Splitting some gears

After getting much of the errata off of the transfer case nearly two weeks ago, it was time to flip the thing all over and remove the innards. Following a couple of guides online (one even based on the other with a few more pointers), I was able figure out that I needed two things – first a brass hammer with a brass drift, and second a MUCH better impact wrench. This last weekend I had my dad come by with an electric impact wrench with far more torque then my cheapy Chinese-made weekend special. With the more torquey wrench, the front yolk nut came (almost) right off.

The more difficult thing to find was the brass drift. A certain Chinese tool distributor had a 2 pound brass hammer available for sale, but not a single place I checked actually had a brass drift, let alone one that was at least a half inch diameter and 7-ish inches long. So what’s a guy to do on a four day weekend with no place to get a brass drift? In this case, it was spending 3 days looking for the tool locally only to give up on Sunday and stop working on the t-case. Instead, I just ordered one (and a hammer) on Amazon which I received on Wednesday.

Since I was in class again on Wednesday, Thursday night was banging metal against metal with metal in between night.  As you can see in the picture below, the brass hammer did what it was designed to do and sacrificed itself and its shape to prevent damage to that pesky intermediate shaft. Luckily, there is a whole lot of banging left in it for putting this thing back together.

While reading the rebuild guides, there was one part in particular that had me hoping that I would not need to make (or rent/borrow) a special tool for separating the output gear cluster. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m not lucky enough to have an easy-ish to remove front bearing. Since it would appear your typical pickle fork doesn’t have a wide¬†enough opening, it’s time to head to the Chinese tool depot and grab a cheap hatchet and some grinding wheels to make what you see below.

So without that tool, I’m somewhat stuck. The main gear cluster needs to be separated in order for it to come out of the case so I can begin cleaning the case. Speaking of cleaning greasy parts, ammonia is a magical cleaning liquid. As you can see below, I stuck a bunch of greasy parts in a pretty pink tub, covered with plastic wrap, and then sealed in so that the fumes would go to work on the thick grease. Letting the parts sit overnight, and with a pressure washer the next morning, the results were astonishingly good for how little elbow grease (pun!) went into the parts. Even the paint came off of a few parts, which is just one less layer I’ll have to worry about when it comes time to wire wheel them before painting. Can’t wait to do the same for the actual transfer case and related parts.

That’s it for now. This weekend is going to be a bit hectic, but I’m going to try and get out and get that hatchet to hack up for splitting the gear cluster. Let’s hope there is something worth posting next week.

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