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Thread: 1984 Dodge Ram 50. New owner, one old diesel.

  1. #26

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    1985 Dodge Ram 50
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    That bolt on the starter is a royal PIA. I use a box/open end wrench and try to meditate. It takes an interminable series of very small turns to get it.

  2. #27

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    1984 Dodge Ram 50
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    4D55-T
    Got the starter motor off, Used a 3foot long extension and a wobble socket for an impact wrench. lifted the front up and just carefully ratcheted away.
    For anyone who follows this: Leave the bottom bolt in when you go after the top (hard) one. The whole unit and bolt will flop around hopelessly without the bottom to anchor it, and the bottom comes out much much easier.

    Cleaned all the internals, cleaned the connectors and regreased the gears. Also managed to reassemble it in the proper order, though i couldn't get that ring to pop into the collar. Its kinda half out half in right now, won't pop out unless i pry it, but it seemed impossible to get it in the collar and in the grove on the pinion at the same time. I had the bright idea to pop it into the collar first and it was pretty much stuck there until i bashed it out with a socket. I assume this needs a special tool.

    Anyway hook the motor up to a battery and after a few attempts it started to spin and jump around. On a whim i put the solenoid back on and it decided to play ball this time. Not sure if the contacts are just bad and it was the old hammer trick to get it to work or what. I'll see what happens in the coming days, might get one on order just in case anyway. Time to put it back together and see if it fires up now.

    Wires seem off. I don't remember this thick white sheathed wire in here. I don't recall what post it was supposed to go to. Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #28

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    1984 Dodge Ram 50
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    4D55-T
    Alright false celebration. Bolted the starter back on and the key does nothing. I can jump the terminals and hear the starter turning, but without that solenoid to engage the pinion into the flywheel it just spins in its housing. It has to be getting power because when i turn the key it gets hot and i can hear a click. I could try jumping the positive and key terminal together to rule out the wire being the problem, but I think the solenoid is hosed.

    If my cursory research was correct that white sheathed wire may be the alternator. I hooked it up to the positive lead instead of the start motor lead. Seemed logical.
    In other news the blinker started working again. I'm guessing that mysterious ground cable was the ground for the blinkers. I just need to find a new front right housing, as this one was rusted shut. Still trying to get it to move, as of right now i can't get a bulb in there.

  4. #29

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    1985 Dodge D-50
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    Fyi,these trucks have a starter relay on the drivers side fender well.

  5. #30

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    I found out the hard way that there are two different starters for these. if you or the previous owner installed a rebuilt it may be one with the kickout of the starter gear is too short for flywheel contact.

  6. #31

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    1984 Dodge Ram 50
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    Hmm. I have two relays that i can't identify as the part numbers have worn off and there is no mention of these in the manual i've been using. Any idea what one it is? How do you properly test a relay?

    I'm also hoping that glowplug controller works because they seem to be pricey.
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  7. #32

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    1984 Dodge Ram 50
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    I think i have identified the two relays as the starter relay on the right, and the Tail Light relay in the center. Part number 056700-5440 and 056700-3060.
    I took apart the relay. (Good old times when things were made to be fixed!) and cleaned the contacts. I test the coil with a meter and i was able to physically test the unit by applying power to the leads and testing the circuit. It all seemed to work fine. Reinstalled and no change to the motor, The starter still won't turn on.

  8. #33

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    Ha I think i found one of the electrical problems i have been facing. I finally tracked down that leaky water sound.

    Would a less than stellar ground prevent the truck from turning over but allow the lights and horn to work?
    I was already attempting to improve this ground point, but it felt like the bolt was riveted in place as i couldn't get it to turn even with heat, I now have an excuse to drill it out and replace it. I will be getting some zero gauge wire to replace this one and i already have military style battery posts ready. Just need to get the ends crimped first.

