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I need some help so I dont blow money on parts that don't mate up to the original LA360 Engine. I gave this truck to my Grandson and helping him rebuild truck. WANT TO KEEP IT STICK SHIFT, BUT THE HUGE NP 4530 IS TOO BIG AND HEAVY,THERE HAS TO BE A LIGHT WEIGHT NEWER MANUAL TRANS OUT THERE TO BOLT UP TO THIS BLOCK,What should I look for? Dodge Dakota V8 w/ manual, Dodge Ram 1500 w/gas V8 and Stick ???
 

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Dakota manual was only on the four cylinder to my knowledge, so unless you want a K engine I wouldn't suggest that.

An old A833 might do, but might be too light for a truck. There are at least bellhousings and other associated parts for the small block V8.

Tremec makes aftermarket transmissions that can be installed into Mopars, but they're VERY expensive.

I'm a little curious as to your complaint with the original- is "too heavy" because of hefting it in and out of the transmission? Is it physical difficulty shifting gears? Is it pressure necessary to move the clutch?
 

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5speed Transmission from either a Dakota or Ram V8 would be best.. The M/T from behind the V6 will work if needed but depending on his "driving habits" could be shorter lived. Dodge has been great about keeping parts interchangeable..
 
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