ZJ 5spd Swap
collected, trimmed, and rewritten from my build thread.
Here we go.
As I've recently discovered. Dodge Dakota and Ram NV3500 transmissions are different.
The Dak unit has the shifter in a more favorable position. You would be able to use the trans tunnel cover from an early Jeep 5spd grand if you can find it to make life very, very easy.
The Dak unit does have a draw back of having the trans mount much further forward than what Jeep or the Ram uses. The Ram mount is about an inch forward of the Jeep versions, the Dak is a good 6-8" further forward.
Comparison of RAM and DAKOTA units.
Things you will need.
NOTE: For some reason no one has been able to figure out, dodge/chrysler/jeep obdii computers go bad on the shelf after having previously been installed in a vehicle. If you are salvage shopping, make sure you get them dirt cheap. the yards in my area scrap them immediately because of this fact.
Things you will want.
Yes, Cherokee pedals and some others can be modified to fit; but you'll save a lot of time if you can find a set of originals.
The kevlar clutch doesn't heat up, glaze, or burn off like a normal organic clutch and isn't as harsh and hard wearing as a ceramic puck clutch.
I've been in a couple situations where I had to slip the clutch at very high rpm while three pedal dancing on an obstacle and you couldn't smell a thing.
I had the clutch off a couple days ago, the flywheel was not discolored or had any deposits and the clutch disc/pucks looked awesome.
When New to me/slightly used
First things first of course.
At this point I installed the floor pedals, they can be done at any time though.
Here's the mount for the zj clutch pedal, still there on the left.
Now we move on to other things.
Mounting the trans to the Engine is quite simple. I really hope I don't have to explain that.
Here's with the dodge trans.
The Dak shift tower would come up about 4inches further back. As you can see, that's much preferable
My first attempt involved a slightly modified(drilled out with a new plate added) KOR crossmember/skid.
Then when I went with the Clayton's kit. I added some plate and let the local dog chew out some mount holes for me.(I've since gotten a bit steadier with the plasma torch, lol)
In hindsight I would have cut and drilled a plate of the appropriate size and then tacked it into place under the jeep after positioning the trans where I wanted it.
This is why you need center dump shorty headers.
Notice the starter and frame rail clearance? Dodge full length headers loop behind that starter and come down between the bell housing, frame, and firewall. There is ZERO room there in a Grand Cherokee.
ZJ headers or manifolds do not work because the starter is exactly in the center of where they route.
Dodge manifolds do not work because they exit around the starter between the frame and firewall on a RAM, Once again, no room there.
So, shorty, center dump headers and custom y-pipe is where it's at.
Here's your clearance with a 4.5" lift. That arm is uncomfortably close to the starter IMO.
Some electrical now.
That's... that's just awesome. Wonder how it'd take the abuse of the 5.9? Might go this route after going 2wd... but of course I don't want to say that too loud on these forums :p
Your build thread is like an encyclopedia :teehee: , nice to see an individual chapter :cheers2:
I've been planning this swap for a LONG time, probably 8-9 years now when i had my old '93 V8 . What's your opinion on using a early '90's 3.9 bell on a AX15 or 3550 from a TJ.....behind a 5.9?
How close would the AX/NV mount up to the stock X member?
How would one wire the cruise control in? I imagine one would definitely need the clutch switch for this.
You didn't mention anything about t case input gears either. On the 3550 I know it's the long input.
Can you also list drive shaft weld to weld lenghts?
A terminator ax-15 or one of the custom boxes the ram/dakota guys like are your best bets for a drag/street trans.
The 3550 is a dakota 3500 with a separate bell housing. Same internals. The trans mounts would line up similar to stock for the ax or 3550.
I'm using a front shaft from an xj...but my axles are stretched a couple inches in either direction. My shaft lengths won't line up for pretty much anyone else.
The tcase that came with my trans was a 231d, had a .840" input. You could use the 1.55"if you needed to imo .
Thanks for taking the time to make this thread.
I remember reading somewhere that you need to match the engine computer to the trans. Does the year and donor vehicle have to match as well?
If I find a 96 dakota nv3500, a 97 dakota computer would work, right?
What about that same trans with a 96 or 97 ram computer?
I live in CA so itll have to pass smog
Match computer to the year of the jeep as best you can
I am using a 1998 dakota computer.
Runs great, cruise and security work.
Once again, be aware that mopar ecu's very often go bad sitting on the shelf after being removed from a vehicle. No one knows why, even the remanufacturers have no idea why.
This is "common" knowledge among salvage yards, none of my locals will sell dodge, jeep, or chrysler ecu's.
Thanks, any CELs?
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