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This how-to is going to address the process involved in taking a 2006 Silverado SS with Rear Wheel Drive and convert it to All Wheel Drive. I know, I can already hear you all asking me why anyone would ever do that. Well, everyone with an AWD wants a RWD and vice versa. The good news is that this write-up will actually explain how to go either direction. It’s a very similar process, albeit a little easier to go RWD. Whatever your reason, whether you want the all-weather drivability of AWD or the tire melting burnouts of RWD, you've come to the right place. Before I get started, let me first address the elephant. This is a complex process. It will not be a simple bolt on application. Anything done to your vehicle is at YOUR OWN RISK. That being said, unless you have significant automotive experience, money, time, and patience then don't even bother attempting this. I am simply going to show you how I did this to my truck. I did this to a 2006 SS. Your year/model may have differences. I don't have a 2005 so I can’t vouch that the frame will be the exact same as the 2006. You will be cutting your frame. You will be welding things to your frame. You will be rebuilding drivetrain components. If you can’t do these things comfortably, or the person you are having do this can’t, then you have no business attempting this. Now if you are feeling brave, or just have nothing better to do, then read on…then re-read it…a few times. Make some lists. Get under your truck and make some measurements. Now let’s get started. Ok, so first off a little background. I love my truck. It’s my daily driver. I tow, haul, travel, and everything else except take it offroad…because if it ever touches mud or snow, I’m all over the place or stuck. So when I slid off the road twice during a blizzard (at 25mph, going straight no less, with snow tires) I decided it was time. After a lot of research online and finding essentially nothing but people talking about how they think they would do it, I decided the best thing to do was just get a salvage SS and figure it out. I found a 2004 SS locally at an insurance auction and bought it. I then spent the next couple months tearing it apart piece by piece to retrieve the parts I needed, then ordering a whole lot more. If you are going RWD to AWD this is about your only option….unless by some fluke your truck came with the proper mounts (you’ll see later). Remember, if you get a salvage, make sure it starts and drives. Large impacts can do serious unseen damage to the drivetrain, even if it wasn’t touched. So you got your donor truck. You are going to need to strip it down to the frame. I recommend you do what I did and sell what you don’t use to recoup some of the cost of buying it. There are plenty of people who want/need parts, especially the cladding. Here is what you need: NV-149 Transfer Case Transfer Case Adapter AWD Transmission (or just an AWD output shaft) Front IFS (8.25”) Front IFS Mount Front Constant Velocity Axles Intermediate Driveshaft Front Hub Bearings Engine Support (2-pieces) Transmission Support Transmission Mount Frame Mounts (cut out the whole frame sections) Primary Driveshaft (see below) Some things that you need to do/consider: Rebuild the transfer case and front IFS. It doesn’t matter what the mileage is. These are probably halfway to junk. They may have even been rebuilt once already. Don’t trust that. Consider replacing or repacking the CV axles. Probably a little contaminated by now. I rebuilt mine just because I’ve never done it before. You can see below how contaminated they get. Its fairly easy to do, but getting the right dog ear clamps is a giant pain (online) and the clamping tool is not easy to find. New axles aren’t that expensive. Lesson learned. Consider replacing all of the universal joints. Consider the mileage they have on them. Consider buying new Hub bearings. None of this is mandatory, but why not. If you are about to put a new drivetrain on your truck you should probably build it to last. Primary driveshaft. You will need to either have the AWD shaft shortened or a custom shaft made. The reason for this is because of the Rear Axle. The 2003-2005 has an 8.6” 10 bolt piece of crap (a great reason to stick with the 06’). The 2006 has a 9.5” 14 bolt. The 9.5 is slightly longer (front to back) which will result in the old shaft being slightly too long. New Ring Gear: This is up to you how you do this, but the AWD has 4.10 gears while the RWD has 3.73. The front and rear axle must match. Either put a 4.10 in your rear or a 3.73 in the new front…or something else in both. Choose your own adventure. I went with the 4.10 in the rear because I was already rebuilding it and I wanted the low end for the extra weight I was about to add. The easiest way is to just change the front axle since you should already be rebuilding it (hint, hint). Transmission