1997 Cummins Towho/Expo


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Curious what size tubing you're using this time around to make it lighter. Always loved this truck watching the build back on Pirate.


Holy cow this is taking a lot of time, I'm rusty on fab work!? I really want this truck back, i've put less than 100 miles on it in the last 2 years
I know it’s been almost a year but any updates on this truck. Flatbed looks killer!I’m a sucker for an old Cummins. Got one myself thats about to get some Carli, DOR, Fox loving. Gonna try a full swap to 4th gen steering. Shaft, box, tie rods etc… Cummins is great. Dodge… not so much …


I know it’s been almost a year but any updates on this truck. Flatbed looks killer!I’m a sucker for an old Cummins. Got one myself thats about to get some Carli, DOR, Fox loving. Gonna try a full swap to 4th gen steering. Shaft, box, tie rods etc… Cummins is great. Dodge… not so much …

I may have missed it, but what year is yours? If it's a 2000-2002, then the updated 4th gen tie rod bolts right on.. when they swapped the Dana 60 to the 2-piston calipers and slip-on rotors for MY2000 they changed the knuckle a bit too, and the 4th-gen tie rod is the correct stud taper and overall length to just bolt right on. I'm actually guessing that it was just an engineering update to the steering design, and then Dodge rolled forward with those same dimensions for the 3rd gen regular and 4th gen (2008+ "updated") steering on the AAM axles.

I know this won't be applicable to you, but since I'm typing.. for the 4th gen steering link to a factory 2nd gen 4-bolt box, you'll have to trim about 3/4" off the long side (tie rod side) steering link, in order to get the steering link overall length short enough to fit in the vacinity of a 2nd gen steering box & pitman arm.

If swapping 100% of the 4th gen linkage, then in order to use the pitman-arm-end steering link, you need to taper-ream the 2nd gen pitman arm (I just did all of this for a friend on the weekend). They changed the threads on the steering link from 1"-18tpi for the 1994-1999 Y-link and T-link, to 1"-16tpi for the 2003-2013 T-link.

One could also make/find an aftermarket CNC'd adjuster sleeve that has the 1"-18tpi LH threads on the axle end, and 1"-16tpi RH threads on the pitman-arm-end, to avoid having to taper ream a 2nd gen pitman arm.

When you add the 4th gen box, I presume you're talking about the 6-bolt huge one. This will require 1" spacers between it and the framerail, to make the larger box housing fit the non-notched 2nd gen frame. And I believe it needs longer bolts also, however the factory bolts might be long enough to just squeek by.

For the 6-bolt box, since it needs to stand off of the frame 1", you'll have to cut the steering link bits and additional ~1" total. I did this by cutting an additional 1/2" off the tie-rod-end, and then 1/2" off the end of the pitman-arm-end. And then to allow the steering link overall length to thread down short enough (with some room still for adjustment) I cut 1/4" off either end of the steering link adjuster sleeve.

I'm really curious to see what you do for the steering intermediate shaft into a replacement 6-bolt box. I have the PSC "2nd gen drop in" 6-bolt box, so it came with the correct box input shaft splines to receive a factory 2nd gen steering shaft, but my friend with the 1996 wants to upgrade to a parts-store factory replacement 6-bolt box, so utilizing a 4th gen intermediate shaft would be killer if that can just fit onto the 2nd gen steering column shaft.

Anywho.. sorry for the thread hijack! I just kept typing the info as it came to me haha.
Love the flatbed! I wanna make one similar but likely never will. Got a contractor shell for it w full barn doors. Works well. I did wvo on my 96 back in 09. I did oil sampling before and after running my two tank svo system. Seems like a few metals increased in my sample. Made me nervous. Seemed to be eating the motor a little at a time. Ended up selling the truck not longer after getting it goin. But wvo is a hassle. The guy I sold it to had algae problems, valves hanging up and cross filling tanks. Vegi out the side of the truck. Diesel running out vegi tank in the bed. ill just keep paying for diesel on this truck. Not worth the headache this time. I hardly drive it.

Frojoe I pm’d ya as not to hijack this thread. But thanks for the info. I think I’ve considered all of those factors already. Should know mid sept when I have time to swap it over. Should end up w dodges “new” style steering when I’m done I hope.
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Holly cow! I lOVE this build thread. I have truck envy to the max! I have tons of questions for you. First, what bumper is that? Finding a sleek bumper that can be modified for a winch is very hard. Found on on Dodge Off-road, but the reviews on their products are so hit and miss, I wont attempt working with them.

Ant excessive rubbing with the 37” ? I know you moved your axel forward which probably clears you of running mostly.

How many miles are on the truck?

Seriously cool build.


Oil eater.
Alrighty then! So I got a used Pac Brake exhaust brake for $150 but had to get a few new parts and install the heavier exhaust springs. I am probably into it about $400, but it is awesome for towing. I also bought my own used topper for $50 and painted it black (the topper in the first pic is borrowed). Fast forward a few years and traded a set of tires to a friend who painted my truck. I have always found good deals on red vehicles and it is one of my least favorite colors so charcoal gray it is. I went back to school, changed professions and the truck got a little love being that I didn't need it every day anymore. I used it more for kayaking and exploring than dragging equipment and tools.


The 2001 on down 2nd gens needed more stopping power. I owned one. The exhaust brake finally gave me confidence on the freeway. I carried a 2200# wet popup all the time.

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