Transfer cases are an essential part of all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, as well as of any vehicle that relies on variations of a multi-powered axle drive. As winter weather looms ahead, you may want to consider your options for weather-ready vehicles. At Zumbrota Bearing and Gear, we have quality multi-drive options with our transfer cases in Zumbrota, MN.

Transfer cases are handy mechanisms that split power from the transmission to the front and rear axle. This power ratio can vary depending on the type of transfer case and the power needed on each axle. Simple AWD transfer cases split power evenly between each axle, while more intelligent 4WD cases alternate axle power depending on traction. Some transfer cases bring locked differentials into play. Most transfer cases today offer a combination of different drive types, housing types, and shift types.

 Drive types:

  • Gear driven transfer cases use a set of gears to send power to the front and rear axle. While gear driven transfer cases are more durable, they are also louder and less practical for smaller vehicles because of their weight.
  • Chain driven transfer cases use a chain in place of a gear set. Though most chain driven cases only drive one axle, there are case systems designed to drive both axles with a chain. Chains are lighter and quieter, but weaker than gear sets.

 Housing types:

  • Married transfer case housings are bolted to the transmission, often between the output shaft and the main driveshaft. Some married transfer cases share housing with the transmission.
  • Independent housings are installed separately from the transmission casing and are connected to the transmission output shaft with another driveshaft.

 Shift types:

  • Manual Shift On-the-Fly (MSOF) transfer cases are controlled with a lever on the driver’s side floor of most vehicles. These transfer cases have two automatic sealed front axle hubs or two manual front axle hub selectors. High 4WD settings can be engaged at low speeds, but low 4WD settings must be engaged when the vehicle is stationary and the transmission is in neutral.
  • Electronic Shift On-the-Fly (ESOF) transfer cases have a dash-mounted selector, usually a switch or set of buttons. These cases have sealed automatic locking front axle hubs and a transfer case motor. High and low 4WD is engaged in the same ways as a MSOF transfer case.

Though there are now more complex variations on these basic forms of transfer cases, most will follow a combination of these system options. Contact us at Zumbrota Bearing and Gear for more information on transfer cases in Zumbrota, MN.