Transfer case lockup (stuck in Moab) - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 10th, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Transfer case lockup (stuck in Moab)

Driving down for a weekend in Moab, my dad was in his D-90 doing about 60mph going up a slight hill. He heard a metallic pop/clunk noise and the truck seemed to lose power. He got to the top of the hill and noticed that the tachometer was reading 0 but the engine was still running and sounded fine. He pulled over and listened to see if he could hear anything. Everything sounded good, and the engine idled fine but the tach still said 0rpm. He tried to pull away and got a kind of whirring noise coming from underneath and almost no power. Then the car locked up (doing about 5mph) completely. He managed to get the t-case in neutral and coast off the side of the road to safety. I wasn't too far behind in my car so I stopped and looked at it.

Truck will not roll with t-case in high or low, however it will roll with t-case in neutral. It doesn't seem to make a difference if the transmission is in gear or not. It rolls quietly with t-case in neutral, so I think differential problems are not the culprit. When I start the engine and SLOWLY let out the clutch, the engine just starts to die (similar to letting the clutch out with the park brake on). The engine will die whether the t-case is in H, L, or N. What I'm thinking is something is screwed up on the input side of the t-case. Would that be a fair assumption?

Questions:
1) Why is the tachometer dead? Where does it get its signal from?
2) Are there any other tests I can do to diagnose this?

I'm thinking of pulling the t-case cover tomorrow possibly to get a look at the gears. Any other ideas? I'm in moab right now and the truck is about 65 miles away parked at a pull out on the side of the road.
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  #2  
Old November 10th, 2007, 02:43 AM
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Jim Cheney
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The tach gets its signal from the alternator, so that can't be related per se. If the alternator is dead then the truck is getting spark from the battery, which won't last too long doing that all by itself.

What do you mean by it doesnt "seem" to make a difference if the trans is in gear?
Transmission/T-case state / Normal condition / Your condtion
Trans in gear, T-case in gear = no roll
Trans in gear, T-case in Neut = roll
Trans in Neut, T-case in gear = roll => but you get no roll here?
Trans in Neur, T-case in Neut = roll
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  #3  
Old November 10th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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Chris Hinkle
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Has transfer case or any of the drivetrain been worked on recently? Drain the T-case and see if there are any metal bits and pieces. You can reach up around the transfer case and feel if the lever is going into high or low or hanging up.
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  #4  
Old November 10th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. There is a Uhaul rental in moab on the far east side of town.

I agree that the tach probably doesnt have to do with the driveline issue in that is picks its signal off of the alternator. But you said it runs fine it just wont move right?
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Old November 10th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
The tach gets its signal from the alternator, so that can't be related per se. If the alternator is dead then the truck is getting spark from the battery, which won't last too long doing that all by itself.

What do you mean by it doesnt "seem" to make a difference if the trans is in gear?
Transmission/T-case state / Normal condition / Your condtion
Trans in gear, T-case in gear = no roll
Trans in gear, T-case in Neut = roll
Trans in Neut, T-case in gear = roll => but you get no roll here?
Trans in Neur, T-case in Neut = roll
Transmission/T-case state / Normal condition / Your condtion
Trans in gear, T-case in gear = no roll --> No, mine doesn't roll
Trans in gear, T-case in Neut = roll --> yes, mine rolls
Trans in Neut, T-case in gear = roll => but you get no roll here? - Correct, I get no roll in this case.
Trans in Neur, T-case in Neut = roll --> yes, mine rolls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier
Has transfer case or any of the drivetrain been worked on recently? Drain the T-case and see if there are any metal bits and pieces. You can reach up around the transfer case and feel if the lever is going into high or low or hanging up.
No work has been done on the t-case recently or any other part of the drive train. We have fixed the "death wobble" recently, but I checked all of the related suspension/steeringparts and nothing is wrong there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Scully
Sorry to hear about your troubles. There is a Uhaul rental in moab on the far east side of town.

I agree that the tach probably doesnt have to do with the driveline issue in that is picks its signal off of the alternator. But you said it runs fine it just wont move right?
So does the tach pick up it's electrical signal from the alternator only, or does it actually get it's rpm count from the alternator too? It's the rpm count that I am more worried about because it seems like it would get that from the engine crankshaft or somewhere near by.

Thanks for all the help guys, keep the suggestions coming. We'll likely just drive home (near Salt LakeCity) and rent a flat-bed trailer. Then we'll come back down and pick it up to take it home. Once at home, it'll just be a money issue, haha.
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  #6  
Old November 10th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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  #7  
Old November 10th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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Andrew Najarian
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I may be totally wrong, but does anyone else think this sounds like it may actually be a trans problem and not a T-case issue?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cbass
Transmission/T-case state / Normal condition / Your condtion
Trans in gear, T-case in gear = no roll --> No, mine doesn't roll
Naturally, since both are locked it shouldn't

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbass
Trans in gear, T-case in Neut = roll --> yes, mine rolls
T-case is free to spin but if the trans was bound up it would not affect this case at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbass
Trans in Neut, T-case in gear = roll => but you get no roll here? - Correct, I get no roll in this case.
Movement here relies on the trans freewheeling not the T-case. I realize that the T-case would have to be able to move but it seems unlikely to me that the T-case is binding up here, esp. given the durability of the LT230
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbass
Trans in Neur, T-case in Neut = roll --> yes, mine rolls
Makes sense b/c movement in this case does not rely on either part moving individually. If the Trans is bound up, the T-case will freewheel and if the T-case is bound, the Trans will freewheel.

