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Divorced Transfercase opinions?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Russell, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Hello everyone!

    I am working on a 1980 GMC 3/4 ton longbox which is currently 2wd. I am planning on making a work rig / daily driver out of it, but I am sick and tired of getting stuck everywhere, so I bought myself a 78 3/4 ton rolling chassis with a D44 front, 14 bolt FF rear with 4.10s, and a posi out back. I did not buy the transmission or transfercase with it becuase I want to go with the typical 3 speed, I need overdrive to keep the truck remotely affordable to drive. I plan to run a 4l80e transmission (electronics are of no concern to me) in conjunction with my fuel injection setup (running tuned port injection, not great for a race car, but fantastic power / economy for a mildly built daily driver). Now, I was debating how I was gonna go about setting up the transfercase with it when I met Divorced on another forum I regular most of the time. His divorced setup looks like exactly what I need.

    How reliable is this setup? How tough would it be to put together? I hear it is great for trucks with huge lifts, but how about a truck that'll probally get 1 ton springs, and be left with no other lift than the new springs provide?

    I love the idea of being able to interchange the driveshafts if one breaks, and it works pretty much perfectly with my 4l80e plan... How well does the shifter mate up inside of the cab of the truck?

    Thanks for any advice you guys can give on this :)

    Russell
     
  2. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Do you have the 4L80E yet? You may be able to use a 4L80E with a married t-case. I don't want to turn you away from a divorced t-case, I love mine and wouldn't trade it for anything (except an Atlas maybe :D ) , but I was just offering other options. The divorced shifter is real easy - basically just a lever mounted through the floor to somewhere under the cab with a long rod back to the t-case, I can take some pics and send them to you. As far as reliability the only extra part is the intermediate shaft (short driveshaft) that is the equivilent of a drive sleeve in a married 205; the drive sleeves always wear out too but the t-case needs to be removed to replace it. Many guys on this forum run rocks and need as much clearance as possible so they are sort of biased against divorced cases, but I just play in the mud so the 2" clearance I lost doesn't concern me. Others may give thier opinion and possibly offer other options so you can decide what would work the best for your application.
     
  3. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I think divorced is a great idea for many longer wheelbase applications. No fussing with adapters and splines; extra choice of transmissions; no VSS-related problems either :thumb:

    The divorced t-cases I've seen have the shifter mounted to bracket - either off the frame or transmission - attached to a long rod that goes back to the t-case.
     
  4. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    No, I have not bought the 4l80e yet, but I am 90% set on it (other option being one of those standard transmissions with the overdrive unit that came stock in some of these trucks)

    I am not concerned about clearances either, I've already got a Blazer tank hanging down in the back, and I am sure it hangs lower than the transfercase would be...

    For now I plan to run the setup just two wheel drive (no t-case / front driveshaft) as I collect parts for the divorced setup. From what I have heard, it is perfect for what I am doing here :)
     
  5. dhdescender

    dhdescender 1/2 ton status

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    You could swap a Divorced for T case input into a chev case (I assume you want passenger drop).

    I think I've got a couple in the shop I'm not overly attached to.

    As far as mounting, chev never mounted a divorced t case in a truck, so you'll have to fab up a crossmember that hold the case in place.
     
  6. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    So you are saying you have the stuff you'd need to convert a Chev 205 to divorced setup? That'd help a ton as far as u-joints and such would go (if dodge u-joints are infact any different)
     
  7. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Yep, the dodge u-joints are different and they are small in size. The Dodge case does have 32 spline shafts at all 3 ends though, so swapping to Chevy yokes is as simple as bolting them on as Chevy used 32 spline rear outputs.
     
  8. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    The more I read about this, the more I like it. Now to find an old dodge with a divorced 205 in it...
     
  9. dhdescender

    dhdescender 1/2 ton status

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    how's $55 for the input shipped to your door sound?

    I'll confirm it is indeed 32 spline and not somthing oddball.
     
  10. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Does that work?

    Compare the bearing retainer size/bolt pattern... I think it was larger on the divorced, and has a larger center hole to accomodate the yoke. :thinking:

    Dodge & IH 205s are pass-side drop. They're all fixed yoke and have the beefy 32-spline front output. They should be plenty cheap... I got mine in exchange for pulling an engine.

    I have a divorce plan too... going to be a married NP241 or BW4401, *and* the divorced 205 in a 150" wheelbase :D
     
  11. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    This is for the input to convert a standard Chevy 205 to a divorced unit, right?
     
  12. dhdescender

    dhdescender 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, it would be.

    Do you have a big or small bore T case, I need to check bearing sizes.

    The only issue I can see with a chev case is the yoke seal.
     
  13. big_truxx

    big_truxx 1/2 ton status

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    change over question

    so all you have to do to make a reg 205 into a divorce is change its input shaft?
     
  14. dhdescender

    dhdescender 1/2 ton status

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    You'd need to do an input shaft swap, and also find a means to get the seal retainer installed. I have the retainer, and it is self-centering.

