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Thread: 1987 2nd Gen Ram50 4d55/Auto Swap.

  1. #1

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    1987 2nd Gen Ram50 4d55/Auto Swap.

    Okay. I might as well introduce myself. I am Josh from Utah, and have always enjoyed the little Mighty Max/Ram50 trucks.
    Recently I purchased a 1987 Ram50 4x4 2.6 auto that had its engine rebuilt by the previous owner.
    However, the engine is locked up, and I am assuming bent valves at least.

    Anyway, rather than rebuild the engine, I thought I might as well swap a 4d55 turbo diesel into it.
    I had read that various things that needed to be done, but jumping in head first was the way I went anyway.

    Locally I found a first gen Ram50 2.6 that someone had swapped a 4d55 into mated to a 5 speed manual.
    The 4x4 wasnt hooked up as the transfer cases differ.
    It was a perfect engine to use for my automatic transmission swap.

    So I started the project, feel free to follow along with my progres.
    As soon as I figure out the pictures that is. Josh

  2. #2

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    Hi and welcome to mightyram. We have a few members that have done the gas to diesel swap. And we also have great info on getting your diesel to flex some extra muscle. Pics are easy to add - click 'Go Advanced' under the text box, scroll down to 'Manage Attachments' on that page, click on that and a gallery page will open up where you can upload images from your PC or from URL links. Rest is a piece o' cake.
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  3. #3

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    Thanks. Here is the day I brought it home. The swap has been going well, the starter was a slight issue for me, but where there is a will, there is a way.
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  4. #4

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    First thing I did was try to get the 2.6 going. The truck was bought believing the engine was shot, so I didnt really worry too much about it.
    It is such a shame, because the engine has all new fresh hoses, plug wires, gaskets, the carb looks clean. Oh well, I suppose.

    The 2.6 was seized, and I didnt really do much to find out why.
    The diesel swap just seemed more fun to me. Plus, I think I needed the slight challenge, given my basic mechanic skills.

    Anyway, I found a first gen truck that had already had a 2.3 4d55 swapped in, but the 4x4 had been deleted, and there was no real mount for the transmission.
    Plus, the body had rust issues, and it was already a swap from a gas engine.

    First thing to do was pull the engines, of course. Josh
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  5. #5

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    After getting both engines out, I started moving things over to the 4d55. (I wish I had marked the wiring from the 4d55 a little better, it would have saved a bunch of time in the end).

    For some reason, I was determined to saved the glow plug controller setup, with resistor, and original glow plug type.
    The one thing I had read about was the manual starter needing to be flipped around to work with the auto flexplate. I will touch on that later one.

    For some reason, it made more sense to swap the powersteering lines, reservoir, and pump from the 1st gen, as it all bolted up well.
    The 87 2.6 truck had the powersteering being cooled from the oil cooler, and the transcooler just cooling the transmission.
    I decided to cool my turbo with the original oil cooler, and leave my powersteering uncooled like the first gen was (I may change this later on, but I am light enough on my powersteering for now).

    The 87 2.6 truck was an A/C truck, but for ease of the swap (for now), I decided to delete it.
    Living in Utah, something will need to be done by next summer.
    Obviously, the entire exhaust system was going, and the gas tank needed to be cleaned out.
    The fuel lines were easy, and I just reused the original tank with new hoses.
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  6. #6

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    Cool progress. Many more obstacles lie ahead, but it should turn out to be a good experience.

  7. #7

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    Thanks, I am slighty further ahead than the thread entails. Jist trying to catch up with the posting of it all.

  8. #8

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    Well, the test fitting went as planned. Until I get to the diesel starter, I will just use the 2.6 starter to see if it runs.
    It looks like the 1st gen diesel wiring is a bit of a mess compared to the 2nd gen gas wiring. Trying to retain the original wiring for the glow plug set up took longer than it should have.
    I will likely convert to 12v plugs and a momentary switch, likely for the ease of it all.

    Then I tried dropping the 1st gen (brand new) fuel tank, only to discover it doesnt match my 2nd gen tank at all.
    So, on to cleaning the 2nd gen tank, and blowing out the fuel lines.
    I havent sourced a new filler neck yet for the diesel, as the 2nd gen trucks necks differ from the 1st gen. Another thing to add to the list down the line.

    Electrical isnt really my area of expertise, but hopefully wiring it up shouldnt be a problem.
    It would be nice to keep a clean, stock type look in the engine bay. Josh
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  9. #9

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    As can be seen in the pictures above, I finally got the powersteering pump and lines switched over. Mostly since I didnt want to make custom mounts to keep the 2nd gen set up.
    The engine was pulled again to clean up the engine bay a little bit, then back in one more time.

