By Patrick Rall
This week’s Tech Thread Spotlight may not be an ideal project for a novice mechanic but those 1st generation Dodge Dakota owners who want more performance, better efficiency and just plain more fun out of their midsized Dodge pickup – this auto to manual transmission swap could show you the way. DF member 95_318SLT (whose truck is shown above) swapped the old 46RH automatic transmission out of his Dakota and swapped in an NV3500 from a slightly newer Dakota.
As he went through the painstaking process of converting from an automatic transmission to a manual gearbox in his Dodge Dakota, 95_318SLT put together a very information piece that detailed each step of the swap. He touched on how to cut the hole in the floor for the new shifter, how to install the proper pedals for a manual transmission truck and the step by step processes that he went through to fit up the manual transmission against his 318 cubic inch V8. While this is the kind project that should be reserved for those people with some mechanical experience, those who want to know what they will be doing can rely on this thread to see what goes into swapping the transmission in a 1st gen Dakota.