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2wd -> 4wd conversion


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14 replies to this topic

#1 the_bard

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 11:02 PM

I've located an '85 GL wagon that should be in pretty good shape, body wise (thanks John! :headbang: ). Problem is, it's 2wd auto, and I'm loving the 4wd manual that's sitting in my Loyale right now. John originally picked it up for that same conversion, but he's been sidetracked a bit.

I want to do a lot of research before I get into this, though... I want to know what to expect, how to expect it, and what I ought to do about it, before I get ther *grin*. This is a project, after all... not a repair :D. Between the Loyale and Harry's, I'm guessing that I'll be able to find the parts to do the swap, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to need.

Unless I'm having a huge problem finding a 4wd d/r tranny, I doubt I'll be using the 5 speed pushbutton tranny out of the Loyale. From what I understand about transmissions, the transaxle is directly attached to the tranny, and the d/r transaxle is probably different than the pushbutton. So I won't be able to save the Loyale's transaxle, or need to, if the 4wd d/r tranny will come with it (it should, right?).

Behind the transaxle ought to be the driveshaft. From the driveshaft on back, everything else ought to be exchangeable from the Loyale, right? I'm hoping I'll be able to pull the rest of it out, all the way back to the rear axle, and swap it into the GL, considering how good of shape that rump roast'y is (unlike the body on the car *sigh*).

While I'm in there, should I bother converting the drum brakes to disc brakes? I should have everything apart back there to the point where I may as well do it, rather than having to tear everything else apart later...

Any thoughts?

#2 calebz

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 12:06 AM

There's no sense tearing the whole rear end assembly apart.. I can come out with axles, brakes.. everything attached.. only trouble you might run into is not having the boltholes in the back of your car for the diffhanger and stuff.. but there will be marks to show where it goes..

Another small issue to deal with will be the mounts for the carrier bearing. you will have to weld those on or drop bolts through the floor or something.

The only other hard thing will be the pedal assembly.. and thats just a PITA.

I recently swapped an auto for a pushbutton 4wd 5spd.. wasn't too hard at all.. was expecting a lot more work/hassle than it really was

#3 Hondasucks

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 12:18 AM

I did a auto to manual and then 2WD to 4WD in my 82 sedan, was not too hard at all. Biggest PITA was the stupid gas tank, which you won't have to do since the 2WD and 4WD EA82's had the same tank.

#4 the_bard

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 12:38 AM

Originally posted by calebz
The only other hard thing will be the pedal assembly.. and thats just a PITA.


And that, Calebz, is why you excel... I've been thinking so much about the tranny and rear drive assembly that I never even considered the fact that the auto won't have the clutch pedal. Ain't nothing quite as illuminating as removing your blinders :D

Another small issue to deal with will be the mounts for the carrier bearing. you will have to weld those on or drop bolts through the floor or something.


Assuming the mounts on the Loyale haven't been too affected by rust, I'm guessing that it shouldn't be too hard to cut those off with a cutting torch, and re-weld them onto the GL? Hardest part I can see there is getting the car high enough off the ground to be able to comfortably get in there with the torch (I hate small areas with a torch nearby)... although Dad still has that custom built engine hoist.

I really ought to get some pics of that, too... that'll show you what kind of background I'm from :D Never underestimate an old farmer with an arc welder...

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:50 AM

its easier to to trannies, exhaust, driveline if you jack the car up on it s SIDE

thw 2wd auto to 4wd5spd we dit we drilled the spot welds on the carrier bearing from the parts car, snad chiseled it off. then we tack welded it to some squares of sheet metat and then tacked them and with screws under the car, after bloting it to the bearing.

make sure you dont have any mcdonalds trash near your center console! or you may burn down your ride(like i almost did!)

you may want to pull the carpet before you cut/weld

the holes for the rear diff mount will be punched out on the outer layer ov metal, you will see the holes as a guide to drill thru.

other than the carrier bearing and the diff mount, everything else is bolt-on!

the wholw rear suspension can be swapped over in one piece. make sure you undo the brake lines, undo the rubber lines where they meet the body.
also the main fuel line from the tank runs thru a tube connected to the rear suspension tube, so pinch that off before you pull it.