    Wiring is starting to come together, but I still havent figured out where every wire will live yet. Josh
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  10. #10

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    A quick update. Got some of the wiring sorted, and the engine fired up with little problem. The 2.6 starter is giving trouble and I just finished flipping the gear on the diesel starter.
    I wasnt too fond of the glow plug controller, and decided for 12V plugs and a relay with a momentary push switch.

    To flip the starter, for me. Required grinding the retainer portion flush to fit inside the Bendix opening. It wasnt extremely difficult, but getting the retainer over the clip was angry for me.

    Purchased new tires since mine decided to be old, and basically useless(even as rollers).
    Radiator was leaking, thankfully only through the drain, and a new plug was an easy fix.

    One thing I havent changed is the fill neck. Filling it with diesel sucks because I use a long screwdriver down the hole, ugh.
    Just trying to finish the last few things before I get it on the road. Josh

  11. #11

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    Some pics..
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  12. #12

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    Excellent. Bet it's nice to be able to fire it up and get it rolling. You've made good progress in what feels like a short time
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  13. #13

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    That's awesome man! Nice work.

  14. #14

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    Thanks guys. There are still a couple small hiccups, but everything should work out pretty nicely in the end.
    From start to finish, it was about 3 weeks, or so. This is a daily driver, so it is always a work in progress.

    Okay. I am going to share my other build in this thread alongside my Ram50.
    This one I have been slowly diving into, and would like to make a reality.

    It is a 1980's Mitsubishi Mighty Mits. The PO blew the 3 cyclinder engine, and I am going to convert it to a diesel. Turbo diesel, if everything goes as planned. Since I am doing my own build up, it could take a lillte while. Josh

    Here is the day I picked it up.
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  15. #15

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    That's my jam bro - I like the obscure stuff. I hope you don't run into anything that you can't fix. I bet parts for this are not gonna be easy to find... Mitsubishi Minicab U11T. There are some funky looking models of these around and they've been in production for a long time by the looks of it.
    support the forum that supports you - join and donate to MightyRam50.Net Get perks and donations $15 USD and over receive official MightyRam50.Net window decals

  16. #16

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    support the forum that supports you - join and donate to MightyRam50.Net Get perks and donations $15 USD and over receive official MightyRam50.Net window decals

  17. #17

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    There's a bunch of them over here. Mostly uncompliant farm trucks. But I think they are old enough now to go on the road

  18. #18

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    Mine is a U15T, but pretty much same deal. I used to have a U62T that I actually daily drove for a few years.
    This one will mostly just be a camping truck, something fun to take up in the mountains.

    I already am using a 1 liter Mitsubishi L3E diesel engine that I picked up.
    It is N/A at the moment, but I am planning for a turbo(TD025)/intercooler set up, if the IP allows for it.

    Since the gearing isnt quite set up to run the street, and it will only be a 4 speed for now, it will just be a runabout vehicle for around the house to replace my utility golf cart. Josh

  19. #19

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    Okay... So, an update to this thread. Recently I was setting up my custom kickdown cable to a small bracket off my IP, and took off my throttle lever without marking its placement.

    Needless to say, I spent nights reading about the IP pump, and throttle lever. It took some time, but I was finally able to get the truck within a solid running range again.

    Over time, I had discovered a small oil leak at my oil cooler lines.
    Before dumping any money into it, I decided it was time for a compression test.

    The numbers came up fine. 400, 400, 400, 390ish.
    Now I will build a proper intercooler set up, and likely pick up a new oil cooler with lines.
    It would be nice to get the turbo rebuilt this spring, but I am looking into options. Josh

  20. #20

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    Such a great little project. Bet this will be a heap of fun to drive once you've patched it up.
    support the forum that supports you - join and donate to MightyRam50.Net Get perks and donations $15 USD and over receive official MightyRam50.Net window decals

  21. #21

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    Okay everyone.... I desperately need a little help. After swapping the loom, I forgot to take pictures of the connector for the overdrive.

    Can someone please photograph what part of what loom this wire comes from?
    For some reason, I deleted it, or did something odd

    If someone could do that for me, I would be appreciative.
    I have been trying to get my overdrive to work with zero success. Thanks, Josh

  22. #22

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    I believe it is black connector that should be ground near the intake manifold?

  23. #23

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    This truck project has been halted for now. I am going to look for a 4x4 manual extended cab for a 2nd gen. truck. For reaon, I really prefer a standard transmission.

    Here is a link to my 1st gen truck that is getting the 4d55 tomorrow.
    I may just find a 4d56 for a 2nd gen build. Josh

    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...e-Ram50-Custom

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