civic wagon drivetrain parts for 4wd mini cooper build

Hey guys, I am building a 4wd d swapped mini cooper and I need help with determining which parts I will need so I can start mocking up the build/fabrication needs.

So far this is what I know that I need:

-6 speed rt4wd transmission

-Intermediate Shaft+carrier (my z6 block is tapped for the bearing mount)

-Transfer case? (is the transfer case part of the trans? Or is it a separate piece?)

-Driveshaft with viscous coupler (can it be run without the coupler?)

-Rear diff

Im not too familiar with the wagons so I am unsure of what else I will need for the 4wd to function. ECU? I will be using modified miata rear trailing arms with custom axles and modified polaris rzr suspension as I intend to use this in rallycross. I will also be making a tubed rear subrame with a mount for the rear diff. Let me know if there are any questions, as I am still trying to figure this out as I go ?


  • superhatchsuperhatch Moderator

    You'll need the diff, full driveshaft including VC, and a RT trans.

    The transfer case is part of the trans for an RT wagon. You'll need the VC otherwise you won't have any slip and unless you're always on gravel where you can slip around a solid 4wd shaft system will end up breaking the diff or transmission.

    Everything is mechanical from the trans to the diff (if you get a manual) so you wont need any ECU stuff. I believe that some people use a K series or B Series CRV transmission sometimes too instead of the RT.

    Because of the AWD craze right now in the drag scene expect to pay a stupid amount for RT stuff.

    Here is just the driveshaft and VC going for 1500.

    I don't see any diffs available right now, but they are usually going for $500 or so. I have an extra set of each and I'm so tempted to sell them right now. lol

    You can buy aftermarket VC and driveshafts for the CRV, but something about the OEM stuff is better and thus the prices.

  • I like the idea of having the transfer case being part of the trans since I am pressed for room. I'm aware that the crv stuff is typically cheaper and easier to find, but could it be bolted up to a d block? I just finished building the engine and I have a JRSC with a modified manifold bolted up. I'm trying to go for weirdness, since it seems like everyone and there mother is doing a B swapped mini these days ?

    I found a scrapyard in town that has two 4wd Civic wagons, one was just dropped off this week and the other has been there for a few months. I might have to go take a look and see if the 4wd stuff is still there. Otherwise I'll keep an eye out on eBay and see if I can find some gold. My main priority would be to have the diff and trans so I can mock up the front and rear subframe, but it would be nice to have the driveshaft so I can start modifying the tunnel.

  • superhatchsuperhatch Moderator

    No there really aren't good D to B options out there anymore. I'm building a D for boost right now so I've done a lot of that legwork to see if a CRV B series would fit a D block.

    If you grabbed both of those drive trains you would probably be able to sell one and pay for both of them. :)

  • Unfortunately I went to the scrapyard and found both wagons stripped of their entire drivetrain, including rear trailing arms, axles, the whole works ? One of them had been there for less than 24 hours ? Sourcing the parts seems to be my biggest challenge right now, as its hard to justify dropping 3+ grand on something to test a concept.

  • Is the front diff specific to the civic wagon? Or will other d tranny diffs swap in? I have a LSD in my d box and im curious if i could use it

  • Seems to be the best deal Ive found so far... though its in spain and who know what condition its all in. Im tempted though

  • @dunejunkie i think it's a good buy if it comes with ever thing transmission, drive shaft with viscous coupler, shifter with cables, starter but damn all the way from spain

  • It would still be cheaper after shipping than piecing together everything stateside ? I might pull the trigger, since im not sure when Ill find a deal like this again. Ill keep you guys posted

  • edited May 2020

    Ok guys, I did it. Talked to the seller and he confirmed that the parts came from a parted out wagon in spain. Im getting a 6 speed rt4wd tranny, rear diff with mount, driveshaft + coupler, rear axles, a starter, shifter + cables, and a poly transmission mount, all for 850 shipped ?. Ill post pics when it arrives, will probably take a couple weeks to get here.

    In the mean time, im curious if anyone has converted their wagon's cable transmission to hydro? I have a willwood pedal box that I will be using and i would prefer to keep everything hydraulic. Im sure I can make work, just curious if there are any kits available that will bolt on with some minor modification. I have a MIG welder at home and access to a TIG at work if need be.

  • @dunejunkie awesome I think that was a good price compared to others that I've seen, I've never heard of anything about wagons cable to hydro except for going the crv route which is B series engine/transmission for the hydro conversion

  • superhatchsuperhatch Moderator

    850 shipped is a great price. Cant wait to see the results!

