How-To: Bronco II 2wd to 4wd Conversion | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

  • Holiday Special! - 2 for 1 Elite Explorer sale!

    Right now you can purchase an Elite Explorer membership for $20 and receive a two year membership! If you have an existing Elite membership contact me by PM and I will upgrade your account manually.

    Click Here to start your membership and get rid of the ads!

How-To: Bronco II 2wd to 4wd Conversion

mjones97

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 16, 2007
Messages
424
Reaction score
2
City, State
Salem, IN
Written by:
Maurice Jones Jr. (mjones)
*Please direct all questions and comments to the author.

DISCLAIMER:
Explorer Forum, the site owner, its administration and the author are not liable for anything that may occur as a result of someone who reads or follows any steps in this How-To. Proceed at your own peril. The reader assumes all responsibility for consequences that may occur by performing this modification.

Difficulty:
8/10

Time:
~5 hours

Tools/Equipment Needed:

- 1/2” and 3/8” Metric & Standard Socket Set
- 1-1/4”
- 1-1/8”
- 13/16
- 7/8”
- 3/4”
- 1/2"
- 18mm
- 15mm
- 12mm (12 point)
- Metric & Standard wrench set
- 1-1/8”
- 3/4"
- 12mm (12 point)
-18mm
- 2x 3/8” 4” extension
- 3/8” swivel adaptor
- Jack Stands
- Floor Jack
- Impact Wrench
- Air Compressor
- Hammer
- 2# sledge hammer
- Medium flat screw driver
- Large flat screw driver
- Tire Rod Seperator
- Angle Grinder w/ Metal grinding wheel
- Drill w/ 1/2” drill bit
- Red Thread Locker
- Zip Ties


Parts Needed:
- Dana 28 or Dana 35 Twin Traction Beam (TTB) Ranger Based Vehicle (RBV) front axle
- 4wd RBV TTB radius arms
- BW1350 or BW1354 MANUAL transfer case w/ shift linkage and mounting bolts
- Front drive shaft according to which transfer case you use
- 4x 1/2"x1” Grade 8 bolts
- 4x 1/2" Grade 8 nuts
- 8x 7/16” washers
- 2 quarts of Mercron transmission fluid
- 2 to 3 quarts of 75w90 gear oil (depending on which front axle you use)
- Transfer case output shaft seal
- Transfer case to transmission gasket


Special Precaution:
Please be careful when doing this modification. If you set the jack stands improperly, the truck can fall on you. It is up to you the installer to set the jack stands up where you feel comfortable with them.



BEFORE: 2wd Bronco II:
100_3667.jpg

100_3668.jpg





Steps:

1. Start by jacking up the front of the Bronco II and support it on a pair of jack stands; I used one (1) jack stand under each front frame rail in front of the front suspension.

2. Remove the tires from the driver and passenger side of the front.
100_5204.jpg

100_5194.jpg




LET’S START ON THE DRIVER SIDE OF THE BRONCO II.

3. Knock the slide pins out of the brake calipers using a flat screw driver and a hammer. Using wire ties, tie the brake caliper up to the frame. Be careful not to allow the brake caliper to hang by the brake hose.
100_5202.jpg

100_5195.jpg


4. Remove the lower shock mount from the radius arm using a 1/2" drive ratchet and a 3/4" socket on one side and a 3/4" wrench on the other. Allow the shock to hang free for re-installation, or remove if replacing shock. If you are removing the shock, the upper stud has a 9/16” nut that is needed to be removed.
100_5192.jpg



5. Remove the swap bar end link from the sway bar using a 1/2" drive ratchet and an 18mm socket on one side and a 18mm wrench on the other side of the bolt. Allow the sway bar to hang in the frame brackets if you plan on leaving the sway bar attached. If not, remove the sway bar to frame mounts using a 1/2" drive ratchet and a 15mm socket.
100_5193.jpg


6. Remove the cotter pin in the tire rod end (TRE). Now remove the nut on the TRE using a 1/2" drive ratchet with a 7/8” socket. Using the TRE separator, drive the TRE out of the steering knuckle. Place the TRE nut back on the TRE and lower it to the ground.
100_5201.jpg


