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Thread: ◇NTD◇ 1982 Dodge Ram50 Custom

  1. #1

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    ◇NTD◇ 1982 Dodge Ram50 Custom

    Well, this was already a journey before I even got it home. Somehow I wondered if it was even worth saving.
    Anyway, after a hellish 3 days here is my 1982 Ram50 Custom longbed.

    It came with a 2.6, that supposedly will run with a carburetor.
    Not really worried, because I am swapping a 2.3 4d55 into it tomorrow.

    I already have a new fuel tank, will add new lines, and wire it up.
    For some reason, I just like a 1st gen truck, but earlier Ram50/Arrow trucks dont seem to be around very often.

    The bed, and rocker areas will need some work, but it looked as though it needed to be saved.
    Feel free to follow along through thread. Thanks, Josh

  2. #2

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    Some pics...
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  3. #3

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    I know a picture tells a thousand lies but it doesn't look that bad at all. The red interior patch up is loud lol. From what you've described the rust is fairly typical of a Gen 1 and shouldn't be that bigger ordeal to fix as long as there isn't something really bad hidden under the floor or in the frame.
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  4. #4

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    I will take some better pictures tomorrow. Okay next big question.
    Onto the transmission. Can I theoretically use the cable clutch transmission, or will i need to use a hydraulic transmission?

    I have this extra one, but I am unsure of its internals like the original cable trans.
    Would I just swap tailshaft sections for my 4wd set up? Josh
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  5. #5

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    So, it has been a few days into the swap, and there are a couple small problems, mainly being that my hydraulic clutch transmission is 2wd, and I need a 4x4 set up.
    Hopefully someone can help me understand that I might be able to swap over the internals from my 4wd cable clutch transmission, to the 2wd hydraulic transmission to get the right set up??

    This would solve 99% of my problems considering the PO used a set up that I dont want to try.
    I am likely going to use the LSD out of my 2nd gen auto truck. Both are 3.909, and I would rather have it with a manual 5 speed.

    Please feel free to let me know your thoughts? After reading the thread on KM132 and KM145 differences, I might be confused a bit. Thanks, Josh

  6. #6

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    Well, since I had some down time, I removed the engine and transmission. The transmission is at the shop. Hopefully things are a sucess, or this build may take awhile.

    Then onto the fuel tank, and rear end. I have a new 1st gen fuel tank from my 84 donor truck, and decided to use my 2nd gen LSD rear end from my 87.
    Right now I am using my 15's from my 87MM, but I am worried about the clearance for the front fender. I wonder if I should adjust the torsion bars, or leave them alone.

    Things seem to be slowly coming along. Hopefully next week there will be some progress to report. Josh

  7. #7

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    Pics... Sorry about the dark lighting.
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  8. #8

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    Add the old tank to the truck and double your fuel capacity I'm planning on doing a twin tank on my Gen 1. I'll have to take the tank hanger frame from my donor wreck and mount it up between the rear axle and the bumper. Should be easy enough to rig up with a couple of 42S fuel pumps and an extra fuel level gauge. I don't know how you'll swap the hydraulic clutch to cable but be aware that the firewall may flex where the cable mount is located. Depending on the clutch it could even crack the sheet metal.
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  9. #9

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    I took the 2wd hydraulic clutch transmission, and the 4wd cable clutch KM145 transmission to see if the shop can make 1 good transmission that I need.
    Not too sure that they can use the hydraulic transmission case and swap the KM145 gears over.

    We'll see in the next few days I suppose. Josh
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  10. #10

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    The new wheels really church it up.
    I wish I could help you with the transmission question. I know the innards are the same on the wide and narrow block for the two wheel drive, but not sure what is happening with the 4x4 transmission. Let us know your results.
    The hydraulic swap I did with an existing transmission, so I just took the mechanical clutch from a 1st generation gas truck and installed a hydraulic clutch in it. It by far was the worst part of the entire build. Getting the clutch in there and lined up properly was a real pain in the rear. I used a hole saw drill bit and then tapped a dent where the bolt holes go through for the master cylinder. So far its held up just fine without any flexing or cracking.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the responses. Tomorrow I will actually photograph the hydraulic set up from the donor 84 truck. He used a bracket, welded to mount the pedal, and a plate welded in the engine bay for the master cylinder.
    I will most likely use the set up for the time being, but want to bolt in rather than weld in.

    Tomorrow, I should have the rear LSD axle fully swapped, along with the fuel tank/lines.
    Still trying to figure out my rear shocks, as I would like to use the Bilstein shocks, if somehow possible.

    Since I has just purchased the tires 900 miles ago, it would be a sin to not use them.
    I have a 1st gen tach pod, but since the diesel gets its signal elsewhere, it might be useless anyway. Josh

  12. #12

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    Wow. Rusty suspension parts are just fighting me until the end. I finally got the rear end out, but the leaf bolts are just damn near seized.

    The rear end looked like it had about 30 years of oil, and dirt mixed in. It must have taken hours just getting it remotely clean.
    Tomorrow I will get everything cleaned up, and painted. It definitely could use a reseal while i am around there.

