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Thread: My 1987 Ram 50 4x4

  1. #1

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    My 1987 Ram 50 4x4

    So I picked this up and I am having a few issues right now, so it sounds like it has no compression when you crank it over, but if you crank the engine over by a ratchet it feels like it has really good compression, I mean, so good you cant turn the crank at all, so I figured I would try to see if I could get it to fire, it didn't have spark when I got it, so I tried to see why it wasn't working, I tested all the leads to the distributor on the ballast resistor and they all had good power, tested the coil and it works, so i figure it has something to do with the ignitor in the distributor, autozone wants $90 for one and almost $250, oriellys, the guy spelled ignitor igniter, so nothing came up , and the distributor there was $140, I just want to know if the ignitior is something that could fail on a vehicle with 190,000 miles, if I can get it to fire I will be a happy camper, and I even took the distributor off of my toyota 22R and tried it, but it is set up a different way
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  2. #2

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    So today I took the ignitor, coil and distributor out of my Toyota and put it in the D50, the problem is the Toyota distributor fits perfect, it is backwards (The advance points towards the intake manifold) but I got spark so I tried to start the D50 and all it did was pop every once in a while, but it never tried to start. It has low compression on all cylinders except #1, when I crank the engine by hand I cant even get the timing mark to 10deg BTDC because #1 has so much compression. Would the lifters cause it to have low compression because of the fact they have no oil in them and they are soft? Im going to get a distributor from the junk yard and see if I can get spark from the coil. I tested the continuity of the ignitor and it was not even close to being in spec.

  3. #3

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    So I got a used distributor for $80!! at the junkyard, put it in and whammo, I had spark, so I aligned the timing marks and put the engine on 0deg TDC and put it in, cranked the truck over but it still sounded like no compression, poped a few times but thats about it, did a compression test and 0psi all 4 cylinders, took the radiator out and fan, and took the valve cover off, checked the "alignment link" and it was 10 teeth off!!, then I took the cam sprocket off and noticed the key was broken, are g54b interference engines or not, how the key broke, IDK, if it is interference I can see why it broke still haven't gotten the timing cover off, while compression testing I could feel air blowing on my arms, but when I put the gauge or my finger over the hole, I felt nothing at all.

  4. #4



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    Pretty sure they are interference engines - I remember the valve sticking below the head on one I removed that had valves open
    Pennyman1
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  5. #5

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    I pulled the head, and yep, sure enough all the intake valves are bent just a tiny little bit and each piston has a mark on them, from what i read they are like, no the g54b is not interference, then wtf why are my valves bent, lol. Yes you are right pennyman1, they are interference. SO, now what, can I replace the valves, and seals or do i also have to replace the seats, i mean the valves are bent so little you can hardly see it unless you look close.

  6. #6



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    Get new intake valves and slide one into the head to the seat and see if it fits properly to the seat. More that likely it stopped running before the seats were damaged. That would explain the lack of compression you were seeing. depending how bad the valves were bent, the guides may need replaced - you can check that by sliding in the valve and wggling it in the guide.
    Pennyman1
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  7. #7

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    I did notice a small crack between the intake and exhaust valve seats on the head, so, will a new head be needed, or will it not cause any issues?

  8. #8



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    that is common on these heads - you can have them welded up if they are not to deep. A good machine shop that works on a lot of aluminum heads can tell you if its repairable. If you do repair it, get a set of jet valve eliminators and put them in - less hassle. New bare heads are on ebay for as low as 218 + 35 shipping.
    Pennyman1
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  9. #9

