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Thread: Finally making my debut to the truck scene!

  1. #1

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    Finally making my debut to the truck scene!

    Whats up everyone.

    I posted in the introductions section about finally getting a pick up truck to build, since I've been with nothing but japanese cars my whole life as an enthusiast. I've been wanting an old pickup for a while, it was always a contemplation between the old tacoma or mighty max/d50. I finally got a deal, picking it up for only 800$ on craigslist.

    Here's the link to the introduction page: http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...s-from-the-FNG!

    Next, I'm posting this thread to consolidate my questions and get some inputs and opinions, as far as maintenance and cosmetics (which would be the last of my priorities). I originally picked this mighty max up a few nights ago, did a quick inspection for the regulars, and then it started to get dark out, so i had to quickly minimize what i wanted to look for. Cell phone flashlight was no help, however, i was still pretty satisfied on the condition i got it in, for how much it was. SO many people are posting here in vegas for older trucks for like 2000$ and up and still looking ratchet. For 800$ and the condition it was in, well worth it.

    Here are some pics from craigslist:
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    Issues with the truck from the inspection were:
    -Rusted coolant
    -Leaking thermostat housing
    -Dash lighting was out
    -Tail lamps were inop
    -each rear wheel had ONE missing lug nut. lol

  2. #2

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    So yesterday, i started getting into it. Got my 18 month old to nap, and i was able to go outside and mess with a few things.

    - I drained the antifreeze into a bucket, collected what looked like a bathing tub for pigs in the ranch. I then flushed the system 3 times just with my garden hose, knowing that i was going to discharge all the water anyways, so distilled water was out of the picture. The 4th time flushing, i picked up some flushing agent from AutoZone and did it with distilled water, ran it for a good 15 minutes. All fluid flushing was done in idle, but had to hold the throttle in place for it to pick up rpm because with the heater on full blast, it was having issues maintaining idle, maybe TPS is bad, i even adjusted the throttle cable so it didn't have so much play. I then filled the system up with 50/50, burped the system and called it a day, no overheating.

    - Replaced the thermostat and gasket
    - Replaced PCV valve
    - Inspected vacuum hoses
    - Inspected ALL belts for frays, cracks, and excessive play

    The majority of my work yesterday was to getting the cooling system done, just to prevent over heating.


    Today, i went outside in this 110 degree dry heat weather, and seen some leaks below the truck. From what i noticed was that it was coming from the thermostat housing. When i replaced the thermostat and gasket, i noticed the housing did seat properly, so i sanded both mating surfaces (t-stat housing and t-stat mount) and tightened the two bolts snugly. Yesterday when i mounted it, i felt it was good enough to stay in place.

    So today, it looks like i have to replace the thermostat housing rather trying to salvage it. 20$ at parts store, so its not so bad. I do want to replace the o2 sensor because the previous owner told me it had emission issues, which i want to get out the way so i can get it registered. He didn't want to leave the classic plates with me, bummer, i could have skipped the smog process.

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    And this photo is some kind of stability bar i noticed when i went under the car, completely broken.
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    Plans for this month are:
    - Brakes and Rotors replacement, flush brake lines
    - Fix broken bar or replace THEN alignment
    - REGISTER the vehicle lol
    - Replace spark plugs, probably gonna keep the same coil packs, they look like they're in good shape
    - Compression test
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  3. #3

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    lol, how do you edit posts? i must have uploaded my RSX by accident and the image for the broken bar needs to rotate 90 degrees to the right.

  4. #4

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    Off to a good start, Ronne!

    That stablizing bar broken like that is concerning. I hope you can get one from a junk yard to replace it...or...I wonder if it could be welded? (You'd certainly want to remove it for welding).

    From the photos I'd say you might wanna replace the distributor cap and wires...they look fairly aged.

    And the edit functions aren't available to regular members: you need to be a contributor to the site. Fear not: it isn't a scam, because a $10 donation will get you into "Donator" status. (Plus you get a really cool MightryRam50 sticker to sport on your truck, should you want to).

    $800 is a good price, and the two-tone paint is way cool. Likely the truck has not had the care it needs...few of us found a "loved" MM/D50...but these trucks really DO respond well to the care you give 'em. Be sure to check the differential oil.

