Transfer case problem, need advice

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by freightshaker, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. freightshaker

    freightshaker New Member



    About three months ago, I had to have my tranny rebuilt on my 2001 Z71 with a NP246 transfer case.

    Not long before that, I noticed that whoever had my truck before had put what looked like regular tranny fluid in the transfer case instead of the blue GM Autotrac II fluid, so I drained and refilled with the right stuff.

    I had also noticed that when I'm in 4-wheel drive and drive, say, 200 feet in lo and a few miles in hi and switch back to 2 wheel drive, it will "clunk" and the front will fall an inch or 2 like something was in a bind.


    I started noticing a funny smell when I drove the truck that was strongest when I stopped and opened the driver door. I initially suspected the newly rebuilt tranny, but it just didn't smell like a burning transmission.

    I got under the truck and took out the filler plug on the transfer case to make sure it still had enough fluid in it, and noticed the fluid had a little silvery color and got some on my finger and noticed metal flakes.

    Do you think that funny smell was coming from my transfer case all along?

    Also, when you put it in gear, usually when you put it in forward after drving backwards or vice versa, it will go into gear, and when you give it gas to drive off, it will pause for a split second and then "clunk" and start moving.

    Can a problem in the transfer case cause that and the "falling" of the front of the truck like it was in a bind?

    This is my first 4-wheel drive.

    I'd appreciate any advice.
  2. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yes it sounds like your transfer case is going bad. I would drain the fluid and see how bad it is. If metal flakes come out you need to get it repaired right away before it leaves you stranded somewhere.. Since you removed the atf and added the correct oil there should be no metal or debris in the sump at all.
  3. freightshaker

    freightshaker New Member

    Thanx. I'm pricing kits and used units today.
  4. freightshaker

    freightshaker New Member

    Another question.

    Given the information I've listed, do you think it's possible I could get by with a bearing rebuild kit and new chain?
  5. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I would guess you would need more than that. Something is making metal in there.
  6. freightshaker

    freightshaker New Member

    Ok Thanx. Guess I'll just have to get it out and see. I wish I could find a good used one , but they are wanting $800 for a used one around here and I can get a rebuilt one with a warranty for about a grand or so.
  7. freightshaker

    freightshaker New Member

    Sorry to keep bothering you, but are there any options other than the NP246? Cheaper or better?
  8. Jimmiee

    Jimmiee Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Your truck is electronically engineered around this transfer case. Trying to change it would require a lot of time and money. Your best bet is to open it up and see how it is. If it's real bad you could find a good used one.
  9. freightshaker

    freightshaker New Member

    Thank you. That is what I'm going to do. I finally found one for about 650 with only about 70,000 miles on it from a salvage place with a good rep, so I'm going to remove it and see what shape it is inside, and like you said, get the used one if too much is wrong.

    I appreciate your advice.

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