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Thread: Ideas on restoring

  1. #1

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    1989 Dodge Ram 50
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    G54B

    Ideas on restoring

    Hey guys I just got a Dodge ram D-50 looking for some ideas ok restoring it. Itís factory red and she has normal rot on bed doors and bumper. I have a brand new black bumper but would like to restore as I call her the red rocket. Should I keep my bench seat? Change over to bucket seats? Should I kept her red or maybe go black. Tranny and engine rebuilt and she runs like a dream now itís more Cosmetic any ideas I greatly appreciate

  2. #2

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    Here she is
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  3. #3

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    1985 Mitsubishi L200
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    A seat swap is worth while. If you are only likely to ever need to carry one passenger then a pair of decent buckets are the way to go. They were an option so finding a pair will save you headaches in mounting them but even adding seats from some other car/truck is relatively easy. Everything else - hey, its YOUR truck so go as crazy as you want! Roll over bar in the tray, spotlights, bash bar... whatever is your gig.

    A list of mods I'd consider once you have your seat dilemma sorted:

    - headlights. Convert them over to semi sealed H4's with halogen or LED inserts. The factory headlights aren't awesome.
    - cooling. Delete the water pump driven cooling fan for an electric thermofan. These trucks suffer from heat soak and anything you can do to preserve your engine and maintain constant engine temperatures will prolong the life of your truck. Lots of positives to the mod besides keeping the engine at a near optimal temperature.
    -charging system. A bigger output alternator and battery is handy. Your buddies will be leaning on you for a jump start long before you will need one yourself. Any electrical accessories will be offset by having some extra juice in the system.

    You haven't stated if your truck is 2WD or 4x4 so some mods will be dictated by your drivetrain.
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  4. #4

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    Raymond New Hampshire, USA
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    1989 Dodge Ram 50
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    I'm going to post the full history as best I can on this girl.
    '89 Ram 50 G54B 2.6 259xxx miles. 2wd Long bed
    Auto trans (not rebuilt but regularly serviced)
    Engine was fully rebuilt at about 100k (records lost in a fire)
    At about 195K a lot of work was done as the truck was used to commute 1k miles a week. head was replaced with a non jet valve new casting. Heavy duty Schneider springs and undercut stainless valves. New lifters and stock grind cam, hydraulic valvetrain kept. Balance shaft delete. Brakes front and rear. Every brake line replaced with CuNiFe line (rear axle line replaced again with standard steel after a stick snagged the line... parking lot repair) Brake hoses too. Alternator bracket modified and a Delco 10si wired in ('78 camaro 350v8 with A/C application). Carter electric fuel pump with holley pressure regulator. Second outlet of pressure regulator runs through a 1/16" metered orifice on the return line to the tank. This keeps the pump constantly moving enough fuel to not lose prime while also not starving the weber 32/36 under full throttle. Pacesetter header into 2-1/4 cherry bomb into 2-1/4 thrush welded muffler, dumped out bedside. Autometer tach, water temp, oil pressure gauges. Sun pro volt gage. AEM wideband O2 gauge. Continuous duty solenoid wired to ignition feeding a marine grade fuse panel mounted under hood. Fuse panel powers fog lights, gauges, ignition system, fuel pump, trailer lights, carb choke. Accel coil. Flex a lite 16" rigid dirt track fan. (water pump flange drilled and tapped for 5/16-18 bolts. Eats water pumps but it would not stay cool in 100 degree traffic even with good electric fans) all cooling system hoses.
    Around 230K entire front suspension replaced, as well as every tie rod, pitman arm, and pitman shaft seal. Aligned at home with +.5 camber, 3deg caster, and 1/16" toe in. Distributor replaced with new unit (mechanical advance cams were badly worn and sticking. New oem cam end distributor drive gear with distributor.) Radiator, water pump again, Full set of Cloyes timing chains, gears, and guides (replacement set at head change had stretched). New windshield.
    257K New power steering pump, shackle bushings replaced with Energy Poly set (front leaf spring mount bushings with truck but not replaced) new rear drums, shoes and hardware (snapped hold down spring badly scored one drum).
    Always ran Mobil 1 10-30 high mileage in summer or 0-30 in winter with a bottle of comp cams break in additive every 5k. Diesel application oil filter (same specs as stock G54B filter but significantly more filter area)
    Sure there's a few things I missed, but that ought to be the bulk of it!
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  5. #5

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    The electric thermo cooling fans not cutting is odd - where was the temp sender unit? Maybe it needed an A/T trans cooler as well to keep heat transfer down. The guy got a very nice truck as far as all the nuts and bolts go Giovanni
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  6. #6

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    My best guess is that the very low idle I had with the Weber carb and automatic was not allowing enough coolant circulation from the water pump to keep cool. I tried a new stock fan and clutch to no avail. The coolant temp sensor was located on the pre thermostat side of the intake manifold. Once I went to a fixed fan that sounded like a Cessna prop, I had no cooling problems. I chalked it up to hotrodding. I was also happy to not have to turn the heat on max in 115deg ambient temp in stop and go freeway traffic.

  7. #7

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    Ah so that is why it wasn't working. It was constantly reading the temperature at the thermostat. For a thermo fan to work correctly, it needs to have a sender unit in either the bottom tank of the radiator as close to the outlet or in an adapter coupling in the bottom hose. Once the coolant temperature was near optimal from passing through the radiator, the fan(s) would shut off.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer101 View Post
    Ah so that is why it wasn't working. It was constantly reading the temperature at the thermostat. For a thermo fan to work correctly, it needs to have a sender unit in either the bottom tank of the radiator as close to the outlet or in an adapter coupling in the bottom hose. Once the coolant temperature was near optimal from passing through the radiator, the fan(s) would shut off.
    The fan came on and off just fine at the correct temperature. The weber carb and auto trans make for a very low idle while in gear... poor coolant circulation. The electric fans and stock mechanical fan couldn't get enough heat out of the radiator to keep up in hours of stop and go traffic on the freeway with ambient temps over 100 deg. F.

  9. #9

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    It sounds like putting a Weber on an auto might not be a good idea then. Especially when it's being used in a hot climate. I didn't give the idle rpm drop while in drive and stationary any thought and trying to ramp idle rpm would make for a terrible driving experience but I guess the factory carb would've been causing a similar problem anyway...

    *I did a 4G52 w/T904 swap into a Colt wagon as my very first drivetrain swap. It boogied. But my state is renowned for it's summer temperatures and it would struggle with engine temps on the hottest days so I added a second washer bottle and ran the washer hose with an irrigation micro sprayer on it to aimed at the front of the radiator that was triggered by a momentary push button switch on the dashboard. When I saw the temps heading towards 75% of the gauge I'd give the switch a hit and temps would return to normal quickly. A sort-of ghetto fix that was neatly installed but was 100% effective in fighting off engine overheating. If I figured out how to get it triggered by a temperature sensor and had it run for only 1-2 seconds it could've run by itself if I ever forgot to keep an eye on the gauge.
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