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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so as some people have made note, the transfer case in our vehicles seems to be the weak spot in our drivetrain. Since no one has stepped up in the aftermarket to take care of this need (at least, not to my knowledge I've began some creative research into alternative solutions. Through some service manuals and part number guides, I've come up with a solution that may just be viable, thanks to our friends at Mercedes, unless I'm drastically overlooking something. Mercedes has a relatively solid 4Matic AWD system, and their transfer case is pretty solid. This system can be found in C class vehicles, as can the Nag1 transmission. I'm sure by now you can see where this is going - I want a 4Matic transfer case in my vehicle.

Now the important question - will this work? If in theory it does, I'm willing to put the investment in and test it out. I cannot see an issue with the computer reading it, and the physical connection should be ok, since another Nag1 connects to it no issue. If this in theory works, this also brings to light the possibility of moving a 7G Tronic transmission into our cars, but that's a whole other animal, since then you're moving over a PCM and TCM to read gears (doesn't mean it's not possible, but again, that's another battle). So, will the 4Matic transfer case work in our cars? If not, what other solutions to the transfer case are there? I ask as a rather large overhaul has started, and figure transfer of power to the ground is the best place to start.
 

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I can't help you with your original question as to whether it will work as a bolt-on or otherwise. A couple ideas would be to stop by your local Mercedes dealer and see if you can scare up a discussion with their transmission specialist. You might even get lucky and find they have one in stock that you can "analyze" i.e. take pictures and measurements of.

Although even if the 4matic TCase bolts up to your Nag1 (Do you have a Nag1 in your V6?) it won't necessarily align correctly with the front differential. And as you touched on already the TCM communication is a whole other question.

What makes you think that the 4matic is suited any better than our TCase? Isn't the highest horsepower AWD the CL550. Doesn't it only have a 4.6L engine that makes about 430 at the crank? I'm no Mercedes expert so I don't know what they offer in the AWD. It would be a shame to invest so much into a refit only to find that you're no better off.

Not in anyway trying to dissuade you from improving on our TCase, just some things that come to mind without a great deal of thought on my part.
 

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So how is your project coming? What have you found out regarding the compatibility of the Mercedes Tcase? What about the 09 and later D/C Tcase? Or even a Mercedes transmission and Tcase combo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 09 transfer case is indeed beefed up and would be a direct swap in. Flash will be needed, but no additional sensors. Without modification, it will maintain full-time 32/68 distribution, whereas with a changed PCM that can be altered to run as the new ones do with optional RWD setting.

The Mercedes internals are stronger than ours (ours is only based on theirs, not actually the same), and any Merc transfer case that uses a Nag1 transmission will bolt-up. As for reading it, seeing as it only distributes power, it should be ok without throwing codes. If it does throw codes, part of the PCM will modified to ignore that. At the same time, instead of the 32/68 power distribution, something else would have to be set - either 0/100, 65/35, or 50/50 distribution - although it may be possible to wire a switch like the Mercs have to be able to change this at will.

As for the transmission, it is possible to bolt it up, but without a way to read it, it becomes quite difficult to get the computer to understand it. Massive custom programming would be required for this, and more than I am willing to put in for the arguable benefits. The $13,000 price tag for the transmission (as quoted from dealer, no sensors or wiring, just the unit) also makes it something I'm not willing to experiment with.
 

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The 09 transfer case is indeed beefed up and would be a direct swap in. Flash will be needed, but no additional sensors. Without modification, it will maintain full-time 32/68 distribution, whereas with a changed PCM that can be altered to run as the new ones do with optional RWD setting.

The Mercedes internals are stronger than ours (ours is only based on theirs, not actually the same), and any Merc transfer case that uses a Nag1 transmission will bolt-up. As for reading it, seeing as it only distributes power, it should be ok without throwing codes. If it does throw codes, part of the PCM will modified to ignore that. At the same time, instead of the 32/68 power distribution, something else would have to be set - either 0/100, 65/35, or 50/50 distribution - although it may be possible to wire a switch like the Mercs have to be able to change this at will.

As for the transmission, it is possible to bolt it up, but without a way to read it, it becomes quite difficult to get the computer to understand it. Massive custom programming would be required for this, and more than I am willing to put in for the arguable benefits. The $13,000 price tag for the transmission (as quoted from dealer, no sensors or wiring, just the unit) also makes it something I'm not willing to experiment with.
Well, that's not all bad news. Our tranny does have an upgrade available so it's not the end of the world eliminating the Benz. The 32/68 is a little friendlier split for max power with more power going to those part that are currently upgradeable. I wonder if that would help the TCase though. Those planetary gears have still got to take the load no matter if its going to the back or front. Time will tell. I'd like to see someone put some serious hp through one of those new TCases and see how it performs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a side I forgot to mention earlier, almost all parts (in fact, I haven't come across any differences) in the AWD drivetrain and suspension are the same between the V6 and V8 models, and this would include the Nag1.
 

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As a side I forgot to mention earlier, almost all parts (in fact, I haven't come across any differences) in the AWD drivetrain and suspension are the same between the V6 and V8 models, and this would include the Nag1.
I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you referring to the Benz? Are you comparing Benz vs. Mopar? Are you comparing AWD, V6, and V8 in the Mopar? I'm interested in what you've dug up but I'm not sure what that is just yet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With regards to Mopar, the V6 and V8 parts in the AWD lineup are the same part numbers. Pretty much the only difference between the two models is the engine, bumpers, headlights, taillights.

Compared to the Merc, there are vast differences, but as far as the parts I'm concerned about are (transfer case), it is a direct bolt-on, should be read by PCM without issue, and is just a bit pricey.
 

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With regards to Mopar, the V6 and V8 parts in the AWD lineup are the same part numbers. Pretty much the only difference between the two models is the engine, bumpers, headlights, taillights.

Compared to the Merc, there are vast differences, but as far as the parts I'm concerned about are (transfer case), it is a direct bolt-on, should be read by PCM without issue, and is just a bit pricey.
OK, I got what your saying. You must be planning just an engine swap with a 6.1 and not touching the driveline on back of the transmission. You will be just fine with that if you drive sensibly. As has been talked about before you will probably only get into trouble if you get the fronts and back spinning out of sequence on launch. Kind of a nice problem to have...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't plan on touching the driveline unless I have to. Run the stock stuff until something breaks, find the break, and re-evaluate at that time.
 

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Don't plan on touching the driveline unless I have to. Run the stock stuff until something breaks, find the break, and re-evaluate at that time.
Good plan. We break it, we fix it, we break it again. I think I'll get a t-shirt made that says something to that effect as I've done plenty of it myself...
 

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If you haven't chatted with Builder Bill at Paramount then you don't have the whole story. Worth your time.
 

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Any updates on your build? Or any stories of someone running some serious power through our AWD setup. I'm curious to see how it would hold up.
I've been over 500 to the wheels for the better part of 2 years now. stock transfer case is holding up like a champ. I'll be bumping that up closer to 700 to the wheels in a few weeks. What's the worst that could happen?

If you haven't chatted with Builder Bill at Paramount then you don't have the whole story. Worth your time.
Have you talked to him in the last 18 months? Last time I checked with him he wasn't doing anything for our tcase. The Jeeps are getting all the love. Go figure.
 
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