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Scout II 5.9 Magnum 408 Project

2021 Arizona International Harvester Rendezvous

Lars-S

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Scout II 440 to 408 Project -
We are continuing on with our Scout II Big Block 440 to Magnum Small Block 408 project. We'll start this thread by providing some FYI reasoning and decisions.

We initially replaced the 345 because there were few performance or upgrade options other than going to a 392 (IMO). Anything else wasn’t there or was relatively expensive versus ROI. We swapped in a Mopar 440 adding aluminum manifold, better ignition, headers, and a Holley projection instead. We did not rebuild it before we did due to time and lack of cash issues. Oh and one other thing about the 345 I once read a humorous comment that the engine gets 10mpg (jokingly) - drive around town 10mpg, tow a fully loaded trailer up a steep hill 10mpg, cruise on the highway 10mpg. While not totally true mileage was also a factor so while the closed loop 440’s mileage varied under different conditions its mpg wasn’t on a ‘reason to keep it list’ LOL.

Since it needed a rebuild, it needed new headers, and while it could pull down trees or tow anything up anything like the 345 it didn’t have enough power to pass a gas station it was time to replace it. The 727 behind it was redone with all HD stuff including modifying the valve body but it was only a 3 speed. (yes OD’s could be added but then driveshafts need to be redone and yada yada yada.

The replacement we decided on was the Magnum 5.9 with OD AT 46RE that was offered in Dakota’s back in the day (90’s - 2000ish). We chose to get an entire truck so we would have all the wiring harness, PCM, etc in not hacked up shape. It also provided us with a small pickup which we needed since the Scout was non-driveable. Unfortunately we only found an RT with 2wd but the engine and trans appeared to be in good shape and the price was doable. The 2 yr registration on it just ended so time to rebuild it and get the Scout back on the road. Like many currently thanks to the Covid crisis free time is something we have an abundance of. Unfortunately like many due to it $$$ are something there is a total shortage of so we had to make some fundamental project decisions on the build up/ conversion.

The 5.9 is a solid engine with a good reputation for extended mileage. It was running fine with no oil or other apparent issues. That said if it is being totally removed from a vehicle and never has had a rebuild(?) now is the time to do it. The rebuild kits we looked at certainly were considerably less the 440 ones we had priced.

What about performance or other engine/transmission upgrades given our current financial situation. We had purchased a rebuilt 4x4 OD tail section to replace the long 2wd OD extension on the 46RE and a CJ Dana 300 to mount to it. If everything we researched was correct we felt we could then keep the front dif on the passenger side as it currently is.

Torque vs HP vs its a work truck (vehicle) - The 5.9 in the 2001 Dakota RT has decent specs but if we are going to put it in a tow, plow, haul, play in the woods if CJ5 breaks, go anywhere truck Torque is our friend. The easiest and $ for $ way to do that is a stroker IMO. We decided to go to a 408 stroker. Youza - so much for low $ with forged crankshafts. And unsure why but the one cast one made my Mopar, a rhetorical answer lol, was double the cost of the cast 360 crank and only a few dollars less than most of the forged ones. We did find cast ones that were reasonable from several manufactures. We feel that since we are not looking for a high HP blown high rpm racer using a cast crankshaft would be fine.

(to be continued) … more on what, why, how, etc including posting of diagrams, photos, and videos
 
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Lars-S

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Here are some photos of the 440 while it was still in the Scout just prior to pulling and a shot of it after it was pulled with the 727 and transfer case as an assembly.
 

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Lars-S

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And here is a link to youtube video on what the engine bay situation is after pulling the 440 out of the Scout. Oh and this originally was a 1980 Scout II that had a blown Nissan Diesel in it. We got it to have a Scout with an OK body / frame and to get the ultra low all sync HD 4 speed to put into our CJ5.
 

Lars-S

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Thanks..

Engine - $$ determining what gets done & when

It would be nice to get all the wow stuff as now stuff but that isn’t going to happen. There are a couple of things deciding what we will do now and what we will do (or possibly do) in the future. First is what can we afford to do? We have a very limited budget and do not expect any change in financial restraints for the coming year. Indeed Covid crap may even make it worse God forbid. Second is a can it wait versus ease of ability to actually do it.

