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Transmission, Suspension, Brakes, Tires & Wheels This Dodge forum includes modification, tuning, repair, replacement, identification and restoration of manual and automatic transaxles, shifters, torque converters, flexplates, flywheels, ring gears, axles, and differentials including open, friction, and Q. This forum also includes modification, repair, replacement, identification and restoration of the above parts and how to tune them for better traction and handling. Also includes wheel bearings and hubs, wheel studs and nuts, wheel spacers, and other related items. Sponsored by Discount Tire

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #1
1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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Hey, I have an 88' Dodge Omni automatic. I am aiming to make it a 5-speed.
I found some people that will sell me the transmission and everything I need for the swap (or so they say) for $350. This is also the transmission out of a GLH-Turbo. Which I believe has the 3.55 gear ratio.

My questions are:
1. Is this a good deal?
2. What all exactly will I need for the swap? (This way I can compare to what he's saying I'll need)
3. Is it worth swapping the transmission or would I be better off just selling it to find a 5-speed Omni even though it won't have the 3.55 transmission?

I am planning on turboing my Omni at some point, or maybe later down the road doing a 2.4l swap if I have the funds and the time if that makes a difference in your answers. I've heard that making an 88' from a TBI to a turbo isn't too much of a trouble. Yes I know I'd have my hands full with a 2.4l swap.

Any comments, answers, or tips are much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:32 PM   #2
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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I think 88 auto onmi has big spline axles - THIS IS GOOD - because you can swap the good 87 ^ trans (520- or 555 *) into it and you already have the axles to do it

the trans your talking about is easy to break it's the early kind (525) and you would need the axles as well to swap it in (uses small spline)

you'll need to go with the 87 ^ cable shift parts to use the newer trans

350 is fair but you can do a much better trans than that one
* 555 is the newer heavy duty turbo trans
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:59 AM   #3
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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So you're saying it would be better to just use a 5-speed from an 87' and up instead of an 85' or 86' turboed model.

What all exactly would I need if I did either one.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:08 AM   #4
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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Originally Posted by OmniNinja View Post
So you're saying it would be better to just use a 5-speed from an 87' and up instead of an 85' or 86' turboed model.

What all exactly would I need if I did either one.
johny is saying that your car has big splin axles in it now, so if you go and get a 87 and newer 520 555 523 568 trans you will not have to buy axles, and the trans i and johny listed are the better one's the 525 is the weakest 5 speed from the factory they only came in omni's from 84ish to 90. and in other cars from 86 and older, the turbo and non turbo trans are the same when 5 speed, so your gonna need cables and shifter and clutch peddle clutch cable and a flywheel and clutch kit, and few other misc things but its not hard to do, if you worked at it you could do it in one week end, also your gonna wanna buy a turbo clutch,
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:47 AM   #5
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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Awesome. Thanks for the replies.
As for the pedal assembly, how hard is that whole process.
I've heard different stories on it.
1 said I have to remove the interior and dash. The other said I did not.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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its kinda a pain but its not that hard haha

the dash is the easy part of the deal lol the hardest part is the pedels getting everything unbolted haha
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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Alright well then either the guy I was going to buy the trans from lied or I was mistaken on hearing him.
He told me he had 2 different transmissions.
He told me the first one was the regular 5-speed transmission.
The other one that he was going to sell me for 350 he told me it was a better transmission out of the turbo cars.
So if the glh and regular omni have the same 5-speed, then he's either trying to play me for a sucker or I misunderstood and it really is one of the better trans you guys are talking about.
Is there any way I can just look and tell the difference?
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:27 PM   #8
Re: 1988 Dodge Omni transmission swap  
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not really , the 525 came as a trans for both carb and turbo - the turbo trans does have some upgraded parts in it but it's still the same week case and week diff design

dificulty of the pedel swap is relative to your wrenching skills - not really hard if you have some idea what your getting into

if you get the turbo clutch you NEED the turbo flywheel as both are a larger diameter than the carb motor ones

omni potent sells a kit that will put the L body rod shift linkage on the newer trans but it ain't cheep + then to make that worth while you will want the heim joint conversion done on the rods as by this time (age) the plastic rod ends will likely be trash

but it's much easier to use a cable style shifter and the cables that would go with the newer trans

the old / new trans can be easily told apart if you remember that the early trans has a flat sheetmetal diff cover and the newer trans have a rounded cast alum cover

the newer trans should have a round tag on top that will denote what trans it is ( 520 , 555 etc) and the gear ratio and the build date & code

the date & code are important if you need parts for the guts inside as things change over time
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