1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2020.04.21

To finalize disassembly, I needed to get all of the shift components out of the shift housing. The shifting between 4L - N - 2H - 4H is done through 2 shift rods that move 2 sets of shift forks inside the transfer case. This engages the gears needed to activate each of these modes. The shift rods have detents to index the shift movements to go into each of these 4 positions. There is a 2-lever modification that moves each shift rod independently and you can enable things like front-wheel-drive and some other configurations. This is not that interesting to me, so I'll stick with the stock setup.

Shift rods about to be removed. Seals are held under the exterior cover.

Underneath the rods are spring-loaded balls that slip into the detents on the shift rods. What I didn't initially realize is that there are 2 interlock pins that keep the rods from slipping out completely. You have to twist one rods 90-degrees, remove it, then remove the other the same way. There are some who suggest following the rod with a similar diameter dowel to prevent the spring-loaded ball from popping out, but when you do this, you can only remove one rod at a time. That's good for servicing the rods independently and putting them back in, but if one needs to recondition both rods and clean everything out, you're gonna need to let the balls fly and collect everything. I wanted to get everything out so I could clean all the internal channels and such. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to reassemble everything.

Below the rods are spring-loaded balls that press into the detents for each shift position.

Took a photo of the detent patterns to indicate which rod goes on which side. Also, the shifter shaft above has a specific orientation. I didn't take photos of the disassembly, but I had to use the press to get it out and then dig out the dried out hardened plastic bushings that were stuck in the housing.

Shift rods out, shifter shaft was removed too, but I forgot to take pictures of that process.


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