    And be sure to keep those photos comin'! I wish I had taken pics when I first got my truck, but I didn't. I'm grateful for the website here to have a permanent record of the upgrades I made over the past couple of years. (Gallery)

    EDIT: Interesting: someone put a D50 grille on the truck: that's not a Mighty Max grille!
    Last edited by royster; 07-24-2016 at 02:24 PM.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  5. #5

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    The broken bar is the adjuster for the forward caster and also prevents the control arm bushes from being loaded up. Don't weld it - just get another one from a yard. Easy enough to replace.

  6. #6

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    decided to take a pic of the engine for everyone to see what i open the hood to and think to myself.. "where do i start" lol

    The breather pipe for the air intake was purposely removed because I've been taking it off to get to the thermostat housing and such, the 3 bolts that hold the intake housing is only finger tight. Previous owner decided to run a two 10" subs and an amp thats why you see that large red wire from the battery. Unfortunately, he removed the stereo and the speakers, so I'm stuck with headphones to my iPhone for music lol.

  7. #7

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    Also, there is an alarm system in the engine bay, that i do want to disconnect, just incase he has a spare key and is able to unlock it through the alarm system.

    Geezer, what other vehicles is the forward caster bar compatible to? is any year MM or d50 compatible? I hope they're not too hard to find, i won't be able to get a good 100% alignment done without caster being able to zero out.

  8. #8

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    You're gonna be stuck with sourcing another one from the same model. And it would be advisable to swap the caster end bushings as well. It is unlikely that they will simply tear out (even though I had it happen on a FWD hatch I owned) but they would be plenty tired from 25+ years of service. Once they go brittle the control arm bushes start to get loaded up even more and that's when everything falls to pieces.

    Oh btw - I am loving the way that heavy gauge amp cable was just left dangling across the engine bay like that, what could go wrong? The PO needs a smack on the knuckles and a bus ticket.

  9. #9

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    It seems to me you can get that part on model years spanning from late 87 to 95...members who know, please correct me if that's not true.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  10. #10

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    As it turns out...I just went to look...I have both of those rods: I cut off the front end from my parts truck before I scrapped it and they're still attached to the frame I kept. (All the A-frame etc.).

    Look around to see if you can get one locally, but if push comes to shove, PM me, Ronne, and we'll get the part to you. It'll probably be cheaper to get it locally.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  11. #11

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    I just did a quick inquiry from the many junkyards around here. I also tried searching autozone's database to see if they one, no luck. Lol

  12. #12

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    If I'm correct, that's the driver's side, is it not?

    The ones I have are from an '89 2.0, so it should work on your truck. Again, any member who can show I'm wrong on this, please let us know.

    Here's the detritus...

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    Last edited by royster; 07-25-2016 at 11:50 AM.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  13. #13

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    When I get home from work, I'll take a panoramic picture of the chassis so we can both see if we're on the same page.

  14. #14

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    Heres a pic of it, taken in front of the driver side front tire facing to the rear. I had to snap the image from my iPhone since I didn't have my camera handy. It looks like it's connected to the driver side lower control arm and the part that's broken connects to some kind of bushing that's on front left side of the subframe.

    Royster- im trying to find justification of that image you sent, and see what angle it's in and see if the part I need is on your parts truck.
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  15. #15

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    Im having issues uploading the image, but I did a quick edit on my phone to circle the piece, if I'm correct, this should be it.

  16. #16

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    Yeah, you're right about it being the same part. I'll get to dismantling it for you and give you a PM. I've had issues with buyers on this site so I am always cautious about committing to shipping a part. (One guy still owes me for a shifter I sent a year ago).

    Your photos show that part as having being dealt with in recent years: it looks like the washers are "new", and possibly the bushings. The shiny area indicates some sort of rubbing or contact going on there. Wonder what the issue was, and what caused the rod to snap? I suggest you get under there and do some investigation, if only to assess any hidden damage.

    Our next step...probably not necessary, but better safe than sorry...is to measure the rod and see if our measurements agree. Geezer, please feel free to add any insights you have, as I highly respect your experience.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  17. #17

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    Here's the part, in all its rusted, filthy glory:

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    It was easy to remove, and should be simple to install. As you see, an overload pad is attached to it. It's held on, below, with two 17MM bolts. The large end bolt is 22MM. There is no chance of anything springing off or hitting you in the face...it's really just a stablizing bar.

