ORD NP203 Twin Stick Install - Semi writeup

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Iron_Weasel, May 14, 2005.

  1. Iron_Weasel

    Iron_Weasel Registered Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Likes Received:
    New Mexico
    So I took my 79 K10 with me to work this morning with the intent of putting my newly received ORD twin stick shifter on the truck.
    Started around 9am and finished around 1:30pm - including taking an hour for lunch and to screw around with some other stuff. All in all, it took about 3 1/2 hours from start to finish. However, I had my truck on a two post lift, air tools, and a full compliment of specialty tools such as a transmission jack, so your results may vary.
    If you plan on doing this in your driveway. PLEASE take all proper safety precautions.

    With the truck in the air and my assortment of tools handy, I set off on the undercarriage items.
    First thing on the list was to remove the front driveshaft which was easily accomplished due to the location and design of the front yoke on the NP203.
    Removed the u-joint strap bolts and straps themselves before moving to the 4 bolts on the transfer case end.

    Once the fastners were removed, the driveshaft literally fell out and was placed on the workbench which would soon accumulate many more parts.
    After the driveshaft had been removed, I set a transmission jack underneath the transfer case and broke loose the 4 bolts holding the crossmember to the frame. The bolts were fairly rusty, but the impact wrench made quick work of that problem.
    Note that the 4 bolts were loose but not removed at this time.

    At this point, I removed the bolts holding the crossmember to the transfer case. The rubber transfer case mounts presented the biggest problem by being swollen slighty around the bolts and holding them in place. A short pry bar and some persuasion with a directional impact device (a big hammer) resolved that issue in very little time.

    After double checking the transmission jack was securely under the transfer case, I removed the 4 crossmember to frame bolts and got it out from under the truck. This was placed alongside the front driveshaft on the workbench.
    The transfer case was then lowered to provide easier access.

    Next step was the removal of the NP203 shifter linkage and the shifter mechanism which is housed in a "box" looking thing. I attempted some wrenches and sockets to remove the linkage. That turned out to be an exercise and futility. There was about 20 years worth of junk on every part of the linkage and the rust was so bad that I wasn't going to be able to use any sane method to remove the linkage.
    Out comes the die grinder/cut-off wheel combo. After donning my safety glasses, I took the liberty of removing the linkages from the transfer case by simply cutting the linkage in half. Since the ORD shifter contains ALL the hardware necessary, I didn't worry about the linkage.

    Once the linkage was out of the way, I removed the two bolts holding the "shifter box" to the transfer case. To my surprise, both the bolts were very easily removed with an air ratchet.

    At this point, I got out a ladder and got into the cab where I removed the shifter handle, boot, and hold-down ring. The factory "4-Wheel Lock" wiring was removed since the ORD shifter does not have a provision (nor does it need one in the first place) for a switch.

    ---Side note: I took the shifter mechanism apart to see if I could figure out why mine only had a range of 3 gears. After looking at the complexity of the mechanism and the amount of crud in it, I can see why it didn't work very well. Word of advice to anyone reading this and thinking about "fixing" their stock NP203 shifter - Take pictures and make notes about the orientation of EVERY component in there. Since I was replacing this shifter, all the random parts went in the trash can.

    Back on the ground so I could install the ORD twin stick from underneath. The only thing in the way this time was my TH350 vacuum modulator line which was a no brainer to unplug and push out of the way.
    The shifter went into place without any issues and I loosely mounted the lower bolt on the shifter to the transfer case.
    At this point, I attempted to install a bolt into the upper hole on the shifter only to find out that it was about 3/4" too far to the right (drivers side) of the hole in the transfer case.

    This is where the first small problem reared its ugly head.

    The passenger stick was coming into contact with the transmission tunnel sheet metal which was not allowing it to move enough so I could mount it.
    Climbed back into the cab and took a few measurements then marked my intended path of destruction on the sheet metal. The ever popular cutoff wheel is put to good use to remove approx. 1" of metal out of the transmission tunnel.
    As it turns out, I still had to massage some of the metal around the transmission tunnel to allow full range of motion with both sticks.
    After taking this little detour, I tightened both bolts on the shifter assembly.

    Using the supplied instructions, I assembled the two holddown rings and shifter boot. This was placed on the shifter and was used as a template to drill four 1/4" holes to mount the holddown ring to the floor board.
    Using a helper, I installed the supplied bolts/nuts and tightened them. Having a helper is a good idea since the supplied bolts are phillips head and you have to hold a wrench of socket on the nuts while tightening them.

    I began the rest of the installation by deciding where my "Neutral Position" and "2WD Position" should be with each stick. After doing that, I took off the retaining nut on the shaft of the transfer case linkage itself. The nut came off with no problem. Behind the outer mounting arm is a snap ring (make sure you remove this before removing the arm closest to the transfer case) which holds the inner arm on.
    Removal of the remaining half of the shifter linkage that was cut off was necessary. Both mounting arms were then taken to the solvent tank for cleaning.

    I highly advise removing both mounting arms from the transfer case as it makes installing the supplied linkage much easier.

    With both mounting arms on the bench, I installed the linkage onto the mounting arms as shown in the instruction pictures.
    Upon installing the mounting arms/linkage on the transfer case, I found the next problem. The supplied bolts were too long in my application (ORD supplied 1-1/2" long 3/8" bolts). Obviously I had to remove the mounting arms to replace the bolts. I used some 1-1/4" long bolts to solve that problem.

    With the linkage mounted to the transfer case end, I simply adjusted the heim ends of each linkage until it reached my selected positions for each stick. I had one other minor issue when trying to install the linkage onto the sticks. The 1-1/4" long bolts I was using were still too long. The passenger side stick would hit the drivers side stick.
    Since ORD had drilled 3 holes vertically in each stick, I simply moved the linkage on the drivers side stick to the middle hole and left the passenger stick linkage in the bottom hole.
    Last item of business with the linkage was to tighten the nuts to prevent the linkage from unscrewing.

    With all of this done, I climbed into the cab once again and made sure that Hi, Neutral, and Lo each engaged on the passenger stick and 2WD/4WD engaged on the drivers side stick. Since I had already cut out some sheet metal, every position engaged flawlessly.

    On the ground for the last time I raised the transfer case back into position and installed the crossmember. I installed new rubber transfer case mounts (I'm going to get polyurethane mounts soon) and bolted the crossmember to the transfer case first, then to the frame using all new bolts. Finally, I reconnected the vacuum modulator line and moved the transmission jack from under the truck.

    If you're wondering, having the transfer case lowered DID NOT make a difference in clearance. There was still approx 3/8" of space between the passenger stick and the transmission tunnel.

    Last thing on the agenda was to test the shifters - They worked perfectly and I had 4 wheel drive once again! :saweet:
    The truck was lowered and I congratulated myself on a job well done.

    All in all, I highly recommend this mod to anyone who has a defunct stock NP203 shifter. It was well worth the money spent on it and the installation wasn't bad at all. It was actually pretty easy.
  2. lloydrage

    lloydrage Registered Member

    Sep 21, 2012
    Likes Received:
    So I do have to cut a hole in the floor, damn

    I ran into same issues as you, screw was too big and hitting floor.

    Also I was going to leave the trans adapter connected and connect shift linkage once everything is installed but not sure your thoughts

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