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 Getting that Gearing 
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Post Getting that Gearing
So my big takeway from the Rubicon (besides how awesome it was to finally drive it) was that I need some deeper gearing. Uphill wasn't horrible (thanks 460 torque), but downhill was pretty obvious. I was foot on the brakes trying to keep the motor running while bound up on Big Sluice, and being with two rigs with deeper T-case gearing I was seeing the better way. Also with this axle gearing and BW1356 gearing going into a bronco without the big block torque I know its gonna need it.

So the purpose of this thread is to list out options, get some opinions, and maybe learn about new options I didn't think of. SOOO here are some options I've been looking at.

1. NP203/205 Doubler (around $1,000)
Pro's
. I've got a 203, and a 205.
. Proven design especially in fullsize
. Can handle power, and lots of abuse
. Multiple gearing options
. Front or rear drive independant (front wheel digs like cool pro guys)
Con's
. HEAVY and long
. Not as deep of gearing as other options
. did I mention heavy, and long.

2. North West Fab's Black Box/ NP205 ($1450 for standard, 1745 for "elite")
Pro's
. Complete range box unit
. 2.72:1 low range
. aluminum, so lighter then 203/205
. Can handle v8 power
. Multiple gearing options
. can triple stick (mo sticks mo betta)
. Elite's intermediate shaft does not neck down
. 5.35" for elite
Con's
. Still long (though the elite is almost 3 inches shorter then standard)
. Still has weight of NP205
. Still need to figure out shifters

3. ORD's Magnum box/ NP205 ($1990 plus shipping)
. Complete range box unit
. 2.72:1 low range
. Overall length 6.25"
. ORD has been in the fullsize game for a while and makes great products
. Strong intermediate shaft that does not neck down
. Can triple stick
. multiple gearing options
Con's
. Costs more then black box elite
. Weight of NP205
. Longer then NWF elite black box (by a little)

4. 2 speed ATLAS ($2700-3000)
Pro's
. shortest set up
. 5:1 low range
. lightest set up
. synchronized for smoooooooth shifting
. Order exactly what I want
Con's
. COST
. only two speeds
. no front end digs (how could I ever go pro)
. non triple stick (less sticks, less betta)

So those are the four I've looked into. I was going to do the Bohemouth box set up with BW1356 internals, but they went out of business. NWF offers an Ecobox but they dont take 1356 internals. I called NWF and with the cost of the input shaft and using NP431 internals and its almost the cost of the black box. Plus behind a v-8 he recommended the black box or elite.

Rich took me for a ride in the bronco and the atlas was great. The gearing was on point, it shifted in an out of gear smooth, and was a clean install underneath. I have no doubts it's money well spent. With everything I want to do with the bronco I'm thinking one of the less expensive options may be a better choice. I have the wheelbase for a rangebox/205, and the saved money can be used for coilovers and suspension goodies. I think the 203/205 is out. Less gearing and more weight isnt worth the 700 or so id be saving. Plus I can sell the 203 I have to help with the cost of the new box.

SOO, after all that. Opinions? I'm leaning toward the NWF elite box since it seems like the best balance of strength, cost, and operability. But, I really like what ORD has been doing in the fullsize market, so I wouldn't mind buying from that company too.

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September 5th, 2017, 2:36 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
What transmission are you running? I've got a 5:1 2 speed Atlas coupled to an AX-15 manual tranny in my junk and I'm VERY happy with it. My only complaint is the gearing is too low for sand and snow, where sometimes you want and need more wheel speed. You're right, install is pretty straightforward. I had to order new driveshafts but that was pretty much it. The other option is a 4 speed Atlas. You can get ridiculously low gearing (up to 11:1) and still have an intermediate low range for the less technical stuff. For me, it wasn't worth it since 90 percent of my wheeling is on the rocks. And the two speed Atlas will do front digs.


September 5th, 2017, 3:16 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
Ford zf5 manual. I didn't factor in the 4sp atlas since I really do sand or snow once a year.

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September 5th, 2017, 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
The 5:1 with the ZF5 will be awesome. Plus, the Atlas doesn't have that chain slop you feel when letting off the gas. It's a smooth transition between power and coast. Personally, I feel the simplest option is the Atlas. It was just under $2700 shipped to my door, plus the cost of new driveshafts. Came in about two weeks after ordering it.


September 5th, 2017, 5:01 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
If you decide to not go atlas due to cost (only reason really), I'd just keep an eye out for something used. Either go cheap or go big... don't go middle.

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September 5th, 2017, 10:18 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
What ring and pinion ratio are you running again?

I think you should get what ever affords you and your family increased ease of getting off-road. I've driven my bronco on the con almost every year since our first trip. Having a reliable rig that I know and is easy to drive has given me that privilege. Don't fixate on wheight, Dave and Big Ed both will always wheight more than our broncos and they wheel just fine.

What's easiest for you?

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September 6th, 2017, 11:49 am
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
You're thinking about this in all the right ways.

My opinions:

You absolutely want front/rear independent ability. As Lou said the Atlas can do front / rear independent. It's not a triple stick since there is no second gear ratio (range box in the 203-205 case). So its one lever for rear output LNH and front output LNH. Yes front digs sound sexy, and I've done it and it helped, but more practical is low range rear, I did over half the con in RWD, makes it way easier to steer so takes some stress off the steering system and takes stress off the front driveline. Though not available anymore, I think this is a good reason to not want a range box into a BW13xx.

Write off 203-205. Redundancy of gearing is stupid, the point of 2 t-case gears should be to offer 3 different drive ratios! The low low, isn't that low. And, as you said, I think more than once, it's friggin heavy. Learn from my mistakes and ignore Justin ( :goodfinger: ), weight matters.

By the time you're all in on a range box and a rebuilt 205 (don't forget $100 on shift rails to twin stick the right way)... Just drop the coin on the Atlas. I'm seriously considering it and I'm already passed ballz deep on the 203-205.

As others have said, you forget the 2 speed Atlas in your options :jewish:

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September 6th, 2017, 10:33 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
Almost forgot to say, you should be thinking about which is easiest to swap from your bronco into your JK in the future! :P

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September 7th, 2017, 10:17 am
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
To answer Justin, the Atlas is the easiest on all counts except money. It would also transfer to the jk easiest. Haha.

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September 7th, 2017, 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
that is true. The atlas is modular in that you can turn a driver side drop into a passenger side drop without buying anything.

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September 7th, 2017, 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
Feels like the conversation is over. Atlas :mrgreen:

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September 8th, 2017, 1:00 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
You forget the biggest argument for atlas.... it comes assembled! Save you 20 hours of shitty assembly bulshit

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September 8th, 2017, 8:29 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
Oh! We forgot one other strike against the 205's! They leak! Always!

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September 8th, 2017, 9:30 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
Dan90FSB wrote:
Feels like the conversation is over. Atlas :mrgreen:


:stupid:


September 10th, 2017, 8:42 pm
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Post Re: Getting that Gearing
This topic has affirmed my want... for a 203/205! :goodfinger: J/K I'm keeping the bw1356 for ever! Or Dana 18 with low max gears, yum!

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September 11th, 2017, 9:58 am
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