Making the NP205 transfer case as good as new
Simple and strong are two words we have grown to love, even when they're used separately. And when something is both simple and strong at the same time, well, that's even better.
Both those words can be used to describe the NP205 transfer case. Its all-gear construction and heavy cast-iron case make it both simple and one of the toughest transfer cases around. When it came time to figure out what to do with the NP205 found in our '71 Chevy Suburban, the decision was simple. We decided to keep the NP205 and bask in its simplicity and stoutness. However, our NP205 had been used hard over the last 33 years, so it was time to show it some love.
We carefully removed it from its home behind our swapped-in NV4500 five-speed and contacted National Drivetrain, which sent one of the company's rebuild kits for our 205. Then with parts and transfer case in hand, we headed over to the professionals at GM Truck Center in Burbank, California. If you can't tell from the name, GM Truck Center specializes in the restoration and also the modification of Chevy and GMC trucks of every year. The technicians there were happy to take apart our NP205 and rebuild it while we shot some photos.
If you plan to tackle rebuilding an NP205 at home, make sure to at least get an exploded diagram of the transfer case before you start. A service manual can also be of great aid and is a good place to find an exploded diagram. Also, make sure to carefully note how everything comes apart so it can be reassembled correctly. We have found that taking photos of parts as they come apart and then referring to the photos upon reassembly is very handy. The NP205 is not difficult to rebuild, but there are a couple of tricky spots; so if this chore seems over your head, take yours to a professional. Follow along as the folks at GM Truck Center show us what is involved in rebuilding the NP205.