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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There comes a point in time where dedication and love for a vehicle may reach unhealthy levels. However, time builds ones bonds to something regardless of the object being a person, or a vehicle. For the car guy, it is kind of a similar love we feel for a vehicle as we would to a loved one, just in a different way. And the more time and effort that is put into said vehicle, the stronger the bond. At the point it becomes a very strong bond, we are generally referred to as “too far gone” and somewhat shunned by the non car people of the world. I believe I am now at that point as you will be able to read below! :D


For me, this story is about my daily driver 1990 W250 regular cab Cummins. Many of you have seen this truck, or seen pictures of the truck, from over the course of the last 10 years I have attended diesel events all over Canada and the US in it and it has frequented most of the diesel forums since 2003. My truck and I started off on a rocky road but now as you will see, we have a mutual respect for one another. I will try to tell you the tale of the truck and some of the things we have been through. Sit back. Grab a drink. And enjoy. I apologize for your cell data bill if not on WIFI. :D I will also try not to get off topic as I normally do, and I will do my best to ensure I don’t bore you with the little things that took place along the way. So let’s start at the beginning.


The truck started off as a non intercooled 727 3 speed auto equipped Cummins (CPL 0804), and was built on October 23, 1989 at Warren truck Assembly in Warren Michigan. I guess the best point is at the start of anything that has to do with this truck. Well it all started back in October 1989. A dealer in Ontario ordered a brand new Cummins equipped 727 LE W250. A few weeks after it arrived at the dealer, an gentleman by the name of Ellis purchased it to pull his RV trailer with as well as a form of daily transportation. The truck was babied its entire life and was only driven about 6K miles (10,000 KM) a year as its primary use was RV towing during the summer months, but also did serve as winter transportation. The truck made its way across country several times and made it to the East coast Canada, West Coast Canada, down into the Colorado/Arizona area, and all across the South East including spending several winters in Florida. In 2000, the truck was painted two tone silver as the original Daytona Blue paint was peeling (as typical of the paint on vehicles of the early 90s due to the government mandated change to water base paint).
Pic of old paint (how it came from factory). This pic also shows just how low the 4x4 1990 and prior trucks sat. These were known as the lowboy trucks.





Somewhere in the 90s a few modifications took place mostly relating to an aftermarket intercooler kit, as well as four gauges: Trans temp, tach, pyro and boost. Although I was not told it was adjusted, I believe it had slight fuel screw adjustments as it would put down 178 HP at the wheels with the auto when I first dyno'd it. The truck served Ellis well with no issues and in November 2002, he decided due to the truck being a regular cab, having a 100 lbs dog, and his significant other all riding in the truck across the country travelling; it was time for a quad cab. So with the new Gen 3 Ram truck bodies out, the decision was made. It was time to trade the truck into the local dealer.


So in November 2002 the truck was traded into the dealer with 122,300 KM on it and dad purchased the truck as a snowplow (Keep in mind, it was “just” a 12 old truck at this point). The truck served as a snowplow for the entire winter and when spring came, dad noted that there was a large fresh gash in the newer paint to the front fender, and the wheels in his head started working (this scar is still there and reminds people around the truck of the history in it). The resulting conversation with dad regarding the truck after its winter of plowing went like this:

Dad: So Robert, I think it is time for you to buy a truck
Me: I agree!
Dad: You have been driving for a few years now, it’s time you get something.
Me: Again, I agree!
Dad: Have any thoughts?
Me: For sure. Has to be a pickup so I can haul chicken feed.
Dad: Good call!
Me: I was thinking maybe a Dakota R/T.
Dad: Do you have the funds for that?
Me: Well not yet, but this idea was only sprung on me 30 seconds ago…
Dad: Keep thinking. You don’t need a Dakota R/T.
Me: OK. Another truck I like is the SST Ram or even an Indy Edition! Yeah!
Dad: You got the money for the fuel that thing will eat?
Me: Well…
Dad: Gas is getting expensive son. You need something more fuel efficient and reliable.
Me: Well what then?
Dad: The snow plow!!!
Me: Huh? Say what?
Dad: Its low mileage with only 123,400 KM on it, its diesel so it is fuel efficient, it has 4wd for winter, and it’s a great truck!
Me: Uh huh….riiiiight……
Dad: It needs a new headliner, wheels repainted, new rubber, a taillight, a grill repaint, new muffler as it is rotted, and some trim replaced but that is good. Best part is it will teach you some things along the way as you should learn to work on vehicles.
Me: But the newer body trucks…
Dad: Best part is it’s cheap and will last you for many years.
Me: Umm, OK….. But I…
Dad: Oh, I have already made arrangements for this too!
Me: Ooof.
Dad: So about your summer job so you can pay me for this truck……. ;)



And that is how I became the owner of a 1990 W250! LOL It was not until about 8 years later I found out why he was so hell bent on my purchasing that truck. Seems the top end was 71 MPH pedal on floor and he was afraid I would be street racing with whatever I was driving, so this would keep me out of big speeding infractions and would help keep me safe! Also he was genuine in the fact that it would be reliable and the few things it needed would get me a bit more accustomed to working on vehicles and he wasn’t going to just leave me to be either, he was planning on doing this stuff with me. Thanks Dad. LOL


So, I spent the first few weeks with dad cleaning the truck up. It did get everything it needed like repainting wheels, grill repaint, headliner, taillight, etc and dad suggested we get a set of stacks for it. This really was the first light of decency I saw in the truck. Those stacks started the ball rolling. I was however very unenthusiastic regarding the truck for a very long time.
2003 – The first week I owned the truck as I was redoing those wheels, grill, etc. Notice the date.














 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
And the addition of the stacks a few weeks after the wheels were put on:






















***Note on the stacks: These are the second set of stacks dad had the local muffler shop add. The original set that only lasted 2 days were full 6’ in bed and stuck over the roof by 3-4’. They looked beyond stupid so the truck went back to the shop and they cut them down resulting in the ones you see here. As a side note, yes, I know, they still look stupid. Too skinny and not short enough.


Looking back at the time, all I knew is the stacks looked and sounded cool. I was a kid so to speak and I didn’t really care about the integrated look of a modification as it was beyond my comprehension at the time. To me, it was awesome. As I grew older, I realized that although the stacks themselves were cool, they were not properly integrated into the truck’s overall look. This is the part of automotive design that is often lacked by those who are younger. What I want to say is please remember this story when you are at your next truck show and maybe see a young guy in his truck that has some stupid looking modification. Remember, there is hope for him yet. :D

Where were we…. Oh yes!!

Within a few months of ownership change, I had a list of complaints with the truck. They were as follows:

- Tranny was an auto and I wanted a stick. Forget this auto shift garbage…..real trucks are a stick!

