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  1. #1
    Council Member bam-bam's Avatar
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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.

    How to disengage four wheel drive

    To tow your RT4wd wagon, or drive it in 2wd, you need to disengage the transfer gear. Having fielded this question twice in a week, I thought I'd try to explain how with pictures.



    In this picture the orange lever is the one you need to move. The tube sticking up in the crook of the lever is the speedo drive. If you follow the speedo cable down to the trans. You're in the right place. With a 10 mm wrench or socket, loosen the lock bolt located in the curved slot. Then use the same tool to rotate the arm to the other end of the slot. Then retighten the lock bolt to hold the arm in place.



    an automatic RT requires the same precaution, but the lock lever is accessed through the right front wheelwell. Follow the cv axle to the transmission, the lever is just below the axle hole. This picture is of the only auto RT trans I have laying around. Crusty, but you get the idea.



  2. #2
    Wagonist wago671's Avatar
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    I was looking through my Owners manual couple days ago and found out you can do this with the rt4wd. I don't know what other purpose would benefit making it 2wd other than towing.
    1- 2000 Honda Civc LX 4dr (In progress of building)
    2- 1995 Honda Civic Hatchback CX (Sold)
    3- 1991 Honda CRX HF (Sold)
    4- 1989 Honda Civic Wagon RT4WD (Daily Driver)

  3. #3
    Moderator LowFlyin''s Avatar
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    Dyno tuning on a 2WD only dyno.
    1987 Civic Si - Rescue'd
    1991 CRX Si - Swap'd
    1991 Civic Si - Racecar'd
    1991 Civic Wagon RT4WD - RDC'd Turbo'd DD
    1991 Civic EX - Looking for one to complete the collection!

  4. #4
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    Ya that's how I dyno'd mine.
    1990 RT4wd

  5. #5
    Wagonist wago671's Avatar
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    Fair enough haha.
    1- 2000 Honda Civc LX 4dr (In progress of building)
    2- 1995 Honda Civic Hatchback CX (Sold)
    3- 1991 Honda CRX HF (Sold)
    4- 1989 Honda Civic Wagon RT4WD (Daily Driver)

  6. #6
    Wagonist r8edm's Avatar
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    Cheers for sharing, did not know this can be done.

    For daily driving, whats is the recommended option? Simply 2wd or 4wd? Any affects on fuel economy?

  7. #7
    Wagonist r8edm's Avatar
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    Here is another photo of the lever to put it in context


  8. #8
    familEE
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    Quote Originally Posted by r8edm View Post
    Any affects on fuel economy?
    Gizmo posted on the Uk 4th gen forum that he did see a difference in MPG between modes.
    Certainly when I push mine on the drive in 2WD or 4WD mode it's a LOT easier in 2WD mode.
    Dave

  9. #9
    Moderator LowFlyin''s Avatar
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    Might have to try this at the next autoX. Run half the runs with it engaged and the other half with it disengaged. Would be a fun little experiment.
    1987 Civic Si - Rescue'd
    1991 CRX Si - Swap'd
    1991 Civic Si - Racecar'd
    1991 Civic Wagon RT4WD - RDC'd Turbo'd DD
    1991 Civic EX - Looking for one to complete the collection!

  10. #10
    Wagonist r8edm's Avatar
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    I did this today, surprisingly simple to do.
    Hardest thing is getting a long enough socket set in there.

    Going to record my fuel usage with 2wd now and compare it with before and see if there is any difference.

  11. #11
    Wagonist MrWhoopee's Avatar
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    I disengage mine every spring when I take the snow tires off. That way I don't have to worry about the worn out snow tires (which I use for summer) being unevenly worn and damaging the VC. I got tired of fighting multiple socket extensions (which were always coming apart) and made a long "L" handle from a piece of 3/8 cold rolled steel square stock. I plan to weld a 10mm socket to it, but so far a little masking tape holds nicely.
    Craig
    2 ea. '88 RT4WD, '88 CRX

  12. #12
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    i believe the average MPG difference between 2wd and 4wd is between 3-5 mixed driving IIRC

  13. #13
    familEE
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowFlyin' View Post
    Might have to try this at the next autoX. Run half the runs with it engaged and the other half with it disengaged. Would be a fun little experiment.
    He also found it understeered a lot less in 2WD mode.

    I'll be experimenting here too.
    Only thing is teh manual and the sticker under the bonnet says for temporary use only.

    Any concerned about long term 2WD use folks?
    Looking at how the mech works, it's quite similar to a gear selector synchro so should be ok, but....
    Dave

  14. #14
    Wagonist wago671's Avatar
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    Is there any conclusion with the gas milage? I'm really interested in seeing if it's worth it.
    1- 2000 Honda Civc LX 4dr (In progress of building)
    2- 1995 Honda Civic Hatchback CX (Sold)
    3- 1991 Honda CRX HF (Sold)
    4- 1989 Honda Civic Wagon RT4WD (Daily Driver)

  15. #15
    Council Member bam-bam's Avatar
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    You will get better mileage in 2wd.

  16. #16
    Wagonist r8edm's Avatar
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    Filling up fuel this afternoon, will update with results.

  17. #17


    Me too, disengaged today in the morning and then filled it up. I have some past fuel consumption numbers, so I can compare.
    Immediately I felt the car is easier to move (push) and it is faster in lower rpm's.

  18. #18
    Wagonist r8edm's Avatar
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    My results

    4WD
    Distance traveled: 261.7km
    Fuel used: 24.77L
    Conditions: Daily driver - 50/50 town and motorway

    Results:
    10.56 Km/L
    29.85 M/G
    9.46 L/100km

    2WD
    Distance traveled: 401km
    Fuel used: 36.18L
    Conditions: Daily driver - 50/50 town and motorway

    Results:
    11.08 Km/L
    31.31 M/G
    9.02 L/100km

    Very little difference between 2wd and 4wd.
    Also tested 91 octane compared to 95 (not in this test) and didn't find any difference that was of significance.

  19. #19


    You are blasting it pretty good, don't you? Your mileage is pretty low. I got 7.7L/100km last time, and few before around 8L, and I got 195 winter tyres with 4WD and DOHC ZC engine (130hp) with CAT (shouldn't have it).

  20. #20
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    I'm sorry for being new, and I have searched, but not turned up a definitive answer. In the picture above with the orange lever, is the RT4WD engaged or disengaged? I bought mine recently and was told the RT4WD was disengaged, but the lever was not exactly at either end. The underhood sticker was also confusing. Again, I'm sorry if this is a simple question.

  21. #21
    Council Member bam-bam's Avatar
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    In both of those pictures the lever is in the engaged/4wd position. You're right, I didn't make that clear.

  22. #22
    Wagonist Chase's Avatar
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    thank you for this thread, it helped me switch my rt to 2wd when I had a bad rear axle... then I did a fwd burnout and broke a front axle... damn! lol much appreciated though

  23. #23
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    Sorry to bug you again. I can't seem to get the lever all the way to the "engaged" end of the slot. I can't get a great pic of it but is there any sort of procedure for doing this? IE: does the can need to be in neutral? Do I need to roll it at all? Is it an actual gear that engages? Etc. thanks in advance.

  24. #24
    Wagonist MrWhoopee's Avatar
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    You might need to back the nut out a little more, the flange on the nut has to clear the recess/divot in the arm. Not too much! You may also need to rock the car (in gear).
    Craig
    2 ea. '88 RT4WD, '88 CRX

  25. #25
    Council Member bam-bam's Avatar
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    He's right on the money^^

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