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NP231 T-Case problem on a 1996 XJ Sport


 
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cmeseadoin
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:26 pm    Post subject: NP231 T-Case problem on a 1996 XJ Sport Reply with quote

Hey there guys.....

First of all I would like to shout out to you guys and say hello as I have not been in the forum in quite a while. Firstly, I appreciate everyone's time reading my posting and any help that anyone can provide!! :-)

I have a technical issue with my 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0L 5 speed with the NP231 T-Case with 272 gears. I would like to see if anyone can provide any insight on this before I start riping things apart. Here is some background:

Leaving work and before a trip to hershey, PA this past Wednesday, I was driving from the parking lot and noticed a light squeeking/rubbing sound coming from under the truck at low speed that was consistant with the speed I was driving IE) like a slight brake rub or u-joint noise. No vibrations through-out the acceleration band nor any more noise.....just low speed. I dismissed this and intended to look into it when I returned to Richmond this weekend and drove onward figuring a slight issue of it.

I arrived in PA no problem....and came out to the truck one night and just though, you know, I bet that noise is a work U-joint in the front driveshaft and perhaps I need to replace them. I bought the truck used for 1,900 bucks and it now has 228,000 miles on it and runs like new, but god knows if the U-joints have been replaced right? SO I went out, climbed in and engaged 4x4.....let out the clutch and she made me most horrific torque bind up and release noise I have ever heard....if I hit the gas she clang and bang, then let off and she'd band again. This was NEW. It was as if something was popping in the driveline somewhere, but I could not determine where, so I thought I had a blow u-joint. Now I was a LITTLE concerned about losing the shaft at 75mph on the 230mile trip home but nevermind it did fine. This was only a problem if 4H OR 4L was engaged. I thought one of the joints at the wheel hub could be bad too, but again, no noise in turns without 4x4 engaged.

Got home, drove it up on ramps and pulled off the front drive shaft.....all joints appear fine, tight and like new it seems. Climbed underneath and took my hand and spun the output shaft of the T-Case with the truck in 4H so as not to have the 4x4 mode engaged, and there was A LOT of chain noise....I could hear the drive chain dragging the bottom of the case as if it were loose. So, I then locked her in 4H and took my hand and the output shaft will spin a GOOD 1/4 of a turn before it locks and there is a lot of play in the chain I can feel....plus you can hear the chain smacking the bottom of the case when you rotate the output shaft back and forth. Something has happened internally to the T-case I think. I pulled my 1995 XJ from the garage with the same NP231 case, drove it up on ramps and raised one of the front tires off the ramp and spun the front driveshaft and NO chain noise at all with less play locked in 4x4.

Something has happened internally to the T-case I am convinced. Does anyone know if I can remove the cover to the T-case while the unit is still in the truck? I would drain the case, remove the rear driveshaft and lower the tranny by removing the cross member support then remove all the bolts holding the case together and drop the back plate off of it to see what is going on. Or will it all fall apart? Any ideas with what to do? It runs fine in 4H, no noise. If I recall correctly though, 4H is just a straight pass-through the T-Case.... I have left the front driveshaft off for now so as to not be spinning the t-case gears doing anymore damage, plus I will drive another one of my cars until I get more info on what is happening inside. Does anyone have any history with these t-cases as far as what could be going on here? Is there a tensioning device inside or anything that could be causing a lot of play in the chain-drive? I hope I am not looking at a new T-Case here, but I am more than sure my bind up has nothing to do with the driveshaft U-joints now. I should not be hearing that chain loss inside. Please assist!! Thank you!! Razz
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'95 XJ Sport 5 spd 4L 4dr 4x4,'96 XJ Sport 5spd 4L 2dr 4x4,'96 Pontiac G/A 4dr auto 2.4L 4-cyl,'76 Buick Electra 225 Ltd 4dr h/t with vinyl 7.5L 455 V8 auto,'02 Pontiac T/A Ram Air WS6 Hurst 6-spd 5.7L V-8 2DR w/T-tops,'96 SeaDoo GSX.
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ehirner
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: NP231 T-Case problem on a 1996 XJ Sport Reply with quote

Check out this writeup for an SYE install.

http://stu-offroad.com/engine/sye/sye-1.htm

Basically, you'll be doing the same thing when opening the t-case. It can be done in the vehicle. There is not a tensioner inside. The chain can and does stretch, especially in high mileage situations.
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ThePhantum
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, it could be the chain, but it might also be a bad fork/sleeve. As to which set, you're guess is as good as mine. It could be the mode fork and/or sleeve, but, since only 4WD modes are affected (for the most part), it could just as easily be the range fork and/or sleeve. The only way to tell is to open it up. Like E said, you can pop the cover with it still bolted to the tranny.

