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Thread: My first gen build thread (Finally!)

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    My first gen build thread (Finally!)

    So I got my 86 home today and it's time to do my build thread on my diesel. Warning! this thread is going to be pic heavy and don't expect it to be overnight I've gota take my time, do it right and wait for paychecks to do what needs to be done.

    So I found a 84 5-speed 4wd Power Ram50 royal that was pretty much a hunting truck with a turbo diesel 2.3L with a blown head gasket and the body is toast. Cost: $500

    The donor:





    Then after I got the diesel home another first gen showed up on craigslist. It was at a local shop just around the corner. They had tried to repair the engine by putting a larger bearing but no good. It's a 1986 2.6L 5-speed 2wd. It has a blown engine and the body is perfect exept a few rust spots (but how many first gens dont have rust?) This was bought from the original owner's grandson. He bought it and left it at their beach house in Emerald Isle so it's got 27k original miles and so does the engine. Btw the engine will be for sale with manifolds, accessories, carb, new carb kit, etc once I'm done. It'll need a new crankshaft. Good for someone who's got some 2.6Ls laying around. Good for parts. It ran great and smooth just had a serious knock. Cost: $875

    The recipient:





    My plans for this build are to remove the diesel cab and bed and swap the clean 86 cab and bed onto the frame of the diesel truck. I'll remove the diesel drivetrain and rebuild it while it's apart, strip the frame and clean/POR it then go through everything, swap over the power steering and hydraulic clutch to the clean cab, paint the engine bay and re-install everything. The only reason for this is to keep 4wd. Swapping it to 2wd would be easier but I want to have 4wd which would mean modifying the entire frame of the 2wd truck. Plus this prevents me from having to swap the fuel system on the gas truck to diesel. The diesel's frame is solid just needs cleaning and painting.

    Before I get elbows deep into this project I've gota get my 94 Mighty Max running again for a go getter to transport parts. Should have that going next weekend. I'll be finishing rebuilding the 2.4L EFI engine this week. This truck will be for sale once my project is done also.


    Last edited by recian; 01-26-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2



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    If you are planning to swap the ps gearbox from the 2wd to the 4wd, it won't work - 4wd steering boxes are on the outside of the frame and the 2wd are inside the frame. The pump and hoses will work. I also see you have a perfect dashpad - a real rare feat on these trucks.
    Pennyman1
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  3. #3

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    I'm planning to only swap the sheet metal ie the cab and bed. I intend to swap only the power steering column, (p/s and manual have different shafts plus the 4wd has a different column anyway, it's black with a different wheel) grey dash, tach cluster and original radio and diesel wiring harnesses into the 2wd cab, modify the firewall to accept the hydraulic clutch setup then put that cab on the 4wd frame leaving the drivetrain, suspension and such in tact and un-modified on the 4wd.
    That info spoiled my original idea which was to make a 2wd diesel with p/s and such lol I did notice when strapping the trucks on the trailer the steering on the 2 is different, I just didnt know how different. That's partially what led to the frame-off swap. Plus I figure if I'm building a truck for me, going through this much work I don't want to get rid of it down the road so I want to fit all my needs so it's going to have 4wd. I'm not fond of a 2wd truck and the 94 is a 2wd auto so another 2wd would be pointless.

  4. #4

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    Good luck on all of the hard work, and sweat you are going to put into these trucks

  5. #5

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    Wait until you see how I intend to lift the cabs off the frames

  6. #6

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    A hoist in a tree?

  7. #7

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    yeah pretty much. I think it's going to be interesting to see

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by recian View Post
    yeah pretty much. I think it's going to be interesting to see
    I'm a shade tree mechanic myself

  9. #9

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    lol finally! i been waiting for this thread.. looks like u got a lot on ur plate man. nothing's impossible, just time consuming! I'll def. be following this build bro. Keep up the great work and momentum.

    sooo correct me if im wrong but u got 3 trucks and 4 (or 3?) motors on ur hands now? the 1st gen white diesel, the 2nd gen MM w/ 2.4L, the red 1st gen w/ 2.6L (which looks amazing for its age, I'd hold on to it for good if i was u) lol and didnt u have an extra 2.6L layin around or sumthin? i cant remember.
    if you can't dodge it, Ram it!