- Where do I put extra people? Or anything I pick up for that matter? The short cab was useless as trying to mow the lawn drunk!

- Where is the power? The thing was gutless. Yes it could tow but it took a mile to get up to speed!

- I wanted a dually. They look cool. :D This was not a dually. Boo. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So around this time in 2004 I had found the TDR (Turbo Diesel Register) forums and had started hanging around the forums and learning why there was no spark plugs to be found etc. I also learnt about the old Crew Cabs and that although they were not available with the diesel, they did exist. After reading about a few conversions, I decided this would be a wise course of action for mine. So without really being phased by what was involved with the conversion (I had done enough research to know what was required), I started looking for a body donor.

One morning in August 2004 I found more than I ever bargained for. I found a crew cab, dually, 5speed, 4x4, Cummins converted Ram on the west coast Canada. It was exactly what I wanted so with the intent of selling my truck, the 1993 crew was purchased and shipped to Ontario after some arrangements and assistance by an understanding father. By the time it arrived in late August, I was back to school and did not really have a chance to work on some of the smaller issues a 15 year old truck had so it sat for most of the winter and come next summer, I started driving it. It was then that the 1990 was going to get placed for sale, but I had an unforeseen issue: The Crew cab tranny was shot despite what the Dodge dealer had told us. So a rebuilt getrag was located in the hands of a family member amazingly and the plan was to swap it in on summer holidays. Issue is, I am a perfectionist. After much more time on the TDR forums, I learnt about the weak Getrag and how the issue I was having would surely return in time to the rebuilt Getrag if used for towing, so plans on swapping it in was modified and the search began for NV4500 and eventually a NV5600. In a nutshell, I ended up doing way more than just the tranny on it. But I am getting off topic as usual! Just remember the Getrag that was freshly built not being used in the crew cab anymore. We will hear about it again! ;)
























So, back to the 1990. The for sale ad was never placed as dad thought it best to get the crew cab’s tranny fixed before I lost my means of transportation (solid logic). So I kept the W250 but did not put anything into it as within a few months the W350 “should” be finished. This was 2005. For more info on the crew cab, see here:

http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/8...w-cab-ultimate-1st-gen-warning-lots-pics.html


For the most part, the truck did not change too much for the next few years. The truck had basic repairs done and aside from an axle seal being nicked by the dealer when the rear brakes were done, the truck never complained or caused any reliability issues. I drove it approx 5,000 miles a year not going very far from home with it and short of oil changes, it didn’t need too much. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Fast forward two more years. Now 2007. At this point I was starting to see the W350 was going to be a bit more of a long term project so I decided I would take the time while the W350 was out for paint and do a few small things to the W250. So I fixed a few things that I had complaints with like small things that didn’t work and finally mentally accepting it as mine. All small things but this set the ball into motion. I had now invested a piece of myself into the truck and I was starting to become attached to it. I had also started towing more and found this thing can really haul!! Never good for a car guy…..

So I did the sagging headliner again (that is what happens when you do a half job the first time. ;) ) and did some small cosmetic things. I was actually using the truck now to tow the project around and as the maintenance items happened, I was putting more performance related parts on as it seemed logical.
These are pics from pre 2009:









 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Then in 2009 things changed. I had a few issues hit all at once. Most importantly, the crew cab was into a full restoration mode and I knew it would never become the daily driver. But then the 1990 started complaining.

First, while towing a float with the old 72 Deere on it (the above picture), I was coming out of a town at 20 MPH with a huge steep hill and about half way up I started rolling backwards although still in drive and running 2000 rpm. Yup. Tranny did not like me. Now the 727 was still OK, just that it is a slush box with no TC lockup and with that weight and that grade of hill, and at that speed, you can’t expect miracles! However, that was the day I decided that rebuilt Getrag that was sitting in the garage would be good in my truck as it was already paid for, fully rebuilt, I was only making 178 HP so it should last, and would allow an exhaust brake for towing and quicker winter warm up.

So the additional parts for the auto 727 to standard Getrag swap began. Within a few weeks the tranny was swapped and all became good. Or so I thought.

Pics from the Auto to tranny swap:

Notice the lack of gear rowing device:














Auto and manual have different splined output shafts to the NP205 so I got a manual NP205 and did a quick once over and installed it.








September 2009:


When modifying a vehicle, there is the bolt on mod, and then there is the snowball mod. A snowball mod continues to snowball. You did this, and now you have to do that, etc as what you changed before now caused this issue, etc. See, the tranny allowed me many things and that became a snowball mod. First thing was the original downpipe finally cracked itself from not supporting the engine correctly when doing the tranny swap (never unbolted the exhaust). So I replaced with a 4” turbo back system and also replaced the stacks from a 4” to 5” as the old ones were stupid looking. (I was young and dumb. What do you expect? However in my own defense, dad was the one who put the stupid looking stacks on when I got the truck so…. :D)


This now allowed the opportunity for an exhaust brake to be fabbed in. So a PacBrake PRXB was installed. But now I had another issue. The larger diameter pipe now was hitting the front driveshaft due to front spring sag (and I also had major rear sag under trailer tongue weight!). Well can’t have that now can we. So it was time for the suspension to be re-arched. And while doing research, I decided it would be better to replace than re-arch as the current 22 year old material was fatigued, so a new set of Alcan springs were ordered up a fair bit stiffer than stock and also providing a 1” lift over factory (1989 and 1990 4x4 trucks sat lower than 91.5-93 trucks so I had made the 1990 sit like a 1993). The new springs with their minimal 1” lift, now required new shocks. So Bilstien 5100 performance shocks went in. And as it was starting to get sloppy, a Borgeson double joint shaft was installed in place of the factory rag joint. As I worded it at the time in the original thread on the subject:



Pics from 2009:











 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
March 2010:


As typed in a forum post back in 2010:

So I ordered up a new set of Alcan springs made to my specs. I believe it was 3000 lbs per side I did. It came with 10 leafs per rear and 6 per front. I also asked them to give me a 1" lift over stock. The old springs sat at 38” front ground on the front, 37. 5 rear. The new are 40 F / 41 R. Keep in mind the calculation is more than 1” as the old springs had sagged from factory ride height. For shocks, I went with Bilstein 5100 series. Waited 8 weeks for them to arrive!



Other than Alcan installing the wrong rear bushings (3/4 instead of the correct 5/8 bushings) they seem to be a great company to work with! They did send me out a set of stainless sleeves to install into the incorrect bushings so the bolt would fit correctly. I also used all new grade 8 bolts from my local hardware supplier. Cost was $230 per front, $240 per rear. With shipping was about $1,200.



