Converting a D200 to a W200, worth it? - Diesel Truck Forum -
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-20-2014, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Converting a D200 to a W200, worth it?

I cannot believe I am the one asking this question. Usually when someone asks about converting a truck like this to four wheel drive I tell them it is better they just go get one that is already a 4X. After the time and expense of doing it, one is usually always better off getting a truck that came from the factory with a T case. However, I have so much sentimental value wrapped up in this old Dodge and the overall truck is in such good shape I find myself considering the possibility. I was just under it pulling the worn out suspension components and it looks like all I have to do is cut the rivets holding the two wheel drive cross member in place. Then I can fab up a simpler one to take its place. The biggest problem I have is I really do not want to make drastic changes like that. But if I am to keep the truck forever, I would like to make it a bit more versatile. Has anyone else done a conversion like this? What are some pros and cons to just a swap?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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I have come to a conclusion with the conversion idea. I have been crawling around under the truck for a couple of days now. For the first time I have paid a lot of attention to the forward frame rails and cross member. I see a conversion would not be all that difficult. However, these old Dodge trucks can be bought so cheap it is just not worth it… if you plan to go stock. If I am going to make that kind of change to my granddaddy’s truck, I may as well go all out and drop in the 4BT I have been kicking around. So, if I do convert to a 4X I will not use stock leaf springs either. Here is what I plan to do.

Fist thing, I will cut out the rivets holding the cross member in place. I want to remove it intact. Once the new engine it mocked up and the front end it sitting in place I will build a one piece cross member that will incorporate spring buckets. I will run coil springs, radius arms, and a track bar. However, I do not plan to lift it. I want to run stock tires and keep it no higher than what the truck would have sat stock.

Parts I want: I want to find a D44 eight lug from a Chevy/GMC. Why a D44 from a GM? Because they are simpler, have no vacuum lock, and do have locking hubs. Plus, the diff is on the same side as Dodge ran back then. As far as a T-case, I want a new process that bolts to the 727 in the truck. I do not want to run an independent T case for this build. Hell, I may even keep that old reliable 318, who knows?
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