Orion: still popping out of gear! Lets form a club!!! (1 Viewer)

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Hi All,

I have been driving my 40 some more lately and I definitely one of the members of the "Orion pops out of gear club."

I have a SOA FJ40 with custom drive shafts. I run 4.88's, H41 and the Orion. On the last few trail runs I resorted to using THREE marine grade bungee cords to keep the tcase lever in position. On steep 4x4 hill declines the case wants to pop out of gear into neutral. I have also experienced it popping out of gear in 2-Hi while on the freekin' highway.

I know that there have been lots of chatter here and elsewhere on this subject. I LOVE the Orion when it is behaving. I have done a bunch of reading and it looks like one should have new or next to new main shafts, shift collars, along with thrust washers, fine spline front output shafts/couplers and detent balls and springs etc. This is all some of the stuff that you need from your existing case to build the Orion.

One of the last posts was from "Peesalot" who said:

"...after many hours of research and many more removing and reinstalling the orion I am of the following opinion:

Use new shift collar
Set shift fork detent screw tight.( past cotter pin completely)
Set load properly on outputshaft ( IMO this is the cause of poppong out of gear )
Make sure you used spacer so input gear does not walk back and forth( also cause of popping out of gear IMO )
I have done all the above and still have popping into N from 2H upon coasting decents with some speed , and once when in low range to N when running in 4th. gear and letting off to coast .


I feel the popping out of gear is a combo of ,
1)worn shift collar
2)walking input gear ( effects the idler slightly which effects high gear ever so slightly but IMO is enough to kick collar out when coasting at speed)
3) Output shaft load set wrong and allowing play between the hi - lo - nuetral dog teeth . So when decending in a coast the input thrusts back( effecting the high gear alignment , the output is thrusting forward further effecting dogteeth alignment. So if you gots play and a worn collar you got popping outa gear.

Mine has a 3/32 play or walk on input and like 12/1000 on the output and it pops . Everything else is checked or done and is right and tight so it has gotta be these factors or , or , or just maybe Marlin's first guess was right and the gear cutter fawked up and the taper on Dogteeth is wrong ..."



I plan on dropping my tranny and Orion and REPLACING WHAT WILL FIX THE PROBLEM. But I have this fear in my head that this may not be enough. IS there anything we are missing? Anyone hear anything from AA instead of
"your shift sleeve and spring are worn out..." I swear someday someone will get seriously hurt by the Orion "wonder transfer case" popping out of gear someday.

There is so much rambling about the Orion all over the place: it would be nice if it was condensed into a "Cliff Notes" book...

Thanks!

Max
 
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Even stock transfer cases pop out of gear when they are worn, so you are not alone. My guess is that the primary cause for the Orion is that the dog teeth are straight cut rather than with a 1-2 degree angle.

This primary problem is made worse by the usual culprits that are associated with the transfer case popping out of gear. This includes wear on the clutch sleeve, the clutch hub splineson the output shaft, the shift fork, the detent ball spring, the output gear bushings and the thrust play (front/rear) of the gear on the shaft. At least you have some control over these.
 
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I know this 20-20, but I would have paid more to AA if they had produced the Orion as a complete unit instead of having to cannilbalize an existing tcase for the inspection covers, shafts and shift stuff.

Max
 
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Sure!

Make sure you pay the annual $19.95 dues and we will send you the membership decal, a copy of our by-laws and a special top secret description of the club secret handshake...

Max
 

cruiserbrett

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Pin_Head said:
My guess is that the primary cause for the Orion is that the dog teeth are straight cut rather than with a 1-2 degree angle.

.
Without a doubt this is the reason the Orions regularly pop out of gear. If you compare a new toyota t-case gear's dog teeth to the ORION one there is no question what is wrong. I dont care if parts are from"toyota's gear cutter" or whatever, a bad design is a bad design, and the gears need the the proper bevel or they arent going to work no matter where they are from.
 
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Do you have any more info or tech details to back this up? I am not sure I want to just bash AA or their design. A lot of Orion owners have had no problems. I am not sure if the fault lies with AA or with having to add worn old cruiser shift linkage components. There are a bunch of folks looking into this problem. I, for one, hope desperately that there is a concise solution...

