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BowTied

Tcase Won't Shift Into 4Lo

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Gents,

 

 

 

My friend and I looked at an 2001 for sale, 5 speed & manual tcase. Looks all around like a good truck, maintained etc. It will however NOT shift into 4Lo. We know to push down when crossing neutral from 4Hi to 4Lo. We are assuming something is not working correctly in the shifting mechanism or there is internal tcase problems.

 

 

 

Please comment on what the common problems are here and best case worst case repair considerations. Need to decide to buy the truck with a discount or to run away!

Thanks!!

 

 

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worst case scenario, junkyard transfer case under $1000 installed

 

i just priced a brand new transfer case from Nissan, about $3500 installed :suicide: but 12 month warranty !

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All depends on price. For $500, sure why not ? For $5,000... Hmm...

 

How many miles ? Did he wheel it ? When did the t-case bust ? Does the truck look good/bad/ugly otherwise ? That kind of info will help. R50s have dropped in value enough that, depending on where you live, you might find a better candidate nearby.

 

As Fueler points out, it's not the end of the world but more info will help us help you.

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Thanks for the comments gents, keep them coming.

 

It is for sale at a used car dealership. Other than service history like fluid changes the history is unknown. 4Hi appears to work well. It is a few thousand, and priced competitively to other similar trucks. It would be a no brainer if the tcase worked, it would already be in my friend's garage.

 

 

Do these tcases (I think this is a tx10?) have any common fail points that would give this result? I am wondering if it is common for a linkage to seize if not used in a long time ...or is it common that some component fails inside prevent 4Lo engagement in these tcases? In general what are the fail points that prevent 4Lo engagement?

 

The 4Hi works so nicely it is hard to imagine the need to swap the whole tcase, but I just don't know enough about them.

 

tia...

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I know that the drivetrain is a little different on the WD Pathfinders, but my '93 SE would not go into 4 Lo - I physically could not get the lever to go all the way back. I'd get a little grind usually too. Turned out the problem was just some rusty shift lever linkage from all the salt on Pennsylvania roads. Cleaned and lubed it and it shifted perfectly. It just might be that simple. I think a damaged transfer case is unlikely on a 2001, given #1 the build quality and #2 the fact that so many R50s were used as grocery getters and were almost never run in 4WD.

Edited by CaughtLikeFire

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CLF, that is kinda what I have been thinking. Not having the knowleged of how likely this is I am worried about making the recommendation.

 

One thing, there was no grinding at all in to 4Hi or attempting 4Lo. It felt like there was a hard stop preventing the shifter from moving into 4Lo. 2Hi to 4Hi moved easily. I can only assume there is a separate shift shaft the shifter operates. I guess I better review that section of the FSM....

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look under the vehicle @ the linkage for the t-case. the lever action as guided by a plate w/ a track cut into it. If the track is obstructed by a peble or packed dirt that cold do it. also lever action as posted above. does it depress up & down for 4N?

 

the only weakness I know of for the tx10 itself is that is is a chain driven FWD. The cain can stretch & then begin to skip depending on how the 4wd is used. Jumping allot in 4wd and romping on the gass in 4low allot(esp w/ aftermarket t-case gears) will stretch it out fairly quick but most people aren't that hard on their t-cases.

 

 

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I have three wd21s (also a parts path but thats gone) and all buy one had high mileage and no issues with the tcase.

 

The only problem I've had with mine (the gray one you've seen it) is that the shifter linkage is really stiff. Probably because someone took off the rubber boots that go over the pivot points that are supposed to be greased.

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i dont know about the r50's but my 94 the only way to shift in to 4 lo is pushing down on the stick while attempting to put in 4 lo, 2hi to 4hi you just pull

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i dont know about the r50's but my 94 the only way to shift in to 4 lo is pushing down on the stick while attempting to put in 4 lo, 2hi to 4hi you just pull

 

That's a good tip, but he already mentioned he knows about pushing down while shifting, so the issue must be something different.

