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1989 Dakota Transmission swap

Discussion in 'Pre-1994 trucks, commercial vehicles' started by Richard Burns, Oct 15, 2020 at 3:27 PM.

  1. Richard Burns

    Richard Burns Member

    Hello everyone, I need help. I have a 1989 Dodge Dakota 2 Wheel Dr. 3.9 L V6. It had an A500 four-speed transmission with overdrive button on the dash and the solenoid connector on the transmission was a three pin connector. I have taken that transmission out of the truck and I got a transmission which I believe to be an A518 four-speed transmission from a 1990 dodge ram charger with the overdrive button also on the dash that I already have bolted into the truck but it only has a two pin solenoid connector receptacle on the transmission. Remember my truck has three wires and three pin solenoid connector. I need to know how I can go from the three pin solenoid connector plug on my truck into The two pin solenoid connector receptacle on the transmission that I put into the truck already. There must be a way. I have been researching this for a few days intensely And I have come to this site after not being able to find the answer. Please someone help me.
  2. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

    Jul 10, 2002
    The three pins on the connector are for torque converter lockup and for overdrive (4th gear) engagement. The center pin, I believe, is 12V, and the outer pins are separate grounds for the lockup and O/D.
    If you only have 2 pins, you must only have one of these functions. Since lockup has been around since 1978 on at least some Torqueflites, I suspect that this may really be a 3-speed automatic.
    If you can drop the pan and filter, look on the passenger side of the valve body. The solenoid pack that's screwed to it should have two solenoids. If not, it's not a 4-speed with lockup.
    I believe that all 4-speeds had lockup, but not all 3-speeds.
  3. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

    Jan 7, 2003
    If it were a three speed automatic, it would not bolt up - yes it wound attach to the engine but not the transmission mount. You probably need the wiring diagrams for both to figure this out.

    By the way, I have read there were non-lock 4 spied automatics used in a few applications.
  4. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Here is a link to a Y T video that discusses the A500 and A518 transmission. This confirms the statement made by valiant67. In the first 2 minutes of the video there is confirmation that in the early years of the A518 transmission it used a 2 pin connector on the transmission. This controlled the overdrive or 3rd to 4th gear shift solenoid in the transmission but no converter clutch solenoid was used. The A518 always used a 3 pin connector and had a converter clutch solenoid in addition to the 3rd to 4th gear solenoid.


    Attached image shows the wiring for a 1991 Dakota with A500 transmission. Use this as a guide to determine which 2 wires in the circuit are used for the overdrive shift in the A518. You will have to use trial and error to determine which pin on the A518 is input to the overdrive solenoid and which is the return path to ground.

    Overdrive Torque Converter Lockout A500 Transmission Detail.gif
    Bob Lincoln likes this.

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