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2WD to 4WD Conversion

FordBoy101

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Joined
October 3, 2011
Messages
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City, State
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer Sport
Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone knew how much it would be to do a complete swap to 4WD. Also, since the 98 sport explorer (2WD) has the same dash as other explorers, would wiring be easy to do as well? (My dash has the icons for '4x4High' '4x4Low'. So I'm just wondering.) Can I still maintain the stock 4.0 SOHC V6 engine and have 4WD? What am I going to need to do?

Thanks!
 



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Save yourself some time and headakes and buy an explorer sport that is already 4wd. I know it can be done but way easier to just buy it with 4wd.

just my 2 cents
 






I have actually converted my 99 sohc 2wd automatic to a 5 speed 4wd. It really isn't that hard, the biggest pain is that you need a 4wd transmission, since I was swapping to a 5 speed this wasn't really an issue. Basically you will need a 4wd transmission, a transfer case, preferably BW 1354 I got the electronic model, I am currently saving up for the shift linkage you can buy to make the electronic case into a manual. Then front and rear drive shafts. For the the front end you will need 4wd rotors, knuckles, CV's, and front diff with same ratio as rear. I picked up my whole front end off craigslist for 150 from a 98 ranger with 40,000 miles, and I now have the benefit of manual hubs. Transmissions and transfer cases are the most expensive of the parts although you can get them cheap on craigslist or really cheap at a junkyard that you pull yourself. The swap is well worth it, everyone will say to just buy a 4wd but I am attached to my truck and didn't want to get rid of it, keep in mind I was able to do this in a 3 day weekend while my parents were out of town, while I was in High School, and they didnt even find out until months later hahaha. Good luck, and if you decide to go for it and need any help or a parts list just let me know.


Chase
 






chase you give hope to a bunch of people who wish their X had 4WD! thats awesome. we have a jeep and i just sold my old 4x4 but my 03 sport trac is 2wd and i have always toy'd with the idea of doing the conversion. my neighbor has a 1999 explorer 4 dr 4wd with a blown motor and would sell me it for 500 bucks. i have always been tempted to buy it and see if i could do the conversion, but my X is still pretty low miles and i wanted to get a little more out of its original tranny before i started doing major overhauls to it. maybe someday!
 






Chase what would you guess-timate the final price being for all of the parts? Any write ups on here that I could reference too? I am a highschool student so money is limited, however I really love my explorer just wish it had 4wd. Will look into craigslist and see what I can find! Thank you!
 






Well thank you, I never actually planned on doing the 4wd swap, I had always planned on converting it to a 5 speed then getting 3 in spindles, and locking the rear, until I could eventually in 5 or so years do a SAS. Anyways I found the spindles for like 400 bucks and figured for near that amount of money I could just have 4wd. Since your keeping your auto trans it will be a much simpler swap, it really is not hard to do as everyone says, I had never even pulled a trans before. What you should do is find local junkyards near you that are self serve, heres one, http://www.upullandpay.com/albuquerque/part-prices.

I got my transmission and transfercase at the junkyard 125 for the trans and 60 for the transfer case. I also got both driveshafts there 15 a piece. Then I got my whole front end from a ranger off craigslist for 150. So I probably spent 400 bucks including diff oil, trans fluid, and gasket maker.

The best thing about the pull a part places is since your pulling it yourself, you will know exactly how to put it back together in you truck. Looking at that websites prices, they seem to be a bit cheaper than mine, you should definetley be fine under 400 without taxes, figure 500 to be safe.

heres a quick list of all you should need

1. 4wd trans, not sure what years the autos differed, I would look into that.
2. Transfer case, personally I would get the 1354 out of a 1st gen so you have true 2wd, unless you want the weird ass auto 4wd haha.
3. front and rear driveshafts, from a 4 door if you have a 4 door. If you do get a 1354 from a 1st gen, then you will need a front shaft from a 1st gen.
4. front diff with same ratio as your rear.
5. front half shafts, CV's. the lower the mileage the better.
6. 4WD knuckles.
7. 4WD Rotors.

That should be it, but I am tired as hell so I might have missed something. Anyways if you really are attached to the truck like I am, then go for it, Plus the feeling of what you have accomplished the first time you put it in 4 low is quite unbeleivable, its also nice being able to stop in sand, and then be able to leave haha.

