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Discussion Starter #1
I started to replace the transfer case pinion bearings and seal on my 4WD 98 Rav4 with auto transmission.

The problem that I ran into was after I dropped the drive shaft and removed the extension housing for the bearing cage. I can't seem to find a way to squeeze the bearing cage out between the body etc. at the top and the front suspension cross-member at the bottom.

Has anybody done this before? Is it possible? Will I have to loosen the suspension cross member and put jack stands under the body?. Ant help would be appreciated from anyone who has worked on these parts before. The service manual I have says to remove the complete transmission and transfer case before working on the transfer case but that seems a bit unnecessary to me.
 

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I noticed that the sway bar is one of the things blocking me. Can I loosen the bolts where the sway bar is bolted to the suspension cross member or will it be under tension in such a manner that I can't get it back into place??
 

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Removing the bolts holding the sway bar down to the suspension cross member worked. I was able to pull the sway bar up and forward so I could pull the transfer case pinion bearing cage out.

Now it’s time to move on to the business of replacing the bearings and setting the spacing.
 

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Ledges said:
Removing the bolts holding the sway bar down to the suspension cross member worked. I was able to pull the sway bar up and forward so I could pull the transfer case pinion bearing cage out.

Now it’s time to move on to the business of replacing the bearings and setting the spacing.
Are you actually able to get int her ewith a press and replace that seal? I figured it case would have to be dropped.
 

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Replacing that seal on the back of the shaft for the transfer case pinion gear is easy. It just requires the removal of 10 bolts total that are fairly easy to get to. 4 14mmm bolts and nuts on the drive shaft where it goes into the rear end. 2 14mm bolts in the middle on the driveshaft support where it hooks into the body. Pull the shaft out of the way. (You will want to drain fluid first.) Then 4 12mm bolts hold the pinion shaft extension housing on. Pull it off the bearing cage then put it in a vise and replace the seal. This is all fairly easy to get back on as well.

I actually went further and pulled the whole T-case pinion bearing cage from underneath. To do that is a bit trickier. First remove the four 12mm bolts holding the sway bar to the suspension cross member. The easiest way is to come in from the wheel wells and use a 1 ½ “ wobble extension on the bolts. Then push it forward and up out of the way. Remove the 6 14mm bolts that hold the bearing cage to the T-case. A short 3/8” drive socket on a long wobble is helpful for the top and bottom bolts. You can use a wooden block or a soft faced hammer to dislodge the bearing cage. Then twist it and work it out of the area. You may have to push the exhaust tube slightly to the passenger side to get it out. Be careful not to damage the thin metal shims. Once the bearing cage is out you can take to your shop to remove/replace bearings.

When replacing the bearing cage back to the T-case it is helpful to have cleaned off all the grit off the suspension cross member so as not to contaminate the gear as you replace it later.. You will also want to use thin wires/string to tie the shims through a couple boltholes to keep things aligned until you get a couple bolts started in the threads. B sure to remove the thread/wire as the spacing is important for proper gear meshing.

Pinion removal can be done but messing with the ring gear appears imposible without T-case removal.
 

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I wouldlike to ask wha is wrong with your transfer case bearings and you needed to replace them? My aints rav4 has a knocking sound when letting go of the gas pedal and we have replaced the diff mounts and the sound is still there. Thanks in advance for any help.

Erick
 

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Hi on this topic I am finding little information on how to remove the front diff transfer case,
Do you just undo the four or five large bolts and nuts.
I need to pull it off as I am having trouble refitting the gearbox and this might make it easier to fit with the torque converter mounted on the flex plate.
Can someone tell me how to remove it please.
 
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