Exterior Seal Kit: This can be a slightly misleading name. It is going to contain some important seals and gaskets that you will need during the transmission rebuild; more on that later. Fluids: you will need the following Transmission: 11.2 quarts of Dexron VI – brand/synthetic or not is personal preference Front Axle (IFS): 1.5 quarts of 75w90 or 75w140 (severe service) Gear Oil. I (and many others) recommend the 75w140. These axles are a bit weak. Rear Axle (if necessary): 2.75 quarts of 75w90/75w140 gear oil. Same as front. Transfer Case: 2.22 quarts of either Dexron VI or AutoTrac II. This T-case is also a bit weak so don’t skimp. Some will swear by one while others swear by the other. Your choice. Coolant: 16.7 quarts Dex Cool GM 50/50 Freon: R-134a – enough to get 24-45 psi low side (dependant on temp/humidity). Or just have GM refill it. With the drivetrain fluids it isn’t necessary to go with synthetics, but with how crappy this AWD drivetrain is, you might want to go the extra mile. I went with Amsoil Synthetics and Autotrac II (ACdelco PN# 88900402). Now you know why everyone wants to convert to RWD. Also go ahead and double the gear oil and t-case amounts as you will need to do a break-in fluid change at 500 miles. Anaerobic Sealant: You will need this to rebuild your IFS and T-Case. Any brand will work. This stuff hardens in the absence of oxygen. DO NOT USE SILICON SEALANT! I will show you why later. Transmission Assembly Lube/Goo: there are multiple types and colors. You won’t need much. Tools: There are some specialty tools you will need as well. I will try and address them as I go. I also recommend the factory service manuals for torque specs and reference, but you can probably find a lot of the information on the internet if you look hard enough.
Before I start this I should point out that I am in fact not a Transmission specialist. I am a general tech who just happens to dabble in everything and try new things. That being said, if any actual Transmission Techs out there want to chime in with pointers, correct me, add stuff, whatever...please do so. I'm not a genius and i'm also writing this up months after i actually did it, so i may have missed something or typed it wrong. I'm not going to cry if you criticize me, I care more that the correct info is out there for the people who need it. The following how-to is a step by step process of how to change out your transmission Output Shaft. This is actually part of a massive retrofit I'm doing over HERE to swap AWD into my RWD SSS. In case you didn't know, the only major difference between an AWD and RWD transmission in your SSS is the output shaft. The RWD has a longer Output Shaft because it has a tail housing going directly to the driveshaft. The AWD has a short "stub" shaft that goes into the NV-149 Transfer Case adapter, then T-case, which connects to the driveshaft. Anyone who has tried to put high HP into their truck knows that these transmissions are actually utter crap and can't handle power. Quick bit of history. The silverado used to use the 4L60E, but due to increases in power, especially with the SS version, they revised it into the 4L65E. A few revised parts here and there, and boom a transmission that can still barely handle the power being put into it. Most everyone has had their transmission go out or had a friend's who's did. 70,000 miles here...intake, exhaust, daily driver. Don't get discouraged though, a good reputable builder can build you a 4L65E that can last. Anyway back on point, one of the many weak parts in this transmission is the AWD output shaft. So the long RWD shaft while put under stress actually flexes a bit to help alleviate said stress. The shorter AWD shaft though does not, so when said stress is exerted, say hundreds of pounds of torque suddenly applied, the shaft will just straight break. Luckily you can find shot-peened, cryo-treeted, electrical induction treated, billet, etc shafts all over the internet. Now if you decided to tackle an output shaft replacement/swap you'll find that the ouput shaft is actually close to the back of the transmission and 3/4 of the guts have to be removed to get to it. A real pain, but not all that hard. Much easier than a full transmission rebuild. If you have a manual and patience this can be done in a few hours. For my purposes though i have to replace the RWD long shaft with the short AWD shaft for my build.
Hello there fellow SS members, just wanted to get a quick opinion from everybody no reason just out of curiosity, if someone were to be selling you a real 2006 SSS Intimidator in immacualte condition and you checked the miles and the bluebook value to see what it was worth and in bluebook it came out to $19,500. The guy suppose wanted 21k but the truck came with the COA and original owners manual and everything and again it's in immaculate condition, what's your guys take on this?