    I talked with Hush about the conversion but he said that his kit wouldn't work, and no current EF kits will be a direct bolt on for a conversion. As I'm running a heavy clutch for my build I'm a bit worried about the cable, but for a stage 2 clutch or so you should be fine.

  • I'll probably end up just making something.. I mean really all I need to do is find a way to mount a slave and then modify the clutch arm to accept the push rod. I'll be able to put more thought into it one the transmission is here

  • Ok guys a I've got an update, and I need some advice.

    The eBay seller told me that the shipping ended up being way more expensive than he thought.

    We agreed to offset the shipping costs privately, but it will tack on an extra 600 bucks.

    That's brings it up to $1'450 shipped, which includes the tranny w/mounts, driveshaft with VC, rear diff, rear axles, shifter w/cables, and a starter.

    Is this still a good price? Or should I keep shopping.

  • Ok I went ahead and did it anyways. I made my mind up after shopping around... The thought of trying to find another complete drivetrain made my decision easy lol. Plus I got some more info from the seller. Supposedly the trans came out of his personal car. He was doing a k swap with crv drivetrain components. He said that the trans shifted smooth with no grinds. He claims that the previous owner had taken the trans apart to install an LSD and new syncros. He also said that most of the time he had the car he kept the 4wd disconnected to improve gas mileage. I'll still take the trans and rear diff apart to make sure everything looks good.

    He just shipped it out today so hopefully I'll be seeing some pallets in my door step in a couple weeks ✌️

  • andreas542andreas542 Band Wagon

    Well, congrats man, but yeah I'm not surprised on that shipping cost! Looking forward to following your build!

  • @dunejunkie still not bad on price i think it dose kinda suck cause the extra 600 but to me still getting good deal with all for the price. I'm not sure if what he said about the syncros is true cause they never made any aftermarket or replacement gears for the RT4WD transmission unless they're used new to that transmission off another. cant wait for updates

  • Yeah I noticed that through my research, I'll crack the tranny open to inspect everything and post my findings. Everything finally shipped on Monday, so I hope to see it sometime in the next week. I'll post pics when it all arrives. I'm getting super stoked to start this project ?

  • Also, the seller informed me that he has lots of wagon drivetrain parts (transmissions, driveshafts, etc.) He has a shop in Spain and he works on mostly wagons and crxs, plus older civics and preludes. So let me know if you guys want me to ask him for parts.

  • Alright guys, so I've got an update.. and I'm not too happy. I can't blame anyone but myself, ive made a mistake.

    When I spoke to the seller he confirmed that the parts were from a Civic wagon... However, I believe there may have been some miscommunication due to the language barrier... What I received are not Civic wagon parts... Instead they appear to be CRV drivetrain parts.

    To top things off, the tranny was damaged during shipping and now has a chunk missing that reveals what appears to be the first gear selector shaft.

    Upon closer inspection I found that the tranny does bolt up to my d block. What I found is that there was actually a smaller Honda compact SUV intended for markets overseas called the HRV, which was 4wd and used a d16a block... After a little research On confirmed that these parts did come from a European HRV.

    I'm not sure what I should do at this point. I feel I have overpaid for essentially CRV stuff that can bolt up to a d16.

    Does anyone know anything about these HRV drivetrains? Is the 4wd system any good? Should I try to find a wagon tranny and make the driveshaft and rear diff work?

    Lesson learned, always ask for more pics.

  • Just found this while doing some research. Perhaps this is the way to go while using the parts I already have.

  • Anyone have any input? I'm trying to decide weather it's worth it to continue with these components.

    I saw someone else who has built a 4wd B series mini and they used a Miata rear diff with a viscous coupler from a Civic wagon.

    I'm not opposed to welding the clutches together in the CRV diff, just curious what you guys think

  • Vtec_ShuttleVtec_Shuttle Wagonist
    edited June 2020

    @dunejunkie shit that's a little disappointing, i wish i can help but I'm not familiar with the european HRV AWD set up, I say if you have it use it just find a 88-91 wagon Viscous Coupler to use on the driveShaft or sell this setup and look for the wagon setup

  • I saw that some people would use a VC from a freelander with the locked CRV diff. I might try that route. For now I'm going to float the engine block and tranny into the car and start on the bodywork and tunnel modification.. since the one thing I know for sure is that there WILL be a driveshaft running down it ? I'll post some updates I get motivated.. hopefully this weekend.

  • @dunejunkie that's true i forgot you can use the freelander VC/DriveShaft. Motivation is key for builds haha

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