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Thread: My first generation build

  1. #51

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    When they made the transition from Gen 1 to Gen 2, some of the control switches changed and they aren't cross compatible. That being said, I can't see why it wouldn't be possible go the full deal and replace the wiper/indicator combo switch and a few other units from the Gen 2 (don't know if it has been done but at the end of the day, you'll end up with intermittent wiper delay and a bunch of newer components that should be easier to source replacements for) The electrics for these trucks are pretty basic without EFI and with a whole wiring loom laid out in front of you, you can delete/add and modify it to suit your build. It would be easier just to get another Gen 1 loom that hasn't been butchered but sometimes you have to work with what's available...

  2. #52

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    btw, that looks like a heap of fun!

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    btw, that looks like a heap of fun!
    It was one of the best weekends I have ever had.

    I ordered a similar headlight kit from amazon for the headlights. I am going to be on the look out for a first gen truck to pull the wire harness and just get a good idea on what things "should" look like. I do need to figure out how to pull the dash off.

  4. #54

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    Gen 1's are easy enough to pull apart. Take off the heater control knobs and the blower knob, undo the blower switch nut. There's 2 screws in the upper part of the gauge shroud - remove them. You should be able to pull the whole dash panel out (if you have tilt adjust steering, drop it down as pulling the dash panel out takes a bit of wrangling to clear the steering column cover top). Unplug the lighter socket and you can take the whole dash panel out of the way, exposing 4 screws that hold the gauge cluster in place (one in each corner). Remove them and pull the cluster forward, reach in behind the cluster and unplug the 3 connector sockets and unscrew the speedo cable.

    Done. This should give you all the access you need to the under dash wiring.

  5. #55

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    Pulled out the ecm the other day. If anyone is interested in it, they can have it it just pay for shilping. It will come with what I believe is all of the original carb connections.

  6. #56

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    wiring

    Finally "made" my headlights work, got one of those premade wire harnesses. Now I have my regular headlights, but one of the brights comes on too, dimly lite though. I also hooked up my electric choke wire to the black wire with a white strip that connects to the white piece on the ignition coil. Drove to work the next day and everything was fine. Went to drive home and had a dead battery, the starter pushed the gear out but then no spin. Disconnected all of my extra wires (led bar, cb, power inverter, new light harness) and the electric choke. Got a jump and it started, reconnected electric choke so it wouldn't rev so high.

    Now I am trying to find out what caused the battery to drain. Is the location I connected the choke to a good one? From the wiring diagrams is seems like the same wire that was suggested to me (original carb fuel cut off solenoid). If it is a good one, then the drain must have come from another source, probably the headlight relays or something.

  7. #57

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    The place you hooked up the electric choke is standard. There is no power to the coil without the ignition switch turned to the 'ON' position so there's no chance of it being live the whole time (unless someone did something really stupid to the ignition circuit, which would then lead to the ICM in the distributor burning out very quickly). There must be a live continuous power issue somewhere else which has just taken place since you fixed the headlights. Did you hook up power from the battery for the new headlight harness?

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    The place you hooked up the electric choke is standard. There is no power to the coil without the ignition switch turned to the 'ON' position so there's no chance of it being live the whole time (unless someone did something really stupid to the ignition circuit, which would then lead to the ICM in the distributor burning out very quickly). There must be a live continuous power issue somewhere else which has just taken place since you fixed the headlights. Did you hook up power from the battery for the new headlight harness?
    I Bought a kit similar to what you suggested from Amazon. It has power from the battery to relays, then to lights and have short ground wires that I screwed into the body. I then took a wire from negative to the cab where I hooked up a switch and then to the negative side of the relays. I feel like I may have constant power to the relays, so may need to rethink how I power them.

    Thanks for letting me know the choke wire is good, I remember you describing where you hook it up. But since I just tore out the ECM and original carb wiring, I wanted to make sure I did it right.

