Earlier in this project I had decided to run a Gen3 Delco power steering pump from a 97′ Dodge Neon, using a Sweet cylinder head mount. While, this setup was compact, and unique, it presented it’s own problems. The first being it required the use of a custom race purpose pump with AN style fittings already installed, or tearing it down and tig welding my own on. Secondly, it required a remote reservoir and braided hose and AN fittings. The cheapest cost involved was going to be in the $300-$350 range. With the truck getting close to it’s first maiden voyage, the prospect of having to wait for the funds for lines, and the rest wasn’t acceptable.
So I began searching for a power steering pump bracket that would work with the motor plate, but, would also mount the pump in the correct location dictated by the motor plate. Having done some research I realized that a mid 70’s van setup was perfect, it mounted to the block utilizing only three bolts, and mounted the pump down low on the drivers side, perfect! After a bath in the parts washer, some trimming to remove a stamped lip and a now unnecessary bracket ear, it received a couple coats of engine enamel and some new hardware.
Then I had to find a pump that would work with the older bracket. This is where Dodge’s engineers should be thanks. The 97′-01′ Dakotas with the 3.9, 5.2 and 5.9 engines all use the same style pump, which just happens to be a early style Delco pump, with a 16x.15 fitting. Once again, perfect! So after aquiring a stock 3.9 pump, and test fitting the pump, it became clear the factory 3.9 pressure line wasn’t going to work. On the stock engine, the pump is mounted up midway on the engine, much higher than it would now be. The line was about 8″ too long, and the fitting was at an odd angle. So back to the books I go and discover that a 96′ 5.9 2wd truck uses the same fittings on both ends, but it 6″ shorter, and has a more conventional fitting angle.
Now with the pressure line plumbed, it was time to pay attention to the return. The stock 3.9 return line worked perfect. The only issue that arose is the fact the stock pump has the return line exiting the back of the pump, and it is tack-welded to the back of the reservoir to relieve stress on the line. This limited the total belt adjustment to a 1/4″, which simply wouldn’t work. So after a few minutes with a steady hand and a Dremel cutting tool, the line was free, and bent outwards slightly to allow full adjustment.
With the power steering pump mounted and done, it became time to focus on the alternator, and it’s new mounting location. However, this required removal of the motor plate (pain in the ass), and some extensive trimming. Trimming the 1/4″ thick aluminum without the use of a proper metal bandsaw or jigsaw is easiest done with a course metal cutting blade mounted in a sawzall. This makes short work of any straight cuts, more complex cuts will require the use of at least a metal cutting blade in a hand held jigsaw. The plate was left mostly intact on the drivers side due to the location of the cutout required for the power steering pump, and wanting to leave it in position on the drives head for future A/C compressor mounting and alignment.
With a set of water pump gaskets on both sides of the plate, it was re-installed making sure that all holes were aligned before being tightened down. Aligning the plate to the mounting tabs on the frame is another pain in the ass, but I digress.
Next came swapping over the crankshaft pulley, and water pump pulley to a all V-belt setup, instead of the V-belt/Serpentine style setup. This would allow me to place the alternator in the traditional location on the upper passengers side. This was made possible by using a traditional lower bracket, stock style spacer, and slightly modifying a stock upper bracket. All the pulleys, upper bracket, power steering brackets all got cleaned, smoothed and a fresh coat of engine paint. The additional 1/4″ length required on the lower alternator bolt was accomplished by using a piece of 3/8″x16 all-thread and a 1/4″ spacer. The upper bracket also required elongating the hole that bolts it to the front of the intake manifold.
Switching to this setup also eliminates the headache I was having to get the low mount alternator brackets alinged well enough to stop the belt from squealing when the alternator was heavily worked.
(Pardon all the dust and dirt, it’s entirely overdue for a bath)