These e-mails are the results of discussions between myself, some WillysTech Members and two individuals that purchased “New” T-90 transmissions and Model 18 Transfer cases from Krage ( 

Phil Christensen

Jim Crandall crandall@Radix.Net

Rick Stivers

Date: Sat Aug 11, 2001 4:30 am

Subject: T90 Experts out there...bad synchro plate!

Well, I'm really in a pickle now. T-minus 5 days and counting and I'm driving (towing actually) Willy to Utah to show off all my hard work. Up late tonight installing my brand new T90 and as I'm checking it out I realize my clutch hub just doesn't want to slide into 2nd or 3rd gear.

A quick mainshaft removal reveals one of my three synchronizer plates is busted! Oh no, woe is me!!

I’ve come to the list looking for advice once again. Odds are very slim I'll be able to track down a new one here in town.

These things look kind of like a tiny rectangular box with the sides folded down along four sides. One of the short sides (the edge that strikes up against the blocking ring) has snapped off.

Is there anyway I can use this thing? Temporarily? Am I just courting disaster?

I'm going to finish pulling out the old tranny tomorrow and will see if my old one can offer a donor synchro plate, but since that poor thing has been grinding it's way into second horribly for the last several months, I really doubt any of the three in there are worth salvaging. Philip Christensen (Flipper)

 Date: Sat Aug 11, 2001 9:37 am

Subject: Re: [WT] T90 Experts out there...bad synchro plate!

The used plate from the old T-90 should get you by. The synchro rings wear but I've taken a lot of transmissions of different kinds apart and haven't seen those worn out. Good luck. John '56 Pickup TKER TOY

Thanks john,

I'll get out there and dig into the old one. It sure is nice to have you all out there as an "audience". Hopefully I can find the broken tang in the new one quickly and easily without tearing it down too far. Fortunately I have Rick’s tape to guide me. Matter of fact, had it not been for that tape, I never would have caught this and surely would have tried driving this beast as is. Disaster and another rebuild would surely have followed!! I can't recommend Rick’s rebuild tape highly enough to anyone working on their old T90!! Regards, Philip Christensen (Flipper)


Date: Mon Aug 13, 2001 2:57 am

Subject: T90 saga continues...

Well, after a heck of a weekend spent almost entirely with Willy, I am now completely whipped, with plenty of bruised knuckles, banged knees and I have now added several choice swear words to my vocabulary. 

Quick rant: One for PO who decided to substitute a regular hex bolt for the allens on the front bearing retainer...grrrr.. makes it a bit hard to bolt up you dweeb. For the dufus who welded in my custom time try and leave me more than 1 inch around when I tell you to make sure I have room to pull the tranny! To the guy who put together this T90 with a broken synchro plate, you better keep low for a while! Lastly one more growl at the PO who used the wrong couplings to connect for the feed line to my oil pressure gauge causing a steady oil drip for the last 10 years to completely coat every nook and cranny of my drive train with 1/4" of grit and baked on oil.

Revelations: Yes, you can install the tranny first then attach the transfer case. Matter of fact, I wish I had tried this first! Yes, that throwout bearing can and will drop down into the bellhousing if you give it a chance (grr) If you have an engine adapter (in my case for the 225-V6), bolt the adapter plate to the tranny BEFORE trying to stab!

Anyway, now that that's out of the way. Thanks John for the advice, my old T90 did indeed have a good sync plate for recycling. Whew!

I am concerned about one thing though. This has to be the tightest doggone manual I've ever seen. It's impossible to shift into 2nd or 3rd. Before putting it in, I looked at everything in the synchro assembly at least a dozen times to be sure nothing was out of whack, but it sure seems OK. After getting it in and bolting on the tower I tried a test and if I bump the engine very briefly I can get into all gears, but at a standstill there is no way! Can I expect this to loosen up? I'm praying this is just what brand new synchros act like, but don't have any direct experience to fall back on here.

