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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, if anybody is still sitting on the fence considering this swap....I say go for it, you will be thrilled. After a lot of research on these forums I pulled the trigger last summer, now my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. I found a 360 out of a wrecked '01 Ram Van on Craigslist complete from fan to flexplate and after negotiation it was mine for $225. It was a church van and the minister claimed the motor was strong and had been well cared for. Before deciding whether to freshen it up I pulled the heads and found zero ridge and a total lack of sludge, just a film of clean oil on everything. Encouraged, I decided to drop it in as-is. A year later it has turned out to be a good decision as it runs like new. As I mentioned, it had the correct externally balanced flywheel and the V8 fan (more blades). It also had the right pan with the relief in the side for the pumpkin (truck is a 4x4). All I needed from the junkyard was a fan shroud, throttle cable and a dipstick...I paid about $25 for all three. I also needed a new lower radiator hose and had to lengthen the heater hoses as well as a few wires. I used the engine harness from the V6 and added the No. 7 & 8 injector wires as shown in the pinout in the FSM. I had to change the plugs on the other injectors as well as they were different. I got an ECM on the auction site for $25 and had Larry at B&G Chrysler put a custom program in it for $350. Despite dire predictions on this forum and others, I rolled the dice and left the 42re in the truck. After 15,000 miles it's still going strong despite the fact that I beat on the truck and also tow a 6,000 pound boat (yes, I have a tranny cooler).

Final thoughts...was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! It really made a truck out of it. Went from the biggest slug on the road to a real beast. It is now really fun to drive. Trying to get any measure of performance out of the 3.9 boat anchor is a waste of time and money IMHO. If you can get a complete motor with the right balancer and flexplate there is really no reason to settle for a 5.2. A 5.9 won't cost you any more and the extra torque is definitely worth it. If I can think of anything else helpful I'll post it along with a picture or two.
 

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Do you have a build thread? That sounds great! Pics would be great. Thanks for the info. I was thinking the 5.9 or the 5.7 (the wiring, no bueno).
 

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Wow! You didn't change your transmission either? Why didn't you skip the fan issues and just replace it with an efan on the radiator?

I briefly considered jumping from a 3.9 to a 5.2, because I heard it was easy and may even improve my MPG but then I found out that I can't, basically can't, because there's was no 5.2 in the 2002 model year so there's no computer available for me.

What's the thinking on rebuilt vs as-is when it comes to engines? It seems to me that rebuilts are so freaking expense that it would be cheaper to use as-is used ones and replace them as they wear out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you can find a good used one out of a wrecked truck it will always be a better deal than a rebuilt. Rebuilts are insanely expensive, as you've noted, but you can usually find nice used motors for a few hundred dollars. Try to get one out of a wreck...it is available because the truck wasn't worth fixing - not because it was worn out. Pull a valve cover, you can tell a lot about the care the motor received by observing the sludge or lack thereof. No sludge, just a nice film of clean oil over shiny clean rockers and the motor was probably well maintained.
 

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I want to do a hemi swap into my Durango. maybe when I reach 200k I'll do it, with a brand new 5.7
 

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just picked up a 97 dakota 4x4 v6 3.9 what would be involved to the pcm and the wiring to make it a 5.9 ( have a wrecked 2000 5.9 durango got it for free motor has 140k to take most parts from for conversion )
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You'll need a pcm from a 97 5.2. You will need to have it flashed with your vin and mileage. I just sent mine to Larry at B&G Chrysler and got a custom program at the same time...worth it IMO. If you have the whole Durango I would swap the motor and transmission. Trans is probably a 46re so you'll need to use the driveshaft as well. In any case you need to use the flexplate that came with the 5.9 as it is externally balanced. Use the fan and shroud from the Durango if they survived the wreck, if not they are cheap enough at the boneyard. You'll also need the throttle cable as the motor end is different. I used the engine harness from the 6 but my engine came from a van and the harnesses were substantially different. The Durango harness may work. If not, you'll need to add wires for injectors 7 & 8. All the injectors share a common power lead and ground to a different pin in the pcm. If you use the 6 cyl. harness you'll have to add these wires as well as change the connectors for the other injectors...they are different than the ones on the V8. It's easier than it sounds. If you want I can post the pinout of the pcm showing where the other 2 wires have to go. Biggest PITA of the whole swap is the fact that on a 4x4 Dakota or Durango you have to remove the front axle before you can pull th motor (it hangs from the motor mounts).
 

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408,R3,Indy Heads,Twin66s
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Biggest PITA of the whole swap is the fact that on a 4x4 Dakota or Durango you have to remove the front axle before you can pull th motor (it hangs from the motor mounts).
I've done the swap for a member on here without removing the front axle, but we did take the core support out.
 

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pics pics pics, please. I'm rockin' a '99 4x4 rc with a V6 and stick. I'm going to roll the dice and just pray that my new clutch and smooth-shifting tranny will be enough to hold up to the 360 if I do the swap. I just refuse to get rid of stick shift.

I'm actually plenty happy with the power I get from my 6, but what the hell, why not go with a 360 if I can get one cheap enough.
 

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Wow! You didn't change your transmission either? Why didn't you skip the fan issues and just replace it with an efan on the radiator?

I briefly considered jumping from a 3.9 to a 5.2, because I heard it was easy and may even improve my MPG but then I found out that I can't, basically can't, because there's was no 5.2 in the 2002 model year so there's no computer available for me.

What's the thinking on rebuilt vs as-is when it comes to engines? It seems to me that rebuilts are so freaking expense that it would be cheaper to use as-is used ones and replace them as they wear out.
1st off... why would you do a 5.2 when the 5.9 is the exact same swap?
2nd, why does it matter if they didnt offer the 5.2 in 02? they offered the 5.9 in the r/t so you would use a PCM from an r/t....
 

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post the pinout of the pcm showing where the other 2 wires have to go, i am looking for a motor for my dakota v6 now which balancer am i looking for. what exactly am i looking for in the motor. will all oil pans work with my 4x4
 

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408,R3,Indy Heads,Twin66s
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Balancers are the same. The 360 (5.9) uses either an unbalanced flywheel, flexplate, or torque converter, depending on the transmission and year.
 

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I am working on doing a swap from the 3.9 to the 5.2 but I don't have access to the old injector plugs because my dad is going to use them. Where can I find the injector plugs for cheap?
 

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408,R3,Indy Heads,Twin66s
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How many do you need? EV1 or EV6?
 

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I just did the swap today it took 13 hours from start to finish including lunch break was not hard at all I spliced in the no.7 and 8 injectors took maybe an hour tops start up was flawless only thing left is exhaust still contemplating on what I wanna do with it this swap was by far the easyest I have done yet
 

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sbcman
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360magnum swap

Hey there. I just so happen to have a 1989 Dakota 3.9L SE 4x4 5spd, and I also just so happen to have a 99 durango 5.9 magnum 4x4 with a rusted out frame. Was just wondering if my swap is going to go as easily as yours, and if anyone knows if the 89 dakota's 5 speed Manuel can handle the 360's 330ftlbs of torque, and if no then ill just not floor it until I can afford a stronger Manuel tranny.
 

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It should hold as long as you don't abuse it based on other threads I have read. Make sure you use a 5.9 flywheel.
 
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