7. Remove the nut holding the lower portion of the spring onto the beam using a 1-1/8” wrench. Once the nut is off and the washer is removed, rotate the spring out of the coil bucket and lay it off to the side.
100_5192.jpg

100_5196.jpg


8. Remove the beam to bracket bolt using a 1/2" drive ratchet with an 18mm socket on one side and a 18mm wrench on the other.
100_5213.jpg

100_5209.jpg


9. Drive the radius arm mounting bolt out of the beam with a hammer.
100_5198.jpg



10. Now remove the beam from the radius arm and the beam bracket.

11. Remove the radius arm to frame bracket nut using a 1-1/8” socket on an impact gun. This will allow you to remove the 2wd radius arm and replace it with a 4wd radius arm. Be sure to save the bushings, washers, nuts, and the heat shields for re-installation on the 4wd radius arms.
100_5214.jpg





**REPEAT STEPS #2-11 FOR THE PASSENGER SIDE 2WD BEAM**​

When finished repeating steps #2-11 on the passenger side, you should have the front suspension completely out of the truck. Not it is time to start putting the 4wd components in. Compare the 2wd to 4wd beam pictures and then continue to step #12.

100_5207.jpg

100_5208.jpg

100_5215.jpg

100_5216.jpg




12. Using the angle grinder and cut off wheel, grind the rivet heads holding the passenger side beam bracket down flush with them bracket. Then use a big hammer to knock the bracket off the engine cross member. Once the bracket is off, use the same hammer to punch out the rivets exposing the holes.
100_5227.jpg

100_5228.jpg

100_5229.jpg




Notice the difference in the passenger side beam brackets. The 4wd bracket is on the left and the 2wd bracket is on the right.​
100_5231.jpg



13. Now you need to clearance the holes circled in the picture below to 1/2” using a 1/2” dill bit. Those will be the holes you use to mount the 4wd bracket.
100_5233.jpg


14. Mount the 4wd passenger side beam bracket using the 1/2”x1” bolts and hardware. Be sure to use a washer on each side of the bolt. The bracket goes on the rear side of the engine cross member. Remember to use the red thread locker on the nuts so they do not back off.
100_5235.jpg

100_5236.jpg


15. Install the 4wd radius arms. Be sure to get the proper one on the proper side so you will not have alignment issues. Make sure to put the bushings back on in the same way they came off and then tighten down the nut using the 1-1/8” socket.
100_5241.jpg

100_5212.jpg



The top radius arm is the 2wd radius arm. Since the 2wd beam is only about 5” thick and the 4wd beam is closer to 6-1/2” thick, you have to use 4wd radius arms​
100_5230.jpg





LET’S START RE-INSTALLATION ON THE DRIVER SIDE OF THE BRONCO II.​

16. Now re-install the 4wd beam into the truck. Slide the bracket side into the beam bracket and install the bolt and nut using the 18mm socket and 18mm wrench.

17. Slide the beam into the radius arm and install the upper and lower bolts using the 1-1/8” socket.

18. Re-install the coil spring onto the upper coil bucket and on the beam. Remember, the beam nut takes the 1-1/8” wrench. Make sure you spin the coil spring until it seats into the coil bucket properly.

19. If you removed the rotors from the 4wd beams, see your repair manual on how to re-install those now.

20. Re-install the brake caliper onto the steering knuckle by driving in the slide pins

21. Now either re-install the original shock, or install the new shock.
100_5247.jpg

100_5244.jpg

100_5245.jpg


22. If you are leaving the sway bar installed, now is the time to re-install it on the beam.

23. Re-install the TRE onto the steering knuckle. Tighten the TRE nut down using the 7/8” socket until you can get the cotter pin into the TRE. You may need to adjust the toe on the steering knuckle so you can drive it to an alignment shop. To do this, use a 15mm socket to loosen the TRE sleeve. With the sleeve lose; adjust the TRE to desired setting (I had to cut about 1-1/4” off the passenger side TRE to get it close. If you do this properly, you will not mess up the threads).


