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Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing some research on my dart and I know the Jeep renegade shares the same transmission as my dart, and the renegade has awd so would it be a good idea to do a rear axle swap with the transfer case and drive shaft. I know I would need to modify the rear mounts so I can mount the axle, but how hard can it be to make that bracket? You can upload the darts original rear end to Autocad and also the renegades axle and shaft and start designing a new mount, once that's done it's just a matter of taking the design to a 5 axis machine and mill out the part and bolt it up. I know you would want to get a new ecu, or you could go old school and hook up a 12v switch to the transfer case so you can engage it manually while bypassing the ecu. It all makes sense to me but I am aware that it's harder to do in practice than it is to imagine it. On top of that the power and efficiency loss would be somewhat dramatic. But I see that a the easiest way for awd in our darts. Any ideas?
 

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I to thought about it, and instead of the 12V switch to the transfer case maybe one could come up with a way to use the renegades Transmission Control Unit. Also would the placement of the darts gas tank be a issue?
 

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I've been doing some research on my dart and I know the Jeep renegade shares the same transmission as my dart, and the renegade has awd so would it be a good idea to do a rear axle swap with the transfer case and drive shaft. I know I would need to modify the rear mounts so I can mount the axle, but how hard can it be to make that bracket? You can upload the darts original rear end to Autocad and also the renegades axle and shaft and start designing a new mount, once that's done it's just a matter of taking the design to a 5 axis machine and mill out the part and bolt it up. I know you would want to get a new ecu, or you could go old school and hook up a 12v switch to the transfer case so you can engage it manually while bypassing the ecu. It all makes sense to me but I am aware that it's harder to do in practice than it is to imagine it. On top of that the power and efficiency loss would be somewhat dramatic. But I see that a the easiest way for awd in our darts. Any ideas?
That's a lot of custom work, and in the end, what would be the point of putting AWD on a Dart? They're fwd, and pretty good in the snow from reports here. There is no inherant safety with AWD, despite marketing. If you have awd and your tires are crap, you're still not going anywhere. Most of the issue that people driving in snow have is stopping. AWD does not help there. In fact, it probably hinders because the system makes the car/truck heavier. A decent set of tires is a lot cheaper and helps a lot more. There won't be any gain to be had performance-wise, so that's out. The Dart doesn't make enough torque for it to make a difference.

I'm from the thought of: If you want a Jeep, get a Jeep, not a Dodge. AWD is not necessary 99% of the time, just driving skill. Last time they took a Jeep and engineered it into a Dodge, we got the Caliber (which even got the base AWD from the Jeeps)

You'd have to buy the Renegade parts, good luck finding them in usable condition; The computers, Transmission and controller (depending on which AWD system you're using. Trailhawk has the 9spd auto, which Dart may not even fit, so you'd have to figure -that- out too.) Engineering a spot for both the driveshaft and exhaust on the Dart will be a bleep because of the routing the Dart currently uses; and that's if the driveshaft stays fully centered when all is said and done. The suspension is a totally different animal on the Jeeps. Heavier duty, and you won't likely see much bolting-on between the two vehicles. I am pretty sure the Dart's wheelbase is longer by a good bit too, which will need to come into consideration as well. You can't just "plop in the new drivetrain" and go. You're also likely talking about having to lift the Dart a few inches in the long-run simply to make these adjustments work together right, and maybe a brake upgrade to handle the added weight of it all. Not to mention emissions regulations and all that. It would no longer be a factory car, and you'd have to figure out what to have it smogged as. Dart or Jeep? And by the end of it all, you'll have.. what? A Dart that is heavier, with less power, less torque [from drivetrain loss and added weight], but it can move all four wheels.

It's just a lot of $ to throw at a nonexistant problem. If you wanted an AWD sedan, you should've shopped at Subaru or got a Charger. It'd be cheaper than the proposed project here.


It's not happening from the factory, simply because Dart is done as of this year. Whatever comes next, we just don't know anything about it yet.
 

