There are some common misconceptions about the way the shifters on a NP205 work. The biggest is that there is a "4wd lever" and a "hi-lo" lever. This is false. The 205 has one shift rail that controls the front output shaft and one that controls the rear output shaft. With ORD shifters, you have 3 positions on each shifter stick as illustrated above.
Another common misconception is that twin sticking the NP205 will give you front wheel drive only capability, this is also false. To get front wheel drive in the NP205, you also have to modify the shift rails internally, this is a modification that we do here at ORD.
The NP205 in stock, unmodified condition will allow you to run in:
- Rear wheel drive HI
- Rear wheel drive LO
- Four wheel drive HI
- Four wheel drive LO
To run in rear wheel HI, you'll place the rear output lever in the HI position and the front output lever in the "N" position.
For rear wheel LO, put the rear shifter in LO and the front in N.
For four wheel drive HI or LO, simply place both levers in either HI or LO.
Since the stock NP205 blocks you out of front wheel drive, there is a specific sequence you must use when shifting into and out of 4wd. If you are in 4wd, you must shift the front output lever to "N" before you can move the rear output lever. This will prevent you from trying to leave the 205 in front wheel drive, which is blocked out internally. If you are in "N" and wish to shift to 4wd, you must shift the rear output into either HI or LO, then follow with the front output shifter. Basically the front output is the last to go in gear and the first to come out of gear.
You should also be aware that the 205 does have some shift on the fly capability. If your front hubs are engaged, you can shift into 4wd while moving as long as the front tires and rear tires are rolling at the same speed. Trying to shift the 205 into 4wd while the rear tires are spinning faster than the fronts will result in grinding gears.