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Thread: Meet Grumbles the Mighty! And it's owner...

  1. #1

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    Meet Grumbles the Mighty! And it's owner...

    Yeah, I know some people do not care for others naming their vehicle. I am fine with that.

    I picked up Grumbles two weeks ago. And he is a typical Wisconsin truck. Lots of rust, and a disturbing list of issues. I will be starting up a rebuilding log shortly to outline the over 100 issues I have so far identified...

    Grumbles is a 4x4 manual with a 4d56-t engine. It originally had the 4d55. The driver floor board is mostly gone in the front. Rocker panels basically gone, cab corners shot, doors rusted, something like 30 electrical repairs to do, lots of hackyness.

    As this is a member introduction thread I will describe myself a bit. I have just a little auto mechanic experience. But I rebuild machine tools, so stuck bolts and torque specs are not all to unfamiliar to me. I also have done a fair bit of electronics repair in the past, along with a great deal of mods/hacks/customizations on countless random goods.

    I have decided to take on all the electrical and cosmetic issues. Then pick and choose what I wish to tackle as far as mechanical is concerned.

    I expect to have a stack of questions as far as fit and finish of mechanical mods. And I can imagine I will run into many problems with the vehicle.

    My intent is to get this as right as possible, then build a custom slide in camper and travel the Western states for months on end. Hoping to give Grumbles some exciting twilight years.

    Straight off I would like to throw out a few questions just to get the flow started.

    Has anyone done a Toyota front axle mod on one of these? I have one sitting in the back yard and I feel it would be quite the upgrade, and it seems it would be almost economical as the front end just keeps adding up in repairs(new bearings, full brake repair, full rubber replacement, tie rods, shocks, etc, etc...).

    Anyone find some super premium bucket seats to throw in one of these? I saw a number of posts with people describing compact sports car buckets in but I am looking for something cushy and spacious. Will be looking through the local junk yard for something out of a premium(likely European) touring car as soon as Grumbles is road worthy again.

    So far I have had the valves adjusted, timing belt inspected(yeah, I should have just replaced it), front main seal replaced and a new thermostat. Degreasing today(truck is a grease ball). Then will be changing all the fluids. And I might try and pull apart the passenger front hub to replace bearings. Very fearful of those allen head screws. So tiny, so oxidized. I sprayed them down with penetrating oil yesterday, and will be doing it a couple more times today as I clean off all the accumulated grease and grime.

    Anyways I guess I should cut this short. It has gotten to be a very long post. Do not want to run people away with shear size.

    Looking forward to meeting you all, and can not wait to be talking shop with those in the know.

    Later All!
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  2. #2

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    Where is the best place on the forum to write up a rebuild log? I do not want to start it up in the wrong spot.

  3. #3

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    Welcome to you and Grumbles! I just started the resurrection of my yet to be named 1986 4x4. Mine was badged Dodge, not Mitsubishi so I was toying with naming it "Dodgie."

    Right off the top, my humble opinion would be, "Give your front axle a chance!!!" I assume yours is like mine, and independent, TORSION rod sprung front end. Unless you are planning on rock crawling and only rock crawling with Grumbles, you cannot beat the front end you already have. Renew, refresh, regrease, reshock if needed and trust me, I think you'll LOVE it

    Bill in Colorado

  4. #4

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    Welcome to the forum, trashnomancer ! "Grumbles" is a great name for a vehicle

    You have a first-generation truck, so you would place your build thread here http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...x-amp-Ram-D-50 in the first generation build forum.

    Grumbles looks like a very spirited truck - rust can't hide the heartbeat of some of these trucks.

    Post up some more pictures when you get the chance.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the reply Pengineer. Dodgie is a fair name. I know mine is a bit dodgy at the moment. You are likely right about the axle swap. It would be a big sacrifice in ride quality, though I do plan on some light crawling in the future as I am an avid gem and gold prospector. I will do what is needed to get it up as is and then think about the mod more if I really feel I need it. A little more clearance would be great in the end.

