1990 XLT transfer case or transmission problem - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question 1990 XLT transfer case or transmission problem

Hello,

I have been searching the forums for weeks but I am not really sure what I am looking for so I need a little help. I have a 1990 XLT with the 351w and an automatic transmission I would guess E4OD. The 4x4 is manual with manual hubs.

Recently it would not go into reverse and would make a loud humming noise like radio static but it eventually shifted into it so I could get out of a parking space. Later it did the same thing when coasting around 55 in drive but only lasted a few seconds. After that I was going about 45 when it made the noise but there was also extremely loud banging, grinding, and every undesirable noise you can imagine. Now it won't shift into any gear and makes the the noises if attempted which I will not do again.

I don't know if this means the tranny is shot or the transfer case or what and if it is worth repairing since this Bronco is pretty rusted out. I am just partial to it and would hate to see it go. Not sure what to do here.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 03:07 PM
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If it's not going into any gear you're going to have to start tearing into things. not sure how good of a mechanic you are, but the transfer case is the easiest place to start and could be part of the problem.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 05:26 PM
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Ive had a shift fork in my transfer case break already. Left me stranded at a gas pump. Thought i blew out my trans but it ended up being the tcase. They are easy enough to tear into with simple hand tools. Do a search here i believe theres a write up on how to do so including a tool list.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I will try to open that up and see what it looks like this weekend. Thank you
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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The transfer case had no fluid in it so I am guessing that is the most likely problem. I put some in for giggles but it was no better. I'm guessing its completely shot. :(
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:40 PM
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Id open it up and see whats going on inside. And replace some seals while your at it.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:09 PM
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Sounds like the T-case. Almost certainly the shift forks. I would take it apart. It can be rebuilt fairly eazy. Also they can be had a the yards pretty cheap.

BTY- it's not real heavy either. I've pulled mine many times without a jack. Just unbolt it and get under it and press it. (maybe 80 lbs.) It will not fall when unbolted, it has to be slid back abit.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:55 PM
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My money is on your transfercase. Common problem with them. You could try putting the case into 4 low and see if it'll move the truck.

Regardless I'd reccomend tearing the case apart if for no other reason than to fix the stay-arm. Here's links to a couple write-ups:

Allfordman's
Shadowfax's
Here's a exploded diagram of the 1356 (shamelessly swiped off Steve83's collection)


Parts links are posted on Fordman's and Shadowfax's write-ups. I used tbtrans.com and was happy with their service. The entire job can be done with handtools, except getting the yokes off. I took mine to a local tire shop that rattled the nuts off for me. Ask away if you have questions.

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Last edited by 4NIC8R; 12-01-2012 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Credit to steve.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:57 PM
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If you get grinding nose when placing the Trans back into park after trying to get the truck to move, it's the transfer case. This is because the output shaft of the Trans is still moving. Thus meaning your Trans is good.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies. I do get the noise when going back into park so that's a good sign. Before I tore it apart I wanted to see if I could find a decently cheap one and I think I have for $75 but I want to make sure they are interchangeable and it's worth it.

Here are pictures of the one on there:









And the "new" one:







My concerns are that I don't see on the old one those two holes closest to the front on the new one, the numbers are different, and I don't see any drain plugs.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 12:01 PM
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My advice, rebuild the one you have. Any used one will have the stay-arm issue unless it has already been dealt with, which you won't know. If that tcase has over 160k miles on it then the stay-arm is going to be a problem. It's not really a hard fix and does not take much in the line of special tools.

As for the "new" one, it should fit. Take off the transmission adaptor first though, obviously. I do see the drain plugs in the first picture of it. I cannot read the numbers in this photo and am not sure what holes you are talking about.

Edit: One thing I cannot see in the picture either is the speedo sensor hole in the tail housing. Is that case off a 92-96? I believe they changed that part, since they do not have a speedo cable.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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The owner says it out of an 89 or 90. I'm just worried rebuilding it is going to run me a lot more than just the 75 dollars and I am a broke college student right now.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 04:17 PM
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I have the same thing going on in my 87, only all my gears work except reverse. If I put it in 4 wheel drive then I have reverse. Any idea if it is maybe the same thing? Any help would be great.


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wperryjr View Post
I have the same thing going on in my 87, only all my gears work except reverse. If I put it in 4 wheel drive then I have reverse. Any idea if it is maybe the same thing? Any help would be great.


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Sure sounds like it. Does it grind in 2wd, reverse to park?
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 05:08 PM
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It kinda grinds going back into park in 2wd. When in 4wd it all seems to work just fine.


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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 01:10 PM
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It also makes the clicking/grinding like noise when I'm going over 25 and let off the gas. If I just tap the gas it stops for a sec.


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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wperryjr View Post
It also makes the clicking/grinding like noise when I'm going over 25 and let off the gas. If I just tap the gas it stops for a sec.


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I'm almost positive your transfer case is going out.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 10:06 PM
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What is it that points you to the t case and not the trans? I just want to be sure before I go spend money.


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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wperryjr View Post
What is it that points you to the t case and not the trans? I just want to be sure before I go spend money.


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This

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wperryjr View Post
It kinda grinds going back into park in 2wd. When in 4wd it all seems to work just fine.
If the output shaft is turning (meaning your trans is supplying output to the transfer case), you'll hear a grind from the park gear when putting back into park because nothing (transfer case) is keeping is locked. While in 4wd, it's keeping it locked and you won't hear it and your reverse works.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-23-2012, 05:07 PM
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Ok so I just got in my truck and it went into reverse just fine in 2wd. However it still makes like a Noise like a bearing that's loose and spinning to fast. And when I start slowing down the sound also starts to diminish, then fades away around 15 mph.


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