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Thread: Engine swap what would I need to know.

  1. #1

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    Engine swap what would I need to know.

    I have an 80 D50 that has a 2.6 with an automatic, there is an 88 Ram50 2.6 with a manual I am looking at.
    Is there anything I would need to be aware of that would make this swap a problem.
    I have not changed an engine in 20 years so I'm a little out of practice.

  2. #2

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    This will be a not-too-hard affair to tackle. Your auto trans'd D50 will have a wider transmission tunnel than the manual - it might affect the installation of the pedal rack to accommodate the clutch pedal. You might also need the drive shaft (IDK if there's a difference between the manual and auto front yokes) Rest of this will be nuts and bolts but you'll get the added bonus of better front brakes from the '88, so make sure you use those in the swap. Take pics before you pull the whole thing apart as you may need references with things like vac lines (if you can delete or bypass unnecessary plumbing it'll make your life easier)

  3. #3



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    you will have to put the piece for the clutch cable on your firewall. The drive shaft length will be different. If you use the front brakes from the 88, swap the whole spindle, not just the calipers and rotors. You will have to jump out the harness where the neutral safety switch plugs into the harness, or you will never get it to start. The pedals are way different, especially the gas pedal. If you try to use the original pedal, it will be behind the brake pedal. the manual gas pedal offsets 1" to the right, the auto pedal offsets 1" to the left. I offset the brake and clutch pedals to the left 1" and bent the manual pedal over to the left so it just clears the tranny tunnel. To totally resolve the issue, either hammer the tunnel over to the right to clear (caveman) or cut the tunnel and use a license plate box to give you the clearance - I will be doing that to Geronimo this winter. To resolve the vacuum line issues, install a weber on the new motor.
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  4. #4

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    I was not planning on switching the transmission just the engine.

  5. #5



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    can't - 80 2.6 auto is a narrow block, the 88 5 spd is a wide block. You either need a 2.6 from a 79 - 86 truck, 4g52 2.0 from a 79 - 82 truck w/auto or a 2.0 g63b from 83 - 89 - they are narrow block. The way to tell the block is to measure the distance center to center of the lower tranny mount holes - 12.5" is a narrow block, 13.25" is a wide block.
    Pennyman1
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  6. #6

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    Thank you saved me from purchasing something I would not be able to use.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    can't - 80 2.6 auto is a narrow block, the 88 5 spd is a wide block. You either need a 2.6 from a 79 - 86 truck, 4g52 2.0 from a 79 - 82 truck w/auto or a 2.0 g63b from 83 - 89 - they are narrow block. The way to tell the block is to measure the distance center to center of the lower tranny mount holes - 12.5" is a narrow block, 13.25" is a wide block.
    Would a 85auto 2.6l motor work in my 824x4 5spd for a swap?

  8. #8



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    nope - same issue - 85 auto narrow block, and 82 4x4 5spd wide block. 87 -89 2.6 are all wide blocks, manual or auto.
    Pennyman1
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  9. #9



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    just a question
    did the 3.0L use the wide block pattern?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmr8x2 View Post
    just a question
    did the 3.0L use the wide block pattern?
    V6 is a different bolt pattern completely.

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