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Old 01-20-2019, 01:54 PM   #1
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Getting Transfer Case Out of N in a Wrangler

I asked this before a while ago but can't find the responses. I'd like to ask it again for me and maybe others. When you tow a Jeep Wrangler (2016) behind a motorhome, you need to put the transfer case in neutral and the automatic transmission in park. That's easy. Just follow the directions in the Wrangler owner's manual. When you want to separate the motorhome from the Wrangler, you need to get the transfer case back from neutral to two-wheel drive. The Wrangler manual tells you how to do it but, for me, the shifter almost always won't go back into 2WD. I generally have the automatic transmission in neutral, I turn on the ignition and move the shifter into drive, back to neutral, into reverse, back to neutral, turn off the ignition and try to move the transfer case shifter from neutral to 2WD. Most times I have to go through this routine several times until, finally, the transfer case shifter goes easily into 2WD. Obviously, everything needs to line up and, when it does, it goes smoothly. However, it usually take a while.

My question is whether there might be an easier way. I've had the Wrangler for over a year now and I don't think it's a question of getting the transfer case shifter "loosened up" as some have suggested. However, I remember some other tips that were mentioned but don't remember them. Admittedly, my procedure works but it takes a little time and patience. I was therefore wondering if there's an easier way.

Much thanks.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:01 PM   #2
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might just let it roll a little bit in neutral and see if that helps.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:25 PM   #3
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I usually disconnect the Jeep first and let it roll out of the way first. I found if I follow what the manual says about getting into grear before unhooking I have the same problem as you.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mjschocken View Post
I asked this before a while ago but can't find the responses. I'd like to ask it again for me and maybe others. When you tow a Jeep Wrangler (2016) behind a motorhome, you need to put the transfer case in neutral and the automatic transmission in park. That's easy. Just follow the directions in the Wrangler owner's manual. When you want to separate the motorhome from the Wrangler, you need to get the transfer case back from neutral to two-wheel drive. The Wrangler manual tells you how to do it but, for me, the shifter almost always won't go back into 2WD. I generally have the automatic transmission in neutral, I turn on the ignition and move the shifter into drive, back to neutral, into reverse, back to neutral, turn off the ignition and try to move the transfer case shifter from neutral to 2WD. Most times I have to go through this routine several times until, finally, the transfer case shifter goes easily into 2WD. Obviously, everything needs to line up and, when it does, it goes smoothly. However, it usually take a while.

My question is whether there might be an easier way. I've had the Wrangler for over a year now and I don't think it's a question of getting the transfer case shifter "loosened up" as some have suggested. However, I remember some other tips that were mentioned but don't remember them. Admittedly, my procedure works but it takes a little time and patience. I was therefore wondering if there's an easier way.

Much thanks.
mjs,
You're not the only one who's had this issue. The linkage for the Jeep transfer cases in both the TJ and the JK (possibly the JL too) is a bit sticky when it's new and, isn't used very much for T/C shifting in off road use. Consequently, it will fight you a bit when it comes time for separation of the coach and toad. That, along with the gears being not any form of syncro, make it a tad tough. So, what the wife does when she's in the '15 JKUR and I finished the outside garb, she simply starts the Jeep, puts the transfer case in any gear it will accept and back away from the coach.

Now, before anyone gets their blood pressure up, their panties in a wad and they need a trip to the ER, NO, SHE DOES NOT DRIVE IT AROUND with it in either 4L or 4H. She only moves the Jeep a few feet in that scenario, and, STRAIGHT, not turning. Quite often, it's 4L that the T/C easily goes in to after towing so, she just MOVES IT BACKWARDS while in 4L 'cause that's easy. Now, once the gears are turning and lube is back in between all the parts it needs to be, she can goof around getting it back into 2WD.

Sometimes, depending on the slope of the road we're on, she backs away in 4L and, throws the trans in N and now she can very easily, shift in to 2WD, because she's coasting slowly which, helps immensely with lining up all the gear teeth in that T/C. I will add here. While some folks NEVER plan on using their Jeeps for off road excursions, we use ours on a quite often basis. And that means, we're shifting that transfer case a zillion times for various applications and terrains. And that means, that T/C shifts now, CONSIDERABLY easier than it did when it was newer or, had not been used or shifted. In other words, the more you shift it, the more the linkage is getting used to it and will fight you less.


One more very, very important item here. The Jeep JK transfer case utilizes a very small, approximately $5.00 bushing, on each end of the transfer case shift cable. That bushing is not only a bushing but, it's also a form of a "fuse' so-to-speak. That is, it's basically designed to break-way if too much force is used to try and shift the T/C in any particular situation. On the advice of many, many Jeepers in all walks of Jeeping, it is HIGHLY advised to purchase a couple of these bushings to keep on hand, just in case something like this ever happens. I can post the link if needed. All of us in our neck of the woods, even the lighter off-roaders with JKs, carry spares.
Scott
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:29 PM   #5
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I would try quickly shifting it into 2WD the second you turn off the ignition. That way the gears will be turning slightly and may mesh right in.
Once they stop turning, they may not be lined up.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:07 PM   #6
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I would try releasing the latches on the tow bar, my toad can move 6+ inches . Would be plenty to sync gears up.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:18 PM   #7
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....I generally have the automatic transmission in neutral....

