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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Also in the category of you can't make this stuff up, I took my wife to a dr appt on New Year's Eve. While we were there, someone parked in the spot opposite the truck. Except, they confused the gas and brake pedals, and jumped their parking block and ours, rammed the truck front bumper to front bumper, and pushed the truck back a foot before they finally figured out how to stop. So, the front bumper is damaged, but I really don't know about anything else. Aero fairings are rubbing the tires a bit when I turn, so it's obvious the bumper and something is bent. I'm guessing the tranny and drivetrain are okay; didn't see anything leaking from the radiator. Which is good, since it's still my daily driver. The repair shop should give me a call Monday so I can drop the truck off for inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Truck is fixed. :). New chrome bumper and all! On a 14 year old truck. (y)
Also reinstalled my front tire fairings, since we should be past all of the sub-zero weather.
629817

I did ask Midwest Transmissions if a sixth gear could be added to an NV3500. They told me no. I asked because in my VW days, you could get a sixth gear kit for your 5-speed manual. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Sigh, the only thing that's changed recently is my 545RFE is not locking the converter quite right in 5th. I checked the fluid level, and that was fine. Ordered some filters (and a pan gasket) from RockAuto, swapped those and really no change. Usually those two things do the trick. So, it's either gremlins or a sign that I need to save money and make a swap. And, probably that I need a second job to make it go faster...
On that note, I am going to ask around to see what the length of the NV3500 with 2WD tail housing is, so I can compare that to the 545RFE length, to get an idea of how much driveshaft length difference there will be. Which brings me to a thought: If it's only a short amount, say 2"-3", are there issues with trying to slide the engine back an inch or two, then sliding the rear axle forward an inch? I realize it wouldn't be centered in the wheel wells, but asthetics don't concern me much. I'm guessing it won't be that short, or that easy.
At least knowing the tranny length will let me shop for a driveshaft.
The only used RAMs with a manual here are single cabs, so that won't do the trick either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·

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Red Trucker
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Was wondering how far you had gotten. I just put in the last RFE this truck is getting. Gathering parts for an 8HP70 swap; I'll need it anyway, since I got my hands on a 6.1 that is going in eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Was wondering how far you had gotten. I just put in the last RFE this truck is getting. Gathering parts for an 8HP70 swap; I'll need it anyway, since I got my hands on a 6.1 that is going in eventually.
Yeah, if I didn't know better, I'd say my 545RFE is slowly giving up. I'd go with an 8HP70, 'cuz 8 forward speeds sounds great, but I figure that's more programming type work than I want to get into.
I've read some posts about gear ratio mis-matches, so I wonder if I will see that with a manual swap.
If so, at first I thought I could just go to the local Dodge dealer if the truck wouldn't run right, but I am not so convinced of that since there were zero Flex-Fuel stick shifts. Gonna start learning HP tuners software, so I can fix this nagging check engine light for my 24# injectors. And be ready to address any potential gear ratio mis-matches.
I originally thought I'd aim for a swap in Feb, but I do not think things will wait that long.
Planning to call a local salvage yard this week to see if they can tell me how long the 2wd tranny is. Only two in town even have one...
 

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Red Trucker
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I'd go with an 8HP70, 'cuz 8 forward speeds sounds great, but I figure that's more programming type work than I want to get into.
Not really any programming at all, especially since the guy who came up with the harness has got it down so that CAN bus PCM's can deliver the needed TM signal. At last update he had it fully functional on 09's and was confident it would work on Ram PCM's back to 2006. The rest of us with pre-CAN bus have to jump through a few more hoops. The minimum:
Sound German harness
E-shifter
Trans
Custom driveshaft
There's a 2004 QC 392 hemi running around in Canadia with one. The harness is probably the most expensive thing at $1k. If you want manual stick control then you use a car trans. The TCM in the ZF trans is integrated into the valve body; it's INSIDE it lol. Be interesting to see what that kind of gear split would do for a 4.7, especially a 2008 (I know you have an 07) with the extra power.