One more potential disaster on my hand. This one has me most scared. My clutch isn't clutching anymore. By that, I mean the pedal feels normal as I press down right up until the pedal should be disengaging the clutch. As I press down the pedal just stops cold and will not budge. Matter of fact, it feels more like brakes than a clutch (I'm tired, but not so tired I would mix up the pedals, so it's not that). I've checked the pivot arm, cable, return spring etc and all is where it should be. I KNOW the t90 is stabbed through the throwout bearing properly and if my fork was goofed up somehow, I would expect the travel to feel radically different. Seems like I'm making a habit of coming here desperate, this time I'm scared to death I'm going to have to pull that whole darned thing out again. I honestly can't tell if my clutch pivot fork is sticking out of the bellhousing farther or closer than it was before. I didn't look closely at it before I started. It seems right.

I humbly ask for kind words of encouragement and hopefully a simple soltution. It's been a long hard weekend and Willy is getting the better of me. Philip Christensen (Flipper)

 Date: Mon Aug 13, 2001 5:53 pm

Subject: Re: [WT] T90 saga continues...

Phil, Your clutch petal should go all the way to the floor without binding. Is the clutch disengaging completely? I suspect that when you find the binding it will shift better. Did you trans slide up all the way or did you have to pull it up with the bolts? Pull the top cover off and check the output shaft with the trans and transfer case in neutral. It should turn freely. Make sure the syncro plates are seated in the notches of the rings properly. It sounds like something isn't seated properly. With any luck you can fix it without pulling the trans. But you may have to pull the transfer case. Good luck

 Date: Mon Aug 13, 2001 7:38 pm

Subject: Re: [WT] T90 saga continues...

Phil, Every trans I have ever put together would shift by moving the synchro clutch hub with the trans on the bench. Not easily but the thing would shift. That is a good place to start.

As far as the clutch disengagement feel is concerned. I suspect the pivot point on the clutch release lever is not where it should be. This *might* cause the binding you are experiencing. I hope the light of day sheds good fortune and knowledge on your situation. Ric –


Date: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:37 am

Subject: T90 installed - whew!!

Well, thanks to everyone for trying to pitch in and help. My new T90 is finally snug and tight where it belongs and my clutch even works now. 

Turns out the problem was very simple after all. I had my neighbor work the clutch pedal while I crawled underneath and watched everything move. All was hooked up fine except the fork itself had slipped off its little pivot ball. As I looked at it, it just didn't seem to be sticking out as far as it was supposed to, so I wedged a screwdriver in there and pulled it out and was greeted by a very satisfying sounding "click". The moment I heard that I knew what had happened. The fork was shoved in so darned far the two fingers weren't trying to push on the throwout bearing with its "fingertips" but instead the fingers were completely wrapped into the groove. Pressing the clutch pedal started pulling on that fork thereby trying to twist the bearing rather than forcing it to it slide forward like it was supposed to. All is well and it took all of 60 seconds to fix :)

As for the binding, that tranny was really really stiff to turn before I even installed it. I'm still a bit worried, but a lot less now. Since it does slide into all gears when things are spinning inside, I'm pretty sure those synchros are just tighter than all heck and a few trips around the block filled up with gear oil should gradually loosen it up (I hope). All I know is the Willys gods are going to have to score a direct hit with one major bolt of lightning to get me to pull that darned thing back out again. LOL.

I'm now just left with two minor little things to take care of. The joker who rebuilt that tranny must have run a tap through the drain and fill holes. And I mean he ran them ALL THE WAY through! Therefore my plugs just keep right on going and never bottom out as I try and install them. I'm hoping I can find a pair of new pugs at Napa or something that have a head on them. Or maybe screw them in halfway, get a nylon washer and big nut to screw on the exposed threads. I'll figure out something. After what I've been through this should be easy (yeah right!). Thanks for all the advice gang :)

Tonight I will be sleeping much better. I might just make it to Utah with Willy in tow yet! regards, Philip Christensen (Flipper)

 Date Wed, 29 Aug 2001 4:01:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,

Rick, just looked over you T90 rebuild guide and it looks great. If I decide to rebuild mine ( and it needs it) I will be using it. In the article you mentioned that you can buy rebuilt T90's for $400. Can you tell me where that is. I have not been able to fine anyone who has them. Thanks , Jim Crandall 

Subj: Re: t90 rebuild

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 4:34:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Jim, I'm glad you liked the guide. Rob Pearson put together a really good rebuild video to go along with the guide too. As for complete rebuilt T-90s with the shift tower they can be bought from Krage at: Once there select T-90 and pick your selection. I hope this helps. Rick Stivers

