Is The Transfer Case Of Your Off-Road Truck Broken?

If you’re a lucky owner of an off-road truck, you’ve seen firsthand that this vehicle is very different from a conventional one. For starters, there are different types of 4×4 transmissions:

Manual switchable: a 4×4 is a vehicle in which, utilizing specific transmission systems, all wheels can simultaneously receive power from the engine.

Automatic or semi-permanent switchable: Thanks to electronics, the vehicle chooses the transmission mode. The transmission works on a 2-wheel drive on adherent ground and switches to 4-wheel drive when the two primary drive wheels lose grip. In very sophisticated vehicles, the drive is managed wheel by wheel and not only axle by axle.

Permanent: The vehicle always runs with four driving wheels. To run on road and adherent ground, these vehicles have a center differential that allows different rotation speeds between the wheels of the front axle and those of the rear axle.

The transfer case is a mechanism that distributes or “transfers” the engine torque between both axles of the vehicle. It usually is 50% for each axle. However, the torque distribution is variable in some off-road vehicles between the rear axle and the front axle to offer maximum performance. For its part, the reduction gearbox is basically what differentiates an off-road vehicle from an all-terrain vehicle.

On traditional off-roaders, the transfer case offers 2H rear-wheel drive (for on-road) or 4H all-wheel drive (for slippery surfaces). In addition, it has two different gear ratios, long in 2H or 4H and short or 4L reduction gear (for maximum strength and traction on very steep and complicated terrain, either uphill or downhill).

In permanent traction off-roaders, the transfer selection allows only high gears (4H) and low gears (4L), and in some cases, the intermediate position (4HL, which locks the center differential in high gears to improve traction). All-wheel-drive vehicles offer two-speed transfer selection (4H and 4L), but the usual is only 4H, permanent, or progressive all-wheel drive without reduction gear.

It requires oil, the type of which varies according to the vehicle. Newer vehicles have electrical or vacuum connections to engage the front-wheel drive, so checking in case bumps with rocks is recommended. If the off-road trips are sporadic, it is advisable to connect once a month to circulate the lubricant.

As you know, when the transmission is not properly cared for, breakdowns can be very costly, so before buying any part, you should be sure which one is damaged, if it is possible to repair it or if it needs to be replaced.

The good thing is that although a transfer case is not particularly economical, you can always find outstanding quality remanufactured transfer cases options.

You don’t have to be wary of remanufactured transfer cases. These spare parts result after an industrial process that recovers them and puts them back to work while retaining the same characteristics that a newly manufactured part would have, with the benefit that no raw materials are being consumed. No more energy is consumed in their production, and remanufactured transfer cases are intended for the second line of the auto parts sector. This replacement has to do with the maintenance of used vehicles.

These parts are recovered after disassembly of vehicles and, after quality assurance checks, are subjected to stress tests to determine whether they can operate without any problems. Thanks in part to this, the warranty that covers reconditioned parts is equal in coverage and time to that of a new part with the same characteristics. Reconditioned parts allow the following environmental and economic benefits:

  • They are lower-cost parts, but with the same quality as a new part.
  • They reduce their impact on the environment since they require a refurbishment and not complete manufacturing.
  • They are as reliable as a new part and have the same warranty.
  • They allow a reduction in the generation of waste.
  • They are ideal for a quick repair of the breakdown.
  • They reduce atmospheric emissions.


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