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Old 09-20-2013, 09:01 PM
rippyrip rippyrip is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SW Washington State
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Default Advice on a chassis and engine swap

Not really sure where to post this, if the mods want it somewhere else, I apologize.

I have an awesome old 1955 Dodge Power Wagon. I want to upgrade it to a more freeway friendly and modern suspension and running gear. After researching and thinking a while, I'm thinking it would be best to just pop the body off and onto a modern RAM. That way I can still keep the original chassis intact and set aside.

I know I'll need to do a few things like shortening the frame, custom body mounts, etc. The Wheelbase on the old Power Wagon is 126", so at least 10" shorter than any of the newer Rams that I know of.

complete frame specs are here:

At this point I'm thinking of a late 90s to early 2000s RAM 2500 4x4

I do NOT want a diesel swap.

I'm usually a Ford guy, preferring the big 460. I want to stick with Mopar in this Dodge though to keep it all in the family. What engine should I be looking to for the same type of low RPM high torque and horsepower figures?

One thing I love about the newer Dodge's is the much tighter turning radius than the Ford trucks I'm used to.

I'll be running 33-37" tires, depending on what gets me the right "stance" without a lift. Also will be running a manual tranny with overdrive. My goal is around 1700 RPM at 70 MPH.

As of now I'm looking at a multitude of engines, mostly crate motors.


Any of the new gen EFI crate motors like the 392, 360/440, 426, etc.

I can't seem to find any specs with the actual engine dimensions for fitting in my engine compartment. I also can't seem find any info from people that have swapped in and run the new gen crate motors.

Ideally I'm looking at decent MPG (it is a big truck though) while cruising at low RPM down the freeway, while still having the low end power I'm looking for.

I'm just gathering information right now, I'm a year or two away from even starting this project.

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