Hot Transfer case on GU 3.0l Patrol

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:07
ThreadID: 131473 Views:1917 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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I have an auto GUIII 3.0l Patrol. Sometimes the transfer case gets very hot - too hot at the base to touch for more than a second. At other times, it is no more than cool/just warm.

This happens a lot and seemingly at random and under more or less the same conditions. I have noticed it most when towing our van.

Two examples of journeys towing the van last year when we drove from Atherton to Mossman with a stop each time at Mareeba for about 15 minutes. The second journey was a week later. Both journeys were made under the same weather conditions and at pretty much the same time of day.

Journey 1: transfer case red hot when arriving at Mareeba. Cool for the rest of the journey.

Journey 2: transfer case cool when arriving at Mareeba. Red hot for the rest of the journey.

I've spoken to two or three mechanics two of which changed the transfer case oil. It made no real difference.

Has anyone had this problem?

Thanks,
Derek
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Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:10

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:10
Derek, just wondering how you found the hot transfer case, was it radiating out of the console or the transfer lever hot? Just curious. May also help to ask on the Patrol 4x4 Forum. John
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Follow Up By: DerekH - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:26

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:26
It does radiate out of the console and it was my wife who first noticed it. But you can feel the heat at the base of the lever and through the plastic covering. We've got into a routine of checking on each leg of a trip which is how we know it is sometimes hot and sometimes cool. Derek
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:29

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 17:29
Derek, thanks for the reply. I am curious as to what the possible causes are. Some thing to keep an eye on in the future maybe.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 18:52

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 18:52
The Transfer case is meant to have Auto transmission fluid in it to ensure the auto front hubs work properly. You can run 90 diff oil in it but i think it would run cooler with ATF fluid. Could it be that the driveline handbrake drum shoes are sometimes rubbing on the drum and transferring the heat to the transfer case? Has it been adjusted lately? Michael
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Follow Up By: DerekH - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:44

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:44
Thanks all for your responses. I have manual hubs but will check the comments re the handbrake. The oil is manufacturers standard, but transmission oil was fitted by a 4WD specialist in MAreeba on the basis that it had better heat dissipation qualities. It made no difference. What is not explained is why the transfer case is 'sometimes hot, sometimes not'. That is the question I would like answered if possible.

The car and van are at (but not below) permitted GVM and ATM weights. Derek
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 18:45

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 18:45
We've got a Landcruiser ute with only 13K on it, and anything in the console gets quite warm after a few hours. Pretty much a fact of life that transmission oil gets hot, there's a lot of friction/stress going on inside there. Probably temps from 60-80*C, or even hotter when your towing, Derek.

How many kms on your Nissan? And how heavy is the 'van?

Bit funny that the temp fluctuates by that amount though? Sorry can't offer a solution.

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Follow Up By: DerekH - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:48

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:48
Bob,

I replied about the van weight - the ATM is 2500kg as per the spec for a GU Patrol auto. Car has 230,000km and it had a new engine and turbo at 208,000km. Derek
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Reply By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:47

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:47
Have you actually used an infrared heat gun on the TC or are you basing it solely on the stick temp to touch?
A cross wind may blow more heat away from the lever base making it seem cooler.
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Follow Up By: DerekH - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:51

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 at 20:51
Just to the touch. Not sure about cross-winds, but I guess it's possible. But could a cross-wind lower the temperature at the bottom of the stick from so hot that you can only touch it for a second or two to being just warm? Derek
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Reply By: Jackolux - Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 09:25

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 09:25
It's normal don't worry about it
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Reply By: Old 55 - Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:11

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:11
Derek, the auto in my Prado runs normally at around 86 degrees but climb a hill and it gets up around 105 degrees so this temp will transfer to your transfer case as well. It is too hot to touch after a hill climb so I'm guessing yours is just normal. I have a Scan Gauge which monitors the Tranny temp so you can back off when things heat up. It is a great idea.

Cheers Rod
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Follow Up By: DerekH - Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:48

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:48
Thanks to all for the replies. It's the inconsistency that concerns me - hot sometimes, cool another time under the same conditions. Also, climbing hills does not seem a factor- I'd expected it to be hot climbing up into the ranges with the van in tow on the Herveys Range Development Road west out of Townsvill, but it wasn't. Hot day with no wind, too.

Running hot may be 'normal' but why not all the time?

Derek
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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:42

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:42
Lots of talk about autos but thats totally irrelevant. An auto box is doing a ton of work with torque converters, constantly changing ratios etc, in fact it does so much work it has a transmission cooler attached to stop it cooking.

Never seen a cooler on a transfer box as they don't run that hot. Only a few cogs that are usually not even engaged. Very little oil as not much to lubricate in there... In short not a lot of heat to dissipate.

Did you see the oil the mechanics drained out? You might be running a bearing and about to seize

I'd be ringing a 4WD diff/gearbox specialist (not the local mechanic) and asking their opinion.
If you are in Sydney I can recommend a very good (no BS) company.
Also ask the question in the Patrol forum. Much more likely to get a relevant answer there.
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