How to Remove an S10 Transfer Case

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The transfer case on a Chevrolet S10 pickup is the unit that takes power generated by the engine and channels it to the front and rear axles. The transfer case also has the ability to shift between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive as well as high and low range. Four-wheel drive provides better traction, but lower fuel economy because more power is need to drive both axles. Low range works well for towing and on steep terrain, while high range works best for higher speeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Automotive jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket set
  • Masking tape
  • Marker
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Transmission jack

Disconnecting the Transfer Case

  • Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery. Loosen the retaining bolt using a wrench. Then pull the cable off the terminal.

  • Shift the transfer case into four-wheel-drive high.

  • Raise the vehicle using an automotive jack. Support with jack stands placed underneath the frame.

  • Unscrew the bolts that secure the skid plate located underneath the transfer case to the frame, using a socket. Lower the skid plate away from the transfer case and remove it from the vehicle.

  • Unscrew the bolts and nuts that secure the front driveshaft to the transfer case, using a socket. Slide the driveshaft away from the transfer case.

  • Unscrew the bolts and nuts that secure the rear driveshaft to the transfer case, using a socket. Slide the driveshaft away from the transfer case.

  • Label all of the electrical and vacuum connections to the transfer case, using masking tape and a marker. Then disconnect all of the electrical and vacuum lines by pulling them off the transfer case.

  • Unscrew the screws that secure the console cover to the console, using a Phillips screwdriver. The console cover will be located inside the vehicle around the transfer case shift lever.

Removing the Transfer Case

  • Pull the console cover away from the console and pull up the shift boot.

  • Unscrew the shift lever to transfer case bolt, using a socket. Pull the shift lever upward.

  • Unscrew the bolts that secure the transmission/transfer case assembly to the crossmember, using a socket.

  • Position a transmission jack underneath the transfer case. Raise the jack enough to take the weight of the transmission/transfer case off the crossmember.

  • Unscrew the bolts and nuts that secure the crossmember to the vehicle’s frame using a socket. Then remove the crossmember from the vehicle.

  • Lower the transmission jack slightly. You only need to lower it enough to access the transfer case to transmission bolts on the top side of the transmission/transfer case assembly.

  • Unscrew the transmission to transfer case mounting bolts, using a socket.

  • Slide the transfer case away from the transmission and lower the jack to remove it from the vehicle.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the transfer case will be removed from the vehicle for an extended period of time, you should reinstall the crossmember to support the rear of the transmission. This will lessen the stress on the engine mounts.
  • Always follow the instructions listed in the owner’s manual when lifting or lowering a vehicle. Failure to do so could result in injury or death.

References

  • Chilton Chevrolet S10/GMC S15 Pick-Ups 1982-91 Repair Manual; Chilton Book Company; 1991
  • Haynes Chevrolet S10 & GMC S15 1982 thru 1993 Repair Manual; Chilton; 1999
  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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