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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:01 AM   #1
hillbillyrockstar
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Default Zach's BW1354/BW1350 tcase doubler build thread for da Rainjuh...

Like the title says....I'm gonna try and do this doubler thing and am lookin for some pointers, advice, pictures whatever. I'lll tell ya what I know and the sites I know about and you guys on here can fill in the blanks and tell me what you know....Hopefully we can fill this up with a ton of info. and it can help out a lot of the RBV (Ranger based vehicles....think Bronco IIs, Rangers and Explorers...) guys out there if they want to do this or just investigate it a little bit.

For those of you who have no idea what the fawk I'm talkin about, I'll explain the basics that I know thus far. Those who know more than me, fill in the blanks with the more detailed info.

If you own a RBV and love it to death with the torquey V-6, the small size and easy manuevability, but want to run tires in the 38" and up range and are starting to look at solid axles and whatnot, this mod might be for you. If you want to keep your v-6 or I-4 even, but don't want to have to go into the 7.17 axle gear range in order to get your power back, you might want to look into this. Doublers are great for guys who want to be able to wheel and crawl with the best of the buggies and small block v8 guys, but don't have the money for a whole new drivetrain. Or if you don't want to have to get rid of your drivetrain and are looking to still be able to get respectable fuel milage out of a 4x4 and still be able to drive it down the road or even use it as yur daily driver, (DD). If this sounds like you, then rest assured. You don't need to start looking for a 302, or extremely low axle gears. You just need to do your research and take your time and have patience and you'll be humpin rocks with the best of the toyotas and zuk's.

As a side note, for the guys who are only into mud and sand, then this prolly isn't something that would concern you if you're looking to get some power back from havin big tires and whatnot. 302, 351W, and turbo swaps are something that you might want to look into.

Ok, so onto what this actually entails.....Basically, when someone says they want a "doubler" or refer to "doubler", what they are referring to is taking 2 transfer cases and mating them together utilizing an adaptor or whatnot to create one big gearbox capable of multiple gear ratios and drivetrain selections. For instance, some doubler setups allow you to engage only your front wheels and not yur rears, or yur rears in low range only, or vise versa. In any case, one thing all doublers have in common is that they ultimately lower your LOW RANGE transfer case gear ratio by quite a bit. Pretty much everyone has heard of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and the Hummer H3 Alpha. Besides being awesome trail vehicles, they share one particular thing in common; they both have really low, low ranges in their transfer cases. I think they are both around 4:1 whereas most tcases are in the 2-2.5:1 range. Wella stock RBV BW1354 tcase has a low range of 2.48:1. When you take a second BW1354 and bolt it to the first and throw em both in "Low Range", you get a Granny gear style low range ratio of 6.15:1. This Low Range dwarfs the Jeep and the Hummer and even the Atlas II's custom 5.0:1 Tcase. For years, the only guys enjoying this low of a low gear were Toyota gearheads that had a lot of support from aftermarket for doublers and even triplers and whatnot. But nowadays, your starting to say a couple Rangers and Explorers here and there coming out of the cracks sporting extremely low gearsets in their rigs.

For this particular doubler, I'll be using 2 Borg Warner (BW) Transfer Cases. They are the BW1354 and the BW1350. You can use either both BW1354s, or both BW1350s, or swap one of each. It is preferable to get both of them in the manual shift versions, although there are guys out there who are running them with one electric shift and one manual shift. This works fine as well but you have to have the front tcase a manual as you will not be able to hook up the electric shift motor for the transfer case in the front, (the one that is hooked to the back of the transmission). For my doubler, I would prefer if both of my transfer cases will be manuals. I say prefer because I have 2 BW1354 Electric Shift cases at my disposal, and I would need to get 2 more manuals. I may run 1 electric for a while until it either fails or I find a cheap manual. You also need to get shifter brackets for manual tcases, the shifters, floor boots, and possibly a new fuel tank setup....which would vary by vehicle.

Now you are probably wondering how you get 2 transfer cases together if you hook the driveshaft for the front to the output yoke on the back case and you have the front case in the way. Well it's actually simpler than you think. You can try and do this all home-made with a custom welded 2 piece intermediate shaft between the 2 cases, a custom adaptor plate for the 2 cases, and a custom blockout plate. Some people have it work out aawesome for them and I give those guys props. Then there are the guys out there who have luck like mine and have it grenade on em shortly after you get allll yur work done.....which is the suck....big time!

Yea, you can try and home fab one up on yur own and like I said, props to you if it works out for ya, but if you have luck like mine, you can do like I am going to do and purchase a doubler kit from a fabricator. This may seem like cheating to the homemade doubler dudes, but I don't trust myself enough yet to try and make it all custom by myself. The kIt includes a custom forged intermediate shaft, a beautiful adaptor plate, (some with multiple holes to "clock" the back transfer case at multiple angles to get it up under the belly of the truck and not hangin down), it usually includes hardware and some sort of block off plate for the part of the front transfer case that gets cut in 1/2.

