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2004 AWD into a 2003 RWD

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Old 01-31-2017, 10:53 PM
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2004 AWD into a 2003 RWD

Hi There,

My question to the forum is can I swap the entire AWD drivetrain out from the 04 and put it into my 03? My buddy at 513 Motorsports believes it can be done but told me to look around and see what I can find out.

I am new to the forum! Looks like a bunch of great information all in one place. Iv'e been doing some reading and searching but I have not found anything and would like to know more before jumping into it or even if it is at all possible.

So, what I have is a 2003 RWD with about 153k on it with most likely a head gasket issue. I purchased the car cheap knowing it had issues and if I drive it easy I can get a week or two out of it before I get some overheating going on. Yes, I know how to bleed the coolant systems and I have a great setup for doing that but I get air locks as soon as I get on the gas hard. It took me a while to come to this conclusion and even the block tester system didn't let me know there was a head gasket issue as it would only put air into the coolant when I pushed it hard on the road.

So, the gamble didn't pay off but it was cheap enough and knew I could get a used engine cheap enough and swap it out.

I found an 04 with only 90k on it. Been wrecked but no apparent drive train issues.Turns out it is an AWD. Again, my buddy thinks it can be done. It doesn't seem as if it would be too difficult but I have not done this before. I am pretty sure there were no AWD's in 2003.

What do you all think? Jump into it or run.......

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:16 AM
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I would say run fast, run now and keep running. It would take a massive amount of work to fit the front differential and all related/affected parts not to mention all the electrical work involved. If you have an early 03 you have a completely different ECU than ALL other first generation sedans and that alone would suck to convert.

Can it be done, yes, but at what cost???
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:10 AM
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There may be some wiring differences. The drivetrain swap may be easy, but you will need to move a LOT over from the 04 as the front suspension is different to accommodate the front halfshafts. So you'll need engine/trans/transfercase, then the driveshafts and front suspension.

Then there's the wiring. AWD didn't exist in '03, so you'll need to move wiring over. Who knows how compatible it is and if you can swap some of it, or all of it over.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:02 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. Yes, I understand there would be a lot to do but it is not like it is a swap between models. Plus, I not long ago bought a very nice set of Michelin snow tires and that would just go so nicely with AWD!

Hopefully cost should not be an issue as I have a donor car right there beside it now We should be able to get everything out of it that is needed minus anything that is in need of replacing due to normal maintenance.

My buddy is all about swapping the drive train over and not just the engine so after work on Friday we will rip into it. He is guessing a couple of solid weekends and anything we can get in after work during the week. I think I will let Joe post pictures as we go.

Wish us luck!
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:23 AM
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Good luck looking forward to the swap. Definitely subscribed now.........
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:06 PM
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Check out Joe Claire's 513 Motorsports facebook page for photo updates.

https://www.facebook.com/513Motorsports/

It was a long Friday night... First of a few long days. Drive train is out of the donor (2004 G35X).
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:27 AM
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A quick update:
Progressing along.... Had to move the sub-frame location pins over from the 04 to the 03. Had to cut the 03 location pins off and it was at that point it was a critical decision making point! Go to the AWD or just revert back to swapping engines..... We cut the pins off!

Under dash harness have been replaced but apparently we need the engine bay harness as well. Crap, that is stuck in there under the HVAC lines. That was a tough changeover and definitely cost us an evening.

Have got a new control arm in place and the new "nut" to attach the control arm to the existing pin. All that looks good.

We put in 30 hours over the weekend and been doing about 5 hours each night after work.

Hopefully I will have a running car by the end of 10 days! Keep checking Joe's page for more pictures.

Matt
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:04 AM
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It is complete!

10 days.. Many thanks to Joe at 513 Motorsports. Sweet! Now we just need some snow

It definitely was not without its difficulties and trials but nothing that can't be worked through with the right mindset! Replacing the harness in front of the firewall had us "concerned" but it ended up working out. There is not much room there and we did not want to break the AC lines and move the rest of the HVAC stuff out of the way.

It is surprising the number of differences between the 03 and 04 years, not just the AWD. Radiator, fans, abs plugs even routing of the harness to name just a few!

It is all good. I do have the VDC slip light on and need to track that one down. Code is for the pressure switch. Based on reading through this and other forums it could be any number of things!
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:51 PM
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Damn. Good job.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:58 PM
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Thanks Mustang, Joe at 513 Motorsports went above and beyond on this one for sure!

This is fun to drive and I am really looking forward to testing it in the snow. It will make a great winter car now and will complete my "year round" drivers! I have a set of snow tires on it but I'm getting ready to mount up a set of summer tires on it as well. I will track down what is causing that VDC light here soon I hope. This G35 is by no means a show queen but the plan is to be great solid reliable daily driver. I have another 03 with 176k miles on it that the kids will be able to drive until they can afford to buy their own. I have been a Nissan guy for a long time now with my first of seven being a Nissan (Bluebird) back in 1990.

Saying that though..... my spring / summer / fall driver is a RX8! Swapped of course We (OK, mostly 513 Motorsports) have a LSX 5.7 in there. Now that is a fun driver! sounds great, performs even better. We changed the entire drive train in that one too! In went a 4l60e trans and a 8.8 differential and new axles and driveshaft.
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