Adventure Driven Talk

Tech Questions and How-To Articles => Mitsubishi Related => Mighty Max/Triton => Topic started by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 11, 2018, 06:55:17 PM

Title: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 11, 2018, 06:55:17 PM
I'm gonna buy this badass mofo from Jorge. I can't even remember how much new stuff we even put into it since he got it, and it had been daily driven for quite a while by both Jorge and "Mas Macho" (his Dad), so it's got some better than before things and some worse than before things.

I seem to remember it has a newer battery now. That's a good thing. The BFG A/T's on the SR 7" wheels are kinda worn down. That's a "meh" thing. The air conditioning worked for almost a whole day. That's kinda good, right? Jorge "sort of" reupholstered the seats, so that has to be good. There's a fairly fresh engine in it, but it seems to have developed a bunch of oil drips, so that's good AND bad. Overall, I just want it to haul things around town, go to the dump, get stuff from Home Depot and stuff a pickup likes to do without spending "Clay/Kevin Money" on it. They're the big-time. I'm not.

I'll get it cleaned up super duper good and report back on what I might do to it next. Just for the record, it's a 2.6, Mikuni carb, 3-speed auto, 4WD and differs from the Mighty Max mostly in appearance, as it has four rectangular headlights instead of two (try finding a front grill for that). I DO know it needs a fan shroud, in case anybody trips on one. The OE was plastic, so when the wind blew, it disintegrated.

John B.
President, CEO/CFO, BMOC, JBFP Heavy Industries
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: IncorpoRatedX on January 11, 2018, 07:39:40 PM
EAST SIDE MIGHTY MAX GANG!
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 11, 2018, 08:47:35 PM
 Awe yeah! That is a NICE machine!
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 14, 2018, 09:01:09 PM
Jorge and HoseB delivered the truck to me on Friday night. Saturday, I power washed the engine and underside and changed the oil to conventional Rotella 15W-40 with a shitty STP oil filter because Auto Zone had one of those. I'll watch the oil color and see how much it leaks before deciding if it's worth using anything better.

This thing has glass fuses - old school. I had to pop in a new 10 amp to get the brake lights firing again. I think Jorge may have used the truck to pull a trailer and that may have been how/why the fuse blew, as they continue to work now. I do remember we went around the entire exterior of the truck a year or so ago and cleaned each socket and bulb base and lubed them all with a little dielectric grease and cleaned the insides of the lenses.

I'll need to dig out a battery hold-down, since it doesn't have one and the battery likes to unplug the driver's side headlight regularly. I also recall getting new headlights for the truck fairly recently (all four). I selected Wagner TruView Xenon, which look kind of yellowish when you look at them, but they light up the road really well and supposedly don't have the glare issue for oncoming drivers. The high beams really punch down the road, and I appreciate the four different elements at that point.

I transferred the title and got a new plate. It passed emissions last year in May so I was able to renew until May of 2019...$45.33, and that was at a third party place since I'm always working during regular DMV hours and can't get there. I may get a special plate, or a personalized one. Like maybe JBFP INC or PWRRM50. I don't think they'll allow stuff like RAMMER8. But who knows? I'll have to pony up with my insurance company tomorrow, but that shouldn't be bad at all...third vehicle...

I drove a total of about 80 miles in it this weekend, quite a bit of it on the freeway. It's v-e-r-y slow getting up to speed (the secondary isn't operating - initial diagnosis, since I can't hear the deep throated sound it should make) but it holds 65 mph for the most part. I recorded 10.8 mpg, which is terrible. The last time I drove it, I was getting at least 18. Since I'm just a rebel anyway, I ordered a rebuilt from Guaranteed Carburetors. Jorge and I had real good luck with them when we got a carb for his 86. I mean it worked perfectly right out of the box and they're not that expensive at $240, shipped with a core return tag included. Between having a choke that actually works and a functional secondary, it ought to put it back on its game. The new-to-us engine has been in there for about 10K miles, as I saw when I opened the glovebox and saw the note I placed on the inside of the door that listed oil change, coolant flush and re-engining with the mileage.

