Questions for BW 1354 transfer case experts


gw33gp

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I recently disassembled my TC and found everything to be in good condition at 234K miles. The bearings were still in excellent shape so I just installed new seals and a new chain (it really didn't need it). Once everything was back together it shifted manually as it should and everything operated normally. Once I got it back in the truck, I noticed it was difficult to get it into 4WD hi. It is a manual shift so I could tell it was going part way into 4WD but not far enough to lock in. While driving, I can hold the shifter back and it will eventually drop fully into 4WD. Once it is in 4WD, I can shift it in and out easily. If I drive a while, it will revert back to being difficult to fully engage again. It is almost impossible to shift fully into 4WD when stopped unless I come to a stop in 4WD.

Once I get it in 4WD, I can shift into 4WD low easily (while stopped of course) and it shifts back out of 4WD easily. Before I disassembled the TC, it would easily shift into 4WD even while stopped. That TC seems to be fairly simple inside. I don't know how I could have made an error in assembly. Is there a way I could have flipped a slider or some thing that would cause this problem? Is there a way to somehow get something out of time to give these symptoms?

If there any danger that I could harm anything by driving it in 4WD with it doing this? Once in 4WD it is behaving normally with no unusual noises. Occasionally, it will easily drop into 4WD while driving like it did before, but that is about 1 out of 10 tries.
 


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Shran

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Do you have the shifter adjusted correctly?

I rebuilt one a while back and it seems like there were some things I did wrong but I caught it all as I was reassembling it and had no issues once it was back in the truck. It was very straightforward. I have had a lot of issues with adjusting the shifter, though, and I would suspect that's the case here unless you've ruled that out already.
 

snoranger

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The only thing I could see doing that is if you lost one of the wear sleeves on the shifter fork or if it's worn out. There's no internal adjustment and it's pretty much foolproof to reassemble.
 

gw33gp

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4WD
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33"
The shifter is adjusted correctly. Once it fully engages into 4WD it shifts normally back and forth between 4WD hi and 4WD low, and sometimes it shifts normally 2WD into 4WD while driving. I made sure not to change the adjustment and asked the shop that rebuilt the transmission not to remove the shifter linkage when they worked on the transmission. They determined they would not have to remove it and did not. I know that adjustment is kind of finicky because the Ford dealer messed it up while under warranty when they had to replace the transfer case at around 15K miles. I asked them to readjust it and they made it worse. I decided to do it myself and eventually got it right. I for sure know when it is out of adjustment.

I agree, it seems it would be difficult to assemble that TC wrong. The shifter fork wear sleeves were in excellent condition and were in place when I started assembly of the TC. I guess it is possible one slipped off without me noticing it but not likely. I will probably go back in and check things out in detail to make sure all is good in there. I can take the rear transfer case cover off while in the vehicle to see if anything is not right. That rear output shaft nut is the only thing that will be difficult. That 262 ft-lb torque is a bitch.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

4x4junkie

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This seems like would be a shifter alignment issue to me as well (especially when you mention having to hold the shifter back for it to engage). It might be that it's just barely a little bit out, so it still works sometimes (the transmission place might've bumped and inadvertently moved it slightly).

It's been some time since I've had to adjust mine, but I seem to recall it's easiest to do with the lever in the "4-LO" position... Loosen the two bolts (one large, one small) that hold the shifter gate, then align the gate so that the gate's angled center "tooth" is just barely touching against the shifter lever while it is in 4-LO, then retighten the bolts.


Edit:
I just confirmed my manual states the same: Shift it to 4-LO and adjust the gate clockwise until the bottom chamfered corner of the neutral lug just contacts the forward-right edge of the shift lever.
 
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gw33gp

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Ford
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4.0 V6
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4.0 SOHC
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Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
I do appreciate all the advice and any of it could have easily been the problem. I also called one of my brothers in Kansas who is a good mechanic and has his own shop. He gave me a couple more things to look at if I opened it up again.

There is one thing I didn't mention because I didn't think it would make that much difference. I had not put the extension on the shifter yet. I was doing some silicone repair to the boot that had a couple tears in it from age and use. The lever was still about 8" long. That was enough to shift it easily before I hooked it up to the transmission. There was plenty to grab onto above the boot and I thought that should be enough. I decided before I tear into it, I would install the extension and knob first. That basically doubled the length of the lever. That was all it needed. It now shifts like it did before. It now goes into 4WD moving or stopped. I can still feel a little resistance where it stopped before, but it then goes right into 4WD.

I am thinking the lead in to the splines that engage 4WD have a slight bevel or chamfer to help align the splines. Having only half of the lever would not give enough force to finish sliding into those bevels to engage the splines since it was working against the front and rear drivetrains causing the misalignment. Occasionally, when everything was perfectly aligned, it would drop in because no force was required. I am glad it was an easy fix. The only problem was me.
 


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