Testing a t-case before installation | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Testing a t-case before installation

little x

Explorer Addict
March 21, 2005
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XL
I just got a manual t-case off e-bay for a good price. I was messing around with it while it's sitting on my coffee table and noticed something alarming. I can select the setting by hand, but no matter where I put the selection lever, when the input shaft spins, only the rear drive shaft flange spins (or neither, guess that's where N is). No matter where I put the lever the front drive shaft won't spin. It should still turn the front shaft without fluid right? I think something's busted. Tell me what's up.

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That video is exceptionally helpful!

Your 'third' position should be 4high (lever would be pulled all the way back). I suspect a busted chain... If you flip it over, can you hear the chain drop around inside the case?

I'd open it up to see what's going on...


Thanks for the response; I need to know what to do before my warranty runs out. I knew it was hard to describe and thought the video might increase the chances I'd get a responce, lol.

Is there anything more then removing the bolts around the seam and separating the pieces to cracking one of these opened? Will I need any tools to align the shafts during reassembly, or anything like that? If cracking it opened and slamming it back together is simple enough then I'll contact the seller and ask them if they want me to do this, or just send it back. I'd be happy to change the chain if it's an easy job and they pay for it.

I have a friend coming over later, when he get's here we'll shake the case around to see what we can hear. I'll get back to you guys on that.

Any more input is very welcome!

Well, now I'm guessing that the teeth that engage the front shaft to the chain, or some other part from there to the front shaft is to blame. Although my friend hasn't arrived yet I was messing around with the case. And ONCE after jiggling it around some, when I grabbed the front shaft and turned it the rear shaft and input shaft spun, maybe four turns before it stopped. Also, when I just barely wiggle the front drive shaft the rear drive shaft will wiggle also. So I know that the chain must still be intact, although maybe it's worn out, not the front drive shaft gear. Or maybe the gear on the other side of the chain is worn out. I dunno.

From reading some of the rebuild threads on other t-cases (there isn't one completed yet for mine that I have found). I think all I have to do is pull off the rear drive shaft flange and then break the case apart. Then I should be able to see what's up. If anyone knows of a thread I haven't found that shows a detailed breakdown of a 1354 please let me know. Or even if anyone knows of any pics of one taken apart.

Diagrams in this Sticky:

It should be a PDF but the content header of the server is returning an HTML so your browser might interpret it as HTML. If it does this, choose to save the file to your desktop, rename it to a .PDF, and open accordingly.

Thanks! That should be helpful. :thumbsup:

I knew I should have checked the 4404 sticky for 1354 info :confused:

Maybe we should make a sticky specifically for the 1354, amaizingly enough there isn't one yet, with that link and links to other good info on the board, like this thread, which I'm sure will be an overdose of info, if he ever finishes it, lol.

I'm waiting until 10am to vacuum all the saw dust out of the work room and clean it up. I don't want to piss off any of my neighbors (I live in an apartment). Once it's spotless I'll break this sucker opened and see what exactly is going on inside.

Ok, opened her up. The chain is fine, and so are all the gears :D The only plastic piece in the whole thing is the culprit. I really don't see why they made it out of plastic since it receives loads during sticky hard shifting. It's called the mode fork, part number 850 in the diagram IZ posted a link to a link to. That will be a really easy replace, hopefully I can find one made out of metal. If not, maybe the new one will last another 15 years.

Also, the reason I could only get into 3 gears, 4-hi, N, and 4-lo, as it turns out, is because the selector on the outside of the case is bent and hits the case before it rotates far enough to get into 2wd. I tried bending it back, but I don't have anything for heat but MAP gas, and I don't have a bench with a vise. I tried using a C-clamp creatively, but I couldn't get-r-done. . .it looks to be about 1/4 thick. So I'll take it to a welding shop tomorrow and have them bend it back for me.

Gears and splines look good. So does the chain. In fact, other then the broken plastic, which sheared, the inside of this thing is sparkling clean and in brand new looking condition (to me). :thumbsup:






That t-case you have there is a 1350. If your putting it into your explorer you will need a different front driveshaft.

Thats a 1354 -- the 1350 doesnt have a yoke at the front.

How positive are you that it is 1350? Because I was told it came from a 1993 explorer, and the manufacturer's ID tag says it's a 1354. So if it's not, someone went through some trouble to make it seem as if it was.
Wow! I must have been really tired or something. That is a 1354. I got lost over the front output

OK, thanks guys. I was fairly certain it was a 1354, I found those numbers stamped onto a few internal parts as well.

May have run into another problem. Look at the second to last picture, on the far right hand side. See those cogs? See how they don't quite line up? That is in 2wd, so the top cog shouldn't be engaged, and it isn't. But the outer part could be quite a bit higher, and it still wouldn't be engaged. When the case is put into 4x4 the outer cog only moves up so much, and while it is enough to engage the cog, it's not all the way up it, only the bottom HALF of the cog is engaged. I fear that I may be missing a spring or washer that lifts everything a little bit. In fact, I think that's what caused the broken mode fork. The difference in height tweaks the mode fork just enough that it can get caught and bind.

I'm not sure I'm the first to crack this case.

Has ANYONE else opened one of these up? can you tell me if your cogs lined up closer then mine do? Maybe the spring is in there, but there is too much weight pressing down with the gears and chain on, but once I turn it sideways to install it the spring will push everything back in place.
Glacier, you started opening up one of these 2 years ago. Any picks, still have it? Want to crack it real quick and look inside for me?

I don't want to take EVERY little piece out to count them and compare to the diagram, to see if I have everything. You can't even buy most of those little parts anyway.

I just got off the phone with Bill's Auto Parts. I explained the situation and they are sending me a second case free of charge, and letting me keep the first. That should work. I'll have to rebuild this one as I have time/money and sell it.

Actually I was very pleased with Kevin at Bill's Auto (he handles all e-bay stuff). It only took about 5 minutes total from when I called until we hung up. He actually said he was happy just because I wasn't raising Hell and ripping him a new one.

Talk about customer service! Glad to hear you got everything straightned out and I believe there should be some pretty good interest in that case when you sell it.

Here's an interesting twist. I'll post some pics first, then give an explanation.









So, the actual shell / molding is broken. This is actually good. It's one of the parts that will transfer from the electric case under the truck right now. The washers / spacers that I was afraid were the problem are only found in a manual case.

It seems that some nit-wit tried to open the case from the front instead of breaking it down from the rear. When they pried it opened they broke this very thin ring section.

I'm still going to dig a little deeper before I'm satisfied that everything else will be good with a new shift fork and front plate. But I'm almost there. Look forward to a rebuild DIY soon.