Put another way if we had unlimited dollars and time then when we pull the 5.9 out of the Dakota we would get a complete and balanced 408 forged stroker kit, better cam, top of the line EQ heads with all new components including springs and such that can handle the cam lift, top of the line bearings and gaskets, ceramic coated headers, (aluminum manifold and TPI ?), double roller chain, etc etc. Everything sent out and done in best shops. Maybe if we stretch this out over several years, and we hit the lottery, that we don’t play, that is what the Scout will end up having.

Main Decision .. the engine will be totally out so what is the bare minimum that can/needs to be done versus the allowable budget. What can be put on hold and done once the engine is put in the Scout. We are saying engine but this same logic will be used with the 46RE. We will put our plan for it in another post.

What we Decided - Worry about and work on the short block. Technically all the other upgrades could be done with the block still in the Scout. Get a cast stroker crank, hypereutectic stroker pistons with molyblendum upper rings std compression and minimal bore change, and reuse the standard rods if they are OK but get new ARP bolts for them. The bearings will be decided in part by what the new crank needs (narrow), what the mfg suggests, and what we have found out reading reviews. Since we want the short block components to last when it comes to bearings and gaskets we aren’t just going to order the cheapest even though we are ultra strapped for cash. Replace the cam bearings but for now reuse the stock camshaft and rollers. A new camshaft is a chunk of change and would in 99% cases require different springs, retainers, and/or rockers which adds another junk of $ not in the current budget.

We haven’t finished removing the engine and until it is totally knocked down we won’t know if our ultra minimal rebuild is doable. We are praying the cylinders are round and just can be honed a minimal amount so as to remove any glaze, create a nice cross-hatch pattern for the new rings, and stay under .10 over std. If its doable we would just use 2 grades of Flex-Hone to achieve this. We are likewise praying that the rods are in better than decent shape so new or aftermarket rods aren’t required. Yes this is a lot to hope for but its also part of why we are not planning on getting a cam yet as we may need dollars for block/rod work.

We will reuse the heads, stock beer keg manifold, and rest of upper part of engine. We will make a plate for under the keg manifold to prevent leaks it is notorious for. We may use shorty headers instead of stock since we will be fabricating exhaust matchup to Scout II. Summit offers a reasonable priced set. We would do this in part for performance with the extra stroke but also as it will shave a lot of weight off the completed engine.

(to be continued) … next up transmission thought process and final decisions
 

Lars-S

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Trans/Transfer Case- $$ determining what gets done & when

As with the engine, and the body when we get to it, $$ are the primary factor in our Scout II build. The 2001 Dakota RT we are getting components from was 2WD with a 46RE OD transmission. According to specs it should have 3.9 axle in it and though not a 4x vehicle the rear axle should have a posi in it. Since PCM/TCMs are programmed to axle and tire sizes this can be a factor later on in the Scout build.

Main Decision .. like with the engine, the transmission will be totally out, so we are looking at ‘what is the bare minimum that can/needs to be done’ versus the allowable budget. What can be put on hold and done once the trans and transfer case is put in the Scout. We did get some items while we had some cash last year which helps a lot.

What we Decided - As with the engine basically we will be do a ‘trans short block’ upgrade/rebuild to the trans LOL. It also needs to go from being 2WD to 4WD. Luckily we not only were able to get the 4x4 OD extension last year but we got a HD rebuilt one for a very decent price. The stock transfer case would have been an NP, but since this was 2WD and the OD extension we purchased didn’t include a transfer case, we chose to get a Dana 300. We got one out of a CJ as its bolt pattern and flange matches the OD output. No Texas flange adapter needed.

One can remove the entire valve body assembly and even some of the servo pistons and springs while the trans is in the vehicle so we won’t upgrade that now. This hopefully, will allow all the PCM and TCM stuff to just plug and play nice. I have replaced bands with a trans in a vehicle before so that ‘could’ be done at a later date. The bushings, thrust washers, clutches, and plates need the transmission totally torn apart so that needs to be done now. If we get a heavy duty rebuild kit it will include all of that plus new HD bands so this is the route we are choosing to go for now. They vary in price quite a bit. Shopping around, while reading reviews on them, yielded a kit that will fit our budget and not require us to have to redo all this again next year due to crappy components.

