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Need Some Help Restoring a Jeep CJ-7 4x4

AMC Jeep Jeep CJ Jeep 4x4 Jeep CJ-7 Jeep repairs Jeep how-to Jeep restoration Jeep forum

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#1 forman

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:30 PM

Hello out there!  I found this forum recently and decided that I would like to do some work on a 1984 CJ 7.  I will need tons of help.  To begin with I have a hard time shifting from 2H to 4H to 4L and all in between.  Most likely due to the fact that the Jeep is 30 years old, and likely no one has looked at the oil level in the transfer case!  I have posted a couple of pictures to ask for help in identifying the transfer case on my CJ.  I think it is a Dana 300?

 

Attached File  transfer.1.jpg   154.52KB   0 downloads

 

To be specific I would like to know if I could read or watch some recommended videos on the removal and proper way to rebuild this transfer case. What tools would be required to complete the rebuild properly, and what should I look for when opening up the transfer case. I want to do it right but don't want to exceed my skills.  I would be willing to take and post photos along the way.  

 



#2 Moses Ludel

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:29 PM

I'd like to first say, "Welcome to the forums!"  We're a friendly bunch and value your participation...

 

Yes, you have a Dana 300 transfer case, and once clean and free of all that debris, rebuilding this unit can be a very fruitful project.  I cover the step-by-step rebuild of the Dana 300 in my Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1972-86 edition (Bentley Publishers).  Many have found the book valuable for restorative work on these year models. Importantly in your case, I personally took a CJ-7 to the bare frame, with the tub and fenders still mounted, and rebuilt each powertrain, gear and axle component.  The Jeep had the AMC Model 20 rear axle and a 2.5L four banger that I replaced with a 4.2L inline six and Mopar retrofit EFI. There were other upgrades that I included, too.

 

If you have either a factory shop manual or my book, I can fill in the repair or restoration blanks for any and everything related to your Jeep. Other members have an intimate sense for these models as well...I've rebuilt the front and rear axles, can address the steering gear (manual or power) and linkage, the engine, the cooling, the brakes, wiring, whatever!  Happy to provide details that you might need.

 

Additionally, if you do post photos and follow the steps in either my book or an AMC/Jeep factory manual, others will benefit greatly. In my view, this is not the kind of transfer case, or vehicle as a whole, that can be "restored" without a guidebook.  My step-by-step procedures in the CJ Rebuilder's Manual are far better illustrated than the factory manual.  However, I have a wall full of factory workshop manuals that have served me well, both as a professional mechanic and author.  Having instructed automotive technology and welding, writing curriculum in the process at the adult education level, I would safely describe my books as helping readers "think like a mechanic".  That's always been my goal, from the first edition of the Jeep Owner's Bible forward.

 

Advance Adapters, one of the magazine's valued sponsors, sells my books, as do other sources in the aftermarket.  (Of course, Bentley Publishers offers the books.)  The AMC/Jeep factory workshop manuals turn up at eBay, and I found the 'reprint' of the 1984-86 AMC/Jeep factory manual at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...f=pd_cp_b_sexpl

 

I actually have an original of this M.R. 252 AMC/Jeep manual in my library.  It has been a great resource over many years of work on 1980-86 Jeep CJ-5s (up to '83), Jeep CJ-7s and the Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler.  From my experience, shop manuals are essential for the kind of work you anticipate doing here.  The cost of these books will pay for themselves many times over as you perform the work "by the book" and wind up with a reliable and safe, "as new" Dana 300 transfer case, Dana 30 front axle, AMC Model 20 or Dana 44 rear axle, Saginaw steering gear or whatever you tackle. 

 

Trust this is helpful, Forman...Happy to assist whether you decide to "wing it" or follow prescribed shop manual guidelines...Other forum members will join this discussion, I'm sure...

 

Moses



#3 forman

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 08:55 PM

Thanks Moses! I have ordered your book.

 

I'll look it over and see if I feel like I can tackle the job successfully.   If I feel confident that I can finish I'll begin gathering tools and start taking pictures.  

 

forman



#4 Moses Ludel

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 09:00 AM

You'll like the book.  True to my aims, you can make an "informed decision" about what you want to tackle.  You'll find suggestions on tool improvising and other tips geared toward the home or smaller 4x4 shop on a budget.  Thanks for ordering a copy.  I'll be happy to embellish, Forman!

 

Looking forward to your posts at the forums, we're all here to assist each other!

