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Discussion Starter #1
I've been on the board for a while but this is my first post. I just bought a '84 Rampage with a blown head gasket. Otherwise the truck is clean and original and would be excellent for a restoration. It has the A413 automatic transmission. As I've usually driven stick shift cars I'd like to eventually swap the auto if its not too much work. At this time I'm not planning on a building a turbocharged motor. First effort is to get the carbed 2.2 running. Last night I tested the compression and found only 1 cylinder with 120 lbs. The others were 85 #, 90# and 100 #. I am somewhat amazed that the motor will still run with those numbers ( for all of 1 minute in my possession ).

I also figure upon also replacing the radiator, but maybe I can keep that for now if it checks out. The motor must have been overheating for some reason. I don't see that the Mopar Performance head gaskets are still available for the 2.2/2.5. Are their quality brands of remanufactured cylinder heads that I can pick up at Autozone or another source for a comparable price as a local machine shop? I guess that depends upon whether this motor has burnt values etc.

I'll post some photos of the truck by this weekend. I also have a '47 Dodge truck, an '85 D150, both inline sixes.

Tim
 

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Stick with the Automatic Transmission. I asked some mechanics about a swap and they said they wouldn't want to do it. Sure 5 speeds can be kind of fun. But moving the shift lever from P to D and pushing on the gas pedal to go has its place too. If you've ever driven a 5 speed into a busy shopping center that has 203 stop signs you will start to love an automatic transmission.

It is nice to have the automatic when you want to take a mindless Sunday drive.

Guys are selling re-manufactured heads on ebay almost daily for very low prices. Do some price checking at your local shop. Then compare with the heads on ebay.
 

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Stick with the Automatic Transmission. I asked some mechanics about a swap and they said they wouldn't want to do it. Sure 5 speeds can be kind of fun. But moving the shift lever from P to D and pushing on the gas pedal to go has its place too. If you've ever driven a 5 speed into a busy shopping center that has 203 stop signs you will start to love an automatic transmission.

It is nice to have the automatic when you want to take a mindless Sunday drive.

Guys are selling re-manufactured heads on ebay almost daily for very low prices. Do some price checking at your local shop. Then compare with the heads on ebay.
I will probably deal with a local machine shop for the head work. I Googled for reviews of the Ebay sellers of rebuilt heads and generally was not reassured. Is there a "best" head gasket to consider ? I assume that this 2.2 has a # 4105445 casting, but I'm not sure where to look for that ID.

I'll certainly keep the A413 for at least the coming year. I rarely see L-bodies of any type on Craigs List, I might restore this one without mods. This truck is pretty clean overall. I would like better than 96 horsepower!

Tim
 

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Standing directly in front of the engine if you look at the front right side of the head you should see a number on the head with 455 as part of the number.
 

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@Tim Keith, welcome to the wide wonderful world of Rampage. I see you're in SA, just down dreadful I-35 from me. You're lucky, there is another guy in your town that has a Rampage (amongst others). There's another one here in Austin too! Maybe it's time to have a Central Texas get together. Pics of my Rampage are in my welcome thread. Shoot some pics, don't hesitate to ask for help. @83scamp is a Jedi for our trucks. May the farce be with you!
 

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At this point I would assume the low compression numbers are from the blown head gasket. Take the head off and check it and the block for warp with a straight edge. The early heads are pretty resilient.

I would say go for the 5 speed swap. You will need to find a donor L-body to get the pedal assembly and shifter parts out of. I just had a friend do an auto to manual swap in a week. Then proceeded to drive it 600+ miles to SDAC!!!!

The auto is a power sucking leach on a carbed car. Get rid of it and gain not only performance, but mpg's as well. I just averaged 34 mpg on my 600+ mile trip to SDAC 26, and my friend averaged 35.5(he is running a taller wheel/tire combo than me). Well worth the swap IMHO...:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I read that the A523 five speed from a '90 to '94 2.2/2.5 car is a good choice to replace the A413 auto. I think I can get a 523. As a cable shifted transmission the 523 linkage ought not be too difficult to swap.

