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general k5 questions regarding tranfer cases and other general concerns

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 74k5inVA, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    ok, here is my question. I have a 74 k5 blazer, which i am sure some already know b/c of other posts that make no sense. anyways, i just replaced the clutch in this. i can finally go in reverse. i have the full time 4X4. does this mean that i have the NP203 transfer case? i heard that it sucks. if i switched to a NP205 would that be better? how much work involved? i am not completely truck illiterate, but i am also not a master mechanic. my next question is if i switched to a NP205 would it no longer be full time? perhaps what i really need is a general intro into the workings of transfer cases. if i switch what should i do about a tranny? can i keep my same one, will it be iron-clad or should i switch it too? there aren't many rocks to climb where i live, mostly sand and the occasional mud hole, but eventually i would want to tackle rocks too, but not nearly as often as i go to the sand. what should i do next? first clutch, so i can drive, she is street legal now and running with new bfg 35x12.50 all terrains and a 4 inch lift though it looks like a saggy 2 inches. i am going to put a 6' lift on soon so i don't have to fender trim.
    HELP PLEASE and THANKS BUNCHES
     
  2. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    well, saying a 203 sucks is only a matter of opinion and yes yours is full time and i think it is a 203 the shifter plate should say Lo Loc, LO,Hi,Hi Loc. but back to the 203 sucking, a 203 is a key part in a doubler (203+205) and this is what the more highly modified trucks run. so in my opinion no they don't suck but they are not the best, a 205 is about the strongest there is. i think you would have to modify your drive shafts if you switched to a 205, and yes it is a part time case. i would recomend switching your 203 to part time if you choose to keep it. Many people would say keep the tranny you have but i like my auto matic, a th400 and a 205 is about the most bullet proof setup there is. and hey there is nothing wrong with trimming!, there aren't many problems a sawsal can't solve

    gime a bucket of chicken with extra skin!
     
  3. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    i have been reading about the doubler. it all sounds really fascinating and i was ready to get one, but then i really thought that it was only for rocks. is that true. when i am on the sand (north carolina sand, because you can't do anything in VA) will it help? will it help in the mud? do i really need to do anything to my truck to go anywhere on sand or mud? it seems to me that everyone here only does rocks. rocks are definitely cool, but alas none around anywhere. anyways. manual blazer + sand = crappy because when i shift i sink. maybe i shouldn't shift and just stay in second gear and blow up! like i said before i know nothing? everyday i learn something new on this site, but then again somebody else just lets them have it. no idea on who's right or who's wrong half the time. some people love to instigate. sorry for ranting. i really did have a question. so i will state it again. stock 74 with 4' lift and 35X12.50 BFG A/Ts no other mods yet. what next?
     
  4. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    i'm not sure how to take your responce, was that ranting directed at me? i in now way was trying to dis you or make you look foolish. i am by no means a rock god or a master mechanic. but if you would like some more advice here it is.if you mostly run sand and mud a doubler is not much use, but you could still get one and use only when you need it, from what i understand with a doubler you can use the 203 only and run higher gears or shift the 205 into gear and use both to crawl your way up a wall. this would give you the best of both world. but i my self don't have one a i could be wrong. but if yer really lookin to change look into a th350-203 or a th400-205 swap.

    gime a bucket of chicken with extra skin!
     
  5. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry, no ranting was intended towards you, i really am quite new at off roading, in fact i have only taken the k5 off road once since owning it. and have only been moderately offroading in anything else. nothing hard-core by any means. just the beach with an occasional dune to climb or some old hunting roads. in fact all info that you can give is very helpful and much appreciated. you in fact did not make me look ignorant or stupid. and the only way to learn about anything is through much research and trial and error. since i cannot afford to make a whole lot of errors i would like to make a hella truck right the first time. thanks again and please keep posting with advice on what i should do next. i tried this post a while ago and it died and i didn't get any help.
     
  6. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    i am also new to world of off roading, in fact i ride a mostly stock blazer with 31's. Some of the folks on here get tired of general ?'s like this but it doen't bother me. i recommend hanging here as often as you can and read all the posts you can. the tranny and trasfer case mod is a good next step, gotta go to lunch i hollar at ya later

    gime a bucket of chicken with extra skin!
     
  7. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    In mud and sand the doubler will do nothing for you. Waste of money.
    It is mainly for the slow crawling type of wheeling. I do mainly mud, sand and snow. So, I have to use for a doubler.

