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Manual trans 2wd f250 4wd conversion

 
  #1  
Old 12-30-2015, 01:07 PM
BuddyPipe21
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Manual trans 2wd f250 4wd conversion

Hi, new to truck repair but mechanically inclined. I recently got a 92 f250 from my dad, needs a lot of work but I'm planning on restoring it myself. My question is, is it possible to convert a 2wd manual transmission to 4wd with locking hubs? If so, what parts would I need and how difficult would it be?
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BuddyPipe21 View Post
Hi, new to truck repair but mechanically inclined. I recently got a 92 f250 from my dad, needs a lot of work but I'm planning on restoring it myself. My question is, is it possible to convert a 2wd manual transmission to 4wd with locking hubs? If so, what parts would I need and how difficult would it be?
Your best bet would be to find a 4wd donor truck and take everything from that
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 04:53 PM
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A better bet, especially if the 2WD truck needs a lot of work, is to get a 4WD truck to start with. It's not at all impossible to swap a front drive axle and leaf springs from a 4WD in place of the twin I beam and coils of your 2WD, but it's still a big job that you won't have to do if you start with a 4WD.

If your 2WD has a lot of sentimental value to you then sure, do it that harder way, it's doable. Otherwise take the easy way out.

If you are going to do the swap, a partial list (off the top of my head) is:
- complete front axle
- front springs and shocks
- a way to mount the front springs (fab? take from donor truck? I don't know)
- transmission
- transfer case
- front driveshaft
- probably rear springs (4WD will sit higher than 2WD)
- ...
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:08 PM
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...
- T-case shifter and floor plate
- rear driveshaft
- wiring for 4x4 lights
- steering linkages
- "4x4" stickers for the bed sides

(okay, that last one is optional.....)
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
...
- T-case shifter and floor plate
- rear driveshaft
- wiring for 4x4 lights
- steering linkages
- "4x4" stickers for the bed sides

(okay, that last one is optional.....)
The last one isn't needed on Fords. The 4WDs sit enough higher that you can tell they're 4WD without having to read it. Ch*vies on the other hand? They need the stickers!

And another option is likely to get your original driveshaft shortened. But if you happen to get one the right length that's good too.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:29 PM
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An f150 is 100% bolt in. An f250 2wd and 4wd front frame rails are totally different. Plenty of people have done it, and you can find plenty of write ups on it. But if I was going through all the trouble of this, it would be a Dana 60 solid axle swap. You are already fabing, so why not.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nothing Special View Post
A better bet, especially if the 2WD truck needs a lot of work, is to get a 4WD truck to start with. It's not at all impossible to swap a front drive axle and leaf springs from a 4WD in place of the twin I beam and coils of your 2WD, but it's still a big job that you won't have to do if you start with a 4WD.

If your 2WD has a lot of sentimental value to you then sure, do it that harder way, it's doable. Otherwise take the easy way out.

If you are going to do the swap, a partial list (off the top of my head) is:
- complete front axle
- front springs and shocks
- a way to mount the front springs (fab? take from donor truck? I don't know)
- transmission
- transfer case
- front driveshaft
- probably rear springs (4WD will sit higher than 2WD)
- ...
Yeah, that's precisely why I want to keep this truck. I'm not afraid to fab if I have to. I wanted to keep it a manual transmission if possible. I couldn't find any version of my truck with the 4.9I manual transmission with 4wd, so do you know if that's possible? Basically I want to add 4wd but keep it as close to original as possible.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:40 PM
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Find a donor that's 4.9, 5.0, or 5.8. The transmission, transfer case, cross members, drives shafts and the front suspension are all the same. Cabs and bed lengths are the only variable with the rear driveshaft length. The only thing to maybe watch out for is some light duty f250 came with the m5od transmission. Idk if this was an option with 4wd. But again, going through all this trouble, get a zf5.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:48 PM
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I misread your original post, just realized it was transmission specific. To swap a 2wd transmission to 4wd, you have to completely disassemble the transmission to swap in a 4wd tail shaft. Even if you have a bad 4wd transmission to steal the parts from, if you have the ability to tear it down and swap them, why not just rebuild the bad 4wd transmission. Your other option is a 2wd tranny and a divorced transfer case. Again, fab work with a crossmember and shifting linkage. Then you have to have an intermediate shaft, and a custom front and rear drive shaft.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron94150 View Post
Find a donor that's 4.9, 5.0, or 5.8. The transmission, transfer case, cross members, drives shafts and the front suspension are all the same. Cabs and bed lengths are the only variable with the rear driveshaft length. The only thing to maybe watch out for is some light duty f250 came with the m5od transmission. Idk if this was an option with 4wd. But again, going through all this trouble, get a zf5.
M5od I assume means manual 5-speed with overdrive? That's what I have and I think that's correct because I can't find this trans with a 4wd option, so unless I can find a suitable 4wd manual, it seems like I might have to switch to an auto, which I don't want to do. That's what I'm trying to find out.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BuddyPipe21 View Post
Yeah, that's precisely why I want to keep this truck. I'm not afraid to fab if I have to. I wanted to keep it a manual transmission if possible. I couldn't find any version of my truck with the 4.9I manual transmission with 4wd, so do you know if that's possible? Basically I want to add 4wd but keep it as close to original as possible.
As Ron94150 said, you can't practically keep your current trans, it's 2WD-specific. But there are manual trans for 4WDs too. As Ron said, anything from a 300, 302 or 351W will fit your engine.