Jorge had some extra (Raider) seats, extra tail light assemblies and the skid plates that haven't been installed since the engine was replaced. Josh has expressed some possible interest in borrowing them to make improved skid plate pieces, but we'll have to see if a market is there for them.

The front suspension/steering is worn. Aside from the idler and Pitman arms, the rest of the gear there "appears" to be standard Gen 1 tie rods/ball joints and bushings. Fortunately, I have a vehicle with lifetime warrantied parts at my disposal (well, it USED to be mine, and still is as far as "Brand X" auto parts stores knows) and I know the guys that import some pretty good bushings I can buy... I'll probably need to con Shovel into helping me with the set-up, since he has the nifty camber level and knows a thing or three about setting caster (which IS adjustable on these). Once again, the press I have will come in handy for the upper ball joints, should they need to be replaced (they will be replaced).

Tires are 31x10.5 BFG KO (1's) on the SR 15x7 wheels. Tires will have to do for now. Shocks are fairly new KYB gas-a-just up front and Rancho dial-adjust somethings on the rear that Toasty put on. Jorge and I replaced most, but not all of the rear leaf spring bushings, since it has a shackle lift on it and stock bushings wouldn't fit one of the positions.

The transfer case grinds when accelerating, but if you pull the transfer case selector lever toward the rear, it goes away. The console likely needs some minor trimming to allow the lever to come back fully.

Between Jorge and "Mas Macho," (his Dad), they made new door and behind-the-seat cards and Jorge covered them with some cool looking fabric. Some seat covers will help, whichever seats end up in it (what's an improvement, really comfortable, heated, and fits?!). It needs a center console (never equipped) or seats with armrests. The seats are right down on the floor in these, so bouncy frames aren't going to work, but with such a long wheelbase, it doesn't really matter. This truck feels pretty smooth overall, except for the tired front end. It could use carpet, but I haven't even looked to see if it's available. I'll check Rock Auto. Shovel says there's like only one manufacturer of aftermarket replacement carpet but it's sold by several different retailers; I just happen to like Rock Auto's magnets and I need more of them.

Looks like depth-wise, I can fit 6.5" door speakers IF I have the later Gen 1 speaker boxes from the mid-panel area, the ones with an aluminum frame the speaker mounts into that limits the speaker's depth, since the window would hit the magnet of any aftermarket speaker. The stock cut-outs are for 5 1/4" speakers, but with the extend-o-frames, 6.5's will fit without cutting anything. All of mine are in use, so if anybody comes across some frames, not speakers, I'll buy 'em.

The radio placement is another issue. This truck has the original am/fm high in the dash (and it's knob-style; one knob on either side of the face) and the only way to get to it is to remove the dash. I'm not that industrious. Neither was a previous owner, since they strapped on(!) an under-dash am/fm/cassette unit on the passenger side. Had they been a bit more creative, I'm willing to bet a single or even double-DIN would fit in the cubby down low. Again, something to consult with Shovel about. Not sure if there's any room for a wedge sub behind the seats, but it would need one, I'd say.

I have a friend who's really, really good at window tinting and has been doing it for 30 years. I may have him do this job since it's pretty straight forward (solid rear window, not a split-opening, door glass doesn't have wing windows and I'm probably too tall for a visor strip on this one) and I do NOT attempt to tint windows. Anybody know if door window moldings (inner and outer) are still available for this truck? My Windows 7 machine doesn't like the ASA program and won't let me download it so I can't check there.

More as I think of it. Appreciate any suggestions!

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 14, 2018, 09:18:58 PM
New carb should have that thing in the mid 20's for mpg, it got great milage when Kevin and i took it to the Rim. 
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 15, 2018, 05:24:00 AM
I agree Toasty. Every other time I drove it, I beat every Montero on mileage that was traveling with me. I figured by the time I fixed the vacuum secondary and then tracked down the issue it has with a miss/stumble at mid-throttle, I'd have spent so much time and effort on it that I'd wish I had just gone this route. Hopefully it works out. Hopefully they also have one already rebuilt. Jorge tried to order one for the 85, but they needed him to send in the old one because they didn't have any, and as a result, it didn't get done. I'll be listening for my phone over the next couple of days.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 15, 2018, 10:49:12 AM
Call Pat, he got a non feedback Mikuni for his. Probably has a source or maybe a core, the sucky thing is that i had a few at one point.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 15, 2018, 07:14:33 PM
Not sure anybody posted a how-to on posting pictures on here. I can upload them to show as an attachment, but where is the tutorial on posting pictures inline?