I do hope thats not the way you're towing it! The transmission must be in Park when towing. You don't want to take any chance of the trans turning.

Other than that, as others have suggested, disconnect the Jeep and let it roll free before trying to shift the t/case out of neutral.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:49 PM   #8
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We usually give it a bump or let it roll a short distance while shifting into 2 high
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
mjs,
You're not the only one who's had this issue. The linkage for the Jeep transfer cases in both the TJ and the JK (possibly the JL too) is a bit sticky when it's new and, isn't used very much for T/C shifting in off road use. Consequently, it will fight you a bit when it comes time for separation of the coach and toad. That, along with the gears being not any form of syncro, make it a tad tough. So, what the wife does when she's in the '15 JKUR and I finished the outside garb, she simply starts the Jeep, puts the transfer case in any gear it will accept and back away from the coach.

Now, before anyone gets their blood pressure up, their panties in a wad and they need a trip to the ER, NO, SHE DOES NOT DRIVE IT AROUND with it in either 4L or 4H. She only moves the Jeep a few feet in that scenario, and, STRAIGHT, not turning. Quite often, it's 4L that the T/C easily goes in to after towing so, she just MOVES IT BACKWARDS while in 4L 'cause that's easy. Now, once the gears are turning and lube is back in between all the parts it needs to be, she can goof around getting it back into 2WD.

Sometimes, depending on the slope of the road we're on, she backs away in 4L and, throws the trans in N and now she can very easily, shift in to 2WD, because she's coasting slowly which, helps immensely with lining up all the gear teeth in that T/C. I will add here. While some folks NEVER plan on using their Jeeps for off road excursions, we use ours on a quite often basis. And that means, we're shifting that transfer case a zillion times for various applications and terrains. And that means, that T/C shifts now, CONSIDERABLY easier than it did when it was newer or, had not been used or shifted. In other words, the more you shift it, the more the linkage is getting used to it and will fight you less.


One more very, very important item here. The Jeep JK transfer case utilizes a very small, approximately $5.00 bushing, on each end of the transfer case shift cable. That bushing is not only a bushing but, it's also a form of a "fuse' so-to-speak. That is, it's basically designed to break-way if too much force is used to try and shift the T/C in any particular situation. On the advice of many, many Jeepers in all walks of Jeeping, it is HIGHLY advised to purchase a couple of these bushings to keep on hand, just in case something like this ever happens. I can post the link if needed. All of us in our neck of the woods, even the lighter off-roaders with JKs, carry spares.
Scott
Can you post link-----Thanks
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:04 PM   #10
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I start the engine and then shut it off and just before the engine stops turning over, I shift the transfer case into 2 high. The gears are turning enough that the gears mesh ok without grinding. I have 52,000 miles on the Jeep, so it is broke in.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:06 PM   #11
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Can you post link-----Thanks
426smartin,
Here 'ya go. In the picture, it look GIANT! But, in reality, it's barely bigger than the tip of your little finger. Obviously, you can get them from Amazon or, many other sources, besides JEEP. If you youtube search the installation of that little bushing, you'll find a few. It aint easy but, as stated earlier, it's waaaaaaaaay better than sitting out on a trail forever, waiting for someone to go get you one, providing you're jeeping WITH someone.
Scott

P.S. OP, As far as getting that Jeep back into gear after disconnecting from the coach, don't overthink this. Back it away in 4L or 4H if that's what the transfer case will accept and, within a few feet, shift to 2H, DONE! Plus, you can do it while it's moving.
Scott

https://www.amazon.com/Transfer-Bush...r=8-2-fkmrnull
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:15 PM   #12
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And you'll be happy to know the longer you tow it and use it the easier the transfer case shifting will get. With over 35,000 miles of towing and lots of off roading, our '12 it has gotten very easy to shift back in to 2L.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
426smartin,
Here 'ya go. In the picture, it look GIANT! But, in reality, it's barely bigger than the tip of your little finger. Obviously, you can get them from Amazon or, many other sources, besides JEEP. If you youtube search the installation of that little bushing, you'll find a few. It aint easy but, as stated earlier, it's waaaaaaaaay better than sitting out on a trail forever, waiting for someone to go get you one, providing you're jeeping WITH someone.
Scott

P.S. OP, As far as getting that Jeep back into gear after disconnecting from the coach, don't overthink this. Back it away in 4L or 4H if that's what the transfer case will accept and, within a few feet, shift to 2H, DONE! Plus, you can do it while it's moving.
Scott

https://www.amazon.com/Transfer-Bush...r=8-2-fkmrnull
Thanks !!
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