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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there everyone. I currently have a 1988 Ramcharger with a 318 and 4-spd. In the next week or so it will be getting upgraded to a dana 60 front and dana 70 rear axle. Next in the process comes the engine and tranny swap. My goal is to swap in a second gen 12 valve cummins and a NV4500.

This project will probably be done in steps. So if I find a 12 valve first, then it will go in and I'll hook up my 4-spd. The same idea goes for if I get a NV4500 first. But I have two questions:

1) Do I need to get a certain year of transmission for a passenger side front pumpkin, or can any year of NV4500 work for my project.

2) Do you guys have any input on what transfer case I should use when I finish my swap. Should I stick with my 208, or go with something else? I've been thinking of using a 205.

Just so you all know, this isn't going to be a wheeler. This project is so that I can give my first car a second life as a daily driver with decent power, mileage, and towing capability. Thanks for all of your input, I appreciate the help.
 

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The diesel NV4500 is different from the gasser.  The input shaft is splined differently, and the gas version is weaker (I think 400 vs 550 lb-ft rating).  So you have to put in the 4500 at the time of the diesel swap, not sooner.

Also, I don't think the gas t-cases (208, 241) will bolt to the rear of a diesel 4500, but I could be wrong there.
 

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Don't even waste your time trying to do it in steps like that. No one has ever saved time or money with that process.

Let's say you find a 5 speed first.

Let's say it comes from a cummins.
It won't fit, so you will have to find a new bell housing, swap the input shaft, and the main shaft.

Then swap that stuff again once you have a cummins.

Let's say its a gasser tranny. It will fit in with minimal drama, BUT everything must be swapped once it's time for the cummins.

The transfer cases are specific, you need a 89-93 cummins 5 speed transfer case. Nothing else. Not adapting this and that, a 5 speed cummins case.

You are best to buy a complete tranny/transmission from a 2nd gen, and then add your 89-93 t case to the mix.
 

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Forgot:

let's say you find a cummins 1st. Basically not going to fit/last behind a 435, and not worth the effort either.

I also forgot:

The 4500 has an achilles heal behind diesels, and I STRONGLY recommend replacing the output shaft (mainshaft) with the upgraded unit unless you want to end up replacing other stuff along the way. (see threads in diesel section)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I have no problem buying and holding onto the parts then doing everything at once. I've always been a believer that things should be done right the first time, so I'll be sure to replace that output shaft before I put it all together.

I just want to clarify one thing, I can bolt up any gen 1 transfer case to any gen 2 nv4500, or did I misunderstand?
 

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s ǝoɾ said:
The transfer cases are specific, you need a 89-93 cummins 5 speed transfer case. Nothing else. Not adapting this and that, a 5 speed cummins case.
SpokaniteRC88 said:
I just want to clarify one thing, I can bolt up any gen 1 transfer case to any gen 2 nv4500, or did I misunderstand?
You can bolt up absolutely any transfer case, just as long as it is a NP205 originally from a 1989-1993 dodge ram w250/w350 with cummins and getrag 29 spline 5 speed.
 

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Good stuff.  It is way simpler to do everything at once with a donor truck.

If you really want to go in steps, this is what I would do.

The transmission would have to go in first.  Get an NV4500 gas version.  It is exactly the same as the diesel version except for roughly 5 parts, if that.  The gas version fits a lot more transfer cases because it has a 23 spline output shaft.  The diesel version has a 29 spline output shaft which is oddball.  The 208 has got to be the best t-case for the money.  They are strong, cheap, and easy to find too so keep it.

When you go to diesel you will need to change the bellhousing, input shaft, bearing, cup, and retainer.  Update the mainshaft if you wish, but definitely update the 5th gear nut.  If you are mechanically inclined enough to do the diesel swap, you will certainly be able to follow the instructions to change the transmission parts.

-my 2 cents
 
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