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Discussion Starter #1
hello everyone . Been a bit since I posted but I'm in a pickle. Ive looked all over to try to find info on a specific thing. So I purchased a 1991 suzuki side kick 4x4 with the 5 spd and I bought it from an older gentleman . I am the second owner. The kick was at my friends house who happens to be a general motors master technician for roughly the last 30 years and was working on it for the person I bought it from . He said that he thought the needle bearing in the transfer case output shaft was going out because at almost exactly 55 mph it vibrates pretty harshly and only at 55 mph. You can feel it through the 4x4 shifter quite well. So my question is. Where can I find the needle bearing and rear seal to the rear output of the transfer case and what am I looking at to replace it. Part numbers would be incredibly helpful or any other ideas that might be causing this vibration. I'm inclined to trust my coworker/friend but I am open to any assistance. Thank you in advance
 

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While I cannot say if your friend is correct or not (and I would hope that others might chime in here) you can search the link here for your part number:

That being said, I would investigate MUCH more thoroughly before doing any repair by virtue of someone’s ‘thought’. I would venture to say that the transfer case was probably not used all that much - and also venture to say that potentially GM techs were not all that familiar with Suzukis - which is what your car actually is. Also, 55mph in 3rd, 4th or 5th would have different rev values. Normally, in 5th, 55 mph is about 3000 rpm - when you hit 3000 rpm in other gears (so, going slower) do you still have the vibration? I assume that you know that these are part time 4wd, and should never be driven in 4wd on dry surfaces, where one of the wheels is unable to slip......so that you’re saying you have this vibration when you are in 2wd, correct?
 
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Low Range Off Road sells transfer case rebuild kits, and similar kits are available from several other sources, including Amazon & ebay.

Personally I've not had issues with transfer case vibration so I really don't want to chime in on probability of bearing failure, but I will point out that an out of balance drive shaft will also cause speed specific vibration that will be felt in the transfer case shifter. It's worth mentioning that, to some extent, the transfer case is always in use, as that is how power is sent to the rear wheels - about the only thing in there that is not constantly turning is the front output shaft. Output shaft needle bearings are perhaps a common failure point as the sliding yoke design does allow a certain degree of exposure & contamination.

Incidentally - the transfer case is the penultimate step in the drive train and because it's after the transmission, it's not affected by gear selection.

Rebuilding the transfer case is not that difficult a job and should be well within the skill set of a 30 year GM master tech, assuming that he has the necessary tools - downloadable soft copy manuals are available should he need those.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
While I cannot say if your friend is correct or not (and I would hope that others might chime in here) you can search the link here for your part number:

That being said, I would investigate MUCH more thoroughly before doing any repair by virtue of someone’s ‘thought’. I would venture to say that the transfer case was probably not used all that much - and also venture to say that potentially GM techs were not all that familiar with Suzukis - which is what your car actually is. Also, 55mph in 3rd, 4th or 5th would have different rev values. Normally, in 5th, 55 mph is about 3000 rpm - when you hit 3000 rpm in other gears (so, going slower) do you still have the vibration? I assume that you know that these are part time 4wd, and should never be driven in 4wd on dry surfaces, where one of the wheels is unable to slip......so that you’re saying you have this vibration when you are in 2wd, correct?
Oh absolutely! And yes the reasoning behind the thought it might be t-case is its only in 5th gear and only at 55 mph.
 

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If vibration is only in 5th gear, then it is not from output side. If vibration is speed related and vibrates the same in any gear at one speed, then is when I would look at output side. This sounds more like a transmission issue to me due to it being present only in 5th gear. Rear output is a needle bearing that requires rear casting removal to replace. Driveshaft yolk is softer than needles and will show wear first.

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What's the possibility that it may also vibrate in other gears but has only been noticed in 5th because of the road speed involved? How often would you get to 55 mph in the lower gears? I can do 55 mph in 3rd, 4th or 5th, but it's quite rare for me to be driving that fast in the lower gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll wrap it out it 4th gear today to 55 and see if the vibration still occurs . I vaguely remember that it does still occur in 4th as well at 55 just from trying to get on the freeway. But I'm usually paying more attention to not getting squished than a vibration haha and I don't hit 55 in 3rd ever usually 4th getting on the freeway is much more likely trying to out run the truckers
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok so it does vibrate in all gears. Now heres a question. Can I just replace the rear case half without ha ing to yank the transfer case?
 

