I recently purchased a '77 3/4 ton P/U. It's actually not a pickup
anymore, it has been shortened and has a '51 Willys body on it. I
checked out the 4WD before I bought it and it seemed fine. Last week, I
went to use it (had to get up and down a mountain full of ice and snow),
and it worked great. The only thing is, it now seems the front hubs are
still locked. If I turn hard like in a u-turn it seems like it "binds" a
bit and is almost a bit "hoppy" like I was in 4WD but not as bad. I
haved tried what I think is 4W high and 4W lo and 2WD and I can tell the
difference between all 3 on dry pavement. I can't seem to find an
owner's manual for it so I am guessing at the 4WD operation. I appear to
have auto-locking hubs and the shifter is on the floor and I am assuming
it is as follows from front to back:
4W hi(indicator light comes on at this point)
So my questions are:
Is this correct?
If not, what is the proper procedure for getting in and out of 4WD for
Thanks for your help,
There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary,
and those who don't
IIRC, the '77 didn't have the option of 'autolock' hubs - they were manual
lock or just a solid sprag (you couldn't unlock 'em). That doesn't mean
that someone didn't add the autolocks later though, but can you describe
what the cap on your hubs looks like? Is it silver and flat with 6 bolts
around it? Is it silver and flat with no bolts around it? Is it any random
color with an I shaped handle in the middle?
That's the New Departure 203 chain drive transfer case, pretty much bullet
proof as long as you keep it in 2HI when you are on dry pavement,
To maintain thorough lubrication it needs to be exercised ( a mile or so)
through it's gears (2HI/4HI/N/2LO/4LO) every month or so. The more you
"work" this Transfer Case the slicker it works, don't "use" it at all and
you will find the shifter sticks like a bugger.
My '78 Chevy 3/4 ton is full time- no locking hubs, it's sometimes tough to
get into 4 wheel and with an Automatic tranny it's fiddly to get back out of
I often put the AutoTranny in Neutral pull the Transfer case shifter into
Neutral then turn off and crank the motor whilst pulling the T case shifter
into 4HI.(the Auto tranny has enough creep in Neutral to spin the input
shaft) and you will feel the dogs drop in to 2HI, careful don't pull it all
the way back into 4H.
By putting everything into Neutral you are unwinding the driveline just like
you would if you backed up to try to pop it out of 4 wheel. I've had mine
stick and having gone through several reversing maneuvers to try to kick it
out reverted to this restart in Neutral/Neutral mode to finally release the
Once you get the "Knack" you will wonder what anyone is talking about when
they say the 203 is cantankerous. Word of warning, don't loan the rig out
to anyone that is not familiar with how to work the transfer case, they can
do you a lot of driveline damage in 4wheel drive at high speeds on dry
Friends who have never driven one and "Wonder what this does" can really
"Do" your wallet.
Spud, Mountain climbing last weekend in the
ice and snow
with full jewelry (chains on all
four) up to at least
10mph once or twice.
They're silver, slightly rounded, no bolts. No handle, they're
definately not manual. Maybe they are just solid. If this is the case,
do I have the shifter opsitions right? Also, can I change these out for
manual hubs, or is is best to just leave them?
You've got the solid ones - and that means you've got a New Process 203
Full-time Transfer case.
Unless it's been converted to part time (Milemarker makes a kit for it),
you've got the first "all wheel drive" system! :-)
Your shift pattern if it's still a stock NP203 is: lo lock, lo, neutral,
hi, hi lock (with lo lock being closest to dashboard, hi lock being closest
to seat). You can switch between lock and unlock under load, but to shift
from hi to lo or back you need to be stopped and your transmission needs to
be in neutral. (even then sometimes it's a bit tricky - i've had to shut
off engine and let it spin down before I could get it to catch right)
If you have any more questions, give me a hollar....
Exactly right Jeremy, I had a 77 Silverado shorty HD half-ton with the
In high it would still put "some" power to the front wheels. Not sure about
the % split.
There was a spider set in the T-case that split power front to back. A solid
meshed with the spiders to make hi-lock. The major drawback was fuel
I put a Rough Country conversion kit in mine. The kit consisted of a set of
and a solid gear to replace the spider set. I went from 10-11 MPG to 14-15.
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