Delving a little deeper now into the Eagle’s drivetrain woes…
The false neutral thing (unsurprisingly) did not turn out to be the problem, at least not the main problem. When I got underneath the car and found the lever that changes the transfer case from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive, you may remember that I had hoped to find it accidentally between the two settings, necessitating only a turn to one direction or the other to restore wheel movement.
Not only was this not the case, but the lever refused to move out of whatever position it is in. I pushed, pulled, pounded, and otherwise tried to force that lever to move until I had busted three knuckles and exhausted all hope. This leads me to suspect that there are big problems not only in the transmission, as I previously knew, but also in the transfer case. So the time has come to remove both of them.
For a car, this is like removing its liver and a kidney. We’re talking major surgery. I’ll most likely take the transfer case to a transmission shop and say, “Give it to me straight, doc.” If they say it needs to be replaced, I have some potential sources for that. This will also be the easier of the two to remove. To get it out, you have to remove the skid plate (already out), drive shafts (already out), speedometer cable (also out), the vacuum actuator (which switches it between 2WD and 4WD, partially out), and then it should unbolt from the transmission and be able to be lowered out.
|Here is the transfer case now with both shafts and the speedo gear removed. It was secured above a brake line out of the frame, but the cable still made it into the top of the photo.|