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not to belittle the question, but it really wouldnt make any $ sense to convert a Dart to AWD. the dart is heavy enough with FWD. it would make the most $ sense to sell dart and buy another car with AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I've been doing some research on my dart and I know the Jeep renegade shares the same transmission as my dart, and the renegade has awd so would it be a good idea to do a rear axle swap with the transfer case and drive shaft. I know I would need to modify the rear mounts so I can mount the axle, but how hard can it be to make that bracket? You can upload the darts original rear end to Autocad and also the renegades axle and shaft and start designing a new mount, once that's done it's just a matter of taking the design to a 5 axis machine and mill out the part and bolt it up. I know you would want to get a new ecu, or you could go old school and hook up a 12v switch to the transfer case so you can engage it manually while bypassing the ecu. It all makes sense to me but I am aware that it's harder to do in practice than it is to imagine it. On top of that the power and efficiency loss would be somewhat dramatic. But I see that a the easiest way for awd in our darts. Any ideas?
That's a lot of custom work, and in the end, what would be the point of putting AWD on a Dart? They're fwd, and pretty good in the snow from reports here. There is no inherant safety with AWD, despite marketing. If you have awd and your tires are crap, you're still not going anywhere. Most of the issue that people driving in snow have is stopping. AWD does not help there. In fact, it probably hinders because the system makes the car/truck heavier. A decent set of tires is a lot cheaper and helps a lot more. There won't be any gain to be had performance-wise, so that's out. The Dart doesn't make enough torque for it to make a difference.

I'm from the thought of: If you want a Jeep, get a Jeep, not a Dodge. AWD is not necessary 99% of the time, just driving skill. Last time they took a Jeep and engineered it into a Dodge, we got the Caliber (which even got the base AWD from the Jeeps)

You'd have to buy the Renegade parts, good luck finding them in usable condition; The computers, Transmission and controller (depending on which AWD system you're using. Trailhawk has the 9spd auto, which Dart may not even fit, so you'd have to figure -that- out too.) Engineering a spot for both the driveshaft and exhaust on the Dart will be a bleep because of the routing the Dart currently uses; and that's if the driveshaft stays fully centered when all is said and done. The suspension is a totally different animal on the Jeeps. Heavier duty, and you won't likely see much bolting-on between the two vehicles. I am pretty sure the Dart's wheelbase is longer by a good bit too, which will need to come into consideration as well. You can't just "plop in the new drivetrain" and go. You're also likely talking about having to lift the Dart a few inches in the long-run simply to make these adjustments work together right, and maybe a brake upgrade to handle the added weight of it all. Not to mention emissions regulations and all that. It would no longer be a factory car, and you'd have to figure out what to have it smogged as. Dart or Jeep? And by the end of it all, you'll have.. what? A Dart that is heavier, with less power, less torque [from drivetrain loss and added weight], but it can move all four wheels.

It's just a lot of $ to throw at a nonexistant problem. If you wanted an AWD sedan, you should've shopped at Subaru or got a Charger. It'd be cheaper than the proposed project here.


It's not happening from the factory, simply because Dart is done as of this year. Whatever comes next, we just don't know anything about it yet.
I know that this isn't practical in anyway, the dart already almost weighs 2 tons as it is, and the amount of time it would take and money it would take would very much impact the project. It's not something I plan on doing right now if ever. And just throwing out there that dreams are endless and possibilities are limited. But possibilities are inspired by dreams. Chances are it's not gunna happen, but to see the finished product in action is one thing that bumps up my inspiration. It's not impossible, many other types of cars have had the same kind of owner who wanted awd and actually completed the project. It's not a matter of "I want all wheel drive" it's a matter of "would this be possible". Awd is something for those who seek thrill and dependability at the same time. For my dart it's just a thought that drives my inspiration to the limit. Also the knowledge that would be gained from the experience is something more useful than the car itself. If you read my introduction post you know that I don't work on my cars cause it boost my ego, I work on them because I want the experience of doing something different to a car that's already been refined by the manufacturer. I could compare it to remodeling a room. The house was built to certain specs and it's up to you to decide what those specs are used for. I know that it's difficult and not worth the effort because money would go down the drain and time would be wasted. But in the end what matters to me is what I was able to do before compared to what I can do now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That would be even better but I'm not sure if that toggle is pre programed or not. Even so it wouldn't be hard to use the same thing the Jeep uses, I'm sure it's not controlled through the ecu or pcm, I could be wrong though.
In response to @FlewByYou
 
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