Author Topic: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap  (Read 890 times)

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Offline Steel

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1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
« on: January 9, 2021, 12:49:30 pm »
Hello everybody. I'm getting ready to start a 12 valve swap and figured I would join and make a thread to document it and ask any questions that may arise. It's not my first cummins swap. I've put four into ford pickups and one into an International 706 tractor. That being said, I really am not all too familiar with Dodges, and will likely need advice on that side of the job. Anyway, on to the truck!

I was looking for a Bronco a few months ago, and could not find one worth buying. I looked at 8 or so of them, and every one was trash and way too over priced. I had stumbled across this truck though while looking for one and it got me interested enough to go look at it. It was from colorado and had minimal rust, had one ton axles under it already, and was a reasonable price. I wound up buying it and doing a few minor repairs and pretty much fell in love with it. However, the tired old 318 is pretty sluggish, especially with 36's on it and I had another 5.9 and getrag laying around and figured hey, why not?
So, I've picked up a first gen intercooler, and was wondering if it will fit behind the 1990 grill without issue. I expect to have to cut holes in the core support to allow the intercooler piping to go through, but am hoping that's the extent of it.
Additionally, will the crossmember from the ramcharger allow the first gen to simply bolt into place, or am I going to have to fabricate mounts and/or a new crossmember to work?
« Last Edit: January 9, 2021, 01:12:17 pm by Steel »

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    Offline RXT

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #1 on: January 9, 2021, 02:14:15 pm »
    Sweet Ramcharger and welcome to the insanity. Question if you've done other Cummins swaps and you don't really know Dodges, where did those engines come from?

    You'll find that when it comes to swaps like these you have an advantage since the factory was already putting these engines into these trucks, all the parts already exist.

    The IC will be a really tight fit behind the grill. The 89-90 Cummins trucks used that same grill but an IC wasn't yet available. If I am correct, the next grill evolution provided more room for a newly introduced IC. The core support will definitely need to be modified. It's gonna have to be modified anyway. As I recall with the V8s, the radiator is mounted to "L" brackets to bring the rad a bit closer to the engine. Those "L" brackets will have to disappear to make room between that Cummins and their radiator. The Cummins trucks had the rad bolted directly to the core support along with a huge trans cooler and A/C condenser.

    You might be able to use your existing crossmember, however you might have to relocate it, depending on which trans you're using. When I did mine, I used the crossmember from the donor truck I took the Cummins out of. It needed a small mod to fit the frame because the 3/4 and one tons of the same era had deeper frame rails to the lighter 1/2 tons and RCs

    Ed
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    Offline mopar65pa

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #2 on: January 9, 2021, 02:17:27 pm »
    NICE!

    Yes, find an IC truck and use the core support as they are different.
    I'd rather push a DODGE than drive a chevy or a ford!!!!!!
    77 400/727 RC
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    Offline Steel

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #3 on: January 9, 2021, 10:54:06 pm »
    Ya, I am kind of happy to not have to make so much from scratch for once. I have pulled cummins from a number of places. Two were out of pickups, one a bulldozer, one a generator, and another was literally laying behind a local mechanics garage for a few years and a buddy of mine let me know when he saw it. That is the engine going into this project. Luckily, I rebuilt it for another truck years ago and don't have to do too much to get it ready. The head is in the machine shop to be fire ringed and should be back for next weekend, hopefully. The plan is to have it running next weekend on a stand, then start to tear the Dodge apart. That said, no plan survives first contact, from my experience at least.
    When I say I dont really know Dodges, I mean I dont know what parts swap with what years and what have you. Im just not all that familiar with them. I always thought they were cool, but never owned one until now.

    Offline jungle

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 04:57:46 am »
    That is one SWEET RC.
    Jim
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    Offline RXT

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 12:26:54 pm »
    When I say I dont really know Dodges, I mean I dont know what parts swap with what years and what have you. Im just not all that familiar with them. I always thought they were cool, but never owned one until now.

    Yeah, I just wanted to get a grasp on what you knew. For the most part, Dodge is relatively easy to figure out. Most part interchange between given "generations" Most everything between 72 to 93 can swap back and forth, but details matter, for example, a 74 door will physically fit an 81 truck, but the body lines wont match up because of slight body style change. 1/2 ton to 1 ton have frame differences, etc

    In 94, Dodge completely redesigned their trucks, so they not much will swap between the earlier "square" Dodges and "Big Rig" style Dodge

    When it comes specifically to the Cummins engines. These engines saw generational improvements which transcended two different truck generations. The biggest issues are mostly related to supporting hardware, which was specifically designed to fit within a given body style, such as the intercooler or chassis, such as transmission and transfer case. That means if you want to use say a 98 Cummins in a 72 truck, The engine would physically bolt in but the 98 IC won't fit in the 72 body because the IC is also formed to fit the shape of the front end and the available space.