    Dont worry about the cranky people... ask questions as much as you like. there are many people that will answer them.

    Ken H.


    '86 K5 in parts
    1-ton 454 44 TSLs
     
  8. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    Ask away, dont worry about the cranky people. Someone will always answer.

    Ken H.


    '86 K5 in parts
    1-ton 454 44 TSLs
     
  9. RaisedK5

    RaisedK5 1/2 ton status

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    One ton axels, a doubler, a 454, 39.5" boggers.........No just Kidding. Shounds like you're off to a good start, 6" and 35's should take you most of where you want to go, As for the T/C the 203 is as heavy duty as they come, and arguably as strong as a 205, its just about twice as heavy and really long. You could swap in a 465 version 205 with minimal effort, they come up for sale on the board all the time, you would really just need to change the driveshafts. If you plan to keep the 203 (i still have mine, untill the doubler goes in) you might thinkabout converting it to part time, i read that the full time case and manual trans combo made for some irregular handleing characteristics (they stopped offering it for a reason), if you do decide to swap it out, you can get some cash for your 203 as they are the most rare and now highly sought after for the doubler application. The doubler probably wouldn't do you as much good as it would say ......me. I live in the west where rocks are everywhere, now if you went down south, say Tellico then it could prove usefull, but i would say save the money from that and do some other things, diffs, engine, exhaust, do the things that would benifit you the most first.

    Leland aka RaisedK5

    "Of all the things I've lost, I think I miss my mind the most!"
    "Are the voices in my head bothering you?
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'm a big fan of the 4 speed...but if you're into sand an automatic will probably do much better. The tranny/T-case combo you have is actually kinda rare and worth a few bucks to someone looking to do a SM465 version doubler. The NP 203 was only mated behind a SM465 4 speed for one year...74.
    The overall length of the diferent tranny/t-case combos' means that any type of swap you do will require new driveshafts...
    If you chose to keep your tranny/t-case combo i would recomend converting the T-case to part time. I haven't done it but it's supposed to be relatively inexpensive and plenty of people here could walk you through it.

    As for grumpy people on this site...we sometimes butt heads here when our opinions differ, it's usually not a personal thing. Differences of opinion are normal and healthy as long as it can be done with a modicum of respect. One thing you'll never see is a newbie getting flamed for asking a question...so fire away.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  11. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks this is all a huge help, i did not realize how rare a np203 was, good thing there are still some honest people out there. i could have been talked into running volkswagon under my k5 body and not of known the difference. hopefully that will change soon. i guess if i ever plan to go to the rocks then i will be lucky enough to have a 203. i am going to make it part time though, it is killing my tires very fast. another month or two and maybe someone will want some 35X12.50 racing slicks!!! another question also. i am going to take the hard top off for good. i notice that the original rockers are quite bad off. how hard are they to swap yourself or should i take it to a shop? how much $ involved? thanks again.
     
  12. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    i'm not sure what you mean by rockers, rockers are the body part that is under the door (whole bottom edge of the body) or are you talken about the bed rail where the hard top sits. If it is either your gonna end up having to weld somthing. so i yer not a welder i would suggest ya have a body shop do it.

    gime a bucket of chicken with extra skin!
     
  13. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    yeah, i was talking about the part under the door. i just didn't want to take the hard top off and lose stability because that seems to be the weakest part. if the rockers weren't solid then i would think that the truck may start to fold up on itself.
     
  14. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    if both your inner and outer rockers are toast then i would be careful about taking the top off, but is it's just the outer rocker don't worry about. i keep my top off almost all summer and my out rockers have some big o hloes in em.

    gime a bucket of chicken with extra skin!
     
  15. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    can you see the inner rockers w/o removing the outers? probably a dumb question
     
  16. Ddragggon

    Ddragggon 1/2 ton status

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    here's some quick information on the 203 and 205 Tcases...

    the 203 is a fulltime Transfer case, and has a differential inside of it, to help equalize the front and rear driveshafts when you turn a corner. the 203 is also a chain driven Transfercase, which means basicaly there's a giant chain that runs between the main shaft, and the front output shaft. the reason 203's are thought weak is occasionaly people either somehow manage to snap this chain, or they wear out over age, and stretch to a point where they start slipping off thier cogs.

