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Transfer case problems


February 13, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Holland Mi.
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XL
Hello all,
I did alot of searching but couldn't find what I needed. I have a 1996 explorer with control trac 4wd. It has 2wd, 4wd auto, and 4wd lo. Yesterday I was a little stuck in the snow in 2wd so I switched to 4wd and rocked it back and forth a bit. The last time I went forward it seemed to take a second for the electric clutch in the t-case to engage and when it did it slammed pretty hard. I drove out onto the road and turned the switch back to 2wd. I sped up to about 45 and I could hear some clunking and grinding. I stopped and flipped the 4wd switch between settings a couple times and put it back at 2wd. It was still grinding and clunking a little so I drove home slowly, it was only making a little noise as I was driving down the road. I got home and took a look at it and found out the 4wd was no longer working. The front axle disconnect is engaging but the front output on the t-case is not getting powered. The lights on the dash all work as they should, and the transfer case goes into lo range but no front drive. There is a small grinding/clunking noise in the t-case when your driving whether you have the selector in 2wd or 4wd. So I'm guessing it's something on the mainshaft. Could it be that eletronic clutch or the chain? Could it be stuck or halfway engaged somewhere? I'm familiar with the older transfer cases but not ones with electronic bs on them. I have no problem taking the t-case apart if I have too but I want to make sure it's not something that can be fixed in the truck. There seems to be alot of knowledge on here about these so I thought I'd ask to see what you guys think. Thanks in advance.

Ok, I was 99% sure something came apart in the t-case so I pulled it out. Here is what I found.





My questions are: What would cause this? What are my cheapest options?

There is no such thing as a good cheap repair!

Sure there is, but you have to: A: do it yourself, and B: be persistant and hunt down the parts. I luckily located all the parts that I need for about 100$;). Otherwise I probably would have found a used T-case and robbed the parts I needed from that, the rest of my t- case is in good shape. :)