I'm sure we'll be talking about it when I get in on Monday. Wink
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cmeseadoin
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:18 am    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

Hey guys, thanks for the information. I am probably going to have to open it up and check things out and see what is happening as I am sure that the bind up is coming from within the T-Case and not the U-joints. Steve, I will be chatting to you about it Monday. Talk to you then, I have to get into the office now. :-) Cool
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'95 XJ Sport 5 spd 4L 4dr 4x4,'96 XJ Sport 5spd 4L 2dr 4x4,'96 Pontiac G/A 4dr auto 2.4L 4-cyl,'76 Buick Electra 225 Ltd 4dr h/t with vinyl 7.5L 455 V8 auto,'02 Pontiac T/A Ram Air WS6 Hurst 6-spd 5.7L V-8 2DR w/T-tops,'96 SeaDoo GSX.
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cmeseadoin
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, just wanted to give some followup to this situation. This morning I pulled the T-case out of the truck after pulling the drain plug out to find NO fluid in it what-so-ever. I pulled it out, put it one the bench and tore it down. Surprisingly it is in good shape with a worn chain that was drastically loose inside, so much so it is dragging the case as it turns (Probably explains the torque binding noise I heard). There was little to no fluid inside and what was there was all orangish and nasty. All the gears appear to be good. I just finished flushing it all out and cleaning it internally after taking it all apart.

Here is what I plan to do. The rear output shaft bearing is going out and so is the front yoke bearing. I alrady pulled them out. I need two new oil seals for both shafts as well and a new drive chain. I have been all over the internet and I really cannot find anywhere where I can buy these things. Does anyone know a name of a place that I can call and order the parts I want? Right now I need to do more research, but the next problem is parts. Please advise.
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'95 XJ Sport 5 spd 4L 4dr 4x4,'96 XJ Sport 5spd 4L 2dr 4x4,'96 Pontiac G/A 4dr auto 2.4L 4-cyl,'76 Buick Electra 225 Ltd 4dr h/t with vinyl 7.5L 455 V8 auto,'02 Pontiac T/A Ram Air WS6 Hurst 6-spd 5.7L V-8 2DR w/T-tops,'96 SeaDoo GSX.
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ThePhantum
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be surprised if NAPA or Autozone coudn't get them for you. I know that Quadratec sells at least some of those parts.
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cmeseadoin
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there Steve, yeah I am on the horn first thing this morning with NAPA. I did some calling around and between advance, autozone and Napa, I think I can get all the parts. The hardest thing to find is the chain and I just got off the line with NAPA and they have it so I am going to get it. They should have the bearings and seals too, but he told me to bring those and we'll match them up if we can. I will keep you up to date, would be nice to have this thing done by this evening. :-)

Chris
_________________
'95 XJ Sport 5 spd 4L 4dr 4x4,'96 XJ Sport 5spd 4L 2dr 4x4,'96 Pontiac G/A 4dr auto 2.4L 4-cyl,'76 Buick Electra 225 Ltd 4dr h/t with vinyl 7.5L 455 V8 auto,'02 Pontiac T/A Ram Air WS6 Hurst 6-spd 5.7L V-8 2DR w/T-tops,'96 SeaDoo GSX.
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cmeseadoin
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, another update.....Napa had all the parts I needed and I finally got home about 12:30pm on Saturday and started rebuilding the gearbox on the bench about 1:15pm. By 6pm, it was back in the truck and the test drive was over. 4x4 is working perfectly, no noise, no bind up, problem solved.

When it was all said and done, the groaning bearing noise that I have had since I bought it in March and that I THOUGHT was the rear end going out (because the truck has 227K on it) was as quiet as a church mouse. It was the shot-to-hell bearing of the rear output shaft from the T-case. The rear is fine. I am glad to have that done. It was a fun project and we're back on the road. Cool
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'95 XJ Sport 5 spd 4L 4dr 4x4,'96 XJ Sport 5spd 4L 2dr 4x4,'96 Pontiac G/A 4dr auto 2.4L 4-cyl,'76 Buick Electra 225 Ltd 4dr h/t with vinyl 7.5L 455 V8 auto,'02 Pontiac T/A Ram Air WS6 Hurst 6-spd 5.7L V-8 2DR w/T-tops,'96 SeaDoo GSX.
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Code3TJ
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad it worked out for ya - how much did all the bits and pieces end up costing?
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cmeseadoin
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Total cost was $145.00....bearings, seals and drive chain. Not bad! Razz
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'95 XJ Sport 5 spd 4L 4dr 4x4,'96 XJ Sport 5spd 4L 2dr 4x4,'96 Pontiac G/A 4dr auto 2.4L 4-cyl,'76 Buick Electra 225 Ltd 4dr h/t with vinyl 7.5L 455 V8 auto,'02 Pontiac T/A Ram Air WS6 Hurst 6-spd 5.7L V-8 2DR w/T-tops,'96 SeaDoo GSX.
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