Question: I have a '93 4x4 Dodge Dakota and I would like to put a 2-inch lift on it so that I can use it more while hunting and 'wheeling. I understand how to lift the rearend (by putting blocks in). I was wondering if I was to put blocks in the rear, could I raise the front of my pickup by tightening the torsion bars up, since there are no leaf springs on the front end of my pickup. Or is there another way of lifting the front without much overhaul?
Answer: Well, you could raise the front of your truck up by just cranking on the torsion bars, but I sure wouldn't advise it. Yes, at first thought, it seems like this is a low-cost way to gain some lift. The problem is that while gaining the lift, you lose downward wheel travel, which means that the wheel no longer wants to follow the trail properly and also results in a very harsh ride. It also puts more load on the torsion-bar mounts and could cause failure. The early Dakotas are really limited to aftermarket accessories, and lift kits are no exception. However, Trail Master makes a very nice 4-inch lift kit in the $1,700 price range.
Question: I have a '68 455 Olds motor I would like to install in a '73-'87 GM chassis with a TH350 transmission. The bolt pattern is obviously not the same, but yet I have read Readers' Rigs specs in the past that say they have one in their unit. I'd like to know what parts are involved, or if I have to fabricate something. Names and phone numbers of anyone that has done this in the past would be greatly appreciated. If there is no conversion to do this, I am selling the motor to someone who could use it.
Answer: A stock TH350 might not hold up to the torque of 455 cubic inches. You should consider a performance rebuild before doing the install. Better yet would be a TH400, but my guess is that you already have a 350 trans mated to a 205 transfer case.
You're on your own for motor mounts, but that shouldn't be much of a problem. My choice would be to use the factory block mounts and build some type of a stand-off on the frame. Yes, you will need an adapter to go from the Buick/Olds/Pontiac block pattern to the Chevy transmission pattern, and Jeg's High Performance (www.jegs.com) has just what you need (PN 555-60170).
Question: I own a '50 CJ-3A. It has a '67 Chevy 327 rated at 270 hp, a Borg-Warner T-18 transmission, and a Spicer Model 18 transfer case with a Warn overdrive attached. The adapter between the trans and transfer case is a '74 Jeep factory T-18 to Model 20.
As you know, the Model 18 has a passenger-side drop, both front and back. Is there a transfer case that has a center drop and can use the OD unit?
Answer: The overdrive is mounted where the PTO would be mounted. A special gear replaces the original main shaft gear and sends power into the overdrive unit and then back into the transfer case. The great thing about this is that it can be used in four-wheel drive, both high- and low-range, as well as in two-wheel drive.
There used to be a modified version of a Borg-Warner overdrive that was adapted to the Dana 20 transfer case, and then later on, Sierra Machine built a manual-shift overdrive unit for the 20. These were bolted to the transfer case at the rear output shaft, so naturally they were only usable in two-wheel drive.
If you want to keep your Warn overdrive, you will have to run with an offset rearend. When you think about this for a minute, it's not such a bad idea because now you know that if the front axle clears a rock, the rear will too.