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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a 96 Ram V10/NV4500 as a donor to swap into my 97 Ram. The truck currently has a 360/NV3500/NP231 with a D60 front and D80 rear. From taking some measurements it looks like it will drop right in, except for the front d-shaft, that seems to be 1" too short.

My question is, how much different are the 96 and 97 Rams? I'm hoping the wiring will be plug and play. Both are OBDII and seem very similar. Anybody know or will I find out when I swap it and try to plug it all in and start?

One last question, anything to do to the V10 before I swap it in? Plan on doing a clutch, but any other maintenance that's a pain to do in the truck?

Some pics for the interested.
 

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Personally I wouldn't swap a v10 but that's just me, if it were me I would use the 4500 and 241 but that's it...

Anyway this is your project not mine! A lot of 97's have hydro boost brakes and 96's an older have vacuum boost. Otherwise there's pretty much no differences I can think of between the 96 and 97. I'm not familiar with the V10 so not sure there, but as far as I know the truck harness is the same (ECM and engine harness should be only thing different) I would double check fuel pump or just swap the donor's to be sure.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I paid $1700 for the truck. After selling my drivetrain, the axles from the donor and scrapping the body I should be able to break even. That basically nets me another 70HP and 125 ft/lbs for free. Plus upgrading the trans and t case. I tow a fifth wheel and extra power is always nice. Also helps longevity when you aren't working it as hard. I'd love a Cummins but if this truck had one it would have cost $7k or so. Too much money for what it is.

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that truck looks halfway desent in the pictures, is your truck a half ton? should be a bolt and go deal


where are you located? could use a ex cab, box and frame
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My truck is a half ton. The frame is pretty clean on the donor. The body is gone though, I can put my hand through the rust holes on the bedside and the driver's rocker is falling off. Typical Michigan truck.

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Discussion Starter #9
what about swapping your body onto the 3/4 ton? seems like it would be better in my oppinion
It's about the same work. Plus my truck is a shortbed and the V10 is a long bed, so I'd have to find a clean bed and then either paint it or drive a mismatched color truck. Also, I want to keep my axles and not use the V10 axles. I've already got manual lock-outs, spooled front, posi rear and 4.88's. It's about the same work plus I get an ugly truck.
 

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I'd probably look into swapping the cab too, I think it'll be easier in the end. If the bed's shot on the V10 you could always build a flatbed, I'd be more inclined to do it just for the 8' bed.

As for the V10, I'd do the swap for the low end grunt the it has. I've got a built 360 in my '95 and my dad has a '96 V10 and my 360 will outrun him empty and tow right with him but I have to rev the shit out of the 360 to do it. His truck will get the load moving a lot easier too and he's got 3.55 gears and I've got 3.92.
I'd look into finding someone to do a custom tune on the ECM to wake up the V10 too.
 

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Everything I've had to to do or check on my V10 has been pretty easy. The hardest thing I came across was pulling the drivers side rear spark plugs. You're already planning on changing out the clutch, so just take the opportunity to check for leaks and fix them while things are apart.

Then I'd just pull the whole drivetrain at once and just swap it at one time. When I scrapped my old half-ton, I just torched all the body mounts and the steering column, snipped the wires and hoses, and then yanked the rusted cab right off the frame. There's not many easier ways to pull a drivetrain than that. And putting the entire drivetrain in at once certainly would have been the easier way when I put that engine in my ZJ.

There are a few differences in the wire harnesses mainly form the different ignition design, so the easy thing might be to just swap the whole harness.
 

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I'd change the oil pan gasket before I put the motor in. They are known to leak and a bit of a PITA to change in the truck. That way you can see what the motor looks like inside as well. I was surprised how clean mine was at 100k miles. The V10 likes to breathe add a K&N FIPK and free flowing exhaust. I have had good luck with my cheapy EBay stainless headers (I figured for 90.00 shipped I really couldn't go wrong) do some 2 1/2" head pipes to what ever muffler or mufflers you like. Get a hold of Hemifever as he has some canned tunes that will help wake it up as well. I have owned or driven 3 different 99 Rams a 2wd 2500 5.9, a 2wd 3500 Cummins, and my 4wd 2500 v10 and the V10 is my hands down favorite. Stock for stock it towed 8000 lbs the best out of the 3 and actually got better towing MPG than the 5.9. I now have 4.56 gears and 35" tires ( for now next set will be 37") and from a 30 MPH roll it will light the rear tires up when floored. On my wish list is a mild cam, roller rockers and a mild port and polish on the heads. The V10 is very detuned in stock form with lots of room for power increases as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well after kicking around the idea of swapping my body/axles/misc upgrades onto the V10 frame I think I've finally convinced myself. A long bed would be really nice, especially with towing a 5th wheel. So I'll just deal with a mismatched bed until I can get it all the same color.

Murfman - By Hemituner I assume you mean Hemifever? I have one of his tunes on my 5.9 now and it really woke it up. Night and day difference. However, would a tune still be worth it if I only wanted to run 87? I have his 93 tune on my truck and it runs great and pulls great, but paying for premium hurts. Also, I had a cheap set of Summit shorty headers on my 5.9 and they would NEVER seal. I went through 3 or 4 years of constant leaks, now I have PaceSetter LT's and they are great. Are the eBay ones going to make me hate life?

Oh and for everybody wanting to see the swap, it won't happen for a few weeks. I'm closing on a house today and I need to move everything before I tear it apart!
 

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I have had no problems with my headers, I tossed out the hardware that came with them and bought some ARP bolts to replace them at a local street rod shop. When I bought them I figured if they were a nitemare I'd swap them out for some JBAs but I still have them.
The tune I have is from Hemifever:homer:
And I am running a tune with 87 octane, he can also do a mileage tune if you want. with the tune I have I made a 5000 mile trip towing 4500 of it and the other 500 with an empty car hauler and averaged 11 MPG at mostly 75 MPG including running from Flagstaff to Pheonix, up the Baker grade, and I 70 from Salt lake to Denver. I am very happy with the V10.
 

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I ran Edelbrock ceramic coated headers on my 5.9 for a few years when i had it and I loved them they sealed good but were a pain in the ass to put on! The bottom bolts sucked balls! Crowsfoot 1/4 turn at a time, took forever!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, the V10 setup is in my truck now. Swapped it over the weekend. Only minor issues are no a/c line (V10 one was split), no heat due to a leaky heater hose and the tach reads ~25% high.

Now the main issue. Going up to 3rd it grinds if I don't double clutch and shift slow. But coming down into third is impossible. Double clutch, rev match and it still does nothing. It doesn't grind it just physically won't go into 3rd. Any ideas? I feel like I'm about to learn how to rebuild an NV4500.
 
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