Question about 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe

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Leaking transfer case on 2003 chevy tahoe (auto transmission) Z71

Was told by dealer's service mgr. leak was caused by internal chain rubbing against case interior thereby causing a "hole" from the inside out. Possible?? Can a hole be plugged by brazing on a metal "patch"? Will situation get worse if vehicle only driven in 2 wheel drive? Vehicle has 4 transfer case buttons vertically; top round auto4wd, 2wd, 4hi & lo.

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Yes it's possible. The chain gets worn, this causes slack, and the slack makes the chain create a larger arc, when rotating. This chain isn't very far from the aluminum case housing. Eventuall enough slack is created, and the chain smacks the case. Just enough to wear a hole. This issue also means that in the very near future, the chain will break.

Things could get Real Ugly then! The broken chain will still be caught by sprocket teeth, and flung inside the transfer. Then it gets down in gears, and crunched! You can probably envision the rest of the scenario from here!

I wouldn't suggest driving it in two wheel drive.
I suggest stop now and fix it, or take a chance and have to replace the entire transfer. Suggest you take a look at rebuilt transfer prices! New? Better, Really sit down for this one!

Braze a cast aluminum transfer case? No, I suggest you have it Heliarc welded. Will make you sleep better at night. That braze can pop loose down the road. Then all the lubricant goes bye-bye, and you won't know it, until irreversible damage is done.

So, you're looking at a chain, plus some Heliarc welding. Plus of course the labor for teardown, and rebuild.
You can do this. I'm Not saying it's easy, but it isn't that tough if you have a manual. I tear down transfer cases for Army Humvee's, all the time. Once you have a manual to show you the steps, you'll find it isn't that tough.

Should this task provide to be more daunting than you wish to accept, I invite you to compare prices of rebuilt transfers, and installing yourself. Use a flat concrete surface. Go down and rent a transmission jack. See if you can have a friend help you.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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Hi mallen757,

He is dead right.This is a possibility and also cause partial brake system loss as well.This could cause a crash without any warning.

It cannot be rectified by brazing on a metal patch.

Note - Remember, Even a small mistake can make a serious impact.No doubt you might be able to fix this temporary but that's not a permanent solution as it would again there after few months and in the meanwhile can offer serious damage to the car.

You must be kidding driving in 2 wheel drive.Its better to spend few bucks rather than killing the pleasure of driving a car.

I hope my solution would be able to assist you.

Thanks for using Fixya.

Do rate the solution as "Fixya" if 100% satisfied.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009

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