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Have I totally messed up my transfer case?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by cwby_ram, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram Senior Member
    Messages: 907

    Ok, '98 Dodge (truck in sig). The other night, on a salt run, my right front tire developed a crack in the sidewall and wouldn't hold air. My tires are 265/75/16 MTs. I had to use the spare under the bed, which is a 245/75/16 street/AT tire. Didn't have time to get it replaced before last night's salt run. I ran it in 4wd for a little bit, but something popped going in and out of 4HI, along with a clicking noise that seems to be related to the rotation of the tire. Seemed normal driving over snow covered sections of road, but felt and sounded terrible on bare spots. Now I've been reading up a little, and now realize I shouldn't have engaged the 4WD with mismatched tires. I probably drove no more than 15-20 miles with the 4WD engaged, and drove the rest of the night in 2HI. My question is this - do you think I tore up the transfer case enough to have to replace it, or do I have a chance that getting the tires all matched up will make the t-case happier? Either way this is gonna be expensive :cry:

    Sorry so wordy, thanks for the input guys!
  2. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    if your 4x4 still works, its probably popping from binding up, and is ok still. if you put new tires, i bet the sound goes away and you will be fine.
  3. vinnys

    vinnys Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    I don't think its the case. Sounds like the axle disconnect might have blew. Its the little box on the pass. side front axle. Pull cover and take a look for broken parts. Also check your front u joints, one might have went. Good luck!
  4. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram Senior Member
    Messages: 907

    I'm so glad that was the first reply! That's what I was thinking too. That's reassuring. I grenaded a transfer case in another truck when I was younger, and I'm still a little paranoid I guess.

    I've got Federal Couragia mud terrains on it now, but since I'm in the market, got any suggestions on replacements?
  5. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram Senior Member
    Messages: 907

    Thanks, I'll go out and look for that box when my wife gets home to watch the kiddo, I'm unfamiliar with it. I've been watching that side of the truck lately, as the wheel bearing is about due for replacement. I did try to wiggle the u-joints right after it started, but they seemed good. Also the noise and feel went away when I put it back in 2HI. I'll check on that axle disconnect. Thanks again!
  6. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    265/75/16 31.6 to 32.0" Diameter average
    245/75/16 30.7 to 31.8" Diameter average

    I think the problem was already there or maybe you hit something that damaged the tire if the noise is from the same area.

    You could have that much difference in size tires if you were running 1 new tire and 3 used tires of the same brand/make or running a couple different brand tires the same size. Tires are not all the same size diameter even though the metric size ratings are the same. Its kinda like shoes, not all size 10's are the same.

    I do not see that the tire causing any damage, if it did you would know it. If the tire was a greater size difference (diameter wise) then you would know there was a problem, it would drive like its in 4low while Turing, pop like heck and would probably acutely break the axle or u-joint.

    It should not affect the transfer case, unless you were running 2 smaller tires on one end, then it could. But the way you ran it, its the same as running a tire with 20 less pounds air then the rest....
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    betting it is the outer axle shaft broken
    common Dodge problem
  8. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram Senior Member
    Messages: 907

    Dr. Who, I must have mistyped that, they were 285's on there, still not a huge difference I guess, but a little greater.
    Hydro, I'll check that outer shaft too. Would that still cause symptoms in 2WD?
  9. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    x2. In 2Hi the front axles can freewheel at different speeds to accomodate your missmatched tires.
  10. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram Senior Member
    Messages: 907

    I'm sure hoping there was no harm done, but I guess we'll dig in tomorrow and see what the damage is. Should have a week or so of nice weather to do it.
  11. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

  12. mjones

    mjones Junior Member
    from indy
    Messages: 22

    if you tore up your transfer case your truck would not move