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    So I am looking at some heads and odessa*head on ebay makes a reproduction head with no jet valves and stronger castings than stock, now looking at them, I can buy a fully loaded head, valves, guides, seats, springs, rocker arms, lifters, and a cam all new for $405, with free shipping, or I can buy one with just the valves, guides and springs for $305, since all the parts on the $405 one are new, I think I may choose to go that route, as I am not sure if the cam, rocker arms, or lifters suffered any damage when this happened, since it was strong enough to break the key on the cam gear. But I wanted a little input on which I should do, as I am also going to buy new timing chains, replace the balance shaft and oil pump bearings, and put a new front main seal on (could tell it leaked like crazy), new head gasket and any other gaskets I will need. I would like to get this running next week as the Toyota needs the motor pulled and a new crank kit put in (bought the engine from a 94 with 85,000mi, but it has a pretty bad rod knock, but beat the hell out of the original 1984 22r with 280,000 mi which leaked/burned a gallon of oil a week and had horrible blow by). I am thinking this d-50 may cost alot more than what I wanted to put into it but, i did want another d50 / Mighty Max and wanted an after work project. Do you think the bottom end is ok, the piston had little spots from the valves hitting them, but i figure the engine would have stopped before any damage was done to the connecting rods or crank.

    I also put the D50 tires and wheels on my Toyota, and even after 27 years the chrome wheels still look great polished up, and I was amazed, I drained the gas in case the truck sat longer than I expected and it had the original Yokohama Super Digger IV 225/75/15 as the spare (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1988-88-Dodg...ff902f&vxp=mtr).

  10. #10

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    Well the truck is on hold right now, I just need to wait until payday to get a head. I have found 2 for $125 from a local junk yard and they have a pretty good warranty, it comes with everything, head, cam, valves, seats, guides .ect What are some things I should look at when buying one, they are both off of running trucks. I also plan to replace the main seal as it looks like it leaked real bad, oil everywhere like the pulley was slinging it up and the fan was blowing it all around. Right now the truck just sits under the overhang waiting to be fixed up.

  11. #11



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    Who is pulling the head - you or the yard? Take a straight edge and check for warpage on the mating surfaces, and for cracks between the valves. Also see the condition of the rockers and cam area - the oil should be normal looking and not sludged up. You might want to flush the lash adjustors if the head you get has them.
    Pennyman1
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  12. #12

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    They will be because I have to work the rest of the week and wont have any time to pull it. When i go to pick it up I will take a straight edge and check it right then and there.

  13. #13

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    Ok, so I purchased all new gaskets, a key for the cam sprocket, and a head, and since my timing chain looked ok I thought that i would take a look and see if everything may be reusable, so i took the timing cover off and found the oil pump chain broken, one of the guides had broken a bolt and was worn totally through at the bottom and teeth missing off of the oil pump sprocket and balance shaft sprocket. So what doesn't make since to me is how the key broke on the cam sprocket, i understand that since the bolt broke (got the threads out real easy though) and the guide was no longer guiding the chain that it skipped on all the sprockets and eventually broke (Who knows how long the owner drove it before the chain broke).

    So from what she told me is that the oil pressure light came on, and buzzers started going off (the door buzzer has nothing to do with the oil light) so she shut off and added more oil (It was full and she added about 1 quart) she said she started it and a few seconds later it shut down.

    So here is what I think happened


    The guide broke so either the chain was skipping on all of the sprockets, OR it caught the broken guide and it skipped and then broke, after it broke, the light came on and she shut it down, when she started it a piece got stuck in the valve timing chain and caused it to slam to a stop, and since the valves are still turning it broke the key when the sprocket stopped.

    What do you think? Could there be damage to the bottom end? (It turns over without the head on it doesn't make any weird knocking/noises) The oil pump and balance shaft turn with little resistance so I don't think they seized.

  14. #14


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    You should be fine if it wasn't run for very long. Just finished working on a 96 Mustang 3.8L that the oil pump gear broke and he drove it 4-6 blocks home. I checked everything and other then the broken gear pieces in the oil pan everything else was fine.

  15. #15



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    I bought a conquest that the oil pump chain came off because the person who rebuilt it didn;t adjust the guides right - it was seized, probably because the guy kept driving it because the motor was rebuilt and it should be fine until it stopped. Try it and see if it runs alright - you will know in a hurry if it's not.
    Pennyman1
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  16. #16

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    Is there any way to test the oil pump, I have the head and timing cover pulled off and I spun it with a drill but I couldn't tell if it was doing anything or not

  17. #17

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    I would take the oil pump off the block and open it up for inspection. I believe it also drives a balance shaft so be careful getting it timed correctly when goin back together. The engine will vibrate if the balance shaft is out of time. There should be something in the manual about side clearance of the pump and basically look for scoring marks in the pump body/ internal gears. There will be minor scratches from normal wear.
    If there are teeth missing from the drive gear then Id just get a new pump.

