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Hello everyone! I find myself in a bind and hope there is someone out there with a little insight before I start tearing into this. I just picked up a 2001 Tracker with an auto trans from a family member, as I needed larger car and one with 4x4 for a few months. I had taken it out on some back roads that were mixed mud and gravel and had engaged the 4H to ease the stress of going up the steeper hills. I passed a road that I wanted to turn down, so I stopped on a hill and put it into reverse while still in 4H. I backed slowly down the narrow road a total of 10-15 feet when I heard a whine that sounded like it was coming from the transfer case. I reached down to feel the stick and it was vibrating pretty good. I was less than 10 feet from the road I was backing up to and the hill was not very steep in this section, so I decided that was just going to shift the transmission to neutral to release the tension on the transfer case, put it in 2H when I got to the bottom and drive home. Before I could reach for the shift lever, there was a loud pop followed by the Tracker suddenly gaining momentum accompanied by a loud grind that continued until I shifted into neutral where it would grow quieter, but not stop.

The only way the grinding stops completely is if I shift into neutral and rev the motor lightly. The 4x4 light on the dash is off, and it appears that the stick is in between the 2H and 4H positions, but will not move in any direction. The car rolls in every gear, even in park with only a light popping. I would be very appreciative of any information/ideas on what may have happened and if I am really looking at replacing the whole transfer case or if there is a way to pop it back into gear. I have the mechanical prowess to make it happen... just not the capital to allow me to shrug it off very easily. :p
 

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99 Tracker, 5 door, 2L, 4x4
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You may be able to manipulate the TC if, you raise the one side so that the wheels are off the ground....barring that it would mean striping the case down to inspect..

.... Philip
 

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Sounds like using part time 4x4 when it wasn't slippery enough to keep the drive lines from winding up. (bad ju ju.)

But a "2001 Tracker" isn't the model covered in the "Suzuki Sidekick, Escudo, Vitara & Geo Tracker Forum (1989-1998)" forum. (ie: This forum.) I understand they did make some changes to the drive train at the 1999 year change (for most markets) ... is it still part time 4x4? (No center differential.) Others here would know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
....barring that it would mean striping the case down to inspect..

.... Philip
Thanks, Philip!

I am not sure how to go about striping the case down, as I am *very* new to the world of 4wd. I have a Haynes manual that I have picked up, but it does not mention much more than the removal of the center console and of the case itself, but says nothing about the removal of the casing itself, if that made any sense. If you meant pulling the center console to expose the top of the case, I will be doing that tomorrow! Given that the rain holds out for a few hours. Do you have any further advice/tricks on manipulating it once the wheels are up and the case is off? Which side would be the best to lift?

Once again, I am very new to the 4x4 world and greatly appreciate any and all helpful advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like using part time 4x4 when it wasn't slippery enough to keep the drive lines from winding up. (bad ju ju.)

But a "2001 Tracker" isn't the model covered in the "Suzuki Sidekick, Escudo, Vitara & Geo Tracker Forum (1989-1998)" forum. (ie: This forum.) I understand they did make some changes to the drive train at the 1999 year change (for most markets) ... is it still part time 4x4? (No center differential.) Others here would know.
Well m000035, it is not and AWD system, but it does have 2h to 4h on the fly shift capability while going less than 60mph, but it does have to be shifted manually.

I was under the impression that wind up mostly only happens when turning, but can it happen while going straight? It was pretty slippery. The reason I put it in 4h to begin with was the rear end was sliding out around corners and I was sliding down hills more so than I found entertaining.
 

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I've moved the post to the appropriate forum.

A 2001 Tracker is very similar to the previous generation of Trackers in that it uses a part time 4WD transfer case, the two big differences are that the transfer case has a synchro hub on the front output, which allows it to be engaged with the vehicle in motion, and, the front differential incorporates a pneumatic freewheel mechanism doing away with the need for free wheel hubs (either manual or automatic) - essentially these changes allow the vehicle to be shifted between 2H & 4H without stopping it - the so called "shift-on-the fly".

Now to address the original poster's problem ...

The fact that the car moves in park is not a good sign - there is a distinct possibility of transfer case damage - but - let's not jump to conclusions.

There are two selector mechanisms in the transfer case - one (on the left) allows for the selection of 2H/4H, the second (on the right) allows for 4H/N/4L - I'm hoping the transfer case is in neutral and that all that needs to be done is to get it back into gear.

To get an idea of what is going on, you're going to remove the shift lever and take a look inside - if you're lucky it's just jumped out of place - and is wedged between the shift rods.

Start by removing the console, rear section first (two screws on the sides on the rear, slide the seats forward and you'll find them) and the rear section should lift away - if I'm remembering correctly, there are two screws under the rear console that hold the front, two screws on the sides near the front and two plastic clips that you can barely see along side the seats - because of the location these may be difficult to remove - you need to take an angled pick or something similar and push the center pin in about 3/16" and then ease the clip out - you will also need to work the boot through the console.

Remove the shift knob (single screw at the back), remove the rubber boot - it's held to the tunnel with several screws - and below that you'll find another rubber boot, secured to the shift tower with a metal clip around the neck of the boot - remove them or rather release them and pull the boot back so you can see underneath it.

Underneath the boot is a metal collar or cap - depress & rotate counter clockwise - it should come free and you should be able to lift the entire shift assembly out - you may have to yank if it's in between the rods - revealing the two shifter rods below - you should see a notch cut into the left rod, and a similar notch in a fitting on the end of the right rod

Get a large screwdriver and try to line up the two notches - move which ever rod will move in which ever direction is necessary - my guess (and it's a guess) is that you will be able to push the right rod forward.

If you do get the notches to line up - reinstall the lever (it will be in 4H) push it to the right and back to get it in 2H - slide under the vehicle & confirm that you can rotate the front drive shaft (transfer case to axle) by hand, before reassembling completely.
 

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Oh - the Haynes manual can be quite misleading - Max will be along sooner or later, and he can give you a link to download the factory manuals
 
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