**REPEAT STEPS #16-23 FOR THE PASSENGER SIDE 4WD BEAM**​
When finished repeating steps #16-23 on the passenger side, you should have the front 4wd suspension installed in the truck. You can now re-install the tires and wheels and take the truck off the jack stands. Once the truck is resting on its own weight, proceed to step #24.


24. Using the 12mm 12 point socket, break the bolts on the drive shaft to transfer case flange lose. Then using a 12mm 12 point wrench, remove them the rest of the way and allow the drive shaft to hang from the rear end.
100_5285.jpg



25. Now it is time to remove the dummy transfer case. Using a 3/8” drive ratchet, a 1/2” socket, 2 4” extensions, and a swivel adaptor, remove the 5 bolts holding the transfer case to the transmission. The lower mounting bolt behind the transmission mount will have to be taken out with a 1/2" wrench (this bolt will remain in the transmission until you install the new transfer case)

26. Slide the dummy transfer case off the transmission.

27. Once the dummy transfer case is out, remove the rear flange using the 1-1/4” socket.

28. Remove the rear seal on the dummy transfer case by prying with a screw driver.

29. Remove the speedometer worm gear.

(You can now discard the dummy transfer case once it is off as it will NOT be used for anything and doubtfully anyone would want it.)

Look into the speedometer cable hole in the transfer case you are going to be using. If the worm gear you just removed is the same color (either red or yellow) as the one in the transfer case, then skip to step #36. If not the same color, then continue to step #30.

30. Remove the rear output flange, using the 1-1/4” socket, from the transfer case you are going to be using.
100_5259.jpg


31. Remove the rear seal on the transfer case by prying with a screw driver.
100_5260.jpg


32. Remove the speedometer worm gear.
100_5261.jpg

100_5262.jpg


33. Install the speedometer worm gear out of the dummy transfer case.

34. Hammer in the new rear seal being careful not to damage the seal.

35. Install the output flange on the transfer case using the 1-1/4” socket.
100_5259.jpg



36. Slide the transfer case into place on the output shaft of the transmission. Be sure to install the gasket between the transfer case and transmission. Bolt the transfer case back to the transmission using a 1/2” socket.

37. Reconnect the rear drive shaft to the transfer case output shaft using the 12mm, 12 point socket.
100_5285.jpg


38. Install the front drive shaft. Depending on which transfer case you used (BW1350 or BW1354) depends on how you install the drive shaft to the transfer case. If you have a BW1350, the drive shaft will slip into the slip yoke in the transfer case. If you have a BW1354, you will bolt the double cardon joint to the fixed yoke on the transfer case. The picture below is the mounting of a BW1354.
100_5285.jpg



Let’s go inside the cab to get the floor plate ready for the transfer case shifter to come through the floor.

**If you have a column shift automatic transmission, skip to step #40**

39. Using a Phillips screw driver, remove the shift boot or shifter cover from your floor shifter.

40. Pull the carpet back to expose the floor plate.
100_5274.jpg

100_5275.jpg


41. Remove the floor plate using a 8mm socket.

42. Now cut out a small section to allow the transfer case shifter to come into the cab and have full range of operation.

43. Install the transfer case shifter using a 1-1/8” wrench and a 1/2” wrench to bolt the shifter bolts to the transmission tail housing.
100_5282.jpg

100_5283.jpg


44. Re-install the floor plate and replace the carpet in its position.

45. Install the new shift boot console that has the provision for the transfer case shifter.
100_5276.jpg



**Do NOT forget to fill the transfer case and differential with fluid**


46. Fill the transfer case with roughly 1.5 quarts of Mercron ATF fluid.

47. Fill the front differential with 75w90 gear oil. Depending if you install a Dana 28 or Dana 35 will determine how much differential fluid you will need.

48. Re-install the tires/wheels and then drop the truck off the jack stands.


AFTER: 4wd Bronco II:
100_5271.jpg

100_5273.jpg

100_5272.jpg





Make sure after about 500 miles you recheck all your bolts to ensure they keep their torque.​
 


Holiday Special! Join the Elite Explorers $20 for 2 years! Gets rid of the ads!

