Buying a used Transfer Case or transmission is kind of like buying a used Jeep — only when buying a whole used Jeep, a lot more bad stuff can be hidden by a deceitful seller. That’s not to say that Transfer Case can’t be made to look better than they are, but generally no one is going retire in the Bahamas by scamming people with dubious used Transfer Case. The fact is that if a transmission or Transfer Case turns and shifts and doesn’t have any weird leaks or a cracked housing, it’s probably alright and at worst may need a rebuild. If it’s cracked in half, it’s probably good for nothing other than a few possibly salvageable internal parts. As with anything, you need to know what you are looking at and what you are looking for. We have been playing with transmissions and Transfer Case for a long time, and we have a fair idea of that to look for when buying a new to you used gearbox.

Unfortunately, even cast iron Transfer Case housings can crack. The other problem is that it is often difficult to see the cracks until after you’ve torn the case apart and cleaned it up. If that happens to you, know we feel your pain. Some day we may tell you how many times we’ve gotten either half way, or completely through, rebuilding a Transfer Case before we noticed a crack. When looking at a either a Transfer Case or Transmission, keep your eyes peeled for cracks and odd leaks.

While purchasing a rebuilt transfer case there are several factors to look for before you begin.

  • Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable supplier of used transfer cases.  By reputable I mean how long has the person you’re on the phone with been dealing with used transfer case? Are they doing this as a summer job between school semesters or are they in the automotive recycling business?  Dealing with a person of experience can mean the difference between receiving the correct part or an incorrect part. Also, shipping back an incorrectly ordered used transfer case could be expensive.
  • When ordering a used transfer case, make sure to have your VIN number handy to provide to the supplier. This is one big way to avoid ordering the incorrect transfer case and potentially having to return it. Reputable suppliers, such as Affordable Powertrain will often ask for the VIN if there are many different transfer cases available for the same year make and model. When placing an order for your used transfer case kindly offer the VIN number to the sales rep that is handling your request. This not only helps assure your getting the correct part but shows you’re a serious customer that is an informed customer. Remember, in the used transfer case business, knowledge is power.
  • Finally, only order a used transfer case from a company that has a track record of excellence in customer service. If person on the other end of the phone doesn’t display a level of excellence in the sale how do you think they’ll be if there is a problem? Excellence in sales and service is a must and you’ll typically know just by the type of people they hire.