    I just got back in from giving Grumbles the wash of it's life. Took an hour and a half to get into every nook and cranny, blowing off grease and grime, some over 1/4" deep and blasting off all the rust welts. I just have a 1700psi washer but it did an admirable job. And I tried my best to avoid all the "sensitive parts"(seals, intake, gaskets, etc...).

    Thank you Royster for the link. I didn't have any idea where to post. I have around 100 photos I took when I inventoried all my issues. So the build log will have lots to look at. I will likely start tonight getting that together. Might need to run into town to upload all the photos as my internet has a tight cap, and is the only internet I can get where I live.

    After valve adjustment and a few intake leaks, Grumbles roars in a very happy way, and I smile every time the turbo winds up. This truck makes me so happy.

    I have had an old plain Jane s10 with the Iron Duke in it, squeezed up to 32mpg out of it. Paid $500 and got 60,000 out of it. Loved it. Great putt putt. But impossible to find them anymore. Retired when the rust ate the last of it...

    Then I had a 4cyl Yota with solid front axle and it served well. Got me in and out of remote places few trucks could. But only got 20ish mpg out of it. I am to cheap to pay for that much gas. Retired after the frame blew.

    This truck does it all, I have about 260 miles on it since I picked it up and so far I have just a little less then half a tank remaining. I tried the 4x4 the other day when I started spinning in the yard after pushing a trailer out of the way. It felt great. The body may be shot, but the frame is still very clean. Most of it has no scale at all. At one point someone undercoated it, which picked up all the grease being thrown around and did a fine job of protecting the frame, but dried out on much of the body and harbored all the salt and water that ate the rest of the body.

    Engine still feels very healthy. Tranny needs a new rear seal and strangely enough a 4th syncro. Cluch needs a new throwout and master. But such is life. I hope to kill all the rust on the truck so that it can live another 25 years, likely much longer as I plan to chip guard all ware surfices, oil the whole truck at least once a year, and fill all the hidden pockets with a mix of tranny oil and waxes.

    Oh no... There I go again.

    Pleasure to be part of the community. I hope my log helps others keep their Mightys on the road for generations to come. I will be doing everything I know how to, to make mine my daily driver for the rest of my life.

  6. #6

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    a buddy of mine recently did this with a standard 2nd gen 4wd, built a box on the back big enough to stand up in (cant have helped aerodynamics) and toured NZ using it as a hunting blind and stealth camper

  7. #7

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    I also want to do something similar with my 1st gen, but the only mod for that is an lsd diff to help with soggy camp sites.

    for bucket seats, old Porsche 911 leather seats are great, perhaps more cheaper are Honda crx bucket seats. Both are very adaptable (not seen them in a mitsi truck over here but they fit everything even a mini)


    my plans include running a power feed to the tray for tray lights and chargers

  8. #8

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    It started raining so I took the time to write up the start of my build. Mainly just a list of issues for now, still waiting for it to post so I can post the link here.

    Tortron thanks for the suggestion on the 911 seats. I could imagine those to be a fine choice. I will definitely keep an eye out for them. My "RV" design will be sitting height only. So hoping to only add about two feet or so. I have not measured as that is a much later project.

  9. #9

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    Don't underestimate the 4x4 prowess on Mitsubishi gear. You'll read posts on different 4x4 forums on guys getting a cheap laugh for pulling Nissans and Toyotas out of bad terrain and making it look easy. Sometimes all it takes is a strip down and a big clean and service to restore locking hubs. I've sourced a pair of seats out of a Peugeot 306xsi and took the matching seat belts so I didn't have to mess around with trying to mount the seatbelt buckles off the floor. To get it to work only required flipping the belt shackle over so it would bolt inboard instead of into the pillar. One of our members (skullzaflare) has just done a turbo upgrade on his diesel and it boots! Definitely worth a look. Oh, and welcome to mightyram!
    Last edited by geezer101; 05-09-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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    I picked up a set of front buckets from an Hyundai xg300 luxury sedan - 6 way power and heated - for 20 per seat. They are going into my gray 86 ram50 4x4. To really get the truck up in the air for crawling, check out this site for bushings, lift torsion bars, and other suspension parts: http://adventuredrivendesign.com/oca...berian+Bushing . also, get yourself a set of 92 - 95 upper control arms from a Montero (not Montero sport) for 1 to 2 inches of lift - they are available new on eBay. If you cant get the auto hubs to work, get these:https://www.ebay.com/itm/Locking-Hub...53.m1438.l2649 . Now I gave you some things to think about - welcome to the forum.
    Pennyman1
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  11. #11

