1999 Dodge Dakota 4x4 transfer case failure

Hi, I am looking for some information, or other people who have had similar situations. My truck has 150,000 miles on it without any truly hard use. Has had fairly regular preventative maintenance. About 1 1/2
weeks ago, a regular clunk developed under the hood. It would get faster as the truck moved faster. I took it to two different shops and asked them both to please check the U-joints. The first shop said, Yeah, they're a little loose, but not bad. The second shop told me I needed the ball joints replace. I know the difference between ball joint noise and U-joint noise. Well needless to say, last Friday evening, I had a catastrophic failure of the transfer case. Not only did it basically disintegrate internally, but the outer case broke into parts. I lost the front driveline, the transfer case, and have a huge dent in the transmission oil pan. Has anyone else had similar problems? Thanking you in advance. Ardis @ Eagle View
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Eagle View wrote:

Sounds like it was low on oil and siezed up or it was in 4wd without you knowing it for a while and the chain wore and stretched and tried to jump a tooch and self destructed. Your level of damage strongly suggests it was in 4wd when it failed where it was selected or not because in 2wd is is a simple pass thru unit with very few internal parts moving.
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Basically true; both are possible.

False. The NV transfer cases are a shift on the fly unit. As such, they use a synchronizer and a slider to engage 4WD. Therefore, the front output shaft MUST be rotating in order to engage smoothly. Further, the oil pump is driven by the output shaft. Also, gear reduction uses a planetary gearset. This gearset is always rotating, since its driven off the input shaft. As such, almost everything in the transfer case is rotating at any given time, particularly because its a shift on the fly unit.
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Max Dodge wrote:

You are incorrect. If the front shaft is rotating it is because the either the front axle disconnect has failed to disconnect or the Tcase has failed becuase shift on the fly does not mean the the front ouput shaft is awaly turnin because if it was , it would always be in 4x4. When shift on the fly came out, the added a syncronizer to 4wd on some Tcases to add engagement and a few on them even have electric clutch that engages via syncronizers for front output shaft even though they may have a floor shifter too. On full sized HD truck they did away with front axle disconnect completer so front output shaft is always turning but it is being driven by the front axle, not by tcase when in 2wd. Poor design that wastes a bit of extra fuel too.
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On a Dakota, there is no "axle disconnect", as it uses halfshafts. As such, the halfshafts are always turning, and so is the differential. Since the front driveshaft is connected directly to the differential, it will turn.
In order to have a smooth shift on the fly to 4WD, the front shaft MUST be turning. Since it is not locked in at the transfer case, it is NOT in 4x4 mode.

There is no electric clutch. The electric shift utilizes a servo motor and literally shifts the case for you by turning a "knob" which would normally be connected to a stick coming up through the floor. I have a 231 style (includes the 232, 233, and variants of them) case sitting in the garage if you would like pics of it, since obviously you haven't seen one.

More rubbish. Since you don't mention a year, its impossible to confirm or deny your claim. However, on my "full size HD truck", the CAD is plainly visible on the passenger side of the front axle. Thus, for the 94-2002 Rams, you are incorrect.
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The Truck is a 1999 Dakota with a 5.1 V8 Extended Cab. It has been a really great truck with very little trouble before this. We have had oil changes and maintenance usually at the 3000 mile mark and once in a while out as far as 5000 miles. The shop that is working on it said that the gears looked in good shape and they had never seen a failure like this before. Are there really 9 different Transfer setup in the Dakota lineup? They said that they had to have one assembled as we had blown the part number off the case with it came apart. Thanks Lowell @ Eagle View Home of the 5MM Craig
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