 

Moses



#5 forman

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:13 PM

Moses, this troubleshooting video is short and I hope sweet and to the point.  The Jeep is a 1984 CJ7: 

 

 

I really didn't expect anyone to be able to troubleshoot with such a short video.  I'm interested in being able to ask questions using videos.  I ordered your book online and I'm waiting patiently.



#6 Moses Ludel

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 03:06 PM

You've opened up whole new vistas with the video posting idea, Forman!  Thanks for lighting us all up...This is helpful.  For others interested in posting videos at these forums, here are instructions how: http://forums.4wdmec...t-these-forums/.

 

As for the noise, sounds like transfer case without pinpointing.  A stethoscope would help, held near the transmission/transfer case tunnel on the floorboard.  Try that...Actually, from your description of the shifting issue, it's an educated guess that the transfer case has backlash. The "surging" also points to the transfer case...

 

Moses



#7 forman

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:07 PM

Moses your book finally arrived and I looked through the section on rebuilding the Dana 300 transfer case.  I believe that I can do it but of course I'll need your help along the way. First a little about "my jeep".  I work for a state fish and wildlife department and the 1984 CJ-7 is on my property list and I am responsible for its maintenance and up keep.  So why don't I just take it to a mechanic and let them charge me thousands of dollars to repair this Jeep?  I'm afraid that would draw attention to a vehicle that probably needs to be a surplus item and sold.  I like this little buggy and don't want to let that happen.  We have traveled many miles and it has never let me down.  All of those miles have been off road since the Jeep was brought here from the headquarters surplus 12 years ago... I acquired the Jeep as my "property" a few years back and it was all I could do to keep it limping along because I didn't  take the time to learn more about the way a jeep works.  Until I found 4WD mechanix.

 

 

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#8 forman

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:46 PM

So I went out this morning and found an empty bay in one of our open garages put the jeep on stands, slipped a piece of cardboard underneath to scoot around on and began the process of removing the transfer case.

 

The floorplate and rubber shifter boots came off easily.  Underneath the plates made me wish that I had done a better job cleaning before starting this project.  If you look closely at the first photo you will see a hose clamp arond the uppermost part of the transmission just below the stick... I don't know if that is the way it is built or something one of my coworkers did in years past.

 

I removed the rear output drive shaft at the ujoint and disconnected the speedometer cable on the output housing along with the black hose of which its purpose is unknown to me.

 

I supported the transmission and transfer case by placing my motorcycle lift under the bell housing so I could remove the skid plate crossmember.  I broke a bolt off even with the frame arrrg!

 

I think this transmission mount is in need of repair in photo 5.

 

The shifter assembly and front drive shaft came apart just like you said in chapter one. 

 

I drained the transfer case and transmission fluid, both fluids were thin and smelled bad. Probably because it was 30 years old.

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#9 forman

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:01 PM

Moses in your rebuilder's manual you removed both transmission and transfer case at the same time.  I would like to only remove the transfer case at this time.  Here is a picture of my transmission passenger side.  Can you identify if for me please.  If it is okay to remove just the transfer case would you separate the two where the transmission case mates with transfer case, 6 bolts I believe, or a little further up toward the front of the jeep where it can be separated by removing 4 bolts?

 

I added another photo... should i separate at the blue or pink tape?

 

I'm thinking it is a T176

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#10 Moses Ludel

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:24 PM

Forman, thanks for the comments on 4WD Mechanix Magazine and the forums...You'll be pleased to know that my first role as a professional mechanic, which quickly led to journey level, was a light- and medium-duty truck fleet mechanic—at that time, my spare time was spent restoring a Willys/Jeep CJ-3A 4x4.  There's nothing like 4x4 trucks for learning!

 

Answering your questions from above:

 

1) The hose clamp (not original equipment) likely held a shredding or improvised tower boot in place.  Here is the factory image for the boot, you'll need to get one...

Attached File  CJ-7 Transmission Tower and Boot.bmp   7.58MB   4 downloads

 

2) That black hose is the vent for the transfer case and can be followed up to the tub or firewall.  You should find the one-way plastic check valve that keeps water from entering the transfer case.  4x4 transmissions have similar vents, intended to protect when fording water.

 

3) The broken skid plate bolt is on par as described in my book. This is the result of OE self-tapping bolts that corrode and seize in the frame over time.  If you have the right equipment, follow my solution in the book.  That's the permanent fix.

