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WJ Transfer Case Swap NV247 to NV242j

Drive train Work

My WJ is a 99 Limited with v8 and Quadra drive, which includes the Quadratrac II NV247 full time transfer case. I replaced it with an NV242j out of a 02-03WJ with v8 option because my nv247 stopped powering the front wheels in 4 high. It should be noted as far as I can determine, the nv242j found in the v8 02-03WJ’s is a heavy-duty version. This includes a 32 spline rear output shaft and aluminum tail shaft housing. The swap listed below details just the two vehicles listed above. I have to suspect the 242j’s found behind 4.0L WJ’s, ZJ’s and XJ’s are different.

I first supported my WJ with 4 jack stands under the axles. I then drained the transfer case. While it drained, I removed the 4 bolts holding the rear drive shaft to the rear pinion yoke. Once done I removed the rear drive shaft completely as it will not be reused. I then removed the front CV style drive shaft bolts from the transfer case yoke. I left the front drive shaft in the jeep and just let it rest on the cross member. I did not remove any bolts from the front pinion yoke.

I then removed the transfer case breather tube on the driver side as well as popped off the cable plastic linkage from the transfer case shift lever. I also removed the three bolts holding the shift cable bracket to the transmission and let it hang. While I was there, I removed the spring clip holding the cable in the top hole of the bracket and relocated the cable to the bottom hole, as it should be for the shorter shift lever on the new nv242j. I then reinstalled the spring clip.

At this point remove the six nuts attaching the transfer case to the transmission. These can be hard to reach so I custom bent a wrench 90 degrees along the edge of the wrench (so the box end is still in the same plane as the open end) about in the middle. This allows me to reach the top two nuts without hitting the body above. The others I removed using combinations of universals and wrenches.

Since the transfer weighs about 80lbs it is advisable to use a friend and/or a floor jack to help remove the transfer.

With the transfer case out, I replaced the transmission output seal since I was right there. I then swapped over the front CV style yoke from the NV247 onto the new NV242. It is a direct swap. I did this because my NV242 came with a u-joint style front yoke. I also replaced the rear transfer output seal. Once this was done I installed the 242 back into the WJ by reversing the removal procedure.

Some notable exceptions: since my particular 242j transfer has a bigger output shaft with more splines, I had to use the donor WJ’s rear drive shaft also. My new NV242 is 2” longer than the old NV 247. I also had to install the 3’ wiring harness included with the NV242, which turns the part time 4wd light on in the dash. The other end of this harness plugs into the passenger side of the tranny main wiring harness. It seems all WJ’s come pre-wired with this pigtail, just the 247’s have the harness connector capped off. It’s a plug and play operation.

Interior Work

It is necessary to replace the shifter assembly with the correct one out of a Select Trac WJ to get all the 4wd positions.

Start by placing transfer case and transmission in neutral. Then remove the front and middle storage rubbers. They just lift out. Then remove 2 screws each. Now remove the rear armrest (make it easier to work). Remove the 2 screws in the storage compartment and remove the compartment. Now remove the center screw. Slowly pull out the rear cup holders from the rear armrest until you see 2 hidden screws in the storage holder compartment as the cup holder body slides out. After this is done, lift the rear of the center console up and work the front part of the console free from under the ashtray. Remove console. Now pop off both shifter cable plastic connectors from the shifter linkage. Lastly remove the center silver cable from shifter assembly. Also unplug the electric connector from the rear of the shifter assembly. Remove the 4 nuts holding the metal shifter assembly to the floor. Also remove the 2 nuts and 2 bolts from the L bracket under the ashtray. This L bracket traps the shifter cables from possibly working free from their holes as well as provides structural support. Once the L bracket is removed, work the three cables free from their holes and slide the whole shifter assembly up and out of jeep.

Now reverse the procedure with the donor Select Trac shifter assembly. Everything is a direct bolt in. I did notice on mine the park brake shift interlock on the donor assembly had an additional electric sensor located on the center cable. The donor electric connector also now has all six connects with pins in it whereas my original only had 4 of the six slots filled with pins. Doesn't matter, don't worry about it just plug it in anyway.

Just continue to reverse installation until done. The original 3 cables will be re-installed in the new assembly and work fine.

Lastly

Make sure to double check all bolts are tight and all connectors are hooked up including the transfer case breather. Lastly fill the transfer case with ATF +3 (I used MOPAR brand). After the install everything worked great on mine except the 4wd part time light on the dash only works in 4low and not in 4high part time. Could be sensor but I actually prefer it this way, as the light is annoying to me anyway.

Times

My WJ has a transfer case drop in it due to the 4" lift, which made it easier to reach the top two nuts. After the WJ was on the jack stands it took me 1 hour to remove the old transfer. It took me about 30 minutes to replace the tranny seal and transfer case seal including cleaning and using MOPAR ATF RTV on the seals and swap the front yokes. I did use a 3 jaw and 2 jaw puller to remove the front yokes as I had them and didn't want to take a chance on hitting the case and breaking it. It took 1 hour to re-install the new transfer case and drive shafts. The electrical connector took about 15 minutes to find and fish it down enough to be able to get the connector cap off and the new harness plugged in. Next time would be about 5 minutes. The shifter removal took about 1 hour, as I did not know how it came apart. Now it would take 15 minutes. Re-install took about 20 minutes.

Final Words

If you can change your own oil and change a water pump, this is a very do-able project. Basic metric and American wrenches will get the job done with sockets and ratchets making it faster and easier. I recommend bending one wrench for top transfer case nuts. Also the front yoke nut is 1 1/8" deep socket. I used pullers for the yokes but my hammer aim is bad.

Important Measurements

These measurements only represent the two transfer cases I have referred to above.

Original Equipment in my 99 WJ V8 Limited was the NV 247 Quadratrac II.

Swapped in NV 242j transfer case was from 02 WJ V8 Laredo with Select Trac. This NV 242j transfer case is not the same one found in the 6cyl WJ's.

NV 247 NV 242j
Input Shaft Length 2.4125" 2.4125"
Input Shaft Spline 23 23
Rear Output Shaft Diameter 1.1750" 1.3750"
Rear Output Shaft Spline 27 32
Front Output Shaft Yoke CV Style U-Joint Style
Overall Length of Transfer

Mounting Flange to End of Output Shaft.

17" 19"

Performed and written by Scott Brown “SKEETER”.

author: Performed and written by Scott Brown "SKEETER"

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