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30-year Upgrade with a Gen 3 HEMI.

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  • 30-year Upgrade with a Gen 3 HEMI.

    I had picked up a nice rust free 2WD 1984 Dodge Ramcharger from Texas that either needed an engine rebuild or upgrade. After pondering the ideas of rebuilding or replacing the 318 LA I also looked at the Gen 3 Hemi options. Part of the consideration is the desire for the truck was to have a fast fun ride and a good economic highway cruiser that my wife could easily get into (vertically challenged) and drive. As all my other trucks are 4WD, the 2WD Ramcharger was a great choice as we have owned to mid 80ís 2WD Ramchargers and loved them.

    The easy choice in stepping up to a Gen 3 Hemi was using a 2WD truck as the donor. This would give me a rear sump oil pan and an accessory system layout that would package better into a trucks engine bay. I bid on several, over several year models, but finally landed on a 2014 1500 RAM that would be the best fit, at least thatís my hopes. Thatís a 30-year upgrade in the Engine and Transmission from 1984 to 2014. Itís a 2WD Regular Cab Short Bed Tradesman model, with basic equipment (AC and Cruse). It has the MDS 5.7 Hemi mated to the 65RFE 6 Speed Automatic Transmission. The base 1984 Ramcharger has a 143 HP and 253 lb.ft. of Torque from the 318 V-8.
    The 2014 1500 Tradesman has a 395 HP and 407 lb.ft. of Torque from the 5.7 Hemi.

    That a 176% more HP and 61% more Torque, thatís a very NICE Power Upgrade.
    Along with the Power Upgrade going from the 3 speed 727 Torquflite to the 6 speed 65RFE will give it a lower 1st gear and a 0.67 Overdrive.
    The Donor truck is a running and driving wrecked vehicle with a clean title. The only powertrain issue Iíve found was a blown charging circuit fuse. Other than the trucks body damage from the wreck, the radiator leaks under pressure and the ABS system has an issue, probably a bad sensor as a result of the wreck. It runs smooth and has good oil pressure.
    So now the adventure begins. To finish assessing the donor parts and preparing the Ramcharger for the upgrade.

    I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

    Thanks,
    Will
    WAWII.com

    1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
    1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
    1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
    1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
    2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

  • #2
    Looks like a fun project. Iíve got a 14 dodge with the 5.7 as a work truck. It has 190k on it now and has been a great truck
    2012 mega cab 3500 cummins
    1982 w350 crew cab
    1977 Dodge short box reg. cab powerwagon 4x4
    1967 Dodge W200 440 magnum 4speed
    1949 cummins power wagon

    Comment


    • #3
      howdy Will / that will be a NICE ride and if you need wiring help and diagrams just ask
      1985 RamCharger W350 dana 60,s 4;10,s 35 Boggers
      1964 A100 Sportsman Special Mid-440 full manual 727 - 4:10,s
      1985 W350 CrewCab 360 4bl- 4 spd - Dana 60,s 4:10,s
      1952 Chrysler/Hobart Generator-Welder PW motor
      1996 Dodge Dakota 400hp 5.9L 360-Magnum
      2000 Dodge Intrepid R/T

      its mind over matter/ if you dont mind it dont matter
      40 year ASE Master Mechanic
      MOPAR TO YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      email - dodgeboysnet@hotmail.com
      www.dodgeboys.net

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DODGEBOYS View Post
        howdy Will / that will be a NICE ride and if you need wiring help and diagrams just ask
        Thanks! I plan for it to be a great ride, now I just need to succeed. I will indeed some wiring diagrams, any assistance is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
        I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

        Thanks,
        Will
        WAWII.com

        1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
        1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
        1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
        1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
        2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

        Comment


        • #5
          Will, I am as excited to see this build happen as a young child on Christmas morning. I am sure it will be amazing.
          1967 W200.aka.Hank
          1946 WDX.aka.Shorty
          2012 Ram 2500 PowerWagon.aka Ollie

          Life is easier in a lower gear.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks guys, yea I'm excited about how an 84 RC will be with the modern power-train. However it won't be a fast job, as the owner of the CJ8 gave me the go ahead to start the work on it today, so I'll have three vehicles tore apart at the same time, and hopefully not confuse the parts piles.
            I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

            Thanks,
            Will
            WAWII.com

            1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
            1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
            1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
            1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
            2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

            Comment


            • #7
              Here are some more pictures of the 2014 Ram 1500 Donor Truck.

              Took it for a test drive around the subdivision, and wow. I've been driving old 4WD and slow spooling Diesel trucks too much, this thing has a lot of get up and go!

              Still need to sort out the one Wheel TPMS issue and the ABS fault. Will need to find someone with the proper scan tools to sort both of those issues out. Then to get the ECM reprogrammed to address the features/functions I won't be moving over with the swap.
              Then it's time to strip it down for the transplant. But that will be a while off before that happens.
              I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

              Thanks,
              Will
              WAWII.com

              1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
              1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
              1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
              1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
              2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

              Comment


              • #8
                The extra gearing of that transmission will be great too. Overdrive is a wonderful thing. The electrical conversion will definitely be interesting to watch. Will you need to change the rear axle ratio of the RC?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yea, a lower 1st gear and OD will be a great improvement. The Donor Truck is a Base Model with little electronic features to address. It would have been nice if it had Power Windows I could piggy back on, but that isn't a show stopper. The biggest issue will be turning off items in the ECM like the Air Bags. The aftermarket guys supposedly have the ability to tune the stock ECMs, so hopefully it's just a matter of finding the right shop to send the box to. As for the rear axle re-gear, not sure yet.
                  I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

                  Thanks,
                  Will
                  WAWII.com

                  1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
                  1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
                  1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
                  1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
                  2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Where did the rest of the thread go..?
                    Chewie


                    1940 VF32 ?
                    1952 M37 318A
                    1975 W200 Crew 318LA
                    1993 W250 360
                    Don't call it orange peel, think of it as no-slip grip!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Chewie,

                      Not sure what post you are missing. Life happened, and I've not been able to get back to work on the RC project. So I've not been posting anything.
                      I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

                      Thanks,
                      Will
                      WAWII.com

                      1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
                      1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
                      1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
                      1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
                      2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I understand that.
                        Chewie


                        1940 VF32 ?
                        1952 M37 318A
                        1975 W200 Crew 318LA
                        1993 W250 360
                        Don't call it orange peel, think of it as no-slip grip!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I understand the life happening and projects and priorities changing. It is hard some days to keep your head above water some days at all.
                          1967 W200.aka.Hank
                          1946 WDX.aka.Shorty
                          2012 Ram 2500 PowerWagon.aka Ollie

                          Life is easier in a lower gear.

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Ok gang, I'm finally back to working on the project. I've not posted any pictures anyplace except facebook at this point, so if you want to watch, follow along over at: https://www.facebook.com/William.A.Watson.II/
                            I drive a DODGE, not a ram!

                            Thanks,
                            Will
                            WAWII.com

                            1946 WDX Power Wagon - "Missouri Mule"
                            1953 M37 - "Frankenstein"
                            1993 Jeep YJ - "Will Power"
                            1994 2500 4WD Regular Cab - "Old Gray"
                            2006 3500 DRW 4WD Mega Cab - "Power Wagon Hauler"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice project Will, thanks for the photos!

                              Frank

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