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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finished the RWD DIY on my 05, and I am really happy with the results. I followed instructions from a couple different sources on this forum, but never did find a comprehensive, DIY thread with pictures, so I thought I would do one here for the benefit of folks like me that like a little more detail before diving in. If you can change your own oil, you can do this. I do recommend taking this on with a helper, however, as there are a few steps that are definitely easier with a second set of hands.

Step 1: Stuff you will need to Buy.

First, you need to source some stub axles to hold the wheel to the hub after the axles extending from the differential to the wheel hubs are removed. You can obviously buy the Balboni stubs ($$$) or one of the options available from various forum vendors/members ($). Based on a tip from a forum member I bought the following audi/vw units, which come with the entire CV Joint assembly, boot, and new axle bolt. You will need two, one for each side, but 48 bucks per side with free shipping is pretty hard to beat. Here is the part number and Amazon link:

8E0407452X - 1 Year Warranty - FEBEST # 1710-A4B6A45

Amazon.com: 8E0407452X - 1 Year Warranty - FEBEST # 1710-A4B6A45: Automotive

The new axle bolt that comes with the new stub axles takes a 27 mm socket, so you will want to source one before you start (found one at autozone for a few bucks). In my case, the OEM axle bolts you will need to remove required a 17mm allen socket, which I also found at autozone. See Pic 1. The only other “special tool” you may need is the triple square bit for the axle to differential bolts (see pic No. 2), but if you don’t have one you can use an 8mm allen bit (its not ideal, but it will work in a pinch. I’m not sure of the size of the oem bit needed as I opted to use my 8mm allen bit). The rest of the tools you will need are normal stuff that should be in any toolbox. Pic 3 shows the entire axle assemblies supplied by the above-vendor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Step 2: Prepping the New Stub Axles.

You don’t need the CV Joint bearings and races, as they just add extra rotating weight (and could possibly fall out), so you will want to remove this stuff, leaving just the shell. To do this I lubed up the assembly with a bit of the supplied grease that came with the axles, inserted a pipe of appropriate diameter into the center race, used the leverage from the pipe to lever the race down as far as I could in order to expose as much of one of the ball bearings as possible, and then levered out the bearings with a screw driver after fiddling with it for a few moments to determine the best angle of attack for removal (I definitely had to experiment a bit before the first bearing would pop out, and it took a little force to get it free). You could probably do this without using the grease, but mine were pretty tight and I thought removal would be easier with the grease, even though it was pretty dang messy. Once you get one ball bearing out you can start rotating the inner races to expose each successive bearing, and once a few are out you can remove the races pretty easily with a bit of cajoling. I cleaned out all the grease pretty well but left a light coating just for protection of the metal. Doing so is probably not necessary, but parts of the interior of the axles looked to be rather unfinished and not “stainless” in appearance, so I figured I’d rather collect dust than rust (I made that up myself). Pics 4-6 show the bearing removal process and the empty stub axle after gutting.

Step 3: Loosening the Axle Nuts.

Before the car is in the air (either on jack stands or a lift), you will want to break free the axle nuts. It took a LOT of force, with a large breaker bar and a pipe over the handle for extra leverage, and the bar was flexing like crazy (so be careful, where eye protection, etc…, etc…). For this reason, I wanted the car on the ground while I did this. Here are the steps if your wheel caps are like mine and don’t have little holes in them so they can be removed without removing the wheel:
• Jack up one of the front wheels, remove the wheel, pop out the center cap from behind, and reinstall the wheel. Repeat on the other side.
• Lower the car back to the ground, but the parking brake on, and have your buddy/helper/wife/child step on the brakes hard. Break loose the axle nut using the 17mm allen socket and a big breaker bar. ½ inch breaker bar will work, but a ¾ inch would be better (my ½ was flexing pretty good). Don’t back the axles nuts all the way off, just get it to break free and then tighten it back up a bit (but not so tight that its going to take herculean effort to get it back off once the wheels are off the ground again…the idea is just to get them loosened up so they can come out easily later on once the car is in the air).
• Break free the wheel bolts slightly so you don’t have to lean on them too hard once the car is in the air (but keep them tight enough to ensure that the wheels won’t
Move or shift under the force of the car being jacked up from side to side…again, the idea is just to break them free so you can get them off easier once the car is in the air).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Step 4: Get the car on jack stands.