    The 205 is a manual transfercase, and is a strait forward Gear driven case. power goes in the front, power goes out the back, and if engaged, through the front. the case is made of cast iron, and if anyone ever tells you they broke the caseing, then either they're a liar, or have one helluva story to tell you.

    on a final note, the only reason a lot of us talk about rock climbing with our trucks, is its kinda a daily occurance for us here in Arizona, and we have a flat state compared to Utah, or Colorado. for the most part, I like running around offroad in general, with nothing extremely hardcore... I can't afford to break anything on my truck, since I can't afford to fix it.

    talk to you later,

    -Rich

    My truck isn't ugly, you have a skewed sense of beauty

    <font color=blue>2007 Ford XLS++ intrepid Ram Superduty 7000 R-type's suck</font color=blue>
     
  17. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Welcome to CK5.
    Pretty rare set up you have. The 203 is not rare behind and Auto but VERY rare behind a 465 as many people have told you. Your truck being that it came with a 465 may also have 3.73 gears. Look on the front diff cover bolts and see if the metal gear ratio tag is still there. Also inside you glove box door or possibly on the driver side inner fender under the hood is a build sticker. It will tell you the way the truck was optioned. It use to be the trucks that got the 465 got 3.73 gears as the base. Yours, If you have 3.73 or even 4.10's then you got a jump on most of us. With 35's and that 465 it will be a pretty good rounded out truck capable of running good down the hwy and that granny will take care of the majority of your wheeling needs. With the Doubler it would make a GREAT crawler with really good hwy ability.
    The 203 has a very undeserved reputation. Most of it's reputations is as a result of lack of maintance on the owners part. Especially true with a part time converted case. Look at it this way...that case can run 100's of thousands of miles in 4wd when left in it's stock full time form. It can handle pretty good HP and torq. Yes the 205 is more desirable becuse of it's gear drive verses chain drive. With an unmolested case your looking at replacing the chain about every 150k. The chain is $100. Whole job will set you back about $130 with seals if you do the work yourself.
    Another thing that the 203 gets a bad rap about is they are a little rough on tires. You MUST replace all 4 at the same time and you MUST rotate every 5k. if you don't you will have uneven wear between the front and rear axles and it will accelerate the wear on the tires and hurt fuel economy. If all the tires have even wear you get lose maybe a 1mph. If they are uneven you can loose 4mpg.
    I'll tell you this...if you get snow and ice a lot where you are...LEAVE IT FULL TIME. I have dreven mine in icy conditions and I will tell you it reall makes the truck work good and handle good in poor conditions. Heck even on dry pavement having the front pull I can garantee a truck still running full time to a truck with identical set up the full time truck will out handle it on twisty roads. I have scared punks in Hondas by hanging corners that I would not have atempted in my wifes unlifted A/T treaded part time converted K5. I'm Serious, Just put your foot to the floor and it will pull a curve.
    Now when these cases are converted to part time you do get a little better mpg, you do get better tire wear, you do get a less labored feel on the hwy. You also creat some problems. The 203 was designed to be lubricated with the oil slinging off the chain. When converted that is not happening. Their is a Resivior in the tail shaft that collects oil slung off that chain. That oil is then picked up by a pump in the tail and that feeds oil to the tail shaft bearings. Some of that oil also goes up a journal and lubricats the bearings that the top chain gear ride on. You MUST put that case into LOC about every 200 miles for a couple miles to refill that resivior. It's laso not a bad idea to over fill the case when it's converted. Put the rear wheels on ramps to get it nose down when you fill it.
    If you do convert it then use the mile marker brand kits and follow the directions carefully. There is some important steps involving shimming the end play in the tail shaft. If not done correct it can cause all sorts of problems. There are 2 kits made by MM. One simply replaces the gears in the center Diff with some tabs that lock out the diff. That kit runs between $60-80. The other replaces the whole tail shaft assembly and if you can afford it that's would be the better. It's closer to $200.
    One last thing. The 203 runs motor oil NOT gear oil. Gear oil is too thick and can break the pump. Lots of them people put ATF in and that's not really all that bad but motor oil is what is supose to be in it. Same flavor you run in your engine should be fine.
    Now about rust hehehehe this is how bad it can get on a 73-75 communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim>coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim</a>
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  18. 74k5inVA

    74k5inVA 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks grim and others. i thought that i was rusty, but that makes mine look like a caddilac. no i need some body work. maybe a new floor too, i haven't had the heart to pull up the rubber matting to take a look. i get to spend all day wednesday tweeking the truck. maybe she'll start running like a top soon.
     

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