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Transfer Case Clunking


Diano Gabbana

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Hey guys, I’m new to this forum and have been getting a lot of useful advice for building my ranger from here. I have a 2004 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4 manual with an automatic engaging transfer case. My transfer case clunks non consistently when put into 4H and 4L. I have changed CV’s, Inspected spider gears and changed my U joint. My last spot is my transfer case but I’m unsure what part of the transfer case could mimic this clunking. It almost feels like it cuts power to my front wheels when the clunk happens. Any advice or guidance would be very appreciated!!!!

Diano Gabbana
 


rumblecloud

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When the clunk happens, are you moving or standing still? You say that it feels like it "cuts power to the front wheels" -- which would mean that you are moving - but does it actually cut power and is it temporary?

Welcome to TRS btw.

Someone with more expertise will be along soon I'm sure to offer some assistance, so hang in .
 

Diano Gabbana

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When the clunk happens, are you moving or standing still? You say that it feels like it "cuts power to the front wheels" -- which would mean that you are moving - but does it actually cut power and is it temporary?

Welcome to TRS btw.

Someone with more expertise will be along soon I'm sure to offer some assistance, so hang in .
Thank you, glad to be in this group. The clunking happens when I’m moving, more specifically under load in 4H sometimes but more frequently in 4L. The power loss happens for a split second. If I’m driving in slippery snow and the clunk happens my truck slides a bit until the wheels come back engaged. This all happens in a split second.
 

James Morse

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Different year, but, my manual says there will be "momentary clunk and ratcheting" it is normal but look in your book see if it says that. I'm looking at the "Four wheeling with Ford" pamphlet that came with truck.

Since the auto hubs engage/re-engage when reversing direction, or when engaging them one direction, you may hear this as well. Transfer case of course would not disengage/re-engage.

And you would indeed lose power to the front wheels if you reverse direction because of that.

As part of your work you might consider manual hubs, I know I am. Just as a side note.

Just saw your updated post, so, I have to say it doesn't sound like what I was talking about if you're moving one direction, but guys here will know more. I just know when I tried the truck the first time and never had 4wd and heard these noises I thought it was tearing itself apart but turns out it's normal.

I suppose you could have bad switch connection that turns the transfer on/off randomly. But then the 4wd light on the dash would go off... I think...
Others will know much more than me.
 
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Diano Gabbana

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Different year, but, my manual says there will be "momentary clunk and ratcheting" it is normal but look in your book see if it says that. I'm looking at the "Four wheeling with Ford" pamphlet that came with truck.

Since the auto hubs engage/re-engage when reversing direction, or when engaging them one direction, you may hear this as well. Transfer case of course would not disengage/re-engage.

And you would indeed lose power to the front wheels if you reverse direction because of that.

As part of your work you might consider manual hubs, I know I am. Just as a side note.
Thanks for the information, only book I have with the truck is a clymers, I’ll flip threw it. I considered manual hub swap but I just don’t have the money for the new wheel bearing and CV to attach it.
 

Josh B

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Have you checked the oil level in the TC ?
I might be inclined to (no axles engaged) raise the front axle onto stands, get in there and physically twist the front axle going from TC to Diff, and watch/listen to everything happening up there.
Doing this you should see the entire front drive come to life (and possibly hear any part of the clunck if it is beyond the TC)
 

Diano Gabbana

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Have you checked the oil level in the TC ?
I might be inclined to (no axles engaged) raise the front axle onto stands, get in there and physically twist the front axle going from TC to Diff, and watch/listen to everything happening up there.
Doing this you should see the entire front drive come to life (and possibly hear any part of the clunck if it is beyond the TC)
Hey thanks for the response, yes I’ve just recently tried this yesterday. I pulled the whole diff out and checked the spider gears for any chips and backlash on the ring gear. Nothing added up to anything wrong. The only reason I say TC is because it’s the one spot I haven’t checked on my truck yet. Thank you though!!
 

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Josh B

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But did you physically twist the shaft until it engaged all the way through to the wheels. There is a lot that happens even beyond the DIFF. I would try that myself just to ensure it isn't something beyond.
I did this once unknowingly and was myself surprised at the clunks beyond as the outer drive shafts were being forced outwards and meshing into the hubs.
Just my $0.02 :D
 

Josh B

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Hey thanks for the response, yes I’ve just recently tried this yesterday. I pulled the whole diff out and checked the spider gears for any chips and backlash on the ring gear. Nothing added up to anything wrong. The only reason I say TC is because it’s the one spot I haven’t checked on my truck yet. Thank you though!!
Is that a 35 ? You have put extensive work into this haven't you. I am a latecomer here and may be far too engaged in the soccer bowl :/
 

pjtoledo

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a 2004 has live hubs, they don't disengage-ever. the front diff is always turning with the wheels. the only front disconnect is inside the transfer case.

the transfer case has 2 separate shift mechanisms inside. one slides the range reduction from hi to low, in the process of that is a neutral spot that gets passed over.
that would put all 4 wheels in neutral if it got stuck there.
the other engages the chain/front driveshaft, at that point the rear driveshaft is always engaged to that mechanism.
if it slips the rear stays powered, the front loses power.

both mechanisms are powered by the same shaft via the shift motor. the shift forks are spring loaded so the motor rotating the shaft
only tells it to attempt to shift, the actual shifting happens when the gears align and the springs push the shift forks to engage.

that could possibly explain the front dropping out. if it doesn't engage fully and pops out the springs will attempt to push it back in.



check out this thread, download the manual.
the cases listed are earlier than yours, the front outputs are different, the internals are the same

Warner Gear 1350 -1354 Manual found | The Ranger Station
 
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Josh B

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How does that fit in the scheme of Limited slip, locking, and (the axle where one side is always slipping)?

What is that kind of axle called?
 
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pjtoledo

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the pic in post #7 is the D35-SLA for 1998+ Rangers. it is not a true D35, has an 8 bolt ring gear of approx 7.6"
they are open diff, some Explorer versions had a passenger side disconnect built into the housing.
 

James Morse

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Josh I think that's open diff then like you say you have the limited slip and locked up.
In 4x4 the front and rear are in fact locked as I understand it, per side. So if I wanted to change to a different final drive ratio I'd have to change both front and back. This gets into the whole thing about having a different size spare and if you want to drive on it any length of time you should put it on the front and be not in 4x4. Of course if you're stuck in mud/dirt/snow then things are slipping anyway so the different size wouldn't be ideal but it wouldn't hurt things.
I hear the new Rangers have the option to fully lock the axles, which is, I'd think, a nice feature.
Other than that I don't know of anything they have that the '97 doesn't have... ok... nav, but phone works fine for that and I can plug the phone into the speakers if I want.
 

Josh B

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Mine fully lock, and I think both are limited slip. In 4WD turning, just here in the yard it's digging it up just trying to turn, does the same on rocks and gravel
 

James Morse

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My credo
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
What do you mean they fully lock? If they're LSD they shouldn't be fully locking... I mean, they'll be locked front/rear per side but not all around, unless I'm missing something. All I'm saying is to me fully locked and LSD are two different things, but I could be mixed up. The other guys know more.
I imagine it will still dig things up because of the front/rear lockup.
One of these days I'll get out to some dirt and mess with it. I actually have zero actual experience, I used 4x4 once on a dirt road, it worked nice, felt secure, like when you go around uphill hairpins it's a big help, but it wasn't much of a test.
 
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