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Old 12-28-2015, 04:08 PM   #1
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2011 Jeep Wrangler transfer case

So I have owned this jeep for five years now and have purchased 4 (yes 4) transfer case shifting cables over those five years. They bind badly after we tow the jeep behind the motorhome. Very difficult to shift from the neutral position back into 4 wheel high. I mean very difficult.

I've about had it with this. The most recent episode we had to drop the jeep in Baton Rouge, LA on our way to Texas to spend Christmas with family to have it fixed. Again!! Picked it up on the way back to south Florida.

The first time we had it fixed we had them install a stock shifter cable. The next three times we had an after market cable installed that they said will not break/bind. Great. Well all of them have either broken or bound where they won't move.

Now after the fourth time we have had this "fixed" it is binding yet again. Has anyone had these issues with these shifter cables? It only binds after we tow.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:45 PM   #2
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We tow a 2015 Wrangler. We don't have transfer shifter cable problems, but most of the time the transfer case does not want to shift out of neutral. Pulling harder on the shift lever does not help, but I could understand how that COULD damage the cable.

I understand the problem to be caused by the fact that the gear teeth are not lined up so therefore will not mesh. Jeep instructions (I'm paraphrasing) tell you while driving to shift the transfer case while rolling 2 or 3 (?) miles an hour. The gears would be slowly rotating at different speeds and this would allow them to mesh together. Of course that can't occur when sitting still while uncoupling from the RV.

What works for me: When the lever resists being shifted to 4WH, I try to shift it to 4WL. Many times this works and I'll shift to whatever gear desired once moving. When this doesn't work either, I'll start the Jeep with the Transmission in Drive, then shut off the ignition. As the engine comes to a stop, I'll put pressure on the transfer shift and it will shift (with a "clunk" if I don't get the timing just right).

Your mileage may vary......

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Old 12-28-2015, 05:55 PM   #3
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Is this your first Jeep?

There's something strange going on. We're on our 2nd Wrangler, 130k combined miles on the odometers and another 50 - 60k miles as toads. Never have had a binding problem. I can tell you that forcing it when it gets "finicky" isn't the way to deal with it. In our standard trans I'll just operate the clutch pedal up and down while attempting to move the lever. In an automatic, I'd move the trans from park to drive and back again, and try again. As stated, if you can get it to roll a bit that would probably work too.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:28 PM   #4
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This is our first jeep, but have owned it 5 years and towed it over 30K miles, so not exactly rookies. There is definitely something not right. I wanted to see if anyone else has this problem. I'm about done with this rodeo, although I will try shifting into 4 lo first as buttercup suggested. Maybe it will cooperate that direction easier.

This only happens after towing. I can move the transfer case back and forth into and out of all positions easily except after we tow it. Something to do with towing it that causes the cable to bind.
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
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The stock shift cables are a very weak link. Install a Advance Adapters Transfer Case shifter cable upgrade and your problems will be over.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becks View Post
The stock shift cables are a very weak link. Install a Advance Adapters Transfer Case shifter cable upgrade and your problems will be over.

That's exactly what 4 wheel parts just installed the other day. I did tow today and rolled it a little when I disconnected. Refused to go into 4H from neutral so I rolled it back and forth more. Tried to shift into 4H again. No joy.

Then I shifted it into 4L as Buttercup suggested although I had to roll it back and forth some more, but it went in with ease. Then I put it into drive and then reverse a couple of times while trying to shift into 4H and finally it clicked in easily. It just takes quite a bit of effort. Will see how it goes tomorrow, but seemed to work out ok today.
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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We have a 2010 Wrangler, and have had hard shifting issues on occasion. Seems more we use transfer shifter, easier it gets. Still sticks on occasion. Shifting trans in and out of drive ( foot on brake ), seems to help gears line up. Haven't broken anything yet.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by britcon View Post
We have a 2010 Wrangler, and have had hard shifting issues on occasion. Seems more we use transfer shifter, easier it gets. Still sticks on occasion. Shifting trans in and out of drive ( foot on brake ), seems to help gears line up. Haven't broken anything yet.

Ok thanks for the input. I knew I wasn't the only one. I have had some success the last couple days. Day B4 yesterday I shifted into 4L and then back into neutral and then 4H as I described. Today I just let the thing run for a few minutes B4 I touched anything. It slid right into 4H from neutral with ease. We will see what happens in the spring when we trek back to Texas. 😎😎
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:21 AM   #9
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I agree, change to the Advance Adapter shifter cable. Broken cable problems disappear. Shifting happens when you need it. 715596 : Heavy Duty JK Cable Shifter Upgrade | Advance Adapters
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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swberry, I did not see this mentioned above. I start the engine and put the transmission in neutral before shifting the transfer case into 4WH. If it binds I put it drive then back into neutral and try again.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:20 PM   #11
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I have 2011 Jeep Wrangler also. Have had the same issues without breaking cable. However, have had to work with it to get transfer case back into gear. Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:23 PM   #12
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2011 Jeep Wrangler transfer case

Had the same issues early on with my 2012, but a few dozen off-road trips in 4L cured it, and it gets continually better. Had to loosen up?
BTW, works best when not in high idle (cold) and in neutral. I
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:08 PM   #13
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Well,
We're on our 8th (yes, EIGHT) Jeep and we've towed them all. But, All of ours have been either CJs, YJs or TJs. We've not had the pleasure of owning a JK. The transfer case shifting components on the later Jeeps, including the TJs, leaves little to be desired compared to direct, hard linkage shifting of the older, CJ used transfer cases. Those were direct lever/shaft inputs. The TJs use a body-to-transfer case linkage that's barely better than what I think the JKs use.

I was wondering, has anyone of you that tow a JK, discussed this hard shifting after towing issue with Jeep, or your Jeep dealer? And, to me, more importantly, is this a GEAR PROBLEM or, is this a linkage issue? I would think that if it was a gear problem, then a "blip" into and out of drive, (if automatic) just micro seconds before attempting to shift that transfer case back into 4H would possibly remedy this situation.

But, if this is a linkage issue, and, if the OP has had the "Advanced Adapters" so-called up grade but, still sees, feels and has the hard N - 4H shift, then apparently the "up grade" is useless. Otherwise it should have cured the problem right out of the gate after towing. If it were me, I'd have to get under there and see just what's the problem. But, some folks are not comfortable getting under their rigs. I can surely see that.

It will be interesting to see what remedy the OP finds, that works each and every time.
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:31 AM   #14
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Broke the cable on my '08 JKU. New '012 JKU had the same problem. My Jeep dealer service rep, a weekend Jeep off-road guy, recommended this linkage, after learning about it from Cruzer, who put it on his JKU.
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