A You have a serious quandary. I understand you want to go four-wheeling, but you have a two-wheel-drive truck and little to no money for modification. I think from your letter that you want to put in a divorced-mounted transfer just to get a low-range two-wheel-drive, but if you are also planning to make the truck four-wheel drive, then I must tell you the costs will increase quickly. You currently have one driveshaft from your transmission to your rear axle and you will need two shorter driveshafts if you use the divorced mounted case, plus another driveshaft to the front axle. The front drive axle that you currently do not have and that will cost money to buy and then install. Also the Toyota cases are not divorced-mounted and only a few NP205s are, but those 205s are not that low-geared and also very heavy. My advice, because of your budget, is to save up your money, drive the truck as far as you can with two-wheel drive (bring a tow strap and a buddy with another truck), and then buy a truck with four-wheel drive when you get some money. Changing a truck from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive is rarely ever cheaper than buying the same truck with a factory four-wheel-drive system.
Q I'm going to be building my own little buggy and I love your magazine as a reference. I read the article by Fred Williams regarding the construction of a buggy frame using tubing, but he referenced plastic or wood as an option (although not suitable for his project). Can you actually use plastic or wood as a frame on a lightweight buggy?
A Um?! I'm not really sure where you got the idea about using plastic or wood for a chassis from my stories on the Fun Buggy, but you could use plastic or wood to lay out a chassis design that you then build from steel tubing. I have seen a buggy built as a marketing vehicle for Eaton/Detroit Locker that has an aluminum chassis and it is pretty slick. I would imagine that with the advances in plastic technology and carbon fiber you could build a buggy if you had an enormous budget, though I'm not sure either would survive serious rock rash the way steel will, but I'd gladly be proven wrong to see them built. As for wood, I'll tell you what, build a safe reliable wooden rock buggy and I'll send you a license plate.
Q I am having trouble with my 350 transmission. It keeps shooting fluid out of the dipstick. I pressure-washed the tranny and can't find the vent tube ( I thought maybe it was plugged). Am I going in the right direction here with the problem and can you help me locate it?
A If you are going mud bogging, then you very well could have plugged the vent, which is located on the upper driver side of the transmission just as the bellhousing slopes down to the body of the transmission. However you need to suck out whatever is clogging the transmission vent. Don't push it in. Also if you have enough mud in the vent to clog it shut, it might be time to drop the pan and check for dirt and grit.
Q I have a '72 Chevy 3/4-ton 4x4 with a manual transmission. The problem I am having is I recently rebuilt the 350, and added the Victor Jr. 64cc chambered 23-degree heads, which have an angled spark plug and I am using the ACCEL shorty plugs. Can you help me in finding some headers to fit this application? So far I have tried many styles but the constant problem on all of these is clearing the fifth-cylinder spark plug.
A I took your question to Edelbrock and got the following answer:"The Doug Thorley Tri-Ys cleared our angle spark-plug heads, or try the new Edelbrock block hugger (PN 65743)."