Transfer Case Won't Shift Out of Neutral After Flat Tow

JeepCares

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So I have driven 1500 miles and towed about 3000 miles.
Won't be long and I will take the 18 Sport in for an oil change. At that time I am going to have the Service Manager try the Manual Procedure again (engine off) now that it should be "broken in".
I have had to continue doing the gearing after towing with the engine running.
Funny, I haven't been contacted by Jeep Cares as a follow-up. I don't think they really care.
2018 JL Wrangler.
Hi Hypalon Man,
I was able locate that case I escalated for you back in January and it looks like the Case Manager was able to confirm that as long the transmission is in NEUTRAL and the Emergency Break is "ON" you can shift the transfer case from NEUTRAL to 2H. It looks like you did not have any additional questions after that so your case was closed. If you have any additional questions, please send us a private message and we'll be happy to help!
Lydia
Jeep Social Care Specialist
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Hypalon Man

Hypalon Man

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Hi Hypalon Man,
I was able locate that case I escalated for you back in January and it looks like the Case Manager was able to confirm that as long the transmission is in NEUTRAL and the Emergency Break is "ON" you can shift the transfer case from NEUTRAL to 2H. It looks like you did not have any additional questions after that so your case was closed. If you have any additional questions, please send us a private message and we'll be happy to help!
Lydia
Jeep Social Care Specialist
I can only perform that action with the engine running!
I was traveling and accumulating miles both driven and towing. Which was a recommendation.
Don't know why you would close the case yet?
 
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edavis10

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I can only perform that action with the engine running!
I was traveling and accumulating miles both driven and towing. Which was a recommendation.
Don't know why you would close the case yet?
I have same problem shifting from N after flat towing. I have been experimenting ( because I have no faith in Jeep to resolve the issue) and it seems it works better for me to go to 4L and then shift to 2H. This is a poor excuse for a transfer case don't they even try anything before they sell it any more?
 

edavis10

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I do have a 18 JL not the TJ but can'r figure out how to update my profile
 

Dreamer Easy

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If anyone is still wandering around the Universe with this problem then you might be interested in this.

A good friend had this very tow mode problem with his Jeep. He could not get the transfer case into and out of Neutral by following the UM instructions. His dealer couldn’t do it, even I couldn't do it! It was so bad that when the dealer spoke to Chrysler, Chrysler said they would send a new transfer case for the dealer to install. My friend was happy but having read this thread insisted on written directions and someone showing him how to take the Jeep into and out of tow mode.

When he picked up the Jeep, the tech gave him the same UM instructions.

The tech then said let me show you how to do it. My friend starts his Jeep and puts the transmission in Neutral. The next written step was to turn the engine off but the tech told him to ignore that instruction, keep the Jeep running, and shift the transfer case into Neutral while the engine is running. It worked! And it worked coming out of Neutral too.

So WTF?

In his personal opinion, the tech thought the Chrysler lawyers were so afraid that unless the engine was turned off during the transfer case maneuver that someone would be maimed or killed. They must have worried that if the engine was running and someone took their foot off the brake or didn’t have the handbrake set then disaster would ensue - picture a Jeep within 3 feet of a motorhome and someone standing between the two. His thought was that the UM instructions were written to protect Chrysler from lawsuits. He also said that he didn’t say that, instruct my friend on what to do, and would deny the conversation ever took place. So make of this whatever you will. For my friend, it explained why Chrysler will never revise the UM instructions.

If you’re new to recreational towing and struggling with tow mode then consider that nothing is wrong with your Jeep other than lawyers protecting the mothership. I guess you can now say "lawyers are a Jeep thing!"
 
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Hypalon Man

Hypalon Man

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I started this thread two years ago and to my knowledge nothing has changed. Jeep Cares, really doesn't care. I gave up attempting to get them to change their operational procedures. Obviously they have no intention to do so.
I perform the necessary steps with the engine running and yes I get some gear grinding but otherwise it is the only way the task can be accomplished.
Two years later and 5000 driven miles a few thousand towed miles the situation remains static.
 

treesmacker

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New 2021 Wrangler Sport S and the problem is still there. I copied the pages specifically for "flat towing shifting" from the manual and laminated them for easy access and to be sure we would do it right and not damage anything (first Jeep). Setting the transfer case to N was no problem and it flat towed beautifully 175 miles to our first destination. Showed my wife just how simple it was to disconnect the tow bar, and then proceeded to follow instructions to set the Jeep back for regular driving. STRUGGLED for nearly an hour to get the damn transfer case back to 2H. Referred to online references which are outlined here and elsewhere, and finally, what worked was just to rock the jeep front to rear and side to side. What a frustrating experience. WTF would I do if I needed to quickly disconnect the Jeep and move it in order to back up the motorhome in situation sure to happen some day? Kind of disappointing for a rig that everyone claims is best for flat towing. I guess I'll try the rocking fix for now... I'm a little nervous about shifting it with engine running - just don't like the sound of grinding gears.
 

