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Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

This is a discussion on Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis. within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I have recently gained access to a 1993 K3500 Crew Cab long bed diesel rolling chassis. I was offered it ...

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    Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.


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    I have recently gained access to a 1993 K3500 Crew Cab long bed diesel rolling chassis. I was offered it for a trade for an old 454 I had laying around plus cash, and I would be given the frame, the 14 bolt rear and the complete IFS front axle assembly on wheels and tires, plus 4 color matched crew cab doors off the same truck, which is what I was originally trying to acquire from him for my C3500 DRW. After some conversation and smooth talking, it appears we've nailed out a favorable deal for all the parts. I was originally planning a SAS on my truck, but later decided not to, and just focus on getting the truck cleaned up and ready to sell for me to later purchases a K3500. I now have the opportunity to slap my truck body on a 4 wheel drive frame, I've even considered trying to acquire the title and vin, can you say no smog?

    My question is actually about making the 4 wheel drive work. The truck is geared differently, and I will be using my Dana 70HD from my dually, with 4.56's, which will require matching the front gears (i believe its 3.73s in the stock axles) but I will get to that when I need to. My plan is to have the cab, front clip and bed and all other body parts swapped over to the new frame one weekend, and then doing the engine and trans swapped over the following weekend. I will pick me up a 241 t-case and drive shaft (the frame does not include the driveshaft, he had wanted to keep that for some reason) and get the truck road-worthy. I'm told there is no real difference between my frame and the new one, besides the IFS 4by set up instead of the coil buckets and the frame horns pointing upwards, but I figured I'd double check with the knowledge-filled people here first.

    Also, will I need to get a new wire harness/any vacuum parts, in order for the 4 wheel to work? I don't know a lot about IFS 4 wheel drive, and I seem to remember there was some vacuum/electric connector on the Axle of my old 92 Cheyenne. As it is a 93, its got the cheater stick, not a push button set up, so I would think theres no actuator or switch, unless it has the same set up as a YJ axle, but again I'm not sure so please forgive the ignorance guys I already know about the indentation in the trans tunnel of where to cut for the cheater stick, which is included in the transaction of course and I don't care much for the lighted shifter indicator to work, though if I ever decide to, I'm sure its a quick few wires away, or is there something i'm missing? Wire schematics and photo's would me mighty kind of you

    I will spend some time tonight looking for the answers, see what I can dig up, but any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    anyone?

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    I've discovered theres the axle actuator, and the posi-lock push pull cable system is definitely the way to go, the only thing I need to know now is how to get the shifter indicator lights to function properly without that actuator plug, any ideas?

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    You might need a different trains or to swap the tail housing also to use the transfer case. Most 4x4 trans have an adapter to mate to the TC. Any local yards you could grab wiring out of? you could probably find any style 4x4 with the components you need to pull the engine/dash wiring from.

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyfloyd View Post
    You might need a different trains or to swap the tail housing also to use the transfer case. Most 4x4 trans have an adapter to mate to the TC. Any local yards you could grab wiring out of? you could probably find any style 4x4 with the components you need to pull the engine/dash wiring from.
    I went to the junk yards this morning, not one single one of them had a 4L80e trans, all of them were either stick or two wheel drive, and that was EVERY yard I know with in 40 miles... I don't need wiring anyways, 4x4posilock and i'm all good. the transfer case isn't electronic, the only need for the wiring is the actuator, whith the 4x4posilock does away with, and the indicator lights for the shifter, which I don't care about, it would just be nice to have :)

    I worked out a favorable deal for the frame, both axles, on alloy wheels, one new cv axle up front, the transmission and the transfer case. The trans has 30k on it, the transfer case is pushin 225k though, so after I pick up the chassis, I'm gonna pull the transfer case and do a rebuild, I'm thinkin' on doing a cummins swap in her, so I'll save the front ifs axle rebuild for when I'm ready for that, considering I'll have to gear it to match what I want (i'm thinking 3.42's, currently it has 4.10's and the rear axle has 4.56's, maybe find me a junk truck, pull 9.25 out and build it to my liking to avoid down time when im ready for such a swap.

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by 93FatBottom View Post
    I've discovered theres the axle actuator, and the posi-lock push pull cable system is definitely the way to go, the only thing I need to know now is how to get the shifter indicator lights to function properly without that actuator plug, any ideas?
    The 4wd indicator lights get power from the 4wd indicator light switch that is located in the top of the Tcase so you won't need to do any extra wiring for those lights to function properly.
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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Cheater stick?
    454cid
    1999 K3500 RCLB

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
    Cheater stick?
    Transfer case Shifter.

