Np203 Vs. Np205

Are you undecided between Np203 Vs. Np205? The NP203 transfer case is a 4-wheel drive and full-time vehicle unless modified to part-time. It is chain driven and slightly longer than the NP205 transfer case, even though the front output of both cases are similar due to their differences. However, the 205 model is gear-driven and more potent than its 203 counterparts.

When deciding which transfer case may be best for your specific vehicle requirements, consider what each offers regarding power efficiency, size, and length. The NP203 model will provide you with more power but could take up more space due to its height, whereas the smaller-sized 205 model could meet all your needs yet offer less energy overall. Read on for further information regarding the standard features between these two models before deciding which one works best for you.

NP203 Vs. NP205: Detailed Comparison

Specifications NP203  NP205
Manufacturer: New Process Gear New Process Gear
Drive Type: Full-time, manual shift, chain-driven, Part-time, manual shift, helical gearbox
Weight: 160 to 170 lbs, dry 130 to 140 lbs, dry
Applications: 1974 – 1979 = Ford pickups1974 – 1979 = Dodge pickups1973 – 1979 = Chevrolet/GMC pickups 1969 – 1993 = Dodge pickups (plus 1989-93 Cummins)1972 – 1979 = Ford pickup1969 – 1980 = Chevrolet/GMC pickups
Gear Ratios: High Range: 1.00: 1 (all-wheel drive)Low Range: 2.00: 1 High Range: 1.00: 1 (all-wheel drive)Low Range: 1.96: 1
Case: Cast iron & sectional Cast iron & 1 piece
Fluid Type: 10w -30w motor oil 80w – 90w gear oil
Identification: Identification tag on the front of the case, above the output shaft for 4WD Identification tag on the front of the case, above the output shaft for 4WD

NP203: What Are They?

NP203 What Are They
NP203 What Are They

NP203 chain-drive transfer cases were popularly employed in Ford/Dodge pickups from 1974 to 1979 and Chevy/GMC pickups from 1973 to 1979. One of its primary drawbacks is the full-time nature of the case, wherein torque is similarly distributed between rear and front wheels, mimicking the behavior of a hollow axle differential by dividing power among right and left tires.

NP205: What Are They?

NP205 What Are They
NP205 What Are They

NP205 transfer cases are highly sought after for their durability and dependability. The case body is cast in one piece, providing a sturdy foundation for the helical gears. It was used by Dodge, Ford, and General Motors to equip various pickup models from 1969 until 1993 with certain variations due to mounting options that varied between automakers.

NP203 Vs. NP205: Features

NP203 Vs. NP205 transfer cases are widely used in the automotive industry. Both options offer four separate sections, attached with bolts. The range box, chaincase that contains the front drive shaft to the chain drive, and differential & output housings make up the units of both models, respectively.

Generally, cast iron is used for their front and back sections, whereas aluminum is preferred for their back two areas. Regarding measurements, the approximately 22-23″ distance between the case front and center of the rear output tube distinguishes NP203 from its counterpart, which measures 12-13 inches long when measured from the case front to the yoke output.

Additionally, each model carries its mechanism; a shifter operates 2 levers via one shaft in 203’s range box section, while the lever operates a crossbar slid along 2 shift rails entered from the case’s front for 205's model type. Lastly, a small cover on the idler shaft attached with 3 little bolts at 205’s back adds an extra feature not found in most transfer cases.

NP203 Vs. NP205: Performance

Modifying a transfer case to run part-time can be beneficial regarding reliability and drag reduction. It can also improve fuel efficiency, as the chain stretching often associated with prolonged use poses no significant risk—the Np203 Vs. Np205 doubler kit is frequently used by off-roaders who want to alter their gearing dramatically, while GM and Dodge featured married transfer cases for their transmission systems from 1972 - 1977. Ford instead sold divorced units during this period.

The NP205 has become increasingly successful and widespread, leading to relatively inexpensive and easily obtainable rebuild kits. Due to its gear design, it tends to outperform the chain-driven NP203, which was commonly used for automatic transmissions during this era (with some exceptions). Off-roaders tend to prefer the performance of the NP205 despite its high low gearing ratio; however, newer versions have improved on this issue, making it even more desirable among enthusiasts.

NP203 Vs. NP205: Availability

The NP203 Transfer Case is a popular choice for 4x4 vehicles, as it can shift from front to rear in several ways. It offers drivers the option of Low, Low-Loc, Neutral, High, and Hi-Loc positions with equal power distribution over both axles when in the Low/Hi “Loc” settings. In other configurations, such as Low/High places, drive power can be distributed independently according to driving conditions.

Compared with other transfer cases available today, NP203 stands out due to its versatility and ease of use. Drivers have a more excellent range of options for shifting between different axle configurations while also being able to adjust their drive power accordingly. Furthermore, this transfer case is compatible with 32-spline input and output shafts sold by Ford in both married and divorced versions - a handy feature not offered by all transfer cases.

NP203 Vs. NP205: Which Should You Pick?

There are a few points for those wondering which option is better between NP203 and NP205. The 203 features full-time 4WD chain-driven cases with part-time conversion kits available. It is considered less durable than the 205 but has equal load capacity, making it an option worth considering. It also requires regular shifting to 4WD to bring oil to the surface when a timing kit has been installed. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, as both options have pros and cons.

Final Words

You are making a wise decision between NP203 Vs. NP205 requires understanding their significant differences:

  • The NP 203 is an aluminum chain-driven full-time transfer case, though it does not offer the same durability as the NP 205.
  • The NP 205 is a cast iron gear-driven part-time transfer case that can be twin splined with minimal effort and has proven to be one of the most substantial light-duty transfer cases ever created.
  • This powerful T-case boasts a four-wheel drive capability for added performance and stability on off-road terrain or in inclement weather conditions.
  • Compared to the reliable but less durable NP 203, the NP 205 offers superior performance and strength that many offroading enthusiasts prefer for their vehicles' 4WD systems.

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