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Thread: The Resurrection of Ol' Dirty Blue...My Build Thread

  1. #1

    Array
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    Waynesboro, PA
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    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
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    G54B

    The Resurrection of Ol' Dirty Blue...My Build Thread

    Well I have been a member of this site for over two years now and have yet to post a build thread; and I know you all like pictures. So I figured is was about time to put it all in writing (as much as I can remember and have documented).

    The brief back story on the truck can be found in my introduction post:In Memorial No need to repeat this information.

    Since I am no mechanic (or at least wasn't 2 years ago), this is has been a learning experience. Most of the initial work that I did was more cosmetic. However as the years went by I went deeper into the engine to fix more and more issues as they arose.

    First set of images are from the first year, in a rented tiny garage. This is the way Ol' Dirty Blue looked when she first came to me.

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    After adjusting some timing issues, she still wasn't running right. So I elected to remove the Mikuni Carb since calibrating these can be tricky and opted for the Weber 32/36 DFEV conversion.

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    Now that she was able to start up and run; though she smoked abit (burning oil). I decided to hold off on tackling the leaks in favor of more cosmetic changes.

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    Then came the gasket replacements and fan upgrade.

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    Then she was almost ready to roll, though she still smoked abit. But she was still sitting on flat old tires...so new tires were ordered and she rolled out of the garage. Unfortunately, no test drive that day because she really didn't have much power. Plus getting in her in the sun allowed me to see the damage that years of road salt and sitting had done to the frame.

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    Then we moved and I started sharing our neighbor's garage to really dig into the oil leak more aggressively. So first the head came off.

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    Then as I waited for additional parts; valve lash adjusters, new valves (one exhaust valve was found to be bent), and more gaskets. I decided to clean under the hood and work on replacing the fenders.

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    Then, with the help of my more mechanically inclined neighbor, I decided to pull the motor and replace the rod bearings, re-ring the pistons, and lightly hone the cylinders. But figured, while it's out let's paint it up.

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  2. #2

    Array
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    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
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    After a good paint job (IMO), everything went back in and was tested. Less smoke and she started to really come to life. She still ran a little rich so had to tweak the carb a bit.



    Last edited by Ram50-Newb; 12-08-2013 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Testing adding additional pics

  3. #3

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    1990 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    Sounds like a story with a happy ending, looking forward to the rest.
    1990 MM 4x4 3.0
    1991 MM 4x4 3.0 Diamonte
    1994 MM 2wd (work in progress)

  4. #4

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    Sorry for the large images on post #2, half of my photos were taken with our Kodak camera and the file size is too large to upload and link like those in my first post. I am only going to post two more pics due to size. I will on re-sizing the rest for a later post. Here is the motor set back into place with an upgraded Accel ignition coil, my temporary Mr. Gasket electric fuel pump, PaceSetter headers (which have not impressed me as of yet), and my wiring nightmare that still needs cleaned up today.




    The truck has basically been used as a farm truck for the last year, because of complications with getting the title / registration in my name. The most recent work being done now, is focusing on the rust removal from the back half of the frame. The pictures are little tight on the frame, because my space surrounding the truck is a bit small.

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  5. #5

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    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
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    So as I wait for the temperature to heat up so I can treat the frame rust, I decided this might be a good time to plan the install of the Carter P4070 fuel pump. Ideally, I'd like this pump mounted close to the tank (similar to Mopar_ja's Setup), but with the Gen2 it appears that the main fuel line hose is routed between the two frame brackets for the bed.

    So I guess the choices are remove and rerun the fuel and brake lines routed along the frame to accommodate the pump to be mounted in front of the tank on the inside edge of the frame. Or, determine if there is a way to use some creative engineering to mount the pump in between the bed supports and still have the fuel tank hose routed above the pump (body lift maybe). Any thoughts?

  6. #6

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    Wow, Ol' Blue sure is inspiring! How much trouble was it to take the bed off? That is certainly the way to tackle that rust, and mine is just as bad. I want to arrest the rust, and also get some reinforcement welded on. If removing the bed isn't traumatic, that is certainly the way I'd like to go.

