The 4WD transfer case  and towing     A.k.a., the XFR case.                               

TOWING FACTS:      
You are here because of towing issues?, to understand them, the methods or the transfer case has issues.   Lost your Operator guide on towing?,  the full OP guide is HERE:

 See the SUZUKI ACTUAL  rules HERE,  all the 6  pages in the OP guide on towing 1995,  Method A to E !
The manual is clear, no?

See slide show, here, of transfer case.

The 3 transmissions 2wd and same with 4wd, all have 1 weakness.
What is that? 
There are bearings inside, that not lubricated, when towed.  (a hard cold fact)  (the 5 speed is splash lubricated, only if the engine is running, or towed in gear (don't) and at same time, foot holding clutch pedal down (don't)
The A/T boxes,  2wd, both are pump lubricated and this car has no rear tail shaft pump like on old Pontiac's.  The pump is dead, engine off. so.... you toast that rear bearing. (or the wimpy 3speed bushing there)
The Transfer case cars, 4wd, have a rear bearings there too , and is splash lubricated.
It too will burn up, towed, how long , it takes to do that ?, I'd never attempt to guess, but the Suzuki engineer stated it clearly , "over 200 miles."

The below is for the NON BELIEVERS OF FACTS !
Cures:  or solutions ?

The best long term repeated (RV? towed) solutions to flat towing  are:
  1. Drop the shaft ,I remove the rear axle U-Joint to rear axle housing pinion flange (4 bolts) and tie up the axle, so it can't fall out of rear or the Transfer case (or 2wd trans) ( I use heavy rope for that and bailing wire)  15 minutes work and 100% free.
  2. Remco drive shaft disconnect device. and others are all very expenseive $400 to $1000 each.   The " Trail tough"  is special order for Sidekick/Trackers, I think. Call and ask.
  3. The added electric oil pump  to the transfer case. (powered from hitch coupler lighting port)
  4. Last, is the Suzuki way with 200 mile stops and Transfer case CLUSTER spinnings.....  I'd go 100 miles max, if hot weather.  Finding stops can be hard in some regions of the coutnry "Rocky mountains??
IF the rear transfer case or transmission bearings fails , while  in tow, drop the rear U-joint flange and do #1.
IF the front ocking hubs fail, remove them both from bearing hub and drive /pull it home.  If raining , use duct tape and plastic to protect water incursion. (the last step (tape) is mostly paranoia, but I've no idea at all how far home is, or the amount of rain)

Towing very old cars, is problematic, so have a plan B.


YOU ARE PULLING this CAR, with the rear wheels down on the pavement?  
Consideration 1, Get (buy and use) manual clocking hubs and unlock them ( and test that they are in fact unlocked, by a jackup (1wheel at a time) and spin the wheel and look to see that the CV joints don't spin !  I'd never flat tow a car with autolocking hubs. (most, are now crap after 20years )
Consideration 2:  The transfer case IS SPLASH Lubricated via Cluster SHAFT #7 below.  When flat towing the CLUSTER IS DEAD !  NO SPLASH.  Keep that thought.! Towing with the rear axle on the ground.
Consideration 3:  Neither the 3sp,  4sp or 5sp main transmission must be allowed to spin its rear tail shaft or it will fail even faster, than this transfer case.