I've read some posts about gear ratio mis-matches, so I wonder if I will see that with a manual swap.
If you mean mismatch errors, you won't see that at all with a stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Made a slew of phone calls between today and yesterday. Yesterday: called around to every salvage yard (8). Only two have a manual tranny. One has an 8HP70.
In other news, I did manage to get someone to tell me that an NV3500 is 32"-33" in length. But...I will feel more comfortable once I measure one myself.
Since I found that Tremec TR-3160, I wanted to see how to get one. I checked with Modern Driveline, Pace Performance (which does sell them with the "A" gearset, which is practically the same as the G238), and Tremec. Modern Driveline only gets three Tremecs: The T5, TKO, and Magnum. Any gearset you want as long as Tremec makes it that way. Which is pretty much what I expected. I told them I asked, because I want to use it in a pickup, and a 3.0 first seems a bit tall to me. I didn't call American Powertrain or anywhere else, 'cuz I figured the answer would be the same. Pace Performance gets the A gearset, and only that. Tremec won't sell a TR-3160; they call it an OEM tranny. BUT, if you can find a dealer that can purchase one, that can work. I pinged my local Dodge dealer. They can, but told me those trannies are back-ordered. Food for thought in case someone wants to take that route. Since the Dodge dealer can order it, I now wonder if it will bolt up to a MOPAR block.
I'd go visit a salvage yard or two, but it's rained 7 inches in the past five days, so I think I'll wait...
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So, with the first belly panel still removed from R&R of the tranny filters, I decided to measure the 545RFE case--bellmouth to tail housing. 38" . The Tremec Magnum six speed is 32", and the 3160 is shorter at 27.5". Looks like a custom driveshaft will be in order. And, the dealer told me it would be months for a 3160. Also something about my truck has an auto, and a 3160 is a manual. And I could see some codes pop up. Maybe. But, I will try to worry about that later--post install. :) I know what wire to bypass in the connector to get the starter to work. Just need to find my notes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
For those considering an auto to manual swap, it seems there are some things to keep in mind:
-the pilot bearing must fit inside end of crankshaft. Yes, you need one. It keeps the input shaft from burning up when the crank and tranny aren't spinning the same speed, such as at a stop light.
-The transmission input shaft end must fit inside pilot bearing.
-The transmission input shaft splines need to match clutch disc splines. Both diameter, and # of splines.
-The clutch disc diameter must match pressure plate diameter.
-Need a throw-out (or release) bearing and a clutch release arm (which moves the pressure plate, to engage/disengage the clutch)
-for a manual conversion, you need a flywheel. If it's OEM, or OEM equivalent, the starter may still bolt up and work. (I say may, 'cuz I haven't fully investigated this yet)
-The clutch disc and pressure plate must bolt to flywheel. I.E. the same diameters and bolt holes need to line up.
-The transmission output shaft splines must match driveshaft yoke splines. Diameters also have to match.
-The bell housing needs to bolt to the engine. Both the NV3500 and G238 have an integrated bell housing. Since they were OEM, that was not an issue. So long as you source a Dodge NV3500. Doesn't sound like the chevy version will bolt up. Jeep's NSG-370 bell housing is also integrated, but it doesn't hold enough for my 4.7L. (And it's $3K!)
-Not to mention you also need the clutch pedal, maybe a pivot pin for that, either the clutch cable linkage, or the master/slave cylinder linkage for the clutch, the shift tower, and a shifter.
 

