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which is the best transfer case?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Marshall, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall 1/2 ton status

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    I have a simple question..which transfer case is the best and why...i am thinkin gear ratio,fluid type,pump or not, and case durability. Which ever you think is a better case please let me know i am very curious.


    Thanks, Marshall
     
  2. morphed86k10

    morphed86k10 1/2 ton status

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    Hah! Good luck getting an answer on this one. I'll do my ignorant best to inform you on the different common factory cases for these trucks...
    NP203/NP205 - Both quite strong cast iron cases with low ranges in the 2:1 area. The 205 has the reputation as the strongest transfer case out there for these trucks, as it should. Its totaly gear driven. Most figures I've seen put it weighing about 200 lbs. The 203 is originally a full time case, which some people may not want, but when maintained properly its a stout case. This case uses a chain drive. Its also freakin heavy due to the cast iron and the full time differential that it must incorporate, I don't know but bet its in the 300 lb range.

    NP208 - The redheaded stepchild of GM transfercases. Its aluminum construction and chain drive didn't lend itself to the hardcore types. But with a low range of 2.61 and a weight somewhere around 80 lbs, it has its benefits.

    NP241 - Similar to the 208, but with better lubrication and I'm told its a little stronger. Low range is 2.72.

    Personaly Ive owned 205's and 208's. The 205 was a bit tougher to shift than the 208, but not enough that it would make a difference in my choice. But I definitly like the low range of the 208 a LOT more. And weight is always bad. Thats why my truck currently has one. If I blow it up when the bigger (36 or 37 inch) tires go on this summer I'll deal with that then.

    I'll let someone else talk about Atlas's and Doublers, I'm tired of typing /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  3. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    205 all the way- iron case and gear driven and good ratios and commonly used/found, just like a 14 bolt FF /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    avoid 208 at all cost and try to avoid 203 unless you cant find a 205, and i dont know about the 241

    good luck
     
  4. Panther212

    Panther212 Registered Member

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    haha I wish I could find a 205 in my area that mates to a 350!!! not too common around here, trust me.

    anyhow, i have a 203 and I think it's a piece of [censored]... kind of. like that other dude said its a great case if you have the right crap in it and you take care of it. this meaning the shaft part time kit and filled with 10w-30 motor oil (only fluid acceptable for this case). I'd also reccommend a twin stick setup cuz 203's shifters always lock up. and if the chain's stretched, buy another one or get a kit for it! (note: mines a POS cuz I have none of the above except the motor oil inside)

    If your truck doesn't come with a 203 or 205, I highly reccommend getting one
     
  5. b454rat

    b454rat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Too bad shipping cost would kill the deal, buddy of mine has at least two in his yard....havne't been there in a month, so mayeb there's more!!!!
     
  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Depends on the truck, engine, gearing, tire size, and purpose/use of the truck...

    I'm shooting for a 203 range box backed by a 205! /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
    (aka Doubler)
     
  7. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    avoid 208 at all cost

    [/ QUOTE ]
    /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    I'm not trying to flame you at all but, the only reason I could see your point is if you're rockcrawling and in danger of hitting it on a rock. I have the 208 in all my trucks to keep the weight down.

    I run over 500HP and 560TQ to one, and over 580 RWHP to another. I've never had a minute's trouble with either one. Keep it well lubed and go.

    205's are great t-cases, the strongest around for these trucks, but for certain uses, the 208 is just fine if not preferred.

    Just MHO,
    John
     
  8. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I have a simple question..

    [/ QUOTE ]


    I'm not sure that there is a simple answer to that question.

    The NP205 is all gear driven and considered one of the strongest TC's out there. If it is properly built and maintained, it will take lots of abuse. It's cheap and easy to repair/rebuild. The low range for this TC is 1.96:1


    I actually prefer the NP203 with a part-time kit installed. Most of the NP203 failures that I have seen are a result of chains wearing out due to improper lubrication. You gotta put 10w-40 in these things NOT gear oil (too thick) or transmission fluid (too thin). If you go out looking for a NP203 make sure you get one that has a 2 1/2" chain rather than the smaller 2" chain, the bigger chains are much stronger. The part-time kit, with manual hubs, keeps the chain from spinning except when you engage 4wd or lock the hubs. This keeps wear down but you gotta remember to engage the chain every few hundred miles to get the oil up into the tailshaft. When built properly, the NP203 will hold up to almost anything a NP205 would hold up to. The low range for this TC is 2.01:1 .

