"Where the Pavement Ends the Adventure Begins"TM

Converting your 2x4 
Explorer to a 4x4 

by: Kris Guilbeaux

4x4 Conversion

The most important part about a 4x4 conversion is having all of the parts you need to do the conversion. This conversion is for '91-'94 Explorers with manual transmissions.

Parts List

  • Complete front axle assembly with gears to match your rear ratio.

  • Warn manual Locking hubs

  • 4x4 brake rotors

  • 4x4 steering linkages

  • 4x4 springs

  • 4x4 radius arms

  • Transmission hump plate

  • New interior shifter boot

  • Front drive shaft

  • 4x4 rear drive shaft

  • T-case skid plates

  • 4x4 speedometer cable

  • Tail Shaft for 4x4 Mazda 5-speed

  • 4x4 output shaft for Mazda 5-speed (25 spline)

  • Manual Shift Borg Warner 13-54

  • Manual Shift linkages

How I did it!
First Thing I did was do about a year and a half of research. The good thing is I am writing this out for anyone who is crazy  as I was to do this.

I started by buying the parts I knew I would need. Prior to the conversion I had the rivets cut out of the rear I-beam drop brackets to make the job go easier. The rivets were replaced with bolts which I could easily remove.  I also replaced the speedometer cable at this time.  

It is a good Idea to have two people work on this conversion. 

Place car on Jack stands.  I placed the Explorer on four Jack stands two at the rear end and two at the radius arm cross member. 

Removing the transmission.
Remove the interior shifter,  Y-pipe,  catalytic converter, drive shaft, starter, and transmission cross member.  Support the engine and disconnect all wiring to the transmission.  Remove the bellhousing bolts then remove the transmission from the car.

At this point the trans work was beyond my knowledge.  I Took the transmission,  4x4 output shaft, and the 4x4 tail shaft to a Ford transmission tech who installed the new components.

While the transmission was getting its new output shaft I started work on the front end. 

First  remove the wheels.
Remove the steering linkages, springs, and radius arm bolts. Then disconnect the shocks.  Remove the I-beam  bolts and removed the front axle assembly.

After they were removed the rear I-beam drop bracket must be changed out.  On the 2wd it is on the inside of the engine cross member on the 4x4 it is on the outside. 

Change out the drivers side I-beam bumper.  Attach the passenger side 4x4 I-beam, and then the driver side.  Reassemble in the same order as the removal of the 2wd. 

You will need new rotors, but not new calipers. New pads are optional.  Install the manual Locking hubs. Put the wheels back on.  Note: most wheels will need new center caps. In my case I removed them completely. 

While waiting for the transmission to be finished or your  father to get off of work to help.  Install the new transmission hump plate and cut the carpet for the transfer case shifter. 

Next I reinstalled the transmission. I put it back together as it came out.  Replace cross member, starter, new drive shaft, cat, and Y-pipe. Bolt up the transfer case, connect wiring, install front drive shaft.  Install new shifter.

When your finished with the reassembly go to an alignment shop and get the front end aligned. 

Is this A Good Idea?
For any one that is interested in this.  Think twice this is not an  easy project.  The major flaw with this is the cost of parts (not Labor)  I spent about $1500 in parts alone.  I got good deals too.  Figure it will take 5 to 8 months gather all of the pieces.

What about Auto Trannys?
I Have no Idea!!!!!!