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

  1. #26




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    the old man emu torsions will fit from a 1st gen Montero with the 4 cylinder engine - the v6 bars are too long. Go here for all the bushings for a 4x4 truck and bars: http://adventuredrivendesign.com/oca...berian+Bushing
    Pennyman1
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  2. #27

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    Thanks for the info and link.

    I just checked the tracking, most of the parts I need to get the truck started should be here by the end of the day today. I'll record the first fire, but I've got quite a bit more work to do before the truck is ready.

    I did crawl under the truck and do some measuring, the torsion bars are newer and installed incorrectly. The driver's side is cranked all the way up and it's still sitting lower than the passenger side, and the entire front end is sitting lower than it should. But hopefully the marks are still on the bars, and I'll be able to index them properly. By properly, I mean indexed to raise the front end an inch or two and keep the cam bar adjustment bolt within specs. It's something like 3" above the crossmember, according to the Haynes manual.

  3. #28

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    Here's a pic of a pile of parts on a table. That is not all of the parts that I have ordered or will be buying/ordering, and I didn't add fluids to the pic.

  4. #29

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    Soooo SHINY
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  5. #30

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    Plenty more shiny to come... lol

    I pulled off the valve cover and intake manifold, cleaned both, re-installed with new gaskets and blocked off the EGR port. I installed the Weber, got the throttle linkage and vacuum advance connected but I'm waiting to connect the fuel line because I'm planning on running new fuel line from the tank all the way up. I also pulled all the cables off the ground point directly under the battery, cleaned and re-installed, and found almost all of the hardware for the original battery hold down. Tomorrow I'll be picking up the heater hoses, and hopefully I can get the truck started tomorrow.

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    Still have a lot more to do, but damn does that look good.

  6. #31

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    Excellent. Good luck with the first start up
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  7. #32

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    Longer exhaust always sounds better in my opinion, and try to get at least 3 feet of exhaust after the muffler. I run the stock manifold, I split the downpipe so that it remains 2 pipes, one is cylinders 2,3 and the other 1,4. 1-3/4 pipe back to two thrush welded mufflers, and back down to 1-3/4 pipe over the axle and out the back. It actually sounds pretty good, and doesn't drone

  8. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarStryker13 View Post
    Plenty more shiny to come... lol

    I pulled off the valve cover and intake manifold, cleaned both, re-installed with new gaskets and blocked off the EGR port. I installed the Weber, got the throttle linkage and vacuum advance connected but I'm waiting to connect the fuel line because I'm planning on running new fuel line from the tank all the way up. I also pulled all the cables off the ground point directly under the battery, cleaned and re-installed, and found almost all of the hardware for the original battery hold down. Tomorrow I'll be picking up the heater hoses, and hopefully I can get the truck started tomorrow.

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    Still have a lot more to do, but damn does that look good.
    Sweet! Love the look of the Weber air cleaner, much better than the frying pan that I have on mine...

    I'm curious about what you did with the EGR, what's involved in deleting or bypassing this function, etc. Did you have to use a kit?

  9. #34

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    It's just a block off plate. They are available off the shelf and it's a straight forward way to delete the gas recirculation. I did something a little more radical to my G63B manifold and actually cut the the whole gas gallery from the manifold and had a threaded bung tapped into the gas gallery in the head to seal it. I need to make a small cover plate to complete the process or plug it with JB weld as this is part of my quirky Lancia carb swap I've got in the pipe line (you can't completely cut the EGR mount off as part of it breaches the plenum chamber which would leave a big hole in the manifold).
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  10. #35

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    I had extra parts left over from my previous car, and the PCV valve cover plate from it fit where the EGR solenoid used to be... It's not exactly perfect, but it fits well enough that I just put a thin layer of RTV on it and called it good.

    Speaking of blocking off stuff... I want to block off the fuel pump hole in the side of the head, but the plastic spacer was already broken and adding to the oil leaks all over the engine. Do most people just make their own block off plate?

  11. #36

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    That's what I did. Little work with a drill a saw and some files. If the metal you use is very smooth, rough it up on the mating side so that the RTV or gasket has something to bite into.

  12. #37

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    Make a paper gasket and seal it. More reliable than slapping some RTV on it...
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  13. #38

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    I'll seal it properly before I actually start driving it, I've got more work to do before I can try starting it.