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I've enjoyed reading your thoughts as you've done your research. I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 4.7L v8 and a Getrag 238 trans. About 10 months ago, my trans started making noise and was hard to shift - specifically from 2nd to 3rd after about 2.5 hours driving down the highway. It's gotten down to about 40 minutes recently, and I recently started looking for a rebuilt trans and am finding exactly what you are finding. I'm told that Chrysler has stopped supporting the Getrag 238 and therefore the parts are no longer available by a local shop - Northern California and Midwest Trans. Midwest Trans suggested they could sell me a previous generation 5spd NV3500 transmission. The transmission would bolt to the engine without issue, but I would have to make a custom mount for the rear of the transmission, wire the rev light switch for a different connector, and have a new driveshaft made for it. The G238 trans used a fixed rear output, whereas the NV3500 uses a slip rear output. Keep in mind this conversion requires customization on my part which they do not have exact details to. I guess a 5 speed wouldn't be too bad - just different from what I'm used to.
I like your idea of possibly using the TREMEC 6060. The gear ratio's are totally different between the TREMIC 6060 and the G238 however. Also, there is the issue of a bell housing - is there one that mates up with the 4.7L for the TREMEC that you've found?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
For a bell housing, if it bolts up to a 5.7L Hemi, it’ll bolt up to a 4.7L. I will have to find the reference for that…
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
The mere fact that both use the same automatic trans lol?
You know, it is about that simple. But I went digging to find out, and that is the case. In fact, I think the 6.1 also uses the same bell.
deastman said:
The G238 trans used a fixed rear output, whereas the NV3500 uses a slip rear output.
The G238 sounds like what I saw with the new 845RFE in the RAM (I think that's what it's called) Cars only get the 8HP70, right? Anyhow, the 2014 I looked at had a slip joint in the middle of one of the driveshafts. Two-shafts on top of that.
TR-6060? Oh yeah, I would like to get one of those. But, not with the current gearset. First looks too tall for a pickup. At least if you use it like a pickup. Some people have done it, but did a rear gear change. I'd rather drop the 0.5 6th, and add a 4.25 (or so) 1st. Might need to do some real searching, or find some machining equipment. But, that's another project.
I even (briefly) speculated about the TR-6070, 'cuz 7 gears would be even cooler. But 7th gear is taller than 0.50, which means I wouldn't use it unless going downhill. Now, the TR-9070 may be an option. 7-speed dual clutch. 7th is a little tall (0.56 or 0.5), but 1st is a little better (3.14 or 3.24). Good torque rating-664 ft-lb. Bell housing would be the sticking point, 'cuz the longitudinal version (what we'd need) is OEM in the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500. Aluminum welding, anyone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
For a bell housing, if it bolts up to a 5.7L Hemi, it’ll bolt up to a 4.7L. I will have to find the reference for that…
Found it! Jeeps-Offroad had a page with info, but that site is MIA.
However, Dakota-Durango dot com has a thread with good info about bell-housings: http://www.jeeps-offroad.com/showthread.php?t=4740 Check for the Hemi to NV3500 thread if the link doesn't work. Specifically posts 10 and 18. "The Dodge trucks all use the same V8 small block bolt pattern - 3.7L, 3.9L, 4.7L, 5.2L, 5.7L, 5.9L, 6.1L are all the same." NICE!!

Still mind-churning on the TR-6060 route. The sticking point to my idea is that the 1:1 gear is part of the mainshaft. :(

2040-parts is the only site I've seen with some G238s available. Sell DODGE DAKOTA GETRAG G238 6 SPEED TRANSMISSION in Rindge, New Hampshire, US, for US $750.00
But, once that one is done, you are back to looking elsewhere...
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Tremec Magnum it seems, is a bit of a mixture of T-56 but with TR-6060 gears...so it holds 700 ft lbs. Still churning on this idea. That said, it seems buying a Magnum is like buying a Model T Ford. Henry Ford said you could get a Model T in any color you want, as long as it's black. So, Magnums are available in their standard gearsets, and their standard gearsets. Or their standard gearsets.
I think the 2.97 first gearset could work in our pickups, as long as you drive it like a car. What I mean is, if you pull a load, I don't see it as such a good option. Mainly because first gear is kinda tall at 2.97. The NV3500 will work for the V6 and 4.7L V8 guys. But for hemis, if you plan to pull/tow, I'd go with either an NV4500 or a G56 at present. OR, get the Magnum and put in a 4.56 ring and pinion. Then first is around a 3.8 equivalent, which I think could also work. It would certainly shift well; I've only heard good comments on the Magnums. A custom made gearset for the Magnum is at least $1200, so rear gears are definitely less expensive. I do have one more option on the Magnum I'm going to explore before I give up on that.
Regardless, the Magnum and NV3500 appear to be the same length, so that could be good down the road (driveshaft-wise) if I go one route and change my mind...
 

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I hear what you are saying, but I'm not sold on most of the TREMEC transmissions - either the T-56 (https://www.tremec.com/menu.php?m=183) or most of the Light Duty Transmissions (https://www.tremec.com/menu/light-duty-truck-transmissions/) have dual overdrive gears = both gears 5 and 6 (if they are a 6 speed trans) are overdrive gears. For comparison, on the G238, only 6th gear is an overdrive gear. Only the TR-3160 (www.tremec.com%2Fanexos%2FTREMEC_TR-3160_1017.pdf) has a single overdrive gear = 6th gear. For a transmission that has a single overdrive gear, I'm also looking at a Medium Duty Transmission - a seven speed (www.tremec.com%2Fanexos%2FLiterature%2FTREMEC_7-Speed.Commercial.Transmission.pdf). Of the two options for this transmission, only the TR-SO66-7B has a single overdrive. 1st gear is a really low gear (granny gear) that most likely won't be used very often. I have yet to determine if it will fit in a Dodge Light Duty truck and bolt up to our V8 engine. For pulling any load, I think having a 6 speed is great and makes getting up to speed easier than having only 3 gears before you get to 1:1 ratio gear. Looking forward to your thoughts or other options.
 
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