At age 62 I'm a newly retired lifetime motorhead. Some years ago, on ebay, I bought a 4D55T engine and drive train (engine, 5 speed transmission and x-fer case) that came from an '83 4x4 Dodge D50.
The origins of this project go back to the first new vehicle I ever bought: an '81 Datsun (now Nissan) diesel pickup. That was the beginning of my lifetime love affair with small diesel vehicles. As all of y'all know, these were all the rage for a few years, starting in 1979, as the result of the first "gas crisis". At the time, people lined up to buy 'em and happily paid about $1000 extra for the diesel option. A few years later, the "crisis now over" (ha ha haaaaa) people lined up to SELL 'em and happily took a beating. The fools. I was not among their ranks. I knew a beautiful vehicle when I saw it.
That first pickup never DID die exactly. As the years and miles rolled by the entire body simply dissolved into rust. It must have gone 500K miles. Finally, there was just the remains of a chassis left. But it STILL RAN!
Anyway, back to the future. When I saw this 4D55T engine and drive train float by I bought it. The plan was (and still is) to find a suitable vehicle into which to transplant it.
Originally, I hoped to find a correct year 4x4 Mitsubishi with a dead engine or transmission. Since there are virtually no 80s diesels (dead OR alive) out there for sale I'm wondering if there are any "bolt in" options from the 90s.
I am not asking for detailed instructions on how to do a conversion. Although I've never done one I think I'm clear on what the issues are.
Rather, I'm wondering if y'all will give me some guidance on what the best, relatively easy platforms would be - assuming there are any. Presumably, this would be something from the early 90s?
Among my objectives would be:
a) A bolt in to the extent possible;
b) A transplant body that already has workable rear end ratios.
c) A body that's relatively inexpensive and readily available (if any).
d) Any other advice you care to share.
I hope this is the right forum for this kind of question. If not, my apologies in advance.