4x4 (AWD) to 4x4 conversion parts swap question. - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question 4x4 (AWD) to 4x4 conversion parts swap question.

Totally searched this and couldn't find much more than 2wd people asking how to convert to 4x4. So here we go.

I recently inherited a problem car from family. Its been giving the family problems for a couple years now. Crankshaft issues, water pump issues/timing belt issues, coil pack and alternator issues. So its my problem now. I have fixed all the issues but one. For some reason the 4x4 low light is on. I know I know. I read all about this and its not my question. Im waiting on the wife to finish power washing the driveway and Im jacking it up and checking the Tcase fluid levels.

Here is the thing. Im not sure I like the AWD. If its stuck in 4low that explains a lot to me about how it drives. But it uses so much gas. And I won a 8.1L vortec and Im telling you guys this thing said it was as it has 1/4 tank. I drove it a few miles down the road. Maybe 5 and then back and now Im at an 8th. So maybe 4low stuck?

Anyhow I have a 04 parts car at my farm I went out to pull the computer for the Tcase just as a back up plan in case I needed to try that. But then I realised that that one is a 4x4 and not the AWD model. So are these computers the same? Its a super beaotch to get to so Im not fighting the hornets unless its the right part I need. And while I am here how much of these parts are swappable? The tranny looks the same. The Tcase looks the same as much as I could see it through the grass.

What exactly would I have to do to my LX AWD 4x4 to turn it into a selectable 2wd/4wd Sorento? Or is it just entirely better to drive it as a AWD? Serious question tho. It just seems like they bought the parts car for the engine and its an LX model and not the EX like I have. Please let me know your thoughts. I greatly appreciate any offerings you guys have for me. FYI I looked up both vins and the layout of the info really sucks. Its not like looking up a chevy where it tells you the part number for the Tcase and tranny.

****Bonus Question*****
It feels like the power steering doesn't exist. At low speeds I get some assist but mostly not really anything at all. The power steering pump looks to be working and has fluid. No past issues reported. Are these just harder to push around? Mind you its not Hard like when your PS goes completely out. I just wasn't expecting there to not feel like hardly any power steering exist. Let me know what yours feels like?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Alright so since it looks like we don't have many people in this forum familiar with these SUVs. I will post what I know for future people.

According to the Kia these have different part numbers for the transfer cases and the transmissions between the AWD and the 4x4 models.

What they couldn't tell me was if I could use the the transfer case computer if I needed it. The real question here is since people often sell these and tcase on places like EBAY and don't seem to to differentiate what the unit came from specifically, then these should be pretty much the same part functionally. But I assume the computer would control the tcase. The front wheels (Cant?) disengage. more research is needed. I may put the thing on jacks and play around with the tcase and try removing the fuse for it and see if that does anything.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 02:32 AM
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Rough guide on parts to change:

Front diff (at least) maybe axle shafts to match. I believe the hubs are also different, but that's maybe just a model year thing.
Air pump and pipework to front diff (from under battery). The diff is normally disengaged. Slight air pressure to engage.
Wiring and switches to suit. (front diff has to engage as transfer case engages).
(Electronic Lockouts apply for engagement at too high a speed.)
(AWD (TOD) applies varying signal to tc multiplate clutch to vary torque split. 4x4(EST) tc dog clutch is on or off.)
Possibly ecu
Possibly TCU
Probably TCCU
Transfer case, of course.
Probably transmission/transfer case adapter plate.
Rear propshaft. There are a few variations (length) depending on transfer case and transmission.
Rear diff (possibly): ensure rear diff ratio matches new front diff ratio. (variations for transmission type and year).

A lot of this stuff would have to be checked part for part side-by-side.

hth.


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Last edited by gee6; 06-04-2019 at 02:39 AM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 09:56 AM
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So, you think you are in stuck in 4lo...well, I would think it would be noticeable at any given speed...your engine would be spinning like crazy.

A road test of a 2004 Sorento shows a engine speed of 2400RPM at a vehicle speed of 60mph. The 2004 had a 4 speed...I believe your 2005 has a 5 speed tranny, so it should turn less that 2400RPM at 60mph.

My 08 has the same 5 speed as yours, but it has different axle, part time 4x4 and the newer 3.8L engine...but I know for a fact that at an engine speed of 2500RPM...the vehicle is going 78mph on a flat level ground in top gear.

By the way, these 1st (2003-2006) and 1.5 gen (2007-2009) Sorentos weren't know for their great gas mileage. Personally, I only get about 18/19mpg with mix driving...almost about the same as a modern full size truck.

For bad gas mileage, I would check the obvious things...air filter, lazy O2 sensor, MAF, etc. Maybe you have a stuck brake caliper?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 10:00 AM
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By the way, I don't think the transfer case is the same between the part time 4x4 and on demand 4x4...because the on demand, I think, should have the ability to allow the front wheels to turn at a different speed than the rear wheels (like going around a curve)...so, it would need some sort of 'differential' to allow that. The selectable/part time 4x4 do not have a 'center differential'...that's why you can't use it on dry pavement without doing some serious damage.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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So, you think you are in stuck in 4lo...well, I would think it would be noticeable at any given speed...your engine would be spinning like crazy.

A road test of a 2004 Sorento shows a engine speed of 2400RPM at a vehicle speed of 60mph. The 2004 had a 4 speed...I believe your 2005 has a 5 speed tranny, so it should turn less that 2400RPM at 60mph.