Chase
 






Well thank you, I never actually planned on doing the 4wd swap, I had always planned on converting it to a 5 speed then getting 3 in spindles, and locking the rear, until I could eventually in 5 or so years do a SAS. Anyways I found the spindles for like 400 bucks and figured for near that amount of money I could just have 4wd. Since your keeping your auto trans it will be a much simpler swap, it really is not hard to do as everyone says, I had never even pulled a trans before. What you should do is find local junkyards near you that are self serve, heres one, http://www.upullandpay.com/albuquerque/part-prices.

I got my transmission and transfercase at the junkyard 125 for the trans and 60 for the transfer case. I also got both driveshafts there 15 a piece. Then I got my whole front end from a ranger off craigslist for 150. So I probably spent 400 bucks including diff oil, trans fluid, and gasket maker.

The best thing about the pull a part places is since your pulling it yourself, you will know exactly how to put it back together in you truck. Looking at that websites prices, they seem to be a bit cheaper than mine, you should definetley be fine under 400 without taxes, figure 500 to be safe.

heres a quick list of all you should need

1. 4wd trans, not sure what years the autos differed, I would look into that.
2. Transfer case, personally I would get the 1354 out of a 1st gen so you have true 2wd, unless you want the weird ass auto 4wd haha.
3. front and rear driveshafts, from a 4 door if you have a 4 door. If you do get a 1354 from a 1st gen, then you will need a front shaft from a 1st gen.
4. front diff with same ratio as your rear.
5. front half shafts, CV's. the lower the mileage the better.
6. 4WD knuckles.
7. 4WD Rotors.

That should be it, but I am tired as hell so I might have missed something. Anyways if you really are attached to the truck like I am, then go for it, Plus the feeling of what you have accomplished the first time you put it in 4 low is quite unbeleivable, its also nice being able to stop in sand, and then be able to leave haha.

Chase

I have the 2 door sport, so for the front driveshaft would I just have to find one from a 4wd 2 door xplorer?
Also, what do you mean by 1 gen, 2 gen, and 3rd gen? I see that a lot but not quite sure what it means. And also, how many of each item? (Obviously 1 trans, 1 transfer case, 1 front driveshaft + 1 rear driveshaft, 1 front diff, 2 CV's 'left+right') what about the knuckles? Just 2? left and right? And the rotors?
 






Oh ok if you have a sport then you just need to get the rear shaft from a 4wd sport. The front shaft can come from any automatic explorer, as long as it has the same transfer case that you are getting. 1st gen is 91 to 94 explorer, used 1354 transfer case with 2hi 4hi 4lo. 2nd Gen 95-01 used 4405 transfer case had 4auto 4hi 4lo. And you are correct on how many of each item.
 






Okay, so I am looking at getting 1 4WD trans, 1 front driveshaft + 1 rear driveshaft(4wd), 1 front diff, 2 CV's 'left+right', 2 knuckles, 2 rotors, and for the transfer case (I have 2nd gen) I would need to find a 4405 transfer case? Or as you reccomended a 1354 from a 1st gen? Also, how do you find out your rear diff ratio and how would you find out if the front one matches?
 






so youre looking at buying anothe 4x4 explorer for parts. Really thats what it boils down to. So why not just get a 4x4 with a bad engine and transplant your heart into a nice clean body?

Definately possible to make yours 4x4 and I think it sounds like a fun project, but only if you have the parts at your disposal. I dont want to discourage you in the least, but I bet theres a nice 4x4 out there with no rot and a bad ticker just waiting for a new home. Youd have to buy that same truck and gut the hell out of it to build the one you already drive, or you could just pluck the engine.
 






Okay, so I am looking at getting 1 4WD trans, 1 front driveshaft + 1 rear driveshaft(4wd), 1 front diff, 2 CV's 'left+right', 2 knuckles, 2 rotors, and for the transfer case (I have 2nd gen) I would need to find a 4405 transfer case? Or as you reccomended a 1354 from a 1st gen? Also, how do you find out your rear diff ratio and how would you find out if the front one matches?

