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Just joined the community after doing some reading and finding out about transfer gear swaps. I'm an auto mechanic in alberta with 20+ years experience and built my own buggy from scratch about 15 years ago. I saw a pic of a lifted 4th gen with 29" tires and loved it! Now I want to do that myself. Always wanted bigger tires but knew the gearing was going to be a problem. Now I'm on the hunt for a set of transfer gears from a 4 cyl. Transmission. It also looks like the pacifica struts will get the front end up about 2 inches. I can diy the rear end. Would like to know if its possible to put the rh cv axle from an awd caravan to get equal length and avoid having spacers in the subframe. We have a wrecker here but I can also get parts in Edmonton next time I go there. Was thinking of using ford explorer wheels to make it a little wider also. If anyone has questions about common problems or repairs I've owned 5 caravans since 2004 and done all the repairs myself. Best one yet was the 98 with 255/60 15 tires, air ride in rear and push bar. Any suggestions about drive and suspension would be appreciated.
 

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Was it my van?

61959


A thread with more thread links in it:

I have replies all over the forum and can't find them now. These wheels are 1996-1998 Ford Explorer Limited wheels, and they will hit the front calipers. I have to use 12mm hubcentric spacers for a Dodge Challenger for clearance, along with extended thread lug nuts after making the lug holes bigger to fit them. Centerbore on Ford wheels needs to be opened 1.5mm to fit also. Then you need longer wheel studs in the front hubs to reach. I can't find anything for the stock hubs, but luckily I had aftermarket Timken front hubs that have the stud head countersunk into the backside of the flange that helps with the length. I also swapped out those studs with longer studs from a Ford Taurus to use these wheels. Tires are 235/75R15, and I put one up to a used 30"x 9 1/2" tire on a rim to compare and they are the exact same diameter. Because of the offset and the spacers used, the tires will hit the pinchweld in the wheelwell and the splashguard. I removed the splashguards and beat down the pinchweld seam with a mini-sledge for clearance, then reformed the plastic liner with a heat gun and screwed it into the bottom of the wheelwell/floor area.

I also have 1994 Ford Explorer wheels that DO have enough clearance for the brake calipers without spacers. I use the same size tire on those with regular lug nuts for my winter wheel setup.

Front suspension is used Pacifica struts with TEMA4X4 urethane strut spacers on top of them for 2" lift over stock. I also swapped the sway bar end links for some Moog ones for a 2003 Ford Windstar with the grease zerks on the sides for clearance for the wheel speed sensor wires and the tie rod ends/lower control arms. Everything clears and is greaseable, and i can change my oil without jacking up the van.

The rear is mini helper leaf springs at max setting for now. I may try some aftermarket Toyota Tacoma rear spring shackles later, or make some spacers to go between the front spring brackets and the frame. I can't put anything between the leaf spring pack and axle beam, as the rear CV shafts need the room there. I have the factory rear nivomat shocks.

I have vibration from takeoff to 35mph or more. At first I thought it might be the extreme angle of the front CV shafts, but there is less vibration if I slowly take off. I believe the motor mounts are flexing too much, and making the front joint of the rear propeller shaft bend too much and cause the vibration. I was going to lower the front cradle and engine an inch, but maybe I don't need to. I need to diagnose more.

For the passenger axle shaft, I mentioned in another thread about basically converting the front to AWD by adding the transfer case and using that CV axle, but then you might as well go all the way and convert to AWD. The Pacifica wagons use a passenger shaft setup on the front wheel drive much like the AWD vans, but without the transfer case. It uses a long straight shaft with a block/bearing support that bolts onto the rear of the block right where PTU (transfer case) bolts to. They also used the 41TE transmission in some of them, so that front passenger shaft might fit! The shorter part of that shaft might not be the correct length though, so not sure if it would work. The front hub splines are the same as the vans, but the Pacifica CV stub doesn't have the ABS sensor tone ring on it (it was built into the front Pacifica hubs). If the shaft is the correct length, the stub shaft may be able to be swapped to the van one to keep the ABS working.

If you are considering converting to AWD later and want to run the big tires now, the 41AE from a Pacifica 3.5 V6 AWD will be geared perfectly for the tire size and have the correct differential inside to bolt the van PTU and adapter onto. If staying FWD then the 41TE from a Pacifica (along with that passenger front CV shaft) may be just what you need. The Pacifica used 235/65R17 tires, which happen to match the 235/75R15 tires I'm running (using Pacifica sized tires on our 2011 Toyota Sienna). This is why the gearing for those transmissions is perfect for the size tires I'm running. The transfer gears from the Pacifica 41TE are the same as the 4 cylinder van/Stratus transfer gears, so much easier to find.

