Question: I've run into a snag and was hoping you could help. I'm building a '94 Wrangler into a crawler. I've built my own frame, four-links front and rear, and have installed two front 2 1/2-ton Rockwells for four-wheel steer. Even though they are top-loaders, I still have a problem with the driveline angle for the rear driveshaft. The angle is steep, plus it's offset to the passenger side.
I have the NP205, but I am looking for a transfer case like the Spicer Model 18 that's offset about 5 inches to the right and down about 4 inches. I'm running a 350 Chevy and a 700R4 tranny, and I'm staying with 46-inch tires. Will the Model 18 hold up, or is there another transfer case comparable to the 205 with the offsets out there somewhere?
Answer: Don't even think about using the Model 18, as it was designed originally for a 60hp engine, a vehicle that weighed 2,200 pounds, and a 29-inch-tall tire.
There are several companies that build custom transfer cases, but their prices are extremely high (my guess is about $5,000). Profab (www.profab machineinc.com) is one of them, but I'm pretty sure that they are not an offset rear output. Also check out www.scsgearbox.com, as they build custom transfer cases as well as modifying axles. Boyce Equipment is one of my favorite suppliers of ex-military trucks and parts, perhaps they can steer you to a military transfer case that will work, as they have a wide variety of great stuff.
Another solution to your problem would be to center the rear differential by using some new axletubes and have a couple of "long" side axles cut down to the proper length.
Question: I just recently bought an '88 Mitsubishi Mighty Max 4x4. And believe it or not, it has 39,000 original miles. I would like to convert my front end to a straight axle, if possible. Can I use Toyota 8-inch axles or can I use Dana axles? Can I use Toyota suspension components?
Answer: Garsh darn, anything is possible, but is it practical? That's the question to ask. And do you have the tools, such as jackstands, a floor jack, cutting torch, arc welder, grinders, and a great selection of handtools to accomplish the work? Then there is the third and biggest question: Do you have the skills to do the fabrication; build spring mounts; and figure the correct caster angle, steering geometry, spring rates, driveline angle, and everything else that will be necessary to make this axle conversion work and be safe?
Having only a vague idea of what the underside of an '88 Mitsubishi Mighty Max 4x4 looks like, I think you're on the right track using the front axle from a Toyota pickup. In fact, I think that you should also use the rear axle, as it would make it so much easier in matching up wheel bolt pattern, wheel offset, and gear ratios. I would think that the spring rate would also be just about right.
The steering linkage will take some real thought, and it's not something that you should cobble together just to get by, as your life is at stake here, as well as the lives of others.
Question: I've got a Dana 60 rear axle with 3.54:1 gears, and I'd like to put in 5.13:1s. I saw something saying that 5.13:1s will fit a 4.56:1-and-up carrier? So what do I have to do to make it work? Do I have to get something new, or can I do some hacking to keep costs down? What about the high-pinion Dana 44 I want to put up front?
Answer: Yep, the breaking point for the Dana 60 is 4.10:1 and down, and 4.56:1 and up. For the Dana 44, it's 3.72:1 and 3.92:1, respectively. Some people have tried spacer rings, but they put a lot of load on the ring-gear bolts and cause breakage. Sorry, you're going to need new carriers. Maybe now is the time to spring for that locker you've always wanted.
Question: I have an '89 S-10 Blazer with 215,000 miles on it that runs fine. I would like to do about a 6-inch lift and run some 33s on it. Would this be a good project? I would like to keep the cost at about $1,500 or so. My main objective is trails and mud in Uwharrie National Park in North Carolina.
Answer: I believe that you should rethink this project. First off, due to the S-10's front suspension design, there are no 6-inch lift kits available. Superlift (www.superlift.com) offers a 6-inch kit for the '95-'03 models, but for your '89 the maximum is 2 inches. With this and perhaps a 1-inch body lift, you could run 31-inch tires without clearance issues. The lift and the tires will just about use up all of your $1,500, and maybe a bit more.