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Thread: The Great Dilemma!

  1. #1

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    The Great Dilemma!

    Okay folks, so here is my dilemma. The blue pick-up is my tried and true, dyed in the wool, true blue, 1984 4D55T Ram 50 that I've had for several years. Although the picture doesn't adequately show it it is really starting to have some rust concerns that have only been accelerated since moving to a more humid climate. The black truck a 1986 Ram 50 with a 2.0L gasoline engine (not sure the model) and is the truck of interest that I have now with intentions to do a little swap. However, as I've laid awake at night thinking about it I'm not sure what is to be done. My blue truck (Wallace is his name) has just lost first gear recently and so I'm either in need of a rebuilt transmission or a replacement which I believe the one in the black truck will do just fine. I could use some advice on that as well. Not sure of model numbers and requirements, if any, on the diesel transmission. Anyways as I've thought about it I've considered just swapping motors to the black body (which has no rust on the body and minimal on the frame). This would be option #1, that presents potential headaches like swapping some electrical stuff and fuel tank and fuel lines, et cetera. Or I could just strip down Wallace to the frame and just get a whole face lift and transmission and keep the original frame. I'd like your advice as to what else I might could expect for speed bumps in option #1 or why you would rather lean towards option #2. Any advice is appreciated. This is a first time taking on a project like this. I've done similar stuff in semi's but for me they seem a lot more straight forward and most things can be interchanged rather easily on a peterbilt or kenworth and their both diesel. I just hope to have a clear vision before I decide on an option and so I won't wish I'd done it the other way, that's all. Thanks in advance!



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  2. #2

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    IDK but holy cow that black truck is minty fresh and clean.

    I've seen KM132 rebuild kits on eBay for about $200 but I don't know about the quality.

    If you've swapped components around on semis this should be cake.
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  3. #3



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    I'm sure there nearly the same but the frame is what may be slightly different from diesel to gas. Pennyman would know the frame. But since there both later model first gens they should be the same. Just take some pictures and measurements. I don't see why you can't swap over the diesel to the new one.
    The trans may be different. Try sending mikewarme a PM or email see what he may say. http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...p/76-mikewarme
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  4. #4

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    diesels are wideblock and it seems as though the 2.0 is almost always narrowblock, idk if they ever were made wide. The easiest and quickest way would be to strip down both cabs and swap over the bodies. The wiring im pretty sure is at least a little bit different, so i would swap it over. Shouldnt be too hard to gut one truck and remove the harness and body(rusted one so dont need any help just roll it off) and then the second one with a couple buddies transfer it to the diesel chassis and put it all back together.

  5. #5

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    i'm not trying to dissolve any of your wishes...just taking the path of least resistance...why not swop desireable parts from wallace ie-rear slider, etc...sell wallace intact & put the black truck on the road?

  6. #6



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    86 2.0 5spd is a narrow block trans, will not fit the 4d55. Frames are the same, just mounts, tranny crossmember and driveshafts to swap drivetrain wise. The rest is the diesel tank, wiring and cluster to keep it all together.
    Pennyman1
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  7. #7

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    Because of that narrow block will the cab still fit from the black truck onto the diesel transmission or will I just have less room to work with?

  8. #8



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    it will clear no problem - the 5 spd trannies are the same size - its if you go to put a manual truck cab on an auto tranny truck is where you may have tight clearances.
    Pennyman1
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  9. #9

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    There is a KM132 5 speed from a diesel with the hydro clutch slave cylinder on eBay right now. Asking ridiculous amounts of money for it, though.
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
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  10. #10

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    Is this the one you're talking about?(link below) I've bought a harmonic balancer from the same guy in North Dakota. What is a reasonable price for one with the hydraulic clutch slave cylinder? As of yesterday I only have 2nd and 5th gears and I'm moving 250 miles in about 3 weeks. Need to get the problem solved relatively quickly since the transmission in the black truck is no good to me. Never rebuilt one before... I almost fell like buying a used factory transmission would be better than a questionable rebuild kit from China.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1984-Mitsubi...cc9a25&vxp=mtr

  11. #11

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    That's the one. That's the highest asking price I've seen but I'm not a 1st Generation veteran like Brad, Pennyman and Camo. They're uncommon transmissions.
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
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  12. #12

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    hey, easiest way is to switch cabs.

