So, my old Ram has a lot of miles, but still looks pretty good. Rather then spending enough money to buy a house on a new truck, I'd rather fix mine up. If I'm going to put a new engine in it, I'd rather go for a 5.9, but I'm not sure how much work is actually involved... Do I need to change the wiring harness for the computer, does the fan shroud need changed, will it bolt strait up or will I have to change motor mounts, will it work with the existing transmission, and will I have to change the gear ratio at all? Any and all help will be appreciated, but I'm looking for anyone who's actually done it to my generation of Ram. Many thanks!1996 Dodge Ram 1500 318 (5.2) to 360 (5.9) Swap...?
These 2 engines are the same block, so motor mounts, transmission hookup, fan shroud and such would all be the same. Wiring harness should be pretty much the same too, assuming you get a 5.9 with the same fuel injection (all 93-96 V8's probably) and ignition system (all same years of V8's should have Electronic Distributor Ignition System) setup. Other than the actual engine swap, about the only other thing you should need would be to change to the 5.9 Powertrain Control Module, because they are calibrated differently for the internal size increase. The donor vehicle vehicle having the same transmission would probably help with the computer compatibility too. Both engines were offered in the era in question, with the 5.9 found a little more often in 4wd models, and the 5.2 a little more common in 2wd models.