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Discussion Starter #1
My transfer case is making a terrible noise, diagnosed to be failed plastic retainers on the output shaft bearings. It's going to be about a $850 to $1500 repair, which is going to be covered by the dealer - is this a common failure point?





This is on a 2001 3500 D/A that I just purchased on Tuesday from a used car dealer here in St Marys, GA. Traded my 2001 2500 Extended Cab LT with a 6.0 + $6500. This is my first diesel, so I'm soaking up all the knowledge on the site.


Since I'm unsure of the maintenance performed by the previous owner, when I get the truck back from the transmission shop, I plan on changing the oil, air and fuel filters, as well as rotating the tires and looking at the brakes and rotors. Anything else I should look for?
 

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How many miles on this truck.


Haven't heard about this yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just shy of 72,000. The transmission place knew what it was as soon as he heard the noise, and was able to show me the damaged parts from a transfer case he had done earlier in the week. He said the the plastic retainers fail, letting the balls of the bearing to rotate to one side, which in turn lets the shaft become off-centered.
 

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I have seen this a few times. The bearings are spaced with plastic inserts. If one piece breaks it allows the balls to move out of place. Usually the balls fall out and cause major gear damage. If you catch it early you'll just have to replace the bearing.
 

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Yuck


Plastic retainers in a drivetrain componet.


GMCSID


Anything to do with poor maintenance or is it just a poor design thing??
 

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I think it's just a poor design. I have caught a few before the balls came out and everything looked fine inside, the fluid was perfect. My guess would be maybe a sharp blow to the output shaft fractured the plastic. Edited by: GMCSID
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just saw the transfer case pulled out of my truck, and the mechanic said that the case was almost totally void of fluid (don't yell at me - I just bought the truck and noticed the noise!). His theory is that when the transfer case is low on (or out of!) fluid, the case starts heating up, which melts the retainers and allows the balls to space unevenly in the cage. I should have some pictures tomorrow, if anyone is interested.





Mike
 
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