Garage-Build Transfer Case
Dana 18 rebuild you can do
The Dana 18 transfer case was in place behind the transmissions of Jeeps beginning in 1940
and lasting until 1971. Different versions of the Dana 18 have seen the grunt of the battlefield, worked around the farm, and cruised the town in the first luxury Jeep—the CJ-5A Tuxedo Park. This old-school transfer case is a gear-driven design that is stuffed inside of a cast-iron case. The Dana 18 also had the auxiliary options available like an overdrive unit; power take-off (PTO) unit that can be used to run implements such as a winch, trencher, welder, belt drive drum; and just about anything you can think of. Check out our “Dana Spicer 18— The Best Transfer Case Ever?” article (fourwheeler.com/how-to/transfercase-dana-spicer-18) for more reasons why this venerable transfer case should be rebuilt instead of going on the scrap pile.
While these transfer cases are gear driven, tough, and durable, some could be nearly 80 years old, and the wearable internal parts have seen much better days. They are also known to leak oil from time to time, and that leads to advanced wear if neglected (fluid level not checked regularly). If your transfer case is popping out of gear or has excessive endplay on the output shafts, then it is time for a rebuild. No matter which version of the Dana 18 you have, all of the parts are available to get it back into working order. We show you the major steps to rebuild the Dana 18, along with a few tricks in the name of continuous improvements.
At this point in our Dana 18 transfer case rebuild its guts had been disassembled and made clean again, and its case was freshly painted. We did all this while the intermediate gear was off to Herm the Overdrive Guy for machine work.