Max
 

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cruiserbrett said:
Without a doubt this is the reason the Orions regularly pop out of gear. If you compare a new toyota t-case gear's dog teeth to the ORION one there is no question what is wrong. I dont care if parts are from"toyota's gear cutter" or whatever, a bad design is a bad design, and the gears need the the proper bevel or they arent going to work no matter where they are from.


Yes Brett, please elaborate on this.


Thanks!
 
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I would be interested in hearing more about this as well. I know Randy. I had him do the cut and turn on on my SOA on my 40 a few years back. Randy does good work on Cruisers and all kinds of rigs, including 4x4 racing bodies. Gimme the details Dude!

Max
 

65swb45

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I think it is time for me to get off the sidelines and order myself one of these things so I can see firsthand what all this noise is about.

Without seeing the parts firsthand, my impression may be overly simplistic, but if there is an engagement issue, could it not be addressed by re-notching the detent positions on the hi-lo shift fork shaft slightly outboard of their current position?

Are the teeth on the hi and low gears so shallow, relative to the output shaft that there would be no room to increase the throw of the shift collar in both directions, dressing it further onto the hi and low gears?

Considering that once even a stock case has 5 or 10k of wear on it the engagement teeth on the high and low gears are going to be worn, 'stepped' and lacking the original bevel, I can't see the merit in cruiserbrett's line of reasoning. There are tens of thousands of transfer cases out there that have significantly worn the bevels on their output gears that do not pop out of gear.

It sounds like I should order the case disassembled so that I can see each of the issues that has been brought up as well.

I will tab this post to try and keep up.

Best
 
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I know a lot of people have had problems with the orion. I also have noticed that at least some of them have refer to obvious wear on some of the compoents that they used to assemble their unit. I have put about 1000 road miles and 600 trail miles on the Orion I built for one of my rigs. Wide variety of usage. All the parts I used were like new and in perfect condition. I have had zero problems with it. No pop outs at all. No complaints.

I seem to remember from one of the treads here that one of us has built several for customers and none of them have had any problems. Another who has built only a couple for customers and one for himself with no problems either. IIRC.

I have trouble accepting that there is an problem with the design.

I would expect it to surface in every, or at least the majority of the units if this were the case.


Mark...
 

65swb45

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Mark, again I am going at this without the benefit of seeing the parts. Comparing the output contact area between the Orion and a stock t-case, would you say it has the same width on the hi and low gear teeth as the 73 and older cases, or more like the 76 and newer.

I would assume that the helical part of the Orion gears is rather wide, and therefore the contact area would be the smaller of the two. Still, on those cases, the hi lo sleeve makes complete engagement, and then some, because when you pull a worn one out, the notches inside the hi lo sleeve don't start at the outboard end of the sleeve.

I too have trouble accepting that there is a problem with the design; that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, or that collectively, we are a bunch of known tinkerers!
 
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i dont wanna kick anyone in the balls here but this is what i think,
i am totally with you Al and Mark,i dont think its design error,alot has gone into the design and when you begin to have sporatic problems with mechanical things you need to look at the people doing the work.im not saying that the folks that are having the problems are stupid and shouldnt be putting them together,but when i get my orion i think im gonna have somebody who has done it before put it together.heres why.i dont friggin rebuild trannys,tcases and motors for a living but i can if need be,and have.right there LACK OF EXPERIENCE,not knowing what to look for,and how tight or loose stuff should be.
i may just get flamed for this post and i may not.it was not intended to hurt anyones feelings or say that anyone is better than the next.
all in all its actually AA's fault by sending out something that is basically halfassed.we need to put it together with old stuff,just doesnt make sense to me at all.s*** just charge me 2grand for something i can bolt in and go,and be happy.i hope you guys figure it out,cause i want one by spring..good luck
shawn
 
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65swb45 said:
Considering that once even a stock case has 5 or 10k of wear on it the engagement teeth on the high and low gears are going to be worn, 'stepped' and lacking the original bevel, I can't see the merit in cruiserbrett's line of reasoning. There are tens of thousands of transfer cases out there that have significantly worn the bevels on their output gears that do not pop out of gear.
The dog teeth tend to wear a "notch" in the clutch sleeve that will help to prevent the sleeve from popping into N as long as there is pressure on the teeth. I don't think that it is just Brett's lineof reasoning; it is Toyota's. If cutting them straight was a good idea, Toyota wouldn't go to all the trouble of making them trapezoidal.