The ratio is printed on a steel tag that attatches to the rear end via a bolt for the cover. A wire bush will probably be needed to read it, GENTLY clean the rust off and on the bottom you will see printed 8.8 (ring gear)
followd by the ratio. Mine for example reads 8.8 3l:73
8.8 ring gear, 3:73 gears. L denotes locker, fords version of posi
 






Yes that list should be all that you need, about the transfer cases though, I also have a 2nd gen, 99 sport. What originally game in all v6 2nd gen explorers was the 4405 case, the first gens all came with the 1354, the difference is that with the 4405 you have no 2wd option, you have 4 auto instead, wich means when your driving in auto if the rear wheels slip then it will send some power up front, if you want that then get a 2nd gen case. I personally put a 1354 because it has 2wd which means that I can light up the tires, or the occassional rally racing when in the dirt haha. Bottom line is which ever one you want, just remember whichever case you get, get the front shaft that goes with the same case. For the diff ratio casket man is right, another way that I think is easier is to look at the door tag under axle, as sometime the tag is not on the diff. Here is the list.

41 ...... 3.27C
42 ...... 4.10C
43 ...... 3.08C
45 ...... 3.55C
46 ...... 3.73C
D1 ...... 3.27L
D2 ...... 4.10L
D4 ...... 3.73L
D5 ...... 3.55L


Chase
 






@Fastest Caskets: I'm probably going to have to save for just a 4x4 sport. I don't see the problem in getting the parts and doing the conversion because it 1) gives me expierence and 2) Would be a fun project. However parent's say it's not worth it and all I would be doing is ruining the car.
@Chase: I'm saving all of this info because at some point when I get the money I will do this. Thank you for you're help! Definately will refer too you on questions I may have if thats okay! :)
 






Haha, that is exactly what my parents said, which is why I waited for a 3 day weekend when they were out of town lol. Either way you will be happy with a 4x4 Explorer, they are awesome.
 






I have a 98 5 speed sport would I be able to put hublockers on or is it not worth it

Also I just replaces flywheel clutch slave cylinder still had no pressure.so replaced master cylinder bleed it like 15 times still no pressure :(
 






@Chase: My dad said that if I were to get the parts from a junkyard that they would need to be repaired before I can actually use them. Is this true? For example, the transmission. He said I would have to get that repaired, rebuilt, which would cost more, and then put it on. I have no clue, but if I can find a 98 (or other version) that is a sport and 4x4 for the price, then I will sell mine for it. Haha or see if they will do a reasonable trade :p
 






You will not have to repair any parts you get from the junkyard unless they are broke, for example if you pulled a blown tranny. It was easier for me since I was getting a standard, I was able to feel how it shifted and make sure all gears were there before buying it. When looking for an auto out of the junk yard or anything for that matter, usually on the winsheild they will write why the vehicle is there, bad engine, bad trans, etc. Then the next thing to look for is the lowest mileage trans. Before you take it out, it is good to drain the fluid and see how it looks, check for metal in the pan, etc. My fried just went to the junkyard to get a replacement auto trans for his ranger and It works a million times better than the one he had in his truck before. He even got lucky enough to grab a trans that just had a new torque converter put in, haha. Good luck though either route you go.
 






Hmm, maybe I could possibly do what you did and convert it without them knowing :P Just gotta give it time and see what happens. I took my explorer off roading on light rock trail with my friend yesterday. And for only being a 2wd, stock ride height, I only had to get pulled out once. However, I did notice that when I got stuck, one tire would not move and it would sound like a running gear/motor sound in the back. My friend said it was the differential slipping or something. Would you by chance know what kind of diff a 98 2wd sport has? Open diff, locker, etc?
 






Hey man I know exactly what you mean I had been wheelin my truck since I got my license for almost 3 years with only 2wd and they are pretty surprising what they will get through. The only reason I didnt stay 2wd was because of one spot that is like clay mud, it pissed me off enough to warrant the swap haha. As for the differential, you must have an open diff, as do I. You can tell by the code in the door, If you want to keep your truck and convert to 4wd later on you should just get an aussie locker, like 280 and your truck will be just about as capable as a 4wd in most situations. I just did it backwards, now I'm saving up for a locker.

Chase
 



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I'm thinking of going with the warrior shackles on the rear, and the TT on the front. That should give me a total of 2" lift ride height which would be enough for me to clear 31's all terrains and then get that aussie locker. My friend was amazed that my 2wd was making it up half the stuff we did. What's the difference between the open diff and the aussie locker?
 






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