    I have no ideas to offer regarding the fuel pump placement. It's frikken' TIGHT in that area. My '90 has fuel injection, the pump is inside the tank, and the repair I had to make didn't allow for much fudging room. On my '89 parts truck, the fuel pump is right on the intake manifold, running off the cam.

    The repair to my tank involved doing something to connect the rusted metal outlet and return pipes to the fuel line...a leak brought my attention to the problem. In dropping the tank, I saw the lines were rusted and 'sweating". My first repair actually caused the pipes to break off. Broken off with only 1/4" stubs to work with, I used that PL S10 concrete caulk to adhere fuel line. When the caulking cured, I put hose clamps on. I also surrounded the area with Bondo, sort of like putting a cast on a broken arm. The repair was a success, but it made me keep my eye open for a replacement tank.

    Some parts are headed your way pretty soon: what shape are your sun visors in?

    That's a really suh-weeeeeet paint job, all 'round. Nice project truck!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by royster View Post
    Wow, Ol' Blue sure is inspiring! How much trouble was it to take the bed off? That is certainly the way to tackle that rust, and mine is just as bad. I want to arrest the rust, and also get some reinforcement welded on. If removing the bed isn't traumatic, that is certainly the way I'd like to go.

    Some parts are headed your way pretty soon: what shape are your sun visors in?

    That's a really suh-weeeeeet paint job, all 'round. Nice project truck!
    The bed was easy removal, however if you plan on doing itself, I'd rig a pulley system; I did a make-shift attempt with ratchet straps. It worked until it was time to lower the bed . There are four bolts in the front of the bed, four in the back, and then just disconnect the wiring harness to the tail-lights and hoses from the fuel inlet down pipe; not sure the mechanic's term for that piece. Then the bed just lifts up, if you have the brackets in the four corners of the bed, just latch your chains to them and connect to the pulley system and up it goes.

    Sun-visors have some bubbling from the years of wear, but are still in pretty good shape. Thanks for the compliments on the truck, will be much nicer when she gets cleaned up and I can finally replace the sunroof. Having an aftermarket model sucks when they go obsolete and no one makes the glass anymore.

  8. #8

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    Inspiring, thank you. I'd likely use a system similar to how I take my F-150 cap off: lift it up, support it, and drive from under it. I can do some of the work during winter, but again, you encouraged me to do it right, so this looks like a Spring project. It will allow me to tilt the bed up and easily access the under-side of it. Definitely inspired.

  9. #9

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    Hey! a fellow neon guy with a ram50! you on any neon forums? trucks lookin good!

  10. #10

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    Sorry Redneck - The neon belonged to a neighbor. He was letting me use space in his garage. However, I did enjoy assisting him with modding the neon. We changed the gear ratio, installed a Phantom Grip Unit in the Differential, and turbo'd it. It was a pretty fast little car.

    On another note, I've been toying with a few ideas for the truck once I start planning the paint job. I thought I'd share one with the forum folks. I also enjoy photo manipulation, so I decided to share this. Note the hood on the truck.

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  11. #11



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    Nice Ram50, I'm a retired 25 year Digital Graphic Designer Local #583. Nice idea in the photo. Probably be easier to get cut vinyl at some sign shop to lay on hood instead of paint. You can always remove it and replace it and it will be much easier to produce perfectly.

  12. #12

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    You are correct Brad, I've been considering taking the logo to a local company that does automotive skins and custom decals. Figured it would make it easy, but at the same time, I like the challenge of trying to recreate something through painting. If I do attempt to paint it, free-hand or with fabricated templates, it will likely be on wood first.

    Thanks for the input, makes the ideas running in my head a little more manageable if I move toward the vinyl options. Once I get a good angled shot of the truck, I have another idea that I think will be perfect; I just like putting it in a visual format before committing.

    How well does the polling on this forum work? Once I get the frame rust taken care of, I plan on repainting the truck. Maybe I should post a few ideas and let the masses decide which is the best look.

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