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 15, 2018, 07:49:08 PM
https://www.adventuredrivendesign.com/forums/index.php/topic,210.0.html

 In short, attach your pic amd then hit insert inline next to it.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 15, 2018, 07:52:57 PM
Call Pat, he got a non feedback Mikuni for his. Probably has a source or maybe a core, the sucky thing is that i had a few at one point.

I know I wrote a lot up there, but I already ordered one. I like their "exact fit" system and the fact that they are guaranteed for as long as I own the truck.

I looked at the spare seats Jorge included with the truck. I guess to my surprise, Montero seats look like they bolt right in once their base is removed. That retains the flip forward, back and forth travel and the recline, as if there's any room to recline, because there isn't.

I asked Shovel several questions about Noico sound deadener tonight. He's used and liked it, so I'm going to order a 50 s.f. carton of the 50 mil product. That'll kick off the interior work, so I can strip out the nasty-ass carpet, remove the door and rear, behind the seat panels and clean all the surfaces to get ready for it. There is no headliner at present. All that should get the stuff and 50 s.f. should come close to doing it all.

Then it'll need new carpet. Shit's expensive, as in almost $200 just for a measly little compartment like this one, but that's for the super-plush with mass backing stuff that's pretty well pre-formed. It's a P.I.T.A. to install because it has to be trimmed all around and things cut out for console, shifters and every bolt hole, plus heated and formed for final fit. I don't think I want some crazy color, like Shovel did his in. Maybe dark grey.

I've heard about Cabela's having decent seat covers, but not sure if they sell the size for Montero seats; guess I'll check. I also don't think I'll go the custom picture route like Shovel, mainly because I can't really think of anything I'd want to have. He already took the beans idea.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 16, 2018, 04:09:42 AM




Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 16, 2018, 07:43:39 AM
Everyone needs to keep an eye out for a factory rollbar for that thing, that would be the icing on the cake.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 16, 2018, 07:27:49 PM
A roll bar would like mighty 80-ish and cool.

The rebuilt carb shipped today and is due in Saturday. Noico sound deadener ordered this morning will be here next week. Going to start there. Got an exhaust leak to fix, probably just a tighten-up thing. Then I'll have a look for those pesky leaks under the hood. Should be a fun truck to drive with real two barrel power; I remember my carbed Monteros would run pretty darn well with a fully functional Mikuni. I haven't heard a bit of pre-det at any throttle setting, so I'll see where it's set and if it can stand a bit more initial advance, will also check the centrifugal and vacuum advance. I still have that set of P235/60R-15's in case I feel like doing smoky burnouts with the LSD rear, for scientific purposes, of course. The rubber on those tires is so old it'll light up like tinder, I'm sure, plus the back end of that truck weighs next to nothing. Might make a good GoPro video.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 16, 2018, 07:56:19 PM
http://www.nationalautobody.com/catalognab/product_info.php?cPath=2224_2265_2964&products_id=4732


 These guys might have a new grill for that hog, black or chrome. Too bad the 2 light grill won't go, those look mean.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 16, 2018, 08:56:24 PM
I like the four light set up, myself. Thanks for the link. Any idea if window molding is available? Both inner and outer are shot.

Tried test fitting a set of my 88+ Montero speaker extension brackets to the door cut-outs and it looks like they won't fit without some work, as it appears the window crank handle will hit the speaker bracket as it goes around. Which kind of sucks. Then I'd be stuck with 5 1/4" speakers and they'd have to be really skinny, depth-wise or the window itself will hit the magnet as it goes down fully. Which sucks.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Shovel on January 18, 2018, 12:28:23 PM

Tried test fitting a set of my 88+ Montero speaker extension brackets to the door cut-outs and it looks like they won't fit without some work, as it appears the window crank handle will hit the speaker bracket as it goes around. Which kind of sucks. Then I'd be stuck with 5 1/4" speakers and they'd have to be really skinny, depth-wise or the window itself will hit the magnet as it goes down fully. Which sucks.