 Rick, thanks for the help. I just ordered a new T90 and a transfer case. Jim  

Jim, Make sure to dry run everything on the bench before installing it to make sure it all works properly. Most have worked fine but I did have one guy with a bad synchronizer plate in his new T-90 that was causing it to bind. Studying the rebuild guide allowed him to quickly repair the tranny. Let me know how you like your new parts. Rick Stivers

 Re: t90 rebuild

Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 7:35:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Rick, thanks for the tip. Do you install both at the same time or do you install separately? JC

 Jim,  I found it much easier to install the tranny and then the T-case. When I tried to install them together it was just too heavy. Here's another tip, Replace the top two bolts with studs. That way you can hang the T-case on the back of the tranny with very little effort. Make sure you seal the threads on both the studs and the bolts.  Rick Stivers 

Date: Thu Sep 6, 2001 1:51 am

Subject: (was) T90 Woes...Brake problems...(now)on the road :)

Well all, Those of you who've followed and helped me along the way I offer many thanks. Not the least of which goes out to Rick and Rob for the great rebuild T90 tape (I can't recommend that tape enough, it saved my bacon) and Pete here in San Diego for some high priced brake parts.

I did succeed in getting Willy safely out to Moab and back. It was a great week of playing with the family and I've even got a bunch of new parts. It looked pretty bleak for a while there but some long hours right up until the last minute to get the tranny, transfer case, linkages, wiring, gauges all put back to where they belonged.

The new tranny turns out to run just fine. I was really worried about it being so stiff, but one night setting bathed in fresh oil and she already shifted into all gears and after a few miles under her belt feels fine. The transfer case ended up being quite a disappointment as it leaks like a sieve out the "brand new" front shaft seal and three of the rear case bolts. Since it was bought as a "fresh unit all ready to go" I'm not too happy, but I guess I got what I paid for.

Buyer beware, there are serious downsides to buying mail order. If I were a schoolteacher I'd have to give Krage a C- overall. They took what seemed forever to deliver (three weeks instead of 1), when it did arrive I was missing key parts (shifter boots and fill/drain plugs) and the overall condition of theD18 was not good. Sure it looked fresh, but under the shiny gloss paint was a lot of rust and they even painted the critical mating surface between T90 and D18 and the rear bearing seat. I have no doubts this case won't last anywhere near as long as the original unit it replaced, but oh well, we live and learn. It is running and as long as I don't mind spending a couple minutes madly tugging yanking and jerking levers (can you say hard to shift?) I can even go 4 Wheeling and if I get lost on the road, I even have a trail of 90W breadcrumbs behind me that I can follow back home. (anyone know if that front seal can be replaced without D18 removal/disassembly? After doing it once, I'm not too keen on pulling it again in the near future unless someone holds a gun to my head)

Still much work to do, but I've started using Willy as my temporary daily commuter as I identify the rest of the weak spots and thanks again to all those who've helped so far.  Philip Christensen (Flipper)


I got this very disturbing e-mail from another Willys friend and felt that I should pass it on to you. I'm sorry that it is after the fact but maybe it's better late than never. I'm not saying your parts will be like his but I do recommend replacing the front and rear seals with the double-lipped seals I list on my web page and make sure everything on the yokes is polished and sealed. In addition, I would remove each bolt one at a time and seal the threads. Make sure to look your units over very carefully and let me know if you have any problems. I can provide you with all of the previous discussions on Phil's problems if you need me to. Rick Stivers

 Dear Phil,

--- Phil Christensen <> wrote:

> If I were a school teacher I'd have to give Krage a C- overall. >

Have you contacted them about this? I have dealt with them several times and have had outstanding service. I'm willing to bet large sums of your money that Krages obtains their rebuilt transfer cases from a wholesale rebuilder. It was probably shipped directly from the rebuilder, not Krages. If that is the case, Krages may not even be aware of the poor service and substandard quality unless you tell them.

From my dealings with Krages, they should stand behind their products and will do whatever is needed to correct the situation. That may include using a different source for future rebuilds and compensating you for the repairs you need to do. Please let us know what happens, good or bad, after you contact Krages.

