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

  1. #201

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    Anyone remember off the top of their head which way the seals go into the hubs?... Is it with the lip towards the bearings?

    I might have kinda forgotten. Lol

  2. #202

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    Had to fight with every single part, but I got it all back together finally...

    The hub took just over an hour of working with a file to get it back to round, the edge had mushroomed out from being beaten with a hammer. After cleaning both hubs thoroughly, I got all of the new bearings packed and installed and got the new seals tapped into the hubs.

    Next I decided to clean the spindles up a little bit, replaced the rusted and stripped phillips head screws holding the rotor guards on with stainless steel 10mm bolts. Once I got the hubs back onto the spindles I had to fight with the lock nut socket trying to get it to seat correctly and get them torqued down... The two pins on the socket kept slipping out of the holes in the lock nuts, but after about an hour of fighting with it I got them torqued properly to about 125 ft-lbs, loosened and re-tightened until the fish scale read about 4 lbs of force. It turns out I only needed one shim from the kit, I didn't have a dial indicator but both sides have the same amount of play, which feels like about 3-4 thousandths. I feel like it's good enough.

    I had to take a round file to one of the calipers, the bottom slide pin hole was too small for the new pin and boot, but after that the rest of the brakes went back together pretty quickly.

    The old parking brake cables were a fight to get out of the rear drums, but the new ones went in easier. I did have to fight with them a little in order to attach them to the lever, but it's all back together and the parking brake does keep the truck from rolling away on its own... If I push our pull the truck it'll still move, so I'm gonna need new drums next, but it'll be fine for now.

    The rest of the electrical system is mostly finished, I need to go get another switch for the lights, but everything works.

    I'm going to roll the truck into the driveway and work on getting it tuned up, then another test drive just to verify that everything functions as intended.

  3. #203

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    SUCCESS!!!! The truck is back on the road, and everything functions as expected. Ish.

    The brakes are better than last time, but they still take quite a while to bring the truck to a full stop. I know I need new drums, and the brake booster doesn't seem to be doing much in the way of boosting...

    But they're good enough for short drives. Tomorrow morning I'm going to start driving this thing every day, because I know the front brakes will get better with use, and the rears will work much better with new drums.

    The throttle is still touchy, but it's better and I have wide open throttle now. I haven't gone wide open yet, because about half throttle broke the tires loose at 35 mph in second gear... This truck is pretty damn quick for only having 100 or so horsepower stock. Either this engine has been rebuilt and bored over, or the few small mods I've done have greatly improved the power output... Either way, I'm impressed by how this truck performs so far.

    I'm also very impressed at how cool the engine is running, it didn't get above 1/3 on the gauge for the entire time I was driving.

    I'm mostly just happy that it's done and driving.

  4. #204

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    Great job, Stryker! Congratulations on getting the truck back on the road.
    You've done a lot, I'm impressed by all the hard work and perseverance, and I'm sure you will continue to make it better.

    Btw, I agree on the engine running cool. I was worried about not having a fan shroud and thought that I needed to get one before it got hot out (I got the truck this past winter). I recently noticed that it actually runs relatively cool, even when it's stupid hot out. The needle never gets past the middle of the gauge, and haven't noticed it being hot otherwise. Still looking to get a shroud though , but now it's more out of a desire to "have the complete set" than because I need it to stay cool.

    Anyway, keep at it, I look forward to your progress. And how about some pictures?

  5. #205

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    I get nervous with brake stuff for the obvious reasons. Check the booster hose from the intake manifold is nice and firm on the hose barb and the hoses on the check valve and booster are firm as well. It could be a small leak caused by a loose fitting hose (maybe the 38DGES has altered manifold vacuum? Those big throttle butterflies won't make much torque down low but will open her lungs up from midrange onwards...) Good power delivery, engine is behaving itself - you've done everything right. The throttle probably feels sensitive due to how non responsive it was before you worked on it and you've got the ignition tune nailed down. Good stuff
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  6. #206

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    I checked for vacuum leaks using starting fluid and spraying everything, no jumps or drops in RPM tells me no leaks.

    I think my sensitive throttle issue might come from how long it's been since I drove a standard, and how little experience I had previously.

    Pictures will come eventually.

  7. #207

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    Awesome that it's on the road! One word of caution on running cool. It's a 30 year old gauge, with a who knows how old temp sender, possibly corroded connections. I hooked up a mechanical temp gauge on my truck. Took out one of the emissions temp senders and retapped the manifold for 3/8NPT. I like having a mechanical gauge that I made sure was calibrated in a pot of boiling water. It gives me peace of mind, especially with all the work that went into making the truck run better.

  8. #208

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    I noticed this morning that the engine RPMs change when pushing the brake pedal, so I think the booster might still be functioning... I'm going to replace the brake drums first, then the brake hoses, and then if there isn't enough improvement I'll either replace or rebuild the master cylinder, and finally, if necessary, the brake booster.

    The temp sensor is brand new, so it could be the gauge... I've got a long list of things that I need to do, but I'm much more motivated to work on it now that it's running and driving.

    After I get the brakes working better I still have to replace the oil pan gasket, clean the engine bay, change the gear oil in the axles, change the engine oil... Lots of little stuff.

  9. #209

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giovanni89 View Post
    One word of caution on running cool. It's a 30 year old gauge, with a who knows how old temp sender, possibly corroded connections.
    Interesting observation, makes sense.
    Are there any temperature test that can be performed to somewhat get an accurate reading without replacing the sender/gauge? I don't mean continuous accurate readings, like if you had a new sender/gauge, but a specific test you can do. Like running the engine hot and measuring the temp of the coolant, or something like that, and then comparing that to the readings from the gauge.

