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1946 Dodge WC 1/2 Ton Pickup


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I have a restored 46 Dodge 1/2 ton with 218 Flat six.  All original.  Runs well but gears too low and not for highway or out of state travel. 

Plan to install a late model drivetrain to make it more highway worthy and dependable.

Looking for advice on what drivetrain would be the best.  Engine, auto trans, and rear end.

Will end up selling the current original drive train.   Thanks.

46 Dodge PU.png

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3 hours ago, My 46 Babe said:

I have a restored 46 Dodge 1/2 ton with 218 Flat six.  All original.  Runs well but gears too low and not for highway or out of state travel. 

Plan to install a late model drivetrain to make it more highway worthy and dependable.

Looking for advice on what drivetrain would be the best.  Engine, auto trans, and rear end.

Will end up selling the current original drive train.   Thanks.

46 Dodge PU.png

Well,this is not what you probably want to hear,but if highway driving is your goal,all you have to change is the rear end ratio. Get a rear out of something more modern that maybe has 3:50 gears or even 3.08 gears.  No,the acceleration is not going to be something that scares you,but if you wanted something fast you would have bought a Hellcat.

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Hey! Nice looking truck!

 

I installed a Borg Warner T5  behind the original flathead and a Dana 35 posi differential out of a Jeep Cherokee 3.54 ratio in my 39 Plymouth. I'm happy with it, but took a lot more time than I figured with some challenges along the way. If you just swap out for a newer trans and differential, and want to do it right, you will have to cut a small section from the cross-member, weld new spring perches, adapt emergency brake lever, make a new floorboard, custom length emergency brake cables, make a new driveshaft, custom length speedometer cable, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. If I were to do it again I would select a 3.73 ratio. Unless you increase the horsepower, you will be shifting too much in moderate hilly areas with a 3.54. If you're thinking a v8 swap, you're really talking major adaptation and probably not a great idea without also upgrading suspension, steering, brakes, etc. Just my opinion, keep it fairly original. A 3.73 rear with the flatty will move you along just fine. Good rubber and brakes of course. Even though I don't recommend it, if you're thinking the street rod route, lots of information on the H.A.M.B. www.jalopyjournal.com/forum

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That is very helpful information.  It makes a lot of sense.  I had heard of the Borg Warner T5 but wondering if it bolts up to my Flat 6 218 engine.

 

Is there a special bell housing needed?  What's the best source for these?

 

The truck currently uses an original 4 speed which requires double clutch, (gears grind when shifting).

Finally, I do have an extra, original 3 speed trans for my truck.  Would the BW T5 still be better?

 

You are a life saver.  Thank you so much.

 

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Just now, My 46 Babe said:

That is very helpful information.  It makes a lot of sense.  I had heard of the Borg Warner T5 but wondering if it bolts up to my Flat 6 218 engine.

 

Is there a special bell housing needed?  What's the best source for these?

 

The truck currently uses an original 4 speed which requires double clutch, (gears grind when shifting).

Finally, I do have an extra, original 3 speed trans for my truck.  Would the BW T5 still be better?

 

You are a life saver.  Thank you so much.

 

It's a pretty easy swap. Drill 4 new holes adapt pilot bushing throw out bearing and put a small spacer on the input shaft retainer. And of course the driveshaft and e brake handle. I did mine with a set of harbor freight transfer punches and a table top drill press. I believe with your 4 speed you might have one hole that overlaps requiring welding and the drilling. 

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The Non World Class Borg Warner T5 transmissions used in 1980s Chevy S-10 pickups are a popular swap for our trucks and many other vintage vehicles. The gear ratios work well for our trucks. There's lots of info on this popular swap.  I'm not sure how available T5s are now? When I did my swap, I found one in fair condition for $200. It did need a couple of gears and synchros. There was also an issue with the input shaft which I had to change. Can't remember exactly why now? I think it was the length? Time I was done with it, had $800 into it and I did all the work. Anyhow, I'm a machinist by trade and a shade tree mechanic by hobby. What I'm alluding to, is your skill level, free time, and resolve will determine how difficult this project would be. If you love doing this stuff, and have plenty of time it will be fun. If not, you might end up never driving your truck again. Are you're 4 speed, pressure plate and clutch are working properly? Are you sure your 4 speed is unsynchronized? Perhaps someone on here can verify? I must admit, I don't miss gear grinding, but I also know if everything is working properly and with some practice you can shift the old boxes smoothly. An old friend (retired mechanic) of mine took my truck for a spin when it still had the unsynchronized box and he shifted it perfectly without using the clutch at all after it was moving? I felt like an idiot! Lols!

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13 hours ago, Frank Elder said:

If you put a Chevy motor in a Mopar you are not a Mopar guy.....you are just a guy that owns a Mopar body.