>(anyone know if that front seal can be replaced without D18 removal/disassembly? >

Funny you should ask:

Once you get the skidplate out of the way, access is not too bad. Make sure the yoke's sealing surface is smooth. Here are details about the same type of yoke/seal combo used on the axle, and possible repairs for it: Regards, Dr. Vern in Vancouver, WA

 Date: Thu Sep 6, 2001 8:33 pm

Subject: Re: [WT] (was) T90 Woes...Brake problems...(now)on the road :)

Phil, Are you talking about the front driveshaft seal? Remove the yoke and run sheet metal screws into the seal 180 degs apart and use a claw hammer to pop it out. When you put the new seal in use grease on the yoke to lube the seal until oil can get worked into it. If you don't it will start leaking again real soon. Try using some nonhardening sealer on the rear case bolts to try and seal them. Glad to hear you had a good trip. John '56 Pickup TKER TOY 

Thanks for the advice John (and "Vern").

Sheet metal screws and a good tug I can deal with so long as I don't have to pull the TCase. I just have to pray the shaft isn't rusty or scored which caused this thing to leak in the first place by nicking the seal or something. From what I could tell the seal does look brand new it just leaks like he%%, so I may end up finding something I don't want to. Something must have caused it to go bad. I'll definitely remember to grease that Yoke - thanks. I did email Krage about the first problem I spotted which was a broken Synchronizer Plate (the broken shard was lying in the bottom of the T90 just waiting to create trouble) and got no response. I was hoping they'd be able to send me a replacement quickly by just dropping a new one in an envelope and mailing it off. After all, it is just a 50 cent item but got no reply back whatsoever. Fortunately I was able to salvage one still in good condition from my old T90 and use that.

The boot they forgot to add did get replaced, but they balked at the shipping, so like the dufus I am I went ahead and let them off the hook and bought more stuff so they could just drop it in the same box (I needed new windshield seals anyway). I still didn't get it until it was way too late much longer than another week so I drove around Utah with a hole in my floor.

The leak I haven't addressed yet. I tend to just walk away from situations like this bit**ing and grumbling then take my business elsewhere rather than become a constant naggy customer who calls over and over again about one transaction. I could keep on complaining to them, but it probably would only make both me and John Krage unhappy and I'm not in the mood to wait another three weeks for them to send me a new seal anyway. I'll probably just go down to Napa and get one there and with a little luck it'll be sealed up tight this weekend. I'd sure like to stop leaving behind basketball size puddles of 90W every time I park the Willys for more than a couple hours.

Now the next task is to see if I can get that 250 ft-lb Yoke bolt loose - argh. Oh well, the joy of Willy has it's price, at least we're on the road again. regards and happy trails to all :) Phil Christensen

Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 3:26 pm

Subject: RE: [WT] (was) T90 Woes...Brake problems...(now)on the road :) Hmm, when John sent me the wrong clutch bellcrank he sent me a new one express and told me to send him the old one whenever I felt like it and he credited the postage to my next purchase. I called him on the phone and he was very nice and helpful. I hope you get it resolved! Regards, Josiah

 Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 3:44 pm

Subject: Re: [WT] (was) T90 Woes...Brake problems...(now)on the road :)

Phil, if you do happen to find a rusty or scored shaft , there is a repair sleeve called a "Speedy Sleeve" which is a thin sleeve designed to fit over the existing shaft that will accommodate the new seal. It's a good and easy fix if a shaft is scored where the seal rides. It's not readily available at auto parts stores but any good industrial bearing supply store will know what you are talking about and can tell you how to prep the shaft for them. Just take the old seal or get a good shaft dia. measurement for them to match. I used one on both my pinion shafts. I brightened the shaft with emery cloth, installed the speedy sleeve, replaced the seal and refilled with a 50-50 mix of regular and synthetic gear lube and have not had a single leak (knock wood). It's a cheap and easy try before going into the differential, transmission or transfer case. Sam Akins

 Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 4:04 pm

Subject: Re: [WT] (was) T90 Woes...Brake problems...(now)on the road :)

Phil, I've been giving this one some thought while I let others weigh in with their opinions and ideas.

Let's take this thing one step at a time.

1. I've never had a single lipped seal work properly on the outputs of the T-case. Some folks have had success but after about 5 leaking cases I gave up on them. That is why I now install double-lipped seals in mine (National Federal Mogul oil seal Part # 473229). These should be available though a local bearing company.

