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MDH33
03-12-2009, 05:24 PM
I hope one of you minitruck guys can help me identify a problem with my '82 hilux. There has been an intermittent rumbling noise coming from under the truck that I haven't been able to track down. The drive shafts do not feel sloppy and and other than being a little tough to downshift (2nd and 1st) I've had no trouble with the transmission. It shifted into and out of 4wd fine until about two or three weeks ago. I shifted into 2 hi while rolling about 15mph and a louder rumbling noise started. It's almost a thud-thud-thud sound. It only does it while moving forward, steering is not affected, and the noise stops when I take it out of 4wd (which is difficult). I just drained the trans and TC and the gear oil was full, dark, but no metal or anything strange.

Any thoughts?

Red_Chili
03-12-2009, 06:51 PM
Just IMHO. The minitruck transfer case is a tough beast. When it starts making noises like you describe, it is very possible that a bearing or bearings are failing. This would also result in some pretty tough shifting due to increased longitudinal play. The good news is that replacing the bearings (assuming you have a press), especially the input bearing, is not that big a deal.

One acquaintance lost his input bearing (he is not known to be easy on equipment) and it pretty well grenaded and made a mess of things. You are likely WELL shy of that point.

MDH33
03-12-2009, 06:56 PM
Thanks Bill. It goes into 4wd easy enough and shifts between hi and low nicely. Ever since the noise appeared, it has been difficult to shift out of 4wd.

Time to pull it apart?

Crash
03-12-2009, 07:08 PM
snip
Time to pull it apart?

Martin, are you into things grenading? :lmao:

MDH33
03-12-2009, 07:40 PM
Martin, are you into things grenading? :lmao:

Nope. :hill:

Just want to make sure it is the TC that is the problem before I go through the pain to remove it.

Edit:

Is there a definitive test other than waiting for it to grenade or strapping someone under my rig with a mechanics stethoscope and driving down the road?

Red_Chili
03-13-2009, 07:48 AM
:eek:

I ain't volunteering.

If you want, though, you can remove your shifter boot and slip the stethoscope down the hole I suppose, I've not tried that.

Were it mine... the correlation of the noise and sudden difficulty with shifting out of 4WD would be enough to send me down the tcase path.

I actually happen to have a couple tcases around, don't remember if one is a fwd shift but I think so. If I were to use them, I would put new bearings in them (not exactly hermetically sealed, and that input bearing is open to whatever is in the environment :rolleyes:). But you could try a swap. Kinda a lot of work for a troubleshooting technique though, you might as well open it up, look around, and throw in new bearings.

MDH33
03-13-2009, 08:55 AM
What range of years will bolt into an '82? I might try to find a unit to swap in since I have no skills rebuilding transfercases. Also, does the trans have to come out, or will the TC unbolt and come out while leaving the trans?

Red_Chili
03-13-2009, 09:13 AM
TC bolts right up, and to my knowledge any geared TC fits any geared TC tranny. Marlin would know with a certainty. Forward shift versus top shift does matter though (is the shifter coming up out of the tcase, or is it in the tranny tailpiece? Yours is the latter I think.). Tranny removal is not necessary. Dropping the stock crossmember makes it much easier; support the tranny.

Warning: once you wrench on a minitruck you will never go back... :lmao:

DaveInDenver
03-13-2009, 02:07 PM
TC bolts right up, and to my knowledge any geared TC fits any geared TC tranny. Marlin would know with a certainty. Forward shift versus top shift does matter though (is the shifter coming up out of the tcase, or is it in the tranny tailpiece? Yours is the latter I think.). Tranny removal is not necessary. Dropping the stock crossmember makes it much easier; support the tranny.

Warning: once you wrench on a minitruck you will never go back... :lmao:
His 1982 would be top shift. The forward shift RF1A would be behind all G and '89 and newer W56 transmissions, so only trucks from 1984 and newer (first year for a G52 was 1984) only might have a forward shift. All the L trannys from 1979 thru 1983 and W56 from 1985 thru 1988 had top shift t-cases behind them.

The transfer cases are the same except for the shift rails that come out of the forward shift. So a top shift can be converted into a forward shift and vice versa, if you have the parts. Marlin has a kit that converts a forward into a top since you need a top shift as the back case in a dual setup, so people (like me) often buy a 4.7:1 case to bolt in a third gen or something and down the road want to make it the back case of an Ultimate.

