Section525 - AWD to 4WD conversion | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Section525 - AWD to 4WD conversion

Well, the project has finally started. I bought everything I needed for the swap and tore into it this weekend. I flew out to AZ last Wednesday to check out the goods, crate them up, and ship them back home to CA.


Here it is after I picked it up in CA. It's a '99 4R70W with the AA adpater and a elec shift BW1354.


Here it is all good and cleaned up nearly ready to go in.


A close up of the bw1354 attached to the AA adapter.


As always, it's a tight fit getting into the garage. My buddy, Asp84, came out from AZ to oversee (actually do :p ) the swap.


Here's the '99 4R70W with the '96 BW4404 I took out of the truck next to the new tranny and 1354. Both units were within an inch and a half to being the same length.


New transmission going back in.


This is me cutting up a piece of the old BBQ grill on the side of the house. I needed some metal to fab up the new cross member bracket.. brackets.

And as usual... I ran into a few problems. Apparently, AA makes two different length adapters. One 5" (that Stadx2 used) and one 9" (which is what this package came with). Now, this makes things very interesting. The extra 4" pushes the transfer case back close to the gas tank. So close infact, that the shift motor cannot be bolted on. Doh. So, this leads me with only one other option. Mechanical shift 1354. Hee haw.. that's really what I wanted anyways (if I couldn't do what Stadx2 did with the 100% stock like integration).

So I'll be trying to get my hands on one in the next couple days. I had to buy a V6 driveshaft because the V6 transfer cases have smaller u-joint flange dealios than the V8s. Also, the V6 drive shaft will have to be shortened 1.5" to fit. Alec (Asp84) thinks his old 1st gen front driveshaft will fit perfectly with this setup. So he'll FedEx it over tomorrow and we'll see about that.


So basically, it will look like this but with a nice big shifter sticking up through the floor. I think i'll dig it.


As you can see, I have plenty of room to rig something up that'll work.

Hopefully, I'll be testing this out at Truckhaven this year. We'll see.

I'll include more pics and a parts list here soon. :cool:

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Cool :cool:, can't wait to see it done!!!

nice... could you exhcange te aa adapter for the shoreter version? or would it not fit for otehr reasons? also what about being integrated with the awd system your truck has? not mechanical, but like the electrical aspects

If I went for the shorter adapter the entire tranny would have to be removed and a new output shaft put in. Big $$$. I'll be happy with a manual shift anyway. Also, there is no electical aspect to the awd system. All mechanical.

Will the computer throw errors without the awd tc?

Nope. The computer didn't know the awd tcase was there in the first place.

If you went with the electric shift you would have had to add some wiring :) the neautral safety runs through the EEC and to the electric shift controller, and there may have been a few others.

I may be interested in your 1354 Electric shift t case.

Damn I wish I could find that adapter used! I am starting my 5.0L conversion and I cread having to spend $600 for the AA part, but short of buying a Atlas II its looking like my only choice. I have heard the other T cases that bolt to the 97 AOD I am using will not fit between my frame rails??? Dana 20 would be nice......

Section: Looks great! If you don't mind me asking, how much was the combo? Where did you get it?

Keep us posted about driveshaft mods, etc.

410: Check out my thread here about t-case options that might work.

The most promising leads are an NP208 hybrid from a Jeep full size and a ford fullsize, or a BW4406 from an Expedition/F150.

I got the complete tranny/adapter/tcase, plus installation, for $700. :cool: I picked it up from Asp84 (a member here) who had the setup in his 1st Gen V8 conversion Explorer.

what did asp84 get rid of the setup for?

You are a lucky SOB :)

Thanks for the T case info :)

Asp84 got rid of it because he took the old Explorer to the junkyard and bought himself a nice Mountaineer. :cool:

On a side note: I took the new V6 driveshaft to be shortened 1.75" today. One day and $102 later it will be ready to install. :D

Update: I picked up my rear driveshaft today. It looks great. They put in greasable u-joints, a new boot, painted the hole thing, and shortened it. It fit perfect.

After installing it I took the truck out on the road (first time since Friday). It seems to be a lot more powerful. In my opinion, after doing a swap like this, I think when removing the front shaft on an awd Explorer you're still losing a good percentage of power to the front. With 100% power going to the rear, I am going through the gears a lot faster than before. I can get up to 70mph without a problem now. I can definitely see a dyno day coming up in the near future.



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AWD stinks IMO, waste of gas.......
Even Jeeps with their non unlocking hubs = suck gas.

AWD is cool when you need it but for normal driving its a huge waste and it causes un-necessary wear on the drivetrain, in our trucks anyways, and Jeeps. some AWD systems rule, but not these ones......

Subscribe. Good luck :)

Section, Now will you have the option to switch to 4x4 electronically? I no you are gonna use a manual trans. I have always been interested in this mainly for gas/speed's this for "offroadness"or same as me?

No, he will have an automatic transmission, with a MANUAL transfer case. The switch to 4X4 will be done by hand.


Little update. Been pretty busy. But here is my custom tranny crossmember. :cool:


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Well, it's in, done, and it rocks! :cool:

As you can see.. the shifter is really really short. :rolleyes: However, I think the body lift will be coming out in two weeks or so. So it will look (and function) much better then.

Still have to put the new custom cross member in.. and fab up a way to secure the shift boot (since I had to cut a good chunk out of both the plate and the floor.


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