Paul Forney, Oglala SD, 1980 Dodge Ram Charger 318
I have a 1980 4X4 RamCharger with a 318. I just bought a 440 for it, but it is wrapped in a 1976 Newport. The tranny is good, but it is the long shaft and will not line up for the transfer case. I was told that you could change the tail shaft from the 904 I had in it with the 727 from the Newport. Is this true, and how do I do it? Thanks for any help
First, I’m in no way claiming to be “Mr. Four by Four”. But, as a general rule, with the exception of valve body stuff, almost nothing swaps between 904s and 727s. However, if you find a common boneyard 4X4 version of a smallblock 727 (A-727-A) then you can swap the extension housing and output shaft from the 4X4 A-727-A onto the Newport’s 4X2 A-727-B tranny, making a semi-rare 4X4 A-727-B out of it.
This entails near-total transmission disassembly. While this isn’t terribly difficult, it also takes more than few minutes – or a few paragraphs! I suggest either subcontracting out the job to someone with T/Flite experience, or getting a FSM reprint or C-D Rom (see www.moparmanuals.com for the C-Ds). I also recommend “going through” the transmission at that point – it will be apart anyway.
Keep the Newport’s torque converter and drive plate to avoid balance problems. I believe that the ’76 wasn’t a lockup conveter, and that’s a good thing – the early, non-electronic ones were notoriously unreliable.