    Things seem to be coming along pretty slow. Perhaps it is because I am trying to get winter ready, really fast. Josh

  13. #13

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    Pics... Also, pics for the hydraulic setup. As always, pardon the lighting.
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  14. #14

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    Suspension parts get pretty crusty. I'll be investing in a media blaster off ebay when I can. Something that can handle sand, beads and soda would be the ticket. I gotta know - what is that duct running through the steering column mount? I'm trying to rig up 4 way A/C in my Gen 1 but ducting everything from the blower case is proving to be a challenge...
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  15. #15

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    Haha. No worries. I would be happy to photograph a few things for anyone.
    It looks to connect to another duct piece that appears to possibly travel up near the defost vent area. Tomorrow I can double check after work.

    I definitely could use better tools, etc. Most of my travel tools are crusty, and rusty also.
    A blast cabinet would be a dream, maybe this upcoming year. I still need to improve my welding skills as it is, though.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mowgli5555 View Post
    Haha. No worries. I would be happy to photograph a few things for anyone.
    It looks to connect to another duct piece that appears to possibly travel up near the defost vent area. Tomorrow I can double check after work.

    I definitely could use better tools, etc. Most of my travel tools are crusty, and rusty also.
    A blast cabinet would be a dream, maybe this upcoming year. I still need to improve my welding skills as it is, though.
    Thanks. The vents in Gen 1's are very basic and the only places that seem to be fan forced are the centre ducts and the floor. Even with the afterthought of the AirInter A/C that was fitted to my truck they should've added duct controls to the sides. I am in luck with not having to invest in a welder as my relatives have a MIG and stick welder. I need to make some seat mounting frames (and a mod or 2 to my steering column mount...) and if I'm game, do some body repairs. Been a loooong time since I've welded anything, it's gonna be ugly
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mowgli5555 View Post
    Pics... Also, pics for the hydraulic setup. As always, pardon the lighting.
    I'd just cut those welds that the master cylinder is attached to and then transfer it directly over to the new pick-up. The pedal I used an air chisel to detach the bracket where it had been spot welded and then welded it into the new truck. In your case, they have already manufactured a nice strong bracket, so I'd try to recycle that as well.

  18. #18

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    So yesterday was a rollercoaster day. I was almost finished derusting the LSD rear end, and forgot I had taken my glasses off for 10 seconds.
    Needless to say, I caught a shard of metal into my eyeball, and had to make a trip to the eye guy. Learned a valuabke lesson yesterday.

    Today I will finish a few things up, then I am starting the hydraulic removal, and set up.
    The transmission shop said the transmission would be ready tomorrow, but I will continue to cross my fingers.

    Having a hydraulic clutch, 4x4 turbo diesel small truck is exaxtly what I am looking for.
    Also, I went with the Bilstein B6 4600 series rears, so we'll see how they work out. Josh

  19. #19

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    Yikes. Metal in your eye is bad to start of with, but grimy metal is another world of nasty. It only takes a one second lapse and it can end badly. Hopefully you got it flushed out before it could scratch your eye up and they got everything. Nearly got the trucks' rear sorted out. Good stuff
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  20. #20

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    Yes. It was embedded in my eye, and had to be buzzed out. Luckily my eye was numb, or I might have been in some real pain.
    My other eye already has incredibly poor vision, so I try to protect my good eye as well as possible.

    After trying to wash my eye out 7 times, it need to be left to a professional. Josh

  21. #21

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    Okay.....Back to work. So I got the hydraulic set up out of the truck, but still am working on cutting the brackets out.
    It is a very tight spot, and I will have to be more creative to cut them out well.

    The leaf springs have officially done me in. Am I just going to have to cut the bolts off?
    I worry that I wont be able to find the first gen bolt set up for my truck. The bolt looks like it fits the bracket perfectly, and doesnt look the the 2nd gen bolt/washer set up.
    Also, the rear shackles look pretty bad, is there a replacement for them??
    I just want to finish the rear end and move on to other things. Josh

    ☆I called the axle good enough, I just want to drive the damned thing.
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  22. #22




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    If you can get the one side off of the shackle - take a drill with a 1/4 inch bit and drill the bushing and then run it around the hole until the bushing lets go of the bolt.
    Pennyman1
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  23. #23

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    Okay. So, for those who actually have a 2wd hydraulic clutch transmission, and also a 4x4 cable clutch transmission, then it works.
    The transmission came back today, and it is nearly ready to go in.
    This has been a lot of work so far, but I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    The hydraulic brackets are also about ready to go in, but how do I remove the old clutch pedal?? I have been looking for the diagram.

    Hurried and painted the springs, but still need to cut the metal ring inside, leftover from the bushing, ugh...
    Still quite a bit to do before it can be driven, especially since it will be a daily driver. Josh

    *After 30 mintues of scrubbing the Southern Utah red dirt.*
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  24. #24

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    Small update.

    So I ordered the Energy leaf bushing kit, and it should be here early next week.
    Tomorrow I will officially pull the 4d55 for the swap. The transmission is back near its place, and ready to be bolted up.

    Tomorrow I will finish the hydraulic pedal set up, and I am hopefully it all bolts up smoothly.
    I purchased a clutch kit, and replaced the release bearing. Monday, or Tuesday I am looking for the first start up. Stay tuned. Josh
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  25. #25

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    The light flare in the pics looks like photos from inside a cathedral. Good luck with the first start up
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