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Manual to ESOF 4 wheel drive

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Old 04-19-2018, 10:16 PM
Bigblue73
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Manual to ESOF 4 wheel drive

I currently own a 2000 F350 XL with a manual transfer case and would like to convert it to a ESOF system. Iím wondering if it will be as simple as buying the ESOF components and install them or would I need a different transfer case? Also what would be the full list of components needed to do this? Anyone who has an idea would be greatly appreciated. I know many consider this blasphemy but I am not a hardcore off-reader and the ESOF system on my Sierra I used to have was awesome. And no driving around with my hubs locked in all the time is not an option, I tried that this past winter and under did not like that, forced me to make wider turns which are already super wide on my crew cab long bed.
 
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:32 PM
jetjockey99
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Yes you will need a different transfer case. Also just having your hubs locked in does not change your turning radius, unless you are actually in 4X4 and then it actually doesn't but it does bind up in a tight turn and feel as though it does. No matter what you do it will never turn like your old Sierra, the systems are a lot different in design. You will need a lot of other parts as well, like different locking hubs, possibly new vacuum seals in the front steering knuckles, and alot ot vacuum lines and electrical wiring and the ESOF switches and relays will need to be added, and I think the PCM will also need to be programed.
 
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:43 AM
seville009
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As said above, just locking the hubs will not affect your turning radius.

I have two F350ís - I lock the hubs on both once snow is on the ground and leave them locked all winter unless we have a warm up. One truck has the oem auto hubs, the other I put Warn manual hubs on.

 
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:23 AM
Bigblue73
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Thanks for the replies. I understand that simply locking the hubs will not reduce my turning radius but when I turn the steering wheel to full lock one direction you can hear and feel the knuckles binding and popping and then when I actually pull the transfer case into 4HI I canít turn to full lock. So I understand you say it wonít but it does. I am not looking to get the truck to turn like my old Sierra, I am trying to get the ease of 4 wheel drive use I had with the ESOF system. I am not an off-reader and my truck only goes into 4 wheel drive on rare occasions so the ease of the ESOF system works better for me.

With that said, ok so a new transfer case I assume this would be a NP203? If I remember correctly. The switch on the dash, vacuum lines, and new hubs or new seals?

What is different between the manual transfer case and the electronic transfer case?
 
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:05 PM
Fefanatic
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Originally Posted by Bigblue73 View Post

What is different between the manual transfer case and the electronic transfer case?
Just as you said. A electronic transfer case requires a electronic switch to select 2, 4h, and 4L. You would need the transfer, switch, wiring harness. The front end will need a vacuum switch and pump to activate the auto locking hubs if you change to them.

I am in Kansas and do have a good transfer out of a '03 with 121k miles on it. I do not have the wiring or the switch. FWIW, I'm not sure it is worth the cost and labor to make the switch. If you are using it occasionally then you probably would be better off with the manual shift system. JMO..
 
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:02 PM
99f350sd
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If you hear and feel binding with the hubs locked in you may have bad axle ujoints or bad needle bearings or both.
 
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:34 PM
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NOT an NP203 it should be an NP273
 
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:40 PM
Bigblue73
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99f350sd thanks for that info iíll look into it before next winter, the only my 4wd gets used on a regular.

Fefanatic thanks! Iím not ready for the transfer case yet, this thread was to find out what is needed and then start looking into finding the parts. With the transfer case being the most expensive piece it will be a while before I can afford it. I know many believe that the manual is the better option, not in my personal opinion. I am a mechanic by trade and the labor is not a concern and the cost of buying the parts and putting them in versus buying a new truck is way cheaper.

The system doesnít run off the same vacuum pump as the a/c system? I would love to find a schematic for this system if anyone has it.
 
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:53 PM
jetjockey99
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Although they are expensive a better solution that will give you full steering without the binding and probably less actual work and better reliability than converting to ESOF look at--https://www.rcvperformance.com/ I have a friend that uses them and is very happy and has almost 200K on them with no issues. Another possiblity would be to convert to the Auto locking hubs and just use your manual transfer case, once the hubs are locked you can shift in and out just like ESOF.
 
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:02 PM
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Jetjockey99 those are some great options I wonder how much a custom set up from RCV would be? They didnít have an option for the Dana 50. The Dana 60 swap is something Iím debating down the road. The auto locking hub link you sent was for a ford ranger not a Superduty.
 
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:39 AM
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Why would you go through all of that trouble to convert to a less reliable system? If you have binding issues when turing with the hubs locked in 2wd then you have a problem (sounds like a bad U-joint), I drive with my hubs locked all the time and I don't have any difference in turning and it has no binding or noise.
 
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:12 AM
jetjockey99
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I didn't send a link for auto lock hubs. You would just use the stock ford hubs in that case. You would then just need a way to pule the vacuum signal to the hub, I believe the lock signal was a longer pulse than the unlock. That could be easily done by either a manual vacuum valve off of the AC vacuum source or possibly easier by using a second small electric vacuum pump and a momentary contact switch on the dash. If you search on the web you will find the length of the pulses, I don't think the pulse time is overly critical. If you do pursue this option, or any other that uses the autolock hubs make sure that your front knuckles actually will hold vacuum. RCV does do custom joint/shafts so I suspect you can get them for a DANA 50, they are not cheap but they appear to be the ultimate steering u-joint you can buy. My friend that has them does a lot of plowing and is very happy with them, like I said he has 200K on them with no problems and they have a lifetime warranty.
 
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