    Would this also indicate something else is wrong with the truck? I would expect the positive lead to burn out, not the negative.
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  9. #34

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    Short answer - yes. It'll handle voltage and low current draw but the minute you want to put a serious current load through it, it'll choke. Degrease all of the ground bolts and clean the contact surfaces to the block and frame and give the copper eyelets on the ground cables a scuff up with some steel wool to brighten them up. Should make a big difference. Check the main positive lead for corrosion and ensure the battery terminal connections are solid
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  10. #35

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    I have replaced the grounds and tried to fire it up again. still nothing.
    I then jumpered the starter and got the starter to engage but the the starter itself can't seem to turn over the motor.
    I got the vehicle into a roll and attempted to put it into gear. It would just instantly stop the truck. I think i have a much more serious problem on my hands.

  11. #36

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    1991 Dodge Ram 50
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    Well, there are a couple of different things it could be. Do you know for sure if the motor turns over? Put the transmission in neutral, pull the glow plugs out, and see if you can turn it over by hand. If it doesn't then that is likely your problem.

  12. #37

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    Yup i did that. Pulled the fan off so i could get a socket down there and even with a breaker bar it wouldn't budge. Filled the pistons with penetrating oil. I'm hoping very much this will free them. I don't have the tools or experience to really pull an engine out, and a very limited budget.
    Worse case i'll dump some vinegar down the bores and see if it will dissolve any rust. I'll be patient though. I'll try and budge it every day for a week or two before trying something drastic.
    I'm tempted to put it into gear and drag it around the block, but i don't want to cause undue damage when a more graceful solution might work first.

  13. #38

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    Lifting your first engine can be harrowing. You really need a buddy to give you a hand to keep everything steady while you start jacking up the engine crane. When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, it's not that hard. Tips - crack that front crank pulley bolt long before you start taking the engine out (it will save you a big headache later..), you pull a bolt out - put it back where it came from as you separate stuff (massively limits the chance of either losing something or trying to fit a bolt back somewhere it doesn't belong) Use paper tape and a sharpie to label annoying stuff like vac hoses and fuel lines and use your phone to take pics - LOTS of pics. You can hire an engine hoist if you haven't got a friend who is armed with specialised equipment. Google is freaking amazing if you need a get out of jail free card. If your engine is locked up, be prepared to wrench on it. You can get away with not needing a whole workshop full of tools but you will have to buy a torque wrench and a few driver sockets like 8 and 10mm hex keys for head bolts depending on the engine, no getting out of it but worth it when you weigh up what a shop will charge you.
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  14. #39

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    1984 Dodge Ram 50
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    Alright pulled the rocker cover off. I'll dig in deeper once i figure out what bolts are bolting what down. But heres the photos.

    Nothing looks absirdly off. There is water under this cover though. almost looks like condensation. I'll leave the cover off for a bit so it can hopefully evaporate. Most of the oil in this is from when I change it and added the full amount as per the manual. Will probably have to strain this oil after i get this fixed, but hopefully it won't be in vain if it all helps it get loose again.

    The front two bolts holding the (camshaft?) shaft in are severly rusted, everything else looks fine.
    I have also noticed some pretty heavy wear on some of the lobes. Is this normal wear or signs of abuse and in need of replacement?
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  15. #40

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    Any cam that has worn like that is dead. Looks like you are in need of valvetrain replacements.
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  16. #41

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    Aye. Pulled it out. the rockers look fine, but they'll get replaced also i suppose. Trying to pull the head off now. Its like a puzzle trying to find what comes off first. Right now I'm trying to pull the turbo off so I can pull the exhaust manifold off. so i can get the head off.

    I have been labeling everything and putting bolts back in their holes when possible. Definitively the way to go. Thus far all of the bolts came off without much complaint. I hope this is a good sign for things to come. Slight burnt smell as i'm tearing into this has me worried about whats under the head, I'm wondering if i should pull the pan off first as I now expect there to be a mountain of sludge gumming up the works.

  17. #42

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    1991 Dodge Ram 50
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    A slightly burnt smell is kind of to be expected, especially on old diesels. If you need the head bolt tightening pattern I have a factory service manual around here somewhere, or there is probably one in the manuals section of the forum. You'll want to loosen the head bolts in the reverse order to minimize the risk of damaging the head when you take it off.

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