I verified the head casting number to be # 4105445, which might be original to the truck. I think the last of the 2.2s actually had a camshaft change to produce slightly less horsepower and a little better torque. I drive a 2005 D17 Honda Civic with only 115 horsepower which weighs 2880 with me in it and a half tank of gasoline. Its a five speed, its about as slow as a Geo Metro - which I also have. I'm okay with lack of power as long as its dependable and economical to drive and repair. I think that fits the Rampage. Other than swap a 2.5 there isn't much that I can do with a NA original type motor. I've read of people getting 40 MPG with a 2.2 L-body,but maybe that's not the reality. Above 30 MPG and a little quicker and I'm okay, otherwise I might stick with my slant six D150. The theme with my cars is s-l-o-w and dependable.

My Rampage is pretty clean for a 32 year old truck, it seems to have seen light use. The hood prop rod being on the passenger side has caused a slight warp to the hood. I plan to add another prop rod to the drivers side.

Tim
 

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I read that the A523 five speed from a '90 to '94 2.2/2.5 car is a good choice to replace the A413 auto. I think I can get a 523. As a cable shifted transmission the 523 linkage ought not be too difficult to swap.

I verified the head casting number to be # 4105445, which might be original to the truck. I think the last of the 2.2s actually had a camshaft change to produce slightly less horsepower and a little better torque. I drive a 2005 D17 Honda Civic with only 115 horsepower which weighs 2880 with me in it and a half tank of gasoline. Its a five speed, its about as slow as a Geo Metro - which I also have. I'm okay with lack of power as long as its dependable and economical to drive and repair. I think that fits the Rampage. Other than swap a 2.5 there isn't much that I can do with a NA original type motor. I've read of people getting 40 MPG with a 2.2 L-body,but maybe that's not the reality. Above 30 MPG and a little quicker and I'm okay, otherwise I might stick with my slant six D150. The theme with my cars is s-l-o-w and dependable.

My Rampage is pretty clean for a 32 year old truck, it seems to have seen light use. The hood prop rod being on the passenger side has caused a slight warp to the hood. I plan to add another prop rod to the drivers side.

Tim
The 523 is a very good transmission. A few things to be aware of though:

You will have to get the correct shifter & cables from a 90+ vehicle. The 523/568 use a 3 plane shift pattern, with reverse below 5th, unlike the older transmissions that have reverse to the left of 1st. Also, you will need to make sure it's a 1990 A523 for a couple of reasons. First, in 1991 they went to a larger input shaft, and that cannot be used with the smaller N/A clutch. You could use a 6 bolt turbo flywheel, and a large spline turbo disc & PP, but 6 bolt turbo flywheels are almost unobtainium at this point. Also, in 1990, the 523 was available with a 3.50 FD, which is better suited to the lighter L-body. I personally would avoid the 3.77 & 3.85 FD trans, unless you are building a stop light racer... Those lower gears are just too much in a light weight L-body... Also, you will need to get new axles to go with the 523 trans. The diff uses larger splines, so you will need the axles from an 88+ Omni with automatic trans.

All that being said, if you really want to build this truck for fuel efficiency, look for an A-525 trans with the 3.05 FD. It will offer killer fuel mileage... I could believe close to 40 mpg with that trans. Then you can use your stock axles. But they are getting tough to find as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The 523 is a very good transmission. A few things to be aware of though
I don't see any with any five speed. I saw a bunch of Shadows, Acclaims and the like today, with relatively low miles. All autos. One looked as clean as an airport rental from 25 years ago. The others were a bit grimy.

How to determine the final drive ratio in a manual transmission K-based car?

Tim
 

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How to determine the final drive ratio in a manual transmission K-based car?

Tim
It's easy on the later transmissions. There is a round tag on top of the bellhousing. It tells you what trans, and what gear ratio it is.

It's a bit tougher on the 525's. That info is usually on a stamped tag on one of the diff bolts.
 
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