Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Sight unseen

  1. #1

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64

    Sight unseen

    Hello, just joined this site. I have looked at a few Dodge D-50 trucks, that were for sale online as surplus over the years and this last week I bought one.... for better or worse. I don't know what I'm in for because I bought it online by the pictures. I have collected military vehicles and this 1987 Ram 50 is a USAF original. It was picked up by the National Park Service when the USAF was done with it and that is where I got it. I actually haven't got it or even seen it in person yet. It was listed as not drivable, so I'm planning on trailering it home. Anybody here have one of these little dark blue pickups? I have seen them up for auction every now and then, but don't know much about them or how many the air force bought or how they may be different from any other 1987 2wd model. I hope it doesn't take much to get it going, but I might need some help.
    Thanks,
    Greg

  2. #2

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    01-24-2017
    Posts
    953
    Location

    New Zealand
    Vehicle

    1981 Mitsubishi L200
    Engine

    Other
    ahh i think someone posted that one up here if it was for sale recently, blue with what looked like sun damaged paint?

    From what i have seen of ex military trucks it will more or less be a base model interior with certain thing optioned out (no cigarette lighter for example)
    might have some holes drilled in the dash and exterior to accommodate radios, antennas and lights

    otherwise it will be the same as any other civilian one



    The army utes over here get a hard life from the drivers, but because the tax payer is footing the bill, nothing is repaired, it is replaced. Noisy gearbox? just put a new one in etc

  3. #3

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    It probably is the one you are talking about. It closed on the 13th. It has peeling paint or clear coat. It also said it has a stuck odometer, because they said it had to have rolled over 100k, but I think it may not have. I haven't heard of an odometer doing that. Stop working yes, but not 1 digit stop working. But who knows. I'm not too nervous about it cause the price wasn't too bad.
    My experience with surplus gov't equipment that was free to them from the military, is they don't repair. They just get another free one, or cannibalize it for parts if they do repairs.

  4. #4


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    05-01-2018
    Posts
    729
    Location

    Kailua, HI
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Hello fullchoke, congrats on winning the bidding on your new truck! I posted it for sale in the shout box -- tortron sums it up well as probably a base model & they just painted it USAF blue -- check out my photo album "truck from Barstow" a NAVY owned truck sold at govt auction --
    Aloha -- George

    EDIT: I bought sight unseen like you did & came from Hawaii to California to get the truck

  5. #5

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    I looked at your photos....nice truck and 4x4 to boot! Mine is only 2wd, but I'm ok with that as I hope the MPG is good. Will these trucks cruise at 65-70mph? The one I bought is supposed to have the 2.6L with auto.
    Thanks

  6. #6


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    05-01-2018
    Posts
    729
    Location

    Kailua, HI
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Quote Originally Posted by fullchoke View Post
    I looked at your photos....nice truck and 4x4 to boot! Mine is only 2wd, but I'm ok with that as I hope the MPG is good. Will these trucks cruise at 65-70mph? The one I bought is supposed to have the 2.6L with auto.
    Thanks
    I just looked at your trucks auction photos again too -- you have a nice truck as well ~ I noticed the hood release latch is hanging down & a not too bad dent FR fender ~ otherwise a solid looking rust free canvas for you the artist ! Should be ok @ 60 mph 65 to 70 not as quiet but it can do it ~ my MPG mostly 20 mpg maybe 22 at best ~ 4x2 better on gas I bet ~
    Have fun & get it home safely

    EDIT: Radio Delete truck ~ no antenna & has DIN radio block off plate ~ !?!

  7. #7

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    I found out a bit more about it today. It was used in an area that was inaccessible and had to be barged out, it was captive by only a few miles of road. Plus only used during the summer. Battery sounded bad. It doesn't sound like it could have the miles listed. The Odometer may be right after all. Fingers are crossed.

  8. #8

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    Went and got the truck yesterday. I think the roads it was on were mostly dirt. It is very dusty, but not rusty. Has some bondo repairs on the outside bed sides and tailgate, but the bed itself looks pretty much unused. It started with a jump and drove up on the trailer.
    Do these trucks have any problems that I should look for? My son said the engine moved a lot when it initially started and until the idle smoothed out. I will check the motor mounts 1st.
    The window cranks are missing the handle. Any easy solution to this? The seat seems comfortable in the short time I was in it. I had a Ford Courier that was a back breaker, but you find that out after a little ride.
    And the little air deflector under the front bumper is flimsy and quite mangled.

