HF2A T-Case Rebuild time?

MonPetiteShoe

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Oct 7, 2020
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47
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Broomfield
'97 FZJ80 with 276k on the clock.

I could use a little help diagnosing what I believe is a T-case problem that's probably been mounting for a while now, but came to a head when I couldn't get out of Westminster for the Noobs run.

Symptoms:
Audible "whirring," sound that has become notably worse over time. I would hear it when the vehicle was returning from intermediate load/throttle. Read as: Driving up a hill at ~80% throttle: No sound. Once you crest the hill at ~80% throttle, Mechanical whirr. Release throttle, No whirr. Leads me to believe the sound is related to the position of the Tranny/T-case relative to the drivelines. Something, something bearings in T-Case?

At highway speeds: Loss of power and general decrease of speed, even when higher up on the powerband. Tranny shifts smoothly, but there's no gain in momentum. A gentle incline now creates a situation where I struggle to keep speed over 55mph.

I've been nursing a gradual overtemp issue that I believe stems from, or is being worsened by the potential T-case issue.
"Resting," temps on a 90 degree day hover between 195-198. (OBDII) Throw a hill in the mix, and temps creep up over 210 within two-three miles of steady climb.
They drop back to resting within 2 min after pulling to the shoulder. If I'm getting a lot of resistance "downstream," of the engine, this might exacerbate temps, as the engine struggles to keep speed.

My thoughts about next steps:
I acknowledge I might be facing something significantly larger than an T-case issue, (Tranny, Engine) but I wanted to start with an "easier," problem first and maybe get lucky with the troubleshooting. I'm not inclined to send it to a shop and throw money at the issue, especially when I can save some money by pulling the case, and doing some of the work myself. Some of the fancy bits might need to be outsourced, but if it falls within my ability, I'd rather complete it under my ability. If I'm pulling the T-case, and looking at a rebuild, I was also considering a regear for both H and L. The costs climb higher. Once rebuilt, and regeared, I'll have that peace of mind...
Any tips from those who have rebuilt a T-case?

Completing the work, as far as I can tell, doesn't seem to be my biggest problem. I am fighting logistics.. I don't have a garage/driveway where I can tear into this project, and I'd have to source any tools past the standard variety. I'm working options, but they're coming together slowly... I've got the time, the 80 isn't my DD.

Thoughts?
 

White Stripe

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May 5, 2015
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Milky way galaxy
How old is the catalytic converter? Have you checked the timing? Have you had an oil analysis done of the engine Oil? Does the driveshaft ujoints or slip yokes have Any play?
 

MonPetiteShoe

Rock Stacker
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Oct 7, 2020
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47
Location
Broomfield
Cats are older than 75k, which is a way of saying I have no idea.
I have not checked the timing, and should probably do that. Nic Jones was suggesting the same.
I haven't had oil analysis done. I can probably send a sample to Blackstone labs unless you've got another suggestion.

Ujoints and slip yokes don't have any play that I can tell. I was only using my hands though. A little leverage could be telling.
Ujoints were replaced at 202k, and I've got replacements ready to go in soon.

@J1000, is stopping by to take the 80 for a spin and see if he's got any thoughts, but I might be dealing with some tranny problems?
I'm thinking torque converter may be going bad? It might be a good idea to give some of the solenoids a once over.
Thanks for the feedback.
 

J1000

Rising Sun Member
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Oct 11, 2018
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778
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Morrison, CO
I drove it today and it definitely is clogged/melted catalytic converters causing his issues. Super low on power and hissing noise from exhaust. It practically can't rev to 4k rpm at all. Probably needs the timing checked also but first replace the cats
 

KC Masterpiece

Trail Ready
Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
446
If you end up needing a torque converter I have one from my tranny swap you can have for free. Also have a spare transmission that probably just has some funky solenoid issue. Its missing a temp sensor as I have been using it for spare parts.

Actually it has a temp sensor in it but it will claim its overheating on a cold start when its 30 outside.

Hope its as simple as clogged cats and you can get it solved. I also think I may have a clog forming in one cat having had some power loss lately and hearing a bit of a rattle from one on occasion. My exhaust whistles so loudly I don't think I could detect a hiss.

Curious to see how this plays out.
 

Cruisertrash

Rising Sun Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
322
I drove it today and it definitely is clogged/melted catalytic converters causing his issues. Super low on power and hissing noise from exhaust. It practically can't rev to 4k rpm at all. Probably needs the timing checked also but first replace the cats
Sounds like my 60 last March. Looked everywhere else but the cat. Problem was definitely the cat.

@MonPetiteShoe Now I’d check all of the seals on the exhaust to see which blew out with the backed up pressure - manifold gasket, EGR, donut, etc, etc. I chased through all that stuff, redid most of it, and still have an exhaust leak. Been running a “test pipe” ever since while I contemplate the new CARB laws.
 

MonPetiteShoe

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Broomfield
Exhaust has been a problem since I picked it up, and the problem just fell off the radar as I looked into other problems..
My Y-pipe has had a hole in it that the PO tried to weld, but it didn't hold at all.
I burn oil, so that hasn't been helpful with the cats.
I'm bringing it into an exhaust shop Monday to see what they say. Fingers crossed they can mount a "new," scavenged Y-pipe, Cat(s) and keep it relativity cheap.

If I've been running clogged cats, that hasn't helped the cylinder/engine temps, so I'm curious what running temps will be afterwards. Hope to see a dip, especially while climbing.
I'll see how the tranny behaves after exhaust and look at the next steps...
 

ccslider

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Apr 20, 2015
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1,041
Location
Westminster
Exhaust has been a problem since I picked it up, and the problem just fell off the radar as I looked into other problems..
My Y-pipe has had a hole in it that the PO tried to weld, but it didn't hold at all.
I burn oil, so that hasn't been helpful with the cats.
I'm bringing it into an exhaust shop Monday to see what they say. Fingers crossed they can mount a "new," scavenged Y-pipe, Cat(s) and keep it relativity cheap.

If I've been running clogged cats, that hasn't helped the cylinder/engine temps, so I'm curious what running temps will be afterwards. Hope to see a dip, especially while climbing.
I'll see how the tranny behaves after exhaust and look at the next steps...
I think by law they have to use carb certified only now. You're better off buying a new downpipe with cats and installing.
 

MonPetiteShoe

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Oct 7, 2020
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Broomfield
I think by law they have to use carb certified only now. You're better off buying a new downpipe with cats and installing.
I think you're right, and I've been deferring my exhaust problem for a while now.
I'll price out a new (or newer-ish) Y-pipe and cats, and see what Exhaust pros offers as far as options/pricing goes.
I scavenged the Y-pipe off Jimmy's EV80 when we pulled the engine. I'm hoping to save some coin if they can work with that, and get the cats swapped. The wallet is prepped for a larger expense...
...I might just straight pipe it and be one of those guys for the next 5 years. There's a rise in the # of people who aren't renewing their plates, or don't even have plates to begin with.. No registration, no emissions, no CARB compliance. (Legally, I have to say that is a joke.)
 
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