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Thread: 2nd generation 1st Gen

  1. #1

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    2nd generation 1st Gen

    New to the sight, just wanted to show you guys what you're helping me with! Just because I'm new to the sight does not mean I'm new to the world of these beloved trucks. I've been searching on this forum for a while now you all have answered many questions. Here's just a start to a long project!


    This is the 1980 D50 sport that my mom and dad bought new in 1981. My mom used to drive it back and forth to work for a few years before my dad took it over. It has been used as a DD, construction truck, Farm truck, and wood hauler. The first truck that I learned to drive and have had many fond memories driving this on our farm in Indiana. This truck has led many lives in its 35 year life. My dad converted it to 4x4 in 1985 with a solid front dana 20 and a dana 18 transfer case(was a kit in the day and I have the original brochure). He then bought a 1981 base model with the 2.0 and auto tranny and swapped bodies on chassis(the 1981 was now 4x4, and the 80 was back to original). He sold the 1981 4x4 and put a john baker 2" lift on it and that where it stands today. After many Indiana winters the cab corners gave out and we parked it in a barn(1999?) until this summer.

    This picture is the day we drug it out into the sunlight for the first time in 13 years!
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    Knowing that we were going to restore it, I bought this 1979 base model off Craigslist from southern Indiana. Paid more than it was worth, but it has a good body and where we are in the world thats hard to find, if any.
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    Remember the 4x4 1981 he sold? Well he got a call from the guy he sold it too (from indianapolis) and was going to scrap it. It had been rolled shortly after he bought it from my dad but kept it in his garage until he called us in 2004. We bought it and drug it home, parted all the OE parts we could salvage and the 4x4 parts my dad installed...And built this! its a 1986 we bought off a local guy that was tired of fighting with it. Timing belt broke and he couldnt figure out why it wouldnt run. We finished this in 2005 and has been the wood hauler, farm truck since.
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    Brought the sport into the shop and started the tear down process.
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    then the 79
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    Our plan is to use the 79 frame and body and the running gear out of dads 80. We added on to our existing shop, 2 trucks tore down was taking up too much room. As of now we have 2 completly stripped trucks. The engine is at our local engine builder (my father-in-law) getting "freshened" up. The frame has been sand blasted and powder coated along with all of the suspension pieces.

    Its going to be along process, but I'm really excited to get back to work on this truck! The 86 is in the shop now waiting for the Weber carb and electric fuel pump to come in. (should be there when I get home) Then we have a few small things to finish up the new shop and we'll get back to this project. Giving this 1980 another life, Street Queen.

    Long winded, but it takes alot of words when you are spanning 35 years and 3 trucks! Thanks in advance for your help, you have all been helpful in the past, you just didnt know it!

    More to come....
    Last edited by BradMph; 01-15-2015 at 04:43 PM. Reason: repair

  2. #2

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    YES! many of your words are VERY familiar...loved seeing the "rock protectors" on the headlights...i had them on the 1978 (sandblasted, zinc chromated, black imron to the 1978 frame). & the jb 2" lift on the 1986. best of luck building & look forward to more pics!
    Last edited by ragragtimetime; 01-14-2015 at 07:18 PM.

  3. #3



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    Welcome to the forum - Geronimo is also an 1980 D-50 sport - did the same work you are doing to him 25 years ago. Look at my gallery pics for his current condition. One day I will actually post my build pics.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  4. #4

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    Got a closeup of those lights? Never seen those. Neat.
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
    California BAR Smog Inspector License #EO635469
    "Keep 'em on the road."

    See what I have for sale:
    http://stores.ebay.com/zims

  5. #5



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    I had them rock shields on Geronimo years ago - I even have a set of 4 for the 86 project truck - I was debating using them, but now I will.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  6. #6



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    did a little repair on your images posted Indtruck


    Now this hood must be made of lead...check out that back tire, lol




    Welcome to the addiction....I mean forum.

  7. #7



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    Quote Originally Posted by noahwins View Post
    Got a closeup of those lights? Never seen those. Neat.
    Here Noah check this out. http://www.rustandruin.com/#!diy-headlight-grill/cl7p

    They are called headlight grilles and were probably made famous by the Ford Cobras headlight grilles, plus the Baja trucks too. You can buy them or make them to fit.

