Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 14 of 25 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
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?!"
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
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
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
You're right, but the problem I have is in the fact that it's going to be changed to a V6 anyway. Besides that, my parents bought the car for me. I don't think they'd be very happy if I sold it, whether it was to buy another Element or not.

In any case, you're right, I did ask for opinions. And yes, I think it'd probably be a lot easier to start with a 2WD Element, but I'm stuck with what I've got, y'know?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Although I must say I read some of the posts, but I still don't follow. The only advantage would be weight loss. You won't have this tranny in the new setup anyway. But the technical answer to the question is easy.
Basically, the only reason I'm going to do this is because nobody else has. It's gotta be done anyway, so I figured, "what the heck?" Thanks a ton for that info, Rhurt! It actually answered a question I've had for a few days now! :D

Granny- I may be interested in taking the existing 4wd driveline parts off your hands. Let me know what you decide and when/if you're definitely going to get rid of the stuff.
STMotorSports, It's definitely coming off. Since Rhurt has helped me out with the information to pull this system off, I'll probably end up yanking it this Tuesday. You're not the only one, so I'll be going with the best offer when it comes off.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
A question for you: If I wanted to do a V6 swap, why would I want to make a turbo kit for the car? First of all, let's get this straight: The point of this build, or whatever you want to call it, isn't to make a faster car. That's an excessively obvious and no doubt interesting perk, but it's not what I'm after. What am I after? A V6, RWD drivetrain in my Element. Not faster.

I'll go ahead and answer one other thing. I'm willing to do the work to do this. And the pain. And the money. Why? I'll tell you. You know those people that do stupid things, and later, they change others' views entirely? I've beaten on this dead horse so much that I'm blue in the face, but those guys that first built up a Honda Civic instead of something with a small block V8 were stupid. And look where it's gone. You've got entire leagues of drag racing for 4 and 6 cylinder cars. A VW Beetle? Who on God's green earth would drive one of those on a drag strip? An idiot. An idiot with a 9 second car.

I'm one of those idiots.

That said, read this, then ask questions.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
mjohnston39 said:
Those 9sec civics are still FWD and use a turbo. What your proposing is a complete re-engineering of the car, I'm not too sure you quite get the magnitude of the project you are proposing. But you're right it is your car and your money so good luck...
I know what they use.

And I'm aware of the engineering hassles of doing this; I've been involved with an engineering company that does exactly this kind of thing for the last year or so. Believe me, I'm far too experienced in the ways of engineering hassles.

Thanks for the well wishes, though. I understand what you're talking about, but someone's done it, and someone else will eventually do it, so I don't see any reason not to do it.

It's my hobby, after all. Er...very expensive, time consuming, dangerous, hairsplitting hobby. But a hobby.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Well, not necessarily a V6, nor RWD...The S2K is frequently used in drifting but is equipped with a 4 cylinder in a rear-wheel-drive setup.

The Element's almost driftable in its stock form, but it sits too high and has far too much grip for the rear traction to be easily broken. A V6 and RWD would help alleviate this, in a couple of ways:

With higher horsepower and RWD, I wouldn't have to rely on my e-brake to break traction; instead I could use the "clutch-kick" technique to enter a drift, where you pop your clutch when entering the drift to break rear traction with the engine's horsepower.

A V6 would give me much more power, which would help to control a drift and would, in the end, be capable of much more than a 4 cylinder (explained below).

The difference between a 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder engine is simple. If you have, say, a 3 liter four cylinder (huge, I know) and a 3 liter 6 cylinder, the six cylinder is going to have more horsepower because the moving components inside are lighter and can move with less effort.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
The only thing I know of is that there's a selector in the transfer case that can manually disengage the driveshaft. The differential itself is completely automatic.

I'm not really sure, but the only thing I can think of that would allow you to really turn on the differential would be to replace the diff's internals.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Well, since I started that whole schpiel, I guess I'll say something...

The only differences between the two drivetrains are supposedly the front differential (it has a transfer gear), and the 4WD has a bunch of other parts, including a transfer case (this replaces the blockoff plate), driveshaft, halfshafts, differential, etc. I'm not sure if the rear hubs would need to be changed as well, but I'll be checking soon.

Also, the 4WD Element appears to have different springs to compensate for the added weight (not confirmed; I could be totally wrong).

I'm sure it's doable, but the others are right; the total cost of the conversion reaches into the 4-5K range with labor. You would indeed be better off trading in your Element for a 4WD, if you so desire one.

Converting the 4WD to 2WD is a fairly straightforward thing, but back? It'd probably be much more difficult.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
MT Elements are supposed to be a rarity in themselves...I think I have the only one in my area...of course, there's only about 6 Elements around here, none of which are on the EOC...

In any case, I think it wouldn't be that difficult to swap from 2WD to 4WD. For the factory to be cranking out two completely different transmissions, diffs., and other assorted parts that were mentioned previously wouldn't exactly be friendly to the vehicle's end cost, as two different transmissions would require two different sets of workers turning out two different parts for two different drivetra--...you get the point.

I'd think that it'd just be a matter of adding the requisite parts and setting them up correctly. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
No, no. Ok, here's my reasoning, and the outcome.

The AWD system has to come off eventually. Therefore, in the interest of adding to our marvelous community here, I've decided to tackle this as a separate project in itself. I'm going to pull the system, make a nice long writeup, and then post the whole shebang on here, just in case someone wants to do this, or vice versa.

In any case, it'll be interesting, I suppose.

Anyway. The outcome is to have a RWD Element. In order to get there, I'll have to remove the current FWD drivetrain, and replace it with a RWD V6 drivetrain. This is just one of the steps to get to that point.
 
1 - 14 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top