Looking back, glad I did not re-arch. They wanted $125 per side to re-arch plus then would need new bushing at $30 per spring. As it was I had to cut the rears out so better to have new. I do like the springs, but if I could have afforded to do air ride, I would not think a second thought on springs.
Here are a few pics of the old springs with some sag. Look a little weaker:




The above shot was right after I loaded something onto the flatbed at a friend’s place. LOL I had to drive like that although fortunately not far! Was the day I also decided springs were needed on the rear. :D









If many of you are observant, you will also see a stack change from 4" long buggers to 5" at the same time as the springs change, as well as a Borgeson shaft. Note some pics have the longer 5” and others the shorters. I put them on and then chopped 4” out of them to bring them more to proportional height but still high enough not to totally soot the trailers.


Here is the "before" I drove onto the hoist:











And onto the hoist:












And the result. You will notice I have started to really like the truck now at this point. From here forward there was no return. :)










 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now one should be happy now, no? Wrong! LOL I accidently found the power screw and the stock clutch from the project truck that I had reused as I couldn’t afford a new clutch (but it would have done the job at 178 hp had I not messed with things…) was now slipping. Enter South Bend CON OFE now ordered and installed. This solved my slipping issue.

And, I finally got tired of the open diff so a sure grip may have made its way in there too. Lucky for me, Randy’s Ring and Pinion still had new 3.07 center sections available! So I got all new guts for the Sure Grip. For those that know the 3.07 geared trucks, they were a different pinion and center section than the rest of the Dana 70s that had 3.54, 4.10s, etc. The 3.07 truck use what’s known as a Dana 61 and Dana 71 axle vs the standard Dana 60 and 70. Commonly called that due to the 61 and 71 cast into the center diff case.


So this was good now! The truck was sitting better, driving better, sounded better, and looked better! But then a problem started….. ;)


May 2010:


I was driving along minding my own business, with 20,000 lbs GCW, and dad was in his new 2008 Mega 6.7 also around 20,000. All was good until we had a looooong grade coming out of a construction zone. We pulled side by side… he looked at me…..I looked at him…..he grinned and both pedals went down! The 2008 pulled with fury while the 1990 was snorting diesel like a coke addict! 1990 pulled a full pickup length on the 2008 and we are only at ½ way point of this hill. “We’ve got them” I yelled to my truck as I let out a evil cackle! But then, while I was minding my own business, the EGT got to 1450 F and I had to let off!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!! The 6.7 then passed the old 5.9 and had won the challenge as I could not get back on WOT due to the EGT’s from the small H1C turbo. The newer truck had proven it was better and had disgraced my truck. And my old girl and I pulled in behind the 2008 with our tail between our legs as the CB crackled with a chuckle from dads end. It was done. We were proven to be weak and old and my truck and I shared the embarrassment. This was just disappointing and not excusable due to some lousy hot air. I felt I had not given the right tools to my truck to allow her to do her job. Logically I need to turn down the pump, or cool the air as I didn’t want to risk melting a piston at some point if not paying attention. And as I was not about to turn the pump down, a HX35 (actually stolen off the crew cab engine! You may remember that part of the crew cab story! :D) and 3 pc BD manifold were ordered up and installed (the original exhaust manifold was starting to shrink as they typically do and my bolts were starting to bend)! I had already done the 60 PSI valve springs when the exhaust brake was installed, so I would remain good there. At this time an ASA Modifieds intake was also added for better incoming airflow to feed the HX35/18cm combo.





June 2010:


Next issue was interior. As I now had a great cruising truck with the 3.07 gears and a 5 speed, the truck was becoming uncomfortable on long drives as the clutch was too close. As the 727 was not great for long hauls, the truck never went far but now it was spending more time on the road. So I attempted to install a set of SRT Ram bucket seats but that failed as the seats were too big for the reg cab and sat my body 3” from the steering wheel. I actually had to tilt the wheel up to get my body into the seat over the side bolsters. So I installed a seat lift thus raising the original bench 3” to allow my long legs to stretch out a bit. But while I was in there, I also sound deadened the entire interior shell as it was becoming too loud on long trips with the stacks behind my head.





August 2010:

See, I was racing dads 2008 Ram again and we were going through the mountains in Pennsylvania and got to a really nice long 3 mile climb before getting into NY state. We both left the bottom at 70 MPH with the goal to maintain 70 all the way up. And maybe gain some. ;) Well half way up, I had to let off the throttle and watch his newer truck pull away. Again a replay of last time. The 1990 was running 19K Gross and although the pyro never went above 1300 F, my coolant however was through the roof at 230 F! As most of you know, the 1989 and 1990 model year trucks has a smaller rad than the 91.5-1993 intercooled trucks had. The upgrade from the downflow to crossflow was done as many trucks back in 89 and 90 were overheating. Go figure that I was now having those issues as well. So, an upgraded duel ¾” rad was done utilizing the original as the base. Although this helped, it still has the ability to get warm on 90 F days while towing zestfully. This may have to change at some point in time to facilitate better cooling but it is a good start. Also at this time, turbo and exhaust manifold blankets were put on to keep the excessive engine bay heat down as I was starting to melt firewall wiring on long grades. Boo. LOL

You can see the age had gotten to my core as well as plugged the inside core with crap:










And the re-cored rad:






The turbo blankets from Turbo Performance Products:













Also at this time, I had grown tired of the very large gap between 3rd and 4th. For those of you who have driven a 3.07 getrag truck, you will understand what I mean. Redline on 3rd is 2500 rpm, and a quick shift to 4th put you then at 1500 rpm. Yes, it worked, but you would be out of your power band again upon up shifting and then you lose the momentum and have to shift back down to 3rd. So towing heavy was a challenge. So after some research, a friend with a used Gear Vendors suggested I buy his old system and that would allow me to spilt the gear. Brilliant. So I managed to get my sticky little meat hooks on a near mint unit and into the 1990 it went. :D


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
September 2010:


Gauges, round 1:

As our trucks get older, more and more info and access to parts are lost. As many people who are new to the 1st gen world are interested in the performance aspects of these old trucks, I thought it might be nice for them to see what gauge mount options are good for these trucks.



The following are the pods in my 1990:



A pillar:



The following A pillar pod consists of a single and a double. As there is no triple pod made for a first gen, I thought I would make my own. I started with the dual pod on the bottom, sanded about a 1/16" of the plastic off the top to make it a flat surface, then took the single pod and took about 1/8" off the bottom so that it would fit under the trip. Both of these pods are still available from places like Genos garage or any Autometer distributor. This is the result:










Dash Pods



This is the dash pod that was originally available through many distributors, but was discontinued when the manufacturer was bought out back in 2004. It came shaped to the dash specifically made for first gens, and was available as a 3, 4 or 5 pod unit, left, or right hand design. I believe these were made by US Gear and also by Banks although Banks may have originally purchased them from US Gear.









Also available, was a four pod unit. I managed to get this one used as I needed room for more gauges! This has also been discontinued.













