Shifting to high (and low) gear

With the exception of a missed spring on the last part order (sucks that the $4 spring prevents a $300 rebuild from being completed), the final setting of the rear drum, and the front yolk, the transfer case has been completely rebuilt. The front yolk will require that I borrow the impact wrench from my dad again to get the appropriate 100-120 ft. lbs. of torque on the nut. The rear companion flange and drum will get pressed on once the spring has been replaced and the shoes adjusted. Since the output shaft of the transmission runs through the input opening of the case, and the input gear is bolted to it, I’ve left the rear inspection cover loosely seated for now.

Luckily, the shift from 2W high to 4W high and from 4W high to 4W low all work just as expected. Once everything is mated up, and filled with oil, it should operate even better than before.

After a small digression to the bell crank installation (I still can’t get the oil retention seals to seat properly), I pulled the transmission up onto the work bench. It’s not only lighter than the transfer case, but isn’t nearly as odd shaped either (if I ever meet one of the engineers that designed that case, I think I’ll punch him in the nose). The output shaft already became dislodged during the removal of the transfer case way back when. That not only necessitates a rebuild to “fix” but also helps remind me to make sure I secure that shaft once I get done to prevent me from having to do it all over again.

Removing the top case revealed far less going on inside than I anticipated. I expected a labyrinth of gears and bearings, especially after working on the much simpler transfer case. Instead, there is a lower gear cluster that is more or less a single piece with a complicated mounting scheme, a reverse idler gear off to one side, and the direct/second gear cluster up top. Taking everything apart makes me glad I didn’t place an order earlier in the weekend to get that spring. I need a new second speed gear, a new pair of blocking rings, and I’m slightly iffy on my reverse gear. Since reverse and first speed aren’t synchronized, a lot of grinding happens. I also need to take a second look at the clutch sleeve and decide if that needs to be replaced also. Aside from those replaced gears and a fresh set of bearings and seals, I’ll be ready to start rebuilding the transmission. I’m going to try and get a few more parts tore down and then get a box of parts down to the parts store to get them cleaned up nice. I’ll be sure to include the supporting crossmember as well as the two drive shafts.

Which brings me to a slight conundrum. I’ve done so much work so quickly on the gear boxes, that I need to decide what I’ll be doing next. I’ve gone far enough that I can go back and finish some small odds and ends. For instance, I could tow the thing down to the driveline place to get the pinon seals replaced on the front and rear. The brake system still needs to be filled with fluid and the air evacuated. I should also consider fixing the leak on the front knuckles since I neglected to properly seal the bottom kingpin caps (not looking forward to that and the 600W oil that’s inside).

All that will surely keep me busy for a few weeks, but the very next thing I need to work on to finish the chassis is going to be getting the engine rebuilt. I honestly didn’t think I’d get to this point this soon after having a rolling chassis. I’m happy that I’m to this point, and even more happy that I’ve been putting away Jeep money for such a big cost. I think I’ll likely spend a few weeks getting the rest of the small stuff done before getting the engine done, like finally lubricating all the zerk joints.

For now, it’s time to focus on the gear box.


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