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




fischerry

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 17, 2006
Messages
312
Reaction score
1
City, State
THE SOUTH
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 x'sploda
Well alright, that is a awesome write up.I mena really well put out.The only thing I could think off, is that you did not specify that the coil springs for 4wd or 2wd are the same, And the shocks can be reused.After the 4wd conversion you mst wheel the bronco II real hard.
 




mjones97

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 16, 2007
Messages
424
Reaction score
2
City, State
Salem, IN
Well alright, that is a awesome write up.I mena really well put out.The only thing I could think off, is that you did not specify that the coil springs for 4wd or 2wd are the same, And the shocks can be reused.After the 4wd conversion you mst wheel the bronco II real hard.

yes the coil springs and shocks can be reused if you are not lifting it.
 




sixfootman2005

New Member
Joined
September 22, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
City, State
Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
86 ex cab ranger
Thanks for the write up! I was thinking about doing something like this except the 2wd I have is a ranger and the 4wd is a bronco II so I not sure how much is different.
 




mjones97

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 16, 2007
Messages
424
Reaction score
2
City, State
Salem, IN
Thanks for the write up! I was thinking about doing something like this except the 2wd I have is a ranger and the 4wd is a bronco II so I not sure how much is different.
Doing this to a Ranger is a different ball game. 2wd Rangers have different engine cross members than the 4wd versions. Unless you do a SAS, then you will also have to replace the engine cross member.
 




abrine

New Member
Joined
August 23, 2009
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 ford ranger
could you explain to me how to change the engine cross member on my 2wd ford ranger to make it 4wd??please reply asap
 




mjones97

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 16, 2007
Messages
424
Reaction score
2
City, State
Salem, IN
You will have to remove the engine and front part of the body. Remove the rivets holding the cross member in, spread the frame rails apart, install the 4wd engine cross member, and re-install the parts removed.
 




Rightonryan

New Member
Joined
October 16, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
City, State
Costa Mesa
Year, Model & Trim Level
1989 Bronco II XLT 2 WD
Great Post. I have a couple questions.
1. Pictures, the photos have been moved or deleted. Do you still have them?
2. Can I use the stock manual transmission that is currently on my 1989 Bronco II?
 




Happy Jack

Well-Known Member
Joined
June 5, 2004
Messages
739
Reaction score
4
City, State
Wichita, KS
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 Sport
Great Post. I have a couple questions.
1. Pictures, the photos have been moved or deleted. Do you still have them?
2. Can I use the stock manual transmission that is currently on my 1989 Bronco II?

I attached pic's of the different TTB frame brackets. 4wd on the left, 2wd on the right. What pics do you need and I'll see if I have them?

Yes. All BII came with 4wd transmissions. The 2wd BII had a dummy t-case. Just remove it and replace it with a real t-case.
 

Attachments

  • IM000883a.JPG
    IM000883a.JPG
    129.5 KB · Views: 2,675




Rightonryan

New Member
Joined
October 16, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
City, State
Costa Mesa
Year, Model & Trim Level
1989 Bronco II XLT 2 WD
Thank you for your reply. I am going to follow your Step by Step instructions and convert my BII to 4 Wheel. I am hoping you still have the pictures that go along with it. Many of the steps refer to the photos to get it right. Each step has photos but they have been removed from your post.
 




Happy Jack

Well-Known Member
Joined
June 5, 2004
Messages
739
Reaction score
4
City, State
Wichita, KS
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 Sport
Not my thread. mjones97 wrote it up and started the thread. He was last active on this site 3-29 of this year. Folks move on. Hope it was nothing bad and he just found other intrests. Appears he is gone though with the removed photos.

Jr. my 88 BII started life as a 2wd. I converted and lifted it at the same time. So if you need pics of something I can check to see if I have them but I have no access to the pics mjones97 posted on this thread.
 




Jack Flash

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 11, 2007
Messages
368
Reaction score
2
City, State
Ethel, MS
Year, Model & Trim Level
(3) '88 BII's, '99 Ranger
pics are gone.. =(
 




Glen4X4

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 5, 2007
Messages
5,487
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lewistown, Pa
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLS
mjones is just on another rbv site more regular than what he is here.
 




Top