Roof Pod



This is actually a 3rd gen roof pod that mounts over the rear view mirror. Please note this is NOT an easy install and requires extensive pod mods as well as headliner mods. The key to making this work is cutting approx 1" off both sides and then sculpting the sides to the same reverse curve the roof/headliner of the first gen is. The reason for cutting an approx 2x4" section of headliner and foam out is to create a indent for the back sides of the gauge. As the sides will be cut down so much, the back end of the gauge sticks out over the top edge line of the pod by about 3/4". Cutting the headliner solves this. To attach it to the roof, drill 4 holes in the pod bottom and get 4" long screws that go all the way through the pod and into the inner roof sheetmetal. Be careful, if you have clearance lights you may end up in that general area. Dont ask how I know this! Then just bolt it up. I ran the wires under the pass A pillar (drivers is full from the a pillar gauges) and then under the front headliner retainer trim. Budda bing! Its done! Yes, the pod is available from Genos Garage.












End result:





For those that will ask, the gauges at this time were as follows:


A pillar - trans temp, oil psi, coolant temp

Dash - tach, pryo, boost, exhaust back pressure/turbo drive pressure

Roof - Diff temp, air tank PSI, Gear vendors temp
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
September 2010:


Driving across country with my truck on holidays, I am towing the trailer and leave Denver and head north to the I-80. I start heading west on the I-80 and the first big hill going into the Rockies is a nice long grade. So I am leaning into the throttle, 20,000 GVR, boost on the HX35 humming at 35 psi, uphill, grinning as I pass the newer trucks that are doing 60 while I in my old Goat am doing 75 MPH uphill. With a load. I am freaking king of the world. I love this truck! However, life has a way of showing you not to be a poopy little butt. I crest the peak and go to flick on my exhaust brake and nothing. I look at my gauges, no air tank PSI. So I baby my load down the steep grade on the other side (a fun thing in a gen 1 with stock brakes BTW ;) ) and I pull over and do an inspection. Seems my exhaust stack elbow let go by the clamp and was then dumping my 1300 F EGT onto the plastic fuel tank, wiring, and air lines. Yup, I was a sitting duck, 3000 miles from home, with a melted fuel tank and a long way to still go! So a transfer tank was rigged to the truck bed, factory fuel lines cut, spliced into the new tank, wiring repaired, air lines replaced, and was back on the road in about 6 hours. I am sure I am not the only one that has done that before….. ;)


This was the pipe that let go:




This is how I drove home after cutting the factory fuel lines and plumbing into the lift pump:










This was the carnage that I saw when I got home and pulled it out (Also see the melted wiring? That air was hot!):














December 2010:


Well, regardless of how much you modify on an older vehicle, it is still and older vehicle. With a few miles left on my cross country holiday, I had the rear brake spring holding the pad to the backing plate break. So while pulling the axles out to do the brakes once I got home, I noticed the bearings were looking a little pitted. So the brake job turned out to be an entire rear end rebuild over the Christmas holidays. A little while later I added a Mag Hytec cover to keep things cooler and help with added capacity as my diff was warmer than I wanted with long days towing (210 F +)

Heater Box:

Also another item that needed attention over the Christmas holidays was the fact that my AC system died while travelling cross country. Seems a small pinhole in the evaporator was the culprit. As I posted at the time of the repair on the TDR:

A little known tidbit of info for many who are new to these trucks. The air intake for the inside HVAC (heating and AC) system gets sucked from the cowl. The air goes down the cowl, down the side channel (under the A pillar), and through a hole in the side of the passenger kick panel into your air box. There is also no filter. If you have ever parked your truck outside, this means you likely have some debris in your system. Debris means funny smells over time in your truck, less airflow, and potential rotting/rusting of the AC evaporator as what happened in my case.



There was once a time on these boards that the first gen forum was the place to be. This part of the forum was VERY active. With the trucks getting older and fewer of them on the roads, there are fewer people here and some of the little secrets are starting to be lost. To prevent that, I am adding this so those who are new to these trucks can find this info.


Issue: Debris in heater box under passenger side of dash

Symptom: Lack of airflow, heat, or AC not as cold as a fully charged system should be

Remedy: Open box and clean out, or add access panel

Things needed: Saw, knife, RTV Gasket, flashlight, vacuum, 6” x 4” sheet of black plastic, drill and 1/4"-1/2" drill bit

Time - Will take about 20 min start to finish

Cost - Not much!



As mentioned above, leaves, pine needles, etc will fall down the cowl and be sucked into the heater box. The first blockage the foreign objects will encounter is actually the AC evaporator core itself on the inside of the box. To clean out the box without removing the heater box from under the dash, try the following steps.



1 - Using a drill bit of any size that will allow the cutting tool into the plastic, drill 4 holes one at each corner of the area to be cut open. Then using a knife, small plastics saw, etc, cut open the front of the heater box. Do be mindful that the AC evaporator fins will be behind the area you will be cutting. Please note the depth of cut allowable in the following photo:








2 - Cut an approx 3” x 4” hole (enough for your hand and some leaves to go through) in the front of the box. Ensure the hole is cut at least 2” from the bottom of the box. As the evaporator sweats when in use (all that water that drips under a vehicle in the hot summer comes from this area), you will want to make sure that hole is high enough that even a little backed up water does not leak out the new cut hole.










3 - Once cut open, you will likely see leaves. Shine a flashlight in to get a better view of the far left side (the area it will build up in first).




4 - Once the big items are cleaned out, vacuum out any leftover debris. If all of the plastic shaving dust is not collected, it will be sucked into your AC or heater core grills.


5 - Now cut the sheet of plastic so that the corners are lightly rounded. You should find that the cut plastic will have about a 1” wider cover on each side of the hole.



6 - Apply RTV gasket to the heater box within 1” of the hole. The ideal location is about .5” from the perimeter of the hole. Also ensure the bead of RTV is constant all the way around. This bead will act as both glue to hold the panel on as well as preventing air from being sucked in underneath the new plastic cover.



7 - Stick the plastic cover to the RTV ensuring the cover is about centered over the hole. Hold pressure on cover for about 1 min.



8 - Vacuum spilled debris and plastic shavings off of passenger floorwell!

9 - See if you have more airflow than usual!


Here is what came out of my box.



And the finished product!





Also for those who need to know, some of the aftermarket evaps are wrong from the factory! I went through 3 of them before I got one right! Study the following pics:








This pic is what I sent to the manufacturer as their part number for the heater core also does not fit. This was what was spec for a gen 1 Ram.