I'm digging the exhaust cutout! I've thought of rigging one up using an old throttle body before, just never got around to it yet. I have a new Thrush turbo muffler and bigger tailpipe to put on my van first though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DIY exhaust cutout from an old throttle body(controlled by cruise control servo), led lights on liftgate, led reverse lights, custom center console, rear seats removed for storage compartment/weight saving, backup camera and additional 12v sockets so far.
Was it my van?

View attachment 61959

A thread with more thread links in it:

I have replies all over the forum and can't find them now. These wheels are 1996-1998 Ford Explorer Limited wheels, and they will hit the front calipers. I have to use 12mm hubcentric spacers for a Dodge Challenger for clearance, along with extended thread lug nuts after making the lug holes bigger to fit them. Centerbore on Ford wheels needs to be opened 1.5mm to fit also. Then you need longer wheel studs in the front hubs to reach. I can't find anything for the stock hubs, but luckily I had aftermarket Timken front hubs that have the stud head countersunk into the backside of the flange that helps with the length. I also swapped out those studs with longer studs from a Ford Taurus to use these wheels. Tires are 235/75R15, and I put one up to a used 30"x 9 1/2" tire on a rim to compare and they are the exact same diameter. Because of the offset and the spacers used, the tires will hit the pinchweld in the wheelwell and the splashguard. I removed the splashguards and beat down the pinchweld seam with a mini-sledge for clearance, then reformed the plastic liner with a heat gun and screwed it into the bottom of the wheelwell/floor area.

I also have 1994 Ford Explorer wheels that DO have enough clearance for the brake calipers without spacers. I use the same size tire on those with regular lug nuts for my winter wheel setup.

Front suspension is used Pacifica struts with TEMA4X4 urethane strut spacers on top of them for 2" lift over stock. I also swapped the sway bar end links for some Moog ones for a 2003 Ford Windstar with the grease zerks on the sides for clearance for the wheel speed sensor wires and the tie rod ends/lower control arms. Everything clears and is greaseable, and i can change my oil without jacking up the van.

The rear is mini helper leaf springs at max setting for now. I may try some aftermarket Toyota Tacoma rear spring shackles later, or make some spacers to go between the front spring brackets and the frame. I can't put anything between the leaf spring pack and axle beam, as the rear CV shafts need the room there. I have the factory rear nivomat shocks.

I have vibration from takeoff to 35mph or more. At first I thought it might be the extreme angle of the front CV shafts, but there is less vibration if I slowly take off. I believe the motor mounts are flexing too much, and making the front joint of the rear propeller shaft bend too much and cause the vibration. I was going to lower the front cradle and engine an inch, but maybe I don't need to. I need to diagnose more.

For the passenger axle shaft, I mentioned in another thread about basically converting the front to AWD by adding the transfer case and using that CV axle, but then you might as well go all the way and convert to AWD. The Pacifica wagons use a passenger shaft setup on the front wheel drive much like the AWD vans, but without the transfer case. It uses a long straight shaft with a block/bearing support that bolts onto the rear of the block right where PTU (transfer case) bolts to. They also used the 41TE transmission in some of them, so that front passenger shaft might fit! The shorter part of that shaft might not be the correct length though, so not sure if it would work. The front hub splines are the same as the vans, but the Pacifica CV stub doesn't have the ABS sensor tone ring on it (it was built into the front Pacifica hubs). If the shaft is the correct length, the stub shaft may be able to be swapped to the van one to keep the ABS working.

If you are considering converting to AWD later and want to run the big tires now, the 41AE from a Pacifica 3.5 V6 AWD will be geared perfectly for the tire size and have the correct differential inside to bolt the van PTU and adapter onto. If staying FWD then the 41TE from a Pacifica (along with that passenger front CV shaft) may be just what you need. The Pacifica used 235/65R17 tires, which happen to match the 235/75R15 tires I'm running (using Pacifica sized tires on our 2011 Toyota Sienna). This is why the gearing for those transmissions is perfect for the size tires I'm running. The transfer gears from the Pacifica 41TE are the same as the 4 cylinder van/Stratus transfer gears, so much easier to find.

I'm digging the exhaust cutout! I've thought of rigging one up using an old throttle body before, just never got around to it yet. I have a new Thrush turbo muffler and bigger tailpipe to put on my van first though.
Yes it was your van I think. I figure if I stick with 16" wheels with just a bit wider offset I might be ok. There are alot of vehicles with that pattern. I'm hoping there's still a Pacifica at our local wrecker that I can rob parts from. There's not too many of them around this area. My van has stow and go so i doubt any awd setup is possible because the frame rails are wider if I'm not mistaken. I dont plan on any serious offroad excursions with it so fwd is ok. I thought of a full on build with ls v8 and solid axles but I dont feel that ambitious right now. Wife wouldn't approve either.
 
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