Driveshafts, wiring that may need to be extended and anything else that needs to be done is usually up to you to make work. This is an extremely "HYBRID" style modification in it's early years still and there is still a lot of refining to be done to perfect this. On the extended cab Rangers, the rear driveshaft is a 2 piece with a carrier bearing at the split with it's own crossmember. Some guys that have chosen to make a crossmember for the rear case have tied their rear tcase Xmember into this. There is also a balance weight on the back of the case that has 4 holes in it that guys have utilized to tie it into their crossmember. A crossmember is not essential, but is not a bad idea at all if you like having that little extra insurance. Usually the speedo cable will work fine as there is enough length in the cable to make it work. The wire on the transfer case shift module may need to be extended if you are running a bodylift. One other thing some guys run into a problem with is the fuel tank on the trucks and the explorers. You may need to run a different tank than stock.





From what I have gathered looking at numerous other pages and threads on other sites, here's my version of the BASICS of what the actual construction and development of the doubler entails; guys who may have experience with this, correct me if you see a screw up or something that can be added:

You take the transfer case yur gonna use fro the front case apart, remove the innards and actually have to cut the case in 1/2 so it'll clear the driveshaft. You then have a big hole looking into the guts of the tcase. You put the gears back in the tcase - the chain and other parts from the other 1/2 that you cut off. You cover this hole up with a plate that comes with the adaptor kit...usually. You may have to make this on your own which really doesn't look like a big deal when ya get down to it. So basically you still have your high and low range now in that case, just no 4 wheel drive capability.

From here, you bolt the adaptor plate to the rear transfer case and set it up with the new intermediate shaft that goes between the 2 cases...

(this shaft needs to be extremely strong as it is experiencing horrendouse amounts of torque and such....this was a big reason I did not feel comfortable heating and welding a custom shaft up; even though there are guys out there who have had those work out fine)

You slide the output of the front case on the shaft and the input on the back case on it and put the cases together and determine yur angle of clockage depending on if you have the adaptor plate where you can rotate your cases or not. Then you have a buddy or 2 help you and you lift the whole assembly up and bolt it to the back of the transmission.....almost done! You might need to address yur fuel tank or carrier bearing crossmember issue at this time if there is interferance. If it's an extended cab, you might be able to get away with keepin yur tank in it's stock location and only needin to trim the skid plate on yur gas tank a lil bit.

Bolt it all up and now you have to figure out yur shifters for the front and possibly rear cases. You can utilize stock shifter brackets that came on these manually shifted tcase models, but they just need to be lengthened sometimes.....this is one area that is really up to the builder. After you get those figured out and make sure they won't hit yur driveshafts, you then need to get yur shift motor plugged in if your rear case isnt a manual shift model. This may need to be extended. Next you hook up the speedometer cable back into the rear tcase. Next up you measure for your new driveshafts which depending on who ya talk to, can be an art in itself. After you get the shafts shortened and lengthened, bolt them back in.

At this point, if you want, you can set up yur rear Xmember support.

Ok, now the moment of truth! Start it up and take it for a spin around yur yard or something and enjoy yur new gear ratios! The shifter for the front tcase should only operate the high and low range while the shifter or buttons/knob on yur dash should work the same as stock....I say should cuz' settin up shifters properly takes time and patience and a buddy sometimes.

If I remember correctly, the new gear selections consist of:
2Hi-Rear
2Lo-Rear
4Hi
4Lo
4Ultra Low

Like I said, this is really messy and scattered, and I beg the guys out there who have experience with this to clean it up. I just want to get this ball rollin on this site since I havn't seen a lot of activity surronding RBVs that much.

Some of the message board type sites that I've found that have a lot of useful info. on this particular doubler are:

www.rrorc.com
www.pirate4x4.com
www.therangerstation.com
www.explorer4x4.com
www.broncoII.org

Like I said, please add comments, photos, links, whatever....and more than anything I hope this helps someone!
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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what damn man cliff notes we don't have all day :)
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:25 PM   #3
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I built one a couple years back. Kennyoffroad has all my bits and peices from it. Worked awesome and i really miss it. But i kept breaking the center shaft connecting the low unit to the stock t-case. If i could find someone that could build one that wouldn't break then i would put it back in a heartbeat. Mine was a 1350/1354 doubler both manual shift. I did the math with my current set-up and i think i was about 100:1 or so.




and its a bitch to install by yourself
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Old August 1st, 2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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2-lo is a bad idea, i broke both my shafts trying to play in 2-lo.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:50 PM   #5
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Lol....yea, when I get typin sometimes, I just get into it...don't know what to say, lol....

Anyways, cheapo.....

When ya say ya broke "both shafts", you mean ya break both axleshafts, or one axle and yur driveshaft?

And what rearend, tires and gears did ya have when this happened....

Just curious what setup you were runnin...
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:54 PM   #6
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do you still want my 1350 case Zach? Ill trade ya for them longarms..
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 07:45 AM   #7
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the custom shaft that needs to be made to go between the lo-unit and the stock case.
Theres a guy who builds a kit for this set-up that comes with a chrome moly shaft. But he won't just sell the shaft and i haven't found anybody that can build me a shaft for under $350. I had ran my doubler with no problems and abused it as well. But as soon as i went 2-lo and gave it the smallest amount of abuse and SNAP. Unfort it took me two shafts to figure out that is what caused it to fail.




36x13.50 Iroks stock 4.0L M5ORD D35 8.8 and 3.73s


I can't remember if i still had the doubler in the truck when i went to 4.88's or not.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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John you pulled the doubler first and then when to the 4.88s.
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