1984 F150 2wd 4x4 Swap

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1984 F150 2wd 4x4 Swap

NickL73
Hi all,

I scanned the 4x4 swap megathread but am looking for a little more detailed advice.

I’m not 100% sure on the direction I want to take my truck. I got it to learn on and get some experience with and really just have fun with. I’ve done a lot of just regular maintenance type work to get my feet wet and I think I’m ready to move on to something a little more advanced. It’s currently a 1984 F150 base model with the 302 and TTT over the stock transmission.

Lately I’ve been researching 4x4 swaps and am curious as to what is all involved. I don’t really need the 4x4 (I really just weekend drive the truck and don’t do any off roading) but think it could potentially be a fun long-term, involved project.

What all would go into this? I’ve read that a lot of the work is bolt-on replacement type stuff, but I know the TTT presents some issues. I’m guessing I’d probably need to upgrade the transmission and put it on the floor. I hate to lose the TTT, but I also know they’re fragile, nearly impossible to replace, and will probably need to go at some point anyways.

So, if I were to take this route I’m guess I’ll need a new trans, steering column, transfer case, front and rear axles, and (maybe?) new leaf springs in the back. What else should I be looking into?

If this isn’t a great directions to take, I’m also open to hearing any other ideas on a more involved project now that I’ve gotten all basic maintenance done. Rotor swap the drums? Go with a limited slip diff?
Car work beginner, here to learn and get some experience!

My Bullnose:
1984 F-150 2dr Styleside, 302 V8, Three on the Tree

My Daily:
2012 Ford Mustang V6, Performance Package
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Re: 1984 F150 2wd 4x4 Swap

Gary Lewis
Administrator
The best advice I can give is to buy a donor 4wd truck and swap the parts over.  For an F150 I believe it is all bolt-on work, and you can then sell the donor.

One of the reasons for a donor is that it is so easy to forget the parts you'll need when gathering them.  For instance, the wire harness from the transfer case to the 4WD indicator on the dash.  Another is that if you buy the parts one at a time it will probably cost more than buying a donor - especially when you can sell the donor after swapping.

As for the transmission, you said "TTT" and "three on the tree", but that is just the linkage.  But whatever transmission you have will for sure need to be changed out as yours is 2wd and you need a 4wd tranny, meaning one that is set up for the transfer case to bolt to.

So, a list of parts would include the transmission, transfer case, front & rear driveshafts, front axle assembly including TTB's/differential/axles/etc, transfer case shift lever & linkage, & 4wd light and wiring.  And I'm surely forgetting something.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: 1984 F150 2wd 4x4 Swap

Rembrant
In reply to this post by NickL73
NickL73 wrote
What all would go into this? I’ve read that a lot of the work is bolt-on replacement type stuff, but I know the TTT presents some issues. I’m guessing I’d probably need to upgrade the transmission and put it on the floor. I hate to lose the TTT, but I also know they’re fragile, nearly impossible to replace, and will probably need to go at some point anyways.

So, if I were to take this route I’m guess I’ll need a new trans, steering column, transfer case, front and rear axles, and (maybe?) new leaf springs in the back. What else should I be looking into?

If this isn’t a great directions to take, I’m also open to hearing any other ideas on a more involved project now that I’ve gotten all basic maintenance done. Rotor swap the drums? Go with a limited slip diff?
That TTT would have to go as they were never offered in 4x4 trucks. The column could stay unless you swapped the truck to an auto trans. If you went with a floor shift, it doesn't really affect the column...you have a manual column already (with the key interlock button).

It's a big job...I'd personally look for a 5spd setup to swap in if you were going to do it at all, but do lots of research. I know a couple guys that have done this swap. If you can find a wrecked truck with good 4x4 drivetrain and chassis, that sure makes it easier than hunting for parts and driveshafts that don't fit lol.
1952 Mercury M-1 Pickup '96 5.0/4R70W swap project...
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/ 5spd. Sold.
1980 F150 4X4 Flareside. 300i6 w/ 5spd. Sold in 2021.
1980 F100 4X2 Flareside. 351w/2bbl w/NP435. Sold in 1995