When this truck was built in Kansas City, MO in June of 1987, Ford had recently made several design changes. One of which was the replacement of the 1345 transfer case with the much stronger and heavier duty Borg-Warner model 1356. Not wanting to waste inventory on hand, several '87 model year trucks ended up with the 1345. This one being among the them. We decided to upgrade to the better unit and in doing so, also decided to switch to the electronic shift model in order to eliminate the selector lever in the cab. This will allowed us much greater flexibility in the configuration of our center console and electronics later in the buildup.
We were extremely fortunate to have a master transmission mechanic in the metro area. We contacted James Schiele & Sons in Afton, MO and explained what we were looking for. Jim Schiele was tremendously knowledgeable and helpful in our quest. Not only did he have what we sought, the unit was nearly new with little to no miles on it.
Because this truck uses a cable driven speedometer cable, a dimple had to be cut for the small 'ball bearing' that holds the speedometer gear in place. Therefore the last step before the tail housing was installed was to carve the dimple in the output shaft using a carbide bit on the end of a dremel tool. It took about an hour and a small bottle of Marvel mystery oil but we were able to get it cut out.
The last hurdle was to find the wiring and the electronics for this transfer case. Fortuneately for us, there was one Bronco out at Miller Auto Salvage in Owensville that still had what we needed. In fact, Mike told us that usually they just cut the wiring when the transfer case and transmission are removed. On this Bronco the wiring harness was still in place and we were able to get it removed without any damage. We still needed the control box. We could buy one from Ford or even on-line, but again, we got lucky and found another Bronco that still had the control box (just no wiring). So between the two, we got what we need to make the transfer case work.
Now as much as we've bemoaned the lack of parts from Ford for our truck, we were very excited to find that the wiring in this truck was configured from the factory with all of the available options. So we were very fortuneate to find the harness plug up under the dash behind the heater controls that was designed for the 4x4 electric shift switches. Instead of having to kit-bash our own harness, the entire installation was completely plug-n-play. It was a very refreshing change of events.