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Buzzing noise and reverse won't engage. Transfer case issues.

Discussion in 'Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, &' started by KW021, December 12, 2008.

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    1. KW021

      KW021 New Member

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      New to this forum. This has only happened twice now but I don't want it to get worse.

      I have a 4wd '98 XLT Automatic with the 4.0L SOHC, roughly 70K miles on it. Twice now i have put it into reverse but it wont engage. All i get is a very loud buzzing noise. If i put it into Drive or Park and back to Reverse it will work just fine. This has happened after its fully warmed up and when it was cold.

      NEW!>>> It has now made the same noise while coasting on the highway in Drive. I took my foot of the gas coming down a hill and another time when i was approaching an exit and the buzzing started. I touch the gas and it went away...let off and it started again. Checked the fluid transmission fluid and that is fine. The noise almost sounds like an electric motor. Any ideas?


      Another possibly unrelated matter is I get a consistant clunking when i accelerate more than like half half throttle...thinking that might have to do with the u joints but I'm throwing it in here in case it is relevant.
       
      Last edited: December 22, 2008
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    3. KW021

      KW021 New Member

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    4. waterman

      waterman Guest

      same noise and problem

      hello, I have 1998 4x4 4.0 explorer. I have the same noise when shifting into reverse/park. Now I have no reverse at all, just buzzing/ grinding noise. Thought it was transmission only, but in searching for answers someone mentioned it could be transfer case. Not sure but believe to have 5R55E transmission, but no idea what Tcase. In search for used ones have encountered question of vin# E or X. Not sure what difference this makes. Maybe someone with answers can set us on right path.
       
      Last edited by a moderator: January 9, 2009
    5. JonPetrush

      JonPetrush New Member

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      I had the same problem., It was when shifting into reverse, and later as it progressed it would occur in any forward coasting motion in which I attempted an engine braking. The noise I could not isolate so naturally I thought tranny., of course ripping that appart revealed nothing at the time, however when I finalyl took apart the transfer case, I noticed the pads on the range selector fork where gone, and the metal had started being chewed up. As a result the range hub inside the transfer case was disengaging when not under direct loading, however if I gave it gas it would mesh up. Long story short, after a new range shift fork, and pads it was good to go., Since I had it apart I replaced the bearings as well [200K miles at the time]. I am not sure if you want to try it, but attempt going down hill in 1st or 2nd and let go of gas and see if vehicle accelerate without RPMS going up [ as it should be engine braking at that time] .. Of course these are only from my experiences with My 96" Ford Exploader that is not turning 370K miles, and still going.
       
    6. waterman

      waterman Guest

      problem found

      THANKS to help from members of this forum I have found where the problem is with my explorer. It is in the transfer case. Not wanting to rebuild it, I have searched for a used one to replace it with, which leads to the question of what years / models of explorers use the same one. Being new to this forum I'm not sure, but believe, I may have to start a new post for this question. I'm going to try that anyway. THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE who took the time to help me, and as I learn more about this problem hopefully I can help someone else. Have a good day! waterman
       
    7. KPT

      KPT Well-Known Member

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      You need a 98+. The earlier ones have a different front driveshaft. That driveshaft is a better design though, so if you plan on having this truck for awhile you might consider getting the older case and driveshaft.
       
    8. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      You're likely suffering from the infamous shift rail bore issue. Search for 'shift rail bore' or 'transfer case buzz' or 'transfer case grind' and you'll find a plethora of responses... all involve rebuilding/replacing the transfer case.

      As mentioned, you need a 98-01 case. :)

      -Joe
       
    9. waterman

      waterman Guest

      transfer case id numbers

      thanks again for all your shared knowledge. after info from jon petrush I tore the t- case apart and found the pads on the range selector fork were worn off as well as the fork worn down. the teeth on the range hub were ground down as well and the filter screen for the pump was completely plugged up with metal particles. in my search for a used case i have run across the difference in my case being a 4405-10 and another being a 4405-15. I can't seem to find what the difference in those last two digits mean. I guess I'm going to have to test you guy's knowledge a little more. Also does anyone know what the difference in a F87A-CA (mine ) and a Y124-AA. I can't find reference to these numbers anywhere either. thanks again !
       
    10. jmp1973

      jmp1973 New Member

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      Lovely...when it rains, it pours. I came here looking for info on the 2-3 shift flare issue that just cropped up and figured I would search for another issue that also popped up recently. I had this same symptom happen for the first time (grinding sound when putting the truck into reverse) a few weeks ago but it hasn't repeated itself. Sounds like it will again in the future and then get worse.

      Approximately what does a Transfer Case rebuild cost...ball park at least?

      I love my Explorer, but at 165k miles it appears wear and tear are taking their toll on the truck...
       
    11. waterman

      waterman Guest

      I have not checked into the cost of a rebuild because I'm sure there are tools needed that I don't have, as well as the no time factor. If yours just started doing this you may get by with just a few parts like jonpetrush said he did in an earlier reply. it must have been going on for some time with the explorer I just got for the case to be ground up as it is. so I wouldn't wait too long.
       
    12. KPT

      KPT Well-Known Member

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      I didn't total my parts but ballpark was $200-250ish. That was all seals, bearings, snap rings, pump and the Omega machine shift fork. I used the rear case half from a different t-case I got free off a forum member.

