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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:53 AM   #121
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I got a doner gasser. Stripped the frame and did it right. Worst part is doing the engine cradle. Took about a week total for the conversion.
That would be a lot of work, but probably not a bad way to go. If I ever went 4x4, I was thinking about using a kingpin Ford 60 from a 86-91 F-350. IMO it's a better axle than the Dodge unit, and the weird offset (about 3 1/2 inches further to driver side than 78-79) would allow less lift and better clearance. Even the stock height of this model Dodge is too high for my tastes.

From there I don't know if I'd leaf it or link it. I'd probably just leaf it for simplicity.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 01:54 PM   #122
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The new driveshaft from CCI in Ira Township, Michigan. They made a new front and rebuilt the rear. It has a new center bearing and all new spicer U-joints. For my 2wd extended cab truck I needed the driveshaft to be 46 1/2 inches from the face of the flange to the center of the mid-bearing.

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:37 PM   #123
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Unfortnately the 2011 boot is for a console and too short. The stock boot works but is just about stretched to it's limit. After my next run I'll probably build some sort of console to use 2011 boot.

The G56 shift knob is a weird one. To get it off you pop out the indicator tab, and unbolt a 15mm bolt. Then you still have to unscrew it from the shaft. So don't go trying to just twist one of these off like the old ones!

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:18 PM   #124
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One quick project I had was to change out the mirrors. My parts truck had the stock dually flip up units. However they were manual (all factory ones were) and very stiff to adjust. So stiff in fact that my wife busted the glass in the passenger side one on our last trip while she was adjusting it for me. New glass is only a couple bucks, but I decided it was an opportunity to upgrade. So I picked up these aftermarket flip up units. They are stock looking, but are power! The wiring is already in all of these trucks for power mirrors, so they are plug and play.




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Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:22 PM   #125
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I had originally swapped the drivers door panel out for the parts truck one, as mine was cracked and sagging in the armrest area. You couldn't see the damage, as it was under the upholstery.

However, I soon noticed the panels are different. I have Infinity surround sound in the truck, so my original panels have grilles for the tweaters.

So out came the fiberglass to patch up my original panel.

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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:16 AM   #126
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...
The G56 shift knob is a weird one. To get it off you pop out the indicator tab, and unbolt a 15mm bolt. Then you still have to unscrew it from the shaft. So don't go trying to just twist one of these off like the old ones!

My TJ is the exact same thing. Was very confused when I was twisting and nothing was happening at first, then figured it out. I left the indicator tab out on mine though, seems to give me a better grip on the stick...

Paint
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:42 AM   #127
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My TJ is the exact same thing. Was very confused when I was twisting and nothing was happening at first, then figured it out. I left the indicator tab out on mine though, seems to give me a better grip on the stick...

Paint
You were having trouble gripping your stick :p

You might want to have that checked out John.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 06:05 PM   #128
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Filled up trans with Syncromesh. Even though the G56 calls for ATF, Southbend and others reccomend Snyncomesh due to its thicker viscosity and cooling properties.

Then I got to work on the Reverse light switch. Problem there is the plug is unique to the G56, I don't have it, and it is unavailable via both aftermarket and dealer as of now.



Finding a yard willing to cut off the plug from a good harness wouldn't be easy (or timely) so I put some very small female spade connecters on some wire and pressed them in.



Since the spades are so close to eachother (less than half a mm) I filled the cavity with silicone to keep them in place and protected. The G56 reverse light switch sits about two feet rearward of where the 4500 one was, so some extensions with spades were necessary. I plugged it all in and it worked great!

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Old April 23rd, 2012, 06:55 PM   #129
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Last thing was to get the Speedometer working. G56 trannys do not have a speed sensor. Dodge started taking the speed off the rear axle in 98. My truck is a 97, but does have an ABS sensor in the rear axle.

It was not my idea, but saw it in a couple of writeups. The idea is to use a Dakota Digital (the company, not the truck) SGI-5 interface unit to pick up the rear axle signal. Currently Dakota does not list this as an application, but I figured it was worth a try.

The writeups use a four wire hookup. Power, Ground, Input, and output.

For input, I picked up the ABS signal from the back of the OBD2 port under the dash. The wire to tap into is red with a purple tracer.

For output to the speedo the writeups say to tap into the white wire with an orange tracer at the bundle under the dash next to the parking brake. I was unable to find the wire there, so I pulled out the cluster and found it easily to the right there. I tapped into it and tried driving truck......nothing.

Long story short is that the writeups did not say that the white wire with orange tracer needs to be cut completely, not tapped into. Once a wire is run from the back of the speedo (still the white with orange tracer one) directly to port 3 it works great. Switch 1 and 2 are left down, 3 and 4 up.

