When DuramaxDiesels.com forum member Wicked Mayhem decided he wanted a 4WD instead of his 2WD 2006 GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel CrewCab Short Bed, he went forward with a 4WD conversion instead of selling his current ride and buying a 4×4.
Why? Mayhem decided that it would cost him a lot more to find a 4WD version of what he had and loved, with the same mileage, and in the same condition. Mayhem is pretty handy with a wrench and realized that he could do the swap. This would leave more cash in his pocket making the conversion an obvious winner.
This was the first time Mayhem had attempted to do a conversion and wasn’t exactly what was needed and what obstacles he was going to face. So, he turned to a lot on the forums, and talked to some of the shops in his area. Once he had a firm idea of exactly what he was getting into Mayhem launched into the job.
To make this conversion as easy as possible, Mayhem purchased the front frame and suspension off of a salvage 4WD truck. This would give him all of the components and something to reference as he made the conversion. Early in the conversion, Mayhem noticed that he was going to run into an issue with the passenger’s side differential mount/bushings. It turned out that rear mounting hole was in the 2WD frame, but he had to add a front bushing sleeve.
He hole-sawed that hole out and welded in a sleeve for the bushing. To ensure that everything lined up properly, Mayhem made a jig up off of the salvage frame he bought. Then he transferred it to his frame for location of that hole. The bushings came from a frame clip he bought. To avoid have to do the same thing on the driver’s side, he opted to installed a Cognito lift kit. The 4- to 6-inch Cognito lift kit relocates the differential mount so Mayhem didn’t have to fabricate anything.
He used the 263XHD transfer case, because it’s the push-button version and so it requires no computer re-flash. Wicked Mayhem said that if you run the 261XHD, you will have to have your computer re-flashed. The other benefit he found with using the 263XHD was that he didn’t have to cut holes in his floor, or worry about modifying the center console.
There are many other parts he had to buy and modifications made to convert the 2WD frame to accept the 4×4 conversion. However, the good news is that it was a successful conversion, and Wicked Mayhem is very happy with his new 4×4 2006 GMC Sierra Duramax CrewCab Short Bed.
If this is something that really interests you and you are thinking about possibly converting you 2WD into a 4WD, then check out the thread created by Wicked Mayhem on the DuramaxDiesel.com forum. He has a list of parts he used, as well as a lot more detailed conversion photos. He is also happy to answer any questions about his very cool project. Good luck with your build!