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    Thank you Geezer for your advice. I will stick with the stock 4x4 till I decide I need more(likely will not happen with how the members talk).

    Pennyman, thank you for the link. Winner. Expensive but I bet a very long living solution. The lift info is extremely useful. And inch or two is all I feel I need. To much is definitely to much. My old Yota Had a spring over, 2" blocks, a 2" body lift, and big tires. The view was great, and the ride exciting, but occasionally a bit to exciting at high speed. The lift seemed to kill my economy and likely effected durability.

    My truck has manual locking hubs. I am taring them down today as I found I have bad bearings when preparing to fix a stuck caliper by rebuilding the front break system completely. It took a little over a week to get the parts into the store. Still short a set of pads but it is time to get started. Last time the bearings were replaced, whoever did it lost four bolts and just didn't feel like replacing them. Just a silly amount of hack repairs.

    I have been soaking the bolts with penetrating oil for the last three days as I am fairly afraid of those tiny allen screws. They look long, little, crusty, and having had many arguments with bolts set in aluminum before, I fear for their removal. Slow and steady wins the race.

    This forum has been great. You are all great! So helpful. I hope I can get to the point where I can be as helpful around here as you all have been.

    I started my rebuild thread when I got started here. This is the link:

    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...-t-one-of-them

    It took a few days to get the post reviewed by a moderator. But it is up and available now.

    I will have the photos up in the not to distant future. I should have adjusted the f stop but didn't realize because of the bright sun. They are a bit over exposed.

    Anyone know if a guy can find a floor pan replacement? Preferably just the driver side, but maybe a full pan might be a good idea.

  12. #12

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    Not much metal left on the drivers side...

  13. #13

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    Err, and around the cabin mount as well. Nasty. Looks like you are planning a barbecue and getting some buddies over to help lift your cab off and maybe call in a favour or 2. Least you've been getting plenty of fresh air If you've seen the members' posts from the guy in NZ (tortron) he has had to cut his Gen 1 to pieces to repair some crazy rot and otherwise dubious repairs from previous owners.
    support the forum that supports you - join and donate to MightyRam50.Net Get perks and donations $15 USD and over receive official MightyRam50.Net window decals

  14. #14

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    My floor had rusted outbon the same side, same place. Your fresh air vent area and inner wing/firewall seam will be toasted too.

    Nothing impossible, just work in a logical order as you peal back the layers and do the main strength adding areas first to prevent the cab warping

  15. #15

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    Thanks for the heads up on the rust repair. I figured it would be some real thought. There are a few seams missing at that corner. I was hoping to work off of a friends D50 to model up replacement panels for it. At one point I was thinking of making a casting and pressing sheet in for a fairly accurate die press. Figured the die would not be all to strong so the plan was to press two lighter guages and epoxy them in or use window urethane to bond them.

    Now I am feeling more committed to doing proper steel replacement with a welder. I have a cheap mig/flux core and some .023 wire. Seems the more permanent solution. And far more rigid.

    I understand IRP has urathane replacement cab mounts and body lift kits. Anyone use them?

  16. #16

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    Also, I went through and read a fair bit of the 4x4 and powertrain/suspension/brakes section. I took notes and saved links, but ended up with some questions none the less.

    Anyone have a John Baker catolog scanned? That stuff in infinitely interesting. I really like the external shock mod. Anyone ever measure the mod?

