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Converting from 2WD to 4WD

Does anyone know if it is possible to convert a 2wd model to 4wd?

With any other car I won't think so, but since the Element lacks any manual controls for the 4wd and since the 2wd and 4wd models are so close otherwise, maybe its possible.

Also, what would be the cost? I checked out the price of the major components and it seems that in parts it would run at least about $2000.

BTW - I already have a 4wd - I have just seen a few posts about people who wish that they had got the 4wd instead.
 

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Don't even think about it. As the previous poster suggested, it would be far, far cheaper to sell your 2WD and buy a 4WD.
 

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Based on that this is a lot more than just bolting on a few parts. There are probably wiring changes, structural changes and others that would have to be done, and are probably beyond the capability of a backyard mechanic. Yes, it can be done. But how much is your time worth?
 

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I suppose it may be possible but why even consider doing it? I would trade for a 4WD E if your really serious. Think of the headaches trying to install it.
 

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Hi

You can start with a bare frame and build up a car from scratch. Last time I checked a $20K Element winds up costing around $100K done that way.

Best guess is that it would come in around $5,000.

Bob
 

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As one of the resident transmission guys...

It might be doable. It's a totally self-contained mechanical system and there are no electronics to worry about - either switches or computer-controlled. The PTO (power take-off) is from the ring gear on the front differential, so you're not getting into transmission guts on either the A/T or M/T.

From the "junker", you're going have to recover: transfer gear assy, driveshaft, rear clutch/diff assy, and the rear axle with suspension bits. Without going out to the driveway to look, the only "challenge" I foresee is getting the new transfer gear hooked-up to the transmission without removing major engine support parts such as the subframe, for access. I'm fairly sure that you can get to the opening for the transfer gear without removing the transmission, which is a big job.

The junkyard approach is the only way to do this. It'll cost thousand$ to attempt this from the Honda parts counter.
 

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It can be done....but it will be labour intensive.I douby anyone has done it for the simple reason it would be cheaper to just trade for a 4wd drive model.

How much can you get a salvage E for?
 

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Don't know the legal specifics in Canada or any other state in the USA but California. Due to our stupid smog laws, you can't do that kind of swap here. Here, your registration specifies if your car is equipped with AWD, 2WD, auto or manual. Any deviation from the original paperwork will cause the car to fail to pass the required smog inspection before anything else is checked. Makes no sense to me but when it comes government rules, they don't have to make sense. You would have problems getting the car approved even if the change caused emissions to be reduced! I don't think govt. people are allowed to think outside the box. You want AWD? Trade for one built that way.

Just my 2.5 cents.
 

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Another thing you might wanna think about is this: Even though your Element will have all the AWD bits that you'd normally find in an AWD car, in 95% of normal driving, your car is a 2WD car.

The AWD in an Element only activates if A) There's wheel slip, and B) If you're not using the gas.

It'll get you out of that occasional mudhole, but otherwise, it's just going to be dead weight.

It's awfully cool, though, seeing the looks on peoples' faces when you say "It's All-Wheel Drive," and they say "It's WHAT?!"
 

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4WD/AWD to 2WD/FWD

Hey, guys and gals. I've been throwing around the idea in my head to change my LX AWD to a FWD. Our Elements (the MTs, anyway) have a KA5MT transmission. This transmission is also used in the Acura RSX; I don't believe it is offered in AWD of any sort. The transmissions in the AWD and 2WD Elements are also the same type, the KA5MT. I believe the differences are mostly bolted on, with few internal parts contributing to the system.

I've done a little research. I have read the posts (found, oddly enough, with the almighty search function) that were discussed in the past, and I've come up with some (different, but not necessarily true) conclusions.

Here's the disclaimer: Most of this is conjecture, plain and simple. I'm not a mechanic, by any means, especially in the area of transmissions. I know a little about engines, but that's pretty much it. I have read other posts here on this subject (most were very, very old). I have not, will not, can not, shall not trade my Element for a new one. It's not an option. It's just been paid off, and I'm 18, and in college. At this point, all I can do is work with what I have, which is an AWD Element.

