4WD operation after regear/lift | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4WD operation after regear/lift


Well-Known Member
October 20, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
Lebanon, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 XLT
So, I had my '99 XLT regeared last summer (3.73 to 4.56), and over the last few months, I've finished off the lift (Superlift 4"), some other suspension components, and gotten it aligned.

At the various stages of the project (post-regear), when it was driveable, I've noticed what seems to be the front wheels engaging - it drives with more of a vibration, and is just "different", which I don't think can simply be attributed to the new gears, or the lift or anything.

Is anyone familiar with a similar situation? Is there any way to tell if the front wheels are engaging more?

I think that it might possibly be contributing to my significantly reduced mileage.

Pre-regear, pre-lift, I was able to pull just over 300 miles on a full tank. These days, I'm seeing about 190-200. I know I need to get the speedo recalibrated, which will account for some of that loss, and I know that the whole ethanol mandate we got here in Oregon will also account for some mileage loss - and obviously, the lower gearing/bigger tires.

It just seems that it shouldn't be THAT much - I was expecting maybe a 30-40 mile-per-tank loss, but not this bad.


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Have you performed the brown wire mod?
Do you still have the stock front driveshaft?

No brown wire mode, replaced stock front driveshaft with Superlift driveshaft.

I'm not opposed to doing the brown wire mod, if that's what it takes, but I never saw where that was a requirement of lifting the vehicle. I was under the assumption that something is "wrong" with my truck.

I was under the assumption that something is "wrong" with my truck.

That's what I was thinking, I just wanted to get some basic questions out of the way first.

The brown wire mod is only required for front lockers, but you said your problem might be that 4WD is engaging unexpectedly.

Cool, cool...

Now, the truck does have the factory limited-slip/trac-lock deal, but that's not what you're referring to by "locker", correct?

I was hoping this issue would go away with the replacement of the balljoints/control arms and an alignment, but no such luck.

I haven't had the speedometer recalibrated to account for the gears/bigger wheels - is it possible that something's out of whack there, and causing this?

I was talking about an automatic locker, like an Aussie.

Other than what I've mentioned, I really have no idea what's going on with your truck.

Out of curiosity, what's your mileage like? What do you get from a full tank?

Last time i checked, it was 17 highway, doing 55-60 most of the way. Now that I'm doing 70mph to school every day, i'm probably about 14. I've never measured a full tank because my gas gauge fluctuates 1/4 tank in any direction at any time, so i have no idea when i'm going to run out, below a quarter tank.