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Thread: New owner from Austin, Texas! 85 ram 50

  1. #1

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    New owner from Austin, Texas! 85 ram 50

    New member and newfound lover of the Ram 50!

    Since I bought this truck about a month ago I am in the process of getting it up to standard but have been in love with it

    not sure of the trucks entire history but I do know that it was on a military base for a large amount of its life and the previous owner that I purchased it from was a mechanic. I believe it may be from up north because it has heater only and has been coated with this rust tough coating in the underside and in some spots of the cab ( very little rust though &#128516

    repairs that hat I was told were completed by previous owner:
    Lower ball joints, tie rods, front brakes and rotors, u joints, timing belt, balance shaft belt, new head (maybe from a scrap yard), weber 2 barrel carb w/ electric choke, cap rotor plugs wires, front shocks, fuel pump ( mechanical), emissions capped( mostly? A couple hanging lines), catalytic converter gutted, trans fluid flushed and changed at 75000 miles (truck currently has 99000), differentials topped off never flushed, took radiator to shop and had it rodded and cleaned and flushed. He also put an exhaust stack in the bed and has homade lift 2 inches and has 4 bfg all terrains ( fronts are 235/75/r15 backs are 31/10.5/r15)

    repairs I have done so far:
    cleaned up kn filter using cleaning kit, replaced thermostat, replaced idler pully, fuel filter, changed oil ( castrol 10w30 w/ rislone added and purolator oil filter, also ran a can of seafoam through it.

    things I have noticed about truck:
    no leaks!
    runs cool (as in temp, never seen my temp guage reach the middle it's always in the i between the middle and the cold mark) no matter how long it's been running and even when I replaced thermostat
    has no real power, acceleration is not good. 85 is about the max if I'm flying down a hill. She keeps up with traffic for the most part but having trouble believing it's always drove like this. Definitely takes me a while to get to 65 ( longer than it should we have 85 mph toll roads here in Texas!) This may be partially due to the 31 inch tires on the back? I'm planning on getting tires that match the front soon and see if acceleration picks up

    any other suggestions on what may be causing my acceleration/power problems? I have a weber on there ,with what I have read I should be set once I got that put on shouldn't I?


    look forward to hearing from y'all
    cheers!

  2. #2



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    Welcome to the forum

  3. #3

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    a few other things to check: your temp readout indicates to me that thermostat is incorrect "the" service manual recommends 88c (190f) or more with jiggle valve (i run a stant 45869 which is 195f in the 1983 g54b) improper engine temp will cause low power (i know your thinking its gonna run too hot, read on). another item to check is spark plugs (@ sometime the cross reference charts got messed up & most parts stores will recommend a hotter plug & not show the following) for a g63b "the" service manual recommends NGK bp6es-11, bpr6es-11 or ND w20epr-u10 (i had trouble locating either of these for a reasonable price & run an equivalent Autolite). improper spark plug heat value will cause low power (if you are an ngk lover like i am always remember their chart is opposite of most..the lower the #=hot & the higher the #=cold). another item is faulty advance mechanism (this may mean something as simple as vacuum leak) "typically" the line gets old & "usually" only cracks where it attaches. i recently had discovered 1 on the 1983 (after i was sure got all of them) & it was cracked on the underside where i couldn't see, after a quick snip off of the last 1/2" & reapply it was noticeably smoother. so check the line to the vacuum advance. another item is timing should be about 7 btdc (i run the 1983 around 9btdc).

  4. #4



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    The tires are part of your problem - it is not only causing a performance hit, but it also is making your speedo read lower than you are actually going - stock tires are 26", and you have 31" - major difference. There is a chart on here some where that gives the revs per mile and other details. To correct for the difference you would need 4.63 or 4.88 gears in the rear, stock in your truck with an auto is 3.54, manual 3.91.
    Pennyman1
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  5. #5

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    Sorry for the late response, I replaced thermostat with 195* and temp stays in the middle finally. Checked vacuum lines and had leak in one of the plugs. Replaced and finally driving better/ acceleration picked up! Finally feels like truck is running normal with 31 inch tires and not 31 inch lead weights!

