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Thread: 1988 Dodge Ram 50 Rebuild - Ragnarok!

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    1988 Dodge Ram 50 Rebuild - Ragnarok!

    Ok Folks I guess I am starting a rebuild thread for my beast "Ragnarok".

    It is a 1988 Dodge Ram 50 2.0 liter. I bought the truck from the second owner that seemed to neglect the normal maintenance like oil changes and coolant flushes.

    Some history of the truck:

    He used this truck as his daily driver, he purchased this truck from his boss (the Original Owner) how had it as a regular work truck to cart stuff back and forth in a construction yard at the Fair grounds here in Perry, GA.

    I bought this truck for $1.350 and fell in love with it the first time I saw and test drove it. It gave me that sense of nostalgia that took me back to early 20's when I purchased my very first car. A 1973 Plymouth Duster! That car came with the granny engine (225 slant six) which was quickly traded to my friend that had a 318 CID in his 72' Dart. he wanted to go smaller IE: a slant six. So the trade was struck and had a Twister clone! I loved that car the smell of gas and the rumble of the engine with straight pipes was heavenly. Had to get rid of that car when I married my second wife.... But that is a story that will be told at a later time...

    OK Back to Ragnarok! Here is everything I've done so far in the rebuild:

    1. Oil change: used Delo 400, substituted one quart of that with Riselone. Added the ZDP addetive. used Purolator One premium filter (No shitty fram for me!)
    2. Changed all 4 spark plugs, using NGK V-powers. Gapped them to spec at .040
    3. Changed all plug wires one and a time as to not mess up the firing order.
    4. Changed the distributor Cap and Button.
    5. Changed the PCV Valve as the one in the truck seemed to be the ORIGINAL factory one and it was clogged pretty bad.
    6. Used Lucas fuel treatment with every fill up (I noticed MPG and HP gain after the second fill up!)
    7. Changed stock paper air filter with a K&N Performance filter.
    8. Replaced the Windshield washer reservoir (Thanks Royster!)
    9. Applied 4 coats of spray and roll on Bed line (Dupli-color Brand)
    10. Bought a used bed rail to bed rail toolbox to put all my tools in. (Owner wanted $100 by I got him down to $75. The Box is in perfect shape!)

    Things that are planned and going to happen next:

    1. Fix exhaust leak! I tracked my leak down to a blown pipe flange gasket. The bolts look to be rusted on so I will have to soak them with 3&1 oil and hope to break them loose with out snapping them.
    2. Straighten the front bumper a little better and use the left over Bed Liner coating to coat the bumper!
    3. Paint the truck base white and Rocker panels Black.
    4. Finally affix the wicked Ram/Mitsu decal I got from Merrill
    5. Install a Thrush rat Rod Muffler on this beast to get some muscle sound(I miss that) I can get it for $25 since I work at Advance Auto!
    5. Install the Weber 32/36 DGEV and Electric Fuel pump. (saving up my pennies for this one).

    Ok Now for some pics!

    Here are some before I started swapping and changing stuff:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here is the customary "Walk Around" after changing the Plugs, wires, Oil and Filter.



    I will be taking Pics of the stuff I've changed and posting soon. I've just been lazy about it.

  2. #2

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    Thanks for taking the time to make this video, Kaos.

    The truck starts right up, sounds good, and these old trucks are just sane, somehow.

    I can't help but thinking that your idle problem is rooted in the EGR valve. A good cleaning might help. Since I'm no expert on the 2.0 carborated models, there's not much I can do but speculate. Ever since high school auto shop, carboration has been my weak point.

    Also check to make sure the vacuum hose that goes into the air filter from the bottom of the carb mount is hooked up.

    You got a lot of good stock there to work with.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by royster View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to make this video, Kaos.

    The truck starts right up, sounds good, and these old trucks are just sane, somehow.

    I can't help but thinking that your idle problem is rooted in the EGR valve. A good cleaning might help. Since I'm no expert on the 2.0 carborated models, there's not much I can do but speculate. Ever since high school auto shop, carboration has been my weak point.

    Also check to make sure the vacuum hose that goes into the air filter from the bottom of the carb mount is hooked up.

    You got a lot of good stock there to work with.
    OK Cleaning the EGR... I will have to look in the old trusty manual as to where that is located on this engine, unless some one has one of those nifty little pictures handy to save me the time?.. Hint , hint, wink, wink, nudge , nudge... LOL

  4. #4



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    EGR is that little UFO/flying saucer looking thing wth a vacuum line hooked up to it. In front and below of the air filter/carb
    Josh
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  5. #5



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    like this. http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...Vacuum-Diagram Use the sticky Luke. The sticky is strong with this one.
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  6. #6

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    Ok Guys I'm back with another Video of my truck. After much debate about my getting above 70 MPH on another thread I started, I swapped out the ignition coil with a new one. Good news is the MPH issue is solved as that was what was holding the truck back.

    However now the engine has developed a "tick" and it surges and stalls when I am stopped at a traffic light.
    I recorded a video and ask some questions in the video that hopefully someone here will be able to save my arse on.


  7. #7

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    Y'know, Frank, it's April, and ticks are inevitable. I've pulled three off my cats alreay. It's the fleas that have me worried: they show up in May.

    Simple things, first: oil is up to par, yes? (Had to ask).

    Did you address the EGR yet? That may be the surging source.

