4405 to 1354 e Conversion | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4405 to 1354 e Conversion


Elite Mountaineer
Elite Explorer
December 21, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
South Jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Mountaineer V6 4x4
Legals first: There is some risk involved with this procedure. Always practice safety first. If you attempt the mod it will be at your own risk. Some basic mechanical and electrical skills are needed, if after reading this write up you're not comfortable with proceeding, DON'T.I assume no liability for any injuries or damages incurred. Enough about that, here we go.

I have been working on this swap for some time now. I've done a lot of leg work researching wiring, mechanical similarities(and differences) and ability to bridge platforms.(e.g. Explorer to Ranger and vice versa) I've gotten a ton of info and input from other members(you know who you are). I'm continually amazed at the amount of knowledge here on this forum. That being said, I know this swap has been done before but after extensive searches I couldn't find any one spot with all of the info needed. So now that it's done I thought I would try my hand at a write up to help anyone else who might want to try this. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the actual transfer case swap, But it's very straight forward, a direct bolt in. If anyone else has pics of a t-case swap feel free to throw them up. The only camera I had was my wife's digital and if it came back with grease and trans fluid all over it suffice it to say my truck would be the least of my problems. This swap is on a 99 Mountaineer but it is the same for 2nd gen Ex's as well. This swap IMO goes hand in hand with the manual hub conversion giving you good old fashioned part time 4wd. Here is the link for that mod. http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284136

Now for the parts list:

1354 electric t-case. Year specific is best(for ease of install. if you match the year of your truck both outputs on the case will match yours and there is no mods needed to your drive shafts). However it's not necessary to match years, if you want to play the drive shaft matching game feel free.

Gasket for in between t-case and tranny. If you can't find one black or orange RTV silicone gasket maker is fine.

GEM module. This must come from the same year Ranger as your Ex. Ford changes various pin arrangements on the GEM every year so it's important to match the years.

Matching shift motor connector from a donor vehicle. My 99 has a square 16 pin connector on the 4405 shift motor, the 1354 will probably have a 7 pin round one. This part also isn't absolutely needed because the shift motor on the 4405 is the same internally so you can use it on the new case. But you'll have to cut the wires to the front and rear speed sensors because the 1354 doesn't need them. If you're changing motors you'll need to make sure you splice the famous brown wire back together if you want to retain shift on the fly.

A dash indicator from a donor vehicle that says "2wd-4wd-4lo". This isn't really needed I'm just a little ****.

A PAC Audio Universal Trigger module and 3 relays. I'll get into this part later.

An assortment of electrical connectors, splices, taps and ring terminals.

Now for the fun stuff.

Start by raising your truck and support with jack stands. It's much easier with all 4 wheels off the ground, but if not that's fine too. Disconnect the shift motor connector as well as the front and rear drive shafts. If you're working on a 98-01 you will have 6 bolts in the front cup and 4 on the rear flange.

Here is the shift motor connector

Front and rear drive shafts, respectively.


After removing all of that there are 5 13mm bolts holding the t-case to the tail housing of the tranny. 4 are very easy to remove, the very top one is a little tricky. If you're feeling energetic you can remove the center console, pull up the carpet and open the access plate in the floor. I was not so inclined. I used a long extension and a universal joint and had very little problem getting that bolt out. Also the very bottom bolt doesn't come all the way out, it hits the tranny mount. But it's o.k. it comes out far enough. Don't foget to unhook the t-case vent line, it's on the front of the case about midway up drivers side. This is where a good friend comes in. Pulling the t-case can be done by yourself, but it's not recommended. Grab a drip pan because when you pull the case out there will be some tanny fluid leakage. Wiggle the t-case back off the tail housing slowly. There is an alignment pin on the passenger side of the case, once it clears rotate the case counter-clockwise to clear the gas tank. Once your clear pull it back off the tail shaft.

