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Grinding in transfer case

Acgreen3256

New member
So about 3 weeks ago i was with a buddy of mine and he asked if the 4WD worked on my 77 scout II. Ive had the car for about a month now and i didnt know if it worked or not so we tested it out in a small parking lot. We held down the button thats labeled 4WD (not sure if its even connected to anything because the previous owner told me it was the horn button and that if i ever get a state inspection to connect the red wire hanging in the drivers footwell,this whole truck has been badly mistreated in its life) ok so i held the button down and my buddy tried to shove it into all the different gears and i could hear every single one grind, the only one that seemed to make the truck drive different was 4 low and it didnt have the same difficulty my 02 grand cherokee has doing tight turns in 4wd on asphalt (i dont really know any way to test if 4wd works besides that). I'm wondering whats likely to be wrong and if its something i can fix myself in 2-3 days or less or if its something im going to have to bring to a shop and how much would this suck out of my wallet. (sorry if it seems like im rambling a bit but i do that a lot)
 

Hondo

Member
Should be no "button" involved. We could use a little more information, in particular, Manual or automatic transmission, locking or lock-o-matic hubs up front. If you have locking hubs, get it into what you think is four low, or four high, unlock the hubs, and see if the front drive shaft is spinning while driving. With the hubs locked, the front tires will spin the drive shaft. With the hubs unlocked, the transfer case will be spinning the driveshaft. Alternatively, with the front hubs unlocked, crawl under the Scout (motor stopped, parking brake on) with it in what you think is 4 low or 4 high, transmission in gear, and try to manually spin the front drive shaft. If the front wheel drive is engaged, you should not be able to turn it. The chattering during tight turns are an indication you had a limited slip or locker in your jeeps front axle. You also do not want to drive the Scout on dry asphalt in either 4 Hi or 4 low.
 
Did you even check to see if there is oil in the transfer case?

These are know to leak oil like crazy.

As Hondo said, there is no button for 4wd on these. Unless that button is for an electric locker which I highly doubt.

We need more details on your drivetrain.
 

Acgreen3256

New member
automatic transmission and i belive lock-o-matic because in the glove box it says you dont have to lock the hubs unless towing heavy loads in 4wd. I'll try to go to where i park it and take a picture of the button, could be something aftermarket because it doesnt look like any of the other buttons or nobs on my scout. Oh also the scouts gas pedal broke and im awaiting parts rn
 

Scoutboy74

Moderator
In addition to what's already been mentioned, you never want to engage 4x4 in any vehicle on a hard, dry surface. There's no better way to break shit then to do that. You should only engage it where there is some give to the driving surface such as in dirt/grass, wet gravel, or snow covered pavement.
 

int77345

Member
to me the button looks like an add on by a previous owner. i have never seen a scout with a button like that........??

this is what i do to test 4x4

find something, a curb, a gravel hill, a muddy spot, even a stair case just something that you cant climb, go through etc in 1st gear 2 wheel drive. point is 2 wheel drive will not make it.

then lock in hubs, even though yours are auto lock them in, be at a dead stop push transfer case up in to 4 wheel low and put transmission in to 1st gear and try to crawl out or over what ever 2 wheel drive would not make.
 

Scoutboy74

Moderator
Yeah, that button was added by a previous owner. It is not original equipment. It also has nothing to do with your 4x4 function. The reason that area has a "4x4" label above it is, some models were equipped with a single speed transfer case that was actuated by a push/pull knob which, if so equipped would have resided under that label. The knob looked similar to the other knobs in your dash. Your Scout has the two speed Dana 20 transfer case actuated by the shift lever to the right of your transmission gear selector. High range 4x4 is meant to be shifted on the fly, though it can also be engaged while stopped. Low range 4x4 is done while the vehicle is stopped or just barely moving with the auto trans gear selector in neutral. The front hubs must also be manually engaged if they are manual style. To reiterate, 4x4 operation on hard, dry surfaces is best avoided. You want things to slip and give a little.
 

Hondo

Member
Just a couple of basic things that may help. When you push the transfer case into 4 hi or 4 lo you are engaging the front output coupler of the transfer case, which applies power to your front drive shaft. When the transfer case is in 2 hi, only the rear output coupler of the transfer case is engaged. When the front hubs are in "free", the front hubs, which the front wheels are bolted to, are uncoupled from the two front outer axle stubs and front wheels. When the front hubs are in the 'lock" position, the front wheels and hubs are engaged to the splines on the outer ends of the front axle outer stubs. With the transfer case engaged in 4 hi or 4 low, engine off, e-brake on, transmission in any gear, you should not be able to spin the front drive shaft with your hands, because it is engaged with the engine. With the transfer case in neutral or 4 hi, front hubs in "free", transmission in any gear or neutral, e-brake on, you should be able to turn the front driveshaft freely with your hands, and if you look at the ends of axles, you should also see the u-joints turning. If you then turn the front hubs to "lock", you should no longer be able to spin the front drive shaft by hand. If you drive around with the front hubs locked all the time, the front axles, differential gears, transfer case front output coupler, and front drive shaft are always turning, which puts unnecessary wear and tear on them, and lowers your MPG. One last thing once you get it all working. I always cringe when I hear people bragging about how they have come so far on a trail in 2 low (transfer case in 4 lo with front hubs in free). This is really bad for the transfer case rear output coupler, rear differential, and rear axles. It applies way too much torque to them. OK on flat ground, not so much for crawling or climbing. If you have an official Scout manual, it will tell you not to do this. Good luck and hope this helps.
 
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