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Discussion Starter #1
is there a way to tell if there is a problem with a transfer case without removal/disassembly?

the reason I ask is this: I bought a 94ZJ, 4.0, NV249 with 174K for $1600. It runs and drives great, well maintained, etc., etc. the wierd thing is, I discovered I'm missing the front driveshaft. it's not there and I have no idea why. I've got a driveshaft i can buy, but I'm thinking, what if the TC is bad? Is that why the driveshaft was removed? I can't spend a bunch of money on a driveshaft and then discover I need to buy a TC as well . . .

any suggestions?
 

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with the 249 removing the front DS is a big no-no.... the VC will have a field day and has the tendency to grenade its self because there is no pressure from the front DS. why this happens i cant really tell you it has been a while since i read the Front DS Remove Myth's bible that is stickied somewhere on this site... anyway i would be a little hesidante to say it is fully functional at this point, it shouldnt hurt anything to put the DS in and see what happens.

IMO your best bet is to go ahead and get a 242 or better (stonger) yet a 231 and swap it in there...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
crap, it's (the DS) gone and for how long is anyone's guess. so is there no way to check if there is a problem without removing the TC?
 

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Word to the wise....with that front DS removed, make sure you ALWAYS use the e-brake! IT will roll away from you!
 

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My guess is that the driveshaft was removed because the viscous coupling in the transfer case is toasted. Like was already mentioned, read the sticky but beware there is a fair amount of confusing/misleading information in there. Put a driveshaft in and try to slowly drive a tight figure eight on pavement. If the front tires start chirping then its a sign that the viscous coupling is bad.
 

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Earlier ZJ models have issues with the front driveshaft being removed on the 249. The later, 96-98 ZJ's did not have this issue. However, you can check to see if your VC is toast by going to a flat parking lot and at idle do figure 8's. If the VC is fine you should be able to idle through all of it. If you cant and have to apply throttle its toast. So with that said, either dont drive it, put a driveshaft in it, or get a new case. Dont waste your time or money fixing the 249

RockZJ



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Discussion Starter #8
thank you for the info on how to test the VC with a driveshaft installed. Let's say the VC is in fact toast. Can you still drive around normally for the most part? Is it only in tight turns that you would notice a problem, or will the Jeep be pretty much undriveable with the front drive shaft installed and the VC toasted?
 

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From the time I first noticed mine starting to bind until I replaced the t-case was at least 10,000 miles. (210k to 220k). At that time it was still very much driveable. But it seems likely the previous owner removed the driveshaft because it was already undriveable. You will need to test it to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
From the time I first noticed mine starting to bind until I replaced the t-case was at least 10,000 miles. (210k to 220k). At that time it was still very much driveable. But it seems likely the previous owner removed the driveshaft because it was already undriveable. You will need to test it to find out.
I'm a little confused by your response - it seems like you are saying it was undrivable but then it was driveable enough to go another 10K - am I misunderstanding you?
 

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I had my front driveshaft off for over a month because my NP249 was shot and I had no problems. Take it from someone who has had experience, not from someone who has never dealt with it before!

Maineman is right! You will roll forward/backward without a front driveshaft unless you are on a FLAT surface.
 

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I'm a little confused by your response - it seems like you are saying it was undrivable but then it was driveable enough to go another 10K - am I misunderstanding you?
Yes, you are misunderstanding. My ZJ has been in the family since it was new in '96 - there was no previous owner. I first noticed the VC binding at around 210k miles. At about 220k miles is was not noticeably worse and still very much driveable. Nevertheless I replaced the t-case. In your case, I'd say its a good bet that the previous owner removed the driveshaft because it was already undriveable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, you are misunderstanding. My ZJ has been in the family since it was new in '96 - there was no previous owner. I first noticed the VC binding at around 210k miles. At about 220k miles is was not noticeably worse and still very much driveable. Nevertheless I replaced the t-case. In your case, I'd say its a good bet that the previous owner removed the driveshaft because it was already undriveable.

Ok Now I understand. I've only got 179K in this one, so I'm crossing my fingers. I'll buy the driveshaft, put it in, and see what happens then . . .

thanks again for the responses!
 

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the previous owner may have removed it thinking they might get better mpg..put one one and do the figure 8 thing and find out ..nothing ventured nothing gained...
 
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