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Transfer case leaking from front

3309 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Patrick319

I recently took my truck to the dealership to have them look at the transfer case, which I noticed to be covered in oil a couple of days ago. The source seems to be at the front of the case, and I believe it's the seal to the front propeller shaft. I think this is the case because oil is sprayed all around this area (on the underside of the body, etc). The ATP switch is also covered, which also looks like a potential source of the leak.

I cleaned it up a bit before I took it to the dealership, so that they could see where the source was coming from. The response was "We didn't see anything". But they ordered the new seal for the front anyway. So I'm waiting for a new seal, and I'm hoping that they'll give the entire case a thorough inspection when they replace the front seal. I was told that they checked the fluid level for me, but when I looked for additional seepage later in the day, it was VERY apparent that the fill plug had not been removed.

What puzzles me is that there is more oil leaking there today (at the front seal). Wouldn't this only happen if I had engaged 4wd? Is it possible that the oil seal is so deteriorated that seepage happens even when 4wd is not engaged?

Also, is it OK to drive while I'm waiting for this new front seal? Obviously I wouldn't want to engage 4wd... My dealership is PAINFULLY slow. It took 3 months for me to get my brakes replaced due to judder. I ended up filing a report with Nissan North America after 2 months of BS with them. Needless to say, my trust in this dealer is a little shaken... Now I want them to troubleshoot my transfer case!

Anyone have any advice? I have a buddy that owns a 4x4 shop in town. They have a brilliant mechanic that does incredible work on jeeps and heavy-duty off-roading machines. I wish I could have him do my warrantee work for me. At least they can help me find the problem if this oil leak isn't fixed first try.
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this happened to me also. exactly the same thing. the damn "seal" that they ordered for me was on national backorder for 2 months in VA. they finally got it in and found that the leak continued. ended up having to replace the whole front differential. this may very well happen to you, too.
Well, first try was a strike-out.

The seal came in after a week. I dropped my truck off for it's appointment. At the end of the day when I picked it up, the manager told me that they had replaced the ATP switch, which was covered in oil. At first, I though they had replaced this switch in addition to replacing the seal, so I was a happy camper.

By the time I got home, the transfer case had a nice coat of oil again, and it was dripping on the driveway. I called and spoke with the manager, and he says "bring it back in next week and we'll replace that seal". Sure enough, they replaced the ATP switch and called it a day. Despite the huge area of oil that had obviously been flung from the front propeller shaft.

So now I'm taking it in for the second appointment to get this front seal replaced. Hopefully they'll get it right tomorrow. It really scares me at the limited knowledge that they have about the 4x4 drivetrain at this dealer. It probably took 3 of them to find the transfer case.

I've got high hopes for tomorrow.
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Yeah I had this exact problem on mine also. Got the seal replaced and all was good. Hope they do it right this time man. Good Luck
I'm glad to hear that it solved the problems for you.

The manager told me today that "heads are going to roll", referring to the guys that did the work last time and only replaced the switch. Only 5 days ago on the phone, the manager told me that HE did the work, and decided that it was only the ATP switch that needed to be replaced. Just like telling my he topped up the fluid in the tcase a couple of weeks ago... The inconsistency is driving me nuts.

Ever since I moved here a year ago I've had big problems with this dealer. Things don't happen until I walk in there mad as hell. I really don't like having to be an a-hole just to get service on my truck. 15,000 miles and I already have the dealership on speed dial at my office. Not a good sign.

However, I'm hopeful that I won't need to talk to them for a while once they get the seal replaced today. I just hope they actually do it this time.
I have also had this problem. The front seal went out when I left the truck sitting over the summer. I had a dealership in Nebraska fix the front seal and everything was fine. After putting roughly 1500 miles on the truck, I walked out today, looked under my truck, and the transfer case was covered in oil again! I haven't looked at the seal yet, but assuming it's the same problem, I'd like to know why the seals are going out. I don't even think I've put my vehicle in 4wd since I've gotten it back. Once is understandable, but two in such a short time period has me wondering. I suppose I'll give the dealer here a chance, because I don't suppose that if it is the same problem they would take responsibility for not fixing it correctly?


Correction: It turns out it wasn't the front output seal. One of the switches was leaking and needed to be replaced.
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