2. Even if you use the double seal you should check the outside diameter of the yokes to see if there are any nicks, grooves, cuts, rust, or pits that would damage the seal. If there are, they will need to be carefully removed and the shaft polished until it shines like a mirror. You can install a Speedi Sleeve but I have found them to be pricey, and the way I see it, if the shaft is bad, Krage owes you a new yoke.

3. Before installing the new seals I would slip the yokes on and run the t-case to see if you have any wobble on the shaft of the yoke. If it was incorrectly machined it could be out of round. If it is out of round it will need to be replaced.

4. Make sure to seal the outside edge of the seal when you install it. I have seen some that didn't leak on the shaft but leaked from the outside edge of the seal.

Let me know how things work out with Krage. I've been sending folks to them and if they don't provide quality parts and service I need to know. Rick Stivers 

Thanks Rick and Sam,

You guys are really giving me some great tips and I'm madly scribbling these notes down so I'll remember them all when I crawl back underneath.

Rick you have a point, with everything all installed, I can't tell if the seal is leaking from the shaft or perhaps the outside. I'm going to look real close at my drips before yanking it out to make sure I understand the source.

Since this was one of the few parts I didn't rip apart and put back together (I basically just slapped her in) I wasn't entirely clear on how the seal/shaft/yoke arrangement is put together. Now that I look closely at the exploded diagram I see the seal actually rides on the yoke and not the shaft as I previously thought. Obviously I would have quickly realized this once I got everything apart, but it's nice to know what I'm looking for.

You also have a point about using double-lipped seals. If there is one that fits it does sound like a better insurance policy to me. I did find a local bearing store that has a couple of the ones you mentioned. For $7 each it's worth it.

>jmarks...also was the right diameter shaft used for your case?>

I would have no way of knowing until I look at it, but I would hope so since the whole thing was bought as a single unit. Are you talking about the output shaft diameter or the yoke sealing surface diameter? Both?

The real PITA part is draining all that nice virgin oil for the bjillionth time. Including my previous attempts at trying to recover the old water-contaminated T90/D18 this will make the fourth time I've drained and filled these cases. I should buy stock in Valvoline. I'm sure glad I haven't been using synthetic (wallet-wise). I'll let everyone know how this chapter comes out. Thanks again. Phil Christensen 

Phil, One last thing, before installing the seal, trial fit it on the yoke to make sure it fits snug. If it fits too loose it will still leak. Rick Stivers 

Date: Sat Sep 8, 2001 9:19 am

Subject: Re: [WT] (was) T90 Woes...Brake problems...(now)on the road :)

Phil, One more thing, Make sure to seal the inside of the yoke. I use RTV for that job. If you don't seal the yoke inside, the oil will leak past the splines and out around the washer and nut. I think I cover most of this in the rebuild guide. Have a great week end. Rick Stivers 

Rick, thanks for getting back to me. It looks like the front brass blocking ring is not or is tight on the main drive gear. I called John Krage and he told me it is always tight when installed but the last thing you do before you put on the shifter is to make sure that these brass rings are free.??? How do you free them with out breaking them?? Reading the emails you sent me it looks like maybe I just need to install it and it will free up? What do you think? Nothing looks broken. Thanks Jim Crandall


Jim, Here are the e-mails that were sent in over the last month. All of the problems are with Phil's T-90 and Model 18. Some of the problems were caused by him, but most of them were not. Remember that a freshly rebuilt T-90 will be almost impossible to turn by hand. That is because the front felt seal is crushed against the main gear. This will loosen up after the first few hundred miles. Rick Stivers

 Rick, just looked over the new T-90. I cannot get it to spin. Cannot even get it in neutral. This is crap. This is why I wanted to buy a " NEW" one in the first place. If I can't fix this easily I'm going to put it in a box and send it back. Don't they even check them over before they send them out? I'll keep you informed on the progress. I was supposed to go to Big Dog"S this weekend but I guess that is out! JC 

 Subj: Re: t-90

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 1:01:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Jim, Let's take this one step at a time.

 1st off the clutch sleeve should be in the middle position  and the first reverse sliding gear should be in the middle position for it to be in neutral. Once you are sure

that you are in neutral wrap a rag around the main gear shaft and clamp a pair of vice grips over the rag.  With the vice grips you should be able to rotate the gear. 