Rhinebeck01

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New 2021 Wrangler Sport S and the problem is still there. I copied the pages specifically for "flat towing shifting" from the manual and laminated them for easy access and to be sure we would do it right and not damage anything (first Jeep). Setting the transfer case to N was no problem and it flat towed beautifully 175 miles to our first destination. Showed my wife just how simple it was to disconnect the tow bar, and then proceeded to follow instructions to set the Jeep back for regular driving. STRUGGLED for nearly an hour to get the damn transfer case back to 2H. Referred to online references which are outlined here and elsewhere, and finally, what worked was just to rock the jeep front to rear and side to side. What a frustrating experience. WTF would I do if I needed to quickly disconnect the Jeep and move it in order to back up the motorhome in situation sure to happen some day? Kind of disappointing for a rig that everyone claims is best for flat towing. I guess I'll try the rocking fix for now... I'm a little nervous about shifting it with engine running - just don't like the sound of grinding gears.
@treesmacker

Not at all unusual for a JL or in the past a new JK, to do exactly as you are seeing ..... and to have to be rocked a bit back and forth or whatever when dealing with the transfer case selection. Once your JL has broken in lets say, this dance will call it, will less apt to be needed.

I have had many Wranglers as TOADS over the last 20+ years... pulling them with a Diesel Pusher(s) all over the USA. When a Wrangler is new especially, you usually have to do the dance with the transfer case.... with some you don't need to but again, more often then not when they are new you do.

Whether it is a new light switch, new bicycle chain or whatever, when new all is tight and a bit hard to move.... it will loosen up over time.


.
 
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Hypalon Man

Hypalon Man

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3 years later 6000 miles driven and at least that many towed and I still have to switch out of tow mode with the engine running transmission in N. Jeep can saw what they will....As reported early my dealer couldn't make it work per the OM.
I will not be rocking it that's for damn sure.
18JL Sport.
 
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Robnfl

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Hmmm.....I must've skipped over that part in the owners manual. I've always shifted back to 2H with the engine running after flat towing. That was with my '06, '20 and now my '21 JLU.
 

JD Jeep

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I guess I was the winner of one of the stiffer Transfer Cases, so I found my way to this thread. Thanks to everyone for everyone sharing your experiences and suggestions. I've only been successful getting it back in 2H with the engine off (including rocking/rolling) 1 out of a dozen attempts now.

For those behind me, I will add that I have had more success getting it into 4L with the engine off and then properly shifting back to 2H after I can get it rolling 2-3 mph. Good luck if you're reading this and are having the same issue! lol
 
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Hypalon Man

Hypalon Man

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I guess I was the winner of one of the stiffer Transfer Cases, so I found my way to this thread. Thanks to everyone for everyone sharing your experiences and suggestions. I've only been successful getting it back in 2H with the engine off (including rocking/rolling) 1 out of a dozen attempts now.

For those behind me, I will add that I have had more success getting it into 4L with the engine off and then properly shifting back to 2H after I can get it rolling 2-3 mph. Good luck if you're reading this and are having the same issue! lol

As the OP and the descriptive of the original post, the JL is now three years old, I can tell you after 5K miles driving and about that many towing, nothing has changed. I engage and dis-engage with the engine running.
To this day it is impossible to perform the operations as Jeep has proposed in their Operational Manual. And no, I am not going to perform said operation by "rocking" that's BS! So grind away.
 
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Hypalon Man

Hypalon Man

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I did get a new pre-owned RV to tow said JL.

Ghost 21 33DS Lake Jordan V.jpg
 

mwilk012

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As the OP and the descriptive of the original post, the JL is now three years old, I can tell you after 5K miles driving and about that many towing, nothing has changed. I engage and dis-engage with the engine running.
To this day it is impossible to perform the operations as Jeep has proposed in their Operational Manual. And no, I am not going to perform said operation by "rocking" that's BS! So grind away.
You are a fool.
 
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