LJ Transfer Case Shifter Mechanism Woes

grahamfitter

Expedition Leader
This is really ticking me off and I'm fed up with lying in the dirt wrestling a stupidly designed rod back into a bracket.

The manual transfer case shifter in my LJ routinely fails to shift because one end of a rod pops out of a bracket attached to the transfer case, leaving the lever unusable. The other end of the rod is inserted in a bracket attached to the body which twists relative to the transfer case and seems to pull the whole thing apart.

A spring looks like its supposed to keep tension in the rod but it doesn't seem to do the job and the rod pops out either between 2hi and 4hi or, more usually, between 4hi and 4lo. In all cases leaving the transfer case in neutral.

Does anybody have a quick homebrew fix for this?
 
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88Xj

Banned
There is homebrew shifter setups...or the novak setup. I'll be running the novak setup.
 

JKOperator

Adventurer
Could be one or a combination of things. Motor mounts, tranny mount, body lift, t/c cross member is dropped to low, or missing the spacers for the bracket attached to the body. I don't recall who makes the spacers for it.
 

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grahamfitter

Expedition Leader
Could be one or a combination of things. Motor mounts, tranny mount, body lift, t/c cross member is dropped to low, or missing the spacers for the bracket attached to the body. I don't recall who makes the spacers for it.
I probably should have mentioned that this is a Rubicon with no body lift, no transfer case drop, no tummy tuck, etc. The extent of mechanical mods are OME suspension and some swaybar connectors were removed.

I'll look at mounts but given both engine and gearbox were replaced in the last 2 years (rant over) all that should be ok.
 
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squint

Adventurer
I have the Novak shifter and it cured all the issues I had. The factory design is extremely clunky and requires much effort to move which leads to broken parts... My advice would be to get the Novak and be done with it.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
I probably should have mentioned that this is a Rubicon with no body lift, transfer case drop, tummy tuck, etc. The extent of mechanical mods are OME suspension and some swaybar connectors were removed.

I'll look at mounts but given both engine and gearbox were replaced in the last 2 years (rant over) all that should be ok.
That mostly explains it, dropping the transfer case only makes the mounting points on the lever even more out of alignment.
 

88Xj

Banned
Hmm cable vs the rod setup from novak...sugestions on which is better?

The stock setup on the cherokees mount to the body and when flexed mine will pop out of gear. Only when I stuff my driver side tire though. Its odd. Which is why I'm getting a novak setup.
 

grahamfitter

Expedition Leader
That mostly explains it, dropping the transfer case only makes the mounting points on the lever even more out of alignment.
Oops, I reread and rewrote my post to be a little clearer... no body lift, no transfer case drop, no tummy tuck, etc.

Moving stuff around would obviously cause problems but that isn't the case here.


I have the Novak shifter and it cured all the issues I had. The factory design is extremely clunky and requires much effort to move which leads to broken parts... My advice would be to get the Novak and be done with it.
I ran the novak for years, it is bullet proof.
Novak shifter will take care of the problem .....
Another vote for the Novak cable system. SOOO much easier to shift into 4wheel now.
Thanks, I'll take a look. No home brew solutions out there?


Hmm cable vs the rod setup from novak...sugestions on which is better?

The stock setup on the cherokees mount to the body and when flexed mine will pop out of gear. Only when I stuff my driver side tire though. Its odd. Which is why I'm getting a novak setup.
Its strange that for years Jeep would make such a daft assembly that is known to fail when vehicles are used as designed. Actually, no, its not strange at all. Is this fixed in the new JK Wrangler?
 

Jim K in PA

Adventurer
Graham-I am not aware of any quickie home-brew fixes, but then again, I have not had a problem with mine. I have over 130k miles, a body lift, TT, MML, and have not had any T-case shifter issues. I suspect the bucket side of the linkage on yours is damaged. Probably done by the nincompoops at the stealership when the engine/trans R&R was done. If you don't want to spring for the Novak unit yet, try and locate a good used stock bracket setup and swap out the old parts.

Sorry, not much help.
 

grahamfitter

Expedition Leader
Graham-I am not aware of any quickie home-brew fixes, but then again, I have not had a problem with mine. I have over 130k miles, a body lift, TT, MML, and have not had any T-case shifter issues. I suspect the bucket side of the linkage on yours is damaged. Probably done by the nincompoops at the stealership when the engine/trans R&R was done. If you don't want to spring for the Novak unit yet, try and locate a good used stock bracket setup and swap out the old parts.

Sorry, not much help.
This looks like the right Novak part for the NP241OR transfer case in the Rubicon models: http://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/kit_sk2xr.htm

To be honest if I'm going to take the old mechanism out I'd prefer to replace it with one that's guaranteed not to have the same problems. Besides I'm not sure it would be possible to tell whether another bracket is any good so beating the current one into submission would be more therapeutic!

I'm wondering if its possible to simply secure the rod into the bracket with a clip or nut on the back side. There seems to be plenty of play on the other end.
 

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Jim K in PA

Adventurer
I agree 100% - I would not spend any serious $$ on fixing the stock unit. I would just swap in the Novak shifter and be done. I was just addressing the "quick & dirty" part of the question. I suspect you can modify the stock pivot to accept a cotter key or something similar to provide more positive retention, but beating it with a hammer after the Novak cable is in will be MUCH more satisfying . . . :)
 
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