Troubleshooting the NVG 226 transfer case.


Original poster
Dec 4, 2011
Since I've had my truck, my 4WD has never worked flawlessly. It likes to not be used as opposed to being used. When I would start her up in very cold weather outside, it wouldn't want to shift into 4WD and the light would come on. I've had the fluid changed in it, so I keep up with that.

I got a new transmission put in a few weeks back, so then I took the truck off road on some mild grassy/muddy slopes to test how it would handle.

When I have the truck in neutral, and I select 4WD Low, the selector light is already on 4WD but the 4WD low light flashes, then it switches back to A4WD, and the Service 4WD light comes on. It won't shift out of the transfer case gear until I turn the truck off and turn it back on and then shift it.

When I do get it in 4WD Low, there is quite a jolt once I put the transmission back into gear. A little more than I'd like, but too the driveshaft does this in 2HI mode so I know I need to get my u-joints looked at.

After I was done off roading just doing very mild things, the steering was very tight and hard to steer (un related to the transfer case, but not sure why exactly.)

Then I let it sit for a couple hours in 2HI while off, then I turned the truck on to head out. Truck was clearly showing in 2HI, just where I left it, and then I go to turn around in my driveway and then I start getting driveline binding like 4WD is still engaged.

I need to get it scanned for codes, but does this sound more like a hardware issue or a control issue? I've read somewhere that 2004 models have a tendency to "stick" somewhere in the 4WD system. Can this be confirmed?


Lifetime VIP Donor
Nov 19, 2011
Portland, OR
Sluggish engagement or disengagement of the 4WD system while cold is most often congealed/old grease in the splined disconnect on the front axle. But an inability to go into or out of LO range is definitely the transfer case or encoder motor.

How many miles? Have you ever pulled the splined disconnect to regrease it? Checked the CV shaft for bearing looseness where it goes into the disconnect?

Have you read the Tech Articles on the transfer case and splined disconnect over at Offroadtb?


Original poster
Dec 4, 2011
I had the front diff fluid changed... 30-40k miles ago. 113k miles overall. New CV half shafts installed 13k miles ago. The splined disconnect is in the front axle or? Ill check out offroadtb.

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