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Thread: 87 Ram 50 4x4 "junkyard" rescue,

  1. #126

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    Speaking of work, put in some more today...

    Rolled the truck out into the driveway, hooked up the little electric pressure washer and went at it. As expected, it was woefully underpowered, but it did remove the dirt from the wheel wells and started peeling up some of the paint from the last paint job...

    I ended up scrubbing the hood and roof to get them clean, and I had to use some very fine steel wool to get the chrome wheels cleaned up... I'll have to take them off and legitimately polish them at some point, but right now they're the nicest thing on the truck.

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    And I did paint the front skid plate... It doesn't match at all, but it's that extra little touch. lol

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    I still have to bleed the brakes and set the timing, but my second pair of hands had to deal with some other stuff today.

    Looks like tomorrow is D-Day. lol

  2. #127

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    Looking good. This thing has come a long way in a short time! Nice work.

  3. #128

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    Keep it up. Like those wheels. Now you need to get the chrome marker lights front and back to match.

  4. #129

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    I do like the chrome marker lights, but I would want to get the chrome grille to match as well. That would make me want to make the rest of the truck look good to match, and there's too much rust and body filler in the body of this truck for it to be worth the work.

    I would collect all of the chrome trim for a rust free truck that I plan on finding later, but not for this one... and I'll most likely put these wheels on that truck if it doesn't already have them.

  5. #130

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    Other than the wheels (optional), and the bumper on the Custom trim, there was no chrome on the '87 Ram 50.
    I say keep the black trim

  6. #131

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    Actually, the Custom did have chrome marker lights and grille in '87...

    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...am-50-Brochure

  7. #132

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    Do whatever makes you happy. Mine was all blue including markers and grill. Bought it with a busted grill, so I decided to start going chrome. Havent decided what to do with the bumper yet. Anyways you can pick up chrome markers on ebay for cheap and I think i paid $40 shipped for that grill new.


  8. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarStryker13 View Post
    Actually, the Custom did have chrome marker lights and grille in '87...

    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...am-50-Brochure
    I stand corrected!
    I have an extra chrome right side front side marker, but just the one. You can have it if you want.

  9. #134

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    I'm gonna keep it the way it is now, and worry about dressing up the next truck.

    In the meantime though, I've gotten the bulbs for the off road lights swapped out for 100w bulbs, wired them up to a relay with a switch... They're so much brighter than the stock headlight bulbs it's comical, but they're aimed at the same height as the high beams so they should do pretty well with lighting up what the headlights can't.

  10. #135

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    I have 2 100 watt kc spot lots on the front of my crown victoria. Amazing how many eyes you see looking at you driving down the back roads at night with them on!

  11. #136

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    So I decided to take it for a really short test drive, even though the timing is still off and the cab needs adjusted for idle...

    The test drive did not last long, since I had almost zero brakes and the parking/emergency brake did absolutely nothing.

    So after about 20ft the truck was parked back in the garage. When I bought this truck I decided that until I opened them up, the rear brakes would be both functional and neglected at the same time.

    They were not functional, so I decided to open up Schrodinger's drum brakes...

    After a liberal spray-down of brake clean, the story told is sickening.

    Driver's side

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    Driver's side front shoe

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    Driver's side wheel cylinder

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    Passenger side

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    Passenger side front shoe

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    Passenger side wheel cylinder

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    Note the adjuster lever, and it's position...

    I'm reasonably convinced that these are the original factory brakes, simply due to the amount of rust and apparent age of everything. I had to use the threaded holes in the drums to get them off the axles, but from the look of everything It doesn't appear to have bad axle seals, and the wheel cylinders only leak when you pull back the rubber. I would love to find some intact backing plates for cheap, but I might have to go pull them myself from a junkyard/parts truck.

    After this weekend (I work the next two days) I'm considering pulling the front calipers off and seeing if there are any major problems up front... I know the front brake hoses will need to be replaced, but they don't leak right now and I'd like to keep it that way. The rust on the rotors did start to wear off, so the pads are making contact with some measure of force.

    The front brakes will (eventually) stop the truck, but it's a 3-4 pumper and laying into the pedal to do so. That might be because all of the pressure is going to the drums since they are practically non-existent.

    Anyways, I got a free can of SeaFoam from AutoZone because I got a buddy that works there and always hooks me up with damn good discounts... I bought the biggest oil filter I could find on the shelf that would still seal onto the side of the block and a jug of 10w30 for after I do the SeaFoam treatment.

