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2wd to 4wd?

DTX2010-08-10 04:45:56 +0000 #1
Just wondering if anyone has actually converted a 2wd to a 4wd. I have seen the question "can it be done" many times and the answer is always "just buy a 4wd". I am just wondering if anyone has actually done it. Out of curiosity I did some looking around and it actually looks like it could be done on a 420 for about $1000 plus shipping for the parts. This does not take into account the tighter turning radius on the 2wd. I would imagine that is a simple fix though. So, has anyone actually done it?
tacoma_20022010-08-10 04:57:17 +0000 #2
not 100% about the 420's but I know as far as the Honda 300's go it could in fact be done. Can it be done logically? No. It would be easier to do the Honda 300 because they use an external "Transfer Case" where-as the newer bikes run power directly from the crankcase.

Front control arms and steering are compeltely different on the TRX300's as well as brakes, master cylinders, etc.

So the answer to your question.

Can it be done? Yes.

With the right fabrication and mechanical know how it is possible to make a 2wd a 4x4, but in a nut-shell its easier and most cost effective to just buy a 4x4 bike....bottomline...
DTX2010-08-10 05:07:23 +0000 #3
I don't actually have any plans to attempt it, but here is my thinking. IF someone had a quad that was in very good condition and/or had a decent amount of money in upgrades and IF they could do it for 1000-1500 dollars it seems to me that it could be worthwhile vs paying what a new quad costs or selling the one in great condition and buying a used one and not really knowing what it has been through and how it was treated. You know the old saying about buying someone elses problems.

BTW, that price includes a complete front diff, both axles, front driveshaft, the entire shifter assembly, knuckles, and all the nuts and bolts.

The 2wd 420 frame allready has the mounting tabs for the diff on it. According to the parts schematics everything is the same including the a-arms. If that is not right everything changes, but if it is, it seems to me this could be a worthwhile upgrade. Surely someone out there has done it, or tried?
tacoma_20022010-08-10 05:36:06 +0000 #4
If all thats the same then it might be worth doing.

IMO a donor bike swap would be the best option since you'll have to have brake backing plates and lots of little parts that will wind up costing you lots of money. If you could find a 4x4 with a blown engine or a knock etc, then you could probably do it on the cheap!
DTX2010-08-10 05:25:57 +0000 #5
Lots of ifs, lol.

I may try it on my wifes quad someday if it looks feasible. I would really like to just upgrade the whole quad, but she doesn't ride that hard so hers should stay in pretty good shape for a long time. I also like the idea of how light these Ranchers are. It also makes me feel a little more comfortable than if she was on something really heavy. For the vast majority of the riding she does 2wd is just fine, but 4wd would be nice at times. It is not even something she has brought up, I am just trying to stay a step ahead and weigh my options. At this point it is mostly just a curiosity. I will probably end up buying a 4wd with IRS quad at somepoint. I have to admit though, there would be a certain satisfaction in doing it myself instead of just buying another quad.
HondaGuy2010-08-10 05:35:26 +0000 #6
The lower control arms are definately different between the 2wds and 4wds, and there is no front output on the 2wd 420 engine so you would either need to get a 4wd engine to swap onto your bike or get all of the 4wd transmission parts that may be different as well as the 4wd crank cases that have the hole for the front output. I am one of "those guys" that will tell you its more cost effective to sell your bike and buy a 4wd one. Spend that $1500 that way and save yourself the headache of dealing with those "ifs" that will almost always come back to bite you in the tail.
DTX2010-08-10 05:28:39 +0000 #7
Yep, the lower a-arms are different. They are only $37 dollars a piece. That puts the total at $1100 plus shipping. The cranckcase and transmission part numbers match. There may be a difference but I don't see it on the parts schematics or part numbers. The front is 8550600 and the rear is 8550618 on both models. All the individual transmission part numbers match as well. You are probably right, but all the part numbers I find match? What gives?
HondaGuy2010-08-10 06:52:41 +0000 #8
I'm not sure why all the part numbers are matching, but I assure you there is no front output sticking out of the hole that isn't in the front crank case cover on the 420TE and TMs. lol The internals in the tranny could very well be the same and just the output shaft is different, I've never had a 2wd apart to compare to the innerds of mine.
DTX2010-08-10 08:55:26 +0000 #9


I noticed several different sites use the exact same parts blow up. I think whoever runs that needs to start doing their homework. This is what they show for a 4wd and 2wd.

I assume this is where the front drive comes out? If not, then I guess they are showing the 2wd cover for both?

Either way, they definitely have it screwed up because there is no place on the 2wd front cover for the front drive so there is no way it is the same part.

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