A stock Suzuki Samurai has one transfer case shift lever. The transfer case is first shifted from 2 wheel drive high to 4 wheel drive high. From 4 wheel drive high, the transfer case can be shifted into neutral, followed by 4 wheel drive low.
I modified my transfer case to accept a twin stick shifter.
There are two shift rails inside the transfer case. One rail shifts the case from high, to neutral, to low range. The other rail engages the front output shaft. There is a detent ball between the two rails that prevents the range lever from moving until the front output shaft rail is shifted to 4 wheel drive. The first step of this project was to take apart the transfer case and remove the center detent ball. This allows the rails to be shifted independently.
I purchased a twin stick kit from Rock 4x Fabrication.
The shift levers in the kit are straight and must be bent to shape. Using an oxy-acetylene torch, I heated a lever red-hot where bends were needed. I bent the first lever so that it was shaped like the stock shift lever. Using washers, I shimmed the lever into position. This allowed me to slip the shifter into the transfer case and test the operation. I bent the left lever first because it has more throw than the right. I checked that it could move the shift fork through the full range and that it did not interfere with the body of the truck.
When satisfied with the shape of the left lever, I placed both in a vise.
I bent the right lever to match the left.
I installed both levers and tested their operation. I also checked clearance with the body and the input and output shafts.
The levers are painted and ready for installation.
The transfer case input flange must be removed to install the shifter retainer and rubber boot assembly. It is best to remove the transfer case to complete this step.
To reduce road and wind noise, I made a thick rubber seal for the shift levers. I cut slits to allow the levers to move, but punched holes for a better seal. The holes are punched at the most commonly used position, 2 wheel drive high range.
This picture shows the levers shifted to the 4 wheel drive high range position.
A hand stitched leather shift boot completes the project.
What does this project achieve?
The right lever controls a quick shift between 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive.
The left lever controls the shift from high range, to neutral, to low range. If the right lever is left in 2 wheel drive, and the left lever is shifted to neutral, a “true neutral” is achieved. This is great for flat towing the Samurai. The left lever can also be shifted to low range, providing a 2 wheel drive low.