I mounted the unit to the brace under the panel at bottom of the dash. It is accessable while driving with panel off for fine tuning. Push and hold the buttons down for adjustment. I tuned mine in a few seconds with my GPS. Cool thing is I can easily retune with a push of a button for different tires or a gear swap.

Only thing I noticed with this setup is it runs 1-2 MPH fast under 25 mph. After that it is dead nuts accurate.

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Old April 23rd, 2012, 06:59 PM   #130
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I honestly care nothing about this swap, or build up, because I will never go through all of this work, but for some reason I can't stop reading this thread. Nice work.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 07:23 PM   #131
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And it is done!

I took truck on an 80 mile shakedown and it is awesome. The Southbend clutch is oh so smooth and the extra gear greatly helps keep it in the RPM band.

For those who would like to know, here is a breakdown of costs:

17,000 mile G56a trans - $2750

Southbend Clutch w Flywheel -$989

Driveshaft Re-work - $479

Fluids, various small stuff - $100

Dakota SGI-5 unit - $85

Sub Total $4,403

Sale of old trans. +$600

Total project cost $3,803

Final notes:

Get shifter and wiring plug for reverse light switch with trans. They are not yet available aftermarket.

If possible, get front yoke with bolts off driveshaft to avoid having to buy them.

Get short (G56) slave rod with trans, it is the one you need.

I will give an update once I get some miles on this. So far so good!

Last edited by kkodet; April 23rd, 2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 07:31 PM   #132
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I honestly care nothing about this swap, or build up, because I will never go through all of this work, but for some reason I can't stop reading this thread. Nice work.
Thank you. There is still more to come!
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:26 PM   #133
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Those mirrors are pretty bad azz. Did they come with a captains control for the Passenger side?
While you already have them and the wiring laid out on the mirrors have you considered adding heat? It is not a huge deal unless you head out to West Virginia or other mountainous areas where you can get freezing rain pretty easily.
They will really shine when your driving up a mountain and are able to hit defrost instead of having to stop every 15 minutes to scrape off the ice. I know I am all spoiled and junk but I don't plan on towing without heated mirrors after having and not having them after a fuse blew.
For all I know you may not put yourself in that situation though.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:32 PM   #134
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I couldn't find heated power ones. The truck originally had power back when it was SRW, so the master contol is still in the drivers side. I didn't need to lay anything out. Total swap took less than an hour and yes, I can control the pass side. No wiring was required.

Heat would be sweet though!

Non-power trucks still have the wiring in the doors. I just converted my nephews truck for him and the swap was super easy. We had to add the master switch for his though.

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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #135
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Today I farted around the shop a bit while running errands in between. I decided to add a leaf in each side.

My initial plan was to recycle some Ford leaves I had sitting around, but closer inspection showed they have a 3/8 center pin instead of the 1/2 I need. So I called up Ken at Marysville truck (at 4:59 PM) and talked to him about some add-a-leafs and new bolts. He told me to come on up (about a 1/2 hour drive for me), he'd wait. That is great customer service!

I've dealt with Marysville truck on many occasions and they are great. I highly reccomend them.

So, first project tomorrow is the leaves.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #136
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Rear add-a-leafs are in. I had to shorten them a couple of inches. Arch matched perfectly, so little wrestling to get in.

They didn't lift rear of truck at all, which is good. Supposedly they are good for an extra 1,200 lbs.

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Old April 26th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #137
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I honestly care nothing about this swap, or build up, because I will never go through all of this work, but for some reason I can't stop reading this thread. Nice work.
x2

Awesome work Route55
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Old April 26th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #138
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I really wanted to run my new 19.5s on this upcoming trip, which are wrapped with 8R19.5 rubber.

When I get back, they are all getting dismounted to be blasted and powdercoated. But I figured I'd run them as is for this trip, because their 34 inch height should keep me from having to use overdrive. Well, I started to air them up and several have rim leaks, so that plan is shot for now. I guess it will be one more run on the 31's using overdrive. At least the tranny is still under warranty
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Old April 26th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #139
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This truck has a date in the near future with the body shop. I've been uncomfortable with the holes in the front fenders being this is a commercial vehicle. It just puts up a red flag in my mind.

So, until the front fenders get replaced, very very soon, I'm going to do a quick fiberglass job and gravel guard it or something, as I don't have time to mess with these junk fenders too much. This will definitely be a 50, or maybe 500 foot job :D


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Old April 26th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #140
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After several seconds of deep thought on the subject, I grabbed some paintable undercoating and a can of rusoleum.

Don't try to get too close with undercoating, it just ends up blowing around.

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