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Old 05-23-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
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AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Hey Everyone,

As I crawl around Vandito I've noticed that the transfer case location, size, diff drop etc looks shockingly close (if not the same) as a friends 4x4 suburban. The Suspension also looks very similar as well...

Has anyone seen or heard of this type of swap? It "looks" like it would be a pretty easy swap and gain me 4H and 4LO.

The suspension also looks like I could use one of Revteks lift kits to get it lifted some and retain the IFS which I prefer for the road.

Thanks

Justin
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Check into the chevy avalanche, It is my understanding to be the same platform.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Thanks!

I'll be sure to post details as I find them.

J
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Are there any updates to this thread?

I have recently become very interested in the world of campervans but my budget is not very large (<$10,000). I'm going to look at a 2005 Chevy Express AWD on Sat. and have asked the same question to convert to 4x4.

I also heard that the Express shares the Avalanche platform.

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Just a hunch.... I suspect you could swap T-cases, but I think the electronics could a nightmare, since the wiring and programming for the two are different.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Check these guys out....
http://WWW.overlandvans.com/
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Just a hunch.... I suspect you could swap T-cases, but I think the electronics could a nightmare, since the wiring and programming for the two are different.
I know of guys with Chevy AWD Astro vans that have successfully swapped the t-case and electronic pieces in from a S10 to give them a selectable low range unit. There are quite a few electronic modules needed along with the dash switch but it has been done.

My desire is to have a manual unit with shifters on the floor (like the Atlas II unit in factory 4x4 Sportsmobiles) but I'm in the early phases of researching.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

I think if you will be doing driving that needs an Atlas, you are probably exceeding the capabilities of the frame. The Chevy frame is smaller and thinner than the Ford frame, which is a major reason why the Ford 4x4s outnumber the Chevies.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
I think if you will be doing driving that needs an Atlas, you are probably exceeding the capabilities of the frame. The Chevy frame is smaller and thinner than the Ford frame, which is a major reason why the Ford 4x4s outnumber the Chevies.
I was referring to the style of shifter rather than actually using an Atlas t-case. My intended use would never justify the capability of an Atlas, let alone the cost.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:30 PM   #10
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Re: AWD Express to "real" 4x4 conversion

Well Atlas is twin shifters, as is (I think) the Dana 300. Most other cases don't allow independent selection for the front and rear axles, so there is only one shifter for the t-case.

Although, as far as shifter styles go I would rather have a single Atlas stick and ball than a T handle, lever, or button.

The good news is, if you do turn your frame into a twizzler, you can pop the Atlas an move it to your next vehicle, because it's not going to be the weak part!

Back to the subject at hand, I don't understand why you would start with an AWD express if your end goal is 4x4. It seems like a camburg 2wd or a locker or even nothing on a full capacity chassis would get you further in the long run, even if you can't play as hard right now. I'd say either live with the AWD for what it's worth, or suffer 2wd until you can afford an upgrade.
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