Random pics from 2010:




 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
February 2011:


So I was home free again! Or so I thought. A few weeks later while driving to work, I noticed a hopping feeling developing when I turned corners. After an inspection of my front end, I found the front U joints were seizing. So while I was in there, I did a complete front end rebuild with bearings, U joints, king pins/ball joints, as well as tie rod ends as I didn’t want to have any issues on a trip again. You will start to see I do a lot more preventative maintenance on the truck from this point forward. If I want to do more cross country trips, things need to be in working order. And with the rod ends now looking better, the drag link was also replaced. And a few weeks later the steering box started to leak. So that was redone as well.


June 2011:

June brought the 2011 TDR-Cummins Rally so the truck made its way down to Indiana along with 450 other Cummins Rams for a tour of the facilities. While there, several pics were taken.

(If you are observant, there is only two 0804 CPL/Non factory IC trucks in the group)












And yes. For those of you who know their first gens, that is THE first Cummins Ram on the far right.





August 2011:
As my factory steel wheels were starting to show age again, and they were slightly out of balance, I kept an eye out for replacement wheels. I found a set of used factory wheels so I pulled the two of mine most out of balance out of the mix and then sandblasted and powder coated the set of 4.






Then, I accidently found a set of used Eagle Alloy 17” rims at the tire shop when I went to have my tires re-mounted on these “new” steel wheels. Conversation was along these lines:


Tire shop guy: Man these wheels look old school. You sure you want us to remount this rubber?
Me: I like them. Looks factory. Mount em up!
Tire shop guy: Hey Jimbo, do we still have those used Eagles off Moose’s truck?
Jimbo: Yeah Bubba, they are in those boxes.
Tire shop guy: You need to see these.
Me: But I like my…
Jimbo (As he pops up out of nowhere with a box in his hands): You will like these (as he opens the box like it is a treasure chest of toys at the Red Lobster.
Me: Son of a sea cook!!! Those actually do look good! Jimbo, we need to pop a wheel off my truck for s and giggles….


This is what was on there:





Well, this is what it looked like:





And what it looked like with a random tire mounted on it:




After some quick bartering as they were still salt covered from the one winter a guy used them, I took them home.


You can see the oxidization and salt:




And after 5 hours of buffing and cleaning, the truck finally looked alright! I had always wanted wider tires and with this deal on the used wheels being too good to turn down; new tires were ordered thus changing the wheels from the factory 235/85/16 to a 265/70/17. This now gave the truck a much more aggressive stance.


















 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
September 2011:


By September, my windows had royally T’ed me off. The windows were not working as the regulator was ceasing and the motor was almost not turning. The below is what I posted back in 2011. I am not sure if they fixed any of this yet but this was accurate info at the time:

So the saga of the window motors started. I am posting this info so everyone is aware of what to be watching for. For those that are unaware, there were two different PW motors for the 1st gens: One for 89/90 and one for 91.5 -93 trucks.

If you are getting new PW motors from the aftermarket, they are likely made by Doorman. Doorman is a reputable brand, but beware, they list the PW motor for 89-93. This is an error and does not really work! Read on.

So this is the PW motors, new and old. The left is the 89/90 style, and right is 91. 5-93. The new motor is a Doorman motor.





Now the motors themselves do the same thing and have the same bolt pattern. The issue is in the gear. The old one has a pilot pin, the newer does not. This creates an issue when you go to install.
See how much taller the motor and gear are?





So for the regulator now. The clean one is a Doorman and the old Dodge NOS.





Now let’s look closer at it. Here is the old one: (notice the pilot pin in the center as I left the original motor on for this shot)





Now the Doorman:





So what does this mean? Look closer





The left one in the above shot has a large cutout in the regulator for the gear. The old one has a small hole for the pilot pin. So if you now look back at the top pics where you can see how much taller the gear on the Doorman motor is, you will understand why the area is cut out on the regulator. It needs the clearance.


So what does all this blabbing mean? It means if you are wanting to replace the PW motors on your 89 or 90, you also need the regulators; or you will need to do some BOMBing (Better off modified baby for anyone who was not around for that term 10 years ago) to the regulator. ;) If you buy one for a 91.5+ truck, you should be fine.
Everyone following? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
May 2011:

So one would stop now right? Wrong again! My truck decided to start playing games with me…not the sort of thing one wants their truck to do.
One day while minding my own business driving down the road, the oil PSI gauge showed me a drop in pressure to about 10 psi. Then it went back up to normal I didn’t like that. I am sure it was just the sensor getting old, but I was not having any of that! I require my truck to be telling me the truth, not creating some damn diddly tail about fluff! And with now starting to travel frequently away from home with the truck, I need to know it is not a true failure starting! So I thought it was time to get another gauge….or two. :D

Gauges, round 2 (as posted on TDR):

Have I ever mentioned I like gauges? :D

Well, I needed two more. I added fuel PSI and oil temp. So that now created an issue. This is what the truck looked like before:










Sooooo, out things came...









And the custom fab began:



The old modified three pod roof above the new 4 pod.
















The A pillar pod stock is the bottom one and the now modified one on top to make it fit:





This is the lower pods modifications beside a stock unmodified piece:



And the result consisting of two double A pillar pods and a Gen 3 roof pod set up for 4 gauges. As you can see how much cutting the top A pillar pod required to fit around that sun visor and headliner trim. All said and done, it took about 15 hours to install and redo all this.







 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Fall 2011:

So I was now content. I had a nice interior. I now had 284 HP and 720 ft/lbs to the ground for decent towing. I had my E brake. I had my gearing. I had my turbo. What more could one ask for!

Now I had a mechanically solid truck again. But the grill that had been redone years ago was starting to show signs of rust again. So I cut the old tubes out and formed some new ones (solid this time) and welded in place to match the original.







And the aftermarket IC currently in the truck can be seen now that the grill is out:





So everything was now good right? Weeeeeelll….


Most items had been attended to and the truck has since had many trips into the central US for various car and truck shows. The truck (even while towing!) has proved to be a fantastic cruising vehicle with rpm at 70 mph being 1700 RPM.

So are we done? No, not so much. See when modifications are in your blood, it is all down/uphill (depends on how you look at it! :D). Remember that Getrag at 178 HP? Yeah well, the tranny has started to decide that the last 50,000 KM (30,000 miles) of towing with 800+ crank ft/lbs (remember previously mentioned fuel screw and turbo? ;) Hehehe) does not agree with it. The dreaded Gutbag growl has started on the tranny and will need attention in the near future. And as that is the weakest link of the driveline and it is preventing me from turning up the power screw more, it would be wise to eliminate it. So research was done on a NV5600 so when the time comes I know what I will be needing…..:D


Add 9 months and random small repairs to wiring and things like that…..


