Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 2:00 p.m.

Ok, GRM. The time for turning the'90  Ramcharger into a project is fast approaching. Part of the to-do list is a rebuild/repower and transmission swap. I would like to keep it Mopar if possible, but my highest priorities are modern engine management and reliability. Somewhere north of 180hp would be nice as well. it needs to be adaptable to the NV 4500 trans, cause manual. 
 

What would you install if you were me?
 

 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/13/20 2:12 p.m.

5.9 magnum?

5.7 Hemi from a Challenger (or truck if it was available in front of a MT that way)

Run_Away [FS]
Run_Away [FS] Dork
8/13/20 2:15 p.m.

What's the budget?

bmw88rider (Forum Supporter)
bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/13/20 2:40 p.m.

5.9 Magnum is the easy button. Bolts right in.

The engine you have is not a dud. Don't know what the condition of the current motor is though. A smart rebuild will put in in the 400HP range. 

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/mopp-0409-318-engine-build/

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 3:35 p.m.
Run_Away [FS] said:

What's the budget?

Think GRM.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 3:36 p.m.

In reply to bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) :

A rebuild is not out of the question. The TBI on top of the motor is kind of a useless lump, though. Also, mine's the 360.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
8/13/20 3:36 p.m.

I suggest adding a 6-71 blower on the current engine. You never know when it could help you out of a tight spot.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UberDork
8/13/20 5:05 p.m.

There was a cheap RB 413 powered motorhome on FB Marketplace recently that took me down a rabbit hole.

So I'm saying RB, maybe 440 with Holley Sniper(s) EFI.  Budget be damned, it's just money and you can't take it with you.

 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
8/13/20 5:09 p.m.

360 with aftermarket FI

MrChaos
MrChaos SuperDork
8/13/20 5:24 p.m.

12v?

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/13/20 5:39 p.m.

5.9 magnum. Stock injection. Only catch is a flywheel that works with the crank sensor. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 7:05 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

Can the MPFI 5.9 be run standalone?

Cooter
Cooter UberDork
8/13/20 7:07 p.m.

5.9 Magnum is really the only answer, given your parameters.  With careful shopping, you should be under $500.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 7:09 p.m.
MrChaos said:

12v?

If I were to go diesel, I'd go way off target and install something really bizarre. A Mitsubishi Fuso engine, or something similar.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 7:11 p.m.

I love this forum- not one "LS Swap it" to be found. 
 

You guys are awesome!!!

Uncle David (Forum Supporter)
Uncle David (Forum Supporter) New Reader
8/13/20 7:59 p.m.

As Run_Away mentioned, you need to bound us with a budget.  Absent that, and not being ridiculous (Viper V10!, Cummins!), I'd say 408 Magnum (stroked 5.9 / 360).  Since your trans is an NV4500, I'll assume you're doing truck things with your Ramcharger, so you'll want a long runner intake.  The stock V8 magnum intake qualifies, but might be a bit restrictive on a 408.  Upgrade would be the Mopar M1 intake, which can use stockish fuel management.  It's a big single plane, but the extra cubes will pull the torque to the left some. 

Oh, and 440's bolt right into those things, too, and can be topped with whatever engine management you want. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/13/20 8:32 p.m.
Recon1342 said:

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

Can the MPFI 5.9 be run standalone?

Yup. If i remember correctly,  about four wires of grounds and 12v is all thelat you need. Been a minute,  so my number may be off....

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/13/20 9:52 p.m.

If I decide to keep the short block that's in it (supposedly new 5k miles prior to the purchase), it will require an entire top end- heads, intake, exhaust, and new engine management. I'm open to any suggestions on that front as well, although LA performance heads are kinda pricey...

The factory TBI is getting tired, and there's no aftermarket to support it. Right now, between the motor embracing mediocre performance and the slush box 46rh randomly attempting hara-kiri, my poor truck can barely get out of its own way. I'm not above spending decent money for good parts, but I've also got a family to take care of. I fully expect this process to take a couple of years, and the body work and interior need redone to boot. 
 

Top of the list is getting the running gear sorted; after that things become much easier...

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/13/20 10:27 p.m.

A stone stock 5.9 Magnum engine with tiny factory cam makes 290hp/390tq with just a carb manifold. That's peaking at like 4200 rpm. A stock magnum engine with a cam can get close to 400hp if you want to get into the low speed drivability tradeoffs. It's very to easy to make a stock 5.9 magnum make 320-350hp and act totally normal with just a cam upgrade and a carb manifold. As far as the manifold goes, you CAN drill the heads for the LA bolt pattern, or you can drill an LA manifold for the magnum pattern and deal with the silliness of bolts not seating on anything resembling a flat surface. It will hold the intake down and do all 10 lb-ft of that job...

As far as the mopar TBI, yeah it's not awesome but you CAN run it with a standalone if you want to. Would just require an adapter plate for a carb manifold like this which you could probably easily make from a small plate of 1/4" aluminum and a stepper bit. The cheap 2-channel Speeduino board is like $135 last time i looked. I dont know the throtte bore sizes of that tbi off hand but i'd guess it would easily make 230-250 hp on a stock Magnum engine and make the absolute same torque as anything else until somewhere past peak, like 4000+. If you want to run magnum heads on the tbi and computer you already have it will probably do pretty ok with some minor 'hack' tuning like precisely crushing the FPR on the side of the throttle body until your afrs are correct again. cheeky

Nothing wrong with a 46rh either, other than it being some level of broken. Same basic 1-3 gears that have gone behind a whole bunch of super fast drag cars, and same basic 4th gear design they used behind diesels. Its a decent trans that just needs to be made to work right. If someone dropped one of those off with me right now i'd be pretty happy about it. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/14/20 5:34 a.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

Never had an issue with the 727 or the 46rh. II agree they are both decent transmissions. I just really want a manual transmission in teh Ramcharger. 
 

There's a small part of me that wants to spend the money and drop an EFI 440 in it...  but a 5.9 magnum would give me a nearly 100hp increase with a stock motor. 
 

Man, you guys are making me think...

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/14/20 10:21 a.m.

I recently bought a 73 T&C woody wagon with no engine (they were all 440s) and from what i can tell after looking for the past week or two, there is no cheap way to get a 440 unless you just get lucky. Thus all the 'motorhome 440' videos, i guess. I haven't even seen one of those for sale cheap..

bmw88rider (Forum Supporter)
bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/14/20 10:32 a.m.

360 magnum is just the easy button. Put a cam in it and convert to a street avenger 670 or 770 and just go to town. You will be happy with the end result. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/14/20 11:23 a.m.

In reply to bmw88rider (Forum Supporter) :

I really don't want to run a carbureted motor. It's already set up for EFI, and it has enough of a drinking problem... wink

psteav (Forum Supporter)
psteav (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/14/20 11:32 a.m.

360 Magnum all day.  Unfortunately the cheap enginequest replacement heads are apparently NLA, and the factory heads all crack between the valve seats.  You can still get replacement heads, but they're like $1250 a pair rather than the ~600-700 that the EQ heads cost.  

 

440 sounds tempting, but I don't know that there's an off-the-shelf bellhousing solution to keep your NV4500.  Easy to bolt in a big-block/auto (or big-block/four-speed) setup; they built thousands from the factory.  

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/14/20 11:41 a.m.

In reply to psteav (Forum Supporter) :

The NP435 is still an option, all depends on what I can find locally. Rebuilt they run about $600 excluding the core charge.

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