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Thread: Transmission Problem

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question Transmission Problem

    I recently completed a complete engine rebuild on my 48 CJ2A. all is finally well with the rebuild, but now i have discovered that the vehicle will NOT move in 2-wheel drive. It acts like it is stuck in neutral. However, all is well when I engage the transfer case and put it into 4-wheel drive. I cannot figure out why there is no power to the drive shaft in 2-wheel drive. When moving in 4-wheel, it appears that the rear wheels are in fact causing the drive shaft to rotate, so I think the axles and differential are ok. Maybe not. I just don't know enough about it to know for sure. since the transfer case is behind the transmission, why can I run all 4 gears ok in 4-wheel drive but not in 2-wheel drive? Realize I am a complete amateur at auto mechanics and know virtually nothing. Any help or directions would be greatly appreciated before I start willy nilly pulling things apart that i know nothing about. Thank you. Dan

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    OK - another weird Jeep problem.

    I'd suggest you take this to the CJ-2A group. They're like that Insurance Company, they've seen just about everything.

    www.thecj2apage.com

    Let us know what you find out...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I would put it up on blocks and try to isolate the problem. Based on the information you provided I think the transfer case is either bad or not engaging the rear gears for some reason (linkage?) but it is hard to troubleshoot from here. Since it moves in 4wd we know the transmission and the front of the transfer case should be good. The only problems I have had related to yours is a full time 4wd Cherokee that would get stuck with one wheel off the ground. It had a shifting problem that kept the transfer case from locking the front and rear driveshaft together. I also had a Bronco that wasn't getting power to the front wheels. The previous owner had stripped out the front spider gears but everything would turn and appeared to be working correctly until it got a load on it. Discovered both problems out on the trail.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the information. I'll try what you suggested. However, knowing virtually nothing about transmissions and transfer cases, how is it possible that the transfer case could be causing the problem? Isn't the transfer case (for 4-wheel drive) BEHIND the transmission and should not affect power to the rear drive shaft while in 2-wheel drive???? Or, does the transfer case have some way of 'locking the front and rear driveshafts together" ??? Thanks for the help. Lost in Grass Valley. Dan B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    The transfer case locks the front and rear driveshafts together and gives you the "2 high", "4 high" and "4 low" options. In a full time 4wd drive it can either be always locked or act as a "differential" between the front and rear with an option to lock. The Jeep I had that would get stuck with one wheel off the ground had the latter and would not shift into "locked". It was vacuum operated so there was no indication it wasn't working until I was stuck. I haven't worked on these jeeps enough to know a lot. Nearly 30 years ago I did some rock crawling in Arizona and had to go through the transfer case and transmission on a CJ5 and I converted the vacuum operated transfer case on the Cherokee to a direct shift before that. I don't recall any of it being overly complicated and I did all three in a dormitory parking lot (against base regulations). I would recommend ordering the Service Manual for Universal Jeep Vehicles either from Kaiser or your favorite source.
    https://www.kaiserwillys.com/vehicle...-cj-2a-3a-3b-5

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    What I gave above is a generic description so I thought I would add that my CJ2A transfer case has 2 shift levers to the right of the transmission lever. One to shift in and out of 4wd and the other to shift between high, neutral and low which makes it possible to drive it in 2 low. My CJ3A is the same way.

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