My 08 has the same 5 speed as yours, but it has different axle, part time 4x4 and the newer 3.8L engine...but I know for a fact that at an engine speed of 2500RPM...the vehicle is going 78mph on a flat level ground in top gear.

By the way, these 1st (2003-2006) and 1.5 gen (2007-2009) Sorentos weren't know for their great gas mileage. Personally, I only get about 18/19mpg with mix driving...almost about the same as a modern full size truck.

For bad gas mileage, I would check the obvious things...air filter, lazy O2 sensor, MAF, etc. Maybe you have a stuck brake caliper?
Okay, first off thanks guys for replying. Thanks gee6 also. The sorento is a strange duck. Im used to big trucks, with sounds and indications or CELs. This SUV surprises me its whisper quiet when Im standing right next to the front clip. It has like no vibrations in the cab at all. Its like its just not on. But it has what looks like a beefy frame for its size. And a decent tow package tho im unsure what I would tow with it.

The RPM gauge does not function as intended. If I press the accelerator hard if I am at a stop, the tack will somewhat read what may be the right RPMs. But I am quite hesitant to say that for sure. Driving down the road the needle just blips up every time it changes gears. No idea what RPM its at while driving and the engine noise is hardly noticeable to me unless I am really on it. Im Assuming that its stuck in 4low because 3 reasons. The first being that this car has no engine light on to say something is amiss but the 4low light is on. Its not switching off when I switch to (auto) and the biggest clue is that it feels like im burning through all the gears way faster than I should. Like it will go through the gears just cruising at low speed. That can NOT be the standard shift points for this vehicle.

So not sure exactly how to respond about the RPMs. I can swap out the cluster and probably will next time I go out to the farm and see if this helps. I was going to check Tcase fluid last night but a colony of ants decided they wanted to hang out under the Tcase. I gave them their eviction notice so maybe I can check that today. Beyond this, the car drives normally but feels a bit shaky Not sure if thats the tires having an issue or suspension. Im chalking that up to sitting for as long as it did before being driven.

Lastly as for MPG. I want to run a full tank to be sure. However my initial rough estimate.... Get this. I let it idle for a bit before I drove it. Just to see if it would get to temp without issue. At that time it was close to empty. When I was finished the fuel light came on. Before my test drive I put 2.2 gallons in it. It seemed to give over 1/4 on the gauge. Which was strange. But anyhow I then drove down the road to a lake 5 miles away. And drove back. When I pulled in to my drive I had used a 1/4 tank and after sitting for another 4 minutes the fuel light came on.

So if the fuel light comes on at the same time every time its reasonable to think that I used all 2.2 gallons on that trip. If so then I got 4.5MPG on that drive. Which is one MPG more than my suburban. I was expecting at least 15mpg at the worst. The brakes work fine. The air filter is new. I cleaned the maf with maf spray before I dug in to it. Not sure about the o2 sensor. Normally when these have problems they through codes.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 05:12 PM
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If you are changing the transfer case oil do not (NOT) use standard Dexron III. Kia have a special 'TOD OIL' or you can use Dexron III with a small bottle of (say) Jeep friction modifier added. Previous poster mentioned center diff action. None of the Sorentos have center diff. This is all you have. The multiplate clutch friction slip. Kia changed the oils specs so the manuals are wrong. Also tc oil change every 20000 miles not 40k as per user manual.

As far as transmission you should see about 30mph per 1000rpm on a 5-speed auto. However, the transmission has a 'lock-up' feature so at a constant throttle/steady speed the revs will drop (even to idle) as a fuel saver. (not that it helps that much imo)


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gee6 View Post
If you are changing the transfer case oil do not (NOT) use standard Dexron III. Kia have a special 'TOD OIL' or you can use Dexron III with a small bottle of (say) Jeep friction modifier added. Previous poster mentioned center diff action. None of the Sorentos have center diff. This is all you have. The multiplate clutch friction slip. Kia changed the oils specs so the manuals are wrong. Also tc oil change every 20000 miles not 40k as per user manual.

As far as transmission you should see about 30mph per 1000rpm on a 5-speed auto. However, the transmission has a 'lock-up' feature so at a constant throttle/steady speed the revs will drop (even to idle) as a fuel saver. (not that it helps that much imo)
That helped quite a bit. As luck would have it, you caught me just before I checked the Tcase. I will go hunt down some proper oil. Also good to know about the lock up. Thank you.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:28 PM
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Wow. Your Sorento seems to have several issues...electrical issue which can be a pain to track down and repair.

Anyway, from what you describe, and assuming the gauge is reading right, looks like you are stuck in 4lo. You can search this forum or google search, but I believe there is a motor/solenoid that switches the transfer case between 4hi and 4lo. Sounds like this motor/solenoid is either stuck/inoperative or there is some sort of mechanical issue (fork) with the transfer case causing it to be stuck in 4Lo.

OR...if it is anything like my 08 (part time 4WD)...there is a 'procedure' to get it into and out of 4Lo. If available, I would check the owner's manual...you might be able to find it online as well. On my 08, you basically have to be stopped, and in neutral to get out of 4Lo...not sure if it is the same for the TOD (Torque on Demand - awd) version...

SOLVED: 04 Kia Sorento stuck in 4WD Low - Fixya
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:29 PM
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By the way, if your transfer case has a clutch pack in between the front and rear drive...that essentially is the 'differential' since it will allow a different in speed between the front and rear axle....
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