Here's where the shift motor connector comes in. With the 2 cases side by side you can see the difference between the connectors.(sorry for the lack of pics here,again dirty camera bad clean one good) If your new case doesn't have a motor you can swap yours on to it. As I said earlier they are the same internally. If you do this you'll notice 6 wires going to the 2 speed sensors and 1 to the clutch. You're going to cut these, but make sure you leave enough to splice if you need to use this case again or sell it. Here is the 4405 with the shift motor removed to show the wires to the clutch and speed sensors.

If you use your motor you'll need to splice the brown clutch wire if your 1354 has one. This is only for shift on the fly so it's not needed if you don't want this. Just remember, without the brown clutch wire spliced in you must come to a complete stop before switching to 4wd. Just to be very clear, if you have the stock front axles they're live all the time so without the brown wire hooked up you must stop before switching to 4wd. O.K., enough about that. Also make sure you use waterproof splices and shrink tube. Both are available at NAPA.
Installation is the reverse of removal(sounds like a Haynes manual doesn't it). Install the gasket onto the t-case or if you don't have one put the RTV on the tail housing being sure to cover all the mating surfaces. Lift up the new case keeping it rotated down until it's on the tail shaft. Don't push it in yet, you don't want to move the silicone gasket around if that's what you used. Rotate it up until the alignment pin is lined up and then push it in. Reinstall the t-case bolts and torque to 25 to 35 ft. lbs. Install the front drive shaft and torque the bolts to 12 to 16 ft. lbs. Do the same to the rear shaft torquing to 61 to 87 ft. lbs. Hook up the vent tube and the shift motor connector, and I would recommend draining(if not already done) the t-case and re filling with new fluid. You have now completed the mechanical part of your swap. Take a break and enjoy your beverage of choice.

Now we tackle the electrical side of the swap.This can get a little confusing so take your time and study the diagrams and pics. Before working on the GEM or it's related components disconnect the negative battery terminal. You don't want to fry the new GEM you just bought do you?

We'll start with the GEM. Remove the radio and unhook the antenna and wiring connectors and set aside. Using a 7mm socket remove the radio trim panel and disconnect all the switches and lighter wires. Again using the 7mm socket remove the vent channel, this really just opens things up and makes it easier to work in there. The GEM is retained by, you guessed it, a 7mm screw. It's on the bottom, remove it and the GEM slides down off it's mount. Disconnect all 4 connectors(3 on side 1 on the bottom) and remove the Gem. Plug the connectors into the new GEM, slide it up onto the mount and re install the retaining screw.
At this point you can stop if you need to. The truck will run fine, however you won't have 4wd and the door ajar for the rear doors and lift gate as well as the courtesy lights for these won't work. Also the rear defroster grid in the back window and rear wiper won't work either.

We'll continue on to the 4wd mods. I'll give a brief comparison of the differences between the 2 systems. The 2 systems are basically the same except that the 4405 control trac system uses a pulse width modulated solid state relay to run the t-case auto 4wd. Instead of just on or off like a standard relay the solid state relay varies the output to engage the clutch in varying amounts if the speed sensors detect wheel spin. Since the 1354 doesn't need this we'll be replacing that solid state relay with a standard relay. You'll need to locate the torque on demand(solid state) relay. It's on the right side of the opening between the metal support and the passenger air bag. BE VERY CAREFUL WORKING AROUND THE AIR BAG. DON'T TOUCH ANY WIRES IN YELLOW SLEEVES, THESE ARE FOR THE AIR BAGS. O.k. enough yelling. You're going to remove the connector from the torque on demand relay. You can't remove the TOD relay without removing the passenger air bag so just remove the connector and leave the relay there. Pull the connector out a bit so you have room to splice the wires. Using wire taps follow the diagram below and hook up your standard relay to the connector harness. The second diagram shows the stock wiring for comparison.





You can see in the picture on the right is the Torque on Demand relay and hanging down in the middle is the connector and harness with the wire taps for the standard relay. The second picture shows the relay wired in.

