is very hard to shift.

Not that it doesn't mesh into gear... More that the levers seem to take more effort to move than they should.
Also, It's hard to feel the detents.

For example, I have no idea if I'm in 4Hi or 2Hi... Well, not completely accurate... 4Hi is all the way back, but when I push the lever forward, I don't feel any 'clicks' into 2Hi or N.

Where to start? The Jeep is new to me and I'm fixing as I find issues. This isn't a major issue, since it works as is... but I'm worried that it's a symptom of a bigger problem and therefore I want to figure it out before something big goes wrong.

Thanks,
Doug
 

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1974 Jeep CJ-6
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How are you trying to shift? At a dead stop? Most find it easiest the shift with the trans in neutral while rolling slowly forward. After you have gotten use to how it likes to shift, it will be easy to find what range you want to be in.
 

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Dude, I feel ya. My 1980 D300 is one of those "move slowly while shifting" deals. If I try at a dead stop, forget it. And the linkage is well lubed with white lithium. So, yeah, give the slow mo shifting a shot ... like 1/2 mph. That seems to be about where mine is happiest.
 

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The D300 is neither a shift on stop or shift on the fly, it's somewhere in between but at a much slower speed. I find shifting from 2H-to-4H requires slow speed in gear but no load, like going up a hill. But can shift from 4H-to-2H at just about any speed. Shifting from 4H-to-4L or 2H-to-4L requires coasting in neutral slowly.


Shift pattern is:
4L
N
2H
4H
 

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The linkage/pins on the D300 can get quite stiff if not exercised regularly as it collects road dust. It should get easier to move the more you use it and you will learn the feel of where 2H is. You can see the linkage is two pins being pulled in and out by the handle with a swinging connecting link. The setup doesn't provide much "feel"


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They are all difficult to shift, normal. the drivetrain binds the gears in the box, so the forces fight you. On a loose surface gently coasting at low speed it all frees up.

I put mine in Neutral, which you can check, and then slowly build pressure on the lever until it moves. Should be 2H. I have front hubs unlocked. IF your 4WD light works, it will tell you when you go past into 4H.
 

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Never had any problems with mine. If it won't go in, I put the trans in gear and let the clutch out slowly with the engine idling while applyng moderate pressure on the transfer case shifter. Always works. Sometimes the clutch sleeves aren't aligned with the corresponding splines and all it takes is a little bit of rotation to get things lined up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My 4WD light doesn't work... part of the problem. Where is the switch for that?
 

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My 4WD light doesn't work... part of the problem. Where is the switch for that?
Well looking at your signature, it looks like you have a dana 300 in the 78 but they never came with a dana 300 originally. So maybe you don't have the wire running to it in your harness.
The 'Emergency Drive" light on the 78 speedometer was for the automatic transmission that came out those years.

The Dana 300 does have a switch on it. It's right on top where the shift levers are located.

Light Fluid Motor vehicle Automotive tire Gas


You will have to get creative to wire that switch to the light in the speedo but it can be done.
Look for a wire coming out of the #56 Position in your bulkhead connector and connect that wire to the switch on the Dana 300

Product Font Rectangle Engineering Electrical wiring


The 78 connector is almost same as the 79.
Light Yellow Electrical wiring Motor vehicle Gas


Touch the wire to ground to see if the light lights up to be sure you have the correct one.
 

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I had difficulty shifting mine into 4low. Finally decided to rebuild it a couple years ago during a clutch replacement.
With the shift rail plate not installed in a vise I could still not move the lever into 4 low.
Removed the detents and noted one of the springs slightly longer(nearly un-noticable) swapped them and it shifts smooth now, but firm enough to not pop out of gear
 

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Twin sticked mine to try to get away from the problem of tough shifting the transfer case. Now it is really easy to shift but now the rear axle will slip from 4L to neutral when going down hill with your foot off the gas. Got pretty hairy one time on a steep, icy hill. Have to bungy cord the handle all the way forward to keep it from slipping out. Beware trading one problem for another.
 

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I have the same thing going on. The twin stick is awesome but does jump out of rear low once ina while. It did this before I twin sticker it too coasting down hill. At least now the front stays in gear. Had it surprise me many times on a trail when I get stuck with only front wheel drive.


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I like this thread...

In my CJ5 I can put it into 4L just fine, but have to just about bend the shifter to get it back out.
Feathering the clutch in and out, rocking back and forth and slow speed roll don't seem to make much difference.
I'll try all the suggestions here, but might have to go to twin stick.
 

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I always thought that transfer cases were hard to shift just to make it hard to accidentally put it in the wrong gear. I have a Dana 20 and the shift pattern is 180* out from the 300. I constantly remind folks that the knob isn't a foot rest

I never can shift into 2 Hi without going to 4 Hi first. Don't have a 4WD light either so I usually crawl under and turn the front drive shaft by hand just to make sure. A periodic shot of grease to the fitting on the linkage helps to, but to get a good shot I have to remove the skid plate. One of these days I'll remember to put it back.
 

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As others have said, twin stick is the way to go, gets rid of that clunky shifter. If you remove the poppets from the xfer case, front wheel drive can be selected independently from rear drive. I haven't experienced the popping out problem.
 

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