    In looking at the frame I have, it is more than likely that shiny spot is from the tire rubbing there...indicating to me a little tryst with a curb or a parking bump-thing. [EDIT: Or maybe just from flopping around, bumping against the tire]So, again, check and see what kind of other damages there might be. An impact hard enough to break that bar is something to look into. The good news is: you're well on your way to making a good repair that will last a long time!
    Last edited by royster; 07-26-2016 at 06:47 AM.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  18. #18

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    That definitely looks like it. I believe it's coming from tires rubbing. Has ALOT of play, so I can only assume that once the truck is fully turned to the right, it rubs on it.

  19. #19

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    Update:

    just st replaced the thermostat housing aka water outlet. Fixed the small leak coming from the collector, even with a new gasket and sanding both mating surfaces down. But gladly the part wasn't too pricy, I managed to get it shipped over night. Burping the system now as I'm typing this update, and so far so good. Coolant is still rusty but with continous flushing I should be ok. I want to move on to other things at this point.

    i do notice that the idle rpm is inconsistent sometimes, where can I find the IAC valve? I want to clean that out while I'm here.

    Also what is aftermarket piece that replaces the intake with just like a squared looking filter? I can't seem to find it anywhere. I don't like the housing, I prefer that cool looking intake filter mount. I'm not looking for a short ram intake, just like the actual filter that seats above the throttle body.

    Thats all for now folks. Til next time.

  20. #20

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    Should i I also mention that I now know instrument lighting!

    I know, I know... I'm pretty good lol I'm jk, it was just a loose terminal clip behind the instrument panel.

    Ok ok that's all for now. Lol

  21. #21

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    Congrats on your forward progress.

    I'm sending you a PM regarding the strut bar. My concern right now is that the one flopping around is damaging the mounting holes in the lower pivot arm. Maybe check that out, when the 18-month-old isn't demanding college tuition

    Also: did you remove the radiator for the flush, or are you just doing circulation flushes, for now?

    Fer kicks, here's the parts truck dismantling process. http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...?albumid=420It
    It took some six hours (and five metal cutting blades) to do the dismantle, and two or three trips to the scrap yard...where I only got $44 for the scrap. The yard has since gone out of business, scrap metal is no longer worth the effort. I saved the differential and the front end, also doors and front fenders.
    Last edited by royster; 07-27-2016 at 04:43 AM.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  22. #22

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    The bottom has fallen out of the scrap steel market. We were getting $0.02 per kilo - not even worth the effort of taking it in for scrap sale. Roy has been very prudent in stockpiling parts and panels. They always come in handy (normally about a week after you've gotten sick of falling over it and sent it off to the dump) and stuff for our trucks is only going to get harder to find.

  23. #23

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    Roy, I got your pm, I responded through the email u sent in the pm, as you requested. It's funny you mention the college tuition thing going on. He'll probably have to suffer with me investing in my many projects lol, all for giggles. It is a long process, but in due time, it will get to where I want it. For now, the main goal is passing emissions for registration. I'd have to definitely find a smog place that only charges if it passes.

    Like I mentioned before, the PO told me it had emission issues, so without a check engine light (which, do we even have one other than the maintence required) I can't really diagnose the issue other than driving to a parts store and see if they can do any OBD1 testing.

  24. #24

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    Thanks, Ronne. The part should arrive sometime late next week. I'll let you know when I get confirmation.

    Noahwins is a smog guy in California, he might be able to help you with some suggestions.

    I'm not sure the difference after '90 for the code read-out, but the connector is under the fuse compartment, and regardless of a working CEL or not, would give you some sort of report. You might do well to remove the instrument cluster and see if you can get all the lights up to par. If memory serves me correct, the Check Engine Light is one of those tiny ones, ya gotta really look for 'em at Pep Boys, or a parts store with a large selection. My guess is that the PO pulled it out, or it finally burned out from neglect.

    We're here to help, so ask when you need it. I'm not a fountain of good answers, but I can at least tell jokes until the EMTs get here.

    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  25. #25

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    Hey, Ronne: what's the latest on this project!?
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

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