2wd and 4wd tanks are the same for ea82 models, so tank swapping will not be necessary(unless one is in better shape than the other!)

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 02:20 PM

I did a 2WD to 4WD swap on an EA81, and I say just DO it. Put both cars on jack stands next to each other, and start pulling parts. You'll see how it should be when you start taking it apart. You should have basically all you need between the two cars in order to complete the swap.

GD

#7 MorganM

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 03:34 PM

If you got the time and space do it up man. Im almost done with my 4WD swap into a 2WD GL wagon. It's alot of work but thanfkully 90% of it is "plug and play" Everything bolts up just like it should have been there. Tough things are noted above and I'll add this one. Its a bithc lineing everything up and helpfull to have another person to look at things from a different angle while you are installing.

Another trick to get the whole rear main cross member assembly out is to put the jackstands on each side of the rear main crossmember. Then its fully supported and yo ucan remove all bolts holding it in except the main bolt in the bottom of the rear struts. Now she's just hanging by the struts. Stay clear and undo those last bolts :) Might want a tire under each hub to break the fall a bit.

Peace

#8 the_bard

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:43 PM

Originally posted by MilesFox
the wholw rear suspension can be swapped over in one piece.

I'm going to have to swap out the rear shocks if I'm taking the Loyale's rear suspension and putting it on the GL. They're shot :dead:. Friend of mine thinks it's hilarious to bounce up and down on the car... :argue:

Originally posted by MorganM
Its a bithc lineing everything up and helpfull to have another person to look at things from a different angle while you are installing.

If I end up doing the swap down at my parent's place, I'll be able to have my dad helping me out... he's rather decent at lining things up. If not, I've got enough friends down at work (not counting my fiance, too) that ought to be able to help out. Heck, most of 'em think I'm crazy to be even considering a project like this. The entertainment value alone ought to bring 'em along. 'Course, these are the same people that like to take a light pickup truck and lower it 'til it's about two inches off the ground :confused:.

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:50 PM

They have no idea what your doing, or how much fun you will have. I did one of these (EA81, but still....) all by myself, and I still had fun doing it. I had to have help putting the rear end in, and putting in the tranny's, but only because I was using jack stands and didn't have a proper lift, or a jack with a large flat surface on it. If I had a proper lift, and a transmission jack, I could have done everything myself with no problem at all.

GD

#10 calebz

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 09:56 PM

My wife thought I was nuts when I did mine too.. took me 2 days of disassembly on the old car(was wrecked had to cut part of th nose off with my circular saw) . Took 6 days to assemble/convert. I redid the interior while I was at it. Less than 2 weeks later I drove it from Puyallup(Seattle/Tacoma) to Dallas, TX.. Now thats Faith in ones workmanship and parts.:D

#11 MorganM

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 10:59 AM

thw 2wd auto to 4wd5spd we dit we drilled the spot welds on the carrier bearing from the parts car, snad chiseled it off. then we tack welded it to some squares of sheet metat and then tacked them and with screws under the car, after bloting it to the bearing.

Any other good ideas on mounting a driveshaft in a 2WD wagon???

#12 86subaru

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 07:01 PM

i am also going to put 4wd into my dl wagon , the dl is already a manual

#13 MorganM

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 09:01 AM

A friend and I finally threw the 2WD 5peed on ground lastnight. WHat a bugger to get out! Nobody warned me about the super lame speedometer cable with the flimsy PLASTIC housing end in the tranny. Wrenches, robogrips, channel locks were all futile since the plastic housing just shreds, twists and is heat seized. Ended up putting the chizel end of the crow bar on it and removing the speedo cable plug by applying the 3lb maul. I'lve lived w/o a speedometer before :D Having someone push on the front of the motor while someone else pulls on the tranny really helps make it just flop right out.

Still havent dreamed up any neat ideas about the driveshaft. Prolly call around to see how much making a custom solid one would be or having someone weld in a bracket for me.

#14 calebz

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 09:46 AM

Wow.. sounds like you had an epic battle with your speedo cable.. Mine just unscrewed by hand:-p

#15 MorganM

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:29 AM

Wow.. sounds like you had an epic battle with your speedo cable.. Mine just unscrewed by hand:-p


The story of my life... hahahaha




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