So if you have a good gear-driven case, no matter top or forward, you can use the shift linkage from your current case to make the case work for your truck. Well, unless the linkage is what broke, then you might be hosed. But Marlin apparently has a bin full of both kinds of linkages, so he could fix you up with whatever bit you need to fix the linkage.

MDH33
03-13-2009, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the info Bill and Dave.

Unfortunately, it looks like the rebuild units and extraneous parts needed that Marlin sells would end up costing about twice what I paid for the truck ...

Let me know if you hear of anyone parting out a rig with a good L52 and TC.

DaveInDenver
03-13-2009, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the info Bill and Dave.

Unfortunately, it looks like the rebuild units and extraneous parts needed that Marlin sells would end up costing about twice what I paid for the truck ...

Let me know if you hear of anyone parting out a rig with a good L52 and TC.
I paid $700 to Marlin for a completely rebuilt case with 4.7:1 gears and his fancy upgraded bearings and seals, so I would be surprised if you couldn't just rebuild yours for a lot less than that using stock parts. Let me know if you need help pulling the case. Other than needing a press for a couple of operations (which a $20 spot or/and six pack to your local machine shop, garage or Cruiserhead will take care of), it's not that tough. Crash, L43Dean and I found that a couple of knuckleheads and a bolt runner can swap a RF1A in no time flat. No need even for floor jacks if you're a muscle guy like Crash and just bench press the sucker.

MDH33
03-19-2009, 10:00 AM
I found a good top shift gear drive transfercase on Craigslist. It's out on the Western Slope, so hopefully mine holds out for a few more weeks until I can get out that way. The noise in 2wd seems to be getting worse now too. :o Sort of a dull rattle that is speed dependant but not effected by the clutch or gear changes.

jacdaw
03-19-2009, 10:25 AM
Martin, if you still want to use a "stethoscope" approach to determine the source of the noise, you can use a sawed-off broom handle. Might even be able to do this without a listening partner in the cab. Touch one end to the shifter and one end to your ear. Boots off would be best and get down low, just avoid contact with the floor pan. Remember the game Operation? Wood is really good at transferring vibrations. Think guitars, fiddles, etc.

MDH33
03-19-2009, 10:46 AM
Martin, if you still want to use a "stethoscope" approach to determine the source of the noise, you can use a sawed-off broom handle. Might even be able to do this without a listening partner in the cab. Touch one end to the shifter and one end to your ear. Boots off would be best and get down low, just avoid contact with the floor pan. Remember the game Operation? Wood is really good at transferring vibrations. Think guitars, fiddles, etc.

I'll give it a try and let you know what I hear. :thumb:

Air Randy
03-19-2009, 10:56 AM
There are a whole bunch of people driving out to Moab today and returning on Sunday for the pre-run. May be an opportunity for your TC to catch a ride.

jacdaw
03-19-2009, 10:57 AM
If you think you need help, I'm retired and :bored: most days. We could compare hiluxes. One of the first things I did to my truck when I bought it was replace the shifter bushings. I still have a hard time getting into 2nd from 3rd. It wants to go further to the right than feels comfy. We could make the broom handle run in both trucks to compares noises. Mine's only got 84k miles on it. Could give you a decent base-line...

MDH33
03-19-2009, 11:03 AM
There are a whole bunch of people driving out to Moab today and returning on Sunday for the pre-run. May be an opportunity for your TC to catch a ride.

It's way up in Meeker, so I doubt anyone would be willing to make that much of a detour. :o

MDH33
03-19-2009, 11:04 AM
If you think you need help, I'm retired and :bored: most days. We could compare hiluxes. One of the first things I did to my truck when I bought it was replace the shifter bushings. I still have a hard time getting into 2nd from 3rd. It wants to go further to the right than feels comfy. We could make the broom handle run in both trucks to compares noises. Mine's only got 84k miles on it. Could give you a decent base-line...

Will you be at the next RS meeting? I'll try to drive it then. That's the next time I can think of that I'll be free. Thanks!

jacdaw
03-19-2009, 11:12 AM
Will you be at the next RS meeting? I'll try to drive it then. That's the next time I can think of that I'll be free. Thanks!

