What is a Transfer Case Do?
A transfer case is a specialized unit that powers the drivetrain on four-wheel and AWD vehicles. It splits the energy produced by the engine, and in conjunction with the transmission, the TC sends power to each axle or tire that needs to rotate. Primarily, it does just what the name implies. It transfers power to where the vehicle needs it when traveling in 4x4 mode on rocky or off-road situations.
The transfer case sits behind the transmission and has an output shaft that connects the front or rear differential. As the transfer case output shaft rotates, the differential translates that rotation to each tire as needed. Vehicles with 4x4 gears or AWD (which has a constant transfer case) have better traction and acceleration on wet or slippery surfaces and, thus, are essential for off-roading.
Although transfer cases on pickup trucks tend to be pretty tough, they can fail. The signs of a bad transfer case include the following symptoms
- Trouble shifting between gears
- Fluid or grease spot below the car
- Not Staying in 4x4 mode
- Not engaging in 4x4 or AWD mode
- A whine at high or low speeds
- A clunking sound that occurs every few feet
- A vibration that grows worse with speed
While a rebuild on an NP205 transfer case isn’t too difficult to do, the TC unit is heavy, (most weigh over 145 lbs because they are made of cast iron covers), so you might want to have a buddy help you get it in and out. (The task is much more manageable if your truck is on a lift, by the way). Since transfer cases come in all kinds and varieties with different splines and bolt patterns (depending on the transmission they are attached to), it is also essential to ensure you get the correct rebuild kit for your vehicle. Many companies you can order from have very limited refund or return policies, so make sure of the model number you need so the fit is right.
What Are the Best Rebuild Kits For An NP205?
We’ve listed some of the best rebuild kits below, along with links where you can explore them for more information. Most of these companies carry the highest quality TC parts, so if you don’t see your truck listed below, that does not mean the distributor doesn’t have the one you need or can’t find it for you). All of them accept orders online or over the phone.
TK2029 Torque King Master Overhaul Kit
This Torque King unit is made for 1969 - 1984 GM/Chevys with ten spline mail inputs to an SM465 4-speed manual. This overhaul pack is one of the most popular for the vehicles listed and is a best seller for GM and Chevy restorers.
Torque King has an extensive selection of kits with bearings and gaskets included. They also specialize in obsolete and hard-to-find parts for older 4x4s. If you need something unique or specially designed for your classic GM or Chevy, then Torque King is a great place to start.
This particular kit Includes all the bearings (straight and tapered roller), OEM spec Gaskets, thrust washer pins, fit lock rings, detent springs, shift fork roll pins, seals, and Spine seal for 32 splines fixed rear output. (there are plenty of small parts to keep track of).
While Torque King is an outfit out of Montana, they make our list for their ability to sell a high-quality rebuild package. Their staff is knowledgeable about the process (they’ve had plenty of experience with transmissions). The staff can help offer advice or counsel if you get into more than you want to try and tackle. (There are many YouTube videos, and Dan the Tech has lots of notes to help guide the installation process).
- Complete package - all the parts you need
- USA made - (although some pieces might be imported)
- Good customer service
- Fits a good number of Chevy/GM 4x4 trucks
For more information on the Turbo King Rebuild Kits available for the NP205, please see the manufacturer’s website.
USA Standard Gear - NP205 Transfer Case Bearing and Seal Kit
This rebuild kit centers on the transfer case for the Dodge Cummins diesel engine BK205D, which Dodge used from 1989 - 93 W250 Cummins. Even though Dodge had used the NP205 earlier than 1980, this directly mounted transfer case was used for 1981 - ‘93 W350s.
This particular rebuild kit is for 1988 and newer Cummins with a cast iron case that is also part-time, gear driven, and direct mounted units.
USA Standard Gear is a leading player in transmission parts, particularly regarding transfer cases and all things 4x4. They have almost any OEM transfer case you might need for your restoration project. Standard Gear has a large discount warehouse mentality, so their prices are reasonable, and they have great customer service. There is an extensive supply of install manuals to help with the rebuild (and if we would encourage every restorer to get one).
The company operates out of Washington state with distribution warehouses in Ky and Texas and began operations in 2007. They are owned by RANDY’S Worldwide, which is their parent company. Most orders can be shipped within 24 hours to your local Autozone or transmissions repair service center.
