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4X4 INFO NEEDED


brianhood

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HELLO EVERYONE! IM VERY NEW TO THE 4X4 WORLD AND DONT KNOW A LOT. IVE GOT A (STUPID) QUESTION. IM BUILDING A 05 SPORT TRAC (GREAT BODY AND INTERIOR- BAD ENGINE) AND IM PUTTING A SMALL 4 CYL DIESEL POWERTRAIN INTO IT. I WANT A 4X4 AND THERE ARE SEVERAL CHOICES THAT I COULD CHOOSE. IM GOING TO USE A DIVORCED TRANSFER CASE. THE ONE IM LOOKING AT IS IN A 82 NISSIAN. MY QUESTION IS THIS, SINCE THE NISSIAN HAS MANUAL LOCKING HUBS, WILL I HAVE A PROBLEM USING THE STOCK FRONT DIFF ( IM GUESSING THAT THE OE SYSTEM ON THE FRONT DIFF IN THE TRAC IS AUTOMATIC AS THERE IS NO WAY TO LOCK ANYTHING). I COULD USE A FORD TRANSFER CASE AND CONVERT IT TO A DIVORCED UNIT AND GET ONE OF THOSE CONVERSION KITS TO MAKE IT INTO A MANUAL SHIFT CASE. HOWEVER, IF THE NISSIAN UNIT WOULD WORK WITH MY STOCK FRONT DIFF THT SHOULD BE THE CHEAPEST ROUTE. WOULD IT HURT TO MIX PARTS OR SHOULD I KEEP IT ALL FORD? ANY SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS WOULD BE GREAT! THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR TIME.
BRIAN
 


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franklin2

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Here's a article on your front axle. https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/dana_35_sla.shtml

You could do your conversion and not worry about it. The whole complete front driveline will turn all the time, which is apparently the way it worked from the factory. If you used it that way you could shift on the fly anytime you wanted. They do mention you can swap axles and hubs with certain years and then buy a manual hub conversion kit.
 

brianhood

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so then does this mean that I could use he Nissan tcase and the oe ford front diff just the way it is?
 

ericbphoto

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The only way the transfer case links to the differentials is through drive shafts. So, as long as you can get a drive shaft with the proper u-joints or splines or whatever it needs, then you can use almost any transfer case. Most front axles on Fords have the differential offset to the driver side. So the best practice is to choose a transfer case with its front output on the driver side.
 

franklin2

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so then does this mean that I could use he Nissan tcase and the oe ford front diff just the way it is?
Yes. The only downside is the front axles and front driveshaft will turn at all times. But a lot of the more modern vehicles do this. It may give you a 1 mpg penalty, not even noticeable with the diesel. The upside, you will have 4x4 anytime you want it by just pulling the lever on the transfer case to 4x4.
 

brianhood

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Thanks Guys!
 

JohnnyO

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Correct, the Sport Trac front axle is "live" all the time. 98 and early 99 Rangers had a vacuum disconnect on the hubs but it proved to be troublesome and unreliable. Ford's own testing showed only a 0.3 mpg improvement with disconnected hubs vs. an always-live axle with synthetic lube.
 


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