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Rockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits End of Summer Sale, 20% OFF!ZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4w

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Unread 01-18-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
ratmonkey
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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.
  • An nv3500, ax-15 with early v6 dakota bell housing, or similar dodge small block pattern trans and bell housing capable of handling 300-350ftlbs of torque.
    Note: If you use an older trans like an sm465 you will need to cut a hole in the bell housing for the crank sensor.
  • Magnum 5.2 flywheel with 8 evenly spaced gaps. There are other versions out there with more gaps or not evenly spaced.
  • Same year manual v8 crank sensor(tone ring diameter is different by a few hairs). A couple washers also spaces it out just about right.
  • Reverse sensor harness side pigtail.
  • Shorty headers. I used Hedman tight tubes for a magnum v8. It appears they have stopped production. Sanderson makes a set still, I think, but they may require frame mods to fit.
  • Dodge starter and some extended wiring for the starter solenoid and main power wire.
  • A longer rear drive shaft and a shorter front drive shaft.
  • Dodge doesn't mount their t-case shifters in the same way as Jeep does. i suggest a novak shifter or using the Dodge Dakota version.
  • Early Jeep ZJ 5spd master and slave cylinder unit. 'bout 125$ and pre-bled.
  • If you are OBDII, you will want an engine computer from a manual trans v8 Ram or Dak to not pop a permanent CEL.

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.



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Unread 01-18-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Things you will want.

  • Early ZJ clutch and brake pedals.

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.
  • Trans tunnel cover from same said ZJ.
  • shifter and boots from same said ZJ
  • A GOOD hd clutch kit. I used a ZOOM kevlar unit recommended for heavy offroad usage and lots of clutch slippage in the rocks.

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

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Unread 01-18-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
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First things first of course.
  • remove all items relating to the auto trans. pretty straight forward.
  • mount up your flywheel.
  • Bolts are dealer only, Follow fsm procedure for torque specs/
  • the correct pilot bearing for magnum motors is national bearing 1969-07061457

Seen here

  • Install your new clutch using the provided alignment tool and torque to spec.
  • Bolts should be used to draw the pressure plate in evenly a few threads at a time.
  • 5/16 in. diameter bolts to 23 Nm (17 ft. lbs.).
  • 3/8 in. diameter bolts to 41 Nm (30 ft. lbs.).
  • Mine has the 3/8" bolts.



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Unread 01-18-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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At this point I installed the floor pedals, they can be done at any time though.

  • The mounting studs are there in the ZJ2(facelift ZJ) for the clutch pedal, but there are some extra stamped metal plates in the area. they serve no purpose i could discern.

Here's the mount for the zj clutch pedal, still there on the left.

  • You'll need to cut out the hole in the ZJ2 for the clutch master cylinder. clearly marked with dimples for the studs/bolts and the hole you need to drill out.
  • The dimples on the top portion are where the reservoir studs went on the ZJ1


  • Mount your clutch pedal and master cylinder.




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Unread 01-18-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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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.
  • You'll want to leave it in neutral to facilitate shimmying it around.
  • Dodge manual transmissions like to go on a bit tight.
  • The pilot bearing is a tight fit and you'll likely need to draw it in with the bell housing to engine bolts.
  • Final torque is 45ftlbs on those.






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Unread 01-18-2012, 08:49 AM   #6
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  • Remove the trans tunnel cover.

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
  • I had to modify/bend the stock Ram shifter to get out of the way of the dash. Basically straightened out a complex bend and installed the stick backwards from how the ram mounted it.



  • You'll need a custom cross member. Easier to do with the Ram unit.

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.
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Unread 01-18-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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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.




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Unread 01-18-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Here's your clearance with a 4.5" lift. That arm is uncomfortably close to the starter IMO.


Some electrical now.

  • The reverse light switch in the grand uses the outer two wires on the nss.
  • you'll snip those and wire in the reverse sensor pigtail from the Dodge on there. polarity doesn't matter.
  • The Dodge ecu does use a clutch safety switch in most years. It is on the same ecu pin as the NSS for the Jeep.
  • If you want it to work, you'll need to find a clutch safety switch to mount in, I don't think the zj had one.
  • If you don't care about starting in gear, or want to. ground that wire somewhere.
  • There is now quite a good bundle of wiring left hanging from the old auto trans.
  • I simply zip tied it out of the way at first. The future plan is to snip it at the main conduit junctions to remove what isn't needed and tidy the area up. Ends will be covered in heat shrink tube to keep from any possibility of shorting anywhere.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #9
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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
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Unread 01-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Your build thread is like an encyclopedia , nice to see an individual chapter
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Unread 01-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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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?
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Unread 01-27-2012, 09:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfieZJ View Post
Your build thread is like an encyclopedia , nice to see an individual chapter
I had a few hours to kill, my build is all over the place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron7 View Post
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
It's a toss up whether it'll hold up to a 5.9, especially one run hard. Some dakota guys get away with it for 20-30k, some blow them up in the first few runs. The general consensus is that it WILL blow up on you no matter what.
A terminator ax-15 or one of the custom boxes the ram/dakota guys like are your best bets for a drag/street trans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taz360ZJ View Post
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?
The ax is slightly weaker than the 3500/3550, it'll gold up for a while but will eventually blow up.
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 .
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Unread 01-27-2012, 11:07 PM   #13
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Hey Rat,

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
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Unread 01-27-2012, 11:42 PM   #14
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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.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 11:54 PM   #15
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Thanks, any CELs?
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