  10. #10

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    I have a green decent 94 MM with a rebuild 2.4 on the stand waiting to go in this weekend.
    I have a white rusted out (body only) 84 D50 with a diesel 5-speed 4wd that needs a head gasket, it's gona get a whole overhaul.
    I have a red super clean original with 27k miles 86 D50 with a 2.6L with a spun bearing. It runs smooth and pulls hard just has a terrible knock like it's going to blow any second.

    The red one is getting kept (the clean one) The body is going onto the frame of the white diesel so I'll have a 2.3L TD 5-speed 4wd truck with 27k miles. I'm going to strip the frame down and re-do it all so the engine, entire driveline and all the fuel systems and such will have 0 miles, the body will have 27k. The red one has clean grey interior exept the dash has a few splits and the top of the seat is torn. The interior on the white one is tan and has a toasted dash and a super clean tan seat. It's also got a tach cluster :D
    After that I'll have a spare 2.6L engine, a spare body with glasses and 2wd frame to part out along with a set of new 14" capitols on super clean (almost brand new looking) Sport 5-spoke wheels. These won't be used since I've got 15s on my 4x4 frame.
    The red truck's body is spotless. It has 2 holes in the bed smaller than a dime from rust and the lower section of the passenger fender has about a 1.5" section rusted out. I plan to repair it when I yank the fenders to pull the cab. Along with the 2 holes which are in the bed. I found out the bed sides can be unbolted from the floor and the insides can unscrew allowing repair to the inner part of the bed sides. Get that rust stopped for good.

  11. #11

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    good luck with all that work! whew! I sent you a pm on a dash.

  12. #12



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    3 people is all it takes to lift the cab off with nothing in it. It's just a beer can with no doors. Or use an engine hoist. Thats how I do everything around here by my self.
    Members come and members go, But the board keeps track of them.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by recian View Post
    I have a green decent 94 MM with a rebuild 2.4 on the stand waiting to go in this weekend.
    I have a white rusted out (body only) 84 D50 with a diesel 5-speed 4wd that needs a head gasket, it's gona get a whole overhaul.
    I have a red super clean original with 27k miles 86 D50 with a 2.6L with a spun bearing. It runs smooth and pulls hard just has a terrible knock like it's going to blow any second.

    The red one is getting kept (the clean one) The body is going onto the frame of the white diesel so I'll have a 2.3L TD 5-speed 4wd truck with 27k miles. I'm going to strip the frame down and re-do it all so the engine, entire driveline and all the fuel systems and such will have 0 miles, the body will have 27k. The red one has clean grey interior exept the dash has a few splits and the top of the seat is torn. The interior on the white one is tan and has a toasted dash and a super clean tan seat. It's also got a tach cluster :D
    After that I'll have a spare 2.6L engine, a spare body with glasses and 2wd frame to part out along with a set of new 14" capitols on super clean (almost brand new looking) Sport 5-spoke wheels. These won't be used since I've got 15s on my 4x4 frame.
    The red truck's body is spotless. It has 2 holes in the bed smaller than a dime from rust and the lower section of the passenger fender has about a 1.5" section rusted out. I plan to repair it when I yank the fenders to pull the cab. Along with the 2 holes which are in the bed. I found out the bed sides can be unbolted from the floor and the insides can unscrew allowing repair to the inner part of the bed sides. Get that rust stopped for good.
    Put you a set of bearings in your red truck, and check everything and you should be good to go

  14. #14

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    Nope. The shop I got it from was trying to fix it for the owner and put a set of oversized bearings in it and it got worse. The crank needs to be machined down and cleaned up for oversize bearings by a machine shop or replaced.

