How-to: Cherokee 231 Transfer Case Rebuild, Part 2—Assembly with
26: Stock Jeep 231 output
shaft (left) is
still in good condition. This NV231 transfer case is undergoing a conversion to a shorter output
shaft (right) with a fixed yoke output flange. The Advance Adapters kit for the Jeep NP231 or
NV231 is thorough, consisting of a new output shaft, shorter housing and all hardware
Note: Not only is
the Advance Adapters output shaft (right) shorter, it is also very stout in diameter and stronger at the yoke
output end. This is where the 50% increase in stamina occurs. Note the precise match of these two shafts.
Machine work and materials found in this kit are of exceptional quality, providing maximum service and proper
27: Assembly lube protects parts during initial start up and
eases assembly. Here, mode hub and drive sprocket mount on the new output shaft, with a new snap ring
installed. Always make sure snap rings seat
completely, all the way around. Do not over-stretch a snap ring during installation. Expand a snap ring just
enough to clear the shaft.
28: There is no need to remove the planetary system unless
you are completely rebuilding the unit. Here, the range fork and hub are in position, showing the
relationship of parts. Make sure the fork engages the shift sector slot and
stays in that position during assembly! Installing the mode fork and its rail
(see #29) will help keep the range fork in
29: This is the correct relationship of parts on a clean,
assembled new mainshaft. Note the direction of the mode hub sleeve. Make sure all nylon fork slippers
are intact and engaged with the mode shift sleeve. The mode fork must seat in the hub
Note: The mode fork rail runs
through the centered range fork. Keep these parts carefully aligned during assembly. Lube friction surfaces with
30: The output shaft in place, note the relationship of these
parts. Lube moving pieces and align them without force. Keep the output shaft and
the shift rail on center, aligned with bearings, splines and case bores.
NP/NV231 is is not a complex mechanism; however, every part must align properly. Use caution and do not force
parts. You will find Advance Adapters’ instructions very helpful.
31: The chain and front output shaft with sprocket go
into the case together. Aligning the output shafts and carefully fitting the chain make the outer
case installation possible. Fit the front output shaft into its bearing. Do not force these parts together.
When you install the U-joint yoke, it will seat the shaft against the bearing's
32: Aligning the outer end of the output shaft will remove
chain slack. Note:
Without the rear case half installed, there is slack in the chain. This is normal. If you suspect chain wear,
compare the chain's length with a new one.
33: Center up the shift rail. Make sure that the fork engages
the shift sleeve properly. These parts must remain in position as the rear case half goes into place.
The mode fork spring (shown) goes outboard of the mode fork. Be sure to
install this spring and keep it in place during assembly of the rear
34: Make certain that the oil filter and tube align
correctly. This tube must be in place or the pump will not pick up oil. Use care and make sure the tube, pump
inlet O-ring, hose and filter align in their factory positions before the case halves go
Caution: The filter and tube should be clear and free of any debris, or the pump will
become damaged. The O-ring must seal properly. The magnet must be clean and back in the case. Make sure the
mode fork spring is in place, too.
35: Use Jeep recommended Mopar RTV or a high-quality
equivalent. I run a uniform, 1/8” wide bead of sealant around the rear case half. Circle the bolt holes, and
stay in the center of the machined surface. Since the halves are precisely machined, the mating faces will
squeeze sealant over the surface. Excess sealant is unnecessary. However,
make sure there are no sealant gaps that could leak.
36: The pump and case halves go in place together. Keep
the pump in position to assure proper oil tube engagement. Center the cases to prevent smearing sealant
as you bring the case halves into alignment. Use the dowels as a guide, and keep case faces parallel.
The mode fork rail must fit properly through the rear case bore. All parts should align as you bring the
halves together evenly and snugly. I use Loctite 242 (blue) on bolt threads and finger-tighten the two dowel
bolts to keep the case halves aligned.
37: Bring all bolts up evenly. I use a speed handle for
this chore. Tighten in cross, a few threads at a time to keep the case halves parallel and prevent binding of
any internal parts. Watch the oil pump to be sure it stays engaged in the oil tube. With all bolts snug,
final tightening is with a torque wrench. Recheck torque after parts set for a few
38: Install the Advance Adapters speedometer drive (speed
sensor) sleeve with its snap rings. The stock output shaft has speedometer drive teeth cut into the shaft.