And those lame excuses that it was cheaper, or I had one laying around, or it came with it doesn't cut it either. When it comes down to it you are really a Chevy guy that couldn't afford a "Popular" Chevy so you bought a "less desirable" cheaper Mopar........

So you try S-10 clips or frame swaps, Ls swaps, or even worse corporate GM rear ends to turn one of our Beloved Mopars into camaro to satisfy your Chevy cravings.

Put a 318 in it or a pentastar V6, a chrysler 5speed, a Jeep rear end and sway bars.......keep it Mopar modified or bone stock.

Mopar or no car.

Hey Frank!  Does this mean Borg Warner T5s are sacrilegious in our Mopars? 😉

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16 hours ago, Young Ed said:

It's a pretty easy swap. Drill 4 new holes adapt pilot bushing throw out bearing and put a small spacer on the input shaft retainer. And of course the driveshaft and e brake handle. I did mine with a set of harbor freight transfer punches and a table top drill press. I believe with your 4 speed you might have one hole that overlaps requiring welding and the drilling. 

 

ALL THE ABOVE RESPONSES ARE VERY HELPFUL.  GIVES ME A LOT TO THINK ABOUT AND CHECK OUT.

 

INCLINED TO GO EASY MAYBE ,,,

1.)  CHANGE 4 SPEED FOR THE 3 SPEED SINCE I HAVE BOTH.

2.  CHANGE REAR END TO JEEP CHEROKEE 3.54 AND DISC BRAKES.

 

TRY THIS FIRST IF HAPPY ... DONE.

 

OR TRY BW T5 LATER.

 

WHAT ABOUT THE 6 VOLT SYSTEM/ POSITIVE GROUND;  HOW DIFFICULT TO CHANGE TO 12 VOLTS?  

 

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If your 3 speed is a synchro it's a nice upgrade My '42 will ride at 50 mph and revs about 2500 with the stock 4.11 rear end and the tires I have on. My '51 has a 3.23 gear in the rear end and rpms are around 1900, so the speedo reads about 39mph when I'm doing 50.

 

I tend to drive my old vehicles around 50-55 so no big deal for overdrives for me. The 3.23 gets better mileage though.

 

12 volt conversion simple. Get your self a GM :) alt. swap around the amp meter wires, and a 6 volt reducer for the fuel gauge.

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29 minutes ago, 1949 Wraith said:

12 volt conversion simple. Get your self a GM :) alt. swap around the amp meter wires, and a 6 volt reducer for the fuel gauge.

Mopar alternator!  Frank's posts reminds us we should be committed to Chrysler Corp. Or in my case, perhaps, committed to a mental institution? 😃😃😃

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Just another thought!  You likely have a 4.11? You may be able to find a 3.90 ratio original style pumpkin differential. I think that's the highest ratio they made for these rears? That with some taller tires 650-16 or 700-16 will probably do the trick for higher speed / lower rpms? This way, you don't have to change out the housing and associated changes needed to do that.

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5 hours ago, PT81PlymouthPickup said:

Hey Frank!  Does this mean Borg Warner T5s are sacrilegious in our Mopars? 😉

I prefer an AX-15 5 speed myself, but T-5 are Tremec and not gmc products.

 

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1 minute ago, Frank Elder said:

I prefer an AX- 15 mopar 5 speed myself, but T-5 are Tremec and not gmc products.

I'm relieved! I try to stay Mopar as much as possible, but I must admit, there are a couple of gm and ford parts hiding under my truck. Does it count if they're made in China? Lols!  I am however, meticulous about not altering anything I cannot reverse to oem. I'm with you on the Chevys. They do not belong in Mopars or Fords for that matter. Flatheads forever!

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3 hours ago, My 46 Babe said:

How do I convert my original 6 volt generator in my 46 Dodge to 12 volts?

As far as I know, you don't! You could get a Mopar 12v generator. I think there's still lots of them around, but I would recommend an alternator. They're just a less problematic. The easiest would be one with an internal regulator like the GM one suggested above. Pretty much plug and play once you adapt the brackets. I installed a 70s Mopar alternator in effort to keep things Mopar. It uses an electronic regulator which I mounted on the firewall where the old 6v voltage regulator was mounted.

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7 hours ago, My 46 Babe said:

How do I convert my original 6 volt generator in my 46 Dodge to 12 volts?

By buying a 12 volt generator,voltage regulator,making or buying a wiring harness to connect the two,buying a 12 volt battery,and switching out all your bulbs to 12 volt.

 

In addition you will have to buy reducers to cut your current down to 6 volt on some switches,like the heater blower switch.

 

IF you plan on upgrading in the near or semi-near future to ac,halogen headlights,electric power steering,a stereo big enough to wake Africa,etc,etc,etc,go ahead and buy an alternator and be done with it. If not,there is no reason to put one of those ugly-ass things on a nice car or truck.

