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Old 11-24-2015, 04:53 PM
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98 wrangler transfer case noise

What would cause the chain to chatter at highway speeds? I replaced all the bearings/seals and chain. The transfer case is an NV 231J and probably has over 230k miles on it. Could the main shaft gears be worn down? I thought there was a tensioner in there to prevent chatter. I've also replaced all the u-joints. Not sure what to try next. TIA!

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Old 11-24-2015, 09:52 PM
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Re: 98 wrangler transfer case noise

You most probably didnīt replace the chain yourself, otherwise you would have seen that there is no tensioner.
Are you sure that the noise is coming from the T-case and not from one of the differentials? Did you check all fluid levels and eventually the fluids for metal flakes?
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:26 PM
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Re: 98 wrangler transfer case noise

Gee Frango100, I guess I didn't. Thanks.

I rebuilt the engine, tranny and transfer case on this jeep a year ago. First time to ever rebuild a transfer case. So, I didn't remember the details exactly. For the record, the timing chain on the engine does have a tensioner, so I must have got them confused.

I did open both differentials and replace the fluid and inspect the gears. No metal flakes. This jeep is a high mileage vehicle (230k), so I suspect everything is worn out.

In 4th and 5th gear, I get a load whine with an intermittent chatter. I suspect the whine is the rear axle wheel bearings, which I will be changing in a few weeks. The chatter sounds like the chain slapping on the housing. It only happens under load and not when coasting. Also, it does not happen in 4WD.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:52 AM
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Re: 98 wrangler transfer case noise

If you put a new chain in the T-case last year, then its almost impossible to be stretched already to the point that it can touch the casing, unless a wrong (=too long) chain was installed.
Since the slapping only occurs in 4th and 5th gear, canīt it be coming from the transmission itself? Which transmission does it have?
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:24 PM
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Re: 98 wrangler transfer case noise

I ordered a kit for the t-case and the chain was almost identical to what was in there. So, it's unlikely it's wrong. It may not be the chain. I'm guessing here. It just sounds like chatter. Could be some thing else.
The tranny is the wonderful AX-5. Replaced seals, bearings, synchros and even put the 5th gear mod on it. If I put the t-case in neutral and run thru all the gears, it sounds fine. Granted, it's not loaded up.
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