The nylon sleeve approach works nicely and provides a serviceable part. The sleeve has inner splines for
39: Case halves securely tightened together, the shift rail
gets checked for stickout height. The new retainer/output shaft housing will go into place
40: An even bead of RTV sealant will assure a leak-proof new
retainer/tailhousing. I have greased the new seal lip and will use Loctite 242 on bolts threads. Carefully
align the oil pump tangs with the new tailhousing’s flanges. (You may need to rotate the pump slightly,
but be certain not to dislodge the pump from the oil pickup
tube.) Align the retainer with the bolt holes, keeping all parts square. Tighten bolts evenly and
Note: Final torque specifications are in the Advance Adapters instructions. At the end
of this section, I have included the Jeep factory torque recommendations for the
41: Final tightening is in cross and with a torque wrench.
Bring retainer flushly to the case. Tighten gradually to prevent binding. After parts set for
several minutes, I check torque once more, in cross and
42: New retainer housing in place, I install the
32-spline output yoke supplied by Advance Adapters. Brush a thin, even film of Super 300 or similar sealant
on the inner spline threads. Also coat the machined inner seat of the yoke (as shown). These added steps prevent oil from seeping between the
shaft splines and yoke. Note the new rubber seal that fits between the shaft threads
and yoke nut.
43: New yoke is now in place. Sealant on splines and a new
rubber yoke seal (provided by Advance Adapters) assure leak-free service. Loctite 271 (red) is additional
insurance, used with a new, self-locking pinion flange nut. On hard steel assemblies and
threads, Loctite 271 acts as a thread locker and additional sealer.
I have the Jeep-recommended flange holding tool, this is an alternative that works. I protect the yoke flange
with a rag and hold the outer yoke while tightening with a large torque wrench. Initial tightening is with an
air gun, set to below the final torque recommended.
45: This is the Jeep-recommended tool for holding the U-joint
flange. Final torque is with a large torque wrench. Make certain that yoke flanges have been properly sealed
and torqued to specification. Once done properly, these yokes will not need further attention. Each output
yoke will now accept a CV-type driveline assembly. The new Advance Adapters rear yoke flange
accepts the popular 1310 size Spicer CV joint.
46: I clean the outside of the speedometer housing with
a rag and alcohol. Coat the O-ring lightly with RTV sealant as recommended in the Advance Adapters
instructions. This unit fits the new tailhousing/retainer perfectly. The original alignment marks will
also work here, as the clamp bolt locates just like the original, 1999 XJ
Caution: Make sure that the speedo clamp
indexes for the correct tooth count and engagement of the speedometer
47: Here, I install the mode rail bore’s end plug and gasket supplied. Secure this plug to
assure a leak-free seal. A thin film of RTV sealant
48: Before installing the transfer case assembly, I fill the
unit to specified capacity with Mopar’s Dexron-III/Mercon ATF. At that point, I seal the vent tube
temporarily with a vacuum cap and rotate the transfer case assembly slowly in all directions. This checks for
leaks and also coats all parts with ATF. Remove vacuum cap before installing vent
Note: 2.5 pints of lube/ATF is the
approximate fill. I put 2 pints in the unit on the bench and top it off once installed in the
transfer case now boasts an Advance Adapters 'SYE' kit upgrade! The unit will
perform better than new. The NP/NV231 is not complicated, and if rebuilt properly, it can be a very reliable unit.
There are aftermarket, lower range gear sets available for these units. The stock ratio is 2.72:1 in low
range, 1:1 in high range.
50: The NV231
transfer case is now back in the chassis! The unit is ready for a CV-type rear driveline, just part of the 6-inch,
long-arm suspension lift upgrade to this 1999 XJ Cherokee. This 231 transfer case, with a 4.0L inline six, 4.10:1
gears, ARB Air Lockers front and rear, and 33" diameter tires, will handle some rough
Jeep "factory" torque/tightening specifications for the
NV231 transfer case. (Specs are similar for the NP231.) For the output yoke nut and other 'SYE' related
tightening specifications, refer to the guidelines furnished with the Advance Adapters 'SYE' Fixed Yoke
Kit. I advise using a Mopar service manual to
perform this work. Access the Mopar TechAuthority II Website for factory manuals and technical