 

4) The rubber grommets (on the transmission mount extension arm) cushion the torque arm at the skid plate.  This arm keeps the powertrain from rocking too far under load, like when driving in 4WD off-road!  Clean up the hardware thoroughly, then check these grommets for excess wear. (These grommets are common replacement parts.)  There is also the conventional transmission/transfer case rubber-and-steel mount, which should be inspected closely for wear.

 

5) If you're okay with struggling to reach the six transfer case to adapter fasteners, or you have no need to remove the transmission, you can remove the transfer case from the transmission.  You can leave the transmission in place and remove the transfer case from the "adapter" by loosening the six fasteners.  The transfer case by itself will be lighter and more manageable.

 

Note: Use a transmission jack to remove the transfer case, it's iron and heavy to juggle with the Jeep on stands!

 

6) Separate at your blue tape mark between the adapter and the transfer case.  Note there are bolts and nuts in this arrangement.  Once all these bolts and nuts are out, the transfer case should slide rearward without a lot of effort.  Make sure all hardware is removed.  Have your transmission jack tied to the transfer case before removing the last fasteners!

 

7) You're thinking right...This is a T176/T177.  Here is an image of all transmissions available in the 1980-86 CJ era.  Note that the only transfer case used in Jeep CJs from 1980-86 was the Dana 300:

 

Attached File  CJ-7 Transmissions and Transfer Case 1980-86.bmp   7.61MB   2 downloads

 

You're well underway, Forman. Let us know when you have the transfer case removed safely.  Your work is cut out on the cleaning and descaling/de-rusting of the cases, levers and externally exposed parts...Glad you're invested in the project, keep up the good work!

 

Moses



#11 forman

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:50 AM

Thanks Moses for the diagrams and advice.  I have one stubborn bolt in a difficult place but i feel like I'll get the transfer case off today.  I spent the day traveling to pick up an engine for my Kawasaki KLR 650.  I'll have to start a thread in the dirt bike forum and tell all about it.   



#12 Moses Ludel

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:28 AM

Oh, boy, the KLR!  I'm very excited about the posts from new member Dabneyr with his two KTMs.  Join in, we're moto guys, and the dual-sport/dirt motorcycle enthusiasm is infectious!

 

I took a peek at your photo of the CJ-7.  Deja vu: The 1983 CJ-5 I built for OFF-ROAD Magazine in the late 'eighties/early 'nineties featured in my Jeep Owner's Bible.  Catchy is that the CJ-5 was originally the same color as your Jeep, seats included (worn out, they quickly were replaced in the project).  It had a T-4 transmission with a 151 (Iron Duke) four-banger.  That CJ ended up a 4.2L inline six and much more in the build-up.  Guess the color caught me, your project looks very familiar.

 

Later, I completely restored and upgraded a friend's CJ-7 for the Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1972-86.  He's a lucky guy, there were significant upgrades to a 4.2L from the 2.5L AMC four and an NV4500 transmission retrofit involved, plus an axle locker and more. 

 

Keep us posted...Looking forward to the whole story about the Kawasaki KLR, its vintage, condition, what you're doing with it, and where you ride it.  There's a forum and the photo gallery for each!

 

Moses



#13 forman

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:29 PM

I was able to remove the stubborn bolt and the Dana 300 is now free of its place behind the Tremec 176 transmission.  We have a pressure washer that I hooked up to a water heater and because it was cold today I felt like I was steam cleaning the transfer case.  Here she sits on my tailgate. I'm looking forward to taking it apart, be patient i'm thinking at times this could be rather slow.

 

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#14 Moses Ludel

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:00 PM

Good job, Forman.  This will make final clean-up much easier.  Take your time from here.  The secret to a Dana 300 rebuild is to follow the sequence steps closely...My Rebuilder's Manual has worked well for many owners...

 

I opted for a glass bead blaster years ago.  TP Tools & Equipment has a range of blasters from small to large cabinets.  At our earlier shop, I had a unit that could handle a Jeep axle housing.  Now I'm working with a smaller cabinet, ideal for my motorcycle work and items like transmission cases or your Dana 300 case and pieces. 

 

Here's a fun story about my compressor:  http://www.4wdmechan...mpressors!.html.  Enjoy!

 

Moses



#15 Moses Ludel

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 09:11 PM

We've moved to a new topic as Forman begins the teardown of the Jeep CJ-7 Dana 300 transfer case.  Join us at:

 

http://forums.4wdmec...-transfer-case/...

 

Moses





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