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I am thinking about swapping the engine with my 94 from a v6 to a 360 from a ram and I am wondering about all the little things I am going to need in order to complete it and if 4x4 would cause a problem at all and about the transmission

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1988 Dodge Dakota LWB RC 3.9V6 3 speed auto
1,628 Posts
Well, which transmission do you have currently?

You'll need:

1) New ECU. Since it's 1994, you may want to find a RAM 5.9 ECU; but the Dakota 5.2 ECU will drive the 5.9 good enough to make it driveable.

2) Add two injector wires to the cab harness (for injectors #7 and #8).

3) Flexplate/torque converter or flywheel for a 5.9 to match the year you're using (the 5.9 is externally balanced, the 3.9 and 5.2 internally, so you keep the balancer from the front and the torque converter/flex plate from the rear, or the flywheel from the rear, depending on if auto or manual.)

4) V8 exhaust manifolds (find some off a 1994-1995 V8 to fit optimally).

5) A drill and tap for the second temp sensor (the RAMs pretty much all used the CAN-BUS and let the ECU tell the temp gauge what the water temp was; the 1st Gen Dakotas, like the older Dxxx/Wxxx trucks, had a sending unit for the temp gauge/light and one for the ECU).

6) I'd find a 1994/1995 Dakota V8 engine wiring harness; but you can extend the wires necessary off the V6 harness. It'd be quicker and easier to swap. (The front of the engine moves out, so the wires to the front aren't quite long enough on the 3.9 harness, plus it's missing injectors #7 and #8 from the harness ...)

7) Oil pan. I've read that yes, the RAM pan will fit. I've read that no, the RAM pan won't fit. So you'll want an oil pan like the 2nd Gen Dakota 5.9 used. Along with that, the oil pickup tube. I'd just replace the whole pump while the pan's off - and while it's off, do the timing chain set. I'd also use a new harmonic balancer because of your cousin and mine, Justin Case. Add to that the hoses all new on the engine - again, due to your cousin and mine, Justin Case.

8) Your old motor mounts SHOULD work, but I'd put new ones on. See references to our family members in #7.

You SHOULD be able to get started with the current transmission; be aware that it's not set for the torque of a 5.9, so you can easily blow it out if you're not careful.

I'd rather suggest, being a 4x4, that you pick up a 94/95 Dakota V8 4x4 donor and swap to the 5.2; but eh.

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