  18. #18

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    I need some help finding bolt # 17 in this picture, it holds the guide for the valve timing chain and the balance shaft chain. Im not going to pay around 17 bucks for one damn bolt, a bit rediculus i think, if you happen to have a parts G54B 2.6l see if you can get it off and I will buy it from you.

    http://www.factorychryslerparts.com/...driveLine=7947

  19. #19


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    you can make one. Just fine a bolt that long enough and then make a sleeve that's the same length as the unthreaded part of the old bolt.

  20. #20



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    it's a sholderd bolt. Junk yard time.
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  21. #21

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    Thanks for the name of it, i may put a sleeve over a bolt like fordubishi said as the scrapyard is crushing ASAP as they are going though renovations and they need the money, and I don't know if the automobile recyclers will let me get just one bolt.

  22. #22

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    I GOT IT TO RUN!!!!!!! Well, for a few seconds. I got my head bolt set today and put the head on and set the valve and ignition timing (I didn't get spark until I ran a ground straight to the distributor??) and without anything else set up i put a drill on the oil pump, but i dont think it spins it quick enough to create enough PSI because the oil pressure light was on, primed the carb and cranked it over and it fired right up, i put it in reverse and it went backwards and then i shut it off. Since the radiator is not in there was no place for the atf to go through, and so it ended up all over the floor, and without the timing cover on oil went everywhere, but it runs. I still would like to know of a way to test the oil pump too see if it may need to be replaced. my timing chain is off by one tooth both on the cam sprocket and the crank sprocket, so i just figured Ill deal with it when i get the new chain, sprockets and tensioners.

  23. #23

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    ok, i got the oil pump to work, all i had to do was use a drill that spun faster than our milwakee holeshooter. After about 5 seconds i could feel the pressure build up and then oil came out of the check valves on the tops of some of the lifters and it was coming out some other places too.

    Here is how i tested it.
    1. Get a drill that spins 1400 rpm (the 850 rpm holeshooter does not spin fast enough.
    2. Get a 14 mm socket with a 3/8ths socket adapter (or cut the reciving end of a 3" extension off.
    3. set the drill so it spins clockwise or forward
    4. attach the 14mm socket to the drive sprocket bolt on the oil pump
    5. make sure your drill is set at its highest speed and run it until oil starts squirting out of the lifters and what not.

    The way it looks is the crankshaft is set at a 1/2 speed reduction from the oil pump, so when the engine is idleing (1000rpm) i belive the oil pump would be spinning at 2000 rpm, so i belive my oil pump is working just fine, since after it primed i could spin it at about 800 rpm and still have oil squirting out of the lifters.

  24. #24



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    Quote Originally Posted by abeemanator View Post
    Thanks for the name of it, i may put a sleeve over a bolt like fordubishi said as the scrapyard is crushing ASAP as they are going though renovations and they need the money, and I don't know if the automobile recyclers will let me get just one bolt.
    Most of those places have 55 gallon drums of bolts they just scrap out. Never hurts to ask to look through there pile.
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  25. #25

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    ITS ALIVE, i resurrected the D-50, need to get a set of lifters though, alot of ticking around the back end of the engine, the LSD is as cool as i thought it was, just give it a little gas, pop it in drive and two tracks are left and you get sideways quick. The stock carb is throwing some fits, real rough idle (May also be the plug wires) I unhooked a vaccum line and it leaned it out a little and it got alot better get up and go, but I definatly want to get a Weber for it. The oil pump has pretty good pressure, just cranking it it will start to read pressure. How have you 2.6 guys avoided having to replace the oil pan gasket, i used some of that RTV black silicone, Haynes says use a new gasket and cut it the same as the damaged gasket and chilton says to drop the oil pan, really hard on a 4wd. Wholy crap do the 31/10.5/15's rub like a mother, oh well this is going to be my road truck anyway so the 225/75 are going back on it. It rides 10x better than my toyota, nice and smooth ride, no shaking around at all. And my camper fits in the back and the load is distributed alot better than in the shortbox toyota.

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