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JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/6/21 3:49 p.m.

I made an appointment to drop the truck off at the body shop next week. They're going to paint the tailgate and roll pan to match the rest of the truck. It will finally be one color. I'm excited. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/12/21 9:41 a.m.

The drop kit finally showed up. You can see the hangers and one of the control arms here. The arms are super beefy. After the rear of the truck gets painted, I'm going to tackle the lowering kit. It's all coming together nicely. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/19/21 9:58 a.m.

I put about about eighteen hours into the truck this weekend and the drop kit is still not installed. It is rough. The front went together alright, but the rear...the rear is being extra special. There are sixteen rivets that hold the spring hangers to the frame. They're huge rivets. They all have to be ground/chiseled off and then pushed through the frame. The problem is that they're tucked behind the creases in the brackets themselves and sometimes behind things like parking brake cables, which make some of them almost impossible to get a grinder on. So I hit the heads as best I could with a cutting disc and then went to work on them with a chisel. It takes a very long time to chisel these things off. So far I have two of the brackets completely off and two more that need some more attention with a BFH. Then I have to push the rivets through the frame, then I can bolt the new brackets in their place, then I can hang the leafs and be done. I still have another evening or four left until it's finished and then it needs an immediate alignment. The toe is comically out in the front, which will make it almost undriveable. 

On a positive note, check out how nice the rear end looks after paint:

Random parts comparisons:

Shocks

Control arms

Stock front springs with half a coil cut off, for an extra inch in the front (4" total drop).

Overall I made a ton of progress. I hope I can get it wrapped up before the weekend. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/23/21 9:38 a.m.

Here it is. 4/5 drop with new all new shocks. 

It rides pretty stiff, but not terrible. No hitting the bumpstops yet, which is good. I really like the way it turned out. I'd prefer it be another inch or two lower in the rear, but then the frame would be almost on the axle and that'd be no fun. Next on the list is 3" exhaust. The louder the better. 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
4/23/21 10:25 a.m.

Looks GOOD

 

in the future, drill the head of those rivets out then hit it with a chisel. I have a ton of practice

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/23/21 10:27 a.m.

That's beautiful!

Did you put shorter rear bumpstops on already? 

Also, you can do a c notch and go for more.....

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/23/21 10:34 a.m.

Thanks for the compliments! The rivets were removed through a combination of a drill, grinder, cutting wheels, and an air chisel. Lots and lots of work. Check out how beat the stock hangers turned out:

Hours and hours worth of abuse right there. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/23/21 10:38 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) said:

That's beautiful!

Did you put shorter rear bumpstops on already? 

Also, you can do a c notch and go for more.....

Yeah, it has some shorter bumpstops over the axle. I may go the c-notch route in the future, but it rides so well now that I'm afraid to mess it up. Although a couple more inches in the rear would level it out and look pretty mean. I don't mind the rake, though. For now. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/26/21 9:55 a.m.

I drove the truck to work on Friday and it went really well. No issues and the truck stayed off the bump stops. I took it out again to pick up dinner that night and the transmission E36 M3 the bed as I pulled back into my driveway. Clutch pedal to the floor, no pressure, and no more shifting. I pushed it into the driveway and saw a puddle of fluid under it. After a brief inspection, it looks like that two-month-old master/slave cylinder gave out. The fluid is leaking like crazy from the slave cylinder and the pedal no longer has any pressure. What are the odds that a practically brand new Dorman slave cylinder is going to crap out after less than a hundred miles? So disappointing.

I'm going to crawl under it this week, pull the slave, and inspect for damage. If that's the only problem, it's a relatively cheap fix. Just not a fun job, since the master has to come out with it. I'm definitely going with a different brand this time.

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
4/26/21 9:58 a.m.

That sucks. Try a Mopar cylinder for the replacement.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/26/21 10:30 a.m.

