Turbo Dodge Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Everybody,
I am new to the forum, and as every other thread i have read, i have done as much research as possible, but i still need some personal advice. I have a 1988 dodge caravan se with some work into it, but it is used for slightly different applications as most (because i am young and reckless)

Anyways, my 3-speed automatic is just about dead, and i really want to put an a534 into it. However, i do not know enough to feel confident yet.

I know i will need the a543 transmission, obviously
-as well as a clutch pedal assembly from another manual van
--will i need to find it from a 1st gen 2.5L 5 speed? or will a 2nd gen manual van's clutch assy work as well?
-I need the shifter and cables, most likely from a 3rd gen Daytona?

What i really need to know, is if a swap of the engine computer is necessary, what vehicle should/can i take it from?
-if it needs to be from the same year vehicle, am i pretty much SOL?
-Also, am i missing any major parts in that small list that would make the car not be able to run? (like a ptu or something)

-please bear with me, as i technically do not know much about cars. As you can see from the few pics i posted on my profile, i have done alot of modifications, but all of the skills i have were learned by my father handing me a screwdriver and a box of assorted sockets when i first bought it as a junker for $250, and leaving me to struggle everything out.
(at first i couldnt even figure out the body panels!)
-but i am a quick learner, and would GREATLY appreciate any help i can get.

Thank you
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,120 Posts
use a 543 with 1990 mini van 5 speed cables and shifter and trans mount. Axles are the same. Computers are the same. Get the 5 speed van K member and go to fwdperformance.com or polybushings.com and buy the front and rear engine mounts.

Pretty good idea adding the 543, a 5 speed swap for a turbo is common. Doing it with the 3.0 is a good idea too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
okay, well i have heard that the dodge daytona cables will work as well.

Also, is it necessary to get an entirely new crossmember? what would be the main difference?

My main concern is that i will not be able to find a 5 speed van, and as my transmission is going out, i need to find one as soon as possible, as well as all the parts that go with it.

I thought that the computers are very different, because one manages the engine and the automatic transmission, while a manual computer does not have any of that programming. Additionally, i have heard that it can be kept, but i need to do something about a neutral safety switch, so that i am able to start the car.

My questions still stand
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,120 Posts
I didn't have problem with the neutral safety switch. But one butt connector if it is a problem. I believe I just added it, as you need a reverse light.

You NEED the weldment on the K member for the rear mount, a big deal with a manual trans. Add steel your self if you can't find one.

The computers are only different with the engine AIS programming. Your trans is a RH not a RE trans, it shifts hydaulically.

What is wrong with the auto BTW? Dealing with shifting issues is some what easy. If you have the big gap between 2nd and 3rd that's another story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so if i understand correctly, there is a welded bracket for a transmission mount that i need to have.
I feel confident in my welding skills, so if i were to weld a new bracket housing myself, would there be anything else different with the crossmembers?

I also heard that with the automatic computer, the swapped vehicle does not think it is in park, and will not start for you? Also, someone said that with a manual computer i can get an extra 400rpms to actually make it to the redline, do you know if this is true?

I want to do the swap beacuse the 3 speed auto is failing on my car, and 5 speed manual is more fun to drive, will get me better fuel economy, and more power to the wheels from more useable gear ratios.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,120 Posts
you can deal with the nuetral safety switch BS pretty easy. I can't remember off hand but NAJ no doubt has the wiring for that. But it isn't a big deal and the computer isn't what makes that switch work.

Haven't heard much about the RPM range. As far as I know there were no 88-89 5 speed 3.0s AND you can't use a later computer with it. You'd have to run megasquirt to change the computer. Shel-game may be able to tweek the stock computer though if you PM him. The 2.5 turbo vans are easier, just just buy a computer lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the info...

So now as i think, i need to search for a 5spd 1st generation caravan, as well as a daytona or other vehicle with an a543 transmission.

I feel that it is going to be very hard to find the van though.