 

To BowTied:

Is it possible that you're just not pulling it back into 4LO firmly enough? The tranny needs to be in "N" when shifting from 4H to 4L, and sometimes full engaging 4LO requires the gear mesh to be just right.

Edited by XPLORx4

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i was gonna mention about the whole neutral thing.. but figured cause it was newer that it could shift in without being in neutral. like my fathers 2006 xterra

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That's a good tip, but he already mentioned he knows about pushing down while shifting, so the issue must be something different.

 

To BowTied:

Is it possible that you're just not pulling it back into 4LO firmly enough? The tranny needs to be in "N" when shifting from 4H to 4L, and sometimes full engaging 4LO requires the gear mesh to be just right.

 

 

Yes, I tried with the trans in neutral as well as the clutch pushed in. I started with gentle pressure and gradually increased to the point where I was sure I was exceeding practical force ;) It felt like there was something solid, possibly/probably metal that was preventing it from going into 4Lo. It went into 4Hi and Neutral no problem. I have also compared to a newer frontier so I have an idea of force needed and I was well beyond. Also the seller and my pal tried to no avail.

 

Since no one has chimed in with any common issues, I presume that it is a 50/50? gamble of shifter linkage vs internal problem...?

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Did you ever figure this issue out? I have a 2002 Pathfinder 5 speed that will go into 4Lo but just feels like the vehicle is in neutral. 4hi works great

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2 hours ago, Brnjac said:

Did you ever figure this issue out? I have a 2002 Pathfinder 5 speed that will go into 4Lo but just feels like the vehicle is in neutral. 4hi works great

 

If you can't depress the shifter any further, or don't feel the shifter pop back up/out, then it's probably still in neutral.  Transmission out of gear when trying to engage 4L?

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First post and don't want to hijack the thread but how do you shift into 4H? I have a 1997 QX4 and have the opposite issue that i can stay and neutral and shift into 4L but cannot get into 4H

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4 hours ago, TroyButler said:

First post and don't want to hijack the thread but how do you shift into 4H? I have a 1997 QX4 and have the opposite issue that i can stay and neutral and shift into 4L but cannot get into 4H

 

Not a problem.  We've had a few threads about shifting that have gotten interesting, to say the least, but we've had some spot topics come up.

 

 

Your 97 QX4 is a little different than other R50/QX4 trucks since you have both a mechanical lever (positions H, N, and 4LO) plus an electronic switch (2wd, Auto, and Lock).  4H for you is H+Lock.  When the shifter is in 4LO, though, the switch is disabled/bypassed.  So if 4L works, I might suggest probing or cleaning the switch and seeing if that helps.  Keep in mind the transfer case in yours has a motor to engage things, instead of a physical linkage, so it also relies on input from other sensors (and comm with the AT computer) before it'll act on drivetrain requests.  Are you also basing engagement on the 4wd dash light(s), or are those lights indicating any issues?

 

Also, may want to look at the Owner's Manual, or the Transfer Case chapter of the Factory Service Manual (FSM) (specific links for 97 QX4 embedded into this sentence) for some additional info or guidance.

Edited by hawairish
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20 hours ago, hawairish said:

 

Not a problem.  We've had a few threads about shifting that have gotten interesting, to say the least, but we've had some spot topics come up.

 

 

Your 97 QX4 is a little different than other R50/QX4 trucks since you have both a mechanical lever (positions H, N, and 4LO) plus an electronic switch (2wd, Auto, and Lock).  4H for you is H+Lock.  When the shifter is in 4LO, though, the switch is disabled/bypassed.  So if 4L works, I might suggest probing or cleaning the switch and seeing if that helps.  Keep in mind the transfer case in yours has a motor to engage things, instead of a physical linkage, so it also relies on input from other sensors (and comm with the AT computer) before it'll act on drivetrain requests.  Are you also basing engagement on the 4wd dash light(s), or are those lights indicating any issues?

