Tracking transfer-case temperature
The first thing we did after rebuilding our transfer case was install a Nordskog digital transfer-case temperature gauge. This neat little gauge simply snapped into our nifty Pro Pods Full Pillar Gauge Pod, and it offers us instant eye-level readout of our fluid's temperature. The sensor for the gauge is mounted in the drain-plug hole in the bottom of the 'case.
Why should we, or you, care about about your rig's transfer-case temperature? Probably the most important reason is that many T-cases use automatic-transmission fluid (ATF) to lubricate and cool the internal components. Standard ATF fluid has a recommended operating temperature of approximately 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above that figure significantly shorten the fluid's lifespan, thus requiring more frequent oil changes.
In 1999, we published a multi-part series "Project MPG," written by Randy Thomas of Performance Unlimited in Hartford, Wisconsin. During some eye-opening testing, Thomas found that the transfer-case fluid in his '88 Ford big-block-powered, 1-ton, four-door 4x4 crew-cab dualie reached a scorching 380 degrees Fahrenheit during on-highway, trailer-less testing in the summertime. Considering that ATF fatigues at 220 degrees, he knew something had to be done; otherwise he'd have to change oil every 1,000 miles. His solution consisted of using high-temp fluid and Pro Blend additives to lower the average operating temperature to an average of 180 to 210 degrees.
This is an illustration of what was on our minds as we installed our Nordskog transfer-case temperature gauge. We just got it hooked up, so over the course of the next few months we'll be charting our transfer-case temperatures. We'll keep you informed.
One of the first things Heady checks during a rebuild is the oil-pump retaining brackets that are molded into the transfer-case housing. These are designed to hold the oil pump in place, but over time they wear out. Ours were in excellent condition, but here you can see an older case that shows significant wear. If they were to completely erode, the oil pump could spin on the output shaft, fluid pumping would end and the transfer case would fail. Heady says he can fix housings with worn-out retaining brackets by drilling through the housing and installing a bolt to act as a retaining bracket. Or the case half can be replaced with a new unit.
We replaced our old planetary unit (on right) with a new, beefier one from Motive Gear. The planetary pinions can wear out the thrust washers in these units, and this can allow the pinions to eat away at the planetary housing. The result is destructive metal shavings that circulate in the ATF fluid. These shavings can clog the oil pump's filter. Also, inside the planetary unit are teeth that engage the high/low shift hub, and these can wear, causing the transfer case to not engage correctly or to pop out of gear.
Over time, the transfer-case chain will stretch. Sometimes, chains will stretch so much th
Insufficient lubrication can mean a quick and expensive end to your transfer case, so Head
Grit can get between internal surfaces like the output shaft and the drive sprocket. Here,
It's always a good idea to replace all bearings and seals. Most rebuild kits come with all
Reinstallation of the transfer case begins by placing the new gasket on the transmission.
Lift the transfer case into position and slide it onto the transmission output shaft until
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 1
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 2
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 3
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 4
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 5
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 6
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 7
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 8
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 9
Project Fiery Redhead - Part 10
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Nordskog Performance Products