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Old 04-24-2011, 04:14 PM
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55 Dogde Pick up

I just purchase a 55 with a flat six engine and four speed transmision.
its seams to be original. I drove it from south NJ to Montecello NY
it made it, put it was very slow. what can be done to gain more high speed?
up grade engine, transmision, rear end?
need Help

RACE

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Old 04-24-2011, 10:03 PM
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For what it's worth?

I did a quick search on the Internet, didn't come up with a lot but I'm sure if you did a little more digging you can find some useful information. But if I was a betting man, I would start with checking the ratio in your rear differential. Since your pickup is equipped with an in-line six. I would guess that your rear end gears are low. Changing this could really help your top end speed. Just an idea. Jason.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:19 AM
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If you intend for this truck to be a daily driver then I strongly suggest you consider a complete drivetrain swap. It would not be difficult to swap in a 318 with automatic trans and rear end from a '60s or '70s Mopar and that would give you a modern driveline with absolute reliability. These engines are cheap and there are plenty of them out there. Next I would upgrade the brakes for better stopping power.

I'm sure there are some early Dodge pickup forums out there and it might also be a good idea to check them out. I'm sure you'll find plenty of suggestions from them as well.

Good luck.

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Old 04-25-2011, 07:04 PM
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Agree with Centerline. If ever there was a powertrain swap candidate, this little Dodge truck is it. Matter of fact, I'd be thinkin' tossing everything except the sheet metal and bolting that onto a donor chassis.
I'd be lookin' for a Gen I '91-'96 Dakota, 318/auto and use everything out of it except the sheet metal, use the EFI, the wiring, the whole enchilada.
In doing it this way, the whole thing would be engineered at the factory to work together. You don't need to buy any hot rod parts or try to figure out what will work with what. It's all right there for you to use.

Purchase some books and read up on swapping....
http://www.amazon.com/Engine-Swappin...3779680&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=all
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:22 PM
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Thanks that seems practable, have you heard of this done before and could the hole chasis be used? or would all parts be modified to fit original
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACE
Thanks that seems practable, have you heard of this done before and could the hole chasis be used? or would all parts be modified to fit original
I have done this many times through the years. I never had a whole lot of money, so I had to figure out how to do it right but do it cheap.

Leave the Dodge alone for now. Get the donor and slowly begin taking sheet metal off of it and selling it off on craigslist or ebay. For instance, the bed complete should bring $400. I don't know what the fenders are worth, but you can do some research and find out. Do not sell anything off the truck that is mechanical or electrical, only the sheet metal and maybe the bumpers. Good glass will sell easily. I wouldn't sell the doors until I determined that you can get enough out of them. Might be better to leave them with the cab sheet metal. I would even take the dash out of the Dakota and use it in the Dodge. Everything factory stock, factory gauges, everything. Do not cut or destroy any of the Dakota wiring.

Once you are down to a rolling chassis with motor, trans and all the running gear, use a large A-frame to slowly drop the body down on the frame and see what it will take to mate the two of them. This will take some eyeballing to make sure you have the tires filling the front wheel wells and so forth. Just do some thinking and write down your thoughts. This will, I think, turn out to be a fun project for you. Take plenty of pics and write down your progress in a journal. You'll be proud to show it when the truck is done.

By the way, one thing you want to do before you begin disassembly of the donor is to determine exactly where the front control arms are in relation to the frame. In other words, if you kneeled down and looked at the lower control arm from the front of the truck, what would the angle be in relation to the frame. Get an inclinometer and put it on the control arm. Write down the angle so that you will be able to duplicate it later. You want the exact same suspension geometry and travel that the stock Dakota has. Same in the rear, make notes about the position of the differential housing in relation to the frame. Take measurements. Do all this while the truck us still together and has all the stock weight on it.

Last edited by techinspector1; 04-25-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:17 PM
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Log in over at the P15-D24 Site there is a lot of info there on the flathead Mopars. There is also a sister site under the same general website for the Pilothouse trucks. A couple years older than what you have but a lot of the info will cross over.

If you want to keep the flathead try these links.

Langdon's Stovebolts he has dual carb intakes, cast iron headers and a kit to put a T5 from an S10 behind the flathead.

Edgy Speed Shop he has dual carb intake, finned aluminum head, and he regrinds cams.

Then find a good rearend with aabout a 3.73 rear. The other option while looking for a rear would be to put the tallest tire you can find for your wheel on the rear.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:10 AM
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It you go down the body swap route make sure you measure everything up real good before you start taking things apart. check your wheelbase, engine/trans clearance & mount locations.



I personally wouldn't ditch the old frame & running gear unless it's in bad shape. I think some of the fun of having an old car is it being old. But then again what do I know? Do what ever suits your wants/budget best. Good luck withe the build I like them old pilot houses.
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