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getting BW 1354 or 4406 or other elec transfer case to work


Active Member
September 12, 2007
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City, State
new bern
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 5.0
4406 transfer case swap getting electric to work updated with pics!!

Edited, started 4406 swap going electric, building own relay bank to control shift motor utilizing stock ford dash switch to control motor will look awesome completely stock and for those going manual for fear of the electronic conversion all I can say is keep an eye out updates and pics to come!!

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so um how do you post a pic?

Goto a host site like, upload them there, and then copy the code, and paste it in your post.

Sounds kinda hard, but its real easy :D

Alright with a little rethinking so the relays wouldnt have to work so much here is the diagram,

The slip contacts are stationary as the sensor ring is not seeing as it is connected to the shift shaft

The sensor ring would be easy to manufacter using printed circuit board and etching, cut a circle print the circle, etch attach to the gear and done!!

UPDATE, the stock system works almost like this and with a little modification to the stock part, i.e. nail polish in a certain place the stock sensor works great


And you could also replace the relay that gets its signal from the sensor ring with a single throw dual pole and upon completion of the shift the relay will change pole positions and you could tap that for 12V to power the dash lights!

Here are the components in real life <<<<<UPDATE>>>>>

These are components are for the 1354 case, I am not going 1354 due to expensive AA adapter, using 4406 electric, in which the shift shaft position sensor circuitry is actually sealed and inaccessible so I'll keep these pics up so you can still get a feel for the circuitry According to work with the multi-meter and figuring which wire is what I imagine the circuitry is similar but since I only have a 4406 motor to experiment with and not a 1354 don't take my word for it

actual shift shaft

slip contacts

sensor ring


Goto a host site like, upload them there, and then copy the code, and paste it in your post.

Sounds kinda hard, but its real easy :D[/QUOTE]


Relay Box

Here is a diagram of the relay box took some time to draw but worth it

it could be made on printed circuit board with micro relays to acheive a size much less than that of a 3X5 index card which would be pretty cool sealed in a housing too :D maybe smaller than the GEM itself...


This isn't the actual schematic as this will only work if the shift motor rotates 360 degrees without having to change polarity, which I know now is not the case, so updated schematics to come.


picked up the parts today for the relay box, making the relay assembly out of PCB board and the relays are micro ones by fujitsu, 30 amp and they are no bigger than 12x15 mil the board itself is only 2.25x 2.625 inches all pretty small post pictures soon:cool:

had to redesign circuit, original circuit worked if shift shaft traveled 360 degrees in one direction however once I got the 4406 I experimented with the shift shaft and it only travels about 320 degrees. it goes as such, 2H to 4H to 4L and then 4L to 4H to 2H the case is incapable of going from 4L to 2H. so after a little careful experimentation I won't have to make a new pcb(printed circuit board) for the shift motor as the ford one will work! For the relay signals, the yellow wire is the constant 12V, and white is the signal wire for the 2H circuit it has continuity in all positions but 2H, 4L signal wire is brown as it has continuity in all positions except 4L, this is great as 2H and 4L only need to travel in one direction, and the signal wire provides power until it reaches the desired position and then the signal is cut disengaging the motor,

4H is different however because it must travel in two directions, i.e. this circuit must be capable of switching motor polarity, so in essence unlike 2H and 4L, 4H must be two circuits in one, from 2H to 4H the signal wire is Purple, and upon arrival to 4H the signal is cut shutting the motor down and locking in its position, when 4L is selected, it travels to 4L by means mentioned earlier, when you want to put it back into 4H the motor must shift polarity on the same circuit so the signal wire is orange, so for this circuit to work, you must have a switch relay that activates the signal powered relay well the switch relay is hooked up to two signal relays, both which are hooked up to the different wires on the DPDT relay controlling the shift motor,

SO FU borg warner and your team of electrical engineers (im sure ford had some input too...)

Schematic and pictures to follow, stay tuned...:salute:

Nice work figuring all the electronics out. I think some of the reason most go manual is because its simpler to install and no worries of the shift motor going out. But I like what you're doing here, maybe I can learn something from this to try putting an electric 1354 in my truck if I can't find a manual since the same principals apply.

