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Thread: 2.6 (1989 4wd) & 2.6 (1987 2wd) motor swap

  1. #1

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    2.6 (1989 4wd) & 2.6 (1987 2wd) motor swap

    Hello all, I am new to the ram 50 world and knowledgeable help is hard to find. I am needing to replace my engine (g54b) and found a donor but its out of a 1987 and it's 2wd. Am I going to have any clearance issues and will I need to swap any parts to make it work? Thanks for any help!!!

  2. #2



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    I want to say there the same. But look in the Wiki under engine. We have a hole big thing in there on years and types. It should help out, I hope. But one of the second gen guys will jump in here soon.
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  3. #3

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    1989 Dodge Ram 50
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    From what I deciphered everything will be fine with the blocks. Haven't seen anything about the transfer. My current tranny is a manual and the donor is a automatic. Kinda has me scratching my head. Only one way to find out if I don't get a solid answer.... Thanks!

  4. #4



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    Measure the distance between the 2 lower mounting bolts. But I want to say that after 85 they were all wide block engines.
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  5. #5

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    Will do thanks!

  6. #6



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    the oil pan may need changed to clear the front diff - compare them and see - the pickup may need to be swapped also. Both blocks are wide blocks, so that should not be an issue.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  7. #7

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    the shifter housing is easy to remove, and the front housing section attached to the transfer case bolts up to the gear box. (just did this 2 days ago). 87 and 89 engines are nearly identical-I have an 87. If you are installing the transmission yourself there is a secret for a very easy way to do it-install just the gear box first-it's not very heavy and you can lift it in to place yourself, line up the input shaft and just push it in to contact the engine block and install the bell housing bolts. Next you install the shifter tunnel section, very light with only one tricky bit-getting the shift-finger selector inside of the selector rods on the gear box. The hardest part is the beefy t-case-feels like 100 pounds or more. You'll need someone inside to slide a shifter selector part on the rod that connects to the t-case as you push the unit forward. I can supply photos if you need it. If you haven't done it before, I suggest doing a trial run in the driveway to see how it all connects first. Took me 30 minutes and I'm old and stupid. Good luck.

  8. #8

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    Thanx natureboy I'm thinking I will do the swap and leave the tranny in (if its possible) I got the donor motor pulled yesterday. Wasn't too bad and I was surprised to see that the torque converter has 6 bolts and the block/tranny only has 4. I'm not eager to mess with the tranny or transfer case on the driver.

  9. #9

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    I rounded a bolt on the daggum top left tranny bolt (up against the firewall) I can't beat a 12 point socket on like I normally would. Any suggestions? Afraid to use heat since it is so close to the carb and has oil all over the engine. The only tools I can get to squeeze in there is an open 14mm wrench and vice grips. I've had it soaking in sea foam but am open to suggestions!

  10. #10


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    I have a set of these and they are one of the best tools I ever picked up http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1..._tnt=39869:3:0

  11. #11

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    If you pull the intake manifold carburetor and all and wash the oil off you can heat up that bolt and crack it loose with the vise grips. With the manifold out of the way you may have a bit more room to work.

  12. #12

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    Got it finally. Just found a fire extinguisher and kept it handy. Little heat and a few busted knuckles later I was in business. Should put the new motor in sometime next week.

  13. #13

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    I got the motor in and it was a pain. It didn't trigger in my mind to check the oil pan and sure enough the 4x4 had a different oil pan that was preventing the motor mounts to mate up. I pulled it all back out changed the pans and the pick-up tube then it fit like a glove. I plumbed it all in and I knew it had a bad tank. I found out today that a long bed tank is bigger than a short bed....

  14. #14

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    I think the tanks differ from 2wd to 4wd also, as well as ext.cab to regular cab. Although the latter may be the same as long and short bed. I'm not sure if regular cab long bed is the same frame as ext cab.

  15. #15



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    yes the long bed reguar cab and the ext cab are the same frame with different mounts for the cab and bed. The tanks are also different from 2wd and 4wd. I tried to warn you about the oil pan and pickup...
    Pennyman1
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  16. #16

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    Thanks for the info on the tanks. I found one tank thats out of a mighty max. As soon as I couldn't get those motor mounts to bolt up I new exactly what it was. I should have the old goat runnin this next week.

  17. #17

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    Got a tank out of a mighty max for $20 I plumbed it in and she started right up! I just gotta put new carpet and seat in then I'm on the road. My crew cab 2500hd 4x4 needs a break from the 45 mile commute to work. So does my wallet! Thanks for all the help ill post pics ASAP.

  18. #18

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    You may want to keep a spare fuel filter in the glove box. After I swapped the tank on mine, the fuel filter plugged up a few weeks later. Over a distance of 20 kilometers from the first sign of power loss it became barely driveable.

  19. #19

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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5438 This is the top left tranny/motor bolt that stripped. Had to file it down to a 10mm heat it and bust a few knuckles....Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5439Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5440 after the rat eviction Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5441they even ate part of the darn glove box??? Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	5442 Im sure you are interested to see what the other truck in the shop was....

  20. #20

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    Got everything lined out she is running good (little weaker than the V8 that im used to driving). Just have some small issues to fix like the a/c compressors. I like the compressor and brackets that came out of the donor but will not mount up to my condensor (hoses are different mounting style). The idler arm is out so it has the death wobble at 65mph. Also has a high idle in neutral and im afraid to mess with the carb with all of the horror storys i have read about. I would like to thank everyone that helped me out with some very good information.

    Lessons learned:

    2wd & 4wd models are interchangable from 87 - 89 if you change oil pans and pickup tube....
    Fuel tanks are not interchangeable between short/long bed.......
    The entire truck can be disassembled with a 12mm & 14mm wrench.

  21. #21



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    Looks like the rats ate your seats and carpet too looking in that one picture...

  22. #22

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    The rat crap was so thick I was scraping it out with a garden hoe. I had a mound from the ground to the door. Piss saturated the floor and the foam was nearly all gone from the rats hiding it in the ducts. Finally got the smell out and the wife refuses to ride/drive it. **win!**

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