  8. #8

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    Damn... you guys are making me want to get a first gen. I need a bigger shop too. Hope u get it all fixed up and ready for another 35 years

  9. #9



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    Not as roomy as the 2nd gen, but I like the body style more then the boxy look of later models. They maintain this 1st gen style for over 8 years, wonder if anyone notice that their job at the factory was getting boring. Send the next truck please " SIGH" this again?

  10. #10



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    if you count the original mitsu forte, it was a 10 year run for the 1st gen body style. And the 2nd gen also ran for 9-10 years as well.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  11. #11

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    been working on the 86 wood hauler the past couple nights. I got the carb off and through it as far as I could. Pulled the valve cover and rockers so we can change lifters. There were 3 lifters that were pitted really bad, going to change them all. My jet valve delete kit should land today. The jet valves weren't too bad but the middle 2(closest together) were burnt pretty bad, the orings were melted. I don't know what these valves actually do but I would assume that they are for emissions? But once we get the top end buttoned up, and weber installed we should be good to go!

    brad: the tires are bias ply tires? The guy I bought it off of wanted it to be original. They don't hold air and don't roll for shit!!

    I too am a fan of the 1st gens, but I never really got into the later 4 headlight models.

  12. #12

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    Do you guys know if I can get the sport decals anywhere? I have part of an OEM decal kit, the truck was in a fender bender along time ago and they used a couple stripes out of the kit, so I have a good starting point to have something reproduced. I'm along way away from body work, but the rarity of these truck means you have to plan ahead!

  13. #13



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    not sure if anyone remade the stripping on your truck, but if you have part of the kit, any sign shop should be able to make them for you. As an alternative, you could paint them on and then clear over them.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  14. #14

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    not exactly what you are after (its a 1984 listing) but this "may help" with your search:
    http://www.group1autoparts.com/auto-...ripe-tape-scat

  15. #15



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    I know you want to bring it back to looking factory, but do you really want decals? A couple of the plastic molded sport brandings on fenders would be nice and clean. Decals would just get faded and shrink again after a few years, then 2 tone your paint too. Any type of red vinyl would fade very fast also. Pennyman suggestion with using paint would be real nice. But if your set to decals, paint shop vinyl cutters can create them, but only one color sheets are made. For example; if it's 3 colors..then 3 sheets need to be made and to look good, you need them to line up perfect. Any breeze as your placing them can end up in a disaster if they even touch the truck and grab hold. Re-pulling them stretches and distorts the vinyl.

  16. #16



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    Some sign shops airbrush the other colors onto a decal like that then puts a clear sealer layer on it instead. The install is tricky as Brad mentioned, even with the soapy water or windex install methods.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  17. #17

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    new carb installed...pretty sure its a knock off. Not stamped anywhere on the carb that it is a weber, just some stickers. This carb will most likely work ok on this truck, since it is not a streetable truck. Hasn't been plated since we have owned it. We are going to use the bigger weber on the sport d50, where is the best place to buy these carbs to know you are getting a genuine Weber carb?

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    This is what 3 of the lifters looked like, primed and installed per instructions I found on this site. Pretty straight forward.

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    removed jet valves and installed delete kit. what do you gain by not having the jet valves?

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    some pictures of our other mini trucks. The two on top are my brothers and the bottom two are mine. They are all Jeep Comanche's. The red one on the bottom is my DD, has driveline and interior from 1998 Cherokee.

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  18. #18

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    been busy getting the new shop completed, and some family issues getting worked out, and having our first child, but finally started working on this thing again. Trying to get some more parts lined out and ran into an issue with the cylinder head. The head was cracked and replaced under warranty once before. We pulled the valve cover off when we pulled the motor last summer, and saw antifreeze. We would like to get a new head but can't seam to find anything. They are all for 82 and newer. What was changed between 79-81 and 82-8? Getting a cam from schnieder i believe. I have a head from a 2.6 out of a conquest, but i don't know if it is any good, or if it will even work. It is a complete head with turbo exhaust manifold. Thanks in advance for the help!

  19. #19



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    If you change out the intake for an 82 or newer, then you can use the newer head on the older motor.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

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