Nice work figuring all the electronics out. I think some of the reason most go manual is because its simpler to install and no worries of the shift motor going out. But I like what you're doing here, maybe I can learn something from this to try putting an electric 1354 in my truck if I can't find a manual since the same principals apply.

Thanks, yeah it probably is easier to do manual however I am an **** ******* and want my truck to look stock minus the lift, tires, headers, intake, sound system, ok well maybe not stock but somewhat... stock... All joking aside I guess I just wanted to see if it could be done because from all the posts I've seen concerning the 4406 swap the electronics are either an impossible option or rediculously expensive, like sourcing the proper GEM and assorted components and what not so... hopefully for less than the cost and time of finding and buying the manual shifter assembly this could be a viable option for those with alittle mechanical sense about them, and besides if the leg work is already done, hell it will only be a matter of gathering the components and doing the work. That's why Im glad someone already did the leg work as far as which driveshafts to get and what fuel tank to use etc. etc...:thumbsup:

Good luck with the rest of the swap, I'll be observing your work. The only reason I thought of the electric shift for my truck is because they're more plentiful and in my experience just as dependable for me.

So picked up all parts I need minus the u joint and atf fluid for the transfer case,

2001 F150 w/o TOD, BW 4406 electric shift t-case with motor

2001 Explorer sport fuel tank,

2001 4.6 expedition d-shaft F150 is same length however has open end on slip joint didn't like it,

2001 expedition 5.4 rear d shaft with normal susp.

Also went digging through junk yard to get interior electronics,

1993 ranger 4x4 selector switch,

2001 explorer 4x4 switch, dash bezel with all openings, hvac controls head light switch and another 4x4 switch from a '99 explorer,

I got all the switches because I wanted a switch that would have a 12v constant in with 3 selectable positions, 2h, 4h and 4lo I didn't know if the stock 98'-01 4x4 switches worked that way but it turns out they are a variable resistance switch so thats why I grabbed the others just in case,

Upon inspection of the 4x4 switch I just pulled it apart and made my own pcb to go inside and replace the ford circuitry so the switch looks stock minus the 8-plug harness and the homebrewed circuitry


These are the parts I picked up total cost for all ( t-case including motor, fuel tank and d-shafts, 290 bucks!!)


Here 93 switch that is being sacrificed for the plug on the back I need it to modify the new switch as the new switch doesn't work as I thought so I must modify it to work


Cutting the back up to make room for the harness


Here is the ford pcb(printed circuit board that will not work for my design , the switch and the old harness/clip


Finally got the clip free of the surrounding plastic


Had to modify the back alittle more so the pins on the harness will actually reach the pcb so they can soldered in


Finished case a little hot glue and it fits perfectly,


copper laminate prep'd for the pcb layout


images must be printed by a toner printer as this method of printing uses plastic this is the key ingredient in making the pcb work, make the design in a pcb software, inverse the image and print on photo paper, then place the paper on your laminate sheet with the toner side facing the copper and the transfer the toner with the heat of an iron, once transferred the toner will now act as an etch resist. This works perfectly because the circuit can then be dipped in ferric chloride a common etch resist, you can buy at radioshack and the uncovered copper will be eaten away leaving only whats covered under the toner intact. If you need to make touch ups say the toner didn't transfer as well as you hoped then a regular sharpie marker works great, apply heavily and let dry and it works once board is done being etched, rinse in water to stop process and rub off etch resist with nail polish remover, cut to size, drill holes and you've got yourself a homemade pcb, good enough to piss your friends off with envy!!