    My plan is to use half the can of SeaFoam to decarbonize the engine, just by squirting it straight into the throat of the carb with the engine running. After that, I'll add a little bit of brake fluid (should make the rubber seals swell up just a little) and the other half of the can to the oil and let it run for an undetermined amount of time. Then drain, refill and new oil filter. I'm adding the brake fluid just in case there's some sludge/varnish that's keeping the rubber seals from leaking by taking up the little bit of clearance, and if the SeaFoam cleans all of it out I'll have oil leaking like crazy from everywhere. I do plan on doing all of the gaskets, but not all at once.

    If you're still reading, thanks for sticking it out. I know I tend to ramble, but at least here I can get some advice or input from someone much wiser than myself.

  12. #137

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    Suggestions - engine oil flush. Some people say if it's never been done, it's already too late but I beg to differ. It'll bust up the sludge in the head and galleries, delaminate roasted oil on bearing surfaces and prolong your oil life by getting rid of some of the crap sitting in the sump. Seafoam? Don't know about it - some say it's Mother Theresa in a bottle while others say snake oil. I'd get a spray bottle with clean filtered water and a dash of methlyated spirits and pump it down the throat of the carb with the throttle open. Do it with the engine at operating temperature. The atomised water mix should end up being forced into whatever carbon is in there, turn to steam and make it swell. Once that happens the combustion cycle should do the rest and burn it off (possibly use a fuel system cleaner/additive as well). The 2 processes combined should restore some compression and free up the hydraulic lash adjusters/lifters in the rockers. If you have bad valve stem seals there is nothing you can do to remedy the build up of coke on the backs of the valves - it's off with it's head and into a machine shop for some reco work. The vast majority of oil consumption issues in Mitsubishi engines are bad valve stem seals.

    If you have parts that need rust eaten off them but want the least destructive method, get a bucket of hot water and add citric acid powder to it then submerge the crusty relics. Leave them for a day or so covered, then scrub and rinse them with water. It will dissolve all but the worst cases of rust. *this is for ferrous metals ONLY - don't try it with alloys or plated metals ever (alloys will vanish before your eyes and something that was once chromed will give you a nice dose of chromium poisoning - yay)
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  13. #138

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    The engine oil flush is kinda what I'll be doing, in a roundabout way... I haven't opened it up and smelled it yet, but I have a feeling Seafoam has diesel in it.

    I was planning on using some diluted windshield washer fluid, since it's basically methyl alcohol and water, but since I got the Seafoam for free I figured I might as well try it... If it doesn't do anything worthwhile I didn't water any money on it. Lol

    My rockers have the threaded inserts to manually set the valve lash, so I don't think it has the hydraulic lifters. And I haven't driven it enough to know whether it burns oil, but if I have to pull the head off I'm pulling the engine out and replacing every gasket and seal.

    As for the rust removal, I think I'm just going to try and find better backing plates, mine are really crusty and bent in a few places.

  14. #139

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    I bet if you bottled your diesel/oil mix and sold it for 50 bucks, people would gladly buy it up geezer

  15. #140

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    Oh! I totally forgot.

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    Taylor Thundervolt 8.2mm plug wires, with "custom" zip-tie wire separators...

    They were the cheapest low resistance plug wires I could find, at 40 ohms per foot (Summit Racing, $37).

    Now I can confidently say that this is a "racetruk", because red plug wires. lol

  16. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giovanni89 View Post
    I bet if you bottled your diesel/oil mix and sold it for 50 bucks, people would gladly buy it up geezer
    ...they already do - it's those little bottles of engine oil flush you get off the shelves. Figure out how much is in the bottle, look at the price and then work out how much diesel fuel you could buy for the equivalent amount. And the bottle isn't sufficient to do a decent flush. As a side note I ran into a young guy at the local fuel express who'd been doing the diesel flush as well, but hadn't gone as far as driving it for a day to get it circulating hot through the engine. He appreciated the tip
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  17. #142

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    Warstryker - now you can say 'zombie racetruk' coz back from the dead
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  18. #143

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    I'm stealing that. Lol

  19. #144

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    Been doing the motor flush trick for years now. It works.

  20. #145

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    After looking and pricing stuff out, I'm just gonna replace the shoes, wheel cylinders, and hardware. There's no need to go all out when I'm planning on swapping out axles eventually anyways...

    The drums are just barely oversized, and the adjuster didn't break when I bent it back into shape, so I'm just gonna slap it back together and call it good. I'll buy new ones after they break.

