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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of us with 203 tcases have run into the problem having the shifter pop out of "loc". There are lots of ways to "fix" this, and the problem is usually attributed to shifter or linkage wear.
.After looking at my FSM, I see that there is a detent ball and spring for the lockout shift rail that is accessed through a plug on the top of the tcase. Bingo! There is also one for the range selector. The problem is, unless I drop my transfercase or cut a hole in my floor, I can't get to the plug.
My theory is that the spring compresses or breaks over the years, causing the lockout to lose it's positive engagement (mine just flops around when disconnected from the shifter). Has anyone tried this fix? Does anyone have an old 203 around that they can try this on? I would be willing to drop the tcase to solve this problem, but it is a lot of work for an experiment...
william
 

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Hmm...interesting indeed . the 205 set up the same way ? will keep on this thread william and maybe move it to the tech board here ina day or 2 .
 

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Have two lying around; one on my workbech and the second one in a bare chassis.
So access is no problem.

Both my balls are still in place (yes, them too) and springs are O.K.

-ball diameter: 5/16"
-free length (spring) 13/16"
-outer diameter (spring) 5/16"
-wire diameter (spring) 1/16"
 

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My "Thoughts on 203 popping out of loc" are OH SHIT

But it does sound as if you are onto the likely cause.
 

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on my RC the transmission hunt was unboltable, I pulled mine off once and sprayed all that stuff down with wd40 and went at it with wire brushes. I worked it back and 4th man times, and I tell ya what, the thing worked like brand new when I was done with it.



Sean
 

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The lever(s) must be persuaded with a wrench to be shifted; that's how tight the ball/spring works with my TC.
When the truck was still in one piece, I never had any problems with the TC popping out of gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Smokey, I think you nailed it there! Thanks for the info guys. Maybe I will bite the bullet and try and drop the tcase enough to reach that plug on the top. It is driving me nuts, these little things always do. I guess popping out of loc in the middle of a mud hole is not a little thing, as Smokeys post suggests. I am figuring if I remove the rad fan and driveshaft, I should be able to lower it enough that I can get at it through the removable floor hump. I hope.
william
 

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Is it just the lock/unlock lever whose detent isn't working or is the hi/lo range lever doing the same? There are two levers on the transfer case, a straight square one (lockout I think) and the other is a squarish "S" shape (hi/lo I think) Anyway, sounds as if at least the lock/unlock detent isn't working. Mine is smooth enough that I can work them both from one detent position to the other by hand; however, sometimes I need to wiggle the output or input shaft a little in order for the the hi/lo selector to engage. None of this probably helps you much though. I'd probably pull the transmission hump off and try to get to it from there. Otherwise, you'll probably have to remove the rear drive shaft and drop the transfer case. Good luck.


Edit: I was assuming that you all knew I was talking about moving the transfer case levers with the linkage from the shifter disconnected.
 

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exactly how rough is the shift from un-loc to loc supposed to be? mine goes into and out of loc really easily, but it also slips out when i dont want it to. i was told that the 203's will pop out of lock when there is too much force on it and it starts to bind, as sort of a safety measure so you dont burn up the case. has any one else heard this theory?
 

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The theory sounds good... but it also sounds like a mechanics story because he didn't want the job!
 

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in theroy, that would save the chain...but, when I rebuilt mine, you could not move either lever by hand at the tcase, even when the rest of the linkage was disconnected. I never had a problem from that. I did have a problem once from the shift linkage rod hitting the trans housing and popping out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There is no reason that the 203 *should* ever pop out of loc. There are several things that cause it to do this, including sloppy/worn/maladjusted linkage, worn shifter, and I suspect, the detent ball/spring or wear to the corresponding shaft. My lockout lever moves with no resistance (sometimes have to move the driveshaft a touch to get the gear aligned) through it's entire range of motion. If there is nothing to "hold" the lever in place, repeated loading and unloading of the prop shafts will cause the lever to "walk" slowly to the open position. There should be a noticable click when loc is engaged as the ball snaps into the detent (like a socket on a ratchet). Mine does not, as I would expect many others don't.
The question is: Is this because the spring is prone to failure (relatively easy fix) or the shaft where the ball rides wears (not so easy fix). I guess I will just have to drop my Tcase and see. I can't reach the plug even with the hump removed. I was considering cutting an access hole through my floor, but then thought better of it. Maybe I will get to it over the weekend, and try to track down my mystery oil leak as well...
william
 

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mine doesnt click at all when putting it into lock either. it just slides in. i dont really know much about the internals of the shifter, but my dad says that it shifts just as tight as when it left the factory when he bought it (original owner since april 78). i really have no idea.
 

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Mine always pops out of 4 low loc and its only when the going gets tough so i ether bend down and hold it in and drive (can get tricky) or have a friend ride along and use his foot to hold it in. cheap but effective lol.
 
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