    For anything more specific, you came to the right place

    Ed
    If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.

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    Online u2slow

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 03:51:02 pm »
    The gas rad support is a fine one to modify for non-IC or non-stock intercooling.  I just got done fitting a gas rad to the IC support (another arrangement that's relatively easy). Non-AC and manual trans gives you more room to play with. The gas and non-IC supports actually have bigger major openings for air flow.

    One kicker with the IC support and cummins is the required 'short' 91.5-93-only fan hub for clearance.

    I DD a non-IC D250, which is fine for my purposes... so that's the route i'm taking on my '84 2wd RC as well.

    DD: 90 D250 6BT|5spd|D60/3.54/Lockright
    Tow/haul: 93 W250 Club 6BTA|5spd|D60/80/3.54/Lockright|4" lift|35's|HX35|5x.012s|4" pipe
    Projects: '84 D250 Ramcharger (cummins); '90 W250 Ramcharger (360TBI)
    Hers: 2005 Jeep Liberty V6|6spd|3.73/Trac-lok |3" lift, 245/75R16E Nokians

    Offline Steel

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #7 on: January 17, 2021, 02:45:42 pm »
    Well, here is the weekend update. Somehow, every cummins dealer I have spoken to this week has no 5.9 head gaskets available, which is hilarious but means my engine isnt running yet. I should have one tomorow, so It should run some time tomorow, hopefully.

    The 92 intercooler I picked up got pressure tested. Apparently there are sponges out there that would retain more psi. So, ive got to find an option for that. I have a 7.3 intercooler, but from what ive seen its a very tight fit in the intercooled trucks and requires a disgusting amount of butchery to fit into the 1990 trucks. Im open to swapping the grill and core support for the newer style, if that would let the 7.3 intercooler work. Finding a good core support around here may be an issue though, but nothing that couldnt be overcome .Ive also seen the cx racing kit available, and was wondering if anybody here has an opinion on that set up. Ive seen some negative takes on it, but they mostly seem to be dissing the install process and instructions, not the actual product.

    Additionally, Im having trouble finding first gen motor mounts. Does anybody make replacements for them? I have no issue with the isolator pads, but of all the things to not be able to find, i didnt expect it to be mounts. Really seems like I oughta just find a intercooled truck to steal parts from....

    On to more positive news though, I taught myself how to rebuild injectors this week and put .011 tips in my old ones. I also pop tested them and they seem to work perfectly. I also installed 4200 rpm springs in my p pump, mounted the pump, resealed the rest of the engine, and got the head back from the machine shop. A handful of other parts have also arrived, including the new south bend clutch and pressure plate, an afc live kit and the new tail shaft for the getrag. Hopefully the head gasket arrives tomorrow and then the actual teardown can begin before the weekend. Thanks for all the information so far and yet to come gentlemen.


    Offline jungle

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 04:20:07 am »
    Johnny @ Polybushings.com has the HD poly bushings available.

    You could also run the multi layer steel performance head gasket.
    See here;
    https://ramchargercentral.com/projects/jungle's-new-ctd-rc-called-tex/200/
    Jim
    1988 RC.the gold one   pics
    1988 RC.440,4" lift,727 
    BIG BLOCKS RULE !!!!!!!
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    Offline Steel

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #9 on: January 19, 2021, 05:09:05 pm »
    Heck of a lot of info in that thread. Thanks. Also, I may have a line on a donor truck. I also got the head gasket finally. Things appear to be lining up.

    Offline 12Vcrewcab

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #10 on: January 20, 2021, 12:14:33 pm »
    If you still need 1st gen motor mounts, or core supports, or basically any other OEM 1st gens part, just let me know as I bet I have one for sale.

