Shran's '86 Build


Shran

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Over the past few weeks I have been working on replacing my trans and t-case. I had spares of both - figured I'd at a minimum clean them up and reseal before installing.

The 205 was a mess. It was full of mud, the needle bearings were rusted to the shafts and it took me a full day to clean it all up. Bearing kit and twin stick rails are installed.

The spare NP435 was in really good shape internally. I made some mistakes taking it apart but it's all back together and cleaned up. I have it installed in the truck but discovered that the tailhousings are different - no big deal, easy to swap. I should have checked but they looked the same, unfortunately my spare tailhousing ended up being 3/4" longer and the trans mount is in the wrong spot.

While I had the trans out I found the source of a huge coolant leak at an elbow in one of the heater hoses. I also have somehow lost pressure in my clutch hydraulics. Feels like air entered the system somehow but exactly how that happened is a total mystery, the system was not opened at all.

So some issues to fix for sure but am definitely making progress. I had today free to work on it but am home sick with the flu instead. Hopefully will have some time in the next week or two to get more done but I have a bunch of travel and then a trip to AZ in March so it may sit in pieces for a bit longer.
 


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Shran

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Tailhousing issue is solved, as you can see below there's about 3/4" difference. Shorter one was from a '76 F150, longer one was from an '83 F150.

I got the t-case installed last night and my shifters are bolted in place and working but I'm not sure I like how they're set up. The rear shifter hits the floor in high range and the dash in low range. Front shifter is fine but it's also angled. I think I'm going to have to notch the floor and also shorten both of the shifters. They are just too long.


 

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Mine are about the same height as the factory 1350 shifter and just playing around with them I like the height. Your trans is shorter than mine too though which will bring everything ahead.
 

Shran

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Here's the pics I forgot to take last night. As you can see my shifters are quite tall. I'm guessing taller than the factory 205 shifter, which I had to cut a lot out of to fit. I need to sit in it for a while and judge how short they need to be... but I am guessing I need to cut off at least 6". The leverage is nice, though.

You can see the shifters in neutral, low, and high in that order here.



 

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Yikes.

I have a bodylift which probably helps also, I only took maybe an inch and a half off the stock shifter. Shifter placement isn't much different than mine though.
 

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Actually I may not be able to cut them down. I forgot that they're stainless. I have an email in to the company to see if they make a shorter set that I could exchange for mine. If not I will find someone in town who can weld stainless.
 

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Cut them down from above and rethread/rebend them?
 

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That's an option. The threaded portion is quite a bit smaller though and was probably turned down on a lathe before it was threaded... I don't know if I can make it look decent. JB emailed me back and said they'd shorten them for free if I cover shipping - most likely will go that route, I can take care of the rest if they're shorter.
 

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JB emailed me back and said they'd shorten them for free if I cover shipping
That's a good company. Do they have a website you could link?
 

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Trans and t-case are full of oil, rear driveshaft is in, clutch is apparently working. I thought it wasn't and that air had infiltrated somewhere but it appears that the new pressure plate springs are a lot softer than the old ones - I can work the clutch pedal by hand now. It was super stiff before. I don't really know what the difference would be other than my old clutch was in an '82 Bronco and the new one was ordered for an '86 F150. Should have been the same thing. A test drive will confirm that it's working but if so it's a very pleasant surprise. I always hated how stiff the pedal was.

Haven't done anything with the shifters yet other than take the off and put them in a box. Might have to wait till we get back from AZ to deal with that whole thing.
 

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I stayed up till 2AM last night working on the shifters. Actually most of the night was spent fixing the hole I hacked out of the floor years ago when I did the V8 swap. I had used an F150 tunnel cover plate that was cut and bent so that it kinda fit but not well. The t-case shifter hole was also far too big for the twin stick boot. So I welded a bunch of pieces back to the floor and no longer have a gaping hole with burrs all over, and used an Explorer floor plate and part of the F150 one to make a full piece that fits a lot better. I am not terribly proud of it but it is a huge improvement.

Got to drive it around the block today. The trans works, the t-case works, the shifters work. I think the clutch is not releasing completely so I will have to investigate that but progress was made, for sure.

I am a LOT happier with the shorter shifters. Jon at JB did a great job shortening them and got the back in record time. They don't run into the dash anymore and are just positioned better overall.






 

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Looks nice!

I am still trying to figure out boots, all three of my shifters are clustered close together and keeps foiling my attempts to use bellows style boots like you have. I wish I could find another leather FX4 boot.
 

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That turned out pretty nice...

Good to see that some companies still go above and beyond for customer satisfaction.

I just feel like I'm missing something here with a twin stick conversion. The first time I seen it was mid 80's in a rusted out early Bronco with all of this guys dollars put in the chassis and powertrain. This guy could back up the hill in 2 wheel drive... shifting in reverse faster then 95% of the toys that showed up to play that day... I was amazed! Being I towed my buggy to the hill with my 76 Bronco... he rolled back down the hill one time and pulled up next to me. We started talking Bronco. He in fact twin sticked the transfer case and was shifting from low range to high range to get two reverse speeds. So... other then having two gear ranges in 2 wheel drive... is there any other advantages to converting to a twin stick?
 

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There is an interlock in a np205 to prevent using both ranges at the same time.

You can turn tighter in FWD with better traction than RWD. So you can kick the rear into neutral to maneuver in tight quarters. Also handy for driveline failures. Blow a u joint, wire the shaft out of the way, kick that end in neutral and keep going.

Cheap/easy mod to do, also makes the 205 easier to shift.
 


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