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Discussion Starter #1
Well, folks, I'm pretty new here, so please try to endure repeating the same information. I have been reading a lot of the various threads and sure will have some questions along the way. I currently drive a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins extended cab, long bed. What's wrong with it? It's too big for almost all of the driving I do. It won't fit in the garage and I hate scraping ice & snow off. I have to park in the lower 40 when I go to the store for the wife. And parking in the driveway next to my other diesel makes opening the passenger side door a chore. And those back "suicide" doors are terrible to get a kid into when parked beside another vehicle.

So, I've bitten the bullet. It's time to buy a Dakota Quad Cab (4x4 is preferred) and drop a 4BT(A) into it. I've located about 6 complete StepVans and about 4 possible choices for the truck. Tomorrow, I start making offers.

Wish me luck.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Acquired a Ford Step Van

:beer: Just bought a local StepVan (Ford) with a 4BT --- last ran about a year ago. Good transmission; vehicle just not being used anymore. They are going to clean out all the stuff in it next week. It's missing the power steering pump. I did not notice the injector lines coming out of the top, so it must be a VE pump; however, I really didn't get a good look at it.
 

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Good Luck and keep us posted I'm doing this build right now on a 99 Dakota xtended cab
I also have a 2000 Ram 2500 long bed quad cab 4X4 and I feel your pain.
but I love the truck so much I don't want to get rid of it just make a smaller version.
if you think you might want to put a strait axle under the Dakota then don't rule out
a two wheel drive then you'll have less junk to cut out later.
the cool thing about the 4bt is all the 6bt brackets and misc will bolt right on.
most of my swap is all dodge parts 47re tranny and 241 transfer etc.

have fun and let us know what you find.
 

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Hey, I'm looking into doing this same sawp myself. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to get started until later this spring when I get home from school. But the good part is I'm trying to get all my research and planning set so that when I get everything started it will, hopefully, go quickly and smoothly. Do you know what tranny/t-case you'll be using? How will you hook up the power steering, alt, water pump, etc. I'd be interested to know as you get further into your project and find the answers to these!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey, I'm looking into doing this same sawp myself. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to get started until later this spring when I get home from school. But the good part is I'm trying to get all my research and planning set so that when I get everything started it will, hopefully, go quickly and smoothly. Do you know what tranny/t-case you'll be using? How will you hook up the power steering, alt, water pump, etc. I'd be interested to know as you get further into your project and find the answers to these!
My engine comes with a water pump and power steering pump. :)
The alternator had been removed; however, that is documented on this forum --- different thread. I saw it a few nights ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good Luck and keep us posted I'm doing this build right now on a 99 Dakota xtended cab
I also have a 2000 Ram 2500 long bed quad cab 4X4 and I feel your pain.
but I love the truck so much I don't want to get rid of it just make a smaller version.
if you think you might want to put a strait axle under the Dakota then don't rule out
a two wheel drive then you'll have less junk to cut out later.
the cool thing about the 4bt is all the 6bt brackets and misc will bolt right on.
most of my swap is all dodge parts 47re tranny and 241 transfer etc.

have fun and let us know what you find.


We should have a discussion. I was hoping to change out the engine and transmission; then bolt the new transmission to all the existing stuff. I don't have a truck yet to drop it into; however, I'm pretty sure I will end up with a Dakota. I have NO idea if it will fit or if I'll have to move the front driveshaft around, etc. Once I get a chance to look under a Dakota, I will know more.
 

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If you plan on keeping the stock 4wd, your going to have to cut up your oil pan so that it clears the diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you plan on keeping the stock 4wd, your going to have to cut up your oil pan so that it clears the diff.
I read where someone shortened the oil pan. Is there any potential "harm" in doing this?
 

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I read where someone shortened the oil pan. Is there any potential "harm" in doing this?
what do you mean by "shortened"?? look through my build thread, you should be able to see pics of my modded oil pan.
 

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Go for the Dakota

We should have a discussion. I was hoping to change out the engine and transmission; then bolt the new transmission to all the existing stuff. I don't have a truck yet to drop it into; however, I'm pretty sure I will end up with a Dakota. I have NO idea if it will fit or if I'll have to move the front driveshaft around, etc. Once I get a chance to look under a Dakota, I will know more.
From what I have seen I have a ton of room in the Dakota even more than with the 318 gaser I set my engine back as far as I could
I wasn't sure if I would like the little 4BT so I left myself room to swap in a P-pumped 24V later:D
I'm useing the 47RE like the full size cummins uses and also a 241 transfer but a stock Dakota 231
transfer will bolt up.
check out Kaos' build on his 94 he's got a lot of nice pic's and some video
I would think about changing all the front brackets out for Dodge diesel units
if you plan on running Air and all, even my stock Dakota alternater will fit on the Diesel
bracket.
if you do a search on the forums you'll find a lot of nice Dakota builds
and all the guys are more than willing to help with any questionsbounce
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Like the storage shed with the 4bt in it

Nice van glad you found one I never thought of useing one for microwave storage:D
are you going to go through the engine it looks like it's been setting for a while?
also on the oil pan check out the one Kaos did on his 94 Dakota I think he even listed
how much oil it holds after he cut the sump down.
I don't think you will have any trouble if you don't cut out to much.
I'm going to have to shorten the sump on mine for axle clearence
but I think I'll just add it to the bottom because I have more than enough
ground clearence heck right now my tranny pan hangs down lower than
the oil pan.
good luck keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
The microwave storage was the purpose the seller had for the Step Van. The Seller told me it was last driven about ONE year ago. The Seller is suppose to clean it out THIS week and then call me. I will tow it to my friend's shop.

My plan is to steam clean the engine AFTER I cover up the power steering "hole", check the oil, check the coolent, then drop a big battery in it and start it. I'm trying to gain the "service history" on the engine. Do these engines need valve adjustments? If the motor runs and has little blowby, then I may NOT pull the head. I'll address any oil leaks before the engine gets swapped into the Dakota.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Two weekend "scores":

1) 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with a knocking engine; shipping has been arranged.

2) 47RE trans and a torque convertor with about 90-100K non towing miles. The guy has some other stuff that I'll probably get and offer to this forum --- he wants to clean out his garage.
 

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all right

Two weekend "scores":

1) 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with a knocking engine; shipping has been arranged.

2) 47RE trans and a torque convertor with about 90-100K non towing miles. The guy has some other stuff that I'll probably get and offer to this forum --- he wants to clean out his garage.
way to go on the Dakota and the tranny we will have pretty much the same build :D
their is a valve lash adjustment because they just have solid tappits in them
but both of my 6cly cummins I checked were in spec even my old 12v after 150K
on it.
I can't remeber the setting I will have to look it up.
keep the pictures comming want to see one of the truck when you get it home.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good News --- Pics will follow, I promise.

  1. The seller's have the Step Van cleaned out and waiting for me to tow to a friends shop ---- it's missing the power steering pump; no battery. I'll do that tomorrow afternoon and pressure wash the inside since it's going to be my storage facility.
  2. On Sunday, going after the 47RE transmission and some other goodies. Some of it "may" show up in the Classified section.
  3. I just got notification that the Dakota is getting picked up on Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I pulled the Step Van to my friend's shop with my other Cummins. Then, I took the steam power washer to the inside of the Step Van; it's going to be my new storage facility and staging area for my 4BT when I'm not working on it in the shop. There will be some other things that will appear in the rear of the step van, so wanted to get it initially clean. Also steam cleaned the engine, but stayed away from the hole where the power steering pump is missing.





 
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