Random pics from 2011







OK the story behind this shot is my girl (Read W250 :D) and I are watching the sunset across the lake in Northern Ontario. So I set up the tripod as I thought it looked funny. This pic was the result. No jokes at how far gone I am! :D LMAO


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
April 2012:


Now about that 6 speed…..seems I had a small issue. The Getrag finally lost its input shaft bearing. And pocket bearing. And the main shaft bearing. And 1st and 3rd bearings were starting to go. ;) With that taking place in April, it seemed the 5600 upgrade was closer than expected. Over the course of April to June the parts were collected and over the course of the next 8 weeks the truck was modified to fit a NV 5600 into it. Also with the planning of the truck no longer seeing winter as I can’t stand the thought of salt getting into it anymore, this was made possible due to now have the winter beater to drive while my truck was down for several weeks.

Well, it’s done. The NV5600 is in the 1990, and only positive feedback from the truck and myself! I will state the question now that everyone is wondering: Is it worth it? Simply, yes. But I am not sure I would ever want to do another one!


Putting a 380 lbs tranny in place of a 175 lbs Getrag is not an easy feat. There is extensive modifications, and a lot of cost associated with it. If you are required to pay someone to do this, I would highly recommend going with a NV 4500 5 speed as It is a mostly bolt in conversion. If you don’t mind taking the time, putting out the cost, and have the skills and tools to do it; then the 5600 will be worth your efforts.

For those that don’t know, the NV5600 was Dodge’s first 6 speed for the Cummins pickups. After the weak 1989-1993 G-360 5 speed Getrags were retired, they were replaced by the NV4500 5 speed trannys. Once 1999 came though, they introduced the NV5600 as the HD 6 speed variant. (Side note: If hunting for a 5600 for your truck, do note that the 1999 tranny had a smaller, weaker input shaft at 1.125 vs the following years 1.375” shaft. It is highly recommended you go with the larger shaft for better durability)

So to do this conversion, you will need the basic tools like ratchets, wrenches, impact gun, screw drivers, etc. Some of the other tools that will be helpful are:

- Plasma cutter or sawsall
- Die grinder
- Cutter/Grinder
- Long stroke jack/lifting device for body and engine
- Soldering iron
- 12 point 10 mm socket for starter (need to confirm this size)
- Angleometer
- Metric and Imperial socket sets
- Carbide drill bit set


As for items needed, you will need the following items:

As for items needed, you will need the following items. Please note I have included cost so that people can be aware of what the cost to do this conversion is.

SUPPLIER COST PART PART NUMBER

1 - Blumenthals

NV 5600 4X4 UNIT NV5600 $4,054.29 PARTS FROM BLUMENTHALS
SHIFTER STALK MOPAR 52107612
SHIFT KNOB MOPAR 52104174
KNOB INSERT MOPAR 52108192
DODGE MOUNT (NOT USED IN THE END FROM 4500 I BELIEVE) MOPAR 52019641
RANDOM BLUMENTHAL RUBBER MOUNT (NOT USED)
PIVOT ASSY MOPAR 52087542
CLUTCH FORK MOPAR 52087515
BACKUP SWITCH (NOT USED IN THE END) 14014559
BACKUP SWITCH GASKET 89279
SHIFT LEVER BASE ASSY MOPAR 5086622AA

2 - South Bend Clutch
$325.00 HD CLUTCH HYDRAULICS 2ND GEN
$0.00 CLUTCH SBC CON FE 13.375

3 - Local Drive Shaft Shop
$309.00 DRIVESHAFT LENGTH CHANGE FRONT AND REAR CUSTOM

4 - Mopar
$35.31 CLUTCH PIVOT BALL PARTS
SPRING MOPAR 04338855
WASHER MOPAR 06022190
PIVOT MOPAR 52087542

5 - Your local oil supplier or www.oil-store.com
$139.49 TRANNY OIL 5 GAL PAIL SYNCROMESH OIL-STORE.COM

6 - Exhaust Shop
$25 24" 4" STAINLESS PIPE FOR EXHAUST STEEL SUPPLIER

7 - Hardware Store

$50.00 RANDOM FASTENERS FROM HARDWARE STORE
10X HEY CAP GR 8 3/8-16 1-3/4' L BELLHOUSING
10X ZIP WASHER 3/8' (7/8 OD X .141 THICK) BELLHOUSING
2X 5/8 FINE THREAD X 4.5" LONG GR8 TRANNY MOUNT
2X 5/8 FINE THREAD LOCK NUTS AND WASHERS TRANNY MOUNT

8 - Wrecking yard or Cummins Forum Classifieds
$113.00 ENGINE ADAPTER PLATE FROM 1994-2002 LOCAL DIESEL SHOP

9 - www.polybushing.com

$175.00 POLY BUSHINGS ENGINE POLY MOUNTS POLYBUSHING.COM
ENGINE MOUNTS
TRANS/205 MOUNTS

10 - Bearing supplier
$77.98 CLUTCH TIMKEN THROW OUT BEARNING TIM 614114

11 - NAPA Autoparts

$316.40 STARTER FOR 94+ 12V NAPA 4N-6428

12 - ACC: your authority for custom automotive carpet, floor mats, and more

$224.02 ACC MATS CARPET DOVE GRAY WITH MASS BACKING 1526-90

13 - Auto Parts Store
$33.88 75/90 SYNTHETIC T CASE OIL

TOTAL $5,878.37



EDIT: Depending on application, rear axle shims may be needed to tilt the pinion upwards to eliminate vibration caused by short driveshaft. I used 3 deg however 2 deg would likely work for most.

So with that now covered, let’s get into the conversion!



1 – Chose a shady spot
The very first thing you will want to do is put the vehicle in the location you’re going to want to do this in. Ideally a hoist would be best, but it can be done on the ground. Just makes it much more difficult! Also make sure you have all the parts you need!






2 – Gut it!
Next up, remove seat, carpet, and any sound deadener that will prevent you from accessing the floor. Also bungee cord the clutch pedal to the steering wheel so it cannot depress to the floor when you release the pressure in the hydraulic line when you remove the slave from the clutch/bellhousing.

3 – Rip it apart!


Once the interior is stripped, time to remove things. First DISCONNECT BATTERY! Then the getrag shifter through the inside of the truck, driveshafts, 4wd shifters, NP205 Transfer Case, clutch slave, tranny, tranny crossmember (upper and lower arms), bellhousing, clutch, starter, engine adapter plate, exhaust (downpipe back), and for good measure, will also need to remove the clutch hydraulics from the area.














Gives a good view of the size difference between the two:










5 – Rear main:


I am making this its own step as it is so important. Inspect your rear main seal for signs of leakage! It is a common problem on these older engines so take the time while you are here and inspect and maybe even replace! In my case, I replaced it two years ago so I will skip this step but it took 15 min and was only like $50.00 to do! It will save you a lot of headache down the road! Also inspect for signs of coolant leaking down from the head gasket just to be safe.


