450 front diff swap - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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450 front diff swap

Can you swap a newer 450 selectable 4wd front diff to a 2000 model 450 that didnt come with it

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:46 PM
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It's been done but I haven't done it. I think the frame has to be modded and I'm not sure on the driveshaft. A search might bring up some of the old threads that go into detail on it.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 10:34 AM
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IIRC, you have to notch the frame up front for the longer rear part of the new diff (the actuator).

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 03:01 PM
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What all do I need to do to swap my 98 foreman 450 with a 2002 so that I can have 2wd/4wd? Will the axels still fit? What electronics are needed.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 06:40 AM
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the axles work , you need a display panel and the wiring harness , unless you butcher up the wiring ---there is a guy nick named Retro/Hondaatvforums.net that builds a box to control the front diff clutch , he does sell them just builds them for friends , there is a thread on this subject on Hondaatvforums,net by Shade ----- I went the opposite way , I put a 1st gen/ full time diff in my 2002 450 with a 4x2 kick out and did away with all the wires , I was having trouble with the wiring/electronics , the default of the electric diff is 2wd , it is a bitch to be in the woods and loose 4wd ----Dick's Cycles can sell you a 4x2 for $340 and your thru , what you want to do is going to cost you time and money and can be problems once installed , just the electric clutch of the front diff sells for $425 , the two sensors on the diff are $75 each , the display couple of hundred , a parts bike would be the way to go if you wanted to go on with the swop
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:17 PM
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Last I checked a company called wide open was still making the old WARN 424 which is a cable operated unit that replaces the front driveshaft. I have the original WARN unit and it works amazing. I rebuilt it a few years ago with the Wide Open rebuild kit to replace the bearings, seals & cable, parts fit perfectly.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 03:38 PM
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According to that build thread, Shadetree says the 02-04 front diff and driveshaft will not work because the frame is 1" shorter, thus leaving the front driveshaft 1" too long.


I don't have 450's here to measure to verify that, but he has an 03 and said the diff mounting hole to front of motor mount was 1" shorter on the 99 450.


I've suggested that the owner of the bike have the front driveshaft shortened one inch, but am not sure how that build will end up.

@Fishfiles, if that is the case, you should have a longer frame, and thus should have all kinds of room in the ends of the front driveshaft cups (which means splines that aren't totally engaging on your front driveshaft).


What you think?

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 06:10 AM
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Jeep , yesterday I wrote a long post with 3 pics , hit the button and thought it posted and today it is not there -------- after reading your post , I went out and checked both my 450s for back and forth slack at the shaft ,you had me worried my driveshaft was floating around in the couplers , there is no play on either one , if I stick a long screw driver between the frame and the 4x2 I can get a bit of forward movement and feel the spring is doing it's job , I measured the shaft coupler on both my bikes and they are both the same about 4 3/4 inches long , approximate measurement as I did not pull the boots back to measure , the Partzilla part break down has a pic of the 2nd gen coupler with a ruler next to it and it is about 4 3/4 inches long , the 1st gen coupler doesn't have a pic or measurement with it , I could dig up some couplers but they would be marked for years , the difference in price of the two couplers are $80 and $40 for some reason , so I would say I have the same coupler on both gens , but I am running 4x2s on both bikes and not the oem driveshaft so my situation is not the same as his , ------ part of me thinks he just doesn't want to mess with it , cause he doesn't like modifactions , and it is his way to get out of doing it and discredit mods , I told him and Powerstroke in the beginning that going with the 4x2 set up was the best route , the electric shift diff gave me a lot of problems , the default of the electric diff is 2wd , so when (not if ) it messes up in the woods , then all you got is 2wd to get home , then you need a $400 clutch solenoid , 2 $75 sensors , a display panel , wiring harness to make that electric diff work like it is suppose to , 4x2 and you don't need none of that , now Retros gizmo by-passes a bunch of that crap , but it is still and electric diff under the water ----
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:29 AM
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Normally I would agree with you on the idea of electrical stuff vs mechanical stuff, but I guess since none of the bikes I've had or even the guys I ride with have had a problem with the electrical front diffs, and the prohibitive cost of buying a 424, would be my reason for going with the electric shift.


I had an 02-04 front diff that was in good shape that I supplied to Powerstroke (traded him for the tires that were on the bike when shade picked it up), since his original diff was trashed, and shade wanted him to buy a new OEM diff AND then he would have to buy the 424, so he could go electric using my diff or drop $800-900 just on a new front diff and 424.


I did happen to think that if you had done the opposite (older model diff and 424) that if the measurements quoted were correct that your setup would be an inch too short, and you'd have play in the driveline ends.


That said, not my bike, so I've tried to extract myself from the whole ordeal. Shade is great at what he does. My 300 engine sounds like a new machine. I think at this point powerstroke is going to get a full time 4wd front diff and let shade put it back together stock, just because the whole thing has caused so much friction. He said he'll either put the electric diff in or get a 424 later on. Wasn't sure what direction he wanted to go in.

2005 Foreman Rubicon Camo
Perfex, 27" Mudbugs
Heated grips and Thumb , HID's
5K Viper Max winch

2009 Foreman 500FM Green
Perfex with HL springs
27" Execs on Rubicon rims
Heated Grips and Thumb, HID's
4K Viper Max winch

2006 Foreman 500FM Green
28" Mugbugs, stretched, Perfex, HLsprings
3K Superwinch winch

2009 475 Rancher AT Tan
26" Mudbugs on Rincon rims
Warn winch. Foreman pod light with HID, SRA gear reduction
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 08:23 PM
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I’ll bump this post because I’m in the same boat.

In the process of installing a traxlok diff in my 98 450. Have the frame notched where it needs to be and all the holes line up now. I have the gen 2 (02-04) coupler and driveshaft. Went to stab the driveshaft and bolt the diff a bit ago and it appears the driveshaft is to long. Even though it is a gen 2 shaft which is shorter then the gen 1 shaft. I can shorten it tomorrow but is it true it needs to be 1” shorter? I hate to cut it to short and possibly strip the splines or such.. I’ve been searching the web and can’t find any clear answers on this.

Once that is put to bed, I’ll still need to wire it. I’m using the traxlok throttle housing. I want to use that switch like it would be factory but want to hardwire it. Any tips on that? Thanks.

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