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Converting A 2wd To 4wd : Can You Do It? [ Answered ]

Automobile enthusiasts love 4WD trucks and SUVs, thanks to their amazing off-roading capabilities and power.

Whether you are making your way through gravel or sand terrains or slippery grounds, you need better traction and acceleration.

A 4WD feels much safer and more stable with experienced hands at the steering.

The dynamics of a 4WD are much better under challenging situations.

Now, if you own a 2WD car, you may think of the opportunities to convert the same to a 4WD.

It’s imperative to find out whether the conversion cost and time would be worth your investment.

Can you convert a 2WD to 4WD?

Yes, it is possible to convert a 2WD SUV to a 4WD one.

However, the process involves stripping down several components in your 2WD and integrating the car with 4WD components.

This involves an entire plethora of parts from an AWD vehicle.

It includes the front driveshaft, 4×4 shifter, springs, and front axle. Whether you have a 2WD SUV, truck, or car, you need to change the transmission as well.

There’s not much difference between the automatic and manual transmission systems in 2WD and 4WD systems.

However, simply altering these components won’t do the job.

You also need to alter other parts like the master cylinder and the steering box.

Moreover, every part that you replace should be in proper functional condition.

Otherwise, the system would start bothering you just a few months after you install it.

Besides, it’s necessary to mount the axle at the beginning since the alignment of the axle is important in a 4WD vehicle.

One cannot make any sort of adjustments to the axle’s position.

To install the new components, you need to work with a reputed welder.

This way, you can install the axle in the right position. This ensures that your 4WD car would work optimally.

So, the process involves a trial-and-error approach, and you may not be able to complete the conversion in one go.

You need to change too many components when you transform your 2WD into a 4WD.

It makes sense to have a sample AWD so that you don’t miss out on any installation during the conversion process.

How much does it cost to convert 2WD to 4WD?

Converting your 2WD to an AWD can cost you a lot.

Depending on the model and the experience of the mechanic, you may have to shell out anything between $2,500 and $15,000.

This also includes the cost of the new components. Some mechanics can even charge as much as $5000 for welding and installing the parts.

Getting the conversion done has several factors involved in it.

In the first place, consider the model of the car and its manufacturer. This determines whether all the necessary parts would be available.

Again, if you have one of the exotic models, be prepared to fork out additional expenses for the parts.

For instance, converting your Mercedes-Benz model from 2WD to 4WD would cost you much higher than a Toyota car as the latter has more affordable components.

The cost of converting your car to 4WD also depends on whether you purchase or source the parts.

While you can source some parts from a donor car, you may have to spend a lot more when you purchase original parts.

Even after all these expenses, you need to work on the electrical systems and wiring.

Altogether, converting your 2WD to 4WD involves significant time, expenses, and patience.

In case you have good hands at welding and can afford the necessary time, you can save a lot of money.

However, working on the electrical components and swapping calls for professional skills.

Unless you are well-versed in working with these machines, you would need professional support.

 After all, it’s challenging to find a mechanic willing to convert the car at an affordable rate.

The conversion would be relatively easy if your 2WD vehicle has a manual transmission.

Based on the brand and the kit you purchase, you need to pay anything between $5,000 and $12,000.

On average, the cost ranges between $7,000 and $9,000.

You would need some specialized tools like an installation kit.

With adequate knowledge and mechanical support, you can change the drive system in your vehicle.

However, if you have an automatic transmission, the conversion process would be complicated.

What do you need to convert to 4WD?

It’s relatively easy to find all the components you need to integrate into a 4WD truck once you get a donor truck.

Some of the trusted manufacturers like Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, and others often follow this strategy.

They simply strip the donor car of the components and fix the same in the other car.

So, if you own an SUV or car from any of these brands, the conversion process would be slightly easier.

 Besides, you have some aftermarket companies out there, offering customized packages fabricated with the spare parts.

These parts are available as kits that would help you carry out a DIY conversion.

Particularly, if you own a popular model, a donor vehicle would be easily available.

So, what components would you require when you convert your 2WD car to a 4WD car?

  • The output shaft or tail shaft of your transmission
  • A transfer case
  • The assembly for your front axle
  • Gear shifter of the transfer case
  • Rear and front drive-shafts
  • New or upgraded transmission compatible with AWD
  • Wiring harness in case the current system doesn’t have 4WD wire connections (blanked off)
  • Better suspension system so that the car is comfortable to handle the additional weight of the components

Where do you convert your truck to 4WD?

An accomplished mechanic can help you make the conversion.

The transformation extensively involves welding, and you need an experienced mechanic with good hands at this art.

Also, you might consult your brand’s dealership to get an idea of where you can make the conversion.

How to convert a 2wd to 4wd?

It would be wise to reach out to your dealer to convert the drive system from 2WD to 4WD in your car.

You need to install the front driveshaft as well as the rear driveshaft and activate both to transform the SUV.

The best way to convert the car or truck to 4WD is to get a new transfer case.

You will find this below the car’s transmission. One can easily remove it to modify the vehicle.

  • In the first place, you need to do away with the drive shafts that remain attached to the back and front of your car. In the next step, you should do away with the locking pin connecting the transfer case to the front driveshaft.
  • Each vehicle comes with a driveshaft of different lengths. Therefore, you need to alter and measure the one in your car accurately. After altering the driveshafts correctly, you need to attach them to the transmission, both in the back and the front.
  • Based on your transmission size and the model of your car, you may require larger spacers and bolts. This ensures that they seamlessly fit into the right place.
  • After carrying out these modifications, you can attach the transmission with the driveshafts. You can insert the bolts through the center or a hole.

Is it worth your time and money to convert 2WD to 4WD?

Converting your 2WD to 4WD isn’t worth your time and money.

Now that you know what it takes to convert a 2WD to 4WD, you might be wondering whether the conversion is worth your time and money.

Unless you get a donor SUV, the process would be an expensive affair.

However, if you can source every component, it would be worth your money.

Also, if you feel that your car requires more power and traction while navigating off-roads, you can consider converting it.

4WD systems are necessary for vehicles hauling heavy loads like SUVs and trucks.

So, try to find a donor truck to source all the parts and keep the expense manageable.

The conversion process turns out to be a painstaking ordeal when you need to get the entire 4WD frame reassembled.

Particularly, working on the transmission system calls for expertise.

Moreover, you need to replace so many parts, which contribute to the weight of the truck additionally.

Ultimately, the vehicle becomes susceptible to power loss problems.

 With a 4WD car, the tires and brakes would wear out faster.

The chassis needs to bear some additional weight, so it’s imperative to replace or modify certain parts in your car.

Sometimes, you may also have to reposition the engine of the SUV when you assemble too many parts.

This calls for accuracy, otherwise, you may end up disturbing the balance of your vehicle. This can deteriorate the car’s performance.

Moreover, with some conversion kits, you need to get the suspension system replaced altogether.

This includes the suspension lower arm as well.

In case you have an electric transmission system in modern cars, the transformation to AWD might disturb the performance of the transmission sensors and software.


Rather than replacing all the parts in your car and not being sure whether your 4WD car would work perfectly, it’s wise to get a new 4WD car instead.

Some manufacturers have come up with a design that facilitates a seamless conversation from 2WD to 4WD.

This makes the swapping process of the components much easier.

However, you would still need adequate technical skills or work with an established automatic professional.

This ensures a foolproof conversion of the 2WD system to a 4WD one.