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Old 07-20-2018, 12:32 PM   #1
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4x4 cost and advantage?

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone can chime in on the importance of having the 4x4 conversion for winter driving as well as how much it cost. I'm not sure I can afford a good van, and the 4x4 so I may need to prioritize. Would you rather have a low mileage van with a nicer build? Or a higher mileage cheaper build but with 4x4 capabilities?

Thanks, Max
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:06 PM   #2
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For on-road winter driving? Not necessary. Tires matter more. Get a decently aggressive snow rated tire, and upgrade to limited slip, and you'll have better traction that 4x4 with open diffs and non-snow tires.

4x4 runs about $14,000 for a basic full conversion.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:38 PM   #3
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Four wheel drive is advantageous when driving gravel roads. It keeps the front end going in the direction you point it. Gravel is slippery in a different way than snow. My conversion was around $20K. It included a rebuilt transmission, Aluminess spare tire carrier, new fuel pump and other goodies. If you are mechanically inclined there are several sources for the necessary brackets.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:00 PM   #4
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As someone who builds 4X4 vans on a daily basis as my primary job, allow me to give you one piece of advice.
Please find the cleanest, lowest mileage rig that best fits your needs.

It's the foundation of your build.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:34 AM   #5
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Like others have said, find the cleanest, lowest mileage van you can afford with rear LSD, or add it, put on some good A/T tires and maybe even a mild lift kit and youíll be far better off than driving around an el cheapo with 4X4, while there are certain situations where thereís advantages of having 4X4, youíll be able to access at least 90% of what a 4X4 rig can, just no rock crawling for you. Put the money you save into the interior build, and buy yourself a winch and some recovery tools for the other 10%
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:46 AM   #6
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...... just no rock crawling for you.....
And stay out of sand or loose rock climbs!!

4x4 is very nice to have when you need it. Kind of like a winch, or lockers, or recovery gear, or 35ís or a heater, or .
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:50 AM   #7
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The one thing I like other what has been said is having a low range. I use low for reversing up things just to save the tranny clutch plates.
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:42 PM   #8
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The one thing I like other what has been said is having a low range. I use low for reversing up things just to save the tranny clutch plates.
Low range for sure! Even if just for those really steep hills...saves the tranny going uphill, and saves the brakes going downhill. Low range low gear, especially on the 5-speed, works well. On a really steep downhill, if the engine is holding back only the rear wheels they can break loose so I always make sure the front hubs are locked.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:14 PM   #9
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4x4 cost and advantage?

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Low range for sure! Even if just for those really steep hills...saves the tranny going uphill, and saves the brakes going downhill. Low range low gear, especially on the 5-speed, works well. On a really steep downhill, if the engine is holding back only the rear wheels they can break loose so I always make sure the front hubs are locked.


I know I just went up to funnel lake and my tranny never went over 180 while in low/low climbing. Coming down itís great to use 2nd or low and not be on the brakes.

Btw I do have two tranny coolers inline. The stock and a aftermarket.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:25 PM   #10
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How much of that roughly 14k$ to convert is labor/parts? I have been really interested in turning my 06 5.4 to 4x4. If I could do the labor my self it might be worth buying a cheap sedan to use for the year or two my van is out of commision.

I recently had to buy a parts van just to get a tailshaft housing. I almost just got a transfercase and driveshaft instead.
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