Can you turn a Add-on car into a Replacement?
I've seen plenty of talk about about Replacement cars being turned into add-ons but can the reverse be done? and if so how?
You can turn any add-on car into a replacement car but it is more work. When adding a car (newer cars), you only have to drop the dlc file into the folder and add a line in dlc list. When replacing a car, you have to manually drop it in the newest dlc (patchday something) in order to overwrite the model. You most likely have to edit vehicles.meta, handling.meta or more. To convert a "add-on" car into a replacement, you have to go into the dlc file that the car comes in. Then you have to extract all the files necessary for replacing.
You want to replace the buffalo with a dodge charger. The dlc-file that the mod comes in might be called "charger". You must open the file in OpenIV and then enter the different locations. For example, going to update\update.rpf\common\data\levels\gta5 and then extracting the vehicles.meta, then copying the lines necessary and pasting it in the original vehicles.meta. This must be done for vehicles.meta, and might be necessary for handling or more advanced also (working dials, components, liveries).
This is the basic process:
Go into vehicle dlc file and find everything you need (vehicles.meta, handling, etc.) > extract them > add them to the original files in your mods folder > add car files (ex. buffalo.ytd, buffalo.yft, etc.)
Hope that helped, I'm happy to help if you need help, just send a reply.
As @traitor-meme wrote you have to change car files and meta files. But take care because you most of times have all these files in more than one location. The meta files are always in corresponding archives - ones you learn which archive is connected to which you would find it easy. For example update.rpf model files have meta files in 64e (I hope I am writing right archives coz wasnt working on mods half a year coz I am withou pc now).
But the point is you have most time more than one file. If you replace only oldest model files, your car will appareal but can have problems with errors when you replace hundreds of models. When you replace data in just one meta and have more to replace your car will have glitches.
Vehicles meta is neccessary for working of the model coz it is telling the game all dimensions of vehicle and thing like where player seat is possitioned, where are glass, how many people can sit in etc.
Handling meta is not neccessary but withou it you can have problems like flipping the car. For example when you use Donk vehicle for any normal vehicle, you will see how easy you flip it over when you just turn right or left with the car.
Then there is 2 more meta files which are less neccessary but for completing the replacement and best result is best to check them. One is carcols which is about tuning parts, so if your new car have any tuning parts they should have different names. To use @traitor-meme example it will dont have files named buffalo_f_bumper but for example Charger_f_bumper. That mean to be able to use them you need change file names or meta or both - I used to rename files with name of original model but dont change next words for example file was named Charger_fronbumper so I rename it to "buffalo_frontbumper" this help me sort files better when I have hundreds of replaced cars and I dont remember which model is what car. But at this point you still need change meta in carcols coz there is wrote details like used linked models (one ingame part can be made from 3 files).
Second one is carvariations meta which is telling what colors are cars spawned, what lights setting they are using and what tuning parts file (carcols) they are using. Here you can for example turn off tuning options by using "0_default..." (check in other cars how exactly is this named, dont remember it now and know there is ore types for example 0_default, 0_suv etc). This help you dont have tuning glitches which you can experience most on cars which are spawning in traffic with tuning parts, but your new car which you use to replace them, dont have tuning parts. So if you leave there original tuning parts from buffalo for your charger, it will at least be attached next of the car and in worse scenario write you error and shut down game when this car spawn near you. If you want add tuning for car which originaly dont have archive for tuning parts, it is hole new topic and it is not such easy so avoid it in first step of learning replacing cars
One more tip to take care of is that carcols and carvariations files for upgrade archive are not named carcols.meta and carvariations.meta but .ymt, take care on this also. (not sure now if handling and vehicles have ymt too, I think they have .meta aslo for upgrade archive)