    Couple other things on my mind.

    1st is my front drivers side wheel seems to be crooked. Only noticed when I saw tread wearing excessively. When I look underneath it's pretty evident it is not plum as are the other ones. What can I do/ replace to plum this up?

    2nd is sometimes while accelerating and only accelerating I get this squeaking/ squeezing sound. Sound speeds up as I speed up and is only every now and then. It's a horrible sounds and worries me/ seems like it is possibly getting worse.

    Any advice would help!
    cheers!

  6. #6

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    computer alignment (shop may not align if tires are too far gone) & squeak sounds like universal joint.

  7. #7



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    Squeak could also be the carrier bearing on the driveshaft. Alignment issue may be caused by how it was lifted, or bad / bent suspension parts.
    Pennyman1
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  8. #8



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    Could also be a fan belt, can you run some video on the sound so we could hear it. Load video to youtube and embed the video using the film strip icon. You probably want to fix that sound pretty soon. Could be something that requires lubrication.

    or it's just a muffler bearing.

    Running a 195 temp thermostat in Texas? I would think this does not give the radiator enough time to cool the water down in such a hot temp state. I run a 160 because these trucks can have issues when they over heat. As for the gauges, be careful your gauge is telling the truth. My temp gauge was saying I am over heating and the truck is not even running when it shows it pegged. lol. Purchased a new gauge and it works correctly.

  9. #9

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    A few pics of wheel, bad negative camber, and just pics in general! Sorry she hasn't had a wash in a while
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    The 7th pic is my passenger front wheel that is plum and looks to have an okay bushing. After these pics it seems that I will need to replace the bushing on my driver side wheel before I get it aligned.

    Last pics are of my homemade upholstery job on my dash cost about 10 bucks so You can't beat it.

    does anyone see anything else I'm not seeing I just noticed the bushing on my driver side but does anyone see anything else /have any advice?

    also I'm gonna take her out later and I'll try to shoot the video of the squeaking noise. Shot one yesterday when the noise was really loud but my phone died in the middle of the video so have to reshoot and hope (but not hope ��) it happens again.

    thanks again for all of y'alls help!

  10. #10

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    http://youtu.be/OGu6kFv9mxk

    video of metallic grind/squeal
    sounds like it's coming from under the bed of truck
    only happens when driving...sometimes( doesn't make sound when I rev engine in park)
    Only happens when accelerating
    sound speeds up when I speed up.
    getting progressively worse

    help!

  11. #11

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    difficult to hear in the vid.....did you check for loose/vibrating exhaust shields?

  12. #12



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    Hmmm, I hear a grind and a squeak going on. Grind sounds usually driveline issues if in the rear area. Check your fluid levels in the trany and rear end. Lift the truck rear end and place on jackstands and chock the front wheels. Have a friend listen for the sound as you try to recreate it. Check for any debris that maybe wrapped around an axel. Check drum brakes for wear and while the truck rear is up, spin the back wheels by hand and wobble them for bearing checking. Trany fluid can be checked with your finger in the fill hole. Check for funny smell (burnt) or perhaps replace it all. Also check the center support bearing on driveline. If it has never been changed, it will be sagging like a pair of grannies hooters. Some grease shot into the hole can extend a little time. Check the U-joints while your under there. Grab the driveshaft and roll it back and forth as you check for U-Joint play. If they have zerk fittings, push grease into them. Need to start finding out what isn't the noise to determine what is the noise.

    Are those front tires getting cupped also? or worn on one side more then other. Could be alignment time or damaged worn out parts. Grease gun anything with a zerk fitting on it. Pack the grease in until all the old crap is flushed.

