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December 2005 4x4 Tech Questions - Techline

Posted in How To: Tech Qa on December 1, 2005 Comment (0)
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Techline
Four Wheeler
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515.

All letters become the property of Four Wheeler, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. The editorial department also can be reached through the Web site at www.fourwheeler.com. Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.

Question: I would like to know if there was a place that could make me a bolt-on adapter that would change my '74 CJ-5's five-lug pattern to an eight-lug pattern? It could even be a six-lug pattern. It seems there are no good-looking wheels for my Jeep's bolt pattern.
Jay Simpson
via fourwheeler.com

Answer: Well, I've heard of people wanting to go from the eight-bolt pattern down to a five-bolt pattern so they had better wheel availability, but not in the reverse order that you want. Gee, it seems to me that there are far more aftermarket wheels available with the common five-bolt pattern than there are with the eight-bolt pattern.

I am not really sure if it's possible to make an adapter from eight to five without it being quite thick, which means the wheels will have to have a large amount of backspacing in order to maintain the proper scrub radius. I spoke with the folks at Weird Harold's Cool Parts (888/453-COOL, www.weirdharoldscoolparts.com), which builds custom wheel adapters of all types. They thought it could be possible with a two-piece adapter, but it would be quite expensive and they don't make such.

My only other suggestion is to spend some time on the Internet and see what you can come up with. However, I think that you are just looking in the wrong places when it comes to wheel availability. The 5-on-5 1/2-inch bolt pattern is just about the most popular pattern out there, so I am sure with a bit more looking, you could find a wheel that you would like.

Question: I am now the proud owner of a '90 3/4-ton Dodge Ram 4x4. This truck is great. It has a Dana 60 in the rear, a kingpin-style Dana 60 out front, an NP205 geardriven transfer case, and a 727 TorqueFlite tranny. I'm not afraid of breaking anything. It has a 360 fuel-injected V-8 that is never low on power.

But there is a problem. The truck rides ... well, like a truck and then some. The suspension is very stiff, and I have to almost stop while I go over a speed bump. Going down the highway is bearable but it is a real kidney-shaker. This ride doesn't seem right, even for a truck this size. I was thinking about getting some real good shocks, but before I buy them, I was wondering what would you do in my situation? I would like this to be a capable 'wheeler but also a tow rig. I am new to the sport of four-wheeling and know only what I have asked about. Please help me and save my kidneys.
Paul Lusk
via fourwheeler.comv

Answer: Part of the problem is that you have a big truck that was designed to haul a heavy load. The first thing to do is to match the tire pressure to the load being carried. You don't need to run around with maximum air pressure as stated on the tire's sidewall. Keep lowering the air pressure until the ride quality improves but doesn't affect tire wear or handling. A major tire dealer will have a book that will tell you what the tire's capacity is at what air pressure. This lowered air pressure will go a long way in improving the ride quality.

Question: I have a '97 long-wheelbase F-150 with a 4.6L V-8 and 4x4 auto transmission. I wanted the truck to have the five-speed in it but had to manage with the automatic. Is there a way to swap out my auto for a five-speed? I figured I could find a wrecked truck with the same specs and swap out all the parts necessary? If this is possible without high cost, what are the parts I may need, and would it be moderately easy?
Aaron Grissom
via fourwheeler.com

Answer: Sure you could, but it would be a lot of work. To start with, it would be best if you found a pretty complete donor truck. To make things easier, you will want the transfer case, along with the transmission. You will also need the driveshafts, flywheel, clutch assembly, and all the clutch-related linkage under the dash, such as the pedal assembly, which will include the brake pedal, the master cylinder, hoses, slave cylinder, clutch arm, and all the nuts and bolts. Don't forget that you will also need to install a pilot bearing in the end of the flywheel for the input shaft of the transmission.

Now the biggie. My guess is that you're also going to need the computer as it's a different part number for the standard trans than the auto. Don't forget you will also need some jackstands to raise the vehicle as high as possible for under-vehicle working clearance, and some type of a transmission jack to facilitate the removal and installation.Like I said, it will be a lot of work, and not exactly cheap. If your heart is really set on a five-speed, then maybe you would be much better off by selling your present truck and finding one with the five-speed you want.