Still though, the wear on the usual suspects (worn clutch sleeve; bushings) can make this problem worse. Has anyone with a new clutch sleeve had their Orion case pop out of gear?
 
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Yes Charlie, I have. In all of the cases I have built, I have only used a new shift collar in them, and I have one customer that was able to get his case to pop out of gear in high rage, declaration load only. This is why I am of the belief that if I can get rid of majority of the .025+/- play that exists with the high speed and low speed gears with the use of a ‘stepped’ thrust washer, a modified Toyota piece, that this will prevent the high speed gear from walking inboard during deceleration, bumping the shift collar, and subsequently knocking the case into neutral. I believe that this would also work with the low speed gear, as any movement inward will contact the shift collar, and could knock the case out of gear.


Alignment of the shift rail and fork in relationship to the shift collar and hi and low speed gears is in question also, and is something that AA is addressing. When I talked with Randy last week, he mentioned making the cup in the shift rail for the high speed position a bit wider, and only by a very small amount, to get the ball to fully seat, instead of sitting up in the relief. The shift rail could also be installed in such a way that some only have partial ball to rail relief engagement, due to the shaft turning when tightening the lock tab bolt, and the lock tab rotating. I have replicated the scenario on the case I am building for Ed Long, and could easily how if you do not have the relief’s in the shift rail square to the detent ball in the fork, that you would not be getting the same engagement.



-Steve
 
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Wanted to bring this to the top and see if any solutions exist or if there is any new news.

I want an Orion, and I'm going to get one assmebled by MAF (since I have no experience with the innards of trannys/transfers). They told my AA had come up with a solution for the popping out of gear, but recently a rig with the "fixed" unit had the same problem.

Any updates? I have plenty of time on my project, but I did want to do the drivetrain first. I also don't want to pop out of gear crawling down a hill :eek: so I can wait if a fix is in progress....
 
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I have almost the same set-up as "cruisermax" H41, Orion, but have onlw wheeled on the 4.11's. I am building 4.88's right now, and locking the front to match the rear. I built the Orion myself, and never checked any of the play. My donor parts were in good condition. I made sure and used a dial torque wrench for the torque settings. Never has it popped out of gear. I do need to change the fluid from the break in fluid that is currently in there. I guess i am just one of the lucky ones.

Mark-W I was wondering if you got the PTO working on your Orion?
 
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I did. I don't remember where I posted about it (here someplace I think), but the diminsions of the case are not quite right. The face for the PTO is a little bit too close to the centerline of the T/C. When installed, the PTO gears are too close to the drive gears on the shaft. They actually try to ocupy the same space to a small degree.
I solved the problem by cutting a spacer out of 1/8 inch sheet and adding a fairly thick gasket on each side of the spacer to get about a .150 inch offset for the PTO drive unit.

Once this was done the PTO works perfectly.

BTW, I have about 1800 or so road miles and 900 or so trail miles on the Orion now. No pop out problems, no noise, no complaints.


I will probably be installing a Toy box in front of it within the year. The 4:1 low range is nice, but the jump between low and high is not to my liking. A 2.28:1 intermediate low should round it out nicely. But that means that the 2F will have to come out of this rig in favor of a 350 TBI, because of the length concerns. Oh wll,... If I have to... ;)


Mark...
 
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Bushing wear can also be a major contributor to popping out of gear. The bushing clearance of the Hi and Lo ouput gears on the shaft allows the gear to tilt slightly on the shaft and this tilt tends to force the shift collar out and back to N. I don't remember what the bushing wear tolerance is, but they are pretty tight, maybe .002 inch.

Obvously at least the Lo output gear is new in the Orion, so how are the bushing clearances on these gears and is this the reason that some pop out of gear and others don't. Anybody measure the bushing clearance?
 

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