Building a 1350/1354 doubler- any wisdom to share?


Freshmeat

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I've read through THIS article countless times. I've read about doublers on Pirate. I've read basically everything I could find regarding a 1350/1354 doubler. That still doesn't mean I know everything there is to know about it.

I believe, given the knowledge I've gained from my research, I can do this. I have professional connections who can alter/combine the shafts as needed to make the main shaft. I also have access to the tools needed to drill/tap/etc the center plate.

Today I picked up the first piece of the puzzle- the output shaft from an A4LD. Even better, it was free. I may go this weekend to pull a manual-shift 1350 at the junk yard; I'm not positive I'll find one, but I'm going to try.

Those of you who have built 1350/1354 doublers... is there ANY bit of advice, experience, etc that I should consider in the creation of this thing? I'm planning to build it in my garage and have it entirely completed, ready to bolt in before I even tear down my Ex for install; I'll have a spare 1354 to use for mock-up.

I'm keeping the electronic shift on the 1354. For some reason, I like it.

So... speak up...

How long have you had your doubler?
Do you drive it on the highway? How often?
Any issues you had to correct?
Anything you wish you had done differently?
Is your center plate steel or aluminum?

I'm sure I can find arguments both ways for pretty much anything I want to know on this... but I'm just trying to get input from the guys with the real world experience of running these things.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide.
 


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4x4junkie

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Been running mine for about 2½ years now, got probably around 12,000 road miles on it now with no issues to speak of.

Mine's the D.D. Machine kit, but regardless of which way you go, they are all pretty much the same thing outside of the shaft itself.
Biggest thing is to just make sure the two cases are perfectly aligned with each other so the shaft doesn't fatigue and break prematurely.
 

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Been running mine for about 2½ years now, got probably around 12,000 road miles on it now with no issues to speak of.

Mine's the D.D. Machine kit, but regardless of which way you go, they are all pretty much the same thing outside of the shaft itself.
Biggest thing is to just make sure the two cases are perfectly aligned with each other so the shaft doesn't fatigue and break prematurely.
And that it shifts correctly and holds in gear/position.

Do you have a 2 door or 4 door explorer?
 

Freshmeat

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I have a four door. Does anyone still make any parts for this? I can't find anyone so I'm prepared to fabricate, but if anyone makes parts it would certainly make it at least a little easier.
 

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Doubler Stuff

I built my doubler last year and it was a very enjoyable project. I used 1/2" aluminum plate and a custom one piece shaft built by a machine shop. I run my doubler in a Bronco II with D35/8.8 34" swampers and Lockrites in both axles. I have not had ANY issues with my doubler as I used a one piece shaft to ensure durability. I have been up nasty hill climbs over rocks through deep mud and I run the doubler in LOW and the main case in HI whenever I get a chance. I run AMSOIL syncromesh oil in the doubler and t-case and it really seems to shift smoothly and run quietly.
If you want to build the doubler system yourself I would recommend getting all your pieces together and laying them all out on a big table so you can visualize how they all fit together. This will really help you to understand the steps you need to take to fabricate it.

I can sell you a brand new one piece shaft that will work with a 1/2" adapter plate for $250.00 shipped.
 
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Freshmeat

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I built my doubler last year and it was a very enjoyable project. I used 1/2" aluminum plate and a custom one piece shaft built by a machine shop. I run my doubler in a Bronco II with D35/8.8 34" swampers and Lockrites in both axles. I have not had ANY issues with my doubler as I used a one piece shaft to ensure durability. I have been up nasty hill climbs over rocks through deep mud and I run the doubler in LOW and the main case in HI whenever I get a chance. I run AMSOIL syncromesh oil in the doubler and t-case and it really seems to shift smoothly and run quietly.
If you want to build the doubler system yourself I would recommend getting all your pieces together and laying them all out on a big table so you can visualize how they all fit together. This will really help you to understand the steps you need to take to fabricate it.

I can sell you a brand new one piece shaft that will work with a 1/2" adapter plate for $250.00 shipped.
Thanks for that offer- and I may take you up on it; I just want to get a little more into the project before I decide how/where I want to spend the money.

I'd read somewhere that someone had to drill a hole straight through the main shaft- does that sound familiar to anyone? I can't remember what was the deal with it, but I want to say he was having lubrication issues...
 

