1998 Jeep Cherokee Transmisson "thunks, " 4WD won'

Tiny
MUSHDAMMA
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 89,000 MILES
My Cherokee has two transmission related (I think) issues.

(1) It has A LOT of difficulty shifting into and out of 4WD. If I place the vehicle into 4WD (either full-time or part-time) it will not shift back in 2-wheel easily. This is especially bad when I hit a patch of road that is clear, and the vehicle will literally "buck" in a turn -- I assume this is because the differential is still locked. When the 4WD is engaged and I want to get back to 2WD, I will sometimes either have to plave the car in reverse or (oddly enough) drive the jeep slippery terrain (snow, ice) for it to slip out of 4WD. I have replaced the transaxle fluid, but this problem persists.

(2) Recently, the Jeep's transmission has started "thunking" when I shift it into reverse/drive from park. Also, I've noticed that it sometimes shifts hard from a stop into first gear (but less so if I don't gun the gas).
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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 AT 2:33 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
This may sound like a stupid question, but are your front tires more worn than the rears, and are they the same size?
Also, jack up one rear wheel, and with the trans in park, check to see how much "slop" you have in the transfer case.
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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 AT 9:43 PM
Tiny
MUSHDAMMA
  • MEMBER
The tires are all the same, purchased at the same time. I assume they're worn the same, but I'll check the tread depth. Would swapping the fron with the back help?

I have had the transfer case fluid changed and it hasn't affected this problem. Would the "slop" in the transfer case remain even after a fluid change?
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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 AT 10:25 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Changing the fluid won't compensate for wear in the T. Case it self. From your description, it sounds like your T case is binding up and not allowing it to "slip" out of 4WD like it should.
For test purposes you would want to just interchange 2 tires on ONE side only. That will even out the ratio between front and rear.
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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 AT 10:56 PM

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