Transfer Case Mounts
With Bill Johnston
We have an area just to the east of El Paso that is popular with the sand rails and quads called Red Sands. Wonderful dunes of super fine sand. But as you climb the hills surrounding the dunes, the sand is speckled with rocks that reach out and eat your lunch (if your not careful). It was after a fun climb over a sand hill that had enough rocks in the wrong places that put me out of action for a little while. As I applied the go pedal I heard a thump-thump under the drivers seat... not good. I thought I had lost a drive shaft, but when I grabbed the rear shaft and pushed on it - the whole t/case lifted on the drivers side! Upon closer inspection I saw that the t/case mount had ripped in half.
|This is a common occurrence when you push the drive train to it's limits. The mount is designed to be like a fuse... it breaks before an expensive part in the t/case explodes. And the most common mount to break is the drivers side (short arm). When power goes to the t/case it tries to lift the short arm side of the case, stretching the mount. If you catch it quick enough all you have to replace is a mount. But you will see marks on the body about an inch above the mount. You can see the marks in a picture later in the article. But what if you could use a mount that allows the full 'stretch' of a stock mount without the 'snap' that comes at the end? Spidertrax has come up with a mount that cushions during compression and extension, but won't snap in half.|
Parts included with this kit:
|There are three mounts that have to be changed. You can see the stress cracks that occur after hard wear by taking a look at the mount on the right. Click through the picture to see a better detail shot. The hardest mount to get at is the short arm mount on the left. So that is where we will start.|
|After parking the rear tires on a set of car ramps things were a bit easier to get at. When looking at the mount from the rear of the vehicle it seems an easy replacement... until you remove the mount retaining nuts and realize that there isn't enough room between the frame and the body to slide the old mount out. I found it easier to remove the bolts at the other end of the short arm from the transfer case while using a block of wood and a floor jack to support the weight of the transfer case. Make sure the case is held firmly in place and the floor jack won't roll. Safety First! Then you can remove the mount bushing from the short arm easily. Replace the short arm on the transfer case right away. Don't try installing the new heavy duty t/case mounts while the short arm is removed. It may look easier, but the bolt must pass through the frame before going through the short arm. This keeps the threads pointing up and away from harm when those sharp rocks reach out for something to grab and mangle. Many of us use a quality skid plate to assure t/case longevity, but pointing the threads up also gives the installation a cleaner look.|
|Once the arm has been replaced it is time to install the new mount. Using the same floor jack and wooden block combination, the transfer case was lifted enough to place two new bushings in place of the original. If you have the bolt/washer/bushing combination ready (see photo to the left), use it to line up the bushings from underneath. While holding the bolt firmly in place, place th final bushing on top of the short arm followed by the washer and nylock nut. Let the transfer case rest it's weight on the bushings to compress them. This makes it easier to spin the nylock nut onto the threads. In the photo to the right you can see the marks left by the stock mount when it slammed into the body (over and over again...).|
the fasteners to the point where the distance between the frame
mount and the short arm is 1-1/16". This puts the transfer case
at exactly the same level as stock. The kit comes with instructions
and a couple of those wild looking Spidertrax stickers.
Remember the stock mounts that were removed? If they are in decent shape - put them in your 'spare parts' box for the trail. You won't need them, but a buddy out on the trail that hasn't upgraded will be thankful for the parts during your next trail ride...
Rocky Road Outfitters