Shifting the Transfer Case


Here’s how the factory suggests you shift the transfer case and I’ve been doing this since these things were new and I worked at the dealership. Quoted from the owner’s manual. The suggestions in BOLD are mine.

“To engage, shift the transfer case lever from 2H to 4H while the vehicle is moving at any legal speed”. I let off the gas, throw the lever, tap the gas, and let off again.

4L position: ” To engage, slow the vehicle to 2-3 MPH , shift the transmission to Neutral, then shift the transfer lever to the right and pull firmly rearward to 4L”.

To shift out of 4L, stop the vehicle, shift the transmission to Neutral, shift the transfer case lever to 4H, then the transmission to Drive (if you have an automatic), or First gear (if you have a manual), and continue on.

Revised 1-31-2016

8 thoughts on “Shifting the Transfer Case”

  1. most of the time when I shift out of 4H, the jeep doesn’t recognize it until several miles of driving, it just eventually disengages and returns to 2 wheel drive. Any tips on getting it to disengage 4 wheel drive immediately? I’ve heard it could be a stretched transfer case chain? Thanks so much for making this website, I owe my jeep’s life to you, if it weren’t for this site, i never could have got my renix running right! I will make a donation in the near future, even if it is somewhat modest. Looking forward to future topics, (especially reducing cabin wind noise) Thanks again!

  2. the ones that all connect to the white plastic fitting? I have a black plastic line (like the small ones on the vacuum harness) that is broken under the coolant bottle,I think it comes from the vacuum ball in the bumper, I’d have to check to be sure. there was no trace of where the other half would have lead to. In my crazy search for vacuum leaks some time ago I plugged it with a whittled down piece of rubber and smeared it with some of that flex seal liquid rubber stuff to plug it up. Also the lines above it that come out of that weird foam rubber seal where the heater core hoses go through the firewall (the little black and red ones) are just looped together with a L connector, I don’t know if that’s right, or if that black one is the other end of the one I plugged?

    Anyway sorry, back to 4wd, I actually can still feel it is engaged though when I make turns, and I get worse gas milage. I know it’s not just psychological, because I feel that it has disengaged when the light is still on. Possible stupid question, but is it possible the plugged vacuum line has anything to do with this issue?

  3. My suggestion is to do the CAD delete and then make sure the plumbing from the engine to vacuum ball and vacuum ball to the firewall through the foam piece is all in good shape.

  4. Okay thanks, I may do the CAD delete, but in the meantime I checked the lines and they are all fine but my broken one must be the one to go through the firewall that you mentioned because as of now there is no vacuum ball-through-firewall connection. the two lines going through the firewall are looped together, guess the PO also didn’t know where the lines were supposed to lead and just looped em’. What are the lines that go through the firewall for? And where is the faded red (or pink?) line supposed to lead, also to the vacuum ball? and should I just join the broken line together with a piece of vacuum tubing? Sorry for so many questions.

  5. One line is for vacuum to the dash heater functions and the other one is for the water control valve in the engine bay. Don’t be sorry. It’s how we learn.

  6. sounds good, thanks! at some point someone has eliminated the heater control valve, (there’s just a flush-fill connector in place of it), I replaced the connector with a new one when I did a cooling system clean and flush, so I guess the reddish one must have went to it. So I guess I should plug the red one, and rejoin the one to the heater controls? Thanks again, I’ll email you for those vacuum diagrams. Cruiser saves the day again!

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