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Discussion Starter #1
Towards the end of plowing season last year, the 97 was making significant noise in four wheel drive. Most noticeable when changing directions, especially with the wheel cut sharply. The noise seemed to be coming primarily from the front driveshaft area. I know, that's a little vague. While doing some maintenance last night, I thought I would measure the play at the wheel/rotor. I put the key on, put the truck in 4WD, and jacked up one side. Turned the rotor hard one way, and made a mark. Turned the rotor hard the other way and made another mark. Almost two inches of travel at the outside circumference of the rotor. That would be five inches at the tire tread. The rotor is about 12 1/2 inches in diameter, so that works out to be about 5%, or 18 degrees. That seems like too much to me. Unfortunately, the slack isn't coming from just one spot. It's just about evenly split between the front axle itself, and the transfer case. The CV shafts don't seem to have any play. The front driveshaft u-joints are new, although the front one already has a little play in it (The shop that did my transmission replaced them, and put the stupid greaseable joints in. I have not had any luck with those.) A very tiny tiny amount of play in the slip yoke. The banging noise itself really seems to come from the case.

So my question is, do I need to tear down the case, front diff, or both? Do I rebuild, or put in some used stuff? Or can I keep running it as is? If anyone has had a similar problem, I would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

Thanks, Palmer
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A little update. Had my son crank the tire back and forth while I climbed around underneath. There is almost NO play in the front diff. The CV joints do have some play. The inners maybe a little more than the outers, but both sides seem about equal. I thought there should be zero play in them. I have never heard any clicking, and the boots are still good. Mileage is unknown on them, but I bought the truck with 75K, 135K now. The case has alot of play as I mentioned before. And the clanging noise really seems to be coming from it. But, the driveshaft makes it sound like it's coming from the front diff a little bit too. Probably should pull the driveshaft and make sure.

Is the case easy to repair/rebuild? And is a used unit likely to have the same problem.
 

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Gm transfer case

As for ease of rebulding I'm not sure it cost me about $2500 to have mine replaced because the berings went inside but it sound like your chain is slipping so at least a rebuild is in order hope that helps
 

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Cor

Sounds like the chain in the Tcase not a big deal to build , average cost of good used unit 4-700 depending on the yard.

I can build a Tcase for a whole lot less than 2500 matter of fact if it was that expensive i would recommend a low mileage used unit to my customers.

When i converted my F450 wrecker in 04 to 4x4 a brand new Tcase from Ford was 1650.00 dollars so do some checking around on prices.
 

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I tried the bone yards first got one for 700 put it in and 7 monthes later found out the berings were shot and damaged a bunch of other components as well so I spent 2500 on all the repairs needed so needless to say becarfull of used parts jmo were I'm at t cases for the 4l80e are not easy to come bye it took me 3 weeks and to many bone yards to count finaly found one in st cloud but like I said it had no slack that I could tell and it bit me in the butt so I went and had it done at a drive line company sorry forgot to mention all that
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies, Fred & company:D

I've been gathering pieces for this project for almost 4 months. I found a sweet 243 from a half ton for $75 three months ago. Since the input gear is wrong, went hunting for that. Worst case scenario, about $150 online. I scored a 32 spline input shaft a month ago for $40 shipped. Almost like new. Tore the case down last week, just like new inside. It doesn't appear to have ever been shifted into low range, and the 4wd clutch and fork do not show any visible wear. Ordered a gasket kit from Drivetrain.com for $25 shipped. Hopefully it arrives today, and I can put the case together this weekend. I'll have $150 in it, including fluid.

God is very good, and also teaches patience.

I'm anxious to take the old one apart and see how trashed it is......
 
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