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Old 06-10-2018, 10:27 PM   #1
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Shifting Jeep (JL) transfer case out of Neutral

I bought a 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL for towing behind the motorhome.

Getting it ready to tow, shifting into neutral isn't that big of a deal. Sometimes it is tougher to get it into Neutral.

However after towing and I go to shift it back into 2H, it is a PAIN to get it out of neutral. I have searched the web and somebody recommended rocking the jeep back and forth. I have done this and sure enough it works, but often takes me 10 minutes of rocking it, and trying to shift it.

Now I am still a young man (40) but I can't imagine doing this in my 60s or 80s.

Do others have as many problems shifting it out of neutral?
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:09 AM   #2
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Are you following the procedures as outlined in owners manual pgs 357,358,359?
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/dow...ers-Manual.pdf


Same procedure outlined in Users Guide pgs 175,176
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/dow...User-Guide.pdf
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:09 AM   #3
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Slip it into drive. Move forward just a bit. Retry.

I installed a cable shifter to replace the factor mechanism. One if the best mods I've done.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Are you following the procedures as outlined in owners manual pgs 357,358,359?
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/dow...ers-Manual.pdf


Same procedure outlined in Users Guide pgs 175,176
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/dow...User-Guide.pdf
I follow the procedure in my owners manual to the T.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Slip it into drive. Move forward just a bit. Retry.

I installed a cable shifter to replace the factor mechanism. One if the best mods I've done.
But the transfer case is in neutral - what is shifting it into Drive going to accomplish? The only way to move forward a bit is to push the Jeep, and that is what I currently do which requires a LOT of effort . My wife wants to be able to shift it out of neutral while I am taking care of other things, and there is no way she can do this.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:02 AM   #6
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Try starting the engine, shift to drive, shut off engine and shift transfer case. Don't place it in park with engine running.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:08 AM   #7
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Yep, my five year old Wrangler has the same issue. I just start and turn off the motor and then move the level back and forth a bit. Sometimes takes two motor starts and shut offs. Or I ramp up the force to put it back into gear a little.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Try starting the engine, shift to drive, shut off engine and shift transfer case. Don't place it in park with engine running.
I can try that, what is the difference between shifting into Neutral as the owner manual states and shifting into drive?
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:35 AM   #9
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I just let it roll a foot or so while shifting to 2hi. Sometimes just bumping back and forth works as well
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rayza View Post
I can try that, what is the difference between shifting into Neutral as the owner manual states and shifting into drive?
Neutral may not get the gears turning. If you can't get to shift, the gears are not meshing. Putting in gear gets them turning.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:34 PM   #11
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Hi Rayza; The other owners here have you on the right path. If you have never owned a jeep product and are not in the know of how to shift the transfer case from 2-Hi, through neutral even into 4-Low, it takes some practice to get the sequence down so it works for you. I have not had some of the newer transfer cases apart, but have had the older Dana 20 apart many times years ago when I worked on my CJ-5. In some cases the instructions are asking you to shift gears. In most cases with newer more modern products, we are not shifting, or moving, a gear. When we move a manual transmission form 1st to 2nd, we are moving a sleeve on a shaft from the sprocket attached to a gear. The sleeve makes the connection, not an actual gear.
Without having the drawings in front of me to see how the newer transfer cases connect the transmission to the transfer case, some of this is just how I am sure how the system works. The transmission in the jeep is connected in the transfer case by a movable sleeve. This is how power gets from the transmission through the transfer case to the drive shafts. When you shift that sleeve to the N position, you have disconnected the transfer case from the transmission. Now you can flat tow the jeep because the drive shafts are turning parts in the transfer case that are no longer connected to the transmission. I hope I am writing this so it makes sense! Now you want to shift the transfer case back to 2-Hi. Most of the time, it seems all of the time, the transmission position does not line up with the position in the transfer case. Remember, the transmission has been held in place by putting the selector in park, or manual transmission in gear. The drive shafts have been moving parts in the transfer case. These two do not usually line up in the perfect position for the sleeve to connect them together. Hence, I can't get the transfer case back into 2-Hi. Something has to me moved so the sleeve can connect the two together. This can be done by either moving the vehicle so the part of the transfer case that is connected to the drive shafts can line up with the transmission. Or, moving the transmission to line up with the drive shaft driven part of the transfer case. As others have mentioned, this means starting the engine, putting the transmission in gear and letting that part of the transmission spin to line up with the drive shaft position in the transfer case. You just want the transmission to spin some for it to mesh. This is why you just put the transmission in gear for a second and turn the engine off as you don't want the transmission section spinning as you try to connect the sleeve to the stationary drive shaft part of the transfer case. In combination of these two outlined procedures, you will get there. It takes practice. I know as I am sure others here have owned Jeep products for the last 50 years.

Sorry for the long post. Hope this gives Rayza an idea of how the system works so it will become second nature to accomplish the move through the transfer case positions. Enjoy your new JL!
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I can try that, what is the difference between shifting into Neutral as the owner manual states and shifting into drive?
rayza,
We've owned, built, towed, modified, altered, and drug around the U.S., 9 different Jeeps in about a 35+ year period and, without a doubt, no one Jeep acts the same in certain situations. The "Manual" tells you to perform certain steps when prepping to disconnect from the tow vehicle. Well, first off, what works for Jeep, in a test and NOTHING LESS THAN PERFECT CONDITIONS environment, can and, quite often, DOESN'T work in real world, end user conditions. Alterations, adaptations and OUTTHINKING the JEEP is the name of the game here.

By that I mean, the manual tells you what THEY think is supposed work for what you're attempting but, as you and, oh, about a few thousand Jeep towers have also found out, IT DOESN'T WORK! So, as Clint Eastwood would say in the movie "Heartbreak Ridge", "You IMPROVISE, ADAPT AND OVERCOME".....

Putting it simply, your procedure isn't working so, try something else. IN all our Jeep towing experience, I really don't care what the manual states if it's procedures for a given operation AIN'T WORKING.

IN this experience, what both the wife and I do, when disconnecting and the Jeep is being stubborn, ('15 JKUR) whichever person is doing the procedure is in the Jeep, if it won't go into 2WD after towing, but, it will go into 4L, guess what, that's where it's going. We put it in 4L and, simply back away from the coach. What that does it, get's all the gears turning inside the transfer case. When that happens, if frees up any binding caused by certain situations when towing. From that point, we stop, put the trans in NEUTRAL and, shift the transfer case to 2WD.

THAT PROCEDURE, has worked every single time we've needed it to. Now, before anyone of the so-called experienced Jeepers out there get their panties in a wad, we DON'T DRIVE THE JEEP ALL OVER THE PLANET in 4L after disconnecting it from the coach. We move it only a few feet which, is enough like stated, to free the gears and transfer case shifter up from binding which, is WHAT YOU'RE EXPERIENCING.

So, if you really want to quit screwing around with a hard-headed Jeep, then try this procedure. Now, in some cases, 4H worked too when Neutral was not achievable. "Adapt, overcome and improvise". Simple.
Scott
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:22 AM   #13
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Agree with Scott. Take any position in the transfer case. Move away from RV. Re-try for 2H on nice level ground.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:09 AM   #14
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Slip it into drive. Move forward just a bit. Retry.

I installed a cable shifter to replace the factor mechanism. One if the best mods I've done.
Hi, can you elaborate on your mod as I am interested in knowing what it does for flat towing a Jeep.
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