Now for the good stuff.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
DIFFERENTIAL


If you look at the two pictures shown here, the only visible difference is in a single part, highlighted in red.

I don't know what the part number is (the Majestic part number is 423072), but I do know that it's listed as "Gear, Transfer Drive". As you can see, the 2WD version of the Element doesn't carry this gear in its differential.

Another difference is in an 11mm bolt in the differential. It's supposed to hold 10 of these bolts. The only discrepancy is in the price: the 2WD differential's bolts are slightly cheaper. This may or may not point to a difference in actual parts.

The shims all appear to be identical, as well as the ball bearings, etc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
OTHER PARTS

I name this "Other Parts", as the sum of the parts in the Element aren't really enough to warrant tons of writeups.

In any case, the other major transmission part I've found is this:
Transfer Case, 4WD


It's pretty much a standalone part. I'm thinking that, aside from the internal parts, the AWD system's pretty much bolted on. There's no electronic control unit, no wiring. The differential doesn't seem to have lots of stuff bolted on to it. Maybe it can be removed easily?

There is also the driveshaft, halfshafts, etc., which would be removed. All in all, I don't think it would be a huge affair to remove.

If you disagree, please say so. As I said, I'm no mechanic, and any other advice would be VERY welcome.

I do have one request. If you believe that this mod conflicts in any way with your sense of "intelligence", try to keep your observations somewhat civil. I understand the concept of opinion, but remember that your opinion is just that: yours. Others may not share it. Voice your opinion, by all means, but please...don't bash.
 

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Granny, i would say go for it but why do you want too? the red gear looks like a ring gear in a normal rearend , without a manual too look at its hard to tell if this could be done. does the back end need to be replaced to a 2 wheel ? or are they the same ?..:)
 

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Hi Granny. I read your bio and it looks like although you're no mechanic you do work with milling machines etc so...things "mechanical" don't seem to intimidate you.

Disclaimer: I'm no mechanic either.

What benefit are you looking for by transforming your AWD into a FWD? If it's mileage, for example, you might want to spend your resources on the 6-speed mod (unless you already have?).

If you just want to do it because you can..then go for it. :D

One thing you might consider is that someday you may want to sell or trade your Element. A potential buyer will have to consider the fact that you did this modification. This might cause a potential buyer to walk away.

I'm 48 years old. When I was your age I did NOT have a clue about mechanics. It's very impressive that you want to take on a project like this. To me, its an indicator that you see the potential life has to offer and are willing to think beyond the current circumstances. I admire that trait and believe it will serve you well in life. Good luck on whatever course of action you choose.

- Ted
 

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Rocket Dog said:
Hi Granny. I read your bio and it looks like although you're no mechanic you do work with milling machines etc so...things "mechanical" don't seem to intimidate you.

Disclaimer: I'm no mechanic either.

What benefit are you looking for by transforming your AWD into a FWD? If it's mileage, for example, you might want to spend your resources on the 6-speed mod (unless you already have?).

One thing you might consider is that someday you may want to sell or trade your Element. A potential buyer will have to consider the fact that you did this modification. This might cause a potential buyer to walk away.
- Ted
There are several reasons, but I guess the biggest is this: My Element is going to get a new engine in the very near future. I've landed a sponsorship, and they absolutely insist that it go to races and car shows. I've considered the cost of an engine swap vs. the cost of building up a K24, and in the end, the V6 swap is more cost effective and can create more power. Plus, how awesome is having an Element with a V6? You don't see them very often...but that's another discussion for another time.

Because of that, I won't have any need for this stuff anyway. Since it'll all have to come out when I do the swap, I figure I can go ahead and yank it since it does me zero good here in Mississippi. It can probably do someone else a lot more good, say if they wanted to convert their Element to AWD.

