Do you like “Bling” for your ModernJeeper Adventure vehicle? Some bling is just better than others, and this one will help your vehicle be super cool at the same time, even if it is hiding up in the belly of your rig.
Probably one of the best things we ever installed on the drive train of our Jeep, was our Atlas Transfer Case from Advance Adapters(http://www.advanceadapters.com/) . We broke our stock transfer case when the rear drive shaft broke the u-joint at 65 mph and cracked the stock case. We thought of trying to fix it and install a Tera-Low at that time, but end of the day, you still end up with a weak case.
We called Advance Adapters and got the order in with Vince. Vince asked about tire size, the transmission and future plans for the Jeep to help us pick the final ratio in the Atlas that would be installed in our Jeep. We ended up with a 4:1 ratio and this works well with the gear ratio in the transmission and axles for the crawling that we do. It took about 3 weeks for them to built it for our TJ. Being we lived in California, and were only about 70 miles away, we took a road trip to pick it up from their facility in Paso Robles.
We got a tour of the facility and met the folks who built it. Their quality control is top notch because they do most to all of the work in their building. Great group of people building great products for the off-road industry. If you need just about any type of adapter for transmission to engine, they have it, and usually in stock.
When you first see an Atlas outside of the box, it is all shiny and just looks like a beast that will soon be installed in your rig. Since I had picked this up right from Advance Adapters, I am not able to comment on the packaging when they ship one to you. Overall, my first impression of this Atlas was impressive piece of machinery that would soon be installed in my Jeep. Overall impression of the Atlas is above “Outstanding” and use of this in the Jeep has been the same.
We had already pulled out old transfer case and shifter mechanism prior to getting our Atlas home. We read the instructions, filled it with oil, pre-mounted the shifters to get them lined up. Then called a friend to help us install this heavy beast.
This is where I struggled though, as the instructions were not the best on how to install the shifters prior to final installation. They have you do this to get them adjusted prior to the Atlas installed in your rig so you are not trying to install and uninstall the “C-clips” on the shift rails and such. This is why I called a friend who has installed a few of these in friends Jeeps, and this made the process pretty smooth at this point. The instructions are pretty straight forward at this point, including the cutting and grinding on your stock transmission mounting plate.
We tried to get this mounted as flat as possible in the tunnel so we would not loose any ground clearance from having our T&T Customs flat belly pan on the Jeep. End of the day, we did have to clock it down just a bit to clear the tunnel though. The flat belly pan is still tucked up where it needed to be to keep the belly of the Jeep from hanging up on anything.
We installed the 6 studs that mount through the transmission flange and applied lock-tite to everything to keep it all tight. We installed the shifters and made sure they were all properly adjusted. It would be nice if they included extra little “C-Clips” with the kits. We did not loose any of our, but I have bought extra though just in case one ever comes off on the trail. They are in my trail bag of tools.
With the breather tube, and all the connections made, we reconnected drive shafts. We did have to make modifications to our driveshafts because of the size difference on the Atlas compared to our old stock transfer case. We had to have the front drive shaft shortened, and the rear needed to be lengthened. We used a local drive-line shop for this work that has a short turn around time on things like this.
We did have to extend the wires for the 4-Wheel-Drive light to work though, as that was the only connector wiring that was not long enough. I always have spare wire and environmental splices to ensure a water free connection.
We did a little break in trip and after about 500 miles, I changed the oil in the case.
The low range on this thing is nice and keeps the Jeep slowed down. I do like the ability to use rear wheel drive 2-low now. We have the Currie F-9 with a Detroit locker and we can go many places in just rear wheel drive low.
We have tried the front digs also with just the front end engaged in 2-low, and that is cool to show off to your non-atlas friends.
Why did I wait?
This is one of those things that once you install it, you are left wondering why you did not do this sooner.
I think the only complaint I have with this transfer case, is that once we are off the trail of hard crawling, it is hard to get out of 4-low. It usually takes a few tries to get it to free up and shift out. I think this is because we do not have that many miles on it yet. Once it gets a few more hundred trail miles on it, this will get better. The overall performance and the decision to install this in the Jeep is not something we look back on. Just wish we had done it sooner.
In final recap, an Atlas is a large investment in aftermarket part for our rig. This is one that I would highly recommend for anyone to do if they are looking to take their Jeep to the next level. While the installation instructions I felt could use a little bit of work, if you have a friend that has installed an Atlas previously, it makes the process very smooth. Because of the installation instructions needing a little work, I would have to give this Atlas a 4.5 Jeep Wave. If you choose to install an Atlas, you will not be disappointed with its operation in your Jeep.
Advance Adapters has a long standing company reputation for quality, backed by a lot of customer reviews and racing history. If you would like to throw some bling into your drive line components, get a hold of an Atlas!
I give this a nearly perfect score of 4.5 Jeeps.