John B.

You don't want to go "period" ?   





Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 18, 2018, 08:53:12 PM
Not even sure something like those would even fit behind the seats; there's very little room. BUT, a Bazooka 6.5" tube will fit, barely. I've had a decent experience with them in the past, they're just expensive, is all. "Some" bass plus a pair of 5.25" two-ways in the doors and a decent in-dash shoved into the pocket under the center gauges would probably be too good for this truck...scratch that...would barely do this truck justice, but would be all I'm willing to spend.

Noico to be delivered 1/19; carb should be here 1/20. It begins...

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 21, 2018, 07:32:08 AM
Well, my gol durn carb didn't make it here this weekend. And when I try to track it through UPS they don't have anything since Thursday, so I have no idea...

I drove the truck to the good times rock and roll show put on by the band with members Pa_Jero, Stroker Explosion and LordTrunks last night, which was fiery and appropriately loud, as well as a demonstration of technical proficiency, and I must say I wouldn't be surprised to find that pieces of this old carb are just falling off of it somewhere. It took me from one entrance ramp to the next exit ramp, about a mile, to get up to 65 mph. If the throttle isn't floored or nearly so, it misses pretty badly and there's an immediate drop-off in power. The exhaust leak makes it sound pretty comical. And I love it. So fun to drive, in a weird sort of way.

I did some cross-checking on part numbers and found, yes indeed, the only unique steering components are the idler and Pitman, and everything else is straight-up Gen 1. Suspension-wise, there's some confusion regarding the upper ball joints, but that's no big deal, as they're super cheap anyway. Since the upper arms use shaft kits, I'll only need the lower a-arm bushings from the Siberian collection, as the truck does not have a front sway bar.

Going to get the windows tinted today. I'll try to remember to take a camera. I have my friend Keith do my work, his company is Stick To It Window Tinting, and if you want his number, let me know. Lots of people do tint work, but he's been doing mine for over 25 years, only uses the best product and stands behind his work.

Oh, I've been looking at sourcing a light for the cargo bed, since both the dome light and the cargo light are gone by now. I wonder if this'll work:  https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-dome-light-fixtures-non-waterproof/trailerrv-exterior-led-flood-lights-180-watt-equivalent-1800-lumens/4413/
Still deciding on an interior dome set-up.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 21, 2018, 09:02:09 PM
I was thinking this for a dome light, wired so it only works off the switch on the light, bypassing the door switches: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-dome-light-fixtures-non-waterproof/rectangle-led-dome-light-fixture-6-led-light-w-36-leds-and-built-in-switch-pigtail-connector/3135/6614/

And a couple of these: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-dome-light-fixtures-non-waterproof/adjustable-led-map-dome-light-w-switch-truck-rv-marine-cabin-led-reading-light-w-1-led-pigtail-connector-black/3558/7251/

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 21, 2018, 09:10:31 PM
I ran the truck up to an indicated 120 miles on the trip meter today, running in to Phoenix for the window tint and then picking up some kitchen cabinets that were taken out of an old house that's being renovated. With odometer correction for the 10% bigger tires, that's 132 miles. It took 14 gallons of gas for a 9.43 mpg figure of mainly highway driving. Then I drove the actual mileage of 36 home and the gas gauge reads at half, so if that's 7 gallons, figure that was around 5.1 mpg. The new carb should pay for itself pretty quickly, but I figure that's still pretty cheap for half a kitchen's worth of kitchen cabinets (that's all that would fit today).