    The battery terminals were replaced with cheap ones that just clamp onto the exposed copper cable end, and the copper has turned green already. I'm going to get either the solder-on type or these: https://www.autozone.com/batteries-s...ter/374187_0_0 I figure those brass ones will work great for the four positive battery cables, and I can get a single brass terminal for the negative post.

    But the rest of the engine bay is back together. I got the header on, the ignition sorted out and wired up, the electric choke is connected, the heater hoses are installed, and the only thing left is to connect power and fuel and it'll be ready to start.

  14. #39




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    a pump block off plate for a small block chevy v8 is the same as the g54b fuel pump mount.
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  15. #40

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    Yeah, I'm still staring down a lot of stuff left to do... I should probably get to it.

  16. #41

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    I took a break from working on the truck for the past couple of days, got to sit and think about how to go about repairing and replacing just about everything on this truck. I've started putting together a list of things that need attention, and I'm still trying to prioritize everything, but I think I've got a decent idea of what order to go in.

    I want to post it on here because I know y'all have advice for just about everything, but I kinda need to put it all down somewhere to help me organize it. And so I can double check if I'm missing anything. Apologies beforehand if this post gets really long.

    I've got to make a decision on whether I keep this specific truck and fix everything, or drive it until I find a better starting point and then turn it into a parts truck.

    Starting from the most critical issues:

    1. Frame Rust
    I've had a good look at t
    he back half of the frame, and it's not pretty. There's some spots that are really thin, and others that are practically gone. The rear spring perches are thin and have some holes, the bump stops are completely gone, the rear fuel tank mount is completely gone, the spare tire carrier literally fell off, and there's not much left of the section that the rear bumper mounts to. It's still solid enough that I would fell comfortable driving it on the road, but it wouldn't survive any real stress like hauling a heavy load, or taking an off road trail. The front half is perfectly fine though, there is at least 20 years worth of oil leaks built up on the entire underside and the inch thick layer of oily dirt has been working beautifully as a rust inhibitor.
    I have thought about the frame rust issue for a while, and I've got three options:
    1. Find a donor frame. I would need to find a 2nd Gen, single cab, short bed, 4x4 for cheap enough that I could justify buying it only for parts. I'd love a parts truck, but I need to keep it as cheap as possible and I can't hold on to it for long. If I could find a completely stripped bare frame, that would be the easiest/cheapest option. The problem is that I don't have anywhere to store either a donor truck or an entire frame until I could swap everything over, or enough space anywhere to easily do the swap. I do have access to a shop with a lift, but I can only use one repair bay at a time.
    2. Fix my current frame. I would have to buy a welder, all of the accessories, and a lot of plate steel. Then spend a few weeks going at it with the welder, an angle grinder, and a few prayers. I would need more time and money than I really have to put towards this, but I do have a garage that I could do this in.
    3. Replace just the bad section of my current frame. I could find a junk donor truck, in a salvage yard or someone's backyard, that has a decently solid rear frame section and cut off what I need. I'd be able to toss the section in the back of this truck, drive it over to a shop that I can use the lift, then cut off the rotted section on my current frame and graft the new one on. I'd use a rectangular tube, sleeve it on the inside, drill some holes and do plug welds, weld all the way around the seam, then plate the outside with a diamond shape and paint it all black. It would be faster than doing either of the previous two options, I don't need to find somewhere to store another entire truck, and I can probably get the section of frame for pretty cheap comparatively. I also wouldn't need to buy a welder, but I would need to take a lot of measurements and cut carefully.
    I'm leaning towards the third option, but I'd have to wait for a few months until it's warm enough to actually tackle it. The truck will survive long enough to get everything ready, but I don't want to let it go too long.

    2. Body rust
    The cab has some rust in the driver's side floor, the rockers are almost completely gone, and the body plugs need to be replaced. The pinch weld is still pretty solid somehow, and I have the (incorrect) rocker panels that I can use(modify) to fix the rockers. If I want to keep this cab floor, I'm going to fix it the best I can. If I decide to hold out for a donor truck with a rust free body, or find a better truck, I'll just patch the holes and drive it.
    I can either fix the hole in the floor properly, cut out all the rot and weld in new sheet metal, or just remove the rust, paint it black and screw in a panel to cover the hole and use seam sealer to keep the water out. Same with the rockers, I can cut out the rotted section, modify the rocker panels I have and weld it all in, or just clean off all the rust, spray some black paint in there and screw the new rocker panels on. I might be able to bend the door sills on the new rocker panels and make them fit, instead of cutting them up and welding them back together.
    The fenders have a little bit of bubbling under the paint, but no holes. The bed seam is the same, little bit of bubbling but no holes.

