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Discussion Starter #1
So my situation is that i currently own a 3rd generation truck but i would like to purchase a diesel truck while remaining loyal to Dodge. I really can't afford a common rail truck so i was thinking about looking to the 2nd generation rams. My problem is that although i like the 2nd generation equally if not better, i really hate the 2nd generation dashboard. I have found a few swaps floating around but nothing with the how-to/finished. It is clearly a huge amount of work, but it seems as if the biggest problem is the wiring.

The electronics i can think of off the top of my head would be:
Head lamp switch
Heater controls
Radio
Outlets
Passenger air bag

The radio would be simple as i would use an aftermarket radio with a wiring kit. The outlets would be simple wiring. I was thinking i might be able to modify the headlamp switch from the 2nd gen to fit the 3rd gen bezel, and same with the heater controls. The hardest part i can think of would be the airbag wiring.

If anyone can let me know if any of these ideas are feasible, or if you have easier methods that would be great. Also does anyone know of any actual swap threads?
 

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I'd advise against it. Between years, and especially generations, we tend to change connector configurations. Even matching connectors could have different pin-outs between years. Huge amount of work. Plus, you dont even know what the hvac system behind the dash looks like. It may not even physically fit. How about you look into using Hydrographics (dip printing) to make your existing dash pieces look alot cooler? I'm doing my dash in fall-realtree. JMHO. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I definitely understand where you are coming from and i suppose that even if i couldn't swap the dash i could still find myself in a second gen. I'm just concerned that i will regret the change from my 03.

Plus its pictures like this that make me itch to figure out this swap. Apparently this truck also had a common rail swap which made the electronics easier.




And also this thread which I am disappointed that never came to a close.

Click here for build thread

This guy managed to fit (mostly) the 06-09 dash and i believe get the HVAC working.
 

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I feel your pain brother. But to me, the 2g is much better than the 3g as far as looks. My 97 is black, with the tan leather interior, light-tan carpet, and the shitty gray headliner. I changed the headliner to dark-brown, carpet too, and now the interior is mine, and really pops! That dash change will only bring you sadness and stress. I'm older, and have had 30 years of hot-rods. I hope to have some interior pics up soon to show what I have done on the cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That would be great. And i agree, i like the exterior of the 2nd generations better as well. I just wish there was a way that i could get a similar interior feel to what i have now without breaking the bank. Also i have a double din radio which i already have a custom bezel for the third gen so it would be nice to be able to keep it. Oh well.
 

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I swapped the dash from a 1995 Ram into a 2000 Ram, both obviously are second Gens... but from what I learned from doing the swap... it is a huge pain in the ass. The harness's aren't going to just swap in like you think. and even though heater controls and headlight switch might look the same, they are just a little bit different... I ended up having to make a custom dash face (the black part that surrounds everything) to make switches and the gauges fit... yes I know I am talking an OBDI to OBDII swap, but the same is going to apply for a gen 3 to gen 2 swap... also something to think about... the difference in width of the cabs (even a 1/4" is a huge difference) and the height difference between dashes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok so it definitely sounds like i am not going with the dash swap route on this one. If I buy a second gen I would still like to upgrade the interior. Maybe a seat swap, double din mod, white face gauges, and led conversion. If anyone has any pictures or other suggestions it would be great.
 

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What you are talking about sounds a lot like work. Now for me, that is out, I am too lazy and too busy. I am planning to get the replacement from LMC and call it a day. Those pic do look slick though.
 

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Getting ready to do a gen 4 to gen 2 swap, my understanding Is the hardest part is ducting in all the conviences and using old switches that pull 12 volts, couple of guys have done, I’m gonna give it a shot
 

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You do realize the thread started 6yrs ago, right....? And that most of these guys pretty much aren't here anymore lol? Not to mention the topic was 3rd to 2nd, not 4th to 2nd.
 
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