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post #1 of 18 Old 06-06-2016, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Ok, so i'm embarking on a new RWD project now that the daytona is gone. It won't be a Chrysler chassis, but it will be a 2.2/2.5. I found a 1994 dakota transmission for $150 with bellhousing. I've gone back and forth on the various options between the AX15, the R154, and an MA5, but honestly the AX15 gear ratios work well enough for our track needs that I think i'll stick with it and change out diffs if I need something else.

So, currently I have a bunch of 2.2 parts that I'm turning into another engine, and a junk yard AX15 with dakota bellhousing. What do I need to transfer power between the two? A list of questions.

Flywheel. Is the dakota flywheel different from the FWD cars? Just curious If I need to buy a new one.

Pilot bearings/bushings. The FWD cars don't have pilot bearings (or mine never did and the service manuals never mentioned them), but the dakotas seem to. From my research the RWD cars needed a deeper recess for the bearing/bushing. Can anyone point me at dimensions for how much I need to modify the crank?

Clutch kit. Looks like I can just buy the dakota kit cheap, so no mystery there.

Clutch actuation. Dakota has a hydraulic, but it looks like low pressure push on lines? Is this right? I was just going to find a way to adapt the chassis lines to the slave and limit clutch pedal throw to match.

2.2 Turbo RWD Lemons project
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-07-2016, 11:11 PM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

The long and short of it.

The slave cyl will work fine. The lines are "unservceable" units, that are pressed onto a 90* fitting that is pushed into the rear of the unit. It is held in by a roll pin. You can purchase a replacement unit from a later jeep liberty 2.4 that *should* be aluminum bodied, and tap that for an AN fitting, or purchase an adapter from advance adapers if gyou are worried about the current set up, or need a custom line.

The crank will need drilled for a Pilot bearing, it is absolutely necessary on a rwd transmission. You can go one of two ways with this. The first would be to press in a brass bushing, it will work fine. The second is to use a needle bearing. Bot can be ordered from mcmaster-carr. Just mic your pilot bearing nose on your input shaft, find a bushing/bearing with that I.D. and then find a suitable O.D. and have your crank drilled for it. As far as I can tell the 2.5 cranks in the dakotas are identical to the FWD app, save for the pilot bearing. I can take a look at the one I have on the shelf at the shop if youd like.

For what its worth, buying a custom clutch kit would be better than a stock dakota kit. Unless you find a hi-po kit, the stock one will likely slip. Just order a 2.2/2.5 clutch kit, and request the specific spline count/pattern that your AX has. In the long run this is a better option I think than installing a replacement kit and it not holding power. I think the 2.5 was like 110 hp stock N/A, maybe 130 at most.

Also, the MA5 does have the best shifting quality of the three, as well as better carbon speed rings. Just a FYI if you were not aware. I am using that in my daytona build
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-08-2016, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Awesome, thanks for all that.

How much of a pain is it to adapt the MA5? Meaning does it need any input shaft modification? Obviously you need a custom clutch setup for that no matter what. I"ve seen those trans for fairly cheap, so it might make sense to consider it.

I really need to compare dimensions on the two. Right now the AX15 shifter sits 12 inches forward of the stock pass through of the car i'm putting it in. If the MA5 sits further back that's another check mark towards it.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-08-2016, 07:38 PM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Make sure that your crankshaft is drilled for a pilot bushing. Everything else bolts up. There is also a RWD specific oil pan.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-08-2016, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

I guess I'll have to just go measure for how much needs to be drilled. I can't find any info sitting online.

I think i'm going to make my own oil pan. I'd rather make one that fit my application perfectly instead of just deal with whatever the Dakota one does. Should be easy to cut a FWD pan and weld on a new bottom shape (and accompanying pickup)
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-08-2016, 10:21 PM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

I may still have the oil pan and pickup from the 2.5 CB dakota i tore apart.

