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  #1  
Old 09-18-2011, 03:35 PM
ProjectRam ProjectRam is offline
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Default OBD0 motor into an OBDII ram 1500 vin x

Hello all,
I'm new to the forum, although I have been reading for some time. I have a question for all you fellow ram lovers and gear heads alike. I am preparing to replace the 3.9 v6 in my 97 Dodge Ram 1500. I came across an immaculate 318 5.2 for it. The issue is this... it is originally from an 80's something Power Wagon. Which means it is an OBD0 motor.

Now, my question is this. Knowing that the motor will mount in with no real issues and bolt to the tranny... How in the heck can I convert this motor from OBD0 to OBDII.. if at all possible? I know I will need to take it from carb to EFI which is fine because Jeg's makes conversion kits to do just that. Which will supply me with the IAC, and Crank Shaft sensor... but as far as the other emissions componets... I am lost. I am not sure if this is a plausable project or not. Any advise or expertise is well appreciated. And on a futher note, I live in PA in a county which does require emissions testing that consists of smog testing, visual tampering inspection and so on. I dont think I will fail an inspection just because the chassis is newer than the block as long as she is OBDII compatitable and passes smog tests. Unless, the mechanic's in the garage are just nip picking. But let me know guys. Any info you have to offer...

Thank You!
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:34 PM
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youd have to get a 5.2/5.9 magnum heads,intake setup, timing cover and maybe bracketry, but your 3.9 timing cover and brackets MIGHT work. youd also have to notch the back of the block where the trans bolts to for the crank sensor
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:45 PM
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I went to a smog only test station, not my normal shop
I sat down with the owner & asked him what i could & couldn't get away with changing
Luckily he was not busy & we had a fairly long detailed discussion

Maybe that is what you need to do
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:27 PM
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Thank you guys, if any others have info or advise please do feel free to chime in. As far as contacting my mechanic, I do plan to have a detailed discussion with him over the phone tomorrow on my lunch break about doing this and getting it to pass IM. I am not going to shy away from it just because it's OBD0. It would be a truly unique finished product that not many people have done. As long as the dollar amounts dont start becoming astronamical. But I'm just trying to make sure that this CAN be done without having to spend 5,000 dollars. And if you ask me the motor is worth doing it to. Fully redone, painted mopar blue, and im picking it up for not a dollar over 500 smackers.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:35 PM
ProjectRam ProjectRam is offline
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Oh, and on another note. Not to sound uneducated.. its just that I've done anything like this before. Why would the heads need to be replaced with 5.2 magnum's and would they even mount onto an 84 318??
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:44 PM
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theyll bolt right onto the older LA 318s.with the mag heads you can bolt on a 94-01 5.2/5.9 kegger intake so you got all the sensors, plus the fuel rail and injectors ect
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:48 PM
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Thank You mr.lopar. You seem to have been the only one thus far who could provide me with any information as to this obd0 to obd2 conversion. If I come across any more questions, I'll be sure to post them in this thread or PM you.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:16 PM
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no prob. though about putting a old LA 318 out of a 85 ram in my truck cuz its got less then 10k on a rebuild and is bord 30 over, but according to other people its not worth the hassle
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:48 PM
ProjectRam ProjectRam is offline
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Yeah, that's what I'm almost starting to wonder myself. Because I just did the figures ($$) and with the amount of money you would spend converting the LA 318 you could just purchase a remanufactured 318 for the same year truck. Without all the wrench time.

Here is my price list (don't hold me to 100% accuracy but this is just a rough estimate and I included the price of the 318 I' am thinking of purchasing.)

LA 318 motor (under 30k) - 500.00
Magnum Heads - 529.00
Used Kegger Intake - 50.00
Throttle Body - 100.00
IAC sensor - 38.79
MAP sensor - 131.91
Crank Shaft sensor - 44.75
IAT sensor - 40.00
Coolant Temp sensor - 40.00
Thermostat - 10.33
Fuel Injectors - 104.78

Not sure if I left anything out, but comes to a grand total of $1589.56. Not including any shipping. With shipping the price pretty much becomes equal to or less than an OBD II engine that is made for THAT truck. And like I said, no wrench time on it just to make it compatitable for the times. I might have lost my 100 dollar deposit on the 318. Sucks but it might make more sense for me to just walk away from this. Especially since my 3.9 v6 is still running. At 170,000 miles. But still running none the less.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:12 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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It's my understanding your 80's block will not accept Magnum engine mounts. Might wanna check that out. If you proceed, get an intake for an OBDII V8 so you have no EGR issues to block off. Don't forget to get replacement exhaust mannys as your V6ers won't work. Duh, I know, but details, details. Also, you will need Magnum cylinder head bolts, as the LA's have 2 lengths in each set. Did anyone mention Magnum head on LA conversion pushrods? Also, make sure your LA has hydraulic lifters with an oil hole in the pushrod seat. This is needed to push oil up the pushrods to lube Magnum heads. The 318 LA cam SUCKS!!!!! However, with the Magnum's increased rocker ratio, you'll be close to 318 Magnum cam specs. Your V6 distributor will work, just remember to use a V8 cap. Oh, V8 flexplate or flywheel, depending. Same timing chain set, tensioner, cover, water pump, etc. Don't forget V8 injector rails, V8 computer, v8 harness, or you can just run two wires to the new injectors.
Had enough yet?

Last edited by Gen1dak; 09-19-2011 at 09:18 PM.
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