There always seems to be a lot of confusion about how to get this car on four jack stands, and I found a lot of different opinions on line, so I’ll post the exact procedure that worked for me. Set your hand brake, chock the rear wheels, and start with the front wheels. I used two low profile floor jacks, and because I was by myself for this step, I alternated jacking both sides in small increments, as I didn’t wanted the side-to side height differential to ever get to drastic (and risk cracking a windshield or putting undue stress on any other parts.
• Start with your lowest profile jack, use a thin block of wood or hockey puck in the jack saddle to avoid marring the under carriage, and jack one side a bit at the location to which I am pointing in Pic 7.
• Once you have jacked this side a bit, go to the other side (it will have a bit more clearance because the lifting form the other side will give you a little extra room on the other side), insert your jack in the same spot on the other side, and jack up this side a little higher than the other. Continue jacking in alternating increments on both sides until you are satisfied with the height and can get your jack stands of choice under the car (obviously, if your helper is present you don’t need to alternate sides, as you can both jack at the same time and rate). Note the placement of the jack stand in pic 7, which is slightly inboard of the jacking location to which I am pointing. Both locations are situated within the “diagonal brace” area that is visible in pic 7. My personal belief after researching is that anywhere along this braced area is acceptable, and I had no problems at all supporting the front of the car in this manner (no flexing, creaking, or damage whatsoever to the undercarriage). I bought some of the essco flat top jacks that have integral rubber pucks and they are super solid (6,000 lb capacity each with a very wide base).
• Take your jack, and with a hockey puck or piece of wood in the saddle, place the jack at the black, boxed, cross member just forward of the rear differential cover (smack dab in the center of the car). See pic 8. Start jacking and the rear end will start lifting up with no drama or issues if you have properly set your front jack stands. Get the rear end to the desired height and place a second set of jack stands just outboard of the jack which is in the center. I used regular old jacks and there was no marring of the frame member. Lower the car back onto the stands and you are good to go (I advise placing a few other jack stands as “back ups” at strategic locations underneath (with no load on them), just in case. (I also tend to place any wheels I have removed under the car as well as an additional fail-safe, but I’m paranoid and ocd).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Step 5: Remove the wheels, under panels and driveline.

The next step is to remove both front wheels. After doing so you will need to remove two under panels. First remove the long, aluminum panel that covers the drive shaft extending form the front differential to the transmission (the one with what seems like 90 torx bolts holding it on), and the front-most under panel that extends under the front bumper and covers the front diff.
• Removal is self-explanatory and just takes some patience. I used a cordless drill and it still took a good while to get all the bolts out. Leave a few in until you are ready to remove the panels completely to hold them up so they don’t fall down or flex before you a ready. Your helper comes in handy here.
• Next remove the 6 allen bolts holding the rear of the driveline to the shaft coming out of the transmission. While removing these bolts, keep the car in gear so the driveline doesn’t spin under the force exerted by the wrench. Once you have removed the accessible bolts, put the car in neutral, spin the driveline with your hand to expose the next set of bolts, put the car back in gear, remove the bolts, and repeat until all 6 bolts are removed. I Forgot to take pics of these steps, but no pictures are really needed.
• Next do the same for the bolts that hold the driveline to the front differential at the other end of the car. Use the same procedure of alternating putting the car in neutral/in gear to get all the bolts out.
• Once the bolts are removed, have your buddy support one side of the driveline and remove the two 13mm bolts that hold the center bracket that supports the center of the driveline. Once these two bolts are removed the entire driveline (both the front and second sections, which are distinct pieces but connected in the vicinity of the center brace you just removed), will fall right out.
• Clean up the grease left behind on the transmission output shaft so it doesn’t sling everywhere when you drive off. I left a light film/coating of grease to protect against corrosion (but not enough to sling out and make a mess. Pic 9 shows the output shaft before cleaning and the empty tunnel where the driveline used to be.

Step 6: Remove the front axle bolts.

• Move back to the front of the car, and remove the previously loosened axle nut that holds the axle to the wheel carrier (aka hub) with the 17mm allen socket. These are apparently one-time use only so you will not want to re-use them.
• Get a few socket extensions (I think I used an 8-inch or 12-inch, don’t recall), and using your triple square bit or the 8mm allen bit, start removing the 6 bolts that hold the axle to the front differential. Experiment to find the best place with the most clearance for your ratchet. You will have to press on the rubber boot a bit to get your bit to seat on the bolts, but it will go on with some finesse. Have your buddy step on the brake so the axle doesn’t spin while you ratchet them off. These were pretty tight and required a bit of force to break free, maintaining good horizontal pressure so as to keep the 8mm bit seated snuggly to avoid striping the bolt (the 8mm was not ideal, and if I had to do it again I would have taken the time to go get the right bit). Remove each bolt one at a time, with your buddy releasing the brake to let you spin the axle just enough to place the next bolt in the optimal position for removal. Then have him apply the brake and repeat for each bolt until all of them are out. Repeat for the other side. See Pic 10.
• Free the inboard axle assembly from the front differential by pulling on it (outboard). With the axle nut removed and the axle free of the differential, there is a few inches of play that allows the axle to slide back and forth in the hub assembly. It may take a bit of persuasion to get the axle free from the diff once the bolts are removed (on one side I used a small flat blade screw driver between the interface between the differential output flange and the brass-colored end of the axle assembly since it seemed to be “crusted” together a bit. It didn’t take much prying for the axle to pop free from the diff).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Step 7: Remove the Front Differential and axles.