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by 907 Chevy View Post
    The 4wd indicator lights get power from the 4wd indicator light switch that is located in the top of the Tcase so you won't need to do any extra wiring for those lights to function properly.
    Light needs feedback from both switches, the one you mentioned, and the one above actuator in the front diff.

    I always have to ask... OP why do you need the dummy light? If you are using a posilock cable, it's obvious when the diff is engaged as the handle is pulled out 1", and the t-case handle will show you it's position.

    How did we ever survive without dunnmy lights?

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by 93FatBottom View Post
    Transfer case Shifter.
    Yeah, I figured that, but I've never heard it called that till now, and I can't figure out why anyone would call it that. Are you "cheating" the mud? ....... seems like a stretch, to me.
    454cid
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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Light needs feedback from both switches, the one you mentioned, and the one above actuator in the front diff.

    I always have to ask... OP why do you need the dummy light? If you are using a posilock cable, it's obvious when the diff is engaged as the handle is pulled out 1", and the t-case handle will show you it's position.

    How did we ever survive without dunnmy lights?
    Thanks for the correction. I thought about that afterwards and how my 4wd lights would go on and off as my actuator began failing.
    So once the switch in the Tcase closes it sends power to the actuator,which once engaged,sends power to the 4wd indicator lights.

    So for the op to retain indicator light function he would only need to run wiring directly to the lights from the Tcase switch.
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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Light needs feedback from both switches, the one you mentioned, and the one above actuator in the front diff.

    I always have to ask... OP why do you need the dummy light? If you are using a posilock cable, it's obvious when the diff is engaged as the handle is pulled out 1", and the t-case handle will show you it's position.

    How did we ever survive without dunnmy lights?
    It's not a requirement, just curious how difficult it would be to run them, for the added effect. Your correct, I don't need lights to tell me I'm in 4 wheel drive. The frame I'm getting is in the process of being stripped down for me, I'll be picking it up at the end of November, with front and rear axles, both driveshafts, and a fresh rebuilt 4L80e- with a non-rebuilt NP241, but I can handle that in december, before I go to swap everything over


    Quote Originally Posted by 454cid View Post
    Yeah, I figured that, but I've never heard it called that till now, and I can't figure out why anyone would call it that. Are you "cheating" the mud? ....... seems like a stretch, to me.
    I live in Southern California, and a lot of novice wheeler's in these parts like to show off in their lifted 2 wheel drives, and since I've always until this past year had a 4 wheel drive, anything those all show-no go trucks couldn't do, I've always done with ease, they all would get mad at me and say I cheated, and I'd smile and say "Thats what the cheater sticks for! Or a locker." Though lets face it, I never needed to use the cheater stick. It's southern California. It was a rare occasion to need 4by, until I started spending a good amount of time in the snow, It has since become a much loved necessity. I only got rid of my last 4 wheel drive because my daily driver car broke down and I ended up offing my Suburban for a more reliable truck- my 1993 C3500, with what was 98k original miles. Best decision I ever made, now time to clean her up and make her even better.


    Quote Originally Posted by 907 Chevy View Post
    Thanks for the correction. I thought about that afterwards and how my 4wd lights would go on and off as my actuator began failing.
    So once the switch in the Tcase closes it sends power to the actuator,which once engaged,sends power to the 4wd indicator lights.

    So for the op to retain indicator light function he would only need to run wiring directly to the lights from the Tcase switch.
    Actually from what I've read and heard from a mechanic friend of mine, I would need wiring from the switch on the Tcase, to the switch above the actuator, to the lights in the TCase shifter. The switch above the actuator still sends a signal to the shifter indicator lights, or else they don't function correctly, again, what I'm told anyways. I may decide to wire it up at a later time, if my OCD gets the best of me, but for the sake of not complicating things, I think I'll focus on making the 4 wheel drive actually WORK and getting the truck complete. My girlfriend came across a 78 K30 CCLB for dirt cheap, needs a lot of work, but shes deadset on us picking it up for a project, since my truck is more for towing and camping, not wheelin'. I may have my 4by toy again afterall

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    Re: Swapping a 2 wheel drive to a 4 wheel drive chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by 93FatBottom View Post

    Actually from what I've read and heard from a mechanic friend of mine, I would need wiring from the switch on the Tcase, to the switch above the actuator, to the lights in the TCase shifter. The switch above the actuator still sends a signal to the shifter indicator lights, or else they don't function correctly, again, what I'm told anyways.
    As I stated in post #9.

 

 

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