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#1 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 10:25 AM
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Convert 1998 4WD to FWD?

The rear differential on my father-in-laws 1998 RAV4 just locked up the other day making the rear tires skid the car to a stop!
A replacement differential may be available from a forum member in a few weeks.
It was towed to a garage so I haven't looked at it yet but I'm wondering how easy or difficult it would be to temporarily convert it to front wheel drive. Obviously you'd remove the driveshaft but I'm not sure what you'd need to do with the axle shafts. Anyone know?

Fred
2006 RAV4 V6 4WD Red Limited - wife's
2006 Accord V6 Hybrid - Dr. Dyno's - quick as the RAV but +8 mpg
2003 Odyssey V6 - handy people & cargo mover
1999 F-250 4X4 Diesel - snow plow, Bully Dog chip
2001 F-250 4X4 Diesel - truck camper, TS chip, 20' bike/trike dyno trailer
2004 Suzuki DRZ-400S Dual Sport

It's the pedal (or the handgrip) on the right!!
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 03:06 PM
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Don't forget the center differential, torque spread, ABS, mapping and so on.
I am not a mechanic, but i doubt it can be done for a short while and for a reasonable price.
Greetz

Pim

Driving a BMW318i with LPG at the moment. Had a 2.0 RAV4.1 1997 3drs 4WD euro model w/ABS dual sunroof blue two tone previously.
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#3 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 03:12 PM
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If you remove the driveshaft/propshaft the only way you will get drive is to lock the centre diff and I think this restricts the speed you can travel at, doesn't it???
I have never driven above about 30 with it locked so can't say for sure,
The short answer to the question is NO.....sorry!
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Allistone View Post
If you remove the driveshaft/propshaft the only way you will get drive (to the front) is to lock the centre diff and I think this restricts the speed you can travel at, doesn't it???
Yes, locking the center diff would be necessary since otherwise it would just spin the rear driveshaft in the air. But it would work if it would stay locked above 30 mph and not unlock like my 4.3 version does. There'd be no binding with the front fighting the rear since effectively the rears are spinning on ice with zero traction.
So does the center differential stay locked manually like my F-250s or unlock itself like my '06 RAV4?

Fred
2006 RAV4 V6 4WD Red Limited - wife's
2006 Accord V6 Hybrid - Dr. Dyno's - quick as the RAV but +8 mpg
2003 Odyssey V6 - handy people & cargo mover
1999 F-250 4X4 Diesel - snow plow, Bully Dog chip
2001 F-250 4X4 Diesel - truck camper, TS chip, 20' bike/trike dyno trailer
2004 Suzuki DRZ-400S Dual Sport

It's the pedal (or the handgrip) on the right!!
Dr. Dyno is online now  
#5 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 11:36 PM
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This guy removed the drive shaft on his 2011 and drove it as a FWD for several days. No problems and no error lights:

Help Removing REAR DRIVE SHAFT

James
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by JuneBug View Post
This guy removed the drive shaft on his 2011 and drove it as a FWD for several days. No problems and no error lights.
Yeah, no surprise there since the 4.3 doesn't have a center torque splitting differential and normally operates in FWD.

I'm trying to find out how you lock the center differential on a 4.1 automatic. Guess I should have looked at the owner's manual when I was there today.
The mechanic had to disconnect the driveshaft and one of the axles to get it to roll at all.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 12:47 PM
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Sorry Fred, didn't realise it is an auto, all I know is the manual has a diff lock button that manually locks the diff, I think the auto does it differently but I don't know how....
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Allistone View Post
Sorry Fred, didn't realise it is an auto, all I know is the manual has a diff lock button that manually locks the diff, I think the auto does it differently but I don't know how....
Sorry Ken, I forgot to list automatic.
Anyway I just looked at the car and got my answer. I could not find any lock lever or button. Automatics apparently don't have a lock option like manual transmissions do.
So w/o that it would likely be too much stress on the transmission to run it w/o the rear driveshaft operational.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 04:18 PM
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The automatic use pressure plates and a torque converter wheel to distribute the torque between front and back evenly in case of bad road surface.
It's tough to unlock that and fit it into place as far as i saw in the repair manual.
Greetz

Pim

Driving a BMW318i with LPG at the moment. Had a 2.0 RAV4.1 1997 3drs 4WD euro model w/ABS dual sunroof blue two tone previously.
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 04:16 PM
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Closing it out

Just to wrap this up; I bought a used rear differential from a yard, put it in and it's all better. It was a failure I'd never heard of before. The bearing on pinion (input) shaft just locked up solid ... and it had plenty of oil!

Fred
2006 RAV4 V6 4WD Red Limited - wife's
2006 Accord V6 Hybrid - Dr. Dyno's - quick as the RAV but +8 mpg
2003 Odyssey V6 - handy people & cargo mover
1999 F-250 4X4 Diesel - snow plow, Bully Dog chip
2001 F-250 4X4 Diesel - truck camper, TS chip, 20' bike/trike dyno trailer
2004 Suzuki DRZ-400S Dual Sport

It's the pedal (or the handgrip) on the right!!
Dr. Dyno is online now  
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