Took my 2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD (211k mi) to AAMCO this week and the only issue they found with the transmission was bearing growl coming from the passenger side. They said they need to replace bearings and to rebuild the transmission would cost $3500-3800. At home, I jacked up the front end and spun the wheels and used my stethoscope to confirm there is clearly a slight bearing growl from inside the transfer case.
Assuming the issue is the transfer case bearings - what would a mechanic typically charge to replace the bearings inside the transfer case? It seems to me that rebuilding the transmission is unnecessary when the transfer case can be repaired or replaced with a used unit.
How difficult is it to replace the transfer case assembly with a used one myself? I see several on ebay for ~$300 and I'm thinking I might do it myself or have a mechanic do the swap if its reasonable. I can't find many resources online for swapping or repairing transfer cases for the vibe/matrix.
Does anybody have experience removing/installing a transfer case assembly? From what I gathered, it looks to be fairly straight forward - drain fluids, remove sub-frame crossmember, remove drive shaft and passenger CV axle, drop the transfer case out the bottom and reinstall the new transfer case assembly. The transfer case looks to have 4 bolts, 2 nuts, and a few mounting brackets - all of which are fairly accessible.