Believe it or not, this is good news. In fact, it is very good news. With my “slipping under boost/load” issue that I have been trying to diagnose, all signs have been pointing towards a viscous coupler or front differential failure. Today, I finally figured it out; unofficially.
I drove the car into town and put the car up on the lift. Once it was up in the air, I started the car, put it in gear, and then slowly let the clutch out. The front wheels spun and the back wheels did not; again. This time, we looked at the driveshaft. The driveshaft did not move, which was no surprise, but now it was verified. If the driveshaft did move and the back wheels still didn’t spin, that was represent a rear differential failure.
On the way home, I did a 2nd gear pull while watching the speedometer. While the car “slipped”, the needle on the speedo rose. At this point, I began thinking. Is my car really in FWD mode? Am I smoking my front tires?
I pulled off into a large, open dirt parking lot. With my head out the window, I watched the front wheels as I attempted to spin them. The front wheels did indeed spin in the gravel while the rear wheels just simply rolled along.
So, I pulled back onto the pavement and started recording this video below. I did a very mild burnout in first gear, then shifted into 2nd, then at the top of 2nd, I floored the throttle. Yep, the car is in fact in FWD mode and I am smoking the front wheels.
Once I got home, I jacked all four wheels up off of the ground and pulled the transfer case off. Visually, the transfer case looked fine. The splines where the output shaft slide into the transfer case looked OK. Next, I took a video of the output shaft as I started the car, put it in gear, and slowly let off of the clutch. The output shaft spun as it should which was a HUGE relief. This damn near proved that there was no transmission issues.
I decided to look further into the condition of the transfer case and removed the 5 bolts holding the cover onto it. Once it was off, I pulled out the pinion and could see the problem. The teeth on the gears were completely stripped. So, the output shaft was sending power to the transfer case, but with the stripped gears, the power was not leaving the transfer case, thus the driveshaft not moving.
Although I found the problem, I began scratching my head. Why was I able to drive this car around? With this failure, the car should barely be able to move, if at all. The transmission would have tried sending power to the wheels of least resistance. In this case, it would be the rear wheels because of the stripped gears.
I hung the driveshaft and lowered the car back onto the ground. Then I started the car and put it in gear. The car moved forwards and backwards with ease. There are only two things that would allow the car to be driveable with either the transfer case failure or no transfer case at all. A welded center differential or a VCE (Viscous Coupler Eliminator). I apparently have one of the two.
Tomorrow, I will probably run up to my dad’s place and grab the transfer case from Mary. I am hoping that it didn’t get screwed up from the accident. Fingers crossed.