There is a chance that the T-case is bound up but it seems unlikely to me. It seems more likely that the trans has taken a crap IMO.

I don't know how to really test which it is short of yanking the T-case and checking it.

Anyone else have an idea or opinion?
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  #8  
Old November 10th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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I will just SWAG that the transmission output shaft has either snapped or stripped off all its splines and is binding. Of course something could be wrong deeper in the trans, but output shaft wear is pretty commonplace. It sure would be nice if Rob Dassler would drop in an make a more informed guess.

And the only wires running to the tach are signal from the W post on the alternator, the ground wire, and the light lead. I'm sure the ECU picks up a signal from somewhere, probably a crank position sensor, but I'm pretty sure it doesnt share a sigal with the tach.
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  #9  
Old November 11th, 2007, 02:05 AM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Thanks for more suggestions.

A transmission problem crossed my mind too, and I didn't know that output shafts on transmissions were a common thing to have go out so that is sounding more and more likely now. I was actually thinking the problem would be input area of the t-case. I definitely know it's in that area (somewhere near the t-case/trans joint) and not towards one of the output ends of the t-case. At any rate, thank you for the comments and tomorrow we'll have it home and be able to work on it soon. I'll post up with more info and questions in the near future. If you have anything else, I'd love to hear it!
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  #10  
Old November 12th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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My output shaft broke on my R380, it could be that. When mine broke it rolled freely with out binding.

It almost has to be something before the mainshaft in the transfer case if it rolls in neutral. Keep us posted...
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Old November 12th, 2007, 11:11 PM
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I'll definitely keep you guys posted. We may just take the part that's broken and swap it with the good one that we have for our '94 d-90 build (yes, I'm still working on it) and then get it fixed later. That way at least we'll have one driveable D-90. From what you guys have said, I'm thinking transmission now too. My little bro is going to drain the fluids in both and see if he can tell from that. Then he'll pull both the PTO cover as well as the rectangular cover on the t-case to nail down the problem. I think he's doing that tonight. Anyway, I live about 50 miles from my dad, so I'll just be getting word from them on what's going on. I only get down there every once in a while to work on the rovers.

Follow-up Post:

t-case looks like the culprit... chunks were attached to the magnetic drain plug and there was very little gear oil in there (once again, I need to tell my dad and bro that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). So now they're looking into some options. I would love the Ashcroft underdrive, but that would mean we would have to buy a new t-case AND the underdrive (out of the question). The other option is the maxi drive crawler unit from GBR at ~$2000 which seems like the best bet. A rebuilt stock t-case would likely be ~$1500-$2000 anyway so we might as well upgrade a little bit. I know about the Atlas II, but I don't think I want to mess with adapter plates and changes in differential offset, etc. So that one is probably out of the question unless someone comes up with an easy way to bolt one on with very little effort. Otherwise it's not worth it.

Thanks for the help guys!
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  #12  
Old November 12th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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ECR has a 1.4 . . .

http://www.eastcoastrover.com/usedparts.html

You need to send them a box.

You CAN rebuild the LT230 yourself. When I did not work 80 hours a week I did it all the time. My "repaired" units I sold for $250-300 a pop. $70 shipped UPS. Also check with the breakers as a disco case will fit fine. Used they go for $250-500 all day long. All you have to do is pull the solinoid off the top before installing. Check with Dassler. I hear he does nice work if you are looking for a rebuild.

I have enough to put one together here if you mail me your core. Normally all they need is a new diff (I have a spare here).

3 hours to pull the LT230 in my experience (save the 110 nightmare . . . . but I guess that was more the trans . . . .)

To get it home, buy a tow bar at pep boys and drill some holes in the bumper to mount it.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Ron- I think my box went out to ECR yesterday for the 230
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Old November 13th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Chris,
What do you mean?
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Well chris, good for you. Sell your 1.2 box to Cbass for cheap!
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  #16  
Old November 13th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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haha, I just read the ECR used parts thread, so I know what Chris means now. Bummer, just a little too late for me :-)

Now Chris, how much do you want for your t-case? :-)

Although that 1.4 ratio sure would be nice.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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The 1.4 wouldnt do anything but make you go slower, the low range is the same. The 1.4 is the stock box for diesel trucks.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Yeah, I know that, but with the bigger tires, it would be nice to swap it out since we have to get a new t-case anyway. It would feel like it got some of it's power back with a 1.4. And at some point in the future I want to go diesel with one of the d-90's anyway.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Oh yeah, I guess other mods matter too.

At least you dont have a picture of a dancing fat kid on your sig line anymore!
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Old November 13th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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You didn't like that one, huh? I can't imagine that, hehe ;-)
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