Is it my transmission or my 4x4 transfer case?

Asked by May 08, 2013 at 12:47 PM about the 1995 Dodge Ram 1500

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 5.9L V8 Automatic Transmission pickup... bought it 2 years ago from the fire dept (was there search and rescue vehicle) had 179.000 miles on it...I travel and pull a trailer every weekend for for work and now the truck has around 223,000 miles on it.  I have had to do very little to this vehicle besides regular maintenance.  Check my fluid levels every time we hit the highway.  Well, I was pulling my trailer to another show and all of the sudden my motor reved up as if I was in neutral.... I had no slipping, smoke, smell of burning fluid.  As I pulled over I noticed I had no gears at shift lever would go through all gears on column but with no movement to the axles.  I checked my fluid level once again and was full ( had drivin about 25 miles) and my fluid color was just a pink and clear on my dip stick as it was when I put the fluid in. My first thought was transmission of course... BUT now I have had some folks give me a different opinion...My 4x4 has never worked since I had bought it...won't stay engaged so I never use it... They are telling me it might be my transfer case and not my transmission.  Is this a possibility???  To be honest since my 4x4 never worked I have not really maintained that part of the vehicle.  So if the transfer case was broke or somehow stuck in Neutral could this be my issue??? Any suggestions?

15 Answers


The transfer case receives power from the transmission and sends it to both the front and rear axles. This can be done with a set of gears, but the majority of transfer cases manufactured today are chain driven. If the transfer case isn't sending power to the drive shafts, you're parked.

12 people found this helpful.

I would say its in the transfer case,most likely the chain.

3 people found this helpful.

well if your transmission never showed any issues and you have not codes set in your obd you need to look at your transfer case as these two have so adeptly put it.

4 people found this helpful.

Is the check engine light on? The speed sensor in the rear axle diff can also cause this problem but it will turn on the check engine light. (Although it should move at least a little in this circumstance.)

6 people found this helpful.

I have the same truck with the same issue except 4x4 did work. We dropped the pan and replaced filter(no major metal just a few tiny pieces of metal). It worked fine for a 30 minute drive then started again. any ideas?

12 people found this helpful.

transmission,Hi I'm De and I have the same problem that you spoken of at first I thought that it was my 4x4 shift gear but it turned out that my transmission was slipping each time I'm at a stop light it took five minutes r more to hop back into gear 1995 4x4 dodge ram 1500 5.9

11 people found this helpful.

My 97 ram is doing the same thing. Did anyone ever figure out if it was the transfer case chain or was it something different?

7 people found this helpful.

Hey guess I sheared off my drive shaft from my rear end today any of you have a rear slip yoke for sale on a 97 half ton that connects the drive shaft to the rear end I really dont want to pull the whole rear end because its still good.

1 people found this helpful.


6 people found this helpful.

I had the same problem on my 99 GMC Yukon denali. To find out if its ur rear diff put the truck in neutral and try to spin ur driveshaft. If it spins ur transfer case or tranny is not the issue. It would be ur diff. One of the gears to rotate ur axle is torn up

3 people found this helpful.

have the same problem in my 99 grand cherokee laredo, shifts great then after a short drive acts like its in neutral, drop it down in 4lo and i have power again. Just bought it checked the transfer case and it was bone dry, put mopar transmission fluid in it and it got worse will only go in gear in 4lo now. think maybe without the fluid it had friction since adding the fluid it lost that friction?

3 people found this helpful.

Does anyone know if I. Can put a tranny from 5.9 15004X4 automatic it's a 2000or 2001 in to my 2001dodge ram 1500 5.2 v8 4X4

4 people found this helpful.

So, this is my problem. I was driving down the road, heard a pop noise from back of truck, lost all gears! Several people told me it was the rearend I opened the cap, small metal flakes came out with a metal piece of flat half Mooned shape. Now other people are telling me it's the t case. Mine is a 97 4x4 with 150,000 miles on it! Any ideas? Text me 314-914-0949

6 people found this helpful.

I have a v8 5.2l 4x4 Dakota. When I put the truck in 4 high it will drive but front tires will not drive. When I put truck in 4 low it will not drive and Rpm goes up. Can someone please help me fix this problem?

2 people found this helpful.

I have a 95 dodge ram 1500 4x4 and about 9 years ago I was driving down highway and all the sudden rpms revved up like it hoped out of gear. I had to let of gas and it went back into gear. I started heading to dealer to see what was wrong and on the way there I would take off at light and it would go and it seemed when it was ready to shift the rpms would just go up with my foot on pedal. I would have to let go of pedal for it to grab gear and go. Dealer pretty much told me granny is shot and needs new one. In waiting room there was a gentlemen over hear what they were telling me I needed done. I didn't have the money at time to replace tranny. The man then told me that he had a similar problem and he told me to drain fluid in tranny and refill with Lucas. Seeing that the dealer said tranny was shot I really had nothing to loose so I drained out as much of fluid as I can and started the slow process of filling it with Lucas. 9 years later I'm still driving the same truck with the same tranny the dealer told me needed replaced. Not sure if it will work on everyone who is having similar problems but it did work for me. It was worth $50 of Lucas to try and see what would happen. Not like it was gonna ruin anything since I was told it was already ruined. If it didn't I would been out the $50 in fluid and have to rebuild tranny. I thought I would tell my story to help someone like someone did for me.

2 people found this helpful.

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