<font face="Comic Sans MS"> Just like the title said, I'm currently working on designing a (very inexpensive) mechanical system to engage the front differential so we can do away with those extra vacuum lines (and vacuum actuator), which seem to be the cause of dismay for many with these trucks. Sure JC Whitney currently makes one of these, but for $100-$160 I'm thinking it's not worth it.
So far it looks like "The Sandman upgrade" as I'll be calling it should be able to be assembled yourself for (likely) 75% less than the cost of the pre-made product.
I'll make specific information known as it becomes available, for those of you who would want to do one of those setups yourself, but without the (relatively large) expense of a ready-produced item. That would include a parts list and likely some pictures. It may be a while.
Another plus side to eliminating the vacuum actuator/system would be the ability to use 2wd low range. This will be helpful for me since I sometimes have to maneuver a trailer and 4wd on pavement don't get along well, but the extra slowness and control of low range would be a bonus.
But anyhow, I'll make sure and either do an article about it, or post the relevant info here. (Incidentally if someone gets any ideas of trying to make one of these before me, I'm still calling it "The Sandman upgrade" [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif[/img])</font>
ORC Land Use columnist:
My November article on ORC