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2002 Mountaineer AWD Transfercase

07-31-2007, 11:04 PM
I wanted to post this as information out there that I have recently experienced with my mountaineer. We bought the SUV with 56k on it. At about 69k the transmission started to shutter when shifting between 2-3 & 3-4. Which I am finding out that it is a known problem by Ford and there are several people I have seen are experiencing the same issue. At about 75k I started experiencing a loud poping sound in the front drivers side and you could feel the wheels binding like you were applying the brakes. It would also "hop" when you turned the wheels sharp. I took it to my local mechanic and he said it was the transfercase. There is a clutch mechanism in the AWD models that allows the front wheels to slip when the wheels are turned. My mechanic changed the fluid in hopes that it would possibly help....which it didn't. Rather than spend the $1400-$1600 to rebuild the transfercase, I bought a salvage one with supposidly only 9,000 miles on it. My mechanic installed it and it worked great, except for the rubber CV joint in the front drive shaft was bad also, which we replaced.

Well after about 12k miles the transfercase started acting up again. I just had the fluid changed again and it seemed to far. The mechanic did say that he old fluid was pretty burnt. Not sure what it going on but I think it is time to let it be someone elses problem.

I thought I would post this and recomend anyone with an AWD change the fluid in the transfercase. Is there anyone out there that has experienced this also?????

08-01-2007, 01:14 PM
Make sure that all four wheels are of the same size, style, brand, and treadwear. If you have a wheel or two that are of a different diameter, that will cause the transfer case to slip continuously and may be contributing to the early failure of the transfer cases.


08-01-2007, 03:31 PM
I haven't experienced all the problems you had, but my 2002 Mountaineer AWD began making popping and clicking noises just as you described. I took it to good year and they said it was my transfer case which would cost $2600. I took it to a local mechanic and he was leaning thinking it was the transfer case also but after checking the truck out fully it was the drive shaft that they replaced for $422. WHEW!! Hope everything works out for you but if not don't continue to waste your money.

08-14-2007, 02:49 PM
I also have a 2002 AWD Mountaineer.About a month ago I had all four outer bearings replaced. Now when turning at low speeds it makes a loud popping noise from the front and seems like tires are binding. At a little faster speed it doesn't do this.I had the fluid changed in June and it hasn't helped. Not excited about more money being put into it but have to do something about it soon. It is really bugging me as it happens all the time now. I would rather pay $422 then $2600. When I find anything out I will let ya'll know.

09-13-2007, 02:51 AM
FYI the 2002 is also the only year that had a bad transfer case chain it was corrected for the following model years. waiting for the trans to go now, so I can do the chain conversion myself. tranny guy will wait for me to build it over the weekend.

10-26-2007, 07:23 AM
lift the truck and measure around each tire if there is more than .5inch differance get all new this will kill a t-case quick. even the same stated size and brand can vary in size

10-26-2007, 12:46 PM
Well, before throwing away the tires, make sure they are properly inflated, even if the circumference is off. ;)


01-12-2008, 10:18 AM
Thought I would follow up to my original post. I ended up biting the bullet and having a remanufactured transfer case installed. They also found out that the front drive shaft CV joint on the transfercase side was toast also. After driving it with the new transfercase (TC), I am not convinced that a bad TC is the problem. I think that there is something in the frond end that is causing the TC to fail. I pulled the plug on the front differential and the gear lube was black and smelled burnt. Not sure where to go from here. Any suggestions? Bad wheel bearing? Front Diffential? I have been a Ford fan all my life but a vehicle with 88k should not be having these type of problems. I guess Toyota and Honda have some things figured out!

03-19-2008, 12:17 AM
I have the '97 and have front end noise/grinding. How similar are the '02s. I have a few new repies seeing if I can find someone who fixed this. SW

12-03-2008, 08:36 AM
i have the same problems with my mountaineer. i have had the bearings replaced and the fluid changed and still have the same problem , loud whinning noise when driving or coming to a stop. now it seems as though the brakes are seizing up. after i stop i can take my foot off the brakes and car won't move. i also have the hoping when i turn the steering whell. can someome please tell me what is going on

02-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Make sure that all four wheels are of the same size, style, brand, and treadwear. If you have a wheel or two that are of a different diameter, that will cause the transfer case to slip continuously and may be contributing to the early failure of the transfer cases.

Speaking from experience, I just like to advise anyone out there that 20" rims and tires look good on your Mountaineer but they would also and over time create havoc on your transfer Case. Grinding sounds will begin to be heard and if not checked on time it will cost you a rebuilt or a used one from the Salvage Yard and they don't come cheap either way.

06-14-2013, 03:51 PM
Mine is doing the same as described. My mat. is going to change the fluid first to see if this helps. It all started when I changed just two of my tires and found out that it was a NO NO. Went ahead and changed the other tires and things got better for awhile. Then when I tried to back out of the driveway, it felt like I was pressing the brake and gas at the same time. It would roll to a stop, and with gas pressed, it would hop or jump instead of rolling. It feels like I have square wheels. I am hoping that all it takes is new fluid. It not, we will need advice for what to do next. Thanks for sharing.:nono:

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