It does indeed suck. I'm having trouble sourcing a Mopar part, however the Luk brand has a Chrysler emblem on it (see the image below). Luk is used by a lot of manufacturers for OEM transmission parts, so I think I'm going to go with them for this setup. The truck currently has a Luk flywheel in it and I've had great luck with their clutches in the past. 

The only part that makes me nervous is that the slave comes separate in this kit, whereas the Dorman kit came sealed together and is not designed to be bled or serviced independently. I'm just hoping the connection is intuitive and I don't need to figure out how to bleed the system. I prefer a plug and play setup. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/27/21 9:42 a.m.

My suspicions were correct. I pulled the slave out yesterday and it just fell apart in my hands. I was fortunate enough to get all the pieces out of the bell housing without dropping any of them down in there. 

What a piece of E36 M3. I already ordered a new assembly. Hopefully the next one lasts more than a few dozen miles. 

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
4/27/21 9:45 a.m.

Snap it together and bleed it on the bench before you install it.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/27/21 10:05 a.m.

It's supposed to be pre-bled, despite coming in two pieces. I'm curious to see how it works when I get it. It would certainly be easier to install with the slave disconnected; snaking that thing down there is really difficult once it's attached. But I hear bleeding the installed assembly is also kind of a pain in the ass. I guess I have some options. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/27/21 12:23 p.m.

The 2g neon ones don't even need the resuvour. I drove mine for months with what fluid was in the line. If it's anything like a neon one. 

Also the neon ones look super similar in design and the way it connects. I normally dump fluid in, pump and go. 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
4/27/21 1:20 p.m.

When I did the manual swap on my F350, I ordered the Luk pre-bled clutch, but discovered that the slave house (plastic) had a crack that didn't make itself known until I depressed the clutch for the first time!

Fortunately, AutoZone was able to come through with a METAL slave, which was perfect. I had to bench bleed it, let the master gravity bleed, and then swapped in the slave as quickly as I could and worked out the excess air with some pedal work. No issues since. Now I have a "power bleeder" which will make it easier in the future.

linkinparker445
linkinparker445 New Reader
4/27/21 1:50 p.m.

You can pump the slave rod in and out by hand when the lines are all hooked up to bleed air out through the reservoir. 

It looks like Centric brand master and salve cylinders on Rockauto have aluminum housings instead of plastic.  There are adapters available to run -an line instead of the plastic hose between the master and slave too.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/27/21 2:22 p.m.
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) said:

The 2g neon ones don't even need the resuvour. I drove mine for months with what fluid was in the line. If it's anything like a neon one. 

Also the neon ones look super similar in design and the way it connects. I normally dump fluid in, pump and go. 

It's almost identical to the Neon setup. Just a little larger.

On RockAuto, I only have two options for a complete system. The Dorman, which I will never buy again, and the Luk. They do sell the master and slave separately under different brands. It's odd because the system comes from the factory as a sealed unit that isn't designed to be bled. I guess I could always piece together a system, fill it, and bleed it if the Luk doesn't work out. Right now I'm just hoping I don't have to do this a third time. 

dannyp84
dannyp84 New Reader
4/27/21 2:39 p.m.

Will a 5.9 from the r/t bolt up to that 5 speed? Better yet will a 6.4 from a newer wrecked 3/4 ton truck fit? I always liked the Dakotas, bigger than an S10 but still compact enough to park easily in town.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/27/21 3:53 p.m.

I'm not sure if the 5.9 will bolt up, but I do know a Hemi will. I can score a 5.7 for pretty cheap and they are easily buildable. Ideally, I'd find a 6.4 and drop it in. That would be my ultimate goal for this thing. They aren't cheap, though. There's a 5.7/TR6060 out of a Challenger on eBay right now for less than five grand. That would be more than enough to get me into trouble. 

Azryael
Azryael Reader
4/27/21 4:01 p.m.

In reply to dannyp84 :

It will not. The OP has the 4.7, which is the "PowerTech" Magnum motor, but I don't know if it shares the same bell housing as the 5.7/6.4.