Notice that Step 6 did not say “Remove the front axles.” I found that with the diff in the car, I didn’t have enough clearance to get the axles out since the diff was in the way and prevented the axle from moving inboard enough to clear the splined hub hole where the axle end goes. So after looking at it a bit, it seemed pretty clear that the differential would easily drop out of the way with the removal of four bolts, leaving ample clearance for the axles to slide out of the splined shafts of the hub. Here is the order.

• Remove the differential temperature sensor wire (and zip tie it away and out of the way after wrapping it with electrical tape).
• Remove the two large 19mm bolts that are oriented horizontally at the front of the diff (see pic 11). Have your helper support the forward part of the diff so it doesn’t sag.
• Start removing the two, smaller bolts (oriented vertically, I think they were 13mm) (see pic 12).
• The diff is wedged in there pretty good, but with these bolts removed it is going to want to fall downward. Rotate and wiggle the diff until you can see that it will clear any hoses, wires, etc…. I found that rotating the entire diff clockwise (if you were standing in front of the car looking toward the back) allowed it to clear any obstacles and it then came right out. With a little wiggling you will see how to best remove it without damaging any of the wiring hugging the tunnel.
• With the diff out, the axles (which are still seated in the hubs), will slide right out. With a little experimentation you will see how to best fish the axles out past all the suspension arms and components. The “removal” part of the job is now done.

Step 8: installing the new stub axles.
• Insert the splined end of the stub axles into the hub and secure by hand-threading the new 27mm bolts on the other side of the hub (see pic 13).
• Have your buddy step on the brakes and then tighten the axle bolts. I found varying torque specs online, but saw that a few folks recommended torquing to 135 ft. lbs pounds, followed by ½ revolution. I did the same, but did not quite get to ½ extra revolution, as at about ¼ extra revolution the bolts were extremely tight and I felt comfortable with it. Use your discretion here. There is no way these things are falling off. Pic 14 shows the new stub axle in the hub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Step 9: Buttoning up.

• Reinstall the wheels, reinstall the under panel trays, lower the car, torque to wheel bolts to the required spec (103 ft. lbs).
• Show your wife how much crap you removed from the car, forcing her to ask (are you sure that is safe?).
• Enjoy 30-40 extra hp to the wheels, much more responsive steering, and less traction! Pic 15 shows all the crap you just removed.

First thoughts and impressions: I finished up late in the evening, after it had been raining for most of the day. So when I took the car out to make sure everything worked as it should, the roads were still a bit wet even though it had stopped raining a few hours earlier. That, combined with the cold tires and 40 degree temps made it for quite a wild ride, so I’m going to wait to report on just how much wilder the ride is until the conditions are better. However, I do have some initial impressions that are undeniable. The car is noticeably quicker. The throttle response is better and more immediate. It is easier to get a smooth launch, and the front end now seems quieter. The steering feels MUCH, MUCH lighter and more immediate and responsive. I don’t detect as much “play” in the front steering after the conversion…when you turn the wheel the response from the car is much quicker. The car feels much more nimble and the reduction in drag and rotating mass is apparent. The traction control was intervening constantly, even in a straight line in 1st and 2nd, but I think a bunch of that had to do with the weather and road conditions, so I’ll report back after things dry out a bit. The front end wheel gap between the top of the wheel well and the tire seems bigger now. I’m going to explore getting stickier tires, and I’m definitely going to lower the car a bit (especially the front), and get it aligned. I’ll update this thread as I get more seat time.
 