One wire goes to the electronic shift control module to get power for the relay. this module is against the back of the opening, bottom left. This is where you tap into DG/LG(dark green with light green strip) wire. This wire goes to terminal 87 on your relay. Terminal 30 goes to the brown wire on the TOD connector harness. Terminal 86 goes to the LB/BK(light blue with black stripe) that's next to the brown wire on the TOD connector harness. Terminal 85 goes to the yellow wire on the TOD connector harness. There is another LB/BK wire in that harness, don't splice into that one it won't work.
You're done with the relay part. Now if you've done the brown wire mod previously, you can leave it or return it to stock it doesn't matter. If you leave it just make sure the switch is on . On that subject, There is another brown wire in that same circuit that goes down to the electronic shift control(bottom left where you tied into the DG/LG wire). You need to cut that brown wire. If you have done the brown wire mod you know the wire we're talking about. If not I'll explain it . On the left side of the opening towards the top against the back there is a brown wire that is factory spliced right there. One goes up and to the right, one goes up and to the left, and one goes down. The one that goes down is the one you want to cut. This completes the 4wd modifications. If you want, button everything up and take it for a test drive. If you've done it all correctly the t-case and 4wd should be working as if it was built from the factory that way.

Now for the door switches. Because the GEM you're using came from a Ranger it has no inputs for the rear door switches or the lift gate switches, so we have to improvise. The wiring diagram for the Ranger GEM does have an option for rear door switches on the extra cab version but they are just tied in with the front door switches, so that's what we're going to do. If you look at the diagrams below you'll see what I mean.


Now the hardest part of this is finding the right wires. Each connector on the GEM has it's own pin out starting with #1. As you can see we're dealing with wire #s 4,5,6,7, and 8. Each one of the 4 connectors will have those pin #s on them so we have to find them by association. Wire colors will repeat through out the harness, but not their sequence. Meaning the sequence of pin 4(WH/VT),5(LG/YE),6(PK/LB),7(GY/RD), and 8(YE/BK) will only occur once in the harness. I'm not going to be that cruel and make you search all 4 connectors, they're in the top connector in the row facing you pin #1 at the bottom. If you look at the pic you'll see that if you count from pin 1 up 4 spots there is a wire with a tap on it that is WH/VT(white with violet stripe). That's pin 4. Next to it is pin 5 LT/YE(light green with yellow stripe) and so on.


Now we're not cutting any wires, we're just tying them together. We're going to tie pin 4 to pin 7, tie pin5 to pin 6 and tie pin 6 to pin 8.That's it. Now all your door ajar and courtesy lamps will work correctly. If you have a Sport 2dr you only need to tie pin 4 to pin 7.

The rear defogger is just a little more involved. It will seem a bit confusing at first but if you follow the instructions and diagrams you'll be fine. I used a PAC Audio TR 7 Universal Trigger Module.


The reason for this is the GEM gets a ground pulse from the defogger switch and latches a relay inside the GEM to operate the rear defogger. I needed to duplicate this externally. A latching circuit can be somewhat complicated and this module simplifies things quite a bit. I got mine on amazon.com but here is the link to PAC's site. http://www.pac-audio.com/productDetails.aspx?ProductId=717&CategoryID=31 First you'll need to program the module to option #3. I won't get into programming it, the instructions are pretty easy. The switch puts out a negative pulse and you need a +12v pulse for the TR7 so Relay 1 reverses the polarity for the TR7. The rear defogger pulls more current than the TR7 can handle so Relay 2 handles that.



After you program the TR7 to option 3 you can wire up your module and relays following the diagram above. You are going to cut the dark blue/orange stripe wire coming from the rear defogger switch connector and splice the wire from terminal #85 on relay 1 to this wire. Then you need to find the orange/yellow stripe wire on the bottom connector of the GEM on pin#16. It will be the only orange/yellow stripe wire in that bottom connector. You are going to cut this wire and leave the end going to the GEM alone. Take the other end of this wire which goes to the rear defogger relay and splice it to terminal #30 of relay 2. Following this procedure keeps the stock switch controlling the rear defogger and it still operates as it did.(when your lights are on the switch button still lights with the dash lights and the indicator light tells you that the rear defogger is on. You should now be done, you can test it out and if all is correct 1 push turns it on and the next push turns it off.