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Meaning that it’s basically not vibrating at ’55mph’ but rather vibrating at about 3000 rpm? My next question would be how much of a vibration? My transfer case shifter vibrates as well - so does my tranny shifter - I can feel both if my hand is on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh no I'm sorry I meant it vibrates at 55 in all gears I appologize. I know the 4x4 shifter vibrates that's normal but this is border line violent at 55.i also have a 92 geo tracker 4x4 5 spd im able to compare and contrast to. The geo is smooth in operation where as the suzuki is also smooth right up to 55 mph whether its in 4th gear or 5th .
 

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I'm going to suggest you drain the transfer case lubricant and remove the rear drive shaft and verify the UJs are good, once that has been done, consider rebuilding the transfer case - I'm not certain if the rear case can be removed in situ, but I would not suggest replacement of that one bearing by itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That was my original plan for sure. Sadly I don't ha e the 300 plus dollars to throw at a rebuild right now . Mostly I just need it to get me to work for a bit till I can rebuild it
 

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I live in Australia and I have a 1988 Sierra 5speed. I had problems with 5th gear, and when I tried downshifting one day the transmission locked me out completely. Upon disassembly, the three main gear bearings has disintegrated, but the needle bearings were fine. Replacement cost of three main bearings amounted to about $30. Transfer case was not touched. End of problem. The car has 150K miles so not unexpected for a Suzuki.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That would be about the mileage of mine I beleive. At work today I got it on a lift (I work for a general motors dealer) and pulled the rear drive shaft. The u-joints are brand new literally but the slip yoke shaft was pitted badly in two places almost on exact opposite ends of each other. Pitted isn't quite the word I think it was "scored" with pitting marks about 1.5 inches long and .75 inches wide and they were deep (could feel it with finger tips easily) the wierd thing was there wasn't any directional gouges just straight down pitting. There was alot of play in the drive shaft before removal but when it was out the bearings seemed ok no play I could tell with a pick and the seal seemed pretty old. So I contacted a junk yard for a slip yoke found the seal and I beleive i found the bearing online. Next big question is if I get a set of reverse jaw pullers can I yank that bearing out rear axel side or does it have to come out the front (interior) of the case half? Its not the trans that I know for sure after my inspection today. The level of play in the output was upwards of 1/8inch maybe more
 

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I live in Australia and I have a 1988 Sierra 5speed. I had problems with 5th gear, and when I tried downshifting one day the transmission locked me out completely. Upon disassembly, the three main gear bearings has disintegrated, but the needle bearings were fine. Replacement cost of three main bearings amounted to about $30. Transfer case was not touched. End of problem. The car has 150K miles so not unexpected for a Suzuki.
Different vehicle, different transmission, different transfer case, different problem - why are you even responding?
 

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Next big question is if I get a set of reverse jaw pullers can I yank that bearing out rear axel side or does it have to come out the front (interior) of the case half?
At work today I got it on a lift (I work for a general motors dealer) and pulled the rear drive shaft.
Surely the GM dealership you work for has the Tracker service manuals to guide you in this process - the Suzuki FSM manuals I have show the bearing being removed from the inside of the case.

Regarding removal of the rear case "in-situ", it might be possible, but the first step requires removal of the shift lever as well as some components down in the case, so it means working through a hole in the transmission tunnel, not an ideal situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well crap. I was hopi g I could pull it from the axel side. And I did my research on the transfer case pull without pulling the tranny and I can do it but im not gonna be happy about it. The shifter case has me wierded out. If that's the case then I will just replace the transfer case with a used one. The whole fight and kick about it is i have to do it in the driveway and on stands. No the dealer i work for wont let me use the lift on weekends lol
 

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If that's the case then I will just replace the transfer case with a used one.
Are you familiar with the term "buying a pig in a poke"?

This is personal preference, but I'd rather rebuild what I have and know what inside, than fit a used case with an unknown history.
 
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