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    Finally got the engine in my second gen. Should be firing it up tomorrow. Once its going i can start my project

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by recian View Post
    I have a green decent 94 MM with a rebuild 2.4 on the stand waiting to go in this weekend.
    I have a white rusted out (body only) 84 D50 with a diesel 5-speed 4wd that needs a head gasket, it's gona get a whole overhaul.
    I have a red super clean original with 27k miles 86 D50 with a 2.6L with a spun bearing. It runs smooth and pulls hard just has a terrible knock like it's going to blow any second.

    The red one is getting kept (the clean one) The body is going onto the frame of the white diesel so I'll have a 2.3L TD 5-speed 4wd truck with 27k miles. I'm going to strip the frame down and re-do it all so the engine, entire driveline and all the fuel systems and such will have 0 miles, the body will have 27k. The red one has clean grey interior exept the dash has a few splits and the top of the seat is torn. The interior on the white one is tan and has a toasted dash and a super clean tan seat. It's also got a tach cluster :D
    After that I'll have a spare 2.6L engine, a spare body with glasses and 2wd frame to part out along with a set of new 14" capitols on super clean (almost brand new looking) Sport 5-spoke wheels. These won't be used since I've got 15s on my 4x4 frame.
    The red truck's body is spotless. It has 2 holes in the bed smaller than a dime from rust and the lower section of the passenger fender has about a 1.5" section rusted out. I plan to repair it when I yank the fenders to pull the cab. Along with the 2 holes which are in the bed. I found out the bed sides can be unbolted from the floor and the insides can unscrew allowing repair to the inner part of the bed sides. Get that rust stopped for good.
    k that makes sense and pretty much sums it all up.. btw, u got a pic of the 14's? I'm..uhhh..curious
    if you can't dodge it, Ram it!

  17. #17

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    I'll have to take some this weekend. My computer was wiped and i had pics up there and they weren't on the card in my phone Why curious about the 14s? There a 5-star type rim that was standard for the Sport first gens. I've seen them on 2nd gens too

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by recian View Post
    I'll have to take some this weekend. My computer was wiped and i had pics up there and they weren't on the card in my phone Why curious about the 14s? There a 5-star type rim that was standard for the Sport first gens. I've seen them on 2nd gens too
    cuz im a curious cat naw really tho, i've nvr seen them on 2nd gens.
    pic would be cool
    if you can't dodge it, Ram it!

  19. #19

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Triton

    The pic of the silver one for the 2nd gens has the same sport rims on it just with larger tires to fill the bigger 2nd gen wheelwells. I worked with a guy who had a early model 2nd gen i think it was 87 and it had the same rims.

  20. #20



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    I got the pics of my friends Ram 50 turbodiesel 2wd power steering setup. Follow this link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B1...it?usp=sharing - sorry the truck it is in is not for sale - the parts from that truck are going into an 85 TD 2wd he has that is manual steering.
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  21. #21

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    Got it. I'm not so worried about parts for sale. However the 85 won't need the 2wd p/s lines :p Also Can the lines be adapted to the standard manual box? Or will I need to install a p/s box? I've heard some older chrysler products you can just screw lines into a manual steering box and his looks very similar to the manual box with the adjusting nut at the top.

  22. #22

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    Also I've got some work ahead of me because I tinkered with it yesterday and there's NO compression at all. When #3 intake starts to open it's like the crank stops and with a little extra effort pushes over. I think it's out of time. Starting to doubt the owner's story but if the head isn't warped and I just need a couple valves and maybe a piston I'm happy with that. I had intentions to buy a full rebuild kit with pistons and sleeves anyway.

  23. #23



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    you need a p/s steering box to go with the lines - if you can't find a truck one, one from a starquest will also work.
    Pennyman1
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  24. #24

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    Yeah I looked at my box yesterday. I think i'm going to keep the truck m/s for now. The box has 27k and ZERO free play in the wheel and turns smoothly. I'll save the pump and when It starts to loosten as they all do I'll convert to p/s.

  25. #25

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    Those cabs are pretty light. I pulled one off myself, after I had stripped it. If you yank the doors, the seats, and anything big, a couple of guys should be able to lift it off...

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