 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
6 – Let’s get started

Education time! 1st gen (1989-1993) and 2nd gen (1994-1998) 12V starters are NOT the same! You will be required to change starters and here is why.
The engine adapter plate for the 1st and 2nd gen 12Vs are different. The 1st gen trannies have a much shorter input shaft and thus don’t require a thick plate. So as the plate has to be changed, the starter now needs to be changes as the bolt pattern to mount the starter to the plate is different. The starter looks identical minus the clocked location of the wiring, but those observant will notice the bolt pattern.












Step 7 – Engine mounts



This step is semi optional. You do not HAVE to do it, but I highly recommend you do it. The rubber in our engine mounts is over 20 years old and will start to become a fail point as the rubber will start to let go. Now that I have changed them I can see how much flex my engine had! Way more than I thought! In my case, I went polyurethane as I wanted a more ridged mount. Please not the downside is you feel more vibration through the body. A visual of this is the fact you can no longer ID the type of vehicle behind you at the stoplight as the mirror vibrate. Now if you want factory feel, Dodge still has OEM original mounts available should you prefer to go that route. Either way, this is the time to change them!










To do this, I jacked off the front lip of the block by the oil pan. Take your time and keep your fingers out of the pinch points!


Step 8 – Drilling


The next step is to relocate the tranny crossmember. The crossmember will need to move back 7” total from current location. What I found best it to measure the new holes off the existing holes as the crossmember holes are not all the same location! In other words, don’t mark the first hole 7” further back and then measure 1.5” off of that for the other holes. Make sure you measure 7” off EACH hole to allow it to correspond to its new location.


Also be mindful, you will want a carbide bit as the frames are high strength steel and will dull a normal drill bit very quickly. My advice is to center punch the location of the holes, then drill the hole ¼”, and keep working your way up to ½”. You will need at min an 8” long drill bit to be able to mark and then drill the upper holes. Also be sure to put a steel plate between the frame rail and the floor so you don’t drill through the floor when you break through the rail.






Step 9 – Lets make the truck lighter!


So this step is a time consuming one. You will need to cut the trans tunnel pinch weld for clearance of the engine adapter plate and bellhousing. Do allow for some engine flex so you will want an extra 1” around the area so you do not make contact with the body under high torque conditions. Also, do be sure to cover the rear of the engine against metal chips! You don’t want to pull this all apart later from a part failure from it!


As a side note, I used a small cutoff wheel on a grinder to start, then moved into a jigsaw, saws all, and then used a die grinder to carve the small details finishing with a mini air driven belt sander for final cleanup. Be sure to prime and paint the area after to stop moisture and rust from attacking your truck!


Also when cutting, try not to take all of the pinch weld off. Some is needed for strength!








 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Step 10 – Put some parts back on!


Now that the engine adapter plate fits, pull it off, clean everything up from the grindings, ensure the mounting surface for the adapter plate is clean, and bolt it on!
You can also install your starter at this time. My personal suggestion is to bolt the starter to the adapter plate prior to installing the plate. Makes it much easier! Do not connect wiring at this time.
Side note. Chances are the fuel lines will be in the way of the starter. They will need to be GENTLY bent out of the way to allow clearance for the new starter in its new location. As a second side note, if you collapse the fuel line slightly you will restrict fuel under WOT. If you notice after all of this that your boost is low, you may have crushed your fuel line. If that is the case you will need to replace that section, like I did! ;)


I lost 3 psi fuel pressure and 6 PSI boost. My pyro confirmed this all as it was now 200 F lower than usual under WOT.


Step 11 – Cut some more holes!


Now comes the scary part. Cutting the trans tunnel!


Your shifter hole in the floor will be moving back a bit too. The 4wd shifter hole will not be though so don’t cut it!
I hope this template makes sense. The outline is where the hole will be.







So that is 2” in from the 4wd hole
6” in from that line (by in I mean toward the driver’s side)
And the hole will be 7.5” long
Center of hole will be 16” from mount surface of engine adapter plate.


Do note, my truck was originally a 727 automatic that I converted to a getrag! Do not use my original shifter holes as a point of reference!
Also, I would suggest cutting a smaller hole in the floor for now so that the center shifter tower that’s on the 5600 can fit through it. Then you can do final centering of hole location after. So off the center mark, go 2.5” circle around it. That should cover you for the tower clearance.


Step 12 – Give me a pizza plate!


Next, install your clutch. In my case, I was able to get a low mileage South Bend Con FE from a relative as he had converted to a SBC Dual Disk. If getting a used one, make 100% sure it is in good condition!! Most times a used clutch is a bad idea!










Step 13 – Gimme some lift!

Next will be the removal of the old bolts off the top of the frame rail so they don’t rattle. I found about a ½” between floor boards and frame rail (just enough to clear the bolt head) so I needed to lift the body so they could be pulled.

Unbolt the rear cab mounts for this step and SLOWLY lift JUST ENOUGH to get the bolts out. The key here is to not lift too much as the front mounts and rad core mounts are all still attached. If you force it too much, you could bend components or even crack paint from body panel flex. Once done remember to re torque the bolts!!!








Step 14 – The big beefy momma


Ah yes. The 5600. The first time you get the tranny close to the tranny tunnel you will see just how big this tranny is! I removed it 4-5 times finding all sorts of things in the way. To save you the trouble, trim these areas:


Note: The exhaust side ear can stay depending on how your exhaust is done. Mine could not in the end.
















Also before install, be sure to swap the backup light sensors as they will be different style connectors to what the first gens had.




 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Step 15 – The small stuff



This one is easy to forget with all of the measure so I made it its own step! Don’t forget to install all of the small clutch parts! If a used tranny, be sure to install a new pivot ball and throw out bearing at minimum! These are wear items!






Step 16 – Wrestling time!



With the tranny now prepped, and the clutch in, it’s time to wrestle the pig into the truck! Two points:


1 – NEVER use the bolts to “pull” the tranny into the clutch. Always “feel” it in. If there is resistance, you may be hitting the pilot bearing and if you pull the tranny in by the bolts, you could actually have the input shaft nose press the bearing out the other side of the flywheel! So for sure, feel it in. Rocking it side to side while pushing does help.


2 – If you use 6x 3/8 course bolts that are about 3” long with the hex sawed off the end, you can screw them into the adapter plates screw holes and essentially use them as an alignment tool. Don’t rest the tranny weight on them as the leverage of the 3” long bolt on a aluminum adapter plate wont end well, but it will still give you a guide vs going in free hand.

One in, remove guide bolts and bolt the tranny in.









Step 17 – Fabrication!


Now comes the fun part. No one makes a mount for the tranny to the first gen crossmember. After trying the factory one with mods, a custom built one with bushings above the plate and into the tranny; I decided this way was best.


This is what the factory unit looks like.