  21. #146

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    chances are whatever axle you get is going to have crusty adjusters. Unless they are expensive or hard to get, I'd just swap them out while you have it apart. You can always put them on the new axle. If you mean the piece of sheet metal that pushes on the adjuster screw, that will probably bend back ok. But if you mean the adjustment screw itself, it doesn't take a whole lot of binding force to have the sheet metal pawl jump over the tooth and render it useless

  22. #147

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    It was the pawl that ratchets against the adjuster screw, it had somehow bent back past the teeth in the adjuster screw. I bent it back, cleaned everything and shoved it all back in there.

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    I took a wire brush to the backing plate, it's still solid enough in the places that matter. The drums are close enough that the adjusters will take up that little bit of slack.

    I don't really want to go back in there. There's not much room to work, and some of those corners are sharp.

  23. #148

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    I rolled the truck back out of the garage on Monday, tried to get it started again and it ran really rough for a few seconds the first couple times. I pulled the coil wire off the cap and cranked it over, spark was kinda thin and yellow. I took each spark plug out, held each one against the block and each cylinder had spark. I tried swinging the distributor between fully advanced and fully retarded, I pulled it out and moved it a tooth at a time both ways, I even moved the firing order again. That's when it started spitting, sputtering, and backfiring without actually running. It progressively got worse until it wouldn't even kick, just crank. That's when I decided to give up for the night and pushed it back into the garage.

    That's when I decided to test all of the components with a multi-meter and rule out all the possibilities... The electronic pickup inside the distributor had zero continuity. It's dead.

    So now I have to decide whether to mod the distributor or not. I can buy the MSD magnetic pickup and grind/file it to fit, for the possibly distant future when I can get an MSD 6A box and all I would have to do is drop it in and go.

    If I don't want to mod this distributor, I'm really tempted to get the cheapest pickup I can find that'll fit this distributor and try it. If it doesn't work I'm only out $15, but I don't expect it to last long if it does actually work.

    On another note, I pulled the wiper motor apart to see why it only had one speed, EXTRA slow. When I pulled it apart I didn't expect to find it packed completely full of grease... When I pulled the armature out of the housing, one of the magnets was stuck to the armature itself, and the brush contacts looked a little burnt. I took some 600 grit to the contacts, but there are still some deep grooves in it. I also might have kinda accidentally dropped the little plastic cover that goes over the terminals and broke it...

    I'm going to epoxy the magnet back into the motor housing, glue the plastic cover back together because that's where the plug clips into, and put the entire motor assembly back together. I'll test it before bolting it back in, but I'm not sure exactly what type of grease it will need or how much it will need. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't need half a pound packed into it...

    Oh, and the parking brake lever sticks a bit now that I got the right length cable, but I haven't taken it apart and cleaned all the rust out. Hoping that frees it up.

    Thanks again for reading.

  24. #149

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    The saga continues. To be honest I don't think the MSD ignition is worth it. The stock solid state coils have some serious bite when they're healthy and the ICM's are nearly infallible. It's stuff like worn distributor shafts and gears that can make them run erratically. As for the wiper motor you might be better off scrounging one from a yard - it sounds like the original is a paperweight now. I am not a fan of the hand brake set up in the Gen 1 so I can't imagine the Gen 2's to be that much of an improvement. I would like to ditch the whole thing and install a floor mounted lever but I haven't figured out how I'd pull that one off yet...
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  25. #150

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    The distributor shaft has very little play, if any... And I'm kinda wanting to make this Blaster 2 coil work. I could check the resistances again, but I'm pretty sure it's still good. The big problem I'm having is trying to get the distributor back in the right position.

    I kinda wish someone had a pic of the 2.6 at TDC for #1 with the cap off so I would at least know which post is supposed to be #1...

    I'm also going to go through the wiring again, double and triple check that I don't have something connected to the wrong place. I tossed the old stock coil because it was cracked in multiple places and rusted, and the old ballast resistor burnt the crap out of me after trying to start the truck when I first brought it home.

    I'll put the old ICM back in the distributor, put 12v to it and see if it sends a spark spinning the distributor by hand, but I'm not terribly confident that it will do much.


    I don't think the original wiper motor is a paperweight just yet, but all I'm really hoping for is to have it work again and last long enough for me to get a good one.

    I don't really mind the pull stick design, it's almost like pulling the chute... But a floor mounted lever could be made really simple with a bit of fab work.

    The Gen 2's have a pulley right at the base of the mount bracket, which is also the throttle pedal bracket. If you had an extra bracket to cut up, you might be able to use the base to put a pulley on the floor next to the trans tunnel. From there it's just a matter of figuring out which hand brake lever will pull a cable in the direction you need to pull. It would need a floating pulley or two to get enough throw out of the floor mounted lever, but it's possible.

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