    I have a finished 12V getrag shifted 4x4 '89 Ramcharger myself, so I am pretty familiar with the swap. It is a great diesel package as it drives, steers and brakes awesome and gets 22 MPG on the highway doing 75 MPH.
    '78 RC 2wd "project" no motor
    '80 RC 4x4 360/4 speed
    '85 W-350 crew cab, 6 inch lift, 37s, 12V/Rag 4.10s, pump tweaks, boost/pyro
    '85 W-350 crew cab, air bags all around 12V/NV4500, 24V Intercooler, intake horn, boots and tubes, HX-35, Denny T, pump tweaks, boost/pyro, 3.07s
    '85 W-350 crew cab "project"
    '89 Moonshine 12V/Rag D60/70s 3.54s
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    Offline Steel

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #11 on: February 4, 2021, 08:28:24 am »
    If you still need 1st gen motor mounts, or core supports, or basically any other OEM 1st gens part, just let me know as I bet I have one for sale.

    I have a finished 12V getrag shifted 4x4 '89 Ramcharger myself, so I am pretty familiar with the swap. It is a great diesel package as it drives, steers and brakes awesome and gets 22 MPG on the highway doing 75 MPH.
    Il keep you in mind man, thanks. I think I'm in the clear for the moment though.
    So, things progressed here at the speed of smell the past few weeks due to a handful of things, but we are back on track finally.  I found a donor truck and dragged it home last weekend. The body and interior are in pretty good shape ignoring the doors and, for some stupid reason, a prior owner welded the bottom 4 inches of the fenders to the rockers.


    Seems a shame to pull apart, it runs and drives nice, but the frame was broken and glued back together, and the Ramcharger will be worth it.Hopefully I can run across somebody rebuilding one of these without too much effort.
    Anyway, I expect to clear the garage bay out tonight and start tearing down the Ramcharger tomorrow evening. I finally got the engine together last night and fired it up. I'm excited.

    Offline Steel

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #12 on: February 22, 2021, 06:04:23 pm »
    Well, it's been a few weeks guess it's time for an update.

    I got the engine dressed up and fired it up on the floor. That was my cue to tear apart the ramcharger.

    Didn't get a picture of the interior being out yet, but that is pulled too.

    Then, I found the stress cracks in the firewall and cowl area. A few hours of welding and grinding, some paint and that was taken care of. I tried setting in the engine after that job was done, and that's where things went south.

    For some reason, the body sits too low for the cummins to mate the the getrag. I am still confused what is causing it as it seems most people taking this swap on dont have this issue. I was either going to make motor mounts or put a body lift on. As the truck already has 7 inches under it, I didn't really want to go higher for a street truck. I decided then to pull the riser blocks out from under the leaf springs, as they were nearly 3 inches and I dont much care for them anyway. As a bonus, I would get a much less steep driveshaft angle out of it.
    Then, I discovered the driver floor plan was rotten. Everything else seems ok but  this was ugly. I went ahead and cut it out and ordered a new pan. However, that lead to discovering the destroyed structure where the cab mount attaches. Il get pictures of it later, but its nasty enough that I decided I had to rebuild it. So, i decided to remove the body from the frame entirely because i hate sitting and crawling under something I'm trying to weld.

    So, that is where it is for the moment. I really was trying to avoid going this deep but it's for the best to just do It all now while its easy to get at. I figure it will get brake lines and the axles/frame painted now too. A few extra weeks to go the extra mile will be worth it in the long run I expect.
     

    Online u2slow

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #13 on: February 22, 2021, 11:34:07 pm »
    I tried setting in the engine after that job was done, and that's where things went south.
    For some reason, the body sits too low for the cummins to mate the the getrag. I am still confused what is causing it as it seems most people taking this swap on dont have this issue.

    Cummins trucks (5 speeds for sure) have the pinch weld trimmed. My '90 donor showed me that. I trimmed my '84 extra because I know how tight it still is.

    DD: 90 D250 6BT|5spd|D60/3.54/Lockright
    Tow/haul: 93 W250 Club 6BTA|5spd|D60/80/3.54/Lockright|4" lift|35's|HX35|5x.012s|4" pipe
    Projects: '84 D250 Ramcharger (cummins); '90 W250 Ramcharger (360TBI)
    Hers: 2005 Jeep Liberty V6|6spd|3.73/Trac-lok |3" lift, 245/75R16E Nokians

    Offline jungle

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    Re: 1990 Ramcharger 12 valve swap
    « Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 04:13:07 am »
    If you can't find the body mounts I have some HD units seen here;
    https://ramchargercentral.com/jungleshddodgecomponents/under-cab-body-mounts/

    & the 2 nd ones from the front;
    https://ramchargercentral.com/jungleshddodgecomponents/body-mounts-rear-style/

    Looking really good so far.
    Jim
    1988 RC.the gold one   pics
    1988 RC.440,4" lift,727 
    BIG BLOCKS RULE !!!!!!!
    440 pics

     

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