That is every thing you need to do to complete this mod on your Explorer or Mountaineer. I hope this wasn't too hard to follow. If anyone has questions or suggestions to improve this thread please post them or PM me. I have complete wiring diagrams for 98 to 01's so feel free to ask any questions. Don't be intimidated by this. All the leg work is done, all you have to do is acquire the parts and follow the diagrams and you'll be fine. Good luck and I hope this helps those wanting to do this transfer case swap.

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Completion bump.

Have you seen this case before ? Thanks. Took me a while with work being so crazy, but it's finally done. Got to test it out Saturday and all went well. However at one point I think I was as close to stuck as I've ever been with out actually being stuck! If you look at the pics from the trail ride thread you'll see that I had a couple of ballast weights on the back for some traction.

Have you seen this case before ? Thanks. Took me a while with work being so crazy, but it's finally done. Got to test it out Saturday and all went well. However at one point I think I was as close to stuck as I've ever been with out actually being stuck! If you look at the pics from the trail ride thread you'll see that I had a couple of ballast weights on the back for some traction.

I think I saw this t-case in the back of my truck.

I'll check out the thread.

We had a great time. Picking up trash and getting muddy... what's better than that ?

Took the Mounty out again for a little light wheelin the other day and I am lovin the new t-case and manual hub combo. Nothing crazy(I was by myself) but it worked flawlessly in anything I asked of it. Now I'm thinking lift and locker, but that's another thread all together.

Any one have any input on the Aussie lockers? Thinking of going that route, heard lot of good things and some bad. Like to hear from you guys who have one.

Don't mean to hijack your thread here, if a mod feels this is too far out of line, please move this to its own thread..

How difficult is it to go the other direction? My girlfriend has a 2004 Ranger with the BW 1354 with electric shift. She uses low range to make it up and down her driveway mostly to avoid wearing out the brakes and gets a ton of drivetrain windup especially downhill.

I'm afraid one of these days the BANG will be her transmission, or the transfer case gears, instead of just maybe slipping a tooth (which is what I'm guessing is happening here. Would the 4405 allow her to run 4wd hi range on the paved part of her driveway?


Sure it's possible to swap the other way as well, but I'm not sure what the benefit would be. The main reason I did this was to do away with the auto 4wd range and have 2wd in it's place. Why couldn't she use 4hi on the 1354? It's basically the same on the 4405, the only difference is how 4hi is engaged. On the 1354 4hi is engaged via a shift fork moving a gear set. On the 4405 4hi is engaged using the TOD clutch to accomplish the same result. Unless I'm not following what you're asking?

wouldn't the clutch prevent transmission wind up from occurring? That's the only benefit I can think of.

O.k. I follow you now. Your 1st post said 4lo which is the same on both. Yes you're right, the clutch might help some in that respect. Meaning in 4hi. 4lo doesn't use the clutch.

4405e to 1354e swap

i have a 2dr what wiring applies to my swap and what dont

i have a 2dr what wiring applies to my swap and what dont

Everything except the right rear and left rear door ajar switches. They are pins 5 and 6 on the diagram covering the door switches.

I just did this swap on my 1997 XLT disposed the 4405 " boat anchor" for a 1354 out of a 93 Ranger/Explorer my 97 had the 6 bolt cup style front drive shaft, still have not got the wiring done yet, but don't let a junk yard jerk tell you that the 1354 does NOT come with the 6 bolt front shaft,even though I gave up and used a front shaft out of a 1995 Exploder and fit just fine.

but don't let a junk yard jerk tell you that the 1354 does NOT come with the 6 bolt front shaft

You mean the t case in every 4 wheel drive ranger built after 97?

True but still my time was wasted by a jerk saying that my info from this forum was WRONG

what is the need of the replacement of the GEM module and can it be done without replacing the module??

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention:
01+ explorer sports
1st gen Sport Trac

They both used the 13-54 with the CV front output.