In neutral, only the main gear and cluster gear should rotate.  In a really tight case the main shaft may turn also but you should be able the hold it in place with your

hand while you rotate the gear.  If it rotates and you don't hear any grinding then it is probably ok.  If not you will need to remove the mainshaft and inspect the

blocking rings to make sure they are lined up properly.  To do that follow these steps from the rebuild guide: 

“2m. Slide the clutch sleeve forward on the mainshaft. You will want it to slide as far forward as it will go without popping off the synchronizer springs.

 2n. Slide the mainshaft complete with the front synchronizer blocking ring backwards, then tilt the front end upward to clear the cluster gear and slide it out of the case through the rear opening. (Some T-90s have the counter shaft locking plate installed over the top of the rear-bearing adapter. This will prevent the rear-bearing

adapter from being removed. If this is the case on your T-90 you will need to remove the locking plate as described in step 2o - 2q prior to removing the mainshaft.

This may prove to be difficult due to the limited space for accessing the reverse idler gear shaft with the mainshaft installed. In this case brute force applied to the

locking plate may be required.)

 Merl - Disassembly was easy, the hardest part was getting that locking plate out of the slots on the rear of the two shafts. As Rick mentioned, mine was inserted from the top down and I couldn't get the rear bearing adapter plate off without first removing this plate. I bunged up the plate really well and wound up getting a replacement for it.”

Most likely when you do this the pilot bearings will fall out of the maingear.   If you stand the tranny on its nose first you might not have this happen. If they do fall out

you can use a 3/4" piece of dowel rod in the middle to reinstall them.  The three notches in the blocking rings should mate to the three synchronizer blocking rings. 

Make sure that both blocking rings are mated to the plate and reinstall the mainshaft.  Now check for a free spinning shaft. 

Next you will want to shift the tranny through all 4 gears.   

1st will come with the clutch sleeve in the center position and the 1st/Reverse gear slid to the forward position.  

2nd is with the clutch sleeve slid to the rear and the 1st/Reverse gear slid to the middle position. 

3rd is with the clutch sleeve slid to the forward position and the 1st/Reverse gear slid to the middle position.  

Reverse is with the clutch sleeve in the middle position and 1st/Reverse gear slid to the rear position. 

Remember that having the tranny in two gears at the same time will cause it to lock up solid, so you must have them in the right positions. 

I wouldn't worry too much about the tranny until you've checked the above.   For the T-90 to be stable it must be bolted to the t-case.  Until it is, it is too easy for the

rear bearing to slid back and bind everything up. 

Rick, thanks for all the help. If I slid the clutch sleeve to the middle and the sliding gear in the middle , 1 do you mean in the middle of the 2 bottom gears or do you mean meshing with the bottom middle gear? If you meant between the 2 bottom gears the whole shaft will rotate. But the main shaft will not rotate freely from the cluster , even with vise grips.? The brass blocking ring (front seems to be so tight to the main gear that the clutch sleeve can't slide all the way forward because they are not in alignment with each other. Sorry for all the questions. Jim 

Rick, just realized something else. The new case is different than my old one. There are no mount holes for my clutch and brake peddle shaft. I may be able to make a bracket for the shaft though and still use the new one. My old case is all cleaned so I would just have to remove all from the new one and install in the old. The new case has no provision for the main shaft oil collector nor any holes for the screws. I'm printing out your guide in case I decide to swap parts. This all depends on what you say about the brass ring being so tight on the mainshaft. JIM

Thanks Rick, I've decided to swap the cases. It does look easy. I bought the dowel and conduit tonight. I'll keep you updated. Thanks for the help. Jim  

Rick, I swapped all the guts from the new T-90 into my old case. I followed your instructions and had no problems. The blocking ring was jammed on the main shaft. I popped it off and greased it up and worked it in by hand. It now shifts into all gears now. Now if my transfer case would show up. Krage is VERY slow on delivery. Thanks again and I will keep in touch. Jim   

Jim, I'm glad everything went well. Did you carefully inspect all of the parts? What did you think of the quality besides the jammed blocking ring? Rick  

Hey Rick,

Good news and bad news. The good news is I finally got the transfercase yesterday. The bad news is that it was broken when I opened the box. The part where the two shifters hook on was completely broken off. The box looks like it took a hit or two. Very poor packing. Also the inside is covered with surface rust like it has been setting out in a damp area for some time. All the working parts looked ok but disappointing all the same. I called Karge and he said he would send me the parts to fix it ASAP. We'll see what ASAP means. I may as well take apart my old case and clean it up and use it like I did with the trans. The only good thing is I am learning to rebuild these things and to beware of low prices. Thanks JC