The kit features all bearings, gaskets, and seals that are needed (while not as much stuff as a master overhaul). Please note that this is a bearing rebuild kit, so you will need to reuse your existing input or front output shafts or replace them separately if you need to do so.
- Very competitive pricing
- Large inventory
- Largest distributor of transfer case kits
- Good customer service
- Easy checkout
- You may have to buy through a dealer
- Nowhere to post a review on their web page.
For more information concerning USA Standard Gear Rebuild Kits - see manufacturer’s website.
Cobra Transmission GM NP205 Gasket and Seal Kit
This particular kit fits many of the Chevrolet and GM trucks and suburban made from K10 to K3500 trucks from 1969 - 91 (depending on the engine size). While the gasket kits are inexpensive, they do not include bearings, the adapter seal, output, or input shafts.
In addition, you should ensure that you are checking your specs to ensure the right fit. They offer gasket kits for Ford and Chevys, including many of their SUVs that might have used the NP205. (A word of caution - many restorers fail to realize the Chevrolet trucks also used the NP203 during the 70s and end up getting the two confused. Since the 203 was chain-driven rather than gear-driven like the 205, it was not as durable).
Cobra offers over 25,000 different parts for transfer/transmission parts and can supply most of the parts you might need. They have been in operation since 2008, are based in Sebring, Florida, and have built an excellent reputation for customer service. A family-owned business, they can ship anywhere in the country, usually within 49 hours.
- Simple transfer case gasket kit
- Have good customer service
- Do not offer complete rebuild kits
- Only 30-day no-hassle return policy (package unopened)
- Do not offer complete overhaul packages
Northwest Performance NP205 Full Rebuild Kit - Billet Bearing Retainers
Northwest performance is a company out of British Columbia, Canada, that specializes in transfer cases and their rebuild kits. They offer a massive selection of rebuild packs for all types of NP205 vehicles. This specific one fits small bore GM cases with a 1 - ¾ inch output shaft seal.
The kit includes the highest quality parts in a complete rebuild kit that you might expect, plus everything else you might need, including billet retainer bearings (both front and rear), PTO case cover, site cover, and cap screws. This package is one of the most complete rebuild kits on the market.
Northwest has been in existence for about 15 years, has a thirty-day return policy, and is very committed to customer service. Their website has many installation guides to help any customer trying to rebuild their transfer case.
- Canadian Company
- Effective parts inventory
- Return policy
- Shipping may take longer because the company is not in the US.
- 10% cancellation fee if you change your mind before the part is shipped.
For more information on Northwest Performance, see the company website.
Transparts Warehouse - Ford Truck Rebuild Kit - BK205FDM
This specific kit was used for Ford trucks with the NP205 from 1973 - 1989. For years, Ford used the married 205 transfer case in their F100s and F150s (1973 - 79), F250s (1977.5 - 79), F350 (1979), and the 1978 - 79 Bronco. While Ford 4x4s used the NP203 at the same time, the 205 had a reputation for being built Ford tough. In fact, it was a big reason why Ford adopted the slogan in 1977.
Before the 70s, Ford 4x4s were often known as ‘High-Boys” because they used a separate transfer case. The TC had to sit further back to work the drivetrain, and the result was that Ford 4X4 trucks sat a few inches higher than the rest of the competition, which led to the moniker of “high boy”. Ford was the last automaker to adopt the married transfer case in 1973.
This kit accommodates the part-time, direct mount case that was so prevalent on Ford 4x4 pickups. The rebuild is only for gear-driven transfer case rebuilds. The kit includes all main bearings, gearings, seals, caskets, needles, snap rings, and washers.
Transparts Warehouse is located in Redding, CA. It started as a transmission repair shop in 1955. Over the years, the business has grown into a complete parts center, with fast shipping and great customer service staff. They are knowledgeable and are more than willing to help you find the exact part you might need.
- Good Parts Inventory for Ford 4x4 Trucks
- Kit includes plenty of parts, with some to spare.
- Company has a good, long history.
- 30-day parts warranty, but only if defective.
- Great Blog on the website with informative articles.
- Customers may find returns difficult