'97 auto transmission trouble - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 10th, 2012, 09:32 PM
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mike hall
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'97 auto transmission trouble

truck seems to be shifting in and out of park when in drive. it started not long (half a mile) after i ran over a pretty large limb in the road on the way to work. ran fine 'till i got to work, stopped at the guard shack, then when i proceeded on, it locked up, released then continued to do so until i parked it. no obvious damage, first seems to be neutral. neutral is neutral. it will shift through all the gears just fine, but will also lock up and release in all of them also. fluid level is good. anyone out there experienced these symptoms?
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  #2  
Old April 10th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Doubt it is the trans, I would look into the axle first.
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  #3  
Old April 10th, 2012, 10:44 PM
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There is likely a piece of a tree or similar stopping the shifter from proper movement
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I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #4  
Old April 11th, 2012, 10:30 AM
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x2. Get it on jack stands, check the linkage and then make sure the drivetrain moves freely to isolate where it might be originating from.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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Also check to make sure the motor and transmission mounts have not failed.
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  #6  
Old April 20th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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finally had the chance to put it on jack stands




this is in "drive", doesn't do it in "Reverse". help!
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  #7  
Old April 21st, 2012, 12:45 PM
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OK, saw the movie, the clunking sounds horrible and the reversing wheel spin does'nt look good. I suspect it is the transfer case, not the tranny.

Now if you have inspected the shifter linkage that joins the transmission and it's in good order its time to move onto other things. Be sure your "lock/un-locked - hi/low" transfer case shifter is in the lower right corner position, which is, high & unlocked. Also try to be on level ground and block the wheels of the axle that we're not working on to keep the vehicle from rolling. Leave the park brake off.

My first caution to you would be not to run this automatic trany (it's a German made, Zf 4HP22) "free-wheeling on jack stands" These tranys are notorious (going back to the mid 1980's) breaking IF you speed them with the wheels off the ground. Your transfer case should be a LT230Q, made by LR, since yours is a 1997.

OK, back to analysis, remove the front and rear drive shafts from the transfer case end first and wire them up so you can turn the wheels on each axle. Just put one axle at a time up in the air (you only need the wheels to be a couple of inches off the ground. How does each react to slowly turning one wheel by hand? Each axle should turn freely with no clunking and as you turn one tire when the other will turn in the opposite direction and the drive shaft should turn too. You might hear some scraping noises which will be the brake pads. DO NOT pull the drive shaft ends off and get them out of time and balance. Mark them with pointers to keep them timing correct.

Next the transfer case. Leaving the drive shafts disconnected and wired up and out of the way, (all 4 tires on the ground now & blocked to keep from rolling and leave the park brake off), put the high-low transfer case shifter in neutral and the PRND2nd1st in neutral. You will have to turn the ignition key to on (NOT START) to get it to move, then turn the key back to off. Now we're going to spin the transfer case outputs and listen for the clunking/grinding. Try the transfer case shifter in all positions being sure to spin both forward and rear outputs. When in the "locked" positionS (high & low), both outputs should turn.

The diff lock shifter makes the transfer case operate just like an axle differential when in the unlocked position, so in turning the output of one the other output will turn in the opposite direction. While turning these out puts they should turn freely with no binding, clunking or periods or free-spin (indicating broken gear teeth) I'd turn these for a good amount of time as it may take quite a few revolutions to "feel" all the gear teeth.

Lastly the trany, Put the shifter back in PARK leave the transfer case shifter in neutral, and start the engine. KEEP YOUR FOOT OFF THE ACCELERATOR.......DO NOT GIVE IT ANY GAS.... you'll blow up the trany if you do. This is a listen only phase at engine idle speed. Try each gear position and listen ONLY for clunking, etc. Turn the engine off in gear, then put it back in Park, don't try to put it in park while the engine is on as the trany output is still turning (with no way to stop it) and you may break off the PARK cog in the most rear section of the trany. Now engage the transfer case in high open (lower right corner position). This may take 2 people to get the transfer case back "in gear/engaged" to the transmission, someone underneath to turn the transfer case outputs in order that you can get the transfer case shift handle in forward high position. Start the engine and put it in 1st gear and listen for clunking etc. AGAIN turn the engine off in gear before going to PARK. Since the problem is in the HIGH transfer case gear, you should not have to do this process in low range or the lock positions

Somewhere in this process you should have found the source of your "clunking".