Question: I'm searching for a little help with my CUCV M1008 1 1/3-ton pickup. I recently bought one from a military surplus auction and have had it in pretty much stock form for a while. My problem is that I want to put on a 6-inch lift from Skyjacker and 35-inch tires. I've already set myself to a set of 35x10.50-16 Boggers, but I'm concerned with my 6.2. I'm a farm boy, so working on a 24-volt diesel is a weekly thing for me. Does that motor have enough-what's the right word?-enough guts to turn those tires? The truck has 135 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. I've added exhaust and built a new intake for it. I looked at the Banks Stinger system and used the Banks Y-pipe and ran 3-inch off it myself, so I'm assuming that it has around the same horsepower as what the kits say, at adding about 32 hp and 48 lb-ft. The truck does seem to be extremely torquey now. You probably know this already, but it has a Dana 60 up front and Corporate 14-bolt in the rear with 4.56:1 gears and a Turbo 400 and an NP208 transfer case. I don't really have the funds for a fuel-injected 350, and would very much like it if the diesel stayed in, so my money could go elsewhere.
Randy Sauget
Millstadt, IL

Answer: The motor should have plenty of power-in fact, the taller tire will greatly help your highway speed. You also might consider going to a wider tire than what you have chosen. The truck is pretty darn heavy, so the more tire you put under it, the better off it will be.

However, my guess is that you want to stay with the stock-width rims, which is why you chose the narrower tire. My advice is to spring for some 10-inch-wide rims and go with the 14.50s. Keep in mind that the Bogger is a great mud tire, but leaves a bit to be desired as a highway tire for both handling and wear. A tire I found that works well in both the mud and the highway is Interco's IROK, but the 16-inch size is a true 36 inches, not a 35.

You will find that the motor is a bit slow in acceleration, especially with the taller tires, which will raise the overall gearing, so in time you might want to consider a turbo kit from Banks. It will really bring the vehicle alive.

Just as a note, I think that it was great that you were able to make the exhaust and intake modifications yourself.

Question: I have an '89 Ford Bronco II with a bad motor. I just picked up a '94 Explorer with a 4.0 and I wanted to know if it can replace the 2.9? Will the computer in the Bronco run the 4.0, or will I need to swap some stuff? They are both automatics, so are they the same transmission or at least the same bolt pattern?
Jeff Schmuch
via fourwheeler.com

Answer: I was pretty sure I knew the answer to this question. but just to be sure I went to Jim Cole, VP of Cage Off Road (866/587-CAGE, www.cageoffroad.com). While Jim's expertise is in suspension design, his background is so extensive that it makes him pretty knowledgeable when it comes to all aspects of Ford vehicles. Here is what Jim had to say:

This is a straightforward swap that nearly anyone with some mechanical aptitude, patience, and time can do, though details are the key to success as there are lots of wiring and small vacuum hoses to deal with. The bellhousing pattern is the same between the 2.9L and the 4.0L-just double check the flywheel and torque-converter patterns, as well as the stick-out length of the trans input shaft for compatibility as occasionally there will be differences. Make sure and get the entire wiring harness, including the computer, for the 4.0L. Truly the easiest way to do this is to swap the transmission and engine together along with the entire donor wiring system, as modern computer systems integrate items so much that it simplifies the swap. It is doable with your stock transmission, but it is more work to ensure compatibility.

Mechanically it is very simple. Basically just bolt it up, with minor hole drilling sometimes necessary to bolt up the 4.0L motor mounts to the 2.9L towers and then mating up the fuel systems. As long as the entire '94-and-older 4.0L engine and accessories are used, it goes fairly easy, though a bit time-consuming. Make sure and retain all the stock emissions components if you have to pass emissions in your area.Just as a side note: It is nearly the same amount of work to drop in a 4.0L as it is to put a 5.0L in the vehicle. It's a bit more expensive to do the 5.0L, and it is more work, but just make sure you understand your power requirements and desires prior to beginning the swap. No fun to do the swap, only to turn around two months later thinking "I could have had a V-8!" If you do decide to do the V-8 swap, a complete later-model Explorer 5.0L motor and trans can be used along with '84-'89 Ford Mustang motor mounts and some slight drilling of the motor-mount towers. Other than that, all the same issues need to be addressed as in the 4.0L swap.

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