Originally Posted by HeyYou
Well, now that winter is here... I find myself wishing my truck had the 242 case in it, JUST for the Full-time 4wd aspect. Woulda come in real handy last few days......
So, it's been a few months, we have gotten some snow, and I am curious how you are liking this particular swap on your truck?
You're totally right, the weather was the perfect testing period for the swap and I have taken full advantage. My Durango is my daily driver, but I have made a point to drive the truck around.
Let me start by saying, that I made another change, which has also affected the way the truck drives and handles, both on dry and inclement surfaces.
I swapped my 16" alloy wheels for some 20" chrome wheels from a 2008 Ram. I actually bought them this last summer and stuck them in the back of the garage until I could afford 20" tires. As luck would have it, I found a full set of near new 2007 Ram factory tires that someone had replaced and put in the shed as backups. They never needed them, so they sold them cheap. I have $300 in the rims and $150 in the tires, plus $80 for mount, balance, and stems.
Aside from the look of the truck changing completely for the better, the handling was so much better is was immediately noticeable. Smoother. Crisper. Softer. It revealed a few weaknesses, like the track bar and ball joints, but nothing that wouldn't pass inspection and things I will only change because I am OCD. Yes, I have a new rear bumper to replace the smashed one on the truck...from when a drunk / high driver rear ended me one night when my truck was on the street.
With the new wheels and tires, the truck drives great in the snow. The factory Goodyear tires are not quite as aggressive as what I will put on when I can afford new ones, but even the difference in tread and width compared to the old wheels and tires is enough to make a difference in snow.
As for the transfer case, it was EXACTLY what I was missing. Last winter, I could see the differences between my Durango's full time 4x4 and the Ram's system. The drawbacks are huge if you know the how both feel and it reinforced everything I believed before I set out to perform the swap.
The only detail I haven't solved yet is the dash lights to indicate the system is engaged. Maybe this summer I will have some time to get it set up so that any selection in the new range turns the dash light on. as of right now, no lights at all, and I simply just remember that it's in 4x4 or look down at the shifter.
I guess what I love most is than when it is in the full time selection, I can't tell except that it grips and pulls effortlessly in the snow, and there is no indication it's in 4x4 on dry except when making sharp turns with no acceleration. Having the front diff locked at all times has not affected the dry driving at all. Can't tell.
There really is no other way of saying that it was a great idea, good execution, and near perfect result. Granted, it was not an easy swap, and there are things that might need to be thought out better like the opening for the shifter and a bracket to move the shifter up. I improvised because I didn't want the swap to drag out for weeks...and it worked, but being OCD I have thought of different ways to accomplish the quick fixes I did at the time.
All this being said, my Durango is still better in the snow than my Ram...but, now that I have made these changes to the Ram, I will never hesitate to use it.