    Thanks

  9. #9

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    01-24-2017
    Posts
    953
    Location

    New Zealand
    Vehicle

    1981 Mitsubishi L200
    Engine

    Other
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/WINDOW-CRAN...QAAOSwg3tar1G9


    window cranks available new out of Thailand


    Generally you just want to get up to date on the maintenance if needed. All mitsis had an issue with the heads going soft/cracking, but you dont need to worry about that till it becomes a problem

  10. #10

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    I have asked for the maintenance records, but I'll be changing oil and filter and lubing the chassis anyway. I asked a guy I have known for many years that has a 1993 Toyota he bought new. It has 468k now and still on the same engine and no rebuild, but he changes the oil every 2k.

  11. #11

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    01-24-2017
    Posts
    953
    Location

    New Zealand
    Vehicle

    1981 Mitsubishi L200
    Engine

    Other
    Yeah, i havd a 1948 commer superpoise on its original engine, original chrome bores. It never had an oil filter, but came with a stack of records for decades of work.

  12. #12

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    The problem that I don't have to worry about until it becomes a problem is a problem before I have even taken the truck off the trailer.
    When we loaded the truck my son said it made a lot of white smoke. I thought it was only condensation he was seeing. It was raining at the time and we didn't go any further. Now that it is home. I changed the oil which was a light milky muddy brown... not a good sign. So these engines have cracked head problems? If that is what is expected then I shouldn't figure on a head gasket solution. Please fill me in on this, especially if the head is repairable or not. I'm going to need to figure out where it will need to be parked and if I should start on the repair before I have what is needed to complete it. I have no idea right now what is available. It is supposed to be a G54b engine.
    Thanks

  13. #13

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    01-24-2017
    Posts
    953
    Location

    New Zealand
    Vehicle

    1981 Mitsubishi L200
    Engine

    Other
    its entirely possible that the oil has moisture in it from lots of short runs, never getting the engine warm enough to boil off the condensation inside.

    What you should do is - check for oil in the cooling system
    compression check
    if possible - a leak down test and cooling system pressure test

    depending on the results of those
    - engine is fine, its just condensation from short runs (on an island right, i wonder if they would turn it off each time, or leave it at idle for hours, probably turning it on and off if petrol)

    - engine is not fine
    - pull head off and inspect the head gasket. Send head for crack and hardness testing before rebuilding it
    might come back ok, might come back no good, hard to say

  14. #14

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    When I saw the white film on the engine oil that was drained I hoped it was from condensation, because I was told it was not started much and not at all in the last month. Smelling the smoke it has a bitter odor, it is not condensation. The cloud is very slow to dissipate, not like condensation coming from the tailpipe. Is it advisable to just buy a new head? I don't how true it is but online says they crack because of the jet valve. Non jet valve heads are available on ebay. My thoughts are to get everything in hand before I start. There is definitely a problem. I checked the coolant level and it was out of sight, another bad sign.
    Thanks

  15. #15

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    Forgot to add it misses badly when 1st started but pulls out of that shortly after that and runs smooth. Especially smooth when reved some.

  16. #16


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    05-01-2018
    Posts
    729
    Location

    Kailua, HI
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Troubleshooting to identify problems 1st before $pending unecessarily is time well $pent -- I' m thinking warm engine to full operating temp then change engine oil (cheap oil) & oil filter -- next with cold engine drain coolant & install new thermostat (OEM Mitsubishi stat is available) refill with premixed 50/50 coolant -- now tests can be accurately performed -- rent this for free ---> http://https://www.oreillyauto.com/d.../67094/4700290


    Test for leaking head gasket /cracked head: http://https://youtu.be/QA7KVQq9vKA

    If engine misses too much to run or reach operating temp then you need to remove all spark plugs & check each one for spark -- I used a remote starter switch with ignition key ON -- getting the battery fully charged and load tested for free @ OReillys is what I did (batt acts ok even tho OReillys said it failed the load test -- they said maybe it had a weak cell!!!) Battery so far works good -- need a fully charged battery to properly test for spark ORANGE color spark works ok on my truck -- I chased the head's spark plug threads with a 14mm thread chaser coated with anti seize compound -- then I cleaned the head's threads & used antiseize to install new spark plugs --

    My truck had white smoke when 1st purchased a bottle of Barrs Stop Leak fixed it !!!!

