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Thread: G54B Needs Replacing, What Fits?

  1. #1

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    G54B Needs Replacing, What Fits?

    Hello everyone:

    My 80 year old father in law loves his 1987 Ram 50 with the G54B motor and 3 speed automatic (TF 904 I believe). I've learned a lot from reading the forums but need some help. His motor has started knocking, I think his water got too low.

    I have searched everywhere, but can't find out which motors would bolt up to his transmission. If I could find another carburated salvage yard motor that would bolt up, my son in law and I could make the swap. We don't want to get into a newer computer driven engine swap. We know our limitations.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    c2020again

  2. #2

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    Being an 87 it has a 4 speed tranny ,L,2,D,(O/D is the button on the end of the shifter), it is a wide block bellhousing, so you are limited to the 2.6L out of later 80's D50's and the 4G64 MPFI engine out of the 90's D50's, I believe that the intake from an older 2.0l truck will work on the 4g64. They stopped using the TF 904's after the 86 model year I believe, if the O/D doesn't work it is either a bad relay or your temp sensor is disconnected from the thermostat housing. You could rebuilt the G54B also. The trucks to look in for a 2.6 is the 2wd models that are above the base price range (Ram 50 Custom, Sport, Extended cab, Longbox), or any 4wd Ram 50 built from 1987-1989, and almost all of the trucks built after 1990 have the 4g64, unless it is a Custom or Sport Ex-cab 4wd which uses the V6. The tranny is an Aisin Warner A44D transmission, or as know by Mitsubishi as the KM 148.

    I probably have some info wrong and the guys who know a little more about these trucks may chime in, I have had 3 of these trucks, all different, a 1987 Mighty Max 2wd, a 1987 Power Ram 50 Custom Longbox, with all kinds of cool factory stuff in it and I currently drive a 1991 Ram 50 2WD, They are very good trucks, and somewhat reliable (The 2.6 has a badly designed head, which cracks very easy when it gets hot, which may also be your issue, and always upgrade to a non-jet valve head and a Weber carburetor!!

    Also welcome to the site, always cool to have someone new!!
    1987 2WD Mitsubishi Mighty (R.I.P)
    1984 4WD Toyota Pickup (Sold 10/12)(Rolled and Totaled 3/24/13)
    1987 4WD Power Ram 50 Custom (Scrapped)
    1991 2WD Ram 50 (Scrapped)
    1992 Ford F250 7.3 (sold)
    1999 GMC Yukon (DD)
    1988 Ram 50(project)



  3. #3

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    if you dont mind a small loss in power you can look into getting a 2.6l head off a 87 caravan. they are the same lay out and will bolt up. only plus to that head is that it does not have the jet valves in it. these heads are notorious for cracking around the jet valves.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info. guys. I probably didn't make my question clear. What I really want to know, is there a carburated engine from a newer car/truck that I can easily find at a pick n pull place to bolt up to my current transmission. Say a Neon, Caravan, etc. All of the salvage yards around here don't have any vehicles from the late 80's.

    Changing just the head may be an idea. We live in a rural area of Northeastern North Carolina and I can't get find a mechanic that knows about or even wants to talk about the truck because of its age. But my Father in Law likes the truck and the body is nearly perfect so he would like to keep it.

    Thanks again for your help.

  5. #5

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    nothing past if im correct 90 or 91 came out with a carb. most everything from that point went to fuel injection. and as far as making a neon or caravan motor work its not going to happen. mounting it to your transmission would need either a new bell housing or a new transmission in general. but realisticly id say your best option is to either find a good head or another 2.6l. you could look in the mazda b2600 from the late 80s they had the same motors as yours.

  6. #6

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    Fuel injection would be fine too as long as it wasn't computer controlled. That's what I didn't want to get into transferring the ECU, wiring etc.
    I'll start checking on the 90 or 91 and the heads. Thanks so much for your help!

  7. #7


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    What's wrong with fuel injection? Not too hard to convert. Lol. You could always custom a v6 like the Chevy 4.3 or a v8 in it. Anything is possible with the right amount of patience and time.
    1989 Mitsubishi mightymax; 1990 4g63 6 bolt swap: malhe 9.1 pistons, eagle h beam rods, acl race bearings, rebuilt head, bc spring and retainers, evo 3 16g, aem afpr, Maft, 3" gm maf blow through, walbro 255 fuel pump, hks ssq bov, evo 8 fmic, coil over plug, FIC 850 injectors, dsmlink, apexi avcr, AEM eugo, s90 throttlebody, FRH intake manifold, competition clutch kit and lightened flywheel. LT1 T56 in the works, RIP km132.
    Why a mightymax? Why not? 18 psi FTW.