On the MA5, you will want one from a solstice/sky as they will have the remote shifter that sits above the output shaft of the trans. The colorado unit is like a T5, with the shifter bolted directly to the transmission. Its worth a look for shifting ease. The truck/coupe trans both have the exact same gear ratios throughout except for 3rd. The truck has a wider spread.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

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Originally Posted by turismolover22 View Post
I may still have the oil pan and pickup from the 2.5 CB dakota i tore apart.

On the MA5, you will want one from a solstice/sky as they will have the remote shifter that sits above the output shaft of the trans. The colorado unit is like a T5, with the shifter bolted directly to the transmission. Its worth a look for shifting ease. The truck/coupe trans both have the exact same gear ratios throughout except for 3rd. The truck has a wider spread.
Good to know on the shifter.

Can you tell me what you ended up doing to mate the MA5 and 2.2/2.5? Any input shaft mods? what was your starting point for a clutch or is it purely custom?


Also, I notice the Dakota bellhousing doesn't have the timing window that the FWD cars have, but instead a pickup hole. Does that mean I do need a dakota specific flywheel?
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

For fun, here's my first test fit last night (before i went through the effort of leveling it). Naked block, naked head (both are junk pieces) and the dakota trans. Goes in with lots of space (which will vanish as I start adding accessories. Bonus points for identifying the car.

I'm going to have to do custom intake to swap the throttle body to the other side, which will be fun.

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post #9 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:02 AM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Oh, nice. What car is that?

Greg

PS, I have an R154 sitting on my shelf and I work in Nashua....
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:08 AM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Ah Lemons. I do and don't miss that craziness.

I also want to point out that you have hedge clippers sitting in the engine bay of your junker racecar. I think that means you're doing it right!
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg55_99 View Post
Oh, nice. What car is that?

Greg

PS, I have an R154 sitting on my shelf and I work in Nashua....
Don't tempt me. I think I want to stick to the MA5 or AX15 purely from a cost standpoint. This will be used for racing and it's cheaper and easier to find one of those transmission than it is to find spare R154's, and I do need at least one spare.

The car is german. From the 90s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilcowRoland View Post
Ah Lemons. I do and don't miss that craziness.

I also want to point out that you have hedge clippers sitting in the engine bay of your junker racecar. I think that means you're doing it right!
Lol. I was trimming branches from a neighbor's tree that were intruding into my driveway. But i'm sure I could find a use for them on the "racecar" too.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:18 AM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

LOL!!! German, like 924? FYI

R154 adapted to AMC kit feeler - The AMC Forum - Page 1

Needless to say, there's a lot going on between these trannys.

Greg
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

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Originally Posted by Greg55_99 View Post
LOL!!! German, like 924? FYI

R154 adapted to AMC kit feeler - The AMC Forum - Page 1

Needless to say, there's a lot going on between these trannys.

Greg
Lol, no 924. I owned a 1987 924s for a while. Never again. Nightmare cars to work on. It's an E36. Started life as a 318i.


I think i've actually read that thread. I know the R154 works really well, but it's a cost of spares issue for me. I know I'll need to replace transmissions at some point. I see MA5's for $300 fairly frequently, and close to me, but i've never seen an R154 for less than $500, and usually far away.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:30 AM
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

Wowsers! Here's my other question. Why not start with a 2.4L engine with twin cams? Or, you want the 2.5 because it can run on a carb?

Greg
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-09-2016, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: RWD conversion with an AX15, help me fill in the pieces

I'm using a 2.2, mainly because I have piles of spares from my last lemon's car ('89 daytona). I thought about a 2.4, but that's going to require a larger cost of entry. I have all these parts for the 2.2 already. Computers, accessories, turbos, internals, etc. Makes no sense to throw those out and start over when this is supposed to be cheap car racing. If I did eventually switch to a 2.4 the MA5 works with that as well, so that's one more check box towards that direction.

The 2.2 was fairly decent in lemons once I learned it well enough to keep it alive. (they do not like 7 hours straight of WOT full boost). The biggest issue with the daytona was the lack of any good suspension or brakes. This engine in a chassis that can corner will be fun and probably competitive in Lemons.

Plus I have to keep my masochist reputation alive.

2.2 Turbo RWD Lemons project
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