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I drilled the shaft in mine.
I have a D & D kit and was having lubrication issues - or so I thought. I drilled the shaft to copy the lubrication system on the stubler- you can search to find out what that is, basically it uses the oil pump in the rear case to lube both cases and needs a drilled shaft to supply oil to the front case (doubler) and a drain hole to allow the oil to drain back.
you can read about my ordeal here if you haven't already
http://rrorc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38533

I have the same screen name over there.
basically my problem was the shifting setup on the 1350 - there was too much play in the shift fork/planetary and the plastic shift guides would wear down fast and then the doubler would pop out of gear - left me stranded twice, actually one time I drove home in low range about 10 miles, what a long trip: so I got frustrated and removed the doubler for several months. then I started researching again and found that you could use the planetary gear and shift fork setup out of the 1354 in the 1350.

After I switched to the 1354 shift setup, I've had no more problems.
You can use a 1354 for the doubler, it's the same setup, but finding a 1354 manual might be frustrating. you can get a 1350 manual and get a electronic shift 1354 to rob the planetary and shift setup 1993 and later have 6-gear planetaries vs 4-gear for earlier ones.

I would suggest switching to the later shift setup - it solved all my problems and I know of 2-3 others who have gone that route, but many people will probably say they had no trouble with the 1350 setup.
I think my problem came from the first time I put the doubler in - it had al leak and I didn't watch it closely enough and the fluid got low and it overheated - which is probably where the excessive wear in my shift fork and planetary came from.

so keep a good eye for leaks, others have mentioned trouble getting the doubler sealed right also.

also, if your making your own, be sure you get the two shafts perfectly in line with each other or you might get shaft-breakage problems, make sure your block off plates are perfectly flat and perpendicular to the case mounting surface. It shouldn't be too hard, just take your time. You should be able to use the holes in the two cases to make some way to line them up perfectly, since the holes will line up unless you trying to do some clocking like the d & d kit does.

oh, and about the drilled shaft, I have since went back to the original spash oiling setup, not that the stubler setup wasn't working, I just didn't feel it needed after I solved my shifting issues.

be careful when you cut the case and weld on a block plate - I think that was one of my leakage problems - i left a small gap that the sealant didnt fill too well. some jb weld and careful filing solved that, I dont seem to have leaks now and it's been a good 6 months since i've messed with it.

Keep us posted with lots of pics, It's always interesting to see a doubler done, even if I've already done it, especially DIY.

I've heard on other forums somewhere that D&D is back making the 1350 doubler again, but not positive, I know there was talk about a 1350 doubler mated to a dana 300 case, but I couldn't tell you where it was offhand.
 

351rangerxxx

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i believe i got a manual shift 1354
 

Freshmeat

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I drilled the shaft in mine.
I have a D & D kit and was having lubrication issues - or so I thought. I drilled the shaft to copy the lubrication system on the stubler- you can search to find out what that is, basically it uses the oil pump in the rear case to lube both cases and needs a drilled shaft to supply oil to the front case (doubler) and a drain hole to allow the oil to drain back.
you can read about my ordeal here if you haven't already
http://rrorc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38533

I have the same screen name over there.
basically my problem was the shifting setup on the 1350 - there was too much play in the shift fork/planetary and the plastic shift guides would wear down fast and then the doubler would pop out of gear - left me stranded twice, actually one time I drove home in low range about 10 miles, what a long trip: so I got frustrated and removed the doubler for several months. then I started researching again and found that you could use the planetary gear and shift fork setup out of the 1354 in the 1350.

After I switched to the 1354 shift setup, I've had no more problems.
You can use a 1354 for the doubler, it's the same setup, but finding a 1354 manual might be frustrating. you can get a 1350 manual and get a electronic shift 1354 to rob the planetary and shift setup 1993 and later have 6-gear planetaries vs 4-gear for earlier ones.

I would suggest switching to the later shift setup - it solved all my problems and I know of 2-3 others who have gone that route, but many people will probably say they had no trouble with the 1350 setup.
I think my problem came from the first time I put the doubler in - it had al leak and I didn't watch it closely enough and the fluid got low and it overheated - which is probably where the excessive wear in my shift fork and planetary came from.

so keep a good eye for leaks, others have mentioned trouble getting the doubler sealed right also.

also, if your making your own, be sure you get the two shafts perfectly in line with each other or you might get shaft-breakage problems, make sure your block off plates are perfectly flat and perpendicular to the case mounting surface. It shouldn't be too hard, just take your time. You should be able to use the holes in the two cases to make some way to line them up perfectly, since the holes will line up unless you trying to do some clocking like the d & d kit does.

oh, and about the drilled shaft, I have since went back to the original spash oiling setup, not that the stubler setup wasn't working, I just didn't feel it needed after I solved my shifting issues.

be careful when you cut the case and weld on a block plate - I think that was one of my leakage problems - i left a small gap that the sealant didnt fill too well. some jb weld and careful filing solved that, I dont seem to have leaks now and it's been a good 6 months since i've messed with it.

