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MOPAR (Red Ram) engine - transmission combo question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wolfhound423, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. OK... for all my MOPAR gurus out there. I have been wanting to swap the flathead 6 out of my 49 Plymouth for a few months. I have been looking at the smaller Hemis and Polys (trying to keep it all MOPAR) to fit in the engine bay without toooo much modification, but give me a little more power for running down the road. I have a line on a '55 Red Ram Poly (277 cu/in) that's in good, rebuildable condition. Here's my question: Will the engine bolt up to my stock 3spd, or am I going to have to swap my tranny as well? I have searched the HAMB and the web, and I can't find a straight answer. Are MOPAR bolt patterns the same, or will I need to source an adapter from Wilcap? I like my 3-pedal, column shift for its uniqueness, and don't want to have to convert to an automatic (real hotrods have 3 pedals!)... help a newbie out! Thanks...
  2. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 3,864


    Did the Red Ram you're looking at have a manual transmission behind it? If so, I'm fairly sure that your 3-speed will bolt up to the Hemi bellhousing. I'm not sure about the Dodge version, but some of the Chrysler cranks from automatic-equipped vehicles were not drilled for the pilot shaft, so you may be faced with that on the Dodge as well. Plus sourcing the proper flywheel and bellhousing....
  3. Ebb - The Red Ram in question has a 2-spd auto bolted up to it currently... so am I lining myself up for a$$ pain? I'm an OK mechanic (tech end doesn't scare me), but I don't have limitless time, and garage space. (Every time I back my wife's car out of the garage to work on Blue, I catch hell.)
  4. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071


    Trying to get more people to participate in puting information up on Dodge Hemis in the Hemi Tech section. Not sure if an answer to your question is present in the tech section, but if you haven't checked it out, do so.

    Click on the banner/picture in my signature line that says HEMI TECH. You'll find a link to the trans adaptation section.

    Cheers! Good luck!
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  5. If it is a Red Ram it is not a 277. That is a Plymouth Poly. It is more likely a 270. Stick set-ups are available either in original or aftermarket. Bellhousing is the same as the early Hemis so a lot of things are available from Wilcap, Hot Heads ect....
  6. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 5,983


    There were a couple of different transmissions used behind the flat 6/8 and the input shaft length also changed. Measure the length of the input shaft, or if the car is together, measure the length/depth of the existing bellhousing. If you want to keep the stock trans then you will need to match this length in a v-8 bellhousing or build a spacer to accomodate.
    The 6 and v-8 bell do not interchange. Unless you drive the combo very carefully you will destroy the 3-speed.

  7. Scooter - I checked the tech archive for about an hour, and yes... I did float thru your Hemi section... A veritable treasure trove of good gouge. I promise that if I go ahead, rebuild a Hemi/Poly and shoe-horn it into my 49 Plymouth, I'll take plenty of pics and send them to you for the tech board.
  8. OK... next question... If I can't keep the stock trans (for compatibility issues and for fear of wrenching it out... both good points), should I look at upgrading to something like an A833 4 speed? Would that be a little easier to fit together (minus having to go from column shift to floor shift and the requisite hole in the floor) powerplant wise??
  9. Bear Metal Kustoms
    Joined: Jul 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,856

    Bear Metal Kustoms
    Alliance Vendor

    You are sick..How you doing in Wash.? There are a few options... If you are going to get an adapter anyways to run a 4 speed you can run muncie...more common.. I would look for the mopar O/D 4 speed.. A833OD or something like that. My buddy had one behind his big hemi and it held up well. I have had the little dodge hemi and desoto hemi.. wilcap and hotheads both sell the adapters.. You will have to go to a floor mount shifter... Jason.
  10. Ol Deuce
    Joined: May 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,185

    Ol Deuce
    from Mt. U.S.A.

    Mopar did some dumb things in the early days with transmissions , They used long
    inputs and short inputs fluid drives and regular clutches. Also they had a Long bellhousing and a short one.
    What you need to do is take a good look at your trans and bellhousing. up should be able to make the swap but it will be a pain in the ass. If all else fails you could use the Capanna adapter and put a TH350 or 5speed in easier.
  11. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 5,983


    Keep in mind that when you change the trans then other changes need to follow. You loose the parking brake so now you need to look at swapping the rear axle to get it back. If you go to a late unit with disc brakes then you also need to look at putting disc on the front (send a PM to 'olddaddy') as well as up grades to the master cylinder.

    And yes, there are many suppliers for trans adapters. Given the cost of the gm trans compared to the A-833 and the difference in adapter costs, I think you'll find the all-Mopar route easier on the wallet, and you will not have some special one-off parts to worry about.
    If you feel adventurous, also look into the 5-speed trans from a 90's /00's ½ton pickup.

    The stock clutch linkage may be useful, but you won't really know until you have everything in place. If you are a decent fabricator then it should be straight forward. The option is a hydraulic set-up. The clutch/slave cylinder has been a Mopar truck staple for many years so that part is fairly easy, but you'll need to deal with the master.

    Help is available, just keep asking questions.

  12. Jason-
    You are prince, sir! We are alive and well in WA. The weather is weird, but doable. You spend all winter in the garage, fiddling around and rebuilding things, then wait for the first sunny day to roll out your machine and take it for a spin. As for the tranny/engine combo - based off what I have read on other sites and here (God Bless the HAMBers), I'm thinking that the A833 is probably going to be my best bet. I'll be out after that Red Ram and an A833 I have seen floating around on Craigslist... should keep me busy this weekend... but the missus is gonna be pissed when her slot in the garage disappears so an engine stand can slide in there.
  13. Help is available, just keep asking questions.


    That's why I love the HAMB and all the HAMBers that make it up!
  14. 4-pot
    Joined: Aug 12, 2005
    Posts: 181


    I don't know about the red ram but I used a 58 plymouth six bellhousing and a 58 plymouth three speed on my 354 hemi. Had to cut a little off the snout of the input shaft and everything else bolted together. And the 58 tranny has the E brake on it.
  15. DasUberHund
    Joined: Feb 17, 2009
    Posts: 5

    from Ohio

    I'm doing a 74 360 and a 833 od in a 50 plymouth p 19. iwas waondering if you had any steering issues?
  16. UberHund - I'm still sourcing all the parts right now - wanna get it straight before I buy all the pieces and try fitting them together. If something isn't going to go together (or is going to take a team of NASA engineers to adapt it), I'm going to avoid it. I'm purposely going with a small engine block precisely so I won't have to move the steering gear, cut fender wells, or build some custom headers to clear the linkage. I figure a small V8 like a 277 Poly will fit in there without toooo much dithering. There is plenty of room in the engine bay on either side of the current (flat-6) block, but it'll run out quickly when you try to cram an 8 in there. I'll let you know in a few months, (and after rebuilding the motor) when I start trying to shoehorn that motor in there.
  17. The general consesus seem to be that I'll have the easiest time bolting MOPAR to MOPAR... but I'm prepared to have to finagle the shaft length to get it all right. How's your 3spd tranny holding up behind a 354?
    Joined: Feb 19, 2008
    Posts: 146

    from Wichita Ks

    I'm going to want to see pics of this as well as I have a 270 Poly that I want to put into my '50! I'll post up pics of what I found in there here in a few days(scary!!!:eek:)
  19. Crap, crap, and double crap. Went to go get that Poly engine, and some guy beat me to it by 30 minutes. Oh well... he bought it to put in a 33 Plymouth coupe he was building, so I can't fault him too much... back to the drawing board!!! I'm chasing a 331 Hemi over in Puyallup now.. so we'll see how that goes.

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