The 200 mile limit is an average , were you stop and spin over the transfer case (xfr in neutral). Splashing  the 3 top rear bearings.  This act, puts back a thin film of GL4.  Not doing so. INVITES this damage.
How far you drove and didn't seize those bearings,  is of "no interest to me",  Timken company already did your testing years ago.  There are , no damage, "some-damage" and total failure,  You won't notice  somedamage until later.
Key factors in the bearing fail point are: (and not limited to).
  1. GL4 lube Oil Viscosity at the temperature experienced.  Solution, Run  higher ASTM D-2270 Viscosity lube.  Try running a product rated as  GL-3,4,5 !  Aka, extreme pressure lubricants.  or ES lubes. High Film strength lubes !
  2. Oil brand, or type, ( mulit-grade,  synthetic  and other Lube qualities that excel when allowed to run thin or dry)  (do your own research on best ran dry film strength?)
  3. Outdoor temperature  (and  case temperatures)  The hotter it gets the faster the GL4 drips off.
  4. Altitude  (high is bad)
  5. RPM (driving fast are you?)  Slow down !  The faster it spins, the faster it goes dry and the hotter the bearing gets. This and heat are the 2 killers.
  6. Driving down or up a mountain can  effect the bearing life , if going up hill some GL4  lube may reach the bearing (pure luck) , down hill, less luck.
  7. The brand of bearing, Koyo (Suzuki Stock)  (try  Timken ES bearings?)
  8. Bearings come  in 3 finishes or GRADES,  standard, ground & honed and Super-finished <<< I can say for a fact, the latter bearing can take vastly more torture.
  9. Low on GL4 lube? ( obvious to a fault?)
  10. Luck, luck does happen,  given all the facts, sure....
  11. Did the previous owner torture this bearing, and now you think  one more time on a 25 year old box is a good idea.?  (blind, behind some behemoth of an RV).
Those are enough facts, to convince the " Anecdotal prophets " or non believers in engineering?  (gee, "I drove 1000 miles and mine didn't seize!")  <  So what? , I smoke 3 packs a day and don't have cancer yet.  (so ? why brag ?)
{citation from major bearing maker here...}
PG-8 "This is because the bearing will quickly experience heat damage from metal-to-metal contact at start-up, then eventually cool off once the lubricant makes its way to the bearings.The bearings may then attempt to “heal” themselves by masking the initial metal flow and heat discoloration."

See GL4 lube choices here.





A BAD Transfer case:
If bad ?,
Most people just buy and  pull a used transfer case off a wrecked car and pay $100 or less.  You need special pullers to work this case and a press.
Doing repairs on this case will be expensive.  Suzuki does have all the parts, by the way.

CAUSES of Failures:
  • STOP 4wd pavement driving  (lacking ICE/Snow),  ( 4wd means the front hubs are locked,  after all, 4wd don't happen unlocked , ok?)
  • Flat towing and not Using one of the above 4 methods. "best solutions"
  • Shifting at fast speeds and wrecking the dogs on #1,22 and 29.  This box is Synchronizer free, so treat it with due respect and it will last.
Year changes:   4WD only , no 2WD.
The Spine at tail end of part 16 , dropped from 26 to 16 teeth , in 1996 , and changing parts 29 , and 35 and the rear sliding yoke (not seen below).
The part ID #1 internal spline did not change.  (nor the flanges)
In mid year,1996, the chain was changed, and the 2 cogs for it. 29 and 33.  (that means part 29 changed 3 times in all generations)
Swaps? ,
 ALL transmissions used,  use the same 4wd transfer case, by generation,  there is no A/T transfer case,  as this custom fit up, is added to the generic tranny itself.  (that 3L30 is sold and put in many cars, but has SUZUKI part revision code., same with 4speed.
Can I use a 1990 transfer case in a 96 car, no, the splines are wrong. Same for 1995 swapped to 1996/7/8.
Keep your transfer case in your generation,  Gen 1989/90 and 91 to 95 and 96 to 1998.
If you want to change rear drive shafts, (prop) then that is different matter and can work.
All engines G16 fit all transmissions and all transmission fit all inputs to tranfer cases.
Its the transfer case output shaft, that is the problem, for SWAPS.


Analysis of how it all works: IN FLAT tow;  Shaft 1 is stalled and so is  Cluster 7 and 4L , the splash creating device. 
 The bearings 20,43, and 30 will overheat and fail flat towed with out DUE caution.  Stop car and feel the tail shaft. HOT?





Towing this 4WD Sidekick  with an other vehicle. 
  ( the below is for those that refuse to read the Op. Guide (free) and not follow the rules, there-in.)

( The manual locking front hubs must be unlocked , or in either case, auto hubs test them off ground for free wheeling .
If seized get  new hubs or repair them now.

RTM ,read the manual on towing or being towed..  (a few sidekick owners manuals and more...

