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How to: The Comprehensive Brown Wire Mod Thread


yoster

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There's another thread that speaks to disabling 4x4 on 2006-11 explorers - this is not the correct thread for that year.


[edit] - found the thread. Sadly it's old and pictures no longer come up, but see post #36 where I make comment of doing it. The wire I'm referring to can be found under the glove compartment. Super simple mod:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=364283&page=2
 


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jmvb

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I did the procedure, I use a simple on-off switch, without light

All looks like the pictures, great tutorial
Mine is a 98 XLT

The weird thing is (or maybe I misunderstand the procedure goals), the front shaft still moving, no matter if the switch is on or off...

It is right?
 




gijoecam

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The weird thing is (or maybe I misunderstand the procedure goals), the front shaft still moving, no matter if the switch is on or off...

It is right?

Yes. The front axle is engaged full-time whether the transfer case is putting power to it or not. Ford did away with the center-axle disconnect on the Explorers after the '97 model year, going to a live axle and eliminating a true 2 wheel drive. The additional resistance of spinning the differential and driveshaft all the time is pretty minimal and probably had a minor effect on fuel economy, but the trade-off is reduced complexity, lighter weight (no disconnect, vacuum solenoids, and hoses to actuate it) and less cost (obviously).
 




jmvb

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Yes. The front axle is engaged full-time whether the transfer case is putting power to it or not. Ford did away with the center-axle disconnect on the Explorers after the '97 model year, going to a live axle and eliminating a true 2 wheel drive. The additional resistance of spinning the differential and driveshaft all the time is pretty minimal and probably had a minor effect on fuel economy, but the trade-off is reduced complexity, lighter weight (no disconnect, vacuum solenoids, and hoses to actuate it) and less cost (obviously).


Thanks for reply!
 




jsfordboy02

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Is there a modification like this to do on the gen3, except I would like to be able to turn the auto 4-wheel setting to just 2 wheel drive. Because there is only 4x4 auto (default), 4 hi and 4 low. Make sense?
 




Blu95

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This is all much more involved than I need it to be. I have a 95. I don't need 2low, I only want 4high instead of auto when necessary. From what I understand, all i need is a switch the will provide power to the brown wire and I'm good to go with 4hi. Correct?
 




smokem

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brown wire

Finally and all-in-one thread of the Brown Wire Mod

Excellent post!!!!!!!!!
i have 01 explorer can i cut the brown wire at the transfer case if so will that elimnate the awd part of it and the switch still work for the 4x4 part
 




Justin@413

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Now that I think about it, this really belongs in the Transmission/T-case forum.... my bad. I still forget it's there!
I have a 97 Ford explorer 4*4 an I did the brown wire mod an worked great an then I get in it today an it isn't working.. I used a lighted switch an the light won't even come on at all but a split second when I hit it. Wondering what it could be? The transfer case motor is still engaging an disengaging but no 4*4. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
-Joe
 




Justin@413

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I have a 97 Ford explorer 4*4 an I did the brown wire mod an worked great an then I get in it today an it isn't working.. I used a lighted switch an the light won't even come on at all but a split second when I hit it. Wondering what it could be? The transfer case motor is still engaging an disengaging but no 4*4. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 




Rocky Weir

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Correct. We suspected that, because of the way it's wired, we just bypass the transfer case clutch with a resistor to simulate the load to fool the computer into thinking it's working. We're not sure if it'll work or not though.

-Joe
Hello, I have a 2004 xls 4x4 (without auto trac) and want to do this mod. I see that you mentioned bypassing the transfer case clutch with a resistor to fool the computer. Do you know which style resistor to use? thanks for your help, Rocky.
 




Aarnio

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Hello All,

I have 1996 Explorer with BW 4405 T-case and HAL-sensors for both front and rear shafts. Is this correct wiring for the mod?

spdt-on-on-4forced-2.jpg
 




poker4me007

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97 Sport 4wd 4.0 ohv 5spd
Also have the control trac.
I did mine today. I followed the wires from the transfercase and went under the seat and mounted the toggle switch in front of the console.
Afterwards I checked it out in my driveway by putting it into 4 low with the toggle switch off and I have low gear with no binding in the front wheels, so I know it's working. True 2wheel low (Cool Mod).



Under the front drivers seat.


This was the brown wire I spliced into, used same kind of connectors as for the toggle switch.

I fished the blue 16 gauge wire from the center console to the harness, using a coat hanger.


This is what it looked like under the seat all buttoned up. NOTE: I don't know what the black spot is in the photo, shadow? IDK

Toggle switch installed,I forgot about checking for clearance, I had to bend the connectors to be able to put the beverage holder back on.

Can't see the toggle switch, only I know it's there.

toggle switch safely out of the way. Up on, down off :)
 




Aarnio

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'96 V6 4.0'

I did the mod also some weeks ago. Working fine. Only thing is that if you leave the switch 'on' parked or engine not running it drains the battery...

I took also the t-case off for some repair:

Inside the case all clutch friction plates were totally worn out
and perhaps because of that also one of the pressure plates on top of
the clutch pack was broken in four pieces and also one bearing ball
between the pressure plates cracked in halves. The nylon thrust washer
in pieces and partially melted. The funny spring in the pack twisted and
warped. Oil was black, pieces of friction material and tiny metal scrap
all over the case. I guess the case has 'boiled' at some point with
previous owner.

Replaced the whole clutch pack and the magnet, pressure plates and
bearing balls, washer, spring, cleaned everything, new seals, new
transmission housing extension gasket and fresh seal glue between the
case halves, back together, new oil in and it runs fine. Nice to have 4x4 for the winter.

Keep exploring!

brown-wire-mod-600px.jpg


bw-switch.jpg


spdt-on-on-4forced-2.jpg


20180820_204755.jpg
 




poker4me007

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'96 V6 4.0'

I did the mod also some weeks ago. Working fine. Only thing is that if you leave the switch 'on' parked or engine not running it drains the battery...

]

Mine can't do that,
the wires only live with the key on.
 








Aarnio

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Mine can't do that,
the wires only live with the key on.

Hmm, how is that? Where or which wire did you get the aux power? I'd like to have that also just to avoid the annoying situation when you have it totally flat with no power at all. I can live with it and will perhaps remember it when done it once now. But just to be on safe side.

-edit- Ah, cross-posting here. Will try without the cigarette lighter wire. I am not much of an electrician, though.
 








BrooklynBay

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