  9. #59

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    If you have a pocket multimeter, check the relays for signs of voltage while the switch is off. If you don't have one - get one. They can be had for cheaps and are invaluable for digging around auto electrics. I would look at the relay that is tripping off the high beam - I think there's something suspicious going on there. There shouldn't be any voltage passing into that circuit without the high beams actually switched on (maybe the relay is faulty...)

  10. #60

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    Was looking at rock auto and trying to compare possible alternators that would be a direct fit and have higher amps. It looks like one from a 1984 Cordia would fit, but it's at a different clock (10 vs 6). do you think the clock or position of the alternators matters much in our trucks? Seems like it would be more important in vehicles that have tight spaces.

  11. #61

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    Maybe an alternator from an Express/Starwagon engine would be better. They have a 110 amp rating as well (the Cordia ones I looked at were 75...?) The closer to the original alternator mounting the better. Less messing with belts, pulleys and brackets. The charging system in these trucks is one of it's bugs. A weak alternator and low CCA rated battery will ambush you when you need it least (pouring rain, freezing cold and driving at night - yay...) Once you have the charging system beefed up you can upgrade the headlights and add some extra spotlights and/or a decent stereo.

  12. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    Maybe an alternator from an Express/Starwagon engine would be better. They have a 110 amp rating as well (the Cordia ones I looked at were 75...?) The closer to the original alternator mounting the better. Less messing with belts, pulleys and brackets. The charging system in these trucks is one of it's bugs. A weak alternator and low CCA rated battery will ambush you when you need it least (pouring rain, freezing cold and driving at night - yay...) Once you have the charging system beefed up you can upgrade the headlights and add some extra spotlights and/or a decent stereo.
    I was under the impression they are not a direct swap. Is that true?

  13. #63



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    Depending on the year of the alternator and truck, the plug on the truck may need to be changed to match the alternator - easy fix. May also have to change pulley if it is off a car with serpentine belts
    Pennyman1
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  14. #64

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    Went to Pick-N-Pull this afternoon to try and grab some parts for my new LED headlights (pics coming soon) from a 90ish ram 50. As I was walking around I found an 87 Raider and decided to look at what I could take from it. Low and behold it has a limited slip! My plan is to go back in a couple days and pull it out so that I can put in my truck. Quick question: it seems like I can just swap out the rear end gears, just pull out the whole set up from the forward side of the axle. But what about the front, I have read that they are different ratio from the ram 50? I have a 4x4 and want to keep it that way, how easy is it to swap those out?

  15. #65



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    there were 2 ratios - 3.909 and 4.222 - both came with LSD. the 4.22 gears are the ones everyone wants in a 4wd - John baker used to sell them for the 2wd 2.6 to put the motor in the power band at highway speeds.
    Pennyman1
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  16. #66

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    Went to drive my truck the other day (like a month ago) and the engine started to turn over but then just stopped. I tried again and all I heard was a click. Thinking dead battery I hooked up my jumper pack and tried again, still just a click. Took off starting thinking it was bad. Had it tested at Autozone and it worked just fine, so I put it back in the truck. Made sure my jumper pack was fully charged (it was) and tried again, still just a click. Did some of my own testing with a multimeter (should have done this first) and from what I can tell, its a bad solenoid. I am about to order one, but before I do, would anyone like to suggest another possible culprit?

    I have also been wanting to change up the exhaust on this truck, but on the super cheap. I am not really looking for lots of power gains, but if some happens, that's good. Other than pace setter, can someone suggest headers that would work on the 2.6? Maybe something found off a stock engine from a junk yard? Suggestions on muffler? was thinking of a magnaflow, maybe something similar in size to stock. I just do not want a super loud exhaust as I sometimes drive this thing to work and I leave really early in the morning. Don't want to disturb the neighbors and such. Also considering making the exhaust into a stack like a semi, just for laughs.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  17. #67