I assume you want to keep the 5 speed overdrive, so your choices are the Mazda 5 speed or the ZF-5. The Mazda comes in F-150s (and probably Broncos) and possibly in F-250s. The ZF5 is in F-250HDs (not generally distinguised from F-250s, even though they are very different) and F-350s. The ZF is tougher, the Mazda is usually "good enough", and might have a lighter feel.
 
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Nothing Special View Post
As Ron94150 said, you can't practically keep your current trans, it's 2WD-specific. But there are manual trans for 4WDs too. As Ron said, anything from a 300, 302 or 351W will fit your engine.

I assume you want to keep the 5 speed overdrive, so your choices are the Mazda 5 speed or the ZF-5. The Mazda comes in F-150s (and probably Broncos) and possibly in F-250s. The ZF5 is in F-250HDs (not generally distinguised from F-250s, even though they are very different) and F-350s. The ZF is tougher, the Mazda is usually "good enough", and might have a lighter feel.
That's exactly the info I was looking for. Thanks to both of you for all your help
 
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BuddyPipe21 View Post
M5od I assume means manual 5-speed with overdrive? That's what I have and I think that's correct because I can't find this trans with a 4wd option, so unless I can find a suitable 4wd manual, it seems like I might have to switch to an auto, which I don't want to do. That's what I'm trying to find out.
Yes, "M5OD" means "Manual 5-speed OverDrive". In Ford-speak that applies to all 5 speed overdrive manual transmissions, including the ZF5. But in internet-speak the M5OD almost always refers to only the lighter-duty Mazda trans. (In Ford-speak there is usually something after the "M5OD" that pinpoints it a little better. I've heard M5OD-R2 for the Mazda and M5OD-HD for the ZF.)

And there are 4WD versions of the Mazda 5 speed out there. Any Bronco or 4WD F-150 with a 5 speed manual trans will have one. But manual transmissions have progressively become less common over time, so it's not always easy to find one used. Manuals might have been a little more common in the heavier trucks, so ZF5s might be more common than Mazda 5 speeds. But both exist in both 2WD and 4WD form.
 
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:26 PM
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Trans

Originally Posted by Nothing Special View Post
Yes, "M5OD" means "Manual 5-speed OverDrive". In Ford-speak that applies to all 5 speed overdrive manual transmissions, including the ZF5. But in internet-speak the M5OD almost always refers to only the lighter-duty Mazda trans. (In Ford-speak there is usually something after the "M5OD" that pinpoints it a little better. I've heard M5OD-R2 for the Mazda and M5OD-HD for the ZF.)

And there are 4WD versions of the Mazda 5 speed out there. Any Bronco or 4WD F-150 with a 5 speed manual trans will have one. But manual transmissions have progressively become less common over time, so it's not always easy to find one used. Manuals might have been a little more common in the heavier trucks, so ZF5s might be more common than Mazda 5 speeds. But both exist in both 2WD and 4WD form.

OK so update. Turns out I have a zf S5-42, which turns out is 4wd capable according to their website.
 
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:54 PM
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I'm guessing by capable, they mean it was produced in 4wd versions. I'm pretty sure you are not going to just bolt up a transfer case to it. The output shaft and tail housing will be different. I would love for one of these gurus to tell me I'm wrong though.
 

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