 

Also, may want to look at the Owner's Manual, or the Transfer Case chapter of the Factory Service Manual (FSM) (specific links for 97 QX4 embedded into this sentence) for some additional info or guidance.

I appreciate all of the info. In my case the problem is i physically cannot push the lever forward to engage H. I know the electric switch works because I can switch between 2WD and Auto and notice a physical difference.

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1 hour ago, TroyButler said:

I appreciate all of the info. In my case the problem is i physically cannot push the lever forward to engage H. I know the electric switch works because I can switch between 2WD and Auto and notice a physical difference.

 

But if you can feel it going between 2wd and Auto, wouldn't that suggest that the lever is the 4H position?  I think the system would fault on Auto mode if it wasn't (there's a N/4Lo sensor).  Still, no dash lights?  Also, I don't think your shifter requires depressing the lever...is it possible that it's just passing through neutral without providing any feedback through the lever?  On the part-time system, it's pronounced, but I'm not familiar with the QX4 lever or switch (uh, well, aside from having a shift knob in my parts bin, and a newer selector switch controlling my air compressor and locks)

 

Could you also recap your shift procedure?  I presume you're stopped, engine running, and shifting from 4L to 4H?  Is the 4wd dash light lit when the lever is all the way forward and switch set to Lock?

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10 minutes ago, hawairish said:

 

But if you can feel it going between 2wd and Auto, wouldn't that suggest that the lever is the 4H position?  I think the system would fault on Auto mode if it wasn't (there's a N/4Lo sensor).  Still, no dash lights?  Also, I don't think your shifter requires depressing the lever...is it possible that it's just passing through neutral without providing any feedback through the lever?  On the part-time system, it's pronounced, but I'm not familiar with the QX4 lever or switch (uh, well, aside from having a shift knob in my parts bin, and a newer selector switch controlling my air compressor and locks)

 

Could you also recap your shift procedure?  I presume you're stopped, engine running, and shifting from 4L to 4H?  Is the 4wd dash light lit when the lever is all the way forward and switch set to Lock?

 

Okay, driving normally the transmission in D, lever in N, i can switch the auto mode on and it does a 50/50 torque split between the wheels when required, but stays RWD when not needed. At a stop, transmission in N, i can pull the lever back and engage 4L and see the light on the dash and lock auto enabled, and then swithc back to D. In all other scenarios i can push the lever a bit forward but not enough for it to engage anything or remain forward it just comes back to N (wigglin side to side) with no dash lights. My shift is Top H, Middle N (wiggle side to side), bottom 4L. engine is always running when attempting to switch. 

 

Here is a photo with the chart from Infiniti showing optimal settings and my shifter and such. There is a possibility N is the same as H and im just dumb but i dont think so?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/91z835l54vogv86/Photo 2018-09-14%2C 3 32 42 PM.jpg?dl=0

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12 minutes ago, TroyButler said:

Okay, driving normally the transmission in D, lever in N, i can switch the auto mode on and it does a 50/50 torque split between the wheels when required, but stays RWD when not needed. At a stop, transmission in N, i can pull the lever back and engage 4L and see the light on the dash and lock auto enabled, and then swithc back to D. In all other scenarios i can push the lever a bit forward but not enough for it to engage anything or remain forward it just comes back to N (wigglin side to side) with no dash lights. My shift is Top H, Middle N (wiggle side to side), bottom 4L. engine is always running when attempting to switch. 

 

Here is a photo with the chart from Infiniti showing optimal settings and my shifter and such. There is a possibility N is the same as H and im just dumb but i dont think so?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/91z835l54vogv86/Photo 2018-09-14%2C 3 32 42 PM.jpg?dl=0

 

There shouldn't be any significant side-to-side wiggle for any position, but it seems possible you've got a rather smooth transition through neutral and that you're in the 4H position.  In fact, if the lever were in N, and you put the transmission in park, you'd get a red ATP light on your dash.  If you don't see that, you're probably in good shape.  You could also crawl under the truck and inspect the shift linkage.

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