Transfer Case - No Neutral or 4 Low

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Mechanically Challenged
Jul 11, 2012
The People's Republik of Maryland
Hey all,

I have seen some discussion of similar issues in this thread but not EXACTLY the issue I'm seeing:

My 1975 FJ40 (4spd trans, 350 V8) shifts just fine between 2H and 4H, (up and down) but does not want to move from left to right, over to neutral or 4WD low. There seems to be a lot of "slop" in the T-case shift linkage (or a bent linkage) because I can push it all the way over to the edge of the transmission hump. When I do, it feels more like the stick is just bending, rather than actually going anywhere.

So far:

*Took off the shift boot, confirmed the linkage is indeed connected. Everything seems well greased.

*I've tried rocking the truck, reversing it, rolling forward, clutch in, clutch out, neutral, in gear, etc. with no luck.

I've read I should disconnect the shift linkage and try to manually shift the T-case into neutral and 4L from underneath - my question is, at what point in the linkage do I disconnect it? should I just remove the "stick" then reach down through the T-case hole and try to shift to Neutral? Trying to wrap my head around it. Pictures would help!

It looks like a single shaft that only moves forward and backward from what I can see - can't see how it would move to the right if I wanted it to!

If it is not a "linkage slop" issue, what might I be looking at?
How long has it been since you shifted from hi ot lo range? Assuming linkage issues are NOT a factor, it's not uncommon for the shift lever to become corroded or for rust to develop on the detent ball and shaft that the shift fork rides on, making it difficult to operate. Drop the rod connected to the lever on top the t-case and try to operate the lever by hand (with no load on the drive train). You should be able to operate this rather easily by hand. If you cannot, try apply SLIGHTLY more pressure with a cresent wrench to add leverage. If it won't budge or is difficult to move it's time to look inside.
How long has it been since you shifted from hi ot lo range?

No idea - I just got this cruiser, and like an idiot, overlooked this in my excitement to see one with no holes in the quarter panels. PO mentioned it had been sitting, so it may have been a while - corrosion is a possibility. Should I just hit it with some penetrating oil or is there more to it?
Penetrating oil may work if the lever shaft is the issue, and it can get down past the seal. At the end of the day though, pulling the top cover and looking inside is the best choice to fix it. That way you can see if there are any other issues, or smile, because you have a cherry t-case witha minor issue.
Thanks -

Last question, because I am new to 4WD's - is there a good place to find a diagram of the T-case so that I can have a better understanding of what the "detent ball" and "shift fork" are:confused: or what rod it is that I should be dropping!
i believe there is a grease fitting down there also ,best to remove the whole shifter take it apart clean and lube everything.
That's kind of what I thinking too - how do you all typically access the assembly, from above through the transmission hump or from underneath?

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