    Mine, too, just today started ticking a bit louder. So it's the full moon, Uranus or some sort of solar road-flare. Actually, it's in part a slightly warmer temperature. My two cents is: some ticking is better than not enough clearance, and run it for a while to see if lifters pump up any better. Your valves ARE adjustable (mine aren't) so give it some time for the engine to "matabilize". Likely gunk is lossening up and unplugging passages. You can try some Mystery Oil...half a bottle maybe...and see if this helps. But running it with that ticking won't hurt anything for now.

  8. #8



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    It sounds like an exhaust leek or a valve adjustment. But you need to check your timing. It sounds like it was coming and going but you were talking the hole time.

    Didn't I say somthing about a coil some where?
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    Definitely check timing. This is a must to have correct because it will cause the valves/lifter to tick. Adjusting valves can calm the noise too, if you have MCA jet valves you'll need to set them correctly which is no big deal. Flat tappet rockers are very noisy also, You think your truck has tapping noise, you should hear mine, lol. You could have a sticky hydraulic lifter in there and or an exhaust leak which sounds like it has. Anyway, check that timing because it can make your engine sound like its ticking since it's working the valve train harder then it should.

  10. #10

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    OK Some updated Pics of some changes to Ragnarok.

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  11. #11

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    OK Something Interesting happened on the way home from work tonight.

    My odometer rolled over to 120,000 miles and the "Maintenance Req" Light popped on....

    I went over the engine and fixed replaced everything I could except the Carb and the Timing belts.

    I checked all the belts and they all look new. the timing cover was recently removed it seems as all the bolts were loose and one was hanging off but still attached to the spark plug separator....

    So should I worry about this idiot light?
    Does it come on arbitrarily once these trucks hit 120K?

    BTW the truck runs and drives like a new truck .. well except for the exhaust leak noise.... LOL

  12. #12


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    Just turn it off. There is a cover on the lower right of the cluster bezel (opposite the hazard switch). Pop it out and flip the little rocker switch behind it. That will turn off the idiot light.

  13. #13

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    Alrighty now! Just a quick update here.

    I advanced the timing as the PO had the timing retarded about 10 degree's before TDC to compensate for the failing stock Ignition Coil.

    I brought the timing to just less than 8 degrees and the surging and ticking stopped! YAY!!!!

    Truck is running like a top and should be good till I swap the carb and fuel pump in a few months!

  14. #14

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    Alrighty, Got some updated pic's of My D50 AKA Ragnarok!

    Stuff done in this round of upgrades.

    1. New Distibutor
    2. Updated the Air cleaner housing with Mopar orange paint job and Vinyl lettering. Added specter speed flex hose to connect the air cleaner to the air dam in behind the grill creating a semi cold air intake. (increase HP and better Fuel economy. 30MPG now after tuning carb and this and other additions!)
    3. Painted the front and rear bumpers
    4. Removed Catalytic converter. Welded in a straight pipe in its place (Also helped with HP and MPG)
    5. Got bored with the Ram/Mitsu hood decal. Replaced with Punisher decal. (Looks friggin Boss on Ragnarok!)
    6. Tinted back window and added sun strip on windshield.
    7. Got rid of the nasty/gnarly original Steering Wheel. Replaced with Grant Classic Muscle car style wheel (With Dodge Ram Horn Button!)

    At this point just waiting on my projector conversion lights so I can get rid of the crappy sealed beams and finally use updated bulbs.
    Gonna clean up the rest of the paint on the truck, and this should be it for me. Truck runs great and is looking friggin Boss. That was my goal for this Daily Driver.


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  15. #15

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    Truck cleaned up real good, Kaos...bet it feels great every time you drive it!
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

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    Do you live on a golf course? Sure looks like you do with those greens looking that way.

  17. #17

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    Thanks Roy yes it is a GREAT feeling. I get soo many looks and stares as I go down the road with my system pumped up blasting Ramstien! LOL
    And sadly no Brad, It's not a golf course you are seeing those greens from. That my friend is a Goat farm.
    My next door neighbor raises goats. And if you ever do a google search for what goats sound like when they are in heat (Horny and ready to mate) You will realize the nightmare I live in at 5am every morning...

  18. #18

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    Speaking of horny goats...or rams...now you need to change your avatar!
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  19. #19

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    LOL I forgot Roy, Thanks! And...Done!

  20. #20

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    Got the new lights installed. I'm diggin the Green LED's as the Halo ring. I might continue the theme with Green LED's for my instrument cluster in dash.
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  21. #21

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    That IS a clean look, Kaos, and i like the offset Ram head on the grill.

    Totally unique and quite interesting!
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  22. #22

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    LOL You know you are the only person that saw the grill and "Noticed" the Ram insignia was an addition. Everyone else thought it was always there, like on all Rams... LMAO

  23. #23

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    LOL I'm tryin to make this rice burner as " Mopar" as I possibly can. Nothing against Mitsubishi But I was always a Mopar guy up until this point. I didn't realize the D50 wasn't actually made by Chrysler until after I bought it and started to tear it down to see what I was working with...

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaos731 View Post
    LOL You know you are the only person that saw the grill and "Noticed" the Ram insignia was an addition. Everyone else thought it was always there, like on all Rams... LMAO
    That insignia isn't ON any Ram 50 grilles. It's distinctly unique for that reason.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  25. #25

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    Oh and for anyone that is interested in updating their tired old Sealed beams to new lighting tech you can pick up a pair of your own at the link below. Just put in some sylvania h4 hyper whites and you have your very own hillbilly HID lights. LOL

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/201132389591...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    They also come with white LED's if you are not fond of green.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/7X6-Black-Di...db15c0&vxp=mtr

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