The Dana 300 was opened up and appears to be OK but since it is out we may put an ultra low kit in it. We say may as we found part of one we got for our CJ but never installed. Since it is part of a kit, unless we find the rest, we won’t be doing that now. We’d like to put a dual shift lever kit in as there is a reasonable one for this unit. However that could be installed when it is in the vehicle. We say could but it definitely would be easier to do now. Will decide just prior to installation in Scout.

Our intention, since the mounting horns are available on the 5.9 from the L.A. 360 days, and the 46RE is likewise very similar to the 727 it will be replacing, and the Dana 300 is going in it, is to stay with passenger side front driveshaft. If the assembled lengths and bolt holes line up we can also reuse our existing front and rear driveshafts without having to modify them. We may have to move the frame mounts for the engine mounts again, like we did for the 440, but that is simple cut and re-weld? Hopefully we can just reuse the existing Scout transmission crossmember in its current location. Worse case we may need to add a 3/8 thick steel adapter plate between it and the trans/transfer case.

One big gotcha may have been the inability to use the stock Scout speedometer. The 46RE in the 2001 Dakota is all electronic including the speedometer. There are aftermarket units that convert this signal to drive a cable that then can drive the Scout speedometer. They however are big ($400 -$500) ticket items. If we get an aftermarket electronic speedometer ($80-$160) it wouldn’t be part of the current Scout instrument cluster. We LUCKED OUT. Fortunately we can leave all the trans electronics stock and use the speedometer cable drive that is on the Dana 300. Yeah! Another good reason for installing the Dana. This doesn’t mean that the tire sizes and axle ratio may not impact how the transmission shifts since those are programmed into the PCM/TCM. We’ll need to wait to see how that part plays out.

P.S. we will provide a list with part #’s, vendor we used, and prices in future posts
P.P.S yes we know the Dakota stuff didn’t come in Scout ii’s but Scouts did originally incorporate parts from other manufactures when it made sense to do so rather than designing and manufacturing everything at IH. We are providing all the details to help others. Not just Scout-ees :O) but any IH, or other swappers. We hope though that the final product lives up to what IH might do / have done. Oh, and that it works LOL

(to be continued) … next up PCM/ TCM and other Dakota into Scout II stuff
 
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Lars-S

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BIG P.S. - this is not the original engine that came in this Dakota as in the mileage that shows isn’t totally accurate. We will not know the extent to which it has been rebuilt or modified but when attaching the chains to lift it today I saw a 3 digit number painted on the cylinder head. I checked the other head and it too had one but the digits were not the same. It seems these may be rebuilt or different heads. There was a busted bolt, rtv in places, the exhaust flange bolts were barely rusted, and it does have other aftermarket items on it. I have no idea if it was a complete, partial, upgrade rebuild, or how many miles on it since it was done. This could be a real positive or it could be a negative depending on what, who did it, and how long ago it was done. The cylinders may have been honed or rebored once already and yada yada. Keeping my fingers crossed and my hands in pray mode.

PCM/ TCM & other Dakota into Scout II stuff - what’s needed so it all works

Starting in 2001 the Dakota 5.9 has the full electronic 46RE. The ‘E’ on 46RE is the designation that implies this. We already mentioned the speedometer but servos inside it and lockup mechanisms are all electronically controlled. This RT 2WD Dakota has column shifter (wow lol) so it actually has cable actuated shifting on the transmission housing (yeah!) There also is a cable kick down? lever that goes up to the throttle body.

The 5.9 MPI starting believe with this year (or (2000) has ODBII electronics and 4 oxygen sensors sending info back to it. The exhausts have a catalytic converter on each side of the engine with an O2 sensor before and after it (2x2 = 4). There are a ton of other sensors and controllers all tied into the PCM .

Main Decision .. This is the one area where $$$ isn’t the primary force determining what goes and what stays. We are looking at ‘what is the bare minimum that can/needs to be moved over’ so that the Scout runs and shifts correctly. What needs to be done for emissions and/or to use the ODBii and check engine light. And then is there anything that is inherently better or adds something that makes a lot of sense to have.

