I ended up picking up a 1999 Dodge 1500 with a good running 5.9L and 46RE. Just like my W150 Project,
I think it's best to install a "placeholder" engine to work out any bugs in the electrical or fuel system BEFORE trying to break in a new motor. For the price ($500, to which I think I'll be able to recoup $400 back!), this seems like an excellent candidate to fill that role...
The garage has been pretty packed these last few weeks - a few weeks ago I picked up a D60HD rear to replace the too-large and too-limited-in-selection D70 in the Dodge. I then rebuilt and regeared the D60HD (plus added a TrueTrac and all new brakes and bearings) before swapping in place. Just this past weekend I finished rebuilding and regearing the front D60 in the Dodge as well, plus converted to crossover steering while I was down there. Everything came out great and I'm ready to move onto body work and interior.
This means the garage will be relatively "open' for the foreseeable future. With that, I'm thinking I can get some time next weekend to get the garage all cleaned out and reorganized (it's been a mess just parts collecting). I can go through the parts left over from the older Dodge axle and motor swap projects, plus clean out my Jeep project/parts bins as well and I can then wheel the SuperDuty axles into the backyard. This should give me plenty of space to start pulling apart the motor/trans from the new Dodge parts truck. A quick refresh (oil pump, quick touch up with black engine enamel, new plugs, etc) and she should be ready to drop into place in no time.
The timing here is extraordinary because...
On Father's Day, my wonderful Mrs. suggested I go ahead and order the MetalCloak Overline Fenders I've been eyeing up. The Free Shipping and 10% off pushed me over the edge and I picked up the fenders and a set of 6" powder coated flares to go along with them.
I just got a note from MetalCloak saying they were estimated to be 2 weeks out. The timing will be perfect, since I'll be coming back from a trip to Texas where I'm meeting a friend and picking up a set of 6" MetalCloak rear flares and mounting kit.
So, with an open garage I can pull the engine/trans and get the MC fenders primed and painted. Seeing how the front end will need to get torn apart anyways, it just makes sense to do it all at once! I'm thinking of starting the swap at the end of July and hopefully having it all buttoned up by the end of August. In theory, it should go much faster than the swap in my W150 as there will be no need for a custom fuel system (the YJ system will support the Magnum engine) and wiring upgrades will be minimal (with no cruise control or A/C, it's a whopping 11 wires!). Realistically, unless I run into a true hard stop issue, I can have the swap done in a solid weekend, but will plan for it being down for a month just so I don't feel like I need to rush anything. It will also give me time to schedule a few hours at the exhaust shop and send the axles off for trimming if needed.