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  #1  
Old 08-05-2013, 12:10 PM
mrfusion70 mrfusion70 is offline
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Default Engine swap 5.9 TO 3.9 YES to a 3.9!! ??

Alright guys here is the deal, my son is buying his first project vehicle today and this will be our first project together! I'm really looking forward to this and have been for some day!! As a gear head when your kids become involved and interested in the same stuff as we like it really can get exciting! So I found him a truck and he really likes it and what it can be once it's fixed back up. The truck is at a local junk yard about the be parted out, clean title and not wrecked, it's a 1996 Ram Indianapolis 500 pace truck that needs quite a bit of fixing up. The 5.9 has been beat hard and has given up the fight for the moment. So the plan is to pull the engine, run the numbers and rebuild it. Now here is the part where I have to play DAD and decide if the 5.9 is too much for a first time driver...and I am leaning hard towards YES. My thoughts are to swap in a 3.9 V6 for the time being and let him beat on that for awhile and finish fixing up the truck as we go. Then when he shows a little responsibility (and the look in his eyes fads a bit) we will put in the fully rebuilt 5.9 and complete the truck.
Everyone seems to want to yank out the wimpy 3.9 and swap in a 318 or 360 so I can find plenty of info on that but what about going the other way and installing the 3.9 in place of the 5.9 ?? Any advise and encouragement would be a big help. My son and I can handle all the required work, we just don't want to tie up a bunch of money in a ass-backwards engine swap!
Thanks guys and looking forward to hearing your responses!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2013, 12:43 PM
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There's a lot involved, but the trans will match up.

I'd recommend just do a 5.2, still a V8, but not the torque monster that 5.9 is.

If you really want to limit the power, they make drop in limiters for the distributor. When I was younger, my friend's little brother had a mustang with a 3000 rpm limiter...
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:01 AM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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I'd just use a low stall torque converter and tall rear gearing with a reworked 360. That'll take the stoplight zip out of it. Doing the same with a 318 would have a more profound effect.

Last edited by Gen1dak; 08-07-2013 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:10 PM
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Im 16 and drive the truck in my sig, heck they let me drive my moms raptor and my dad 500 horse torino just teach him well and have confidence
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowdyRam View Post
Im 16 and drive the truck in my sig, heck they let me drive my moms raptor and my dad 500 horse torino just teach him well and have confidence
Can't go back when your kid is in a casket!

As long as there is friends, and girls, teenage boys will do stupid things
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaggerville Ram View Post
Can't go back when your kid is in a casket!

As long as there is friends, and girls, teenage boys will do stupid things
Amen to that. And if the vehicle has a hand brake, you can double those chances.
I know a few friends that have crashed/totaled their vehicles, some a few times. Also have one friend who was killed along with his mom while driving to meet his family after graduating hs. 18 year old drunk driver veared over into a head on collision.

I say dropping to a lower engine isn't bad to teach him to understand, and will save some gas too. Hell my first car was a 1.8L I think.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:14 AM
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I'd do the 360 overhaul. Would be a good learning/bonding experience. Don't think a stock built 360 would be that fast. Yes a 318 would be better for a kid. Nice project to restore the truck to original, something to be proud of. He may have more interest in waxing it and keeping it nice, than beating hell out of it. Or he could turn out like me.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:12 PM
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My 4 cylinder s10 with 89 hp would do highway speeds no problem. Point is you can do stupid things and kill yourself with any vehicle. If you don't think he's trustworthy enough and smart enough to drive then he shouldn't be driving a v6 or a v8.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:06 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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I was thinking the same thing. 175hp V6 is more than enough to get into trouble. Usually, the ones I notice most are the V6 Rams with loud exhaust as they always seem to have it floored trying to get somewhere. Pulling out in traffic with marginal power can ruin anyone's day, even a responsibly acting teen, so there's the other side of things. Even a stock 5.9 isn't some wild beast straining to break free like those little pocket rocket turbo cars, or some V8 Mustang/Camaro types. I never liked the thought of a rev-limited engine as, once again, the one time you need the extra power and it's not there, you're toast. Can anyone say they've never pulled out, and out of nowhere comes some crazed maniac that wasn't there only a heartbeat before? Too late to stop. Only solution is to stab the gas and get clear. It happens. Track the truck. If things get wild, take the keys. Nothing like humility, and I mean several months of it, to adjust an attitude. If he wants to hot-dog, get him a go-cart.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:24 PM
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And I'm sure that rev limiter will stay on when he pulls out of the drive. Good thing removing a distributor cap is a HUGE pita and you need to be a certified mechanic to do so.



IMO don't shelter them they will deceive you. Educate them and teach them and they will be responsible. My parents had few "rules" for me but taught me right and wrong and I almost never got in to trouble. (who can really say they NEVER got in to trouble...)

My friends who were not allowed to do this and that, had to be home by this time, weren't allowed to go to this place, etc were the one's constantly breaking the rules/laws and getting in to trouble.
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