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Old 05-03-2015, 03:07 PM   #1
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Jeep Wrangler - Putting into Neutral Issue

I am looking for some suggestions regarding the steps required to put my Jeep Wrangler (automatic) into neutral in preparation for being towed behind my RV.

I follow the directions in the owners manual but I have an issue. I put the ignition in the on position (engine not running), put the transmission in neutral. At that point I try and put the transfer case into neutral. Unfortunately I have issues moving the transfer case lever. I end up having to try and move the car, changing the transmission into drive or reverse, but occasionally I hear gears grinding trying to get the transfer case lever to move.

Its almost like there pressure pushing back from the RV or towards the RV that makes moving the transfer case level movement very difficult.

Suggestions?
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StringFellow View Post
I am looking for some suggestions regarding the steps required to put my Jeep Wrangler (automatic) into neutral in preparation for being towed behind my RV.

I follow the directions in the owners manual but I have an issue. I put the ignition in the on position (engine not running), put the transmission in neutral. At that point I try and put the transfer case into neutral. Unfortunately I have issues moving the transfer case lever. I end up having to try and move the car, changing the transmission into drive or reverse, but occasionally I hear gears grinding trying to get the transfer case lever to move.

Its almost like there pressure pushing back from the RV or towards the RV that makes moving the transfer case level movement very difficult.

Suggestions?

Stringfellow,
You don't say what year Wrangler you're working with here. They're all pretty close in operation. While the detents and positions of those shift levers are "somewhat" clearly defined, like you've found out, they can be somewhat of a nuisance in practical application. We've owned and towed SEVEN different Jeep Wranglers. Almost all years. The last one being an '04 Jeep Rubicon.

Getting that transfer case into neutral, for the most part was not all that difficult but, on occasion, it would give us some grief. And, on those occasions, we'd have to put the trans in forward or reverse, just for one second, and then back into neutral and while those gears etc. were simmering down, we'd head for neutral in the transfer case.

Yep, we'd also occasionally get some "grinding". But, it's not to be worried about. You're not destroying the car. Those gears are a lot tougher than you think they are. And, the process will get easier at time goes on and, those shifting positions and components are wore in. You're not hurting anything. Just a little practice and, you'll be doing it without any issues and or "grinding" at all, real soon.
Scott
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:53 PM   #3
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I too on occasion have difficulty with the transfer case. Here is the procedure I have followed for the past 8 years;
Turn key to on, depress brake pedal and shift xmission to neutral, shift xfer case to neutral. START ENGINE and put transmission in drive to be sure transfer case is in neutral, Shut Off engine (allow engine RPM to reduce to idle), Put Transmission in Park. Far more difficult when the Jeep was new. Not much of an issuenow.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:29 PM   #4
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I did some playing around this afternoon with the transfer case and found that 2WD to Neutral was becoming quite easy. The difficult time I have found was from neutral back to 2WD. Some times it was fairly smooth, but for the most part not so much. Ended up trying to move the jeep some to make it easier.

I guess if I can't get out of neutral when connected to the RV, I will try and move the RV slightly. Any other tips for going from neutral back to 2WD?

Hopefully the transition between transfer case positions gets easier. I have a 2015 Wrangler with about 6K miles
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:47 PM   #5
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With engine running, put the transmission in neutral, then shift the transfer case to neutral. If it does not easily go into neutral, shift the transmission to drive and back to neutral and then try the transfer case to neutral. It should go.

Getting back to 2WD should be similar.

If difficulties continue the linkage may need adjustment.

All this said, there are aftermarket shift linkage to shift cable replacements. I have one from Novak that is very effective. I installed it not so much for ease of getting configured for towing, rather for when on the trail making it very easy and positive to shift as needed when in difficult situations.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:39 AM   #6
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When my Jeep was newer and this problem (sometimes now) I always :
1 Start engine
2 Shift transmission to Neutral
3 Turn off engine
4 Try shifting transfer case to 2H, if it gets real difficult I pull it into 4Low and then quickly and firmly to 2H
5 Shift transmission to park
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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I asked a dealer to check our transfer case/shift system due to the difficulty of getting the transfer case into and out of neutral. They found everything in good order and told me to shift more aggressively.

I have found that shifting into 4WD high just prior to hook-up makes the shift of the transfer case to neutral easier to accomplish. I also find that starting and shutting down the engine may help at the disconnect point. But, getting out of neutral remains more challenging for me than getting into neutral.

Our Jeep has gotten easier to shift for towing over time - or I have developed better technique which I doubt. Hopefully, yours will ease up with more use.

Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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We found that when our Jeep was new, transfer case was very tight, and required a lot of force occasionally. Now that we have been using it more frequently it has become much easier to shift back and forth.
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