As for selling, you make a very good point. However, as I said before, once this car gets to the selling stage, it's going to be either A) fairly old, B) already built into a race car, or C) not ever going to get to the selling stage, or D) a combination of these. Wow. I sound like a standardized test.

Anyway, this mod wouldn't cost me any money, I don't think, since the only parts differences between the AWD and 2WD are found in the AWD; they need only be removed, therefore there's no purchase of parts, I think. There may be. This idea is in the very beginning stages; it may not go anywhere.

Waste of time and resources. Go study.
Ha. I'm an arts student. We don't study. We draw. And I do plenty of that in my other classes. :D

Granny, i would say go for it but why do you want too? the red gear looks like a ring gear in a normal rearend , without a manual too look at its hard to tell if this could be done. does the back end need to be replaced to a 2 wheel ? or are they the same ?..
I agree; it's hard to tell without a manual. I need to get one of those...

I'm not sure about the back end. I'd imagine that it's the same for both, as it'd be easier on manufacturing to build a single part that can do both, instead of two different parts.

As for reasoning, check right up above here. :D

I wonder if the other way around is possible, from FWD to AWD?
If it's doable one way, it's doable another. You would just have to get the parts.
 

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Not sure if you have any other mods on your E but you might better off in the long run to just sell the one you have and purchase a 2WD E.
 

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Well, I wouldn't say just race it. It's my daily driver. I'm not going to make it into the rip-roaring, Ferrari stomping, track smashing ElementD. Just a V6 Element. It'll be faster than it normally would, and I might end up doing a little tuning, but I doubt it gets things like turbos, etc.

It's probably going to spend more time driving back and forth to work than on a track. In fact, I'd say it definitely will. But anywho...

Thanks!

Not sure if you have any other mods on your E but you might better off in the long run to just sell the one you have and purchase a 2WD E.
Well, I suppose I should've made the disclaimer bigger. Please read quote, and then read the rest of the posts. Then all will become clear.

I have not, will not, can not, shall not trade my Element for a new one. It's not an option. It's just been paid off, and I'm 18, and in college. At this point, all I can do is work with what I have, which is an AWD Element.
 

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OK. Well, you said daily driver, sponsorship, new engine, 18yr old college student, can't won't trade or sell for a new Element. I'm confused.

I don't mean to sound critical, really. I just don't understand your circumstances. Regardless, good luck with all that.
 

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Quick question and not bashing, but if you're going to races and shows and want more power....wouldn't it be better to go with rear wheel drive????
That's exactly it! I'm putting a new engine transmission into my Element that'll convert it to RWD. I'm most likely going to replace the rear differential (I believe it's the rear differential that actually makes the RTAWD system work) with one from a corvette, camaro, etc., or whatever works. Like I said, I'm no mechanic, but I don't think the Element's rear differential can withstand the added power.

OK. Well, you said daily driver, sponsorship, new engine, 18yr old college student, can't won't trade or sell for a new Element. I'm confused.

I don't mean to sound critical, really. I just don't understand your circumstances. Regardless, good luck with all that.
No, it's fine! Ha. Well, that's basically what's going on. My Element's my daily driver. I'm 18, so I have no money. I work at a machine shop, so lots of that kind of stuff isn't a problem. The engine and transmission is a problem. So I poked around until I landed a sponsorship. I haven't got another car, so I can't trade for a new Element.

Anywho, thanks! :D
 

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Grannysmuncher said:
Well, I suppose I should've made the disclaimer bigger. Please read quote, and then read the rest of the posts. Then all will become clear.
I know you said that but if you sell the one you have and purchase another (used) 2WD E you most likely would come out with some $$$$ in your pocket as 2WD E's cost less then a 4WD. No matter what, if it is your daily driver, you will be without it for long periods of time while you make the transformation. It just seems it would be much less hassle and much less expense to start with a 2WD vehicle.... you did ask for opinions ;-)

Anyways, it is your project and you should do what is comfortable to you.
 
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