    3. Brakes
    There's a busted hard line right next to the fuel tank, and my immediate plan is to replace just the rusted out section, about 6 inches, using flare fittings and some nicopp line. Eventually I will replace all of the rusted hard lines and all of the rubber hoses, but right now I just need to get the brakes functional.

    4. Fuel System
    I need to order a fuel filler neck and gas cap, and finish replacing the rest of the rubber lines. I will be flushing the hard line before connecting it to the carb, and putting new fuel filters before the pump, after the pump. and before the carb. I also need to properly mount the fuel pump and wire it. I haven't decided if I'm doing an oil pressure safety switch, but I will definitely be doing a relay.

    5. Engine/Trans
    I need to get a fuel pump block off plate, degrease the entire engine compartment and underside of the truck, and then start looking for any leaks. After I get the truck running and driving for a few weeks, I will be draining the transmission, transfer case, and front & rear axles and refilling with new gear oil. I will need to find the shift boots directly on top of the trans and T/C, both are cracked and have been leaking for a long time. I've got a new oil pan gasket that I'm going to wait to replace until after the truck has been washed, because I really don't like working on a dirty truck.

    6. Exhaust
    I will probably just clamp the exhaust I have onto the end of the header and take the truck over to an exhaust shop. I will be calling them before going over, ask them if they have an actual 2 1/2" header collector instead of the 1 1/2" reducer that came with this header and asking if they will insist on a catalytic converter... If they won't do it without a cat, I know where to find a 2 1/2" 200 cell race cat for $80. If they don't care I'll just have them do 2 1/2" straight pipe back to the muffler and have it dump right behind the rear axle. I would do all of it myself, but I can't seem to find enough 2 1/2" pipe for cheap.

    7. Suspension
    I will be pulling the torsion bars out and clocking them so that the front is close to level with the rear and replacing the front shocks. I have already replaced the rear shocks. I will eventually be getting polyurethane bushings for the front upper and lower control arms, poly bushings for the leaf springs, and doing all new steering components before taking the truck to an alignment shop.

    8. Interior
    I need to pull the dash out, pull apart the HVAC assembly and clean it, replace (or rebuild if I can) the heater valve, clean all the ducts, pull out everything that I don't want getting wet and pressure wash the inside of the cab, pressure wash the carpet and try to make it grey instead of black, vacuum the bench seat, and start putting everything back together. I will have to try and find a new instrument cluster hood and center dash panel, new door cards, both the upper and lower shift boots on the floor of the cab, and figure out some kind of cupholder. Then I need find or make brackets to install the stereo, mount the tachometer, and replace every bulb I can with LEDs.

    9. Exterior
    I can't decide if I want to pressure wash and cut/polish/wax, make the truck shine... Or leave the moss growing on it and drive it "junkyard fresh". It will depend on how much effort I will have already put into the truck by the time it's running and driving, and if I want to put more effort into it.

    Sorry about the length, but I needed to get my thoughts put down somewhere. If I get advice on any or all of it, then I'll be able to get this truck back on the road even easier.

    Thanks for reading.

  17. #42

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    The big question you need to ask yourself is, what kind of truck do you want when you're done? A frame swap almost inevitably turns into a frame off restoration.
    Patching the whole truck up "good enough" to where you can drive around in it, or doing a complete tear down and rebuild are both viable options. The time, money, and resource inputs are far different, as are the final outcome.
    No shop competent enough to repair/rebuild sections of frame will be cheap. The amount of money invested in the project can become a bone of contention with loved ones.
    Personally, I would make it run and drive. If the drivetrain felt good, I would just build a new section of back frame from rectangular tubing, close to original dimensions, but not an exact copy, and put a flatbed on it. Then patch the body good enough to pass inspection. But I'm a little cooky. The big question is, what do you want?

  18. #43

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    Hate to say it. But buying a good one and shipping it in may be the cheaper faster option

  19. #44

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    If you have access to resources and skills, got time on your hands and aren't in a rush you can pull anything off. The good thing about these trucks is the simplicity of the frame. Replicating most of it in steel box channel would be a piece of cake and gives you the opportunity to rethink the rear end and fuel tank etc (Monty disc rear end and double fuel tanks anyone?) But you need space, and an extra pair of hands would be a big help (you have a garage but you need to be able to crawl around everything while it's getting chopped up). The body rust is something most Gen 1 and 2 owners have to face and is pretty typical (obviously some worse than others).