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First thoughts and impressions: I finished up late in the evening, after it had been raining for most of the day. So when I took the car out to make sure everything worked as it should, the roads were still a bit wet even though it had stopped raining a few hours earlier. That, combined with the cold tires and 40 degree temps made it for quite a wild ride, so I’m going to wait to report on just how much wilder the ride is until the conditions are better. However, I do have some initial impressions that are undeniable. The car is noticeably quicker. The throttle response is better and more immediate. It is easier to get a smooth launch, and the front end now seems quieter. The steering feels MUCH, MUCH lighter and more immediate and responsive. I don’t detect as much “play” in the front steering after the conversion…when you turn the wheel the response from the car is much quicker. The car feels much more nimble and the reduction in drag and rotating mass is apparent. The traction control was intervening constantly, even in a straight line in 1st and 2nd, but I think a bunch of that had to do with the weather and road conditions, so I’ll report back after things dry out a bit. The front end wheel gap between the top of the wheel well and the tire seems bigger now. I’m going to explore getting stickier tires, and I’m definitely going to lower the car a bit (especially the front), and get it aligned. I’ll update this thread as I get more seat time.[/QUOTE]


Great write up and nice job. Thank you for posting. It's critical to have your tires warmed up to get a fully feel of the -2. Once you do, hard to go back to anything but -2.
 

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Well if I can ever find time to start on this I will start the tear down..LOL.. Looks fun. Cant wait to give it a go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Four hours tops, if you have a helper and take your time. Even if you are on the fence, its a no brainer to at least give it a go since its so cheap and easy to do (and reverse if its not for you). If I did it again, I could probably do it in 2.
 

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Excellent write-up with substantial detail, Scottslaw. This is the kind of information that makes belonging to this forum a real bonus for Gallardo owners. Thanks for taking the time to put this all together.
 

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Awesome write up! Thank you for doing this!!!
About how much weight is all that front end crap? I'd imagine at least 100lbs?

Regarding lowering the front end, it's very easy since the cars have coilovers factory. There are a few tutorials on it. If you can remove the axels... I can do the lowering eyes closed and hands tied. Lol.

Aj
 

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The RWD conversion is one of the best mods I've ever done. Nice write up.
 

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Ditto on the quality of write up and service to this community. Well done.

Most of the write ups I have read by auto journalists describe the Gallardo 4WD as very apparent and hence the 2WD quite different. In contrast, I have heard nothing but praise for the 4WD system in the Huracan with a general perspective that it is less "invasive" or obvious in its operation. I wonder if these sort of conversions have a place which will be denominated more by model than anything else.

Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I weighed everything I removed (including the 18-20 diff and driveline bolts), with fluid still in the diff, and it came to a total of 118 lbs. I was a little surprised as I have seen most folks report between 130 and 150. Now, I was using a bathroom scale and was holding the crap in my hands (and subtracting my weight), so it was not exactly a scientifically precise measurement, but I thought I would report my findings nonetheless.

So, that means with my weight reducing mods to date (oz wheels, tubi exhaust, removal of tools, front boot divider, rear engine panels, rear bonnet cover, rear wing and wing hydraulics, and various other odds and ends), I've removed approximately 193 lbs from my car (assuming a 40lb reduction for the Tubi exhaust and a total 10 lb reduction from my OZ wheels, which I have not yet weighed). Not bad! I also have the lighter non-power seats (with the motorized recline function only).

I still need to source a lighter battery (nothing crazy, but maybe something that can save 10 or so pounds off my hefty autozone battery), and explore a few different options, then I'll probably be done with weight reduction because from there it gets a little expensive and starts to affect either safety, drivability, or aesthetics (which is why I'm not going to go gutting the interior).
 

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So I weighed everything I removed (including the 18-20 diff and driveline bolts), with fluid still in the diff, and it came to a total of 118 lbs. I was a little surprised as I have seen most folks report between 130 and 150. Now, I was using a bathroom scale and was holding the crap in my hands (and subtracting my weight), so it was not exactly a scientifically precise measurement, but I thought I would report my findings nonetheless.

So, that means with my weight reducing mods to date (oz wheels, tubi exhaust, removal of tools, front boot divider, rear engine panels, rear bonnet cover, rear wing and wing hydraulics, and various other odds and ends), I've removed approximately 193 lbs from my car (assuming a 40lb reduction for the Tubi exhaust and a total 10 lb reduction from my OZ wheels, which I have not yet weighed). Not bad! I also have the lighter non-power seats (with the motorized recline function only).

I still need to source a lighter battery (nothing crazy, but maybe something that can save 10 or so pounds off my hefty autozone battery), and explore a few different options, then I'll probably be done with weight reduction because from there it gets a little expensive and starts to affect either safety, drivability, or aesthetics (which is why I'm not going to go gutting the interior).
Don't forget you have to add back in the weight of the new stubs you put in so its even less of a weight savings than 118 lbs. Probably more like 105 lbs or so. Adds up none the less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yup. And I forgot to weigh those suckers, but I bet they were two pounds each. My buddy's are on order and we will weigh his before we install them.
 
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