What we Decided - Bare minimum is the PCM/TCM along with the wiring on the engine or transmission that either sends or receives signals from it to operate properly. We want to keep the OBDii not so much as to have a check engine light but as a means to read the codes with associated status or engine values. On the Dakota one can turn the key 3 times and the codes will be displayed on the dash but we are going with the stock Scout dash and gauges. We will add a check engine light (a red bulb lol) to alert us if something needs checking - ooh ooh think there still may be a light from when it was a diesel to alert you to glow plug status.

The above decision is already being impacted by what we are seeing and finding out as we are working on removing the engine and trans. A for instance - while having to remove all the brake sensors attached to master cylinder so we could get to the main bulkhead wiring connector I began wondering if it might be possible/practical to mount that on the Scouts master cylinder. I then looked at and am wondering if it might not make sense if doable to use the cylinder and the vacuum power booster off the Dakota. During the tear down I am make videos of what and how stuff comes off along with some commentary on things like using the brake components.

A neighbor that was weaned on Dakotas before moving up to Diesel Rams seems to be a great source of knowledge. He informed me that it was fine to cut the catalytic’s out as one only needs to have the sensors in the pipe so it sees them but it will run without the cat being there. That seems odd but he did it with his so must work. I also downloaded the 2001 repair manual with all wiring diagrams.

(to be continued) … next up status updates with photos and videos and corrections or updates to our original decisions and plans.
 

Lars-S

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Thanks. Covid has my work schedule down to Fri,Sat,Sun but that's better than nothing. I have squeaked a little bit of time each night and its actually better since the sun then isn't beating down like an inferno.

So Update is that along with removing the engine and trans they have been split apart. The rear 2wd extension from the 518/46RE is off. The 46 RE is disconnected from the engine. The convertor has been pulled out of the 46RE. One other thing I was able to do before work each day was download and label the videos so they can be put in a playlist and or combined if that makes sense. I think the videos contain and show enough of each step to help document it for others without being long boring ones showing every nut being loosened or removed LOL. I will start posting them soon to go along with what is here.

Tomorrow the plan is to tear apart the 5.9 to see how good or bad of shape its internals are in. I also am anxious to see if it has been rebuilt once already and if so was it bored out to ???? It appears the torque converter has some scoring on it. May be able to just touch it up but may ask the local trans shop what he thinks. I need engine torn apart ASAP also so I can order the correct std or oversize parts. Thanks again.
 

Lars-S

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Just a brief quick update. Like others, everyone else LOL? have been trying to get things done but the sun and heat are winning out for the most part. That said working while shade available from trees 6am-8:30am and again 6:30pm to 8:30ish. The exhaust manifolds, intake manifold, distributor, water pump, rockers/lifters/pushrods, dampner, and heads are removed from engine block. It is on an engine stand in the sun zone oh joy!

Bad news 2 broken exhaust manifold bolts/studs. Good news all the cylinders seem to be round and in good shape so stock size and not major rebore needed. I made a 15 second video on this but big TRICK to removing the stupid clutch fan on this and many other engines to keep the pump from turning and your skin/knuckles from being torn off. Use a plastic tree felling wedge or a hard wood one. The wedge will keep tightening up and then locks up the dampner and pulley so the nut can be removed. If you use plastic or wood there should only be damage to the wedge as the rotating steel cuts into it. DO NOT USE metal wedge as it may bend or distort pulley or dampner surfaces. It works great. It can be done in a vehicle without moving the shroud. I also have other videos of the disassembly to this point with some of IMO tips on how to do certain things.

Hope to get the crank, rod, pistons out tonight. I need to get the rods out and cleaned up so they can be measured and weighted to possibly use with a stroker crank and stroker pistons. This to save the $$ of getting new forged rods that come with so many stroker kits. IMO they are not needed to the intended use and HP/Torque this engine will see in the Scout II.
 

Lars-S

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Morning .. today and next 3 look much better for working on Scout unfortunately, though I will be happy to have some income, I will be working working so can not use it to get things done. Status is the pistons and rods are out and appear to show normal wear for the mileage. Block still has camshaft , timing chain, distributor drive, and crankshaft in it . May be able to get them removed before dark tonight.