    As for exhaust - I did some dumpster diving at the side of an exhaust shop and built an entire system from the front flange back for ZILCH (a cousin of mine had a Datsun 200B that was in sorry shape lol) It was cobbled together from various elbows and straight pipe in 2.25" steel with a half decent muffler and resonator. Taking the HVAC apart is not hard to do and is really worth your time. You can MacGuyver seals from a hardware depot, bath the heater core to give it the clean out of a lifetime and scrub the casing and fan up to rid it of decades of crap. Did the same to my Gen 1 and it is like new, even found heater hoses that were very close to factory at a local auto accessory shop without having the grief of chasing obsolete part numbers and outrageous quotes on replacements.

    The interior can be a good little project. If you can't find matching interior pieces - vinyl colour spray is freaking awesome. My poo brown Gen 1 cab is now sporting tactical black with hand made door cards wrapped in carbon fibre film and CF accents in the dash bezel. Done cheap and looks fresh (I added some fully adjustable seats from a Peugeot 306xsi and grabbed the seat belts with them so I didn't have to mess around with making the floor anchored buckles work) LED instrument lighting? - a few bucks from ebay. I spent a bit of money on adding extra gauges but I could've raided ebay again and saved $30 or $40.

    The engine bay - non caustic oven cleaner. Nothing like it. Destroys all filth in it's path, way less messy to work with, safe enough to spray on your hands and requires less of it to get a better result than you'd get with spray cans of degreaser. No fumes either. Once you have tried it, you will only go back to regular degreaser out of necessity or desperation. It's good for cleaning wheels too but you need to work fast and only do one wheel at a time if they have a clear coating on them (it may dull the finish - a wax will normally bring it back). It will break up road grime and brake pad dust except in the worst cases (like when the wheels have never been taken off in the life of the vehicle and cleaned - ever).
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  20. #45

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    I think I'm leaning towards just fixing the parts that could potentially leave me stranded somewhere. I'm thinking I can just add some 3/16" plate to the sides of the spring perches and plate over the holes in the frame.

    I can keep an eye out for a clean shell with a solid frame, no engine or transmission and just transplant my current drivetrain into it after doing the work I had thought about doing to this truck. I'd be starting with less rust, and I can put more time/money/effort towards upgrades.

    Don't get me wrong, I've already fallen in love with this truck, but I'm fighting a losing battle with the rust. I guess if the drivetrain lasts until after my wife's car is paid off, I can always use that as leverage to find a rust free frame, or spend the time and resources to fully reinforce the frame and make it indestructible. By that point I can say that the truck has proven itself worthy of a restoration.

  21. #46

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    If you want to come up and look at my Macrocab 4X4 Parts truck you can have it after I am finished pulling the parks I want from it. The frame is pretty good and the body is pretty good too. It does have some minor rust on it, but all is very repairable.

  22. #47

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    I'm going to keep the body I currently have right now, just because I've already gotten this truck titled and registered and I will not swap VIN plates. I'll see about coming up to look at it in the next couple of weeks, I have to get this truck running first.

    I don't have anywhere I could store a parts/donor truck, and I'm pretty confident that I can plate the weak parts of my current frame and get it to last for a few years. I won't really be ready to get a donor truck until after my wife's car is paid off, but I'm willing to look at anything.

    In other news, I just ordered the fuel pump block off plate, fuel filler neck, fuel tank cap, and a new parking brake cable.

  23. #48

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    I took yet another good look at the underside of the truck, with a decent light.

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    The rust in front of the mud flaps is only really surface rust, but from there back is full on Titanic.

    It looks like that entire section is mostly straight though, and the rust isn't as widespread as I originally thought. I can just replace those sections with rectangular tube on both sides and build new spring perches.

    I'm feeling better about the rust situation, which is funny considering those two pictures... Lol

  24. #49

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    Looks pretty nasty
    You could get a bit of extra lift when you remake those shackle mounts

  25. #50

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    Oh crap that looks fierce lol. Box and C channel will do for the most part and some plate for gussets, reinforcing and mounts. The good thing is there is actually some metal left to use as a reference for fabricating replacement sections...
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