How to Convert a FWD to RWD | 8 Easy Step Guide

Are you a car enthusiast who dreams of experiencing the thrill and power of rear-wheel drive (RWD) on your front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicle? Well, look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to convert a FWD to RWD beast. Whether you’re seeking improved handling, enhanced performance or want to embark on a new DIY project, this article is here to help you achieve your automotive ambitions. So buckle up and get ready to explore the world of RWD as we dive into the eight essential steps for successfully converting an FWD to RWD.

What is Front Wheel Drive?

How to Convert a FWD to RWD

Front-wheel drive (FWD) is a popular drivetrain configuration commonly found in modern cars. In this setup, the engine’s power is transmitted to the front wheels, which are responsible for both steering and propelling the vehicle forward. Unlike rear-wheel drive (RWD), where power is sent to the rear wheels, FWD offers several advantages that have made it increasingly prevalent in today’s automotive industry.

What is Rear Wheel Drive?

How to Convert a FWD to RWD

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is a popular drivetrain configuration used in many vehicles, especially sports cars and luxury sedans. Unlike its front-wheel-drive counterpart, RWD vehicles are propelled by the rear wheels rather than the front wheels. This means that power from the engine is sent to the back wheels, resulting in a unique driving experience characterized by enhanced handling and increased stability.

What is FWD to RWD Conversion?

A FWD to RWD conversion involves swapping out the front-wheel drivetrain components of a vehicle with rear-wheel drive counterparts. This modification can significantly alter the dynamics of your car, resulting in improved handling, better acceleration, and increased overall performance. The process typically includes replacing the engine and transmission mounts, modifying or completely changing the suspension system, rerouting fuel lines and wiring harnesses, as well as installing a new differential and driveshaft.

How to Convert a FWD to RWD [8-Step Guide with Video]

With our easy-to-follow 8-step guide and accompanying video tutorial, you can confidently take on this exciting project. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or just curious about exploring new possibilities, this article will provide all the information needed to convert your vehicle’s drivetrain successfully.

Step 1: Find Out Whether Your Car is Convertible:

The first step in converting your FWD car to RWD is conducting thorough research on your specific make and model. Some manufacturers offer optional rear-wheel drivetrains for certain models, making the conversion process relatively straightforward. If your car does not have an existing RWD option available, you will need to delve deeper into the technical aspects of the vehicle’s design and construction. For example Chevy Silverado is convertible.

To find out whether your car is convertible, consult with knowledgeable professionals or automotive forums where fellow enthusiasts may have undertaken similar projects.

Step 2: Remove the FWD Components:

The second step in the process involves removing the FWD components from the car. This is an essential part of the conversion, as it paves the way for installing the RWD components that will allow power to be transferred to the rear wheels.
The first component that needs to be removed is the transaxle, which houses both the transmission and differential in most FWD vehicles. This unit is typically located at the front of the vehicle and connects directly to the engine. By disconnecting various electrical connectors, hoses, and linkages, as well as unbolting it from its mounting points, one can successfully remove this component.

Step 3: Install the RWD Transmission:

In this third step of the conversion process, installing the RWD transmission is crucial to ensure seamless power transfer from the engine to the rear wheels. The type of transmission used in a RWD setup differs significantly from that in FWD vehicles, requiring careful consideration and expertise.

Step 4: Install the RWD Driveshaft and Differential:

It is crucial to install the RWD driveshaft and differential. This step is essential as it helps transfer power from the engine to the rear wheels, enabling them to propel the vehicle forward. The driveshaft connects the transmission output shaft to the differential input shaft, ensuring smooth power delivery and torque distribution.

Step 5: Modify the Suspension and Chassis:

Modifying the suspension and chassis is a crucial step when converting a front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle to rear-wheel drive (RWD). This step is essential as it helps ensure optimal weight distribution, stability, and handling of the converted car. By making adjustments to the suspension components and upgrading the chassis, enthusiasts can fine-tune their RWD conversion project for better performance.

Step 6: Modify the Braking System:

As the powertrain configuration changes, so does the vehicle’s weight distribution, impacting how it will behave during braking. Modifying the braking system is imperative to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Step 7: Modify the Fuel and Cooling Systems:

When switching from FWD to RWD, it is important to ensure that the fuel system can handle the increased demands of a rear-mounted engine. Upgrading to a larger capacity fuel tank and installing high-performance fuel lines will help maintain consistent fuel delivery even under extreme driving conditions.
Modifying the cooling system is essential to prevent overheating when converting a FWD vehicle to RWD. With the engine now positioned at the rear, it becomes crucial to relocate and upgrade the radiator for efficient heat dissipation. Installing an electric fan with higher airflow capabilities will aid in maintaining optimal engine temperatures during demanding situations such as prolonged acceleration or high-speed driving on hot days.

Step 8: Install the RWD Axles and Wheels:

Step 8 of converting a front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicle into a rear-wheel drive (RWD) monster involves installing the RWD axles and wheels. This crucial step completes the transformation, transmitting power from the engine to the rear wheels. First, remove the existing FWD axles and disconnect them from the transmission. Carefully inspect the RWD axles for any signs of damage or wear before proceeding.

Cost of Converting FWD to RWD

Converting a vehicle from front-wheel drive (FWD) to rear-wheel drive (RWD) is no small feat, and it comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of such a conversion can range anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 or even more, depending on the project’s complexity.

Final Thoughts:

Mastering how to convert a FWD to RWD may seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and resources, it can be achieved successfully. Car enthusiasts and mechanics alike can embark on this exciting project by following the eight-step guide outlined in this article. Each step ensures a smooth conversion process, from gathering all the necessary tools and parts to carefully removing the front drivetrain and installing the new RWD components. While it may require time, patience, and skill, converting an FWD to RWD can provide an exhilarating driving experience that few other modifications can match.


Is FWD as fast as RWD?

The speed of a vehicle is not solely determined by whether it is front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD). While it is true that RWD vehicles tend to have better acceleration due to weight distribution and traction advantages, FWD vehicles can still be relatively fast.

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