Removing Front Dif For Good? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Removing Front Dif For Good?

synyster

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 6, 2010
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City, State
Hammond IN
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 Limited V8
I want to make my 4x4 explorer RWD only...as I have plans to do a 03 cobra swap sometime down the road. How hard is it to convert it over to RWD? Is it as simple as taking out the cv shafts, diff housing, and driveshaft? I could really use some advice on this, any input would be appreciated.
 



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I think that's pretty much all there is to it. The front suspension is pretty much identical between the 2WD and 4WD versions of the 3rd Gen explorers, so you should be able to remove the parts you listed and then be good to go.

X2 ... would think the same but never heard anyone doing it before and also the BWM so it will never turn the front yolk
 












And the transfer case, I forgot about that. When I remove that, what would i need to do? Will I need a new bellhousing? and the driveshaft? Im sure I will need a longer shaft.


I take it that the cobra motor will not clear the front differential unless you remove it?

It shouldnt be to much of a problem...Im not really sure of the differences between the 4v and the 2v 4.6s but im sure the bottom ends are somewhat similar so that shouldnt be a problem, but I could be wrong. Im just trying to shed as much weight as possible and I never go offroad and I never tow anything so I just want to get rid of it.
 






I personally would leave the transfer case in place just to keep the electronics happy. Removing it would probably entail some type of alteration to the transmission as well as a new rear driveshaft. Though I do understand the desire to shed overall weight. The difference in curb weight between a 2wd and 4wd is almost 250lbs.
 






It won't be as simple as removing the transfercase unless you had a 2wd trans to replace it. I'd leave the TC alone. You should be able to remove the above mentioned parts, remove the fuses for the 4x4 and you'll be good to go.

Another thought would be to sell/trade in for a 2wd and start fresh.
 






If you were in TX and it would be an easy swap, i would trade running gear, but I dont think its just a unbolt and rebolt..
 






As a safety note. Do some reading on your front CV shafts and on whether they serve a structural purpose in your front wheel hub setup. I know of a Jeep guy who dies because he took his front axle shafts out and hopped onto the highway not realizing that his front wheel hubs were about to come apart. Before just unbolting **** and throwing it in the parts bin you better double check first.

The easiest way would be to just take your entire transmission and t-case out and sell as a unit. Then you can either get a 5R55W transmission from a 2wd Explorer and build it to support the additional hp or drop a standalone 4R70W transmission or other tranny that bolts to the 4.6 block. You will throw some codes for the t-case elimination and if you swap to another transmission besides a 5R55W then you will pop an asston of codes. I believe I had no less than about 15 when got rid of my 5R.

I suggest you continue doing some more research on this before doing it because if you don't even know the differences between the 4v 4.6 and the 2v 4.6 then chances are likely this project is not planned out as well as it should be. Not slamming you but calling it as I see it. I see tons of guys on these car forums with much bigger eyes than ability or resolve and they almost always end up giving up after starting the project and realizing they bit off more than they could chew or they never even start the project. The main reason for these failures is lack of planning and lack of knowledge. If you are truly serious about doing a project of this nature then there are people here that can help you who have done similar builds. But you have to do some more research before moving from the planning phase to actually executing imo. I don't really consider a 4v swap/4wd to 2wd swap in a Gen 3 X a swap requiring expert skills but it is not going to be a walk in the park for your average DIY'er either.
 






Are you planning on dropping the supercharger in as well?
 






Constructive criticism is welcome. I'm not jumping into anything or biting of more than I can chew. I have 3 friends in on this and I plan to take my time doing it step by step and making sure everything is planned out... And I'm actually leaning towards leaving in the 4x4....thanks to seeing the SS Silverado and the Jeep SRT8. AWD isn't looking to bad right about now. I'm going to research both and see which one is more realistic.

Are you planning on dropping the supercharger in as well?

And about the supercharger, It wouldn't be the same without it. :D
 






Constructive criticism is welcome. I'm not jumping into anything or biting of more than I can chew. I have 3 friends in on this and I plan to take my time doing it step by step and making sure everything is planned out... And I'm actually leaning towards leaving in the 4x4....thanks to seeing the SS Silverado and the Jeep SRT8. AWD isn't looking to bad right about now. I'm going to research both and see which one is more realistic.


Oh BTW, the 4.6 WAP Aluminum block that comes stock with your X and the 4.6 Iron block that comes in the 03-04 Cobra are pretty much identical when it comes to their shape. The one thing you will have to change with regards to bolting the iron shortblock into your X will be your motor mounts. When I did a built iron shortblock in my KB Explorer I had to extend the motor mount bolt holes a bit due to the location of the bolt bosses in the iron engine block being slightly different than the ones on the WAP aluminum block on the X's. Also the 4v heads are much wider so you may have to relocate a few things to make all of it drop right in. The engine will fit in the engine bay, the Lincoln Aviators are testament to this. You also may have to switch from the stock Cobra exhaust manifolds to the Aviator ones or if you want to make more power then go with a set of custom headers.

Whether or not you keep the AWD really depends on how much power you plan to push in the end. The AWD will really keep your truck planted when going from a dig which is what benefits the JGC SRT8's. I would say that if you plan to stay around 400rwhp then keep the AWD. Go bigger than that and you will have to really start thinking about either upgrading it to take the power which may get expensive or dropping it for a RWD setup and just running Mickeys, M&H, or other good DR out back if you want to hook. Then even with the RWD setup you will still need to think about upgrading your rear diff and axles if you are planning to push some serious power. Things really start getting a snowball affect after 400rwhp in these trucks.

One more thing. It is great that you have a few friends that are willing to help you with this project but don't bank upon the assumption that they are always going to be there to help you with your build; whether it is just wrenching or providing tech assistance. Usually about 3/4 of the time it all starts out strong but when the project ends up taking a bit of time or there is a snag they get less interested and stop showing up to help you as often. Your case may turn out to be different, and I hope it does. However speaking from personal experience in addition to what I have observed I have seen this same thing happen time and time again. Just be prepared in case this happens to you.
 






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