    $pend Less & Enjoy Wrenching & your new TOY
    Last edited by xboxrox; 11-22-2020 at 02:53 PM.

  17. #17


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    05-01-2018
    Posts
    729
    Location

    Kailua, HI
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    The rubber diaphragms, O rings etc are 30+ years OLD on your truck's carburetor (most likely original carb on the eng???) It will not run smoothly or like new with rotten cracked broken split screwed up deteriorated carburetor parts --

    EDIT: Don't trust the gasoline in the fuel tank to be fresh clean dry -- drain it or burn it up driving & put fresh gas new fuel filter too --

    USE THIS IT REALLY HELPS https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b...120007/5587420
    Last edited by xboxrox; 11-22-2020 at 04:35 PM.

  18. #18

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    11-13-2020
    Posts
    10
    Location

    portland oregon
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    4G64
    The links didn't work, so I don't know what you had in mind. I will try the stop leak, I like that idea, can't hurt. The radiator does hold pressure for hours or more, and was down about a quart. I did change the oll and filter. I never got the truck to full operating temp. It did get to the low side of the normal range. I filled the gas tank on my way home, it took 5.5 gallons. How big is the tank? What would happen if diesel was put in instead of gas? I don't think that happened. I'm in Oregon so we don't pump our own. My pickup is diesel... I told the attendant to fill the Ram 50 with reg. gas and he said he did. Which brings the question what would happen if 5.5 gal diesel is mixed to make a full tank?

  19. #19


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    05-01-2018
    Posts
    729
    Location

    Kailua, HI
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    It would not run with that much diesel I did'nt like buying gas in Oregon

    I sound bossy on paper but in real life I am a Saint so here is my best advice for getting your truck running with safety, economy & dependaility in mind (assuming your truck is not California emissions..?)

    1) Dump the old gas, install a new fuel filter & add no more than 1/4 tank of 87 octane gas
    2) Charge & load test the battery (free @ O'Reilly's)
    3) Change the engine oil & install new oil filter ( done, good job sir...)
    4) Dump the old coolant, install new thermostat (Mitsubishi brand is best) install new premixed 50/50 coolant
    EDIT: Flush cooling system with flush product as well & use only premade coolant, don't use regular water
    5) Install 4 new NGK spark plugs (compression tester is free @ O'Reilly's) test fire each new plug on it's wire, remove all crud from head thread holes & use anti seize (a remote starter switch with ingition key ON = easy job)
    6) Use combustion leak tester (free @ O'Reilly's) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0U8Iyf0kk4
    7) Easy Fix of leaking head gasket https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL9QjN7AcW8
    8) I think my brother used Barrs Leaks best product when he did step 7 above, about $12..?
    9) My truck came with Hercules Terra Trac A/T tires (THE BEST TIRE I EVER DROVE ON, PERIOD..!!!)
    10) Buy a new set of tires with the money you saved by not buying a new cylinder head..?
    11) Hercules tires are not sold in Hawaii (DANG IT) my truck lost 2MPG & rides rough & noisy on BF Goodrich tires
    12) Tire Comparison Calculator https://tiresize.com/comparison/
    13) Terra Trac II A/T tires are available in 215/70-16 my truck came with 205/75-15..? Heck I can't remember..?
    14) THE BEST TIRE IMHO https://www.herculestire.com/tire-de...rra-Trac-AT-II

    I'm too tired to continue ~ best of luck & have fun fixing your neat truck ~ it should run 65MPH & get 20+MPG
    Aloha --
    George
    Last edited by xboxrox; 11-23-2020 at 02:21 PM.

  20. #20


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    05-01-2018
    Posts
    729
    Location

    Kailua, HI
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    1 bottle CATACLEAN added to 1/4 full gas tank & drive it on the freeway 35 miles or until empty -- it will help A LOT -- drain out the old gas & take it to a waste disposal station & install a new fuel filter --


    CHECK THIS OUT ~ https://jalopnik.com/here-s-exactly-...d-t-1795160777
    Last edited by xboxrox; 11-23-2020 at 01:38 AM.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •