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My Results of BW1356 in a First Gen


Well-Known Member
March 8, 2005
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City, State
Ontario, Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
351 powered, 1991 XLT 4x4
I don't intend this to be a "how-to" but if it helps anyone with their choices of transfer case/transmission builds, then mission accomplished.

When my AOD died behind my 351 EFI windsor (3 rebuilds), I had enough. I was even tempted to put the 4.0 back in!:eek:
I decided that I would cough up some more resources to install a drivetrain built by the factory intended for full size vehicles. The answer came in a 4R70W from a '97 Explorer. Next part in question was what was going to reside behind this unit? I had done the Advanced Adapters swap, though I wasn't about to have someone tear into my tranny again.
After much research and few results, I decided on a Borg Warner 1356 from a 1990 Fullsize Bronco. Oh's a manual transfer case:p:
Since I got next to no info on other swaps, I thought i'd give it a shot.
It really isn't THAT much work. Especially since it is not reqired to missmatch parts for any of this swap. Some modification to get it in place and to driveshafts is necessary however.
Here we go....
To get it to fit between the frame rails of the Ex., I had to do two things.

1) A small portion of the lower framerail had to be notched. After actually getting the 1356 in, I realized I could have taken less metal off the frame. Trial and error.

2) This below, is the stock Explorer tranny mount attached to the 4R70W. I had to move the drivetrain ove 7/8" to the passenger side to allow the 1356 to not hit the frame rail on the drivers side leaving 1/2" between the frame and transfer case.

It's not entirely obvious by looking at it, but this is with it 7/8" over.


Knowing what I do now, I actually could have avoided any trimming of frame by cutting the tab off the bottom corner of the 1356. Would have been close, but for me, it would have worked. Trimming the frame however will ensure no contact during hard acceleration with any movement.

Next on the to-do list was install the t-case shifter. I scoured the junk yards for shifter handles and had limited resources. The only thing I could find was a shifter from an '86 F150 with AOD. This turned out to be perfect for me as I wanted the shifter to come up and out the tranny tunnel, not the side (I don't have a center console).
As seen below, I had to cut and reweld the shifter because when placed in position for the first time, it resided exactly where my right leg would be.

The shifter now works great in all positions and gives me plently room for the driver.

I had to trim a small amount at the lower left of the tranny cover plate to get into 4low.



4 HIGH without boot

This shows the 1356 as a whole installed. I have a 2" body lift and realized after being done that it is a must! I only have 1" space between the t-case and body on the upper passenger side.

Installing driveshafts was next. I used the Bronco BW1356 because it uses a fixed flange, not a slip yoke. I could have used a stock Bronco driveshaft and have it lengthened but I instead used my stock Explorer shaft and had it shortened exactly 1 1/2". To get the stock driveshaft to attach to the Bronco flange, I temporarily clamped the flange to flange (there is a circled raised part in the center of the flanges to center everything up), then I drilled and tapped 4 new holes that are closer in radius than the Bronco.

This shows the weld where the stock shaft was shortened. Cost me $80.

The front shaft I used was from a '97 up F150 with 4.6 engine. It has the proper 1330 U-joint to attach to the t-case yoke. I used a 1310 to 1330 hybrid U-Joint from Ford Racing to connect the front of the shaft to the differential.
It just fits for length with only 3/8" compression. I will have it shortened as well for piece of mind as I'm not comfortable with its current limitations

Since the t-case is quite a bit larger, it also pushes the front driveshaft output further to the drivers side making just enough room for operation. I'll probably bend the fuel filter bracket in about 1/2 or more for more clearance.

When I was bored, I painted my grill. It'll look better once it gets dirty to match the truck.

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any ideas on what to do with the tersion bars are a 97 explorer. had this up and almost bolted in but seen there was no way to put a front shaft in without hitting the mount

On a second gen, I don't think it'll work exactly because of the location of the torsion bar mounts on your tranny mount. I have just enough hump in my tranny xmember to clear the front shaft although with my new 4" lift, I had to clearance it (notch it) a tad.
If you went SAS, no problem. That seems to be the common solution for many now on this board. I would have gone that route but I have too much $$ in my TTB front end at the moment.

what you mean by sas. is that a hard swap. would a 90 ford f-150 be the same as a sas

yeah diffently don't want to do that. maybe i can find someone that wants to trade a 4406 with the one i got

En una segunda generación, no creo que funcione exactamente debido a la ubicación de los soportes de la barra de torsión en su soporte transexual. Tengo suficiente joroba en mi miembro transexual para despejar el eje delantero, aunque con mi nuevo elevador de 4", tuve que despejarlo (hacerle una muesca) un poco.
Si fuiste SAS, no hay problema. Esa parece ser la solución común para muchos ahora en este foro. Habría seguido ese camino, pero tengo demasiado dinero en la parte delantera de mi TTB en este momento.
Como podemos comunicarnos mejor para que me mandes unas fotos y información más detallada para hacer ese swap qué tengo una explorer y también tengo el bw1356 y toy investigando para hacer todo bien pero con tu información me funciona me podrías dejar tu correo electrónico para comunicarnos saludos