  8. #8


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    If you find another mightymax that runs you could always swap motor and trans. Don't trust salvage yards motors or trans but if hey got some kind of garrentee then it might be worth a shot.
    1989 Mitsubishi mightymax; 1990 4g63 6 bolt swap: malhe 9.1 pistons, eagle h beam rods, acl race bearings, rebuilt head, bc spring and retainers, evo 3 16g, aem afpr, Maft, 3" gm maf blow through, walbro 255 fuel pump, hks ssq bov, evo 8 fmic, coil over plug, FIC 850 injectors, dsmlink, apexi avcr, AEM eugo, s90 throttlebody, FRH intake manifold, competition clutch kit and lightened flywheel. LT1 T56 in the works, RIP km132.
    Why a mightymax? Why not? 18 psi FTW.

  9. #9

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    I found a mechanic willing to look at the truck. He says the knocking we have started hearing seems to be coming from the area where the transmission bolts to the engine. The knock does get worse when you put it in drive and hold your foot on the brake. He's thinking a torque converter bolt may have loosened a little, or the flywheel may have a crack in it. The noise does seem to be more of a rattle than a knock. I'm hoping he is right. As soon as I find out, I'll post it on here. Maybe it will help someone else in the future!

  10. #10




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    The flexplates can crack on these trucks, and it will cause the noise you are hearing - I wouldn't drive it anymore until that is ruled out or you could destroy the tranny.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  11. #11

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    I'm hoping that is what it is. It is parked at the mechanic's garage waiting for him to look at it, hopefully this week. I'll report back on what he finds.

  12. #12



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    If you look in the link section there is a place that has complete engines and trans with warranty's. I have been there and they fire up every engine they get.
    Members come and members go, But the board keeps track of them.
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  13. #13

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    Thanks for that information. That's what we will do if it turns out to be the engine.

  14. #14

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    The mechanic said the flex plate was cracked! He has one ordered and on the way to us. Thanks to everyone that responded. Hopefully this thread may help someone else.

  15. #15



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    Yep they can sound like a rod. Thanks for keeping us updated. We hate open threads. It makes us wonder what happend.
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  16. #16

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    I have the same problem but can't find a place to order from. Can anybody give me the name and number or website I can order from? 1988 Ram 50 3spd. auto w/OD 4WD 2.6L

    Quote Originally Posted by c2020again View Post
    The mechanic said the flex plate was cracked! He has one ordered and on the way to us. Thanks to everyone that responded. Hopefully this thread may help someone else.

  17. #17

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    Check bell housing 13 1/2 for manual
    Probley looking at rebuilding your it is a simple motor
    Most engine rebuilders are trying to source these blocks.
    Quote Originally Posted by c2020again View Post
    Hello everyone:

    My 80 year old father in law loves his 1987 Ram 50 with the G54B motor and 3 speed automatic (TF 904 I believe). I've learned a lot from reading the forums but need some help. His motor has started knocking, I think his water got too low.

    I have searched everywhere, but can't find out which motors would bolt up to his transmission. If I could find another carburated salvage yard motor that would bolt up, my son in law and I could make the swap. We don't want to get into a newer computer driven engine swap. We know our limitations.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    c2020again

  18. #18

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    Zombie thread...
    support the forum that supports you - join and donate to MightyRam50.Net today! donations unlock the edit function

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    Zombie thread...
    I realize this is a dead thread but I have this exact same problem... My G54B is absolutely dead, and I'd like to replace with a SBC or similar engine. I may have access to a 350 from a '77 Caprice, but I'd like to make this as easy on myself as possible, as this will be my first engine swap. There is also plenty of other work needed, so no need to complicate things. I never liked the power output of the G54B so will not consider rebuilds. This is a 4x4 85 year model.

    Also, I have recently acquired an 84 parts truck (running) with the G63B 2.0 liter and 4-speed manual, 2 wheel drive. Since this will be a complete build (after my 85 sat in a field 18 years), I would consider using that drive-train and going the drag-racer/hot rod route, if that would be easier to add a powerful motor to. I would like to use one or the other of the transmissions/drivelines.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  20. #20

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    Anything can be done with enough, time and money. Sticking to Mitsubishi powerplants will be more streamline, but there are plenty of guys here who have swapped out drivetrains all together.

    Just depends on you and your flavor.

  21. #21

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    neither gearbox suited for drag racing
    Gotta make up your mind what you're after, from which vehicle
    Starion G54B is a totally different performance league, and a bolt-in if the 4x4 gearbox is wideblock
    several swaps detailed on 4x4wire forum. You'd have to check if owners are still around. Not too fussy a swap
    A carb V8 + auto tranny prolly easiest swap for the 2WD
    poke around these forums for some ideas..... lotsa good info, to help u make a better choice

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