Transfer Case Exploded
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    xhere's Avatar
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    Transfer Case Exploded

    I thought I would share this information on what can happen on mis-match tires on a 4x4.
    A diesel 4x4 truck came in today on the hook with a catastrophic transfer case failure.
    The truck had near new tires on the front while the back tires were bald. The front tires were spinning slower than the rear due to the tread depth difference front to rear.
    The torsional wind up stress on the transfer case had to be tremendous. When the nose of the case broke off the front driveshaft almost went through the drivers floor board. I can't imagine what that would have sounded or felt like!
    Good example of how important on a 4x4 that all tires are the same circumference.

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    AllenR (04-10-2015), BigJim55 (02-06-2015), Gizmo2 (12-03-2014), mjncad (12-03-2014)

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    What make/ model of truck? What type of transfer case? Was the guy driving in 4wd on the road all the time?

    This seems like there's more than tire wear at fault. The difference in circumference caused by even a half inch of tread wear shouldn't do that. I've known guys to run close but not exact gear ratios after doing axle swaps (4.10 in one and 4.11 in the other) and even that difference didn't cause catastrophic failure.

    Full time AWD vehicles like our Subaru, it's a bigger concern.

    In any case, wow! That's definitely a catastrophic failure.
    Last edited by 56FordGuy; 12-02-2014 at 08:22 PM.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Transfer Case Exploded

    I know the newer Rams (2003 and newer?) use non-selectable/solid front hubs so the front axle is always turning. But I had thought they disconnected the front driveshaft within the transfer case when in 2wd even though the front driveshaft stills turns while driving?
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    xhere's Avatar
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    To my understanding rolling down the interstate in 4x4, 2008 dodge 3500


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    xhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    I know the newer Rams (2003 and newer?) use non-selectable/solid front hubs so the front axle is always turning. But I had thought they disconnected the front driveshaft within the transfer case when in 2wd even though the front driveshaft stills turns while driving?
    That is my understanding also. The truck was from out of state, I suspect the continuos heat buildup at interstate speeds and couldn't take it anymore.


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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Perhaps it was in 4wd?
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xhere View Post
    To my understanding rolling down the interstate in 4x4, 2008 dodge 3500


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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    Perhaps it was in 4wd?

    Looks that way.
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    xhere's Avatar
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    I have seen a similar incident on an older AWD explorer that had oddball tires front to rear.


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    My thought also,,, running in 4wd on drive surface... You can do that going straight for a mile or so ,but for any length of time , asking for trouble.
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    xhere's Avatar
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    Just thinking about it, I suppose a bad rear joint on that front shaft could have contributed . That would have been a lot of vibration to tear the nose off the transfer case! There's not enough evidence left to decipher that, lol


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