The NV4500 would be a much better choice, but it's larger and would require cutting and massaging of the trans tunnel in the Dakota/Duranogs, but has been done.

I think the later NV5600 will work too, but once again you're dealing with a size issue. This is further complicated if you've got a 4x4 setup; in the OPs case with a 2WD truck, he'll have less of an issue putting in the larger NVxxxx transmissions.

As I understand it, the bolt pattern changed when they moved to the 6.4 ("3rd gen Hemi") in 2003 from the previous 5.2/5.9 motors. Fortunately, I do believe they made the NV4500 and NV5600 for those motors in the 3rd gen HD Rams.

For a lowered street truck like that, I'd probably go with a manual that has more car-like ratios, like the TR6060. The truck transmission will get old, fast.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/28/21 10:15 a.m.

If I ever go through the cost and trouble of a Hemi swap, it's getting a TR6060. I won't want to fuss around with truck transmissions anymore at that point. Holley makes a mount setup that will drop it right in place. My only concern is the hole in the floor lining up. I hear it's really close, though. It may not need trimming, which would be great. 

I removed the broken master/slave setup yesterday. It took me all of fifteen minutes. Let's hope the reinstall goes as smoothly. The new setup should be here on Friday, but the weather is going to be E36 M3. I'll be watching for sun breaks. I really just want to drive the truck again. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
4/28/21 1:07 p.m.

One thing I forgot to mention. The fluid that came out of the trans had some red in it, like transmission fluid. The fluid in the reservoir was clear. A lot of pinkish fluid poured out of the hole for the slave cylinder when I removed it, in addition to the puddle that originally formed under the truck when it blew. I could see the clutch fork through the hole and verified that it pivoted forward and back and there were no other signs of leakage anywhere else. 

Why was the fluid that came out of the trans, a different color than what was in the reservoir? Is it possible I have an internal trans fluid leak? I'd think that if the fluid was high enough in the bell housing to leak out of the slave hole, that my clutch would be inoperable due to being soaked in fluid. I also think there would be more signs of leakage around the bell housing if that were the case, since there's no gasket there. That'd have to be a hell of a leak to fill it up, too. After thinking about it, I am mildly concerned that there's more wrong than just the slave cylinder, but I don't know what that could be. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/5/21 10:20 a.m.

I was supposed to receive the new Luk master/slave setup last Friday, April 30th. There was a delay in shipping and it ended up coming yesterday, May 4th. I opened the box, pulled it out, and... it was a Dorman setup in a Luk box. It was identical to the Dorman unit that blew apart. I even kept it around for comparison:

All the part numbers, markings, and castings were identical. It looks very different than the Luk unit. If I wanted another Dorman replacement, I could have gotten one for free by using their warranty. Instead, I paid for a better one and received more of this crap. In addition to that, the Luk was no longer in stock, so they couldn't exchange it for me. Needless to say, I'm not super happy with RockAuto right now. I'm sending it back today. I called around to the local parts places in search of one in stock somewhere. O'Reilly doesn't even carry this setup at all. Autozone sells a Duralast unit that is supposed to be absolute garbage, that blows out as often as the Dorman and I believe it. Napa can get me the Luk unit, but it would take more than a week and it would cost more than twice what I paid at RockAuto for the same part. Eventually, I did manage to find the Luk unit in stock at Parts Geek, for only a couple dollars more than RockAuto. I ordered it from them and should see it in a week or less. 

Let's hope this new piece is worth the wait. 

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/6/21 9:43 a.m.

While I was waiting for new parts, I did a thing. 

Black is kind of like hitting the easy button when it comes to wheel finishes. I really contemplated a weird color, but I couldn't bring myself to do it this time. I've never had a "murdered out" vehicle before and I wanted to see how this would look. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied. Appliance epoxy remains my go-to black wheel paint. It goes on thick and shiny, is easy to work with, and looks great afterward. It's also pretty tough in my experience. This should hold me over until I can afford some proper aftermarket rims for the truck. 

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