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Transfer Case Assembly Question


Active Member
December 17, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
San Jose, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Explorer EB 4X4
Actually, it should be an assembly/disassembly question. While disassembling my XL24-7A195-CA transfer case per the FSM instructions I run across a possible issue. Since I don't know what caused my reduction shifter fork to break I am wondering if this could be the problem. I think it is a misprint, because I can’t find a groove on the shaft for the snap ring to mount, but better to check with somebody with experience on this assembly. Please reference the FSM page below on step 18 it asks you to remove a snap ring (7917), which is item 51 in the assembly drawing. This is mounted just above a thrust bearing (item 50 7D221), which is sitting inside of the cam and coil housing assembly. My transfer case did not have this snap ring installed. The puzzling part is there is no ring in the shaft for the snap ring (see closeup of shaft just above thrust bearing). Please see picture of actual assembly upon removal. Can someone tell me if this is only in some models of this transfer case or if it should be there? I am quite sure Bent Bolt will be able to answer this question for me.

The second question is about the TC chain. What is an exceptable amount of slack in the chain? Should this always be replaced? See picture of mine below:


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That amount of slack is acceptable. My timing chain also had that much slack. I thought that the chain was stretched on mine at first too. Nice pictures!


Thanks, that is good to know. I have uploaded all of my pictures to the gallery for this entire teardown. I can figure out how to sort them properly, but I did name them in order from 1 to 28. I click on sort by filename, ascending, but it does not seem to work properly.

Any ideas on the snap ring?

A couple of more diagrams. Don't know if this will help or not. From a 1998.



A couple of more diagrams. Don't know if this will help or not. From a 1998.



Big Tranny:

Yes, I have a similar page further on in the installation part of the manual and it says to reinstall the snap ring as well, but as BrooklynBay said there is no groove, so I am not sure what to do. I called the dealer today and the parts guy said he shows the snap ring on his assembly drawing as well.

If I get a chance I will try to write this up. I was surprised how easy it was to disassembly this unit. If I would have known how easy it was, I would have done this first a long time ago. However, the FSM calls out a bunch of specialty tools, that you really don't require. Sort of like the $400.00 tool for adjusting the bands. You do need a really high torque impact wrench though. To torque the nut back on properly you will require some sort of tool to keep the output shaft from turning, but I am just going to knock it back on with the impact wrench. Someone will probably scold me for this, but I have never had any issues with this before.

Is it possible that friction on the bearing riding at that point on the shaft has dissolved the groove that should be there? It is either a case of something made it disappear or it is just not supposed to be there on a 99. I think the first one is probably more likely.

-Bill in PA


I was thinking the same thing, but if the thrust bearing were to wear enough material off of the shaft to remove the snap ring groove, there should be a groove as wide as the bushing is thick on the shaft. There are no signs of wear on the shaft. I will post a picture below, it is not of the best clearity though. I will take a better shot tonight after work.


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I did a bw4405 rebuilt last month.I am sure I my T case there was no snap ring securing the thrust bearing. There was a snap bearing but somewhere further on. two options or the drawing concerns other T case or it is failed. I have a photo of this snap ring. I will mail it to you if you want.

Guess that I should keep my typing only to my current knowledge level. (I have never cracked a T-case...yet.) Yet again another problem is deferred to the great and mighty Glacier991. Glacier, your thoughts?

Yes, I too had the snap ring, although not the conventional type lower down on the shaft. It was a bear to get off. No holes for snap ring pliers, had to use two small flat blade screw drivers to get it off. That was the hardest thing on the whole tear down.

By the way, I have found what has to be the cheapest prices on factory Ford parts anywhere. According to my local stealership, there prices are below cost. I can almost believe this, here is the link:|672106586

They are in Rhode Island.

I have modified the shaft photo to show where the one and only snap ring was located. I have not taken a picture of the actual snap ring yet, I will do this tonight.


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The two 4405 transfer cases i've rebuilt also did not have that snap ring.

Well, that makes me feel a whole lot better. All the parts delivered over night express cost me $75.00. That is a hell of alot better than the $850.00 the local shop wanted to rebuild it.

if there is not a groove in the shaft for a snap ring, it doesn't belong there.
I don't have time right now but i'll try to look closer at it tonight.

Bent Bolt:

Thanks, a couple other people also did not have this snap ring, so I am pretty sure that the drawing is incorrect for my model, but would feel better if an expert such as yourself could verify.

OK, I think I figured it out. Looking in the Ford service manual, during the disassembly it says to remove the snap ring. But during assembly, it says to install that snap ring that never existed in the first place.
There is a misprint in the manual.

When you put the case halfs together, pay attention to to the output shaft before the output flange goes on. You should be able to pull up on the shaft slightly and feel a bit of endplay. The idea is when the flange is tightened on ( impact wrench is fine ) it pulls the shaft up against the bearing in the case half. That give it some clearance between the input and output shaft.

Once the nut is tightened, you shouldn't be able feel any endplay.

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Thanks! Just waiting on the parts now. They should arrive tomorrow.