  13. #13



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    I would just drop in a clutch and a used trans. The hydraulic is nice but you need to mod the firewall I think. Just do the cheep and easy way to get moved. What is the trans doing. Grinding or popping out of gear? Have you even pulled the pan to see whats in there? Have you adjusted the clutch?
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  14. #14

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    So this is what happened... I moved from Idaho to eastern Nebraska back in August 2014 and had a pretty good load on the truck. I committed a rookie mistake and failed to check my transmission lube after hauling that heavy load. Sometime around January I was driving it around town and went from 1st gear to 2nd and it sort of all bound up. The rear tires locked up and I came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. When I would engage the clutch things seemed okay but when I'd let it out you'd hear all this whining (and it would not get out of first gear, it was stuck/jammed into it). Then all of the sudden it just went away and I drove it home. I let it rest and then checked the fluid level. It was about a quart and a half low on 90W so I added a court of 90W and half a quart of Lucas transmission gear lube. It then drove like a dream for a month with the occasional whining still when I'd use second gear, so sometimes I'd just skip second. Then while driving all of the sudden I could no longer shift into 1st gear but every other gear worked flawlessly, so I'd start in 2nd. Then just two days ago I was driving to get some parts for my other car and I was about 2 blocks from home when I could no longer shift into 3rd or 4th. So I've got 2nd and 5th gear left. I'm taking it to a transmission place on Monday to get their opinions. Moral of the story folks.... don't let your transmission get dry and it will prevent a lot of problems. Especially if you've been working your truck more than just buzzing around town, say for example moving 1000 miles with a lot of crap in the back. I've replaced rebuilt transmissions and clutches but never actually opened up a gear box. I did have a browning transmission blow up on a semi once so I got a good look inside it with gears flying everywhere. The only other problems I've had with my clutch or transmission was that one time I did run out of the brake fluid in the hydraulic clutch reservoir so I lost the clutch while driving 150 miles. Just powershifted like a rig and then filled it up the next day and haven't had a problem since. Not even sure how to adjust a clutch.

  15. #15



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    Oh yea that will kill a main shaft.. It's done. Just swap it out with a used one from a junk yard. Hydraulic is self adjusting.
    http://www.msrecycling.com/
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  16. #16

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    I'd upgrade to the newer transmission from the second generation truck, or better yetm a 5 speed from the V6 model. I think someone said the trans could bolt to the diesel block from the V6. Its 4 wd, so you will need a tailshaft assy thats 2wd also..not sure if thats a PITA, but the 4G64 trans is much stronger than the old weak one on the first gen gas and diesel trucks.
    Nice looking trucks, esp the black one!

  17. #17

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    I am ordering myself, at least a new engine 4d56t. If needed I could price a trans for you from the supplier. He sells new and used engines and transmissions, I believe.(2nd gen only, most likely), but I CAN ask if you want me to.

  18. #18

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    Thanks for the offer thillskier. As of now I was able to resolve that transmission concern:
    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...s-Happy-ending!
    According to some of the other members I can swap out the innards of the transmission from the 2.0 motor (black truck) if I ever got in the need for it. As of now as soon as I'm done with school I have every intention to begin this engine swap into the black truck. Wallace is really starting to show his age and the sooner I can make this swap the better. If the 4D55 ever goes capoot then I will be in the market most likely for a 4D56T.

  19. #19



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    the manual trans from a v6 will not work on a 4d55 or 2.6 gas - different bell housing entirely. It is also nearly impossible to find a 2wd tailshaft for that 4wd tranny - it seems they only made it for one year as a mitsu in or Hyundai in 2000.
    Pennyman1
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  20. #20

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    Thanks pennyman for the info (re V6 tranny not fitting) the diesels. I did this swap on a 2wd that was hit and totaled into a 4wd 1st gen back in 1985. It was pretty easy, really. We had 2, my GF a black 4wd tdiesel, and me (at first) a 2wd td. When wreched after 450,000+ miles the 2wd donated the engine to the 4wd truck for another 150,000+ until I bought the 1991 V truck!
    The 1st gens trannies gave us problems at about 100,000 miles, even using Amsoil and changing at 50,000 miles. They are weak, stock, IMHO. The second gen trannys will fit the diesels, correct pennyman? anyone? I'm hoping/assuming, as I plan to use it IF i ever locate a supplier for an engine for a GB and my truck, especially!
    As you know, its a MUCH better vehicle diesel, almost 2x the mpg's in my trucks...

  21. #21

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    2.6 trans will fit, think the 2.4's are narrow block

  22. #22



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    All 2.6 manuals, 2.6 87 - 89 and all 2.4 blocks are wide body motors, so the trannys will fit.
    Pennyman1
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