  13. #13

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    So I think my bushings are fine but I def need to replace my upper ball joint on my driver side. It's completely "squished". Mechanic shops are saying absurd prices is there any way I can replace this myself? Do I need a special tool? Any help would be appreciated

  14. #14

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    I just got a set of Dorman brand (Taiwan made) upper control arms with shafts and the ball joint pre-pressed in for around $70 each. Not OEM quality but OK for my work truck.

    While you're digging around in the front end, might be worth it to get a replacement set of lower control arm bushings. They get chewed up on these trucks. Also the "professional grade" idler arm repair kit on RockAuto is great. Cleans up steering slop.

    Those are my 2WD experiences, could be different prices and difficulty levels with 4WD.
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
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  15. #15

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    Got two upper ball joints, two sets of bushings for lower control arm, and idler arm repair kit on rock auto. Should be here in a couple days.
    Any suggestions on repairing it myself or should I just for over the money and have a shop install it?

  16. #16

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    http://www.harborfreight.com/ball-jo...es-60827.html\
    Harbor freight has a decent press for the ball joints that I purchased and replaced for my 85 Ram 50 4x4 before I sold it. I recall it being a little tight but I was able to do both sides in less than two hours. As for the bushing I did in on New Years eve a few years ago and it took me all day. You have to tear out the entire front end to get to them. Everything but the upper control arm will be removed. Then you can get a nice alignment job though and it should start running true. I would also recommend greasing the upper control arm joint while you have it all apart. It will tighten it up and reduce any play that you may have. If you do though you'll have to remove the upper control arm as well. Good luck! You have a weekends worth of work cut out for you.

  17. #17

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    I refuse to do any suspension work without a 60+ gallon compressor, impact air tools and a lift. Suspension parts are big, high torque, potentially dangerous (compressed springs and leafs under tension -- break a hand if a spring compressor lets go) and usually filthy with dirt and rust. Far less painful to pay to have a pro do it or use a friend's shop and tools after hours. I used to be ambitious enough (read: broke, young and cocky enough about my own skill) to attempt heavy duty jobs like completely rebuilding a front end with jackstands and hand tools in a driveway and it always dragged out into days worth of work. A buddy, lots of air and air tools and a lift go a long way to make short work of it.
    Last edited by noahwins; 04-18-2015 at 10:11 AM.
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
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  18. #18

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    I took to the shop with ball joints and bushings. They said that my left upper control arm is "flanged" where the ball joint is and that I have to replace the upper control arm.
    noah what site did you get those dorman control arms from? I can't find any only a used one from an 82 in ebay
    Is it possible to weld balljoint on the existing "flanged" control arm and it not pop out.

    oh and just noticed I have a trans oil leak where the rear "tail" of the transmission and differential meet right next to the u joint where the ?yoke? connects how hard is this to replace and what's the exact name for it.

    and that noise is def getting worse I hate it I'll try to get a better vid but I need to figure it out

    seems like everything's falling apart!
    any help is appreciated

  19. #19

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    Rock Auto for everything. Grab a 5% discount code in this thread:

    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...e-Thread/page2
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
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  20. #20

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    Only saw dorman lower control arms no upper for my 85

  21. #21

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    I cannot find replacement upper control arms anywhere am I best off getting a used control arm off ebay and getting new shaft kits. I was hoping to find a replacement with ball joints already pressed in but can't find anywhere

  22. #22

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    i found 2 doorman upper control arms for a 1996 mitsubishi montero. Will this fit my '85 ram 50 4x2??

  23. #23

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    no, the montero uses a totally different arm. these are the factory correct original OEM upper control arms for you 85 might max from mitsubishi, not some aftermarket company. they are about $100 each

    Right: http://www.mitsubishipartswarehouse....&siteid=214581

    Left: http://www.mitsubishipartswarehouse....&siteid=214581

  24. #24

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    I can't figure out, does that come with the shaft and bal joint or is it just the control arm without it

  25. #25

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    Send them an email and ask them. That'd be a pretty good deal if it did. It sort of looks like it does from the diagram since you are purchasing #4 and it has the ball joint as part of it. I would contact them and find out for sure. It sounds almost too good to be true.

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