    I also like having 2WD Low range available.



    The trick to making any TC work well is good maintenance! (Sorry, that's the old Motor Sgt talking). /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif




    Grim Reaper has a great technical article on the conversion kits in the tech section: NP203 Conversion kit


    If you want to put together a bullet-proof transfer case with gearing all the way down to 4:1 the check out Offroad Design's web site.
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    The answer is simple.

    The 205 is stronger than all the others, hands down.

    Other cases have their benefits, but they come at the cost of strength.

    Those of you that think the low range in a 208 is wonderful should give the SM 465 a chance. Trust me, with a 6.55:1 first gear, you won't even notice the near-lack of low range that the 205 has.
     
  10. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The answer is simple.

    The 205 is stronger than all the others, hands down.

    Other cases have their benefits, but they come at the cost of strength.


    [/ QUOTE ]


    The question wasn't which one is stronger but which one is better.


    Sometimes flexability and more options are better.



    /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  11. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    There is not single "best" t-case.

    the best set-up would be dual t-cases, as you have selectability.

    The idea that a 208 is a POS is silly. I have seen a 250/700R/208 combo on 42's get it better than 95% of the people out here.

    Any t-case can be made to live behind a properly set up rig. Everyone has heard a second hand story of "My brother's friend snapped a Rockwell in half!" stuff, but for the VAST majority of us, its run what you brung...and it is usually enuff.
     
  12. K5thatShmobs

    K5thatShmobs 1/2 ton status

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    Random question--But is there a soul on this site that might know if GM/New Process ever did any torque/stress tests on the series of cases (203,205,208,241)? And, even further, if someone could actually get their hands on this information? I think that it would be very very interesting. Youd definitely have a lot more to talk about.

    In fact, today Im going to talk to a few to see if that kind of information does exsist.
     
  13. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    The main reason the 208 sucks the fat one is the slip-yoke and the cost of a custom SY eliminator. Same reason for 205s made in '80.
     
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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  15. bigmack

    bigmack 1/2 ton status

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    I don't mean to get off the subject but why do people despise the slip yoke version t-cases. I have had mine for over 2 years now and give it more hell than anyone can imagine and I haven't had any problems with it. In fact the t-case is the only thing in the drive line that I haven't destroyed since getting this truck. I have gone thru 1 engine, 2 trannys, 2 rear ends, and I loose count how many axle shafts, and u-joints in the front end, at least 3 front drive shafts, and 2 rear drive shafts. So I guess my experience with a slip yoke t-case is different from everone else.
     
  16. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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  17. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    I like a "GOOD" 203 setup right but still full-time for on road snow driving. Other wise it's a 205 for me till I can build a 203/205 doubler and maybe the WMS 3.0 lowrange in the 203 side of the doubler too.
     
  18. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Read this(courtesy of Jason):
    Why Slip Yokes $uck

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well a slip yoke for regular rigs even with lifts up to 6" are ok with a slip yoke.
    When you start with lots of suspension travel then you will need a regular driveshaft because the slip yoke only has so much room to expand.
    The other bad thing about the slip yoke is that if you do brake a driveshaft, you have to remove i and then you will need to cover the hole or you loose the tranny fluid.
    I still say it's isn' that bad, just not for the hard core long suspension guys.
     
  19. morphed86k10

    morphed86k10 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Trust me, with a 6.55:1 first gear, you won't even notice the near-lack of low range that the 205 has.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I respectfully disagree. I've had both, and the low range from a 208 is preferable, even with the SM465. Right now my truck is about 70:1, with a 205 that'd be closer to 54:1.

    I know what you're saying though.

    What it really comes down to is application. A mud rig doesn't need nearly the low gears that are nice on a trail rig and needed on a crawler.
     
  20. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Don't forget one other feature of the 208/241 genre. "Shift on the fly" (provided the hubs are locked). Nice item during the winter when you go from snow/ice covered street, to clean pavement, then back. I enounter this just driving 2 miles to the kids daycare /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     

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