If you have an automatic tranny (never spin tail shaft of it towing, no pump on tail shaft of any kick slush pump)
Details:
With the Transfer case in neutral the part 28 H/L  dog ring is disengaged and not dogged in to 32.
Part 32 is not moving, if front hubs are unlocked. (as this  must  be)
So, towing the car spins the main shaft 17 and all bearings 18,20, and 43.
Part 26 2/4wd dog ring is not engaged (neutral per op guide above) 
The frozen  part #1 input pinion, (A/T park or 5sp 2nd, per op guide) is a given.
So, part 1 and 22 do not spin and therefor the counter shaft is dead.  (prime issue)
In this state, there is poor lubrication due to the dead counter shaft not splashing lube upwards.
FYI: on Jeeps, they do flat tow it with 5sp in gear and xfr case in neutral. (un restricted) NOT TRUE SIDEKICKS .
One can try to two flat the kick with 5sp in neutral and Xfr case in 2H. this protects the xfer case but may harm the 5sp.  (remove the gear shifter on 5sp or put on a disconnecter)
I think its a toss up, but the transfer case may be cheaper used.
If you choose to put the xfr case at risk, then put both the 5sp and XFR case in 2H.  this will help assure that the motor NEVER sees TORQUE, ( use tie downs to the levers to assure this state.)

This is why OP guide states "don't tow car too far, due to this lack of proper lubrication".

You can drop the rear prop shaft at the rear axle and bailing wire it upward, but be sure it can not move it to the rear, as you will lose lube oil out  the  tail of this transfer case.  REMCO
There are dual shifter option kits for this transfer case. and may allow you to be in 2H and the rear dog in neutral, this trick gets the counter shaft spinning and the 5sp spinning in neutral.(theory?)

The risk is always that the 5speed accidentally bouncing the shifter into gear. Very real and very bad .
There are small electric  lube pumps that can be added to lubricate that which needs be.  (Google that)
The best is REMCO device. hands down.

Many report flat towing success just like a Jeep,  by starting up the motor every few 200 miles and spin the XFR (in neutral) case over and main tranny in drive (1st gear)  SEE TOW facts here.
2WD Sidekicks , towing with 5sp in neutral risk , gear lever bounce and the horror of that , some use rope tie off's to stop that from happening. (or make up a shifter fast disconnect ( cut down low on shaft).
Do not let shifter bounce happen. On a 5sp this is a serious issue.

2WD with Automatic is hopeless. zero chances.   Never ever rear tail shaft spin any A/T .  (some other cars have dual pump A/T but not any Sidekick)
My theory with 5 Speed 2WD is that the only risk is shifter bounce , so put 5p shifter in neutral, and cut the shifter in half and make up a mech. coupling to put the lever back on later. (easy really)

The manual 5sp , the cluster gear does not spin in neutral with engine off, and therefor does not splash up lube oil , to the main shaft when driven from the rear.  ( so pick which gear box to torture, it is your decision)

But ,you might get good service from the 5sp if started up every 200 miles , just like the transfer case, if operated in this mode . Flat tow or rear wheels on the ground. (YMMV)


Never drive in 4wd (hubs locked) on  ice/snowpack free  DRY pavement  or it will wind up and do this.  (especially in turns)


Why the 4 SPEED needs to have front shaft moving or that rear braring, starves.

The 5 speed below , the front pilot shaft is frozen so the cluster does not SPIN in Neutral, so bearing to right starves.
Simple to see with photos, no?
Those top 3 bearings are in jeopardy fat towed with XFR case in GEAR.






A/T The 3SP Slush pump.  ( we call it that, because  it wastes 2.5Kw at idle and slips and wastes energy ,expelling  heat and sucks fuel)
See parts on the B line , center of page, to the right ?, say good by to those.
 If the front shaft dont spin , no pump action and the rear brearings starve.
Some key parts are only bushings, 064 and 066? are not even, real bearings they are bushings, (99cent) and just  don't like dry running.



End show and tell.


rev 5   ++++ 11-22-2010



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