Modern Muscle Performance Group

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    6.1 into 87 Dakota

    I'm in the process of putting a 6.1 hemi into a 1987 dodge dakota. I bought it back in june. It was a 3.9 v6 with a 904 transmission.
    I'm going to just do an engine swap and get it driving before doing a transmission and rear axle. I have a 727 and dana 60 from another car. Really want overdrive so maybe an a500 or 518.

    Its proving to be a bit more fabrication than I originally anticipated. I'm doing this in my driveway as I have my original project 39 chev inside. I need the dakota frame for that car but have decided to drive the truck around first.

    I have made engine mounts on the engine side to mate to the original v6 mounts. If I do this again I will make new mounts on the crossmember as they are taking up valuable header space.

    Engine needs a spacer between the transmission as the conversion flexplate pushes the torque converter all the way in the transmission. I made a 1/8 spacer to start.

    Brake booster is too big. Valve cover fits barely with no coil pack. I have not decided what way to go, smaller booster, hydro boost or manual brakes.

    I thought I could fit an exhaust manifold but the passenger side is only 3 inches from the upper control arm. The downward angled exhaust is a huge problem. I see why the old bigblocks fit better. I had a 440 A body and F body, they had way more room. I just started on headers last weekend. I made my own header flanges and bought the cheapest sbc header kit I could find. Its a challenge as all the bends are random and not true mandrel as the bends are smaller. The aluminized mild steel tube is hard to see while tig welding from whatever in it burns. I may just mig them as I was tacking with mig in the car. I do not have a tig at home. Stainless was just way too expensive for my first try at headers. It this goes under the chev the engine needs set back a foot so would need new ones anyway.

    Fuel system is an external fuel pump with corvette fuel filter as the regulator. Tank has baffles so I put a fitting in the bottom and return in the original pickup.

    Cooling is unknown until I put the engine in for last time and rad support on. Its gonna be a tight fit.

    Computer is a megasquirt gold box which came with a wiring harness. Trying to find a spot for it. May put it behind glove box so you open the door to access.

    I modified the stock throttle body to run a cable, it will also do throttle pressure for the transmission. I modified a ford iac motor for idle control.

    I'll post pics when I figure out how maybe from my phone.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    DE
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    Very nice. I have a 01 Dakota that’s getting a late hemi at some point.
    One thing you can look into is using motor plates instead of engine mounts. You need a spacer for the trans anyways so use a mid plate in place of the spacer. AeiCnc makes front motor plate for the 6.1.
    Take lots of pics and keep us updated on this.


    Sent from my iPhone using Scat Pack Forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    I will try again tomorrow.dakota1.jpg
    It will only let me post this picture, I can post it several times and says the others exceed my quota.
    Likes chrisp2493 liked this post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    I don't think I can run a midplate or front engine plate. I want to run stock accessories and need as much header room as possible.
    This is my 5.7, the 6.1 will go in after headers are done.










  5. #5
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    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    I have almost finished the throttle cable bracket. Just have to find the right placement when engine is in and weld it.


    Going to try to finish all the bends on driver side header, have 2 left on passenger side. Was looking like I was going to run out of bends so I stopped the passenger side.

    Have to get a couple main cap bolts to swap the oil pan. Maybe the 6.1 goes in next weekend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    Finished tacking headers today. Driver side turned out better than pass side. I have used all of the pipe in the kit.




  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    DE
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    How thick are the flanges? what you cut them with? Welding that alum mild steel is going to be a pain. Prep those joints very well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    The flanges are 5/16. Its all I had. Used a plasma cutter and a header gasket as a template.
    The aluminized steel is weird to weld. I tig'd some scrap pieces and it was hard to see the puddle.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    DE
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    Flange will probably warp some so you'll have to dress it up after. Use a flap disk or such and remove the aluminized coating. That helps a lot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    here is the mega squirt gold box with wiring



    Looks like I will attach it to the heater box at the blower motor. Heater box has provision for evap core so ac will be easy to install.

    Not sure if I run a dakota v8 rad or try to fit a newer car rad.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Northern California
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    Very nice, very nice! I especially like the headers. I would think a 5.7 would be plenty in that light truck. A 6.1 is going to be a beast! Be careful with that...
    'Cuda SRT8

    My Mopars:
    '69 'Cuda FB with MP Hellcrate, a TKO600 and S60 Dana
    '15 Jeep Grand Chickeree in Maximum Steel
    '19 Challenger Hellcat
    RED EYE in B5 Blue (797h.p.)
    '19 Ram 1500 4x4 Hydro Edition (5.7 Hemi)
    "Three Hemis; no waiting"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    The truck will be quick. I will decide what direction I go after winter. Collected some parts to finish the 5.7. Was thinking it may end up in it next year. I got it real cheap. It looks like a warranty take out from the dealer. I bought it off someone who got it from under a friends bench at work. Its covered in metal filings. Its missing alot of little things. No oil pan or pickup, no intake, no valve covers, no oil filter fitting. The heads are clean like it almost has no miles. I only checked bearings and looked at the heads and decided one day I would figure out why it was taken out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    The pipes are all welded, just starting to re-assemble in the truck. I put a car front cover on to test fit alternator. It has lots of room. Thought it would be real tight to the frame.
    I have a pic of the inside of the truck cover to show how clean this 5.7 is inside. I have found it has excessive thrust clearance. Maybe it ate the thrust bearing. I only checked the rods and a couple mains.
    Won't have much time today, maybe headers are done tomorrow.

    Might move my 6.1 to the engine stand and change the pan. I got the main cap bolts to move the pickup tube. Will need to put the headers on it and get the dipstick tube to fit.




  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    DE
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    So the 6.1 is stock and you’re thinking of building the 5.7 up then swapping them?


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ajax Ontario Canada
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    I was thinking of running the 5.7 stock with a cam and maybe a little bowl port on the heads.It all depends what I decide over the winter. I decided to use the 6.1 because I have it and its ready to go.

    A company cracked the 8 speed transmission tuning. Stand alone computers will be out soon. Sound German Automotive. They also do the nag1.

    I have to decide what direction I want to go in behind the engine. Stay 3 speed, 4 speed auto, nag1, 8 speed, or 6 speed stick.

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