Ironing, aka transferring toner to laminate


soaking in ferric chloride


rough finished product, this is the old circuit I jumped the gun and made it before I tested the shift motor circuitry, shift motor works differently so I had to design a new circuit, this is for illustrative purposes


shift shaft, rotates from 2H to 4H to 4L and then to either for to 4H or 2H motor must reverse polarity and travel in the opposite direction, had to redesign circuit to allow for motor polarity change DPDT relays are great! Good news is though doing it this way I won't have to design a pcb for the position sensor as the ford one will work! more on that down further


Marked shift motor and subsequently the position sensor for some experimenting to figure out the internal circuitry which much to my dismay is inaccessible, so ingenuity had to lead the way out comes the multi meter and about 30 min of testing!


position sensor


Marked on the back side following shift motor, allowed me to figure out the circuits and the sensor is also adjustable on the body so it will work great!

I figured out that Yellow is constant 12V in and for two high the sensor has continuity between yellow and white in all positions except 2H so this is the 2H signal wire, 4L is yellow and brown, in which brown has continuity with yellow ie 12v to power the shift motor relay circuitry in all positions except 4L which is great because as soon as motor sensor hits 4L position is looses continuity and shuts the motor down at the right time, (remember earlier this is why it is great that the sensor is adjustable!)

4H is a little different, 2H and 4L are the only positions that require one direction of travel albeit different directions they only need one,

In 2H or 4H if you select 4L the motor only travels one way to reach it and that is the last position it can travel it doesn't not need to change directions to reach as the same is for the 2H circuitry, think about it.

4H can be accessed from either 4L or 2H so the motor must be capable of two directions of travel in this case, so the sensor must pick up where the motor actually is, from 4L to 4H the motor must travel to the right i.e., yellow has continuity with orange, upon arrival to 4H orange loses the 12V signal shutting the motor down if 4H is selected from 2H the motor must travel in the opposite direction i.e., yellow has continuity with purple, upon arrival same thing,

This is why I had to redesign my circuit, as I planned on the shift shaft only needing to travel in one direction,
An additional relay and a DPDT relay and we've got it baby


this is the circuit I came up with to handle the shifting duties, works in theory however DPDT relay is still in the mail so I'll have to wait to test it when it comes in


This is the circuit drawn up in PCBExpress, did all the calculations to figure line thickness v. amperage capacity, amazingly when I bench tested the motor and t-case it only drew 1.5 amps max at 12.8 volts! so the circuit can handle 5 amps so should be plenty


This is the slightly finished product still waiting on the DPDT relay


Don't hate the soldering but some of these lines are really close and if I have to do it again I will keep that in mind...


I'll test it later tomorrow the T-case goes in!!

4406 is in still need conversion u joint... 2 wheel is fun!!

Relocating the tank was a PITA as well as about the rest of the swap damn northern vehicles and your rust

Haha, yeah part of vehicle life in the north unfortunately.

Well hello and great work there. I wish I could have nudged you a little in the beginning, but you did a lot of hard work there.

I still haven't done my swap, my only excuse is the heat.

I'm still planning to do my TOD 4406 with the stock Explorer 4WD GEM to start with. The stock parts will work as Aaron did it years ago. He did have to add two wires that I need to tack down first, main power wire for the 4WD GEM circuit etc.

I did learn along with others in a thread last year about it, that the Explorer TOD system doesn't have a locked 4WD high position. That is done with the TOD, the electro-magnetic clutch.

I want the locked 4WD high that the 4406 is capable of, and one model did have that, the 1998 Expedition. In that thread we discussed the various different dash switches, and their variable resistances. I have the Explorer switch and two later model switches from the bigger trucks which have four positions. A switch can be built from these which provides the same four resistances as the 98 Expedition GEM uses to create 2WD, A4WD, 4HI, and 4LO.

The switch will look bone stock, except it will move one position farther to the left, for 2WD. That's what I'm going for. I bought a GEM from a 98 Expedition in case it's the only way to operate the switch and TC motor. These TC motors are the same from the 91-01 Explorer, and all the TOD 4406's.

I need to get started on this, I've forgotten most of the details. BTW, you can convert an old 22 gallon Explorer gas tank to work in place of a 95-01 Sport tank. It's the same length but plastic, and it needs an extra sensor mounted into it. Regards,

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Now I'm confused...

I'm planning on using an ES4406 on my V8 swap in my sport... are you saying that the switch on the dash won't make the transfer case work the same way as the one for the V6?