Got the windows tinted, meaning the solid back window (one step lighter than "limo") and the AZ legal level on the side doors. Turned out great, but like always, it highlights the scratches the tracks have made in the glass (luckily on the outside of the glass, mainly). $80.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 26, 2018, 05:31:16 AM
Been working stupid, crazy hours, so didn't get a chance to do much until last night, when I still didn't do too much. I removed the old carb, which looked decent, but I could visually tell it has been a while since that secondary had opened. I have to transfer the automatic transmission portion of the carb linkage over to the new carb. I also want to pick up some new 3/8" hose to replace the coolant lines, since that's no fun to do in 110 degrees in a Lowes parking lot, as I have done before. The EGR passages had gunked up, so I'll remove that device and clean out what I can get to.

Of a more pressing note, the bottom of the air cleaner housing had a lot of oil in it. The only sensible solution would say to me that I have an issue with the PCV valve, since there's only a breather that could let oil in there, so I'll be checking that next time. It was a couple of tablespoon's worth.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 27, 2018, 06:17:50 PM
I installed the new carb this morning and went for a test drive. All seemed well until I attempted highway speed and had some serious misfire issues. That's not good. At least the new carb got rid of the miss at partial throttle and it actually has a choke that functions, I said to myself.

I came back home and hooked up my timing light. The initial advance was several degrees beyond what I would use, at maybe ten degrees. So I started investigating whether the centrifugal advance was working (A-O.K) and then checked for vacuum on the disconnected-for-testing vacuum advance. There was no vacuum, so I glanced along the line and saw it was connected to a tee that came off the thermo-valve, which is wrong. Somewhere along the line, and before me, somebody switched/mixed up the vac. line that normally goes to the air cleaner for carb pre-heat and the vac. advance line to the distributor. I reset the initial advance to "That Looks About Right" at around 8 deg. BTDC and connected the lines the way I figured they should be, as there's no underhood sticker and I cannot be bothered to look anything up in a factory service manual or anything. What do you know, it runs like a champ and holds 70+ on the freeway at about 1/2 throttle. And after putting on about 40 miles, the gas gauge barely budged, which is more like it.

But the fan clutch is crap and it's running hotter than it used to. I may have introduced a nasty air bubble in the system when I disconnected the carb's 3/8" lines and let some coolant drain out before removing the old carb, too. Mr. A.D.D. himself, Josh, witnessed me driving down the road and called me while I was out test driving and talked me off the ledge - he may have a clutch for me. Meanwhile, I have to jack the front of the truck up and take the front wheels off to grease the squeaky points anyway, so hopefully I'll chase any air out while it's nose-high.

So then I set to work getting the old crust that used to be carpet out. That's interesting, as in, kind of gross. And I find there are a couple of rust-through holes in the floorboards, almost certainly from specific leaks that have been happening over a long period of time. On the driver's side, it's right about where the driver's right heel sits and on the passenger side it's in front of the left side of the seat next to the tunnel. The rest of the sheet metal looks brand new, yet in need of scraping and cleaning. I removed the center console assemblies, which, like all else in the interior, is falling apart and in need of cleaning.

I got a roller for the vibration dampening material (Noico) so after I clean the metal, I can begin to install that. The interior metal is heavily "corrugated," so I'd like to hear from The Shovel as to how I should go about attaching the 50 mil material I have. I assume it needs to be close to 100% contact, heat formed a little and rolled per instructions (after prepping surface). What about wiring along the floor? Cover it or keep it above the Noico?

I'll be driving the truck tomorrow for some errands, so I'm going to bolt in a Gen 1 Montero seat to see how that works. I think I'll have to re-use part of the truck's seat base so I have a seat belt buckle.

I made the mistake of going to bed early last night and have been up since 2:30 a.m., so sorry if this is a rambling mess. Guess I'll try to get back at things tomorrow, which I've personally declared the start of spring, since it'll be around 80.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 28, 2018, 06:21:44 PM
Went to Harbor Freight today and picked up a new set of panel removal tools and a couple of wire brushes. The remains of the carpet cushion are difficult to remove and I only got the passenger side sort of done before I was distracted by a squirrel or something. I really scraped away at the rusty spots; the big round metal plugs in the floor are looking bad, too, so maybe somebody knows of rubber plugs to take their place (that would be helpful). I sprayed Rustoleum rust reformer paint on the rusty spots on that side. Don't know how far into fixing that shit I'll even want to go. Part of me wants to put metal patches over the top while the laziest part of me says to just use foil tape, cover it with the Noico and the carpet/pad and ignore it. Maybe Toasty can suggest how I can pay him to help fix it.

