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Advance Adapters Atlas II, Part II
By Chris Shontz

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Atlas II Install

Once the Atlas II was installed with the modified crossmember in place, we found that it fit nicely. The modification instructions appeared to be right on, as the dropped portion of transfer case seemed to have about two inches of clearance between the tunnel and the crossmember.

Keep in mind that cutting a gap in the crossmember adversely affects its structural integrity. I've found this compromise to be minimal, but you may want to reinforce this modification depending on how much time you spend on your belly.

Atlas II Install

With the actual Atlas II drivetrain modification complete, Steve could move on to installing the shift levers.

After a test fit, Steve lowered the transfer case back down to finalize the position of the adjustable shift levers. He then notched the threads on the links to prevent them from vibrating off while driving. He ground down the corners at the base of the levers to prevent them from from hitting the sheet metal when in certain positions.

Atlas II Install

He then painted exposed metal, greased up the linkage at the zerk fittings, and reinstalled the Atlas II, feeding the shift levers through the hole in the floor. The rest of the work could now be finished from inside the Jeep.

As is, the movement of the Atlas II shift levers was extremely limited, so he had to cut a relatively small section of metal away from the front of the hole in the floor. Without doing so, the Atlas II wouldn't engage in low range because the levers were obstructed.

Once the hole was large enough for the shift levers to move completely unobstructed with the center console installed, Steve cut a perfect oval out of a square piece of sheet metal. He placed the the sheetmetal over the enlarged hole, and riveted it to the floor. He then painted the sheet metal addition, and mounted the boot around the shift levers. Be sure to grease the boot and invert it before reinstalling the center console, and be sure the levers don't bind up on the boot before final assembly.

Even though I summed up the lever installation process in about a half-dozen sentences, don't be fooled! This is possibly the most difficult part of the installation, depending on your vehicle. It took Steve several frustrating attempts to get it "just right".

Atlas II Install
Enlarging the hole.
Atlas II Install
The enlarged hole.
Atlas II Install
The metal removed.
Atlas II Install
The sheetmetal plate.
Atlas II Install
Installed sheetmetal plate.
Atlas II Install
Final assembly.

Atlas II Install

With the 32 spline front output upgrade, our existing front driveshaft was too long, so we sent it out to get shortened exactly four inches. The front driveshaft does not need to be shortened quite as much with the normal 26 spline front output.

In retrospect, I had underestimated the amount of fabrication that was involved to install an Atlas II transfer case. This is going to be of little concern for most of you who are interested in a functional work-horse of a transfer case. Such a modification might be too involved for a casual four-wheeling enthusiast to justify, especially if vehicle resale is a concern, as it is more difficult to reverse than a bolt-on solution. Otherwise, the performance value of the product greatly outweighs the work involved to install it.

Atlas II Install

Overall, I am pleased with the installation. It took about twelve hours from start to finish at a healthy pace. If you aren't doing it yourself, expect the shop to have your vehicle for at least two days.

Immediately following the installation, we took the Jeep on a trip down the road in high range and in a stone parking lot in low range and the transfer case worked fine.

Next, we will be taking our Jeep Wrangler TJ out on the trail with this great new transfer case. You'll be able to read about it here in another article soon!


Advance Adapters
4320 Aerotech Center Way
Paso Robles, CA  93446
Phone: (805) 238-7000 or (800) 350-2223
OK Auto, 4wd & Tire
2621 State Route 57
Stewartsville, NJ 08886
Phone: (908) 454-6973


Chris Shontz Chris Shontz is a staff-writer for Rockcrawler.com. Located in Pennsylvania, Chris has made it his life's mission to prove to the world that real trailriding does exist on the East Coast.



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