    If I want the "Full Monty" front end... I just buy the upper control arm, steering hub, rotor, and caliper from a 92-95 and "slap them in" with a bit of plumbing work? That gets me a little lift and dual caliper brakes right? Can I retain my manual lock out hubs? Is the scrap yard the only place to pick up the hub bolts? I was thinking of just grinding some standard allen screws but the shoulder would be short.

    From there it could be LSD from a Starion. Is there an air locker vs. limited slip choice available?
    But what would be the best rear to match? There were a ton suggested. Rodeo, Montero, Leaf Sprung Montero sport, Montero SR...
    As I recall the SR or Rodeo is the holy grail, MS is next then Montero(drum brake).

    I think I like the idea of an air locker more then a limited slip. Seems it would be more efficient when not needed, and simpler with less repair time. Should I be slapped?

    Can anyone help clarify this decision?

    I figure I should know what to ask for if I am going to spend a day calling wrecking yards looking for parts.

  17. #17

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    I should likely have posted that last series of questions over in the 4x4 section... I think I will go do that. I see these are questions that have been asked many times. It would be nice to finalize the discussion and get something worth making a sticky(I will get my donation in so I can edit). It took me a day to whittle through all the old posts, and I saw many conflicting opinions about many of these questions. As a new comer that is a great deal to absorb.

  18. #18

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    Trick for adding swages for floor panels is to cut some lengths of steel stock, round off the edges and hammer the steel down over them. A nice bench mount swager would obviously be the dream here, but this backyard technique is pretty decent once you get the nack.

  19. #19

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    Another trick is to make all your "swages" using a sheet metal brake. Then do a seperate piece for the rounded end "caps"

  20. #20




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    Or buy a cheap bead roller from harbor freight or Amazon...
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  21. #21

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    Yeah cheap for stateside members i guess. Prohibitive costing over here

  22. #22

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    I was thinking of picking up some old sheet metal tools, There is an auction coming up I believe. Otherwise I am fairly good with a hammer. I can likely make a clean enough lip with just some wood and a good hammer or three. I also have an anvil and forming stakes. No brake though. That is what I was hoping to get at the upcoming action. But no truck, no auction.

    Found my 2ed Gen Monty front end. And a Starion Differential. I want to order them tomorrow. Going to start searching to figure out what little bits and pieces I need for the mods. Then put together my Urethane list. I will also need to decide on shocks.

    Can anyone tell me if I can convert the Auto hubs that the Monty has, to manual lockout? Can I just use 1st gen? Or are there 2ed gen lockouts to be had?

    Thank you all again for your time and effort on this forum. I feel I started off in a very ignorant place, and after many hours of reading, I now know I still am still there.

    I appreciate your patience and interest in getting others back on the road.

  23. #23




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    2nd gen manual lockers are available - check the spline count on the axle to be sure you get the right ones. The link I posted for the torsions and bushings also has the ARB air locker, but its 945.00 without the compressor. Powerbrute makes new lsd units for the 8" rear axle - part number is LOM83. Prices new are 330 - 400 on eBay. If you want to go all John Baker, you need to find the Gleason - Torsen locker he used to sell - over 500 new in 1981, but it is the best locker ever made for these trucks.
    Pennyman1
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  24. #24

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    How would a person ever come across a Gleason - Torsen locker? I guess I start by posting in the parts wanted section.

    I sure did not receive a warm welcome during my cold call marathon earlier today looking for parts vehicles. I could imagine asking around for something like that. But I learned some things. Like that the number for a local wrecking yard now connects to a coffee shop.

  25. #25

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    Ad posted. The ARB is a bit more then I can put down now. Front end will be cashing me out for the most part.

    Figure I want to get a month or two of use before I get serious about the rear end. Just going to be an Add-a-leaf and a good flush/fluid change, for now.

    I will continue to look around the forum and think of other axles. Really sold on the idea of big disc brakes in the back.

    By and by. Are there different rear ends in the Starion? They asked if i needed the locker or not. I thought they were only LSD. So I just said that. Doubt they would have the other, but just wondering what is out there in the world.

    Also for clarification I thought the 2ed gen went from 92-99. Did they change the A-arms after 95? What years had the dual caliper installed?

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