Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Transfer Case Shift Lever

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Samurai Models

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. Locate the transfer case shift lever inside the passenger compartment. If equipped, remove the console cover.
  4.  
  5. Remove the gear shift boot mounting bolts and slide the upper shifter boot upwards on the shift lever away from the center floor tunnel.
  6.  


WARNING
When working with the shift boots, be careful not to force and tear them. The older the boot is, the more easily it can be damaged.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: The shift lever on the 4WD Samurai transfer case is sealed to the top of the case with a boot (2) and a retaining clamp (1)



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Fig. Fig. 2: To release the lever from the top of the case, push the lever guide downward while rotating it counterclockwise

  1. Check the lower shifter boot for a retaining clamp, and if equipped, release the boot clamp. Slide the lower boot, upward toward the shift knob in order to expose the shift lever guide.
  2.  

Depending on the amount of clearance that is available through the hole in the floor, it may be easier to access the lower boot and clamp from underneath the vehicle. If so, raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.

  1. Push downward on the shift lever guide (the round housing which the lever passes through on the way into the top of the transfer case) and turn the guide counterclockwise to release it. With the guide released, pull upward to remove it and the shift control lever from the transfer case.
  2.  
  3. Cover the opening in the top of the transfer case to prevent dirt, debris or loose bolts from falling in. This can be done with a piece of duct tape or using a plastic bag with a rubber band stretched around the case opening. Or a clean rag may be placed in the opening.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Remove the protective cover (tape, plastic bag or rag) from the top of the transfer case.
  2.  
  3. Clean and inspect the wear surfaces at the bottom of the shift lever. Apply a thin coat of lithium grease to the shifter ball friction surfaces at the bottom of the handle (between the shift lever and lever seat, as well as between the lever and lever case).
  4.  
  5. Insert the shift lever into position, then push downward on the guide while turning it clockwise to lock the assembly into the top of the transfer case.
  6.  
  7. Apply a thin coat of lithium grease to the lower boot on the surface which seals with the transfer case. Then slide the boot down the shift handle into position. If equipped, secure the boot retaining clamp. If the clamp was missing or damaged you should replace it with a similar type of band clamp (but in a pinch, a wire tie should be sufficient).
  8.  
  9. Slide the upper boot down the shift lever and into position. Secure the boot to the floor center tunnel using the retaining bolts.
  10.  
  11. If equipped, install the console cover.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 Models

See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  
  3. From inside the passenger compartment remove the console cover or, on certain late-model vehicles, both the front and rear console covers, as necessary. When removing both console covers start with the rear one. To free a console cover, remove the 2 screws and the two plastic retainers, then carefully lift the cover from the floor of the vehicle.
  4.  

The plastic retainers are removed by first pushing the center inward using a small hex key or punch. The center will gently snap inward telling you that fastener is now free. At this point you should be able to pull it back and out by gently grabbing the edges. DO NOT force a retainer out using a prytool unless the center snap has pushed inwards releasing the fastener or it will break and require replacement.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Before removing the transmission, you should start by removing the shift lever(s)



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Fig. Fig. 4: The console cover is retained by 2 screws at the front and 2 plastic snap fasteners at the rear



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the transfer case control lever knob by loosening the setscrew

  1. The shift lever knob and upper boot must be removed for access to the components below. Loosen the knob setscrew and remove the knob from the top of the shift lever.
  2.  
  3. Remove the retaining screws from around the edge of the shift lever boot cover, then remove the cover and boot from the lever.
  4.  


WARNING
When working with the shift boots, be careful not to force and tear them. The older the boot is, the more easily it can be damaged. This boot is especially important, as it seals the passenger compartment from the truck's undercarriage.

  1. Release the lower boot clamp by opening the retaining tabs and gently prying the end of the clamp free. If the clamp is difficult to release, you can carefully cut it using a pair of dikes, but be sure to replace it during installation.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Unbolt and remove the upper boot (along with the boot cover) from the floor of the vehicle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: The lower boot is held on the top of the transfer case using a band clamp



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: To remove the lever, push downward on the pivot while rotating it counterclockwise (about 1/4 until it is released

  1. Push downward on the shift control lever pivot (the round guide which the lever passes through on the way into the top of the case) and turn the pivot counterclockwise to release it. With the pivot released, pull upward to remove it and the shift control lever from the transfer case.
  2.  
  3. Cover the opening in the top of the transfer case to prevent dirt, debris or loose bolts from falling in. This can be done with a piece of duct tape or using a plastic bag with a rubber band stretched around the case opening. Or a clean rag may be placed in the opening.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Remove the protective cover (tape, plastic bag or rag) from the top of the transmission case.
  2.  
  3. Clean and inspect the wear surfaces at the bottom of the shift lever. Apply a thin coat of lithium grease to the shifter ball friction surfaces at the bottom of the handle (on the lever, ball and the pivot).
  4.  
  5. Insert the shift lever into position, then push downward on the pivot while turning it clockwise to lock the assembly into the top of the transfer case. Check the shifter for proper feel.
  6.  
  7. Reposition the lower boot and secure using a suitable clamp. If the original clamp was damaged and no replacement is available, a wire tie may suffice.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper boot over the shift lever, making sure to achieve a proper seal that will keep dirt, moisture and fumes out of the passenger compartment. Install the boot cover and retaining screws to secure the assembly.
  10.  
  11. Install the shift knob into place on top of the shift lever and secure using the setscrew. The setscrew must be installed fairly tight or it will buzz during vehicle operation, just be careful not to overtighten and strip the screw head.
  12.  
  13. Install the console cover (or covers) using the retaining screws and snap fasteners. To secure the snap fasteners, remove the center portion and insert the large piece into the hole, then gently insert the center portion of the fastener until it is flush with the top of the outer portion. Pull back gently to assure it is secure.
  14.  
  15. Check for the proper clearance between the front of the console cover and the bottom of the dash. There should be about 0.08 in (2mm) of clearance. If not, the angled boot bracket may not be properly installed.
  16.  
  17. Connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  

 
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