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    The biggest wiring gremlin is bad ground lead connections. Disconnect the leads to the block and frame rails and polish up the copper eyelets and clean the crud from the places they are bolted up to. Bad grounds will cause voltage drops and restrict current to the starter motor. If you have the Weber carb, the 2.6 needs to breathe to make the most of it. A 2.25/2.5" exhaust with headers is the ticket. Retuning the ignition will also unearth some hidden midrange and top end power as well (and it's free - only costs you time). Porting the head and intake manifold + a wider duration cam will finish the job but you'll make useable gains without going down this path. Use a sealed air cleaner set up if you aren't already. The radiant heat in the engine bay will ramp air intake temperatures and rob the engine of torque and mess with the tuning. The longer the intake path, the more torque you can make.

  18. #68

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    Having issues getting this thing to start and I just cant figure it out. Anyone in the Portland area good at diagnosing and want to help me out? There's beer and pizza up for grabs.

  19. #69

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    I have checked battery, cabelas for continuity and cleaned the ends. Replaced starter, check for power all around from key to all the grounds and power leads. Eveything checks normal, but I still only get a click.

    Was looking at the wire diagram and want to check the jumper wires since this is a manual, where are those located?

  20. #70



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    If you are referring to the neutral jumper, it is right behind the shifter under the carpet / mat. That is where the neutral safety switch plugs in for the auto shifter - the manual trucks have a jumper in place of the switch.
    Pennyman1
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  21. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    If you are referring to the neutral jumper, it is right behind the shifter under the carpet / mat. That is where the neutral safety switch plugs in for the auto shifter - the manual trucks have a jumper in place of the switch.
    Thanks, just checked that. It's not the culprit.

  22. #72



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    Did you try jumping directly to the starter? if it works then, work your way back. You can also jump the 1/4 inch spade lug to the +12 lead to see if the solenoid works
    Pennyman1
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  23. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    Did you try jumping directly to the starter? if it works then, work your way back. You can also jump the 1/4 inch spade lug to the +12 lead to see if the solenoid works
    I have checked for continuity, voltage and cleaned the terminals from the positive post on the battery through the starter and back to the negative post on the battery, all good. I checked for voltage and continuity on the ignition wire on the column wire to the solenoid, all good.

    Jumped the terminals on the starter with it off the truck, all good. Tried doing the same with it in the truck and it intermittently works. But it only clicks, does not turn the starter.

    I am planning in checking other wires on steering column to see if they are good. After that I can only think of changing out the wires from battery to starter, engine to frame and frame to battery since it acts like it's not getting power through the starter. Even though I already checked them.

  24. #74

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    Is there a relay between the ignition and the Starter? Looking around I cannot find one in line and the diagram does not show one that I could find. There is a relay by the good release that keeps falling out of its holder. But I think that's the fuel shut off for the original carb, so it should not affect me since I have a weber.

  25. #75



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    Darn 1st gen trucks always seem like they crank engine slow. I know in one case I purchased anew starter and it wasn't a 3 wire starter. Guy said just tape up the 3rd wire and don't worry about it. Well, in California don't worry about only being 9 volts since weather is always pretty warm and vehicles and batteries stay nice a warm. Soon as I got up in Washington, the trouble started slow cranking. Took me a long time to relocate the 3rd wire I hid from myself, lol. Looked online and a few others must of had the same issue when going from 3 to 2 wire starter and one got an idea and put in a diode to bring up that voltage to 12v on start. Been good ever since for me.
    Though your problem may not be the same, but it seems you have something killing voltages. Need to get voltmeter out a check during keyon and start times. See what voltage is doing. Make sure that battery doesn't have a broken inner terminal post too. They can break inside the battery from knocking down a cable onto the post and you won't know it. I hate electrical problems with a passion and I hope you find yours. Start by running them test that have been being used for decades. Simple test, you probably kick yourself when you find the problem was a wire you forgot to reconnect, lol.

    Good luck, let us know what happens.

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