Dodge RamCharger Central banner
1 - 20 of 288 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Ramcharger is a great off-road rig. But it is a little rough around the edges. Most of the issues could be dealt with, but I started thinking about building a new off-road rig. Something newer, more reliable, with some creature comforts, like - heat, A/C, seating for 4, fuel injection, etc., and maybe something a bit smaller and lighter. I considered TJ's, LJ's, and JK's, I even mentioned putting some Dana 60's under a Quad Cab Dakota.

I wasn't really looking, but last summer I happened across a perfect (but incomplete) project rig - and the hardest work was already done.

I bought this 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Sport, 3.9L V6 2wd. Yes, 2wd. But it had A/C, an automatic transmission, 1 ton axles (Ford kingpin front Dana 60, Ford 10.25" Sterling rear axle) and 37" MTR's. The 1-ton axle swap used leaf springs and was very well done. The truck was still 2wd (no transfercase) but I drove it for a couple months before taking it apart. It runs great, and drove very good. The previous owner had re-geared the rear axle from the stock 4.10 to 4.88 - but I think it would be better suited if it had 5.38 gears, that V6 needs some more RPM's in order to turn the 37's.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I bought a 4wd core transmission from a 2001 4wd V6 Dakota, and had the 4wd tailhousing and tailshaft swapped into my good 2wd transmission using the good internal parts from the 2wd transmission.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
About 5 years ago I bought a Box4Rocks NP231 doubler kit and planned to put it in my Ramcharger - that didn't happen but I still had the kit that I had already installed into a NP231 from a '96 Ram 1500 and upgraded to a 6-pinion planetary from a NP241.

I used an NP231 from a '01 Ram 1500 for the rear transfercase.  I installed an Advanced Adapters fixed yoke kit, NP241 6-pinion planetary, and long input shaft from a TJ. 

The doubler adapter shaft is free to move forward and backwards, but the 231 input allows it to travel too far backwards.  I had a Delrin spacer machined that fit tight inside the input shaft and was about 7/8" long.  This keeps the doubler shaft from moving too far back.

When I assembled the cases together I clocked the rear case up 2 holes, which is 12 degrees.  There is still plenty of floor clearance, and the long front drive shaft angle to the high pinion axle should still be very mild.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,218 Posts
Looks great! What kinda ratios do those Tcases have? I imagine you will end up with a much better lowlow than the np203/205 setup.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 2wd transmission crossmember wasn't going to work anymore, so I bent a 1.5" DOM tube for a new crossmember.  I also built a bracket to move the stock transmission mount back about 6" and help support the front transfercase so that there wasn't so much weight hanging on the back of the transmission.

Then I built a skid plate frame from more 1.5" DOM and made a new skid plate from 1/4" steel and counter sunk all of the 1/2" flat head mounting bolts so that it will be as smooth as possible.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
megatrek said:
Looks great! What kinda ratios do those Tcases have? I imagine you will end up with a much better lowlow than the np203/205 setup.
Thanks. It's going to be LOW. The 203/205 doubler only has a 4:1 double low range. The 231 has a 2.72:1 low rang so the double low will be about 7.4:1. With 5.38 gears in the axles, the total crawl ratio will be 2.74*2.72*2.72*5.38 = 109:1. If you double that for the torque converter it's 218:1.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I installed a 1410 u-joint yoke on the rear output and had a 1410/1410 driveshaft from a '91 CTD shortened by about 3".  (Pictured below next to the aluminum 2wd driveshaft)

The transfercases still needs shifters, but it is driveable now.  So far I've put about 250-300 miles on it and it drives good, almost like it did before.

For the front driveshaft I will need to have the left exhaust down pipe modified for clearance.  I don't have it yet, but it doesn't matter because the axle gears don't match yet.  The axles will get 5.38 gears, rear Detroit locker, and an ARB front locker - but that won't happen until I sell my Ramcharger.

Future plans include fabricating transfercase shifters, front and rear bumpers and a good long set of rock sliders.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,159 Posts
Looks fun Trenton, Get'r done and come back to town.  ;D

And yes, you better sell your RC cause it's still tempting and I'm broke.  ::)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mttaff said:
Got my attention! Eric
Thanks.

MoabION said:
Looks fun Trenton, Get'r done and come back to town. ;D

And yes, you better sell your RC cause it's still tempting and I'm broke. ::)
I'll make you a deal buddy. ;)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bestop EZ Roll tonneau cover.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,868 Posts
Sure is cool to be able to buy stuff like that for a wheeler!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Hope to see it in the spring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Shaping up to be a real sweet rig.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,753 Posts
KThaxton said:
So, it is still about the machinery I see. ;D
No machinery = no scenery. {tongue}
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
KThaxton said:
So, it is still about the machinery I see. ;D
You're driving a "blingy" 2015 CTD Ram and I'm the one that's all about the machinery???
Uh-huh, whatever.... {stupid} :p

Even though I haven't wheeled the RC for a few years, I've still had a scenery getter, the Dakota is just for getting different scenery.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,640 Posts
the pics don't do your Dak justice - that thing looks real good in person.  Sure hope we can get some mutual Colorado-Utah wheeling scheduled amongst ourselves again, whether it be in Utah, or the Rockies, or wherever {cool}
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
29,447 Posts
MA$TER BLING! said:
No machinery = no scenery. {tongue}
Hiking.....duh.... :p ;D

tv_larsen said:
You're driving a "blingy" 2015 CTD Ram and I'm the one that's all about the machinery???
Uh-huh, whatever.... {stupid} :p
That only required a lot of money, not time. Besides, my new truck wasn't purchased as a hobby, but as an absolute necessity (gotta haul those mtn bikes and the 4000 lbs trailer to Moab ya know). ;D

$5 says you'll finish this Dakota in a few years then sell it shortly after, then start another one. Y'all are nuts like that. {lol}

BTW, I'm thinking of renting a Jeep this spring while I'm in Moab.....thinking of being like the cool kids. ;)
 
1 - 20 of 288 Posts
Top