Lastly, do you know that you can use only one axle as a drive axle by removing one drive shaft completely and putting the transfer case in the locked position?
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  #8  
Old April 21st, 2012, 07:10 PM
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thanks Dennis! i appreciate all the time that you had to have spent on the write up. it will be a few more days before i can get to work on the truck as my work schedule is pretty hectic right now (worked every day of the past 28, 12-14 hrs/day) and still have a few more to go. i'll keep you posted on the progress. thanks again.
Mike Hall
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:00 PM
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Reading your initial post again and it occurred to me, is it possible you got "air" with one wheel on one axle (probably the rear) when you got over the top of the branch? With one wheel "airborne" and under throttle, it may have got spinning, took the full load upon return to the pavement, and broke a half shaft (probably the long one one drivers side).

This sort of thing commonly happens when off roading and over throttling while one or more wheels are not firmly intact with the ground. Suddenly at higher RPM's, a spinning wheel will grab the ground and WHAM!, an axle half shaft will break, when the wheel essentially coming to a dead stop with contact to the ground.

To check for a broken half shaft, raise the rear axle, have someone hold the other wheel still (trany in neutral, engine off) and try to turn one wheel at a time, listen for clunking and scraping and the drive shaft NOT turning. Do the front axle too the same way. On the front, you could have blown up a half shaft or a CV joint too.
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  #10  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 02:47 PM
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mike hall
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Dennis,
I disconnected both driveshafts at the transfer case,jacked up the rear axle, spun each tire both forward and reverse, the opposite did not spin at all, the same results with the front. went throught the entire shift pattern on the transfer case and it performed as you described previously. it did take much more effort to rotate in diff lock,both hi and low. anyway, that's my progress so far.

Mike
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  #11  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 03:34 PM
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went through the rest of the procedure. the "clunking" is coming from the front end of the transfer case. the front output shaft goes one direction,then immediately changes direction. constantly changing back and forth. no rotation at all in first gear,shifting through all other forward gears gets the same results, no issue noted with reverse (both front and rear output shafts rotating in the same direction).
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 09:36 PM
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Somehow, I don't see the transmission reversing direction, essentially shifting from forward alternately into reverse, it must be in the transfer case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamanuke View Post
went through the rest of the procedure. the "clunking" is coming from the front end of the transfer case. the front output shaft goes one direction,then immediately changes direction. constantly changing back and forth. no rotation at all in first gear,shifting through all other forward gears gets the same results, no issue noted with reverse (both front and rear output shafts rotating in the same direction).
What happens when you put it in lock? In lock, both outputs of the transfer case should turn equally in the same direction.

Also, what happens when you turn a drive shaft by hand with that drives axle off the ground.
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  #13  
Old April 24th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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in lock, hi or low, both start one direction then reverse. hi or low out of lock, only the front does the swapping
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamanuke View Post
in lock, hi or low, both start one direction then reverse. hi or low out of lock, only the front does the swapping
Even if you put the shifter in1st gear?
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  #15  
Old April 25th, 2012, 05:17 AM
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first gear, no motion what so ever, locked or unlocked
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  #16  
Old April 25th, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamanuke View Post
first gear, no motion what so ever, locked or unlocked
The next thing I would inspect is the drive from the trany to the transfer case. On the rear of the transfer case, in line with the tranny output is a round cover, remove it, shift the transfer case into neutral, start the engine and drop it into 1st. Again no gas & DON'T rev it up. Observe the trany output shaft, with the cover off the transfer case. Is it turning constantly in one direction, if so the problem is in the transfer case. To stop the engine & transmission, turn the key off in gear, then you can put the trany in park, don't put it in Park befor you stop the engine as you'll break the park cog in the transmission.
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