Four-Wheel-Drive Basics: Replacing a Transfer Case Chain
Chain-driven transfer cases were designed for off-road use, and it uses a chain to drive both axels. Since these transfer cases endure a lot of beating when off-road, the chain gets stretched and worn-out. If it's not replaced, it can cause sprockets to fail or tear a hole in the transfer case. Replacing the transfer case chain by yourself is challenging but it will save you money.
Here are the steps, reminders, and tools that you need to help you replace your Cadillac SRX AWD's transfer case chain.
Tools that You'll Need:
- Car jack and jack stands
- Wrench and socket set
- A tube of silicone sealant
- Torx-head socket wrench
- Automatic transmission fluid (A.T.F)
- A can of automotive-grade grease
- Phillips and a flat-head screwdriver
- Brand new transfer case chain
- Always make sure that your vehicle is parked on a solid, level surface. Make sure that the emergency brakes are engaged before doing any type of work.
- Since you will be working on your vehicle's 4WD system, wear closed-toe shoes, safety goggles, and gloves for your own safety.
Step 1: Position the car jack underneath your vehicle to lift it off the ground. Place the jack stands at the vehicle's jacking points to ensure stability.
Step 2: Remove the vehicle's exhaust pipes. Use a torx-head wrench to loosen the front axle's torx-head bolts. Disconnect the front axle from the transfer case.
Step 3: Use a socket to remove the 19 and 17mm bolts inside the support plate assembly. Next, remove the four 15mm bolts securing the transmission support plate to the car.
Step 4: Use a torx-head wrench to disconnect the transfer case from the rear shaft drive.
Step 5: Remove the rear transmission shifter or gear selector, to access the transfer case bolts. Use a wrench to remove the 10mm bolt on the shifter linkage. It's a bolt that comes through the floor, underneath the car.
Step 6: Pull the gear selector linkage away and remove all the bolts securing the transfer case to the transmission.
Step 7: Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the transfer case off the vehicle's transmission. Be careful not to ruin the aluminum housing. Drain all the fluid from the transfer case and remove all the torx-head bolts from its side.
Step 8: Carefully take the transfer case apart horizontally because the gears may fall out. Take the chain out of the transfer case.
Step 9: Apply some grease on the new transfer case chain and carefully install it into the transfer case. Clean the transfer case housing before applying a silicone seal on it.
Step 10: Re-assemble the transfer case and fasten all the torx-head bolts with the torx wrench. Apply some grease on the transmission shaft before attaching the transfer case.
Step 11: Repeat steps 6 to 1, in reverse and be careful when securing the transfer case to the transmission.
Step 12: Fill the transfer case with automatic transmission fluid. Drive your vehicle to verify the repair.
Installing new transfer case chain will take about 2 hours for an expert DIYer and around 3 hours for a beginner. Exercise caution when working on your vehicle's four-wheel-drive system. Stay safe!