 

If it were me,I would buy TWO voltage regulators at the same time to make sure I had a spare years down the road,and I would buy quality US made ones that are NOS from years ago. Maybe some extra brushes and bushings for the generator. That stuff is stupid cheap to buy,and it's better to have it and not need it,than the reverse.

 

Just remember to drop a few drops of oil in the generator to keep the bushings lubed up at every oil change,and chances are you will never have to touch it again unless you are changing belts.

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I NEED TO CLARIFY ... I understand I can swap out my 6 volt generator for a 12 volt alternator and change all the rest.

 

What I need help with is what to do with my 6 volt starter?  How do I convert or swap out my starter so the 12 volt system

does not burn it out?  DOES SOMEONE SELL A 12 VOLT STARTER FOR MY 46 DODGE?  WHERE CAN I GET IT CONVERTED?

 

SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION.

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The 6 volt system requires heavier wire, battery cables ... all of it including starter are over built compared to a 12 volt system.

Your 6 volt starter will work fine.

Is hard on them if you crank long periods without letting it cool down, in a no start situation. They do spin faster on 12 volts.

You can go on any old car forum and get same answer, people been running for years 6 volt starter on 12 volt system with no issues.

Any issues would be normal wear and use, and replaced with another 6 volt starter or rebuilt.

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Wow.  Thanks for the info.  I thought I would burn out 6 volt starter if I used with a new 12 volt system.

I have begun to find parts to swap out for the rest like 12 volt coil, headlights, in line voltage reducer for gauges, etc.

Very helpful. Thanks.

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Yep, as stated above 6v starter will work just fine. Mine's been working fine on 12v for over 20years. I once did a stupid thing by hooking 12 volts to a 6v starter on the bench in my youth. without the load of spinning the engine, it rotated so fast that the armature windings bent outwards from centrifugal force and hit the field coils. I ruined a perfectly good starter with my stupidity. Another change you'll have to make is adding a ballast resistor to drop the voltage to your points. I just recently did away with that and switched to an electronic Pertronix ignition. So far is working well, and don't have to worry about the ballast resistor failing / points wearing or oxidizing / or finding quality sets of points and condensers. The Pertronix module is also less sensitive to worn distributor shafts.

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electrical is a very weak area for me ... I understand basics just fine. When it comes to ohms and hertz etc I kinda fall on my face  :)

 

 

When I bought the new gas tank and a new sending unit from Tanks, I was very critical about needing correct sending unit for 6 volt + ground.

The lady on the phone was very helpful with the complete purchase ... nice people!  She assured me the sending unit would not care and would work for 12 v - ground as well as 6 volt.

 I gather that some cars do need a voltage reducer for fuel gauge, depending on how the wiring is designed, type of gauge, sending unit. But our old mopars do not?

 

I only mention this because I see some conflicting post over time & threads, where some say you need a reducer for fuel gauge and others say you do not ... I assume we do not.

 

The Amp gauge will work, oil & temp are mechanical, no changes needed there. The heater motor will work on 12 volt, like the starter it will turn faster and of course wear it out faster running for long periods of time. It wont explode if you just use it occasionally. 

All light bulbs will explode. As well as the stock 6volt + ground radio will need serious modifications to convert to 12 volt - ground.

 

As pt81 stated above, you will need to lower the voltage to the points. I am assuming this is true if you use the original 6 volt coil. And guessing if you buy a new 12 volt coil with the ballast resistor built in, is not needed?

Because of changing polarity on the coil, I have heard old wives tails about a high speed miss after changing polarity on coil. I would change it just because.

 

Battery, alternator, coil, light bulbs and a kick arse stereo is all you need to convert. Often they were converted because it was cheaper then trying to fix a worn out generator.

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THANKS FOR ALL THE INFO.  I found DCM Classics of Michigan on line and they seem to have parts I can use in the conversion including

12 v headlights, coil, etc.  I WILL CHECK FOR A BALLAST RESISTOR FOR THE POINTS AS YOU RECOMMENDED.

 

I have never heard of Pertronix Ignition system but will goggle and see if I can find one to fit my flat 6, 218.

 

I'll keep studying and appreciate all you information above.  Thanks.

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4 hours ago, My 46 Babe said:

I NEED TO CLARIFY ... I understand I can swap out my 6 volt generator for a 12 volt alternator and change all the rest.

 

What I need help with is what to do with my 6 volt starter?  How do I convert or swap out my starter so the 12 volt system

does not burn it out?  DOES SOMEONE SELL A 12 VOLT STARTER FOR MY 46 DODGE?  WHERE CAN I GET IT CONVERTED?

 

SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION.

The 6 Volt starter will work fine with 12 volts. Just don't crank it for long periods of time to get it hot. Your truck will start a lot quicker too,because a 6 volt starter getting hit with 12 volts spins very fast.

Your starter will last for years with 12 volts. Don't worry about it.

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