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Do You Change Transfer Cases More Often Than Your Socks?

Third Time's a Charm

We knew when we built our lightweight Tracker that we were pushing our luck trying to run a Samurai transfer case with 37-inch tires, but the benefits of the Samurai case made it worth the risk. These transfer cases are super-light and compact, can be geared down to 6.5:1, and even offer gear reduction in high range to offset large tires.

We had been wheeling the Tracker hard for a couple of years before the transfer case let go at King of the Hammers. It was our fault—we were running water in the front tires and grabbed the cutting brake at speed, which resulted in all of the teeth coming off the input shaft in the transfer case.

We bought another case sight-unseen, and Tech Editor Verne Simons swapped it in only to find out that case was damaged as well.

Like Goldilocks, the third one was just right. That transfer case not only got us through all of the Hammer trails but is still in the vehicle today. We just make sure we only use the cutting brake at trail speeds now.