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How do I choose a Transfer Case for my 2008 Dakota 4x4

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How do I choose a Transfer Case for my 2008 Dakota 4x4

Truck Trend Truck Trend
Administrator | Posts: 4666 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 01/16/09
03:43 PM

Question: I'm planning to purchase a new 2008 Dakota 4x4 in the next couple months and have a question about transfer-case selection. One choice is an electronic part-time shift-on-the-fly system, and the other is an electronic shift-on-the-fly AWD system with manual lock and low range. Could you please explain the differences between the two systems including the pros and cons?

Answer: The NV233HD is the 2008 Dakota's standard part-time transfer case. The full-time NV244HD transfer case is available in TRX/TRX4, Sport, and Laramie trims with the 4.7-liter V-8 attached. Both units are electronically controlled by a selector switch on the instrument panel and both can be shifted while the truck is in motion (on the fly). Both units' gear selections include neutral plus 4WD High Lock and 4WD Low Lock, to be used only during limited traction or off-road conditions. The practical difference between the two units is the two-wheel-drive gear selection of the NV233HD transfer case replaced by the NV244HD's Full-Time 4WD High. Full-time means you're powering all four wheels but can drive on normal road surfaces and/or loose terrain without breaking anything. Part-time lock describes the front and rear driveshafts being locked together and turning in unison. This is great for traction on loose ground where the wheels can break free easily, but can bind the drivetrain and cause damage when the tires stick to a normal road surface. A full-time transfer case adds a computer-controlled differential between the front and rear driveshafts, allowing the front and rear wheels to rotate at different speeds. It works the same way as a rear axle differential, which enables the left and right rear wheels to rotate at different speeds while making a turn. The full-time transfer case offers the convenience and added traction of an all-wheel-drive system along with 4WD high and low lock selections for getting down and dirty.


If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex Steele, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, or e-mail us at

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