I removed the cheesy cardboard-like filler panel pieces, too, the pieces that cover sheet metal in places like the kick panels and the b-pillars. I'll probably toss them, as they're pretty torn up. The glued-on fabric with foam backing over some painted sheet metal around the back and front windows had to go, too. Maybe new and improved crappy fabric can eventually be glued on in its place.

Now I need some "Back To Black" trim restorer for the console/shifter bits and a way to paint the parts that used to be red and now are a faded red, kind of more like pink. Which doesn't fit what I'm after here, anyway.

I greased the chassis points. Jeez, some of that stuff is totally shot, like the driver's side lower a-arm front bushing, the boots on the upper ball joints and some of the tie rods.  No wonder it squeaks so badly. I made my Rock Auto shopping list for suspension/steering and decided against buying an old Marantz turntable so I can direct the money to this instead.

In chasing air bubbles out of my cooling system, I noticed a small but significant leak in the radiator upper tank, next to the upper rad. hose inlet. So, even though it was rodded just a year or two ago, out it will come to go to the shop. I wonder why these trucks use a two-row but a Montero with the same engine uses a three row.

My exhaust leak is at the manifold, but I didn't bother taking the heat shields off to see if the manifold itself is cracked or if it's because the nuts keep falling off - I don't think this is a balance shaft engine, still, and it does vibrate. If it's the manifold, I have options, since I have a tri-y header hanging around as well as a stock manifold or two for different years of 2.6 Monteros. Both would require minor rework on the exhaust system by a shop.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 28, 2018, 08:07:04 PM
You know me dude, happy to help in any way. Especially in ways i am proficient like welding, we got this.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 30, 2018, 05:43:39 AM
Baksheesh, Cheddar, Skrilla. These things can be yours, Toasty, if you were to stop over and look at the Rammer this week. In the shed with the jackstands by the door is a sheet of galvanized steel I've been hanging onto. There are live power cords by the truck. Bring a grinder and a stick welder and patch that thing up! If it were only that easy... We'll work it out.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 30, 2018, 08:16:57 PM
 I'll come to you to asses the job, probably best to do the actual work at my house for the fastest turn around.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 31, 2018, 04:28:16 AM
That's pretty much what I thought, which is cool, because I have a couple of other things I need to have welded anyway...I can bring them along in the pickup. Any chance for this weekend? I can try to temporarily try to patch my hole in the radiator with some steel stick or a blob of regular JB Weld and bring it by.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Crumb on January 31, 2018, 07:31:24 AM
I have Josh's Mighty Max in my garage right now, lets see if he picks it up today.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on January 31, 2018, 07:47:39 PM
I texted him to ask, but he's probably burning incense and chanting some Buddhist stuff and can't be bothered to answer me in his Zen moments. Or it's just not a good time, I don't know.

So, I can't help myself with LED lights. I ordered what I "think" will work for: a cargo/bed light, 5" wide and sofa-king bright, to be controlled by a switch-to-be-determined inside the cab; a dome light that may be able to be placed about where the original one was and has it's own switch built-in, never mind using the door jamb switches (delete them in the circuit); two small "map" lights that have a limited swivel action base and their own switch built-in; a couple of different color bulbs for the shift selector (red and warm white - we'll see what I like better); a couple of different color bulbs for the center gauge pod (also red and white); four new brake light bulbs; two new reverse light bulbs; four new side marker bulbs, two amber and two red. I'm not messing with the turn signals yet and I can't justify spending what is being asked for LED sealed beams to replace either the high or low beam units I already like, although the high beam units would be super/uber cool, at something like $160 EACH, I can't swing that. Incidentally, Mitsubishi elected to use two completely different bulbs for the shifter and for the center gauge pod. One of them is a wedge base and one is a bayonet base. Once I verify I measured and guessed correctly on those bulb types, I'll post it. Hopefully