If anyone knows where i could find such a van, within a 5 or 6 hour drive max of anywhere near wenatchee washington, or bozeman montana, or within 3 hours of the stretch of I-90 in between....Please let me know!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,120 Posts
the only 5 speed vans were 4 bangers, turbo and TBI, not V6.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
i know this threads 4 years old, but i was thinking about doing the same thing with my plymouth acclaim soon. its a 1994 with the mitsubishi 3.0 v6 engine in it, as well as a 4 speed A604 tranny. the trannys on the snicklefritz and i know its only a matter of time till it bites the dust. Anyone know if an a543 would swap in for the a604 with a relatively low amount of modifications?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No worries!

I had completely forgotten about this thread!

I was able to do the swap on my own very easily. I ended up gleaning the A543 transmission out of a Plymouth sundance/duster. As you have the same mitsu v6 the bell housing for the A543 should just bolt right up!

The only two things that I had to modify were the cross-member mount, and the Driver's side motor mount. Everything else dropped right into place. The cross-member modification is really not at all as complex as it was made to sound. There is simply a small damper that attaches from the transmission to the cross-member which allows a bit of vibration damping to occur. I THINK that you could get away without using it at all, but it was a very simple matter to weld on two small plates with a hole in them to toss a bolt through the damper.

The motor mount was a bit different, as I welded my own and used hockey pucks (don't judge me, they worked excellently) for the vibration absorbing material. If you can find a bolt-on solution I would highly recommend that, but it was also quite easy to fabricate the bracket.

Other than those two things, and grounding the neutral safety switch wire, there was nothing else I recall doing. When you ground the neutral safety switch wire, it allows the car to be started in any gear, without the use of the clutch. The only side-effect of this is that your cruise control will no longer work. Mine never worked, so I didn't mind at all. However, if you would like it to still be functional, either setup a momentary switch that will actuate with the clutch pedal as it is supposed to be set up from the factory, or simply throw a toggle switch somewhere on the dash that will allow you to start the car. It only needs to be engaged for the starter solenoid to actuate.

My 5 speed swap worked flawlessly and I loved it very much. Due to entirely unrelated circumstances, I have taken a different route with the van and it is now a 5.9 litre diesel! But I would highly recommend you go along with the A543 swap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah! I also forgot, there is a chance that you will need to change one of your CV axles (cant quite remember which one) to the axles for antilock brakes. I did not have ABS but the extra ABS signal ring was not in the way of anything. The reason is because the end of the CV that mates with the transmission/differential is larger on the non-abs equipped vehicles, and the tight clearance with the differential actually will clip the clamp that holds the boot on, and break it loose, spraying grease everywhere and compromising your joint. The abs-ring equipped CV axle cleared with plenty of space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,910 Posts
Curious if you were able to use the pedals from the Sundance??

Sounds like you did a good job!!

Thanks
Randy

PS: Post some pics of your Cummins swap!! We love swaps.
 

·
CoupleOvans
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
I did the A543 swap on my 95 Acclaim.
Trans is a direct bolt in.
I used the manual trans mount from a Shadow.
I used to small pieces of angle iron (2" IIRC) welded to the K-member with holes drilled for the bobble strut.
For the pedals I used the shadow pedals, there was some slight mods needed for the brake light switch IIRC.
There is a provision on the firewall for the clutch cable, drill a hole, put a grommet in, slide the cable through.
I also grounded the neutral safety switch, but you can hook up a factory clutch switch so your cruise still functions IIRC.
I had no issues with axles.
I also used and early shadow center console, shortened and turned 180* to allow me to keep my bench seat up front.
Drove it for 3-4yrs before grenading a diff pin, at which I sourced a new case (thanks Jackson) and 568 gearset (also Jackson) and made a 543/568 hybrid. This was an awesome setup. I sold it shortly after when life got in the way, but a good friend bought it, so I still get to enjoy it when I want.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top