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Suburban Transfer Case Issue

This is a discussion on Suburban Transfer Case Issue within the GM Trucks forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Just determined that my transfer case is leaking fluid on my suburban. I don't know the exact source yet. Curious ...

  1. #1
    Member erikzola's Avatar
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    Black on Black on Black
    2002 Camaro SS Vert

    Suburban Transfer Case Issue

    Just determined that my transfer case is leaking fluid on my suburban. I don't know the exact source yet. Curious to know if anyone has bothered to
    re-build the guts of one of these versus replace the whole unit. I can get a used replacement for either side of $1,000 with low miles. Truck has 140,000 on it now and runs fine except for this new leak.
    Erik

    2002 Camaro SS LS1 / 1 of 147
    2004 Suburban 2500 HD 8.1L

  2. #2
    Junior Member Jeepplr's Avatar
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    Puter
    2002 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 s/c

    The Xfer case on the 2500HD and 3500's have an issue with the case developing a hole in the rear of the case caused by the oil slinger if I remember correctly. I am on my second case because of this little design flaw. You may delay the repair by putting JB weld in the hole but the hole will re-appear over time. A new case is the only fix.

  3. #3
    Member erikzola's Avatar
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    Black on Black on Black
    2002 Camaro SS Vert

    Interesting. I have not heard about that issue. I figured a full replacement might be the best route to take. Thanks for your imput.

  4. #4
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    pewter
    2001 WS6 T/A

    I have a stack of over 30 rear case sections that I have replaced over the last 4 months at my shop. GM has a new updated retainer to hold the pump
    now. Cost about 8 bucks

  5. #5
    Junior Member Cougar281's Avatar
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    The problem is the clip that keeps the pump from hitting the case. they break, and once they do, it's only a matter of time before you have a hole in the case. If left unfixed, you'll get at least one more, maybe two more. The "updated" clip is not much better than the original. It'll probably break as well. Mine did, and I JBWelded the hole, but didn't fix the pump, and a year or so later, got another hole further up. If you can take the case apart, a better solution would be to order a better fix from Merchant Automotive of Kennedy Diesel. Merchant's fix is pricey, but is a billet piece that replaces the back half of the pump and IMO, is what the pump should have been to begin with. Kennedy's is cheaper, but will work just fine as well. I used Kennedy's for bugetary reasons, but I would have preferred to use Merchants. If you know someone that can Tig weld Magnesium, the case can be welded while apart for a permenant fix to the hole. You could fix the problem for less than $100. As long as you fix the problem inside the case and prevent the pump from rubbing, JBWeld, if applied firmly, will work just fine. I found that a JBWeld putty worked best as it pressed in place like play-doh and stayed put, unlike the two part liquid that ran all over no matter what I tried to keep it in place.

    Here's where mine was:
    Last edited by Cougar281; 10-14-2009 at 07:08 PM.
    2004 Chevy Silverado CC/LB LLY Duramax/Allison 1000
    446RwHP/820RwTq
    14.067 @ 96.29, weighing in at over 7200#
    Race transmission built by me.
    EFILive

    1995 Mercury Cougar XR7 4.6L V8
    14.680 @ 94.00

  6. #6
    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    White over Red
    1991 Suburban

    I just went through this with my 2004 2500hd. About $600 when it was all said and done. Labor plus a case half and a case saver to keep it form doing it again.

  7. #7
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    Gray
    2002 Suburban

    I have the same issue. 145K miles. Same as picture above. Can't believe this isn't a recall. Trans shop says $1200.

  8. #8
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    98 Formula
    06 duramax

    merchant automotive sells a fix for this issue ($250). You'll have to jb weld the hole shut and then the merchant automotive piece will ensure it doesn't happen again. Very well known and common issue....almost as common as the "thunk" in the steering wheel caused by the intermediate steering shaft.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Cougar281's Avatar
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    Kennedy Diesel has a fix as well that'll work; It's cheaper (like $50, IIRC), and will do the job; having said that, I'd rather have Merchant's fix if money was little or no issue.
    Last edited by Cougar281; 10-30-2009 at 04:06 PM.

  10. #10
    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    White over Red
    1991 Suburban

    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar281 View Post
    Kennedy Diesel has a fix as well that'll work; It's cheaper (like $50, IIRC), and will do the job; having said that, I'd rather have Merchant's fix if money was little or no issue.
    The Kennedy Diesel was the one I went with.

  11. #11
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    Gray
    2002 Suburban

    Finding this site and the info for the 2 options was great. The picture was especially helpful, as this is exactly what mine looked like. I looked at both of the websites for the fixes. Both had good info. I think for the money you can't beat the Kennedy option. I ordered the part, but doing the work myself seemed a little much, so I will have a local repair shop do it. The owner is GM Certified, but had not seen this issue before. He was very interested in doing it. I will have them get the Aft case and new seals. I want to get this vehicle back on the road ASAP.

  12. #12
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    Blue
    2004 Suburban 2500

    I know this thread is a few years old but hoped someone would still get this. I have an '04 Suburban 2500 that I discovered today has this same issue. A small hole in the rear top housing of the transfer case. I have an appointment to have it checked at my local garage but I wanted to ask does the mechanism inside that causes this issue hit the housing anytime the burb is running or only when in 4x4?
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Junior Member tekkauto's Avatar
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    Mystic Teal
    1999 Formula WS6

    The rear bearing floats back and fourth and slams into the rear case half over and over. Doesn't matter, does in 2wd. Leaks at take off. If you catch it early you can get lucky and replace the rear case half and install the updated retainer. If you ran it dry too long the case guts are too damaged. I see it all year long in Minnesota.

  14. #14
    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    "Arrest Me Red"
    2001 trans am

    Yes its all the time and if you do the work your self it will only run you about $400 to do it with the parts from ma as posted above you need the pump rib kit a rear case and the seal i did the hole thing in about 5 hrs

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    Blue
    2004 Suburban 2500

    Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate it. Until I can do a proper repair job I have temporarily patched the housing with JB Weld as I had seen done in some post. I let it set for 24 hours and so far it is holding well.

  16. #16
    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    White over Red
    1991 Suburban

    Some people have had good luck with the JB weld.

  17. #17
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    Does this happen with the 1/2 ton transfer cases also or just the 3/4 ton?

  18. #18
    That guy thearborbarber's Avatar
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    White over Red
    1991 Suburban

    Kennedy diesel makes theirs for the 236, 246, 261, and 263 transfer cases.

  19. #19
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    Oh ok. I had to ask because I just saw a 1/2 ton Tcase yesterday with a worn through case. Must be the same type of problem described in this thread.

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