Yep, that's the day I'll be an official, paid-in-full member.
Well, assuming someone will sign off at NSTBC next week and y'all vote me in. :bowdown:

Red_Chili
03-19-2009, 11:31 AM
Martin, ask Jim at http://jimsgotparts.com/. Minitruck parts are plentiful. No need to hit the western slope.

jacdaw
03-19-2009, 11:35 AM
Martin, ask Jim at http://jimsgotparts.com/. Minitruck parts are plentiful. No need to hit the western slope.

Bill!! Thank you. FIELD TRIP

MDH33
03-19-2009, 12:39 PM
Martin, ask Jim at http://jimsgotparts.com/. Minitruck parts are plentiful. No need to hit the western slope.

Good call Bill! I called Jim and he has what I need for less than the unit I found on CL. Actually costs less than just the bearing kit if I were going to rebuild. :thumb:

MDH33
03-20-2009, 09:37 AM
Anyone here used one of the Budbuilt cross members?

link (http://www.budbuilt.com/new/single_cross_members.html)

http://www.budbuilt.com/kens1_small.jpg

Jacket
03-20-2009, 10:07 AM
Bud makes top notch stuff! I've got his skid plates, and numerous other Tacoma, mini and FJC owners are satisfied customers. You can't go wrong there.

DaveInDenver
03-20-2009, 01:46 PM
Anyone here used one of the Budbuilt cross members?
I've got Bud's single case cross member and skid, Isaac I think has single case cross member and skid and Dean has a double case cross member and skid on his 1980.

MDH33
04-13-2009, 08:20 AM
New development. The weather wasn't bad last week so I took the hilux for a drive. I had the hubs locked all winter, but I unlocked them and drove it around the 'hood in 2Hi. No noises... I put it into 4Hi with the hubs unlocked. No noises... 4Lo with hubs unlocked. No noises... Would this indicate that the TC is not the culprit and that it could be something in the dif, axles, birfs maybe? Can anyone think of any other tests I can do to figure out where the problem is before I spend $ on parts.

:cheers:

DaveInDenver
04-13-2009, 08:32 AM
New development. The weather wasn't bad last week so I took the hilux for a drive. I had the hubs locked all winter, but I unlocked them and drove it around the 'hood in 2Hi. No noises... I put it into 4Hi with the hubs unlocked. No noises... 4Lo with hubs unlocked. No noises... Would this indicate that the TC is not the culprit and that it could be something in the dif, axles, birfs maybe? Can anyone think of any other tests I can do to figure out where the problem is before I spend $ on parts.

Yeah, it could be a lot of things. Not to mention that don't for a second think that even being a mini truck and not a Cruiser that it will be like driving a Cadillac. Even my relatively modern junk still has gear whine and stuff. My Marlin transfer has a very distinct whine from the front drive gears, even in 4 high (it's actually much more pronounced in 4-high because of the speed).

Anyway, have you done a fluidectomy? I would get fresh gear lube in all the places before anything else. I know you said you drained the t-case and that it was in good shape, but also the diffs and tranny, right?

The sound was a thud-thud, which to me is not a normal driveline sound, but also not necessarily meaning major failure (yet). My original diff gears were worn enough that I would get a thunk starting from a stop, the splines in my rear prop shaft are currently giving me a thunk from stop. I also get a metallic ting once in a while when my exhaust kisses my well bent up skid plate. Worn u-joints make weird noises, too. On an old mini truck I would suspect u-joints of being marginal.

I would also consider the possibility that you have badly worn or broken motor isolators. Particularly the cross member one, when that gets bad things tap each other, shifter arms touch sheet metal, cases touch cross members, etc.

So yeah, I think it's possible that it's not an immediate t-case issues. Good fluid, no shavings are good signs. There are no synchronizers in there to fail like a tranny, so it's pretty simple to tell if a bearing has failed, the pieces will be silver and there should only be a little shine to the oil on the drain plug magnet from the gear faces. Sometimes when trannys fail the yellow metal parts not being magnetic won't be obvious on the plug and you have to watch the lube for them.

Red_Chili
04-13-2009, 01:45 PM
Thud-thud almost sounds like a ring gear. :(

MDH33
04-13-2009, 01:57 PM
Anyone want to go for a test drive and listen to this thing? :hill::o