    If you can come across a dodge case for cheap, you wouldn't have to malke the retainer work it would already be there. depending the dodge might be a more expensive option, just depends if your confident to drill and tap the face for the retainer or not. It isn't an over involved process, but I don't want you to get in over your head either. Sounds like you know what your up to though.
     
  15. big_truxx

    big_truxx 1/2 ton status

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    well not really :haha:

    to be honest i have a moderate knowledge of mechanics. i am partially self taught and partially school taught. i dont know a lot but i know more than the average person off the street. chevy trucks are my passion in life. so i love to learn about them as much as possible. i have been wanting to do a CAT swap in a chevy for a couple years (money being a big factor in not starting of course) and a divorced tranfer would be one option for mating it all up with a "foriegn" (to the trucks drivetrain not motor) transmission thrown in. i know a guy who has sucessfully swapped numerous 1160 ( i believe basically same as the 3208 v-8) cat v-8's into k5's, k-10's etc. he used a modified bellhousing that was familiar to the cat engine to get the sm 465 mated up. me always thinking likes to have many options so i got curious about using bigger than a 465 transmission. and in a post on here learned about divorced transfer cases. now that has certainly got me curious to learn all about them. i mean who wouldnt like the idea of using a divorce mounted xfer case? the possibilities are endless with one really. i had found out that dodge had some in trucks at some point but did not think that it was possible to just make a chevy 205 into a divorced mount. due to the fact that i have just begun to learn about the divorced mount xfer case. whereas it may be cheaper and easier in the long run to get a dodge divrce mount, it would be way cooler to make one out of a chevy 205!! :waytogo:
     
  16. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    d-i-v-o-r-c-e

    Chevy used a divorced case on the 60's trucks,the rockwell T221--also on the Napco conversion 50's trucks too,but I'm not sure how strong they are,but I had one in a chevelle wagon converted to 4wd with a 454 in front of it,and it held up ok in street driving,and I did some pretty good burnouts with it!!..I think someone said the NP206 case used in IHC trucks would work in a gm truck,but I dont know if the front shaft is on the passenger side or not...must be if they said it works--and its iron case gear drive,like a NP205 is....:crazy:
     
  17. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    The Napco sometimes used the Dana/Spicer 23 (the mirror image of the Dana/Spicer 24 used in older Fords.) Its a bit smaller & lighter than the 205. Not as small as a Dana 20 though.

    IH is also passenger side drop.... should be a 205 from 71-75.
     
  18. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    205 swap info

    i am in the middle of a married 205 swap on a 4l80-e and have found that it is basic . no#1 computer to be compatible with 4x4 and 4x4low. so that it can correct the shift points for low range, and wire in a switch for low position. havent found out yet on the programing of the low ratio but gm used a 4l80-e 205 combo in 91 4x4 crews with tbi fuel. no#2 rear speed sensor for tranny moves to tcase out put at rear. you take a 231,241 tone ring and cut the thickness to match the speedo gear that you remove. then drill and tap for speed sensor in the tail housing in line with tone ring . or if you can find a 91 205 with elec speed use that. no#3 if you use a married version i have ben told that you need to watch for ft shaft to tranny pan clearence. i used a 2x4 fixed yoke 4l80-e and made a 1 1/4" thick 6061 alum spacer to bolt them together and hade no clearence problems. no#4 (VARY VARY) important if you use a fixed yoke 2x4 tranny and convert to married 205 you MUST REPLACE the plug at the back of the tranny with the solid 4x4 plug, or you will lose line press and BURN UP THE TRANS!!!!!! . this is avalible at any gm dealer for about 5 dollers. if you look at the back of tranny with the tail housing off it is next to the 3oclock bolt hole, looks like a frezze plug with a pin hole for oil to go back to the fixed yoke bearing. hope this info helps you with your swap.
     
  19. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    K30, how much have you got in your married setup? I'm in high school for another year yet, and money is a definite factor :)

    If I can convert a Chev 205 to a divorced unit for 55 bucks shipped, thats probally what I'll do...

    I don't want to commit to buy anything yet though, need to find out exactly what I am doing first :)

    Thanks everything, this has been a very good thread!
     
  20. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    this is just stuff that is found on this web site

    dude this is the basic stuff to make it work correctly. have you priced a good working 4l80-e ? in my area north east thay are 500-700 dollers with out computer or harnness. but if you must know here it is 50 for spacer material 75 for machine work to make it . pick a part yard for the speed sensor and tone ring. 500 for complete 205 remand with 400 adaptor that is same pattern as 4l80-e. and 400 for t.b.i and tranny control harnnes, from howell-efi.com with 200 doller custome chip for tranny control and t.b.i use. plus lots of hard work . so good luck with this swap of yours. p.s. i used a street and performance tranny harness on the last one and it only did the tranny that was 850!!, wouldnt use there stuff again!!!!!!!!!
     

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