manual T-case swap | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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manual T-case swap


Active Member
March 28, 2015
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High desert CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Explorer
So I have a 1997 AWD Explorer and im going to do the T-case swap. I went to the junk yard and found a 2000 F150 4.6 with the T-case. From what I have read about the swap, I can get the T-case, front drive shaft and all the shift linkage from just this doner truck right? I have seen on a few forums the after pictures of the install and wondered why I haven't seen the doner F150's shift boot and plastic cover being used? most of the pictures ive seen are just an ugly boot righ to the carpet. Can we mount the F150 boot and plastic cover in our explorers. I seen one but the plastic cover looked different then the one I seen on the 2000 f150.

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Here is mine


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Yeah that's real clean. Did you use all the linkage off the doner truck? I see some guys talking about ordering shift rods or lower brackets from Ford. There is 1 nice f150 in my local yard complete with case and all.

Yea just grab all of it including the bolts that mount the linkage to the tranny , and of course the front driveshaft

maybe you could help me out on the vehicle speed sensor issue found in the early model explorers doing the swap. I noticed I have a sensor coming out of the tail shaft on my explorer. there is also a sensor coming off the tail shaft on the donor vehicle 2000 Ford F 150. seems like it's plug and play or am I not going to use the same location due to the vehicle speed sensor ring style difference? the only part that confuses me in the reading I've been doing about the swap is after 1998 the speed sensor was relocated to the rear differential if I'm not mistaken. but when I see on the year 2000 f150 the speed sensor on the tail shaft it looks hopeful.

Its plug and play

well today I was able to only pull the linkage shift boot and shift boot cover. I got the transfer case unbolted from the transmission but I was unable to unbolt the drive lines it was just too tight. I'm going to have to sacrifice the front drive line and just cut it tomorrow. getting the transfer case and linkage is probably the hardest thing to find. I was thinking maybe just taking the clips off the u joints and trying to hammer off the driveline since the 12 point bolts were just way too tight. any advice on taking the u joints out? big hammer and a socket maybe.

I found a 4406 from a 98 F150, will this work?

I've been trying to scrounge the parts up for several months, but there are only a couple of boneyards in my area.


Yes it will be perfect. Get it! Make sure it's the manual transfer case. Get the linkage and boot from it too.

Try to get that front driveshaft. I'm in SoCal and we have tons of scrap yards here, it took me forever to find the 4.6L front drive shaft. I would try whatever you can to get the driveshaft off.

As far as using the f150 boot, I think it was the wrong shape to fit over the hump on the explorers. If I remember correctly I found one out of a Bronco that fit better. I still had to take a dremel/grinder to the plastic to make it fit correctly though.good luck

I got the shaft. It's a 2 piece. Is that normal?


Ok so looking inside the speed sensor hole on the case I notice the gear inside is metal so it's a sensor pickup style and not a drive gear style. I'm gonna have to see what style is on my Explorer. I'm sure my Explorer is a drive gear style.

Here are the parts I got off the 2000 f150 with 4.6. All in great shape. Oh and did I mention it was all for 100$ LOL. yep


Do you have the sensor that came out it?

Nevermind, I remember what I did for the hard plastic shift boot cover, I hit it with my heat gun and got it hot enough to mold into place on the hump where I wanted it. I cant remember if I used the F150 or Bronco boot cover

no I don't have the sensor I can go back and look for it. It was not in there when I pulled it. Is it that simple just wiring the different sensor on? This is the biggest part that confuses me, the vss. My Explorer is a 97 and from what I see it has the vss in the tail shaft if the awd Tcase. From the reading I've done 1998 and newer the vss is in the rear diff. Well on the year 2000 Tcase I just pulled the vss is still on the tail shaft like my 97. As you can see in the pictures the vss pickup is a gear style. I guess I'm going to have to pull my sensor out of my explorer and see what style I have. If it looks the same as the Tcase I pulled will is just plug and play?

So this is the speedometer sensor that I have. Its different than the one from the junkyard case I pulled. so I'm going to have to change the pick up gear on the tail shaft. Is there any other way?

OK guys so I took the tail shaft off and this is what's seen.


I then cut the gear off and I think I'm ready to install the gear drive pickup that I require. Can I order this part?
Also I seen on another post a guy had to line up his new gear for the swap with a ball bearing but im going to use some RTV or JB weld, what do you think?

I really need a part number on the gear I need for the input shaft.

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OK here's a new issue. This is the vss off my 1997 explorer and it doesn't even come close to fitting in my 4406 transfer case. Does anyone know what I need to do?