      The only tool I used which I didn't own was a press. You probably could get by with a vice if you don't have access to a press.

      If you only replace the shift fork you don't even need a press. DO get the omega machine fork if that's all you're going to do though. Make SURE the shift rail is tight in the bore too. If there is slop you aren't fixing the problem and will have worn out pads on the shift fork again soon. That is why I had to use a different rear case half....
       
    13. jmp1973

      jmp1973 New Member

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      Any recommended vendor for the Omega machine shift fork?
       
    14. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      How about Omega Machine?

      www.omegamachine.com

      -Joe
       
    15. jmp1973

      jmp1973 New Member

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      Hah. Fair enough. Thanks!
       
    16. dkva4321

      dkva4321 New Member

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      I have this problem too. I was told it was my transmission after bringing to a local shop which they supposedly "fixed". I don't think they test drove it though because they said that it made the same noise when the drove it after the supposed transmission rebuild.

      As it now turns out it may have been the TRANSFER CASE all along which I am getting ready to have it fixed at another shop (that confirmed that the transfer case was bad) as we speak and they are saying it will be $900 range.

      I would have researched the issue more, but my grandmother had experienced a heart attack so I needed the car fixed ASAP to go see her (though she has since passed away) and didn't have the time, frame of mind, expertise, nor patience to question the work that needed to be done given my situation.

      My question(s) is/are A) How much SHOULD this cost in at an auto shop? B) How do I find out if the original shop did any work on the transmission in the first place without voiding my "3-Year Warranty" C) What are the chances of getting my money back if nothing was done? I have several friends that are attorneys but I would rather not take that route. I really wish I had found this forum prior to getting any work done, but sadly that was not the case.
       
    17. dkva4321

      dkva4321 New Member

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      Same Issue... Think I was swindled big time! HELP!

      I have this problem too. I was told it was my transmission after bringing to a local shop which they supposedly "fixed". I don't think they test drove it though because they said that it made the same noise when the drove it after the supposed transmission rebuild. They then told me that the transfer case motor was bad which they then ordered and installed for an additional $300 (though I had to go pick the part up since they told me it was going to be another 3 days after waiting 14 days for the original "transmission rebuild"). This got my mental gears moving on the fact that they may have charged me several grand to fix nothing at all originally so I started Googling "Transfer Case Buzzing" and came across this forum which only serves to pretty much confirm my intuition.

      As it now turns out it may have been the TRANSFER CASE all along which I am getting ready to have it fixed at another shop as we speak (they took it for a test drive with me and confirmed that the transfer case was bad without me giving them any prior informtion) and they are saying it will be in the $900 range.

      I would have researched the issue more, but I had no clue what to search for (other than buzzing noise when you let off the gas etc. since I am not mechanically savvy in the least bit) and my grandmother had experienced a heart attack so I needed the car fixed ASAP to go see her (though she has sadly since passed away) so I didn't have the time, frame of mind, expertise, nor patience to question the work that I was told needed to be done.

      My question(s) is/are A) How much SHOULD this cost in at an auto shop? B) How do I find out if the original shop did any work on the transmission in the first place without voiding my "3-Year Warranty" C) What are the chances of getting my money back if nothing was done? I have several friends that are attorneys but I would rather not take that route. I really wish I had found this forum prior to getting any work done, but sadly that was not the case.
       
    18. waterman

      waterman Guest

      All I can tell you is that it is your transfer case. Mine did the same ,and after pulling the old one apart and finding gears ground up, I bought a used one from a salvage yard and replaced it myself. No problems with it since. I guess the cost of repairs would depend on where you live and the shop itself. I would think that trying to prove they didn't do anything to the transmission could get costly unless you are very good friends with those attorneys. I just had some involvement with attorneys on a different type of problem that set me back $26,000. sorry i cant be more help.
       
    19. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      There are a couple ways to handle that situation... First would be to get an attorney, but IMHO, it's not going to do much more than lighten your wallet more than the cost of the new case you need.

      IMHO, the way to deal with it is through diplomacy. Take the vehicle back, explain that the problem they 'diagnosed' was diagnosed incorrectly and cost you a trans rebuild you didn't need. They should be willing to work with you on the cost of the transfer case to make up for their mistake. I wouldn't expect a freebie, but some sort of compromise on the cost of the real repair isn't an unreasonable expectation. Be clear, but firm, and let them suggest a solution to the problem. If it's a reputable shop, they're going to want to make things right. If you're a regular customer, they're going to want to keep you. If you go in there steamed-up ranting and raving, they're going to tell you to take your business elsewhere.

      If that gets you nowhere, a clearly-written letter documenting your unhappiness with their service sent to the owner, general manager, district manager (if it's a chain) or the president of the company will usually generate a response. I've found that if you first sing their praises, explain how happy you've been with their service over the years, how you rely on them for timely repairs and, most important, accurate diagnosesso you don't need to spend your hard-earned money on unnecessary and costly repairs, etc, etc, etc, then explain why this one let you down and left you disappointed, it tends to generate a much better response than a rant and rave letter that gets filed in the circular file after opening.

      Good luck!

      We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
       

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