Keep us posted with lots of pics, It's always interesting to see a doubler done, even if I've already done it, especially DIY.

I've heard on other forums somewhere that D&D is back making the 1350 doubler again, but not positive, I know there was talk about a 1350 doubler mated to a dana 300 case, but I couldn't tell you where it was offhand.
Thank you SO much for posting here, man. You are exactly the one I'd read about having the problem and I wanted to know how you resolved it- I just couldn't find the thread again where you talked about your issues. I've read about the stubler, but Gremlinstein is no longer producing, unfortunately.

I read earlier today about swapping to the 1354 planetary and fully intend to do that. I'll most likely disassemble a 1350 and a 1354 at the junk yard and swap the planetary into the 1350 to avoid having to buy two cases just to end up throwing away basically a complete case.

I've e-mailed DD as well as PMed him on Pirate. We'll see what he says, but at $500 for the kit, I think I'd rather "booty-fab" a kit myself, then have a shaft made in the event mine breaks. One of my professional customers is confident they can combine the two shafts in a fashion that will get the best strength out of what I'm doing. I trust them, as they pretty much only build shafts for industrial machinery.

I'm glad to hear you got yours straight. I'll definitely post lots of pictures, especially now that I have my parts washer up and running (with 106 flash solvent, complements of my job) and everything will be cleaned as I go.

I have someone lined up to do my aluminum welding, as well. I plan to bring him the bare front section of case and have him weld it up.

As for you driving ten miles in low range... I kinda know that feeling. About a year ago my project was a 1989 Town Car. Half a mile from work I lost fourth gear. By the time I pulled into the parking lot I was down to only first. I had to drive 28 miles in first gear. Needless to say, I redlined it basically the whole way and actually had to push it the last quarter mile because it ran out of fuel and I was watching the temp so closely I forgot to check my fuel level. So, yeah- I feel your pain on that. Dual 2.25" exhaust with no cats dumped before the axle creates one massive headache after redlining for an hour and a half.

I'll keep this thread posted as I carry on with the project. Once again, thanks for all the input I've received so far. Any success I have on this will be solely based on the information I've gathered from the Internet, as no one I know is running a doubler and locally I'm only catching crap for wanting to run a doubler on 34s.

My feeling is that it'll give me the low range I want offroad without investing over a grand into the D35/8.8 which will be swapped out next year. I have a final goal for this so I'm trying to not waste money on parts that I plan to swap when I can avoid it.
 

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D&D posted on rrorc.com about a month ago that he would have more 1350/1354 doubler kits ready in a few weeks. He is also doing a run of four 1350/d300 doubler kits. If youre very intent on continuing to call him you could probably get one for yourself. Ive heard bad things about 2piece shafts but some have had them hold up to lots of abuse.

Please post lots of pics and tech info if you do your own buildup. Good luck.
 

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He's been saying he'll have more kits in a few weeks... for a few months. In the least I'll do my own to get going then if I break something I'll have a shaft made.
 

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Yeah Duffy seems a bit shady. I managed to get my hands on one of his kits, and have been running it for ~1.5 years. Its in my daily driver, and has over 25k miles on it. I wheeled it with 33's, then did a SAS and stepped up to 35's. Broke a D44 chromo shaft a couple weeks ago, doubler is fine.

I had troubles getting mine to seal up. Last time I rebuilt it (for inspection), I sealed it up with "Right Stuff" sealant and used teflon tape for the filler/drain plugs. Been running that for a while with no leaks.

Like Junkie, I relocated the breather hose to the top of the case, and used the old breather location as a filler hole. This raises the fluid level in the case by a substantial amount. Problem is, it burps fluid out the top of the case, through the relocated breather hose. I've got the case out now (replacing slave cyl in trans), and am having a guy weld a baffle inside the case to hopefully prevent the fluid from getting into the breather hose.
 
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slammer67

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x2 on relocating the vent hole. i moved mine up, but not to the top of the case, it didn't look like i'd have enough room to attatch a hose if it was on top. I shoulda bought a 90 deg nipple, but i just moved it up a little higher and put it on the side. but on top would be better, I may move mine later if I have problems.

see


I also added a sight tube to check fluid level.


and here's the 1354 shift fork in the 1350 case, in case anyones wondering if it'll fit.
 

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Hey Bray D, you gotta thread on those half doors?
 

Bray D

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