Rick, feel free to use my name and email address. If someone wants to talk about it I am willing to do so. It has been 4 days and no replacement parts. He said he would express them. I might clean up my old case and use it like I had to do with the transmission. Jim crandall@Radix.Net

By all means, you certainly have my permission. After reading through that page, I'm really struck and want to commend you  on a great idea. It seems Jim and I are both sharing similar fates, but I  agree that we are both going to come out the other side much more  knowledgeable about our drivetrain, even if we hadn't planned on it.

You may want to make a short summary of the things to watch out for. Among  my problems I wrote about two other "watch our fors..." come to mind.

1) My transfer case has different speedometer gearing than my original. I  never even thought about this and it would have been easy to compare new  and old before I installed the new one. As it is, I guess I should be  happy, for my CJ3B can now actually go over 80 MPH without an overdrive,  LOL. Something tells me the donor vehicle did not have 5.38 gears.

2) One of my original leaks on the old unit was a worn front seal. I'm sad to know that my brand new one will also not last very long and I'll be right back inside fixing this at some point. You see the input shaft was in fact nice and new, but the surface finish was straight off the lathe. I could plainly see the tooling marks leaving pretty significant ridges along the entire length rather than a nice smooth polished surface for the rubber seal to ride on. I'm sure that rough texture will quickly wear that rubber to a frazzle and I'll start leaking again soon. I should have ripped that shaft out and taken it to a machine shop and had it polished to a mirror sheen like I hear the guys a mile-hi do to all their rebuilds, but I just didn't have the time. I plan to do so when I rebuild my engine in a few months.

3) I can understand how the front seal can make the T90 stiff when new as your page mentions, but in my case this was not the reason. My T90 was also completely impossible to turn as soon as I bolted on the rear bearing, spacer and gear. I even removed the seal completely and gave it a test and it still was impossibly stiff to turn and shifting into 2 or 3 was out of the question. I now write this off to those new ridges machined into the inside surface of the brand new synchronizer rings. The tolerances were so tight those rings just gripped onto the shaft completely despite all the assembly lube. After a few drives they did work themselves in and it now shifts ok. It still doesn't quite feel right as I can feel two distinct detents as I shift from neutral into second (and third). The first I assume is the ring engaging the brass synchro and the second is engaging the actual gear itself. The amount of shifter travel between detent #1 and the final resting position of the shifter makes me feel like this T90 will ultimately have problems popping out of gear. I also notice a huge difference in the amount of throw between 1-R and 2-3. In reverse my shifter almost touches the CB mounted under my dash, but in second it doesn't even come close. In first my shifter seems like it's not going to stop until I touch the floorpan, while 3rd it barely moves a few inches. Whether this is normal, I don't know. I never noticed this on my old T90.

If I had it all to do over again, I either would have gone to Mile-hi and paid the extra. I'm very impressed with the care they take and extra little things I've read that they do to get the job done right the first time. Or I would have completely forgot about bringing Willy out for my Moab trip and just taken my time to rebuild it myself ordering all the parts and taking the time to do it right. As it is, I'm treating my drivetrain as if it's disposable and won't last long anyway, so I'm going to run her till she won't take anymore and then redo the old ones the right way after I get my money out of the "new".

I do take the learning experience well. All along the way you and everyone else kept me as informed and never once led me astray. I went in with my eyes open and have my own priorities (cheaper/faster) to blame. I've always said it's cheaper to do a job the right way with quality parts and patience the first time, but somehow I found a way to ignore my own advice.

Those additional points are a bit wordy for a summary list, feel free to trim them down as you see fit if you want to use them as well.

One other point after reviewing your page once again. I'm afraid the transfer cases JC and Jim got follow the exact same theme as my own. The rusty and overall poor condition and extremely long delivery really makes me wonder about his source. Somewhere in the deep humid south must be a warehouse of rotten transfer cases. At least the T90 was obviously fresh, even if it did have a poor rebuild. I have nothing whatsoever against John Krage. He strikes me as a pretty nice guy and means well, but he should scrap that pile of transfer cases completely. They're nothing but headaches for everyone involved. Phil