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1st time builder

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Old 11-04-2018, 01:39 PM
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Just joined Dodge Forum. I have had a 99 Ram sport well pretty much since it was new. It was a repo special in 00 with about 7500 miles on it. This truck has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. Never has she left me stranded. Over the years I've tried to sell or trade her 3 times and always backed out. She just means to much to me. Well I've decided to rebuild/build her. I've never really been a great mechanic. But being an Ironworker for 25 years and now a shipfitter I am pretty good with my hands. With gooGoo, youtube, and this forum I believe I will be able to get her back to the condition she deserves. I have already started with the front end. Monroe shocks, all Moog ball joints, tie rods inner and outer, idler and pitman arm, bushings everything. Getting ready to get a new steering gear soon also replace the power steering pump and lines. Then on to converting to 4 wheel disc brakes. Right now I am thinking of stroking the 5.2 to 390 or something to that extent. Has anyone done some kind of build like this or know where I can get any information on it. I would like to turn her into a light them up street truck. Well just rambling here. Thanks for any help you can offer.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:33 AM
AtomicDog
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If I were you, I'd keep driving the truck as it is, continue to upgrade the suspension and brakes and find a used 5.9 engine to stroke to 408 CI, then just swap the 5.2 motor for the newly built motor. Keep in mind that the transmission needs to be in good shape to handle the output of the new motor.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:22 PM
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I am still up in the air as to exactly what I am going to do. My tranny is in good shape. Just trying to figure a good build for the truck. I don't want anything to aggressive for the simple fact that my wife would never ride in it, but still want to have some street fun. Thanks for the idea.
 
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:08 PM
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What A-Dog said. You can get a good 360 magnum block for less than $200- . The rest of the parts are the same price or even interchangeable 5.2 vs 5.9. Fix the front end, find a used block and start the project. You can build a very streetable 5.9 with 300whp. (stock is 180+-) No need to go the stroker route, but stroker crank is about the same price as a new stock crank.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:47 AM
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Jasmoore3- thanks for the reply. I am contemplating on that. This is my first time doing anything like this. I was told by a few people, that are not mechanics, that there would be some difficult rewireing involved in swapping to a 360. So I never really looked into it. Also I read something about that swap and the tranny. Any info out there I can find? I would really appreciate it. Getting rid of all the computer stuff and going carburetor is another route I am considering.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:14 AM
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318 and 360 use the exact same wiring harness.

Differences between the two is just how they are balanced. 5.2 is internal balance, 5.9 is external. On the pre-96 trucks, the balance weights for the 360 were on the torque converter, in 96, the moved them to the flexplate, and the tc was neutral balance. (same as 318) Since your truck is a 99, you can drop in the 360/408, and simply reprogram the PCM for the new, bigger, motor.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:25 PM
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HEY YOU THANKS for that info I am going to research that tonight.
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
318 and 360 use the exact same wiring harness.

Differences between the two is just how they are balanced. 5.2 is internal balance, 5.9 is external. On the pre-96 trucks, the balance weights for the 360 were on the torque converter, in 96, the moved them to the flexplate, and the tc was neutral balance. (same as 318) Since your truck is a 99, you can drop in the 360/408, and simply reprogram the PCM for the new, bigger, motor.
Don't forget he can't get around the weights if he gets a new crank and he can make it internal balanced. Just a thought so he doesn't have to change flex plates!
OP a buddy of mine is making 625rwhp on a 408 with no turbos or superchargers. I was going to do a 408 but I'm going to swap to a Hemi. Just weigh your options and talk to local shops. I personally wouldn't buy an "all-in-one" kit as there may be better options then what is in the kit
 
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:01 PM
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For a truck, I personally wouldn't opt for internally balancing, as it sounds like you are just looking for a nice torque motor for your truck. A cast stroker crank should work just fine for your 408 build. You should be able to find a good used 5.9 flex plate that you can use with the 408 (hopefully, you can get the flex plate with the used 5.9 motor). If you search this site, you can find several folks that have discussed their 408 builds. For this build, the price range can be pretty varied, but if you plan it out well and spend wisely, you can build a potent motor at a reasonable price point.
 

Last edited by AtomicDog; 11-06-2018 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:29 PM
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Thanks alot Y'all for the info and suggestions. Like I said I'm still throwing things around right now while I'm working on the frontend and brakes.Funny thing I have taken ol yellar to mechanic after mechanic after mechanic on the steering, some of them really reputable, none of them can figure out what is up with it. You literally have to drive with 2 fingers the steering is so light. If you move the steering wheel a quarter inch the wheels move. Crank the truck and at idle you can smack the steering wheel and it spins all the way over and the tires go with it. It has tight steering but if youy move the wheel while driving around a ninety degree turn let loose of the wheel and she holds right where you put it. you literally have to turn the wheel back to straighten out. And I better use 2 fingers or I end up oversteering. Been like that since 2001. Thats why I am replaceing everything in the front end. I have been wanting to fix this truck up for a long time and I want to do EVERYTHING I can possibly do on my own. I have a decent regular budget for this and want to do it right. Again I truly appreciate any help, suggestions, and advise from y'all.
 
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