  10. #210

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    A point and shoot temp gauge. I got one for like $20 at the home despot.

  11. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPaco View Post
    Interesting observation, makes sense.
    Are there any temperature test that can be performed to somewhat get an accurate reading without replacing the sender/gauge? I don't mean continuous accurate readings, like if you had a new sender/gauge, but a specific test you can do. Like running the engine hot and measuring the temp of the coolant, or something like that, and then comparing that to the readings from the gauge.
    Neanderthal tech - put a thermometer on the top tank when it's hot (peak normal operating temp) and see what the surface temperature is like. Not super accurate but it'll put you in the ball park. Even an infra red reader will be better than a guesstimation.
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  12. #212

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    Sounds like something I can handle.
    And what are some of the temp ranges to look out for? What temp is running too cold, proper or too hot?

  13. #213

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    Normal operating temps are 195 - 220 degrees F (95 -110 C). Less than 185 is running cold and over 235 regularly is indicating there might be something up. Be aware that most temperature senders and gauges can be a bit 'iffy'. It doesn't always come down to how much you've paid for them...
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  14. #214

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    And this is measuring the actual coolant? you mentioned the top tank, is that the radiator? the reservoir?
    Thank you, this is helpful.

  15. #215

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    Its the radiator. I am not endorsing this as an accurate indicator but it will at least let you know if it's in the right zone temperature wise. Installing a gauge with increments isn't really necessary. If it's gonna bake, you're going to find out when it's doing it and not before. I kind of beat this dog on a regular basis but the factory clutch fan isn't great in any vehicle and it's worth installing electric thermofans (even more so if you have A/C) The benefits will pay for themselves. Better insurance policy than an aftermarket temperature gauge IMO.
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  16. #216

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    Well for me there's no obvious signs of overheating, but I do have another concern... After driving it in the morning, letting it sit all day and driving it back there's some smoke when coming to a stop and going again. At first I thought it was just my lack of skill and that I was burning up the clutch, but after looking at it again in the daylight I'm not so sure.

    I'm pretty sure the rear main seal is leaking, and I think the clutch is getting covered in oil every time I drive it and that's what is causing the smell of burning oil and clutch material...

    I am not excited about dropping the trans and t-case to do a clutch, but I don't think the clutch will survive much longer. I'm going to have one of my coworkers drive the truck since he has been driving a standard for much longer, and if his driving doesn't make the smoke then I know it's my lack of skill that is burning up the clutch. (he already knows that the brakes are terrible, and I'm helping him rebuild his little '86 S10 so he owes me a favor or two)

    I planned on eventually replacing the clutch, but not quite this soon. I'm going to pull the inspection plate off later today and get a better look at the clutch, hopefully it's not completely wasted yet.

  17. #217

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    Fingers crossed it isn't a rear main seal. I'd be a bit worried about obvious smoke coming out from under the cab. The clutch may have already been toast. This truck has had no love for a long time and with all the grief you've had with it, I wouldn't be surprised if it was worn out part it's serviceable life. If you have clutch slip, you can be pretty sure it's tired - it'll be exaggerated by a ton of new found torque and power being pushed through it. You shouldn't have passed the threshold of clamping pressure from the clutch assembly yet. Don't forget that the brakes haven't been worked for ages and the smell might be from them.
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  18. #218

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    Do what I do, light a cigar and you won't notice the smoke coming from the truck
    But in all seriousness, clean up the area and try and find the source of the leak. When I went up to help Pennyman load Scott's truck, I blew about 2 quarts of transmission fluid out of my Crown Vic. Pretty sure after chasing my tail a bit I fixed it. The o-ring for the dipstick tube was shot. ATF was blowing up as I drove down the road making it look like it was puking out of the top of the dipstick. Once your driving down the road, oil can and will blow in crazy directions with the wind. And if it is rear main seal/clutch, that's a bummer, but you'll basically have a totally serviced driveline when you're done. Keep fighting the good fight

  19. #219

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    So the clutch is mostly fine, the smoke was from oil getting on the exhaust because I haven't cleaned anything yet...

    I realize now that I always jump to the worst possible scenario, but I feel relieved when it turns out to be something much less severe.

    Hopefully I should have the new tires on the truck today, and new drums should be here today to hopefully help with the lack of brakes.

  20. #220

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    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best... good philosophy to have in my book
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  21. #221

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    New meats on the truck.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It took a little while, but I'm starting to get much better at driving it. Practice, practice, practice...

    I got the new drums yesterday, I'm going to fog them black before putting them on the truck. I'll be ordering the hoses soon, just have to wait for certain bills to come out first.

    I temporarily fixed the temporary fuel tank strap I made, the two screws I used before had started to strip out so I just drilled a hole and put a bolt in. I'm going to actually fix it eventually, but for right now it'll hold.

    I changed the oil, because it was already almost completely black. I'm going to keep an eye on it and I'll change it one more time once it's turned black again. After that I'll just change it at regular intervals.

    I'm just going to keep crossing things off the list.

  22. #222




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    use a quart of Rislone in place of 1 quart of oil in your next oil change - it will help clean out the gunk gently and help the truck run better and quieter.
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  23. #223

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    I haven't ever used Rislone, but I know a cup of diesel or kerosene right before an oil change will clean out quite a bit.

    I got the drums painted with some leftover duplicolor caliper paint, I've got a new toggle switch to install for the off-road lights and new hood pin retaining cables, tomorrow morning I'll be installing everything.

    I'm just waiting on a check to come in the mail before I order the brake hoses, and hopefully more of the parts I have left over from my last car sell so that I have a little bit more cushion just in case.

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