Main reason for this post though is to share a link. I stumbled on it accidentally which sometimes yields great things. Now this is for RAM trucks but IMO it is a handy source of info for any vehicle wiring. It explains the symbols, wiring codes break downs, wire amperage and loads, etc. It is to help in 'universal wiring' of a harness to a frame.
http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2006/docs/intro/wirecode.pdf

off to work.
 

Lars-S

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Down to a bare block. Have degreased it once. Will do a home made hot tank (water, citric acid, dawn, suns heat) then a neutralizer tank (water, baking soda) then a soap and water then just water wash. Actually the block looks like it was tanked not too long ago as removing a freeze plug showed clean insides. I have 2 ball hones on order. One for cross hatching cylinders and one for quick chase of roller lifter bores. I also have Raptor Epoxy corrosion sealer primer for block.

The cylinders are actually still to spec but glazed so need to hit with hone to see what dimensions I will have after (they still are under max for engine). Then will know what size pistons/rings to order. I changed my mind on the rods. I really do not have the money but have starved myself before soooo I am going to spring for the new forged ones. They work out to about $45 a piece and come with ARP bolts. By the time I push out the pins, weigh the rods, and had gotten ARPs it probably works out to -$10 a rod to not have total piece of mind that the old rods will go the distance. Getting forged and ARP's well I have no problem eating peanuts again for a few weeks (months LOL???).

Hope all are doing well with the heat and the stupid Covid thingee.
 

Arkansas Dave

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Sounds like your block turned out for the best and I went for the new rods because I priced to have them checked out at my machine shop and cleaned with new bolts was almost as much as new ones like you said. So i ordered the Eagle rods with new bolts and should have did that with the heads too. My Chevy heads were 882's nothing special and totally reworked were around 500 and I supplied the valves, springs, rockers and the machine shop just cleaned, magnafluxed, ground the seats and sold me some better than i had valve seals. I should have gotten some world products or one of the other aftermarket and I could have had better combustion size and all. I like your cleaning plan I may try that sometime it should work well.

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Lars-S

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One can get nice powdered food grade citric acid at almost any place that sells canning supplies. Its cheaper than getting it at a health food store. My tank cost all of $20 plus tax at Tractor Supply. Its a 32 gal heavy plastic oval garbage can that has correct dimensions to hold block. It appears to be tough enough and is leak proof unlike some cans one might buy. I am putting a block of wood underneath to keep engine up a little. Another thing with this is technically I could hook it up as electrolysis since its an insulator but do not think need to do that. All told can, citric, baking soda, soap all comes in at under $30. Will take video and/or pics to show how it goes.
 

Lars-S

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Sorry busy with life and it takes FOREVER to edit and upload videos to the tube. That said there now is a complete playlist of the plan, gotchas, and results of pulling the 5.9 from the Dakota. Just tried to embed playlist but looks like that isn't allowed.

Been waiting on information so could finish ordering parts and needed tools or supplies. Block already started rusting in all the humidity and the minor tropical storm. I was waiting so I can do the block prepping steps one right after another to minimize or prevent rusting once the block is tanked. Right now waiting for the sun to heat up the solution. Using the sun it gets to about 97 which is good. To answer a prior question I don' t want to 'HEAT" it really hot. This because chemical reactions speed up when heated. I'd rather have to wait a little longer and look more often than to have a "oh S#%$" moment. I can do it now because I received the hones and the paint I am using on the block. It is an epoxy with corrosion inhibitors built into it. It comes with very high salt spray ratings. I plan on masking mating surfaces and the cylinders (piston & lifters). I had a bear of a time with the oil galley plugs. One of the hold ups was I needed to order a 5/15 square drive for use with a 3/8 socket to get them out. Replacements are hex but NO ONE carried it in plumbing or auto supply stores.

Still taking photos and videos with next playlist being the disasemply, tanking, and rebuilding of the 5.9 to a 408.
 

Arkansas Dave

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Well I checked that out good job i'm your first subscriber it appears so keep up the good job. So far I think this will be really cool when your done.

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