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I have a 2009 Jeep Wrangler. I was coming home from work and heard something like a pop and grind but was still able to drive the Jeep. I made it home and put it in reverse to pull in my driveway and the Jeep just stopped. Would not go in reverse or forward. Figured I had transmission problems and had it towed to the dealer. The dealer said the front transfer case exploded because I had it in 4WD and drove it on pavement. The night before I had it in 4WD but took it out of 4WD, was able to drive it 40 miles the next day to work and 40 miles home. How would I be able to do that if I was in 4WD? The dealer said this is not covered by warranty even though I have lifetime warranty. He said it was my fault. I don't understand. Anyone else have problems like this?
 

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Did they say that the shifter was still in the 4x4 position? If so, yes, it's your doing. If not, and the transfer case refused to leave 4x4, how we you to know? So it depends, was the shifter in 2wd or 4x4 position when they saw it?

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Is your Jeep completely stock? Have you made any modifications to the suspension or drive train?
 

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Yeah, that's kind of the thing.

It doesn't matter if the shifter is in or out of 4.

It is very possible for the shifter to be in 2 and for the front driveline to still be engaged. If the tension is not taken off the driveline, it is very possible for the shifter to be in 2 and the system to be bound up and not release the front driveline.

Boom!
 

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ok, but there are many obvious and tell-tell signs ( not to mention the actual feel) of a Jeep driving down the asphalt road in 4WD versus 2WD; particularly , I am pretty sure the OP would have had to turn on the tarmac road at some point during an 80mile round trip?
Not to mention the dash indicator of "4WD" being illuminated.

I follow the supposition the shifter linkage popped on him but even the newest of Jeep owners would 'feel' the drivetrain differences in 2 vs 4 wheel drive. Right , @meirli
You can tell if it is in 4wd just by the tactile feeling of how it handles, yes?

(edit: and I fully understand that the illuminator on dash may not illuminate when/if shifter was broken which this sounds like but I know I would not be able to drive my Jeep 80 miles down the road in 4WD without feeling and hearing it utterly handle like it should not on the road)
 

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Inthink dealer should always be named in posts like this. Good or bad we should all know. I would much perfer to support the dealers that support us. Just my 2¢
 

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I guess I have this scenario fresh in mind . I am not playing 'devil's advocate' , just hoping to help when I ask if OP could get us any images of the guts of the transfer case ?
Did you have any other symptoms or at least what "type" of 4WD driving were you doing the night before this happened?

(Use a web photo sharing by link site to create shareable links to images if you cannot post them yet @meirli

:jeep2:

(edit: on a slightly positive note , there is a replacement just up for sale and possibly suited for this situation should it wind up not being covered. Another post on jko by CT Performance)
 

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The shifter was in 2WD. How do I get the dealer to cover this? What do I tell them?
First rule: Know your enemy.

The dealer does not warranty anything. FCA warranties your jeep. The dealer is independently owned and licensed by FCA to sell and service its products. Most likely the dealer is doing a cost vs benefit analysis here. If they tell you it is covered, do the work and FCA refuses the warranty claim, they are out the money. So if they think there is a 20% chance FCA will not pay the claim, that may be a risk they are simply not willing to take.

Add to that that the dealer makes more money from a cash repair than from a warranty repair. You can bet money that if you tell the dealer to go ahead and repair it outside of warranty, they are going to make a higher profit margin than if they do it under warranty. (They most likely pay their techs differently for warranty work (less) than for cash repairs (more), but that is getting too deep in the weeds.)

What you need to do is get past the dealer and go directly to FCA. Call the customer service number for FCA and start a dialog with them. Ask the dealer to put you in touch with the FCA zone representative for FCA. They will probably balk at giving you his or her contact information, but who knows. When I have been able to get to the manufacturer zone rep, I have had incredible success in getting things resolved. The zone reps are in that job because they know how to get things resolved. Its what they do all day long.

Its always nice when the dealer has your back. Doesn't sound like that is the case here (color me surprised). So you need to get proactive and go around the dealer. Or just pony up for the repairs out of your own pocket.
 

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First rule: Know your enemy.

The dealer does not warranty anything. FCA warranties your jeep. The dealer is independently owned and licensed by FCA to sell and service its products. Most likely the dealer is doing a cost vs benefit analysis here. If they tell you it is covered, do the work and FCA refuses the warranty claim, they are out the money. So if they think there is a 20% chance FCA will not pay the claim, that may be a risk they are simply not willing to take.

Add to that that the dealer makes more money from a cash repair than from a warranty repair. You can bet money that if you tell the dealer to go ahead and repair it outside of warranty, they are going to make a higher profit margin than if they do it under warranty. (They most likely pay their techs differently for warranty work (less) than for cash repairs (more), but that is getting too deep in the weeds.)

What you need to do is get past the dealer and go directly to FCA. Call the customer service number for FCA and start a dialog with them. Ask the dealer to put you in touch with the FCA zone representative for FCA. They will probably balk at giving you his or her contact information, but who knows. When I have been able to get to the manufacturer zone rep, I have had incredible success in getting things resolved. The zone reps are in that job because they know how to get things resolved. Its what they do all day long.

Its always nice when the dealer has your back. Doesn't sound like that is the case here (color me surprised). So you need to get proactive and go around the dealer. Or just pony up for the repairs out of your own pocket.
^^^^^^What He Said ^^^^^^^^
The dealers are not your friend when they see dollar signs .
Most, not all dealers have that mindset , but unfortunately most generally do .
FCA will try to protect the dealers assessment , until they don't have any stable ground to stand on .
There have been other instances of transfer cases self destructing due to vibrations caused by excessive lift elevations compounded by improper pinion angles .
If you could would you provide more information about your Jeep in regard to modifications if any , and what you noticed by the way of your days previous wheeling trip that may have something to do with the failure .
Did you damage your front driveshaft ? By dragging it across anything , we just need more information to be able to help .
Regardless of what you may have done yourself , most of these failures are a bound up drive train or a vibration issue .

Where are you located , and which dealer are you talking about ?
I'm certain that someone here can guide you to a dealer near you that may be willing to help .

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Our Jeep still has factory parts. It is not lifted. We call it our parade Jeep because we rarely take it off road. Nothing unusual happened when we had it in 4WD or took it out of 4WD. We were moving an empty horse trailer from one area of our property to another. We assumed it was back in 2WD because we drove it to work with no problem and only heard that pop and grind on the way home. We took it in because we thought it was the transmission. We were very surprised when we found out it was the transfer case.
 

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Most T-case failures result from driveshaft alignment issues and driveshaft joint wear. Not from the stresses of turning sharply in 4wd on high friction surfaces.

I would follow Nucleophile's advice.
 
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