The old, tired bushings are on the right. The new ones are on the left.





I ended up making this plate out of ½” hot rolled steel so it would have the strength I needed. My slope was 3 deg so I went with a plate, sliced it into almost 3 pieces (left ½” material uncut so it was still 1 piece), bent it to a 3 deg slope, then welded it back solid.

This was plan 2. All was reused except the plate was changed to allow for the 3 deg slope to be absorbed by it and not the bushings.








And the new plate:















New aluminum bushings being made:






Again, not the way it has to be done, but the way I did it. In my application, I had 2.5” between the crossmember and the bottom of the new plate. That put me to correct slope for my driveshaft angle. Everyone will be a slight bit different so do some measuring.


Step 18 – NP 205 mount


Once tranny mount is complete, you can reinstall the NP205. One thing to note though is the rear main seal of the 5600 will need to be pulled. You could machine down the collar, but I would rather have the strength than the seal as the liquid cant go far! So out comes the seal…. This will allow the liquid to fill the 205s front sump.




 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Step 19 – More cutting

Now that the tranny is mounted solid, you can see the location of the shift tower. Now its time to fine tune the hole for the shift boot. Also time to cover the old hole where the old getrag shifter came through the floor. In my case, I applied RTV to the bottom of a galvanized piece of sheet metal, then riveted in place. My welding skills are still developing so I felt this would be best for my application.










Step 20 – Interior


Next step is to reassemble the interior. Now as the shift hole has changed, you will require some new carpet. You can make the old work, but for the sake of $200 and your truck likely needing new carpet as it is 20 years old, do your truck a favor and put new stuff in. It will make the truck smell new inside too!


Also if ordering carpet, I highly recommend some mass backing and some sound deadener. Makes it super quiet (well, for what the truck is! LOL)












I think I killed a chia pet or something along those lines!





And if you went this far, let’s make the side sills look purdy again!














Step 21 – Gimme some traction!


Ah. The 4wd shifters!

Now, when out on the bench this is the easiest. I started there and finished with the tranny in the truck.

There are two ways to do the 4wd shifter. The factory way would just need you to lengthen the shift rod a few inches and make the tranny bracket as the original shift bracket wont fit on a 5600.







The other is the direction I went.


The NP205 is a dual shift, 3 position, manual gear drive transfer case. When you shift the lever, there is actually a total of 6 positions that the transfer case can be in. Due to the nature of the 205s design, you can actually manually shift each rail independently of each other. This allows a 2 low feature instead of just 4 low.
The 6 positions are as follows:


Drivers side (inner rail) operates range. Its positions are high, neutral, and low. When shift rail is pushed in, this is low. When pulled out, it is high. Central is neutral.
Passenger side (outer rail) operated 4wd. Its positions are 4 low, neutral, 4 high. When shift rail is pushed in, it’s in low. When pulled out, it is in high. Central is neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To fabricate these shifters is literally trial and error. The shifter themselves are fairly easy to make as are the bushings. The rails themselves need to be fine tuned to clear exhaust, wiring, and sensors. Also you need to be mindful rod length determines the throw of the shifter handle (aka top) so if you want throw further to the dash or further to the seat, that needs to be part of your trial and error.










I had started off with the rod being adjustable, but it was too hokey and weak for my likings in the end. Not to mention the turnbuckle used in this application is not up to my quality standards.















For the interior, you will now need two shift boots. A trip to the junk yard will help this.


You then take the two boots, stick it into the same ring with each boot only being half riveted in, stable or sew the center sections together, and then have two shifter boots in the same ring!





For the handles, I used the factory handle and made the second one as a clone of the first. Bushings I made out of nylon. The shifters will need a bit of a curve put into them to get them to line up with the floor hole but nothing too major. One thing to remember, when bending the factory handle, it is hardened steel. You will need to heat it till it glows before bending it or the metal will crack.











Step 22 – Drive shafts


Drive shafts will need to be longer on the front and shorter on the rear. Measure between yoke centers and use this as the measurement for the drive shaft shop. It is not recommended you cut and weld your won as the shaft shops have a balancing machine to ensure you won’t have a vibration. Once they are finished, install.








Step 23 – Exhaust


Now, your exhaust will be an issue as the transfer case bend in the pipe will be forward 7”. So cut a section out of the strait area and weld in a section of same diameter and material pipe and everything will line up on the front. On the rear half, you may need to cut a 7” section out now (depending on exhaust set up).






 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Step 24 – Slippery!


Now is a great time to fill all the fluids! Remember that the 5600 will take more fluid now than book spec! I estimated about 7.5 QT and took it for a loop around the block so it would fill the rear 205 sump. When I got back I removed the upper PTO cover bolt and filled till liquid came out of there.

Also remember the 5600 requires Pennzoil Syncomesh fluid only! You can buy the Dodge version, or the Pennzoil one with their name on it. Same stuff.


Step 25 – Give me some spark!


Next is wiring. Yay! Everyone’s favorite part! And if not done right, your electronics wont work!

First, connect the starter.

Second, you will need to lengthen your speedo sender wire in certain applications (in my case as I have a Gear vendors unit).


Step 26 – Almost there!


Next, seat and install shifters!









Step 27 –

Reinstall the clutch hydraulics. In my case, I decided to get a new one from South Bend Clutch as I felt the 20+ year old hydraulics system would eventually be a point of failure, but that is your call. To second this choice was the fact that the slave is inserted from the opposite side of the bellhousing vs the Getrag bell. As I did not want to get into heating and bending the fragile plastic factory hydraulic lines, this seemed smart.


If you order one from SBC, you will need to swap the reservoir off the new one to what you have on the old one as SBC only offers a 2nd gen version, and minus pulling an adapter off the master and swapping the reservoir, it is a 1stgen unit.







Step 28 – The small stuff


Reconnect battery, connect wiring under the truck for all sensors, remove bungee cord from pedal, ensure all fluids are filled, and double check all bolts and nuts.
Now the skid plate that is left over you wont be able to use again as it will be too short.


As for the crossmember, on the reg cabs you will need to install it backwards (left on the right side) and it will sit at an angle but still better to have the extra support there. For club cabs, you should have the length to leave it stock.


Now it should look like this!

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
November 2012:


Also a change as of fall 2012, the truck will no longer serve Daily Driver status. Well, at least during the winter! The truck developed a small patch of rust start on the passenger’s A pillar as well as the drivers drip rail. With that scare of my baby starting to rust away, the truck was taken off the winter driver status and a winter beater was located. These issues were repaired during November 2012 by a Chrysler body shop ad it was painted from the pin stripe up.
















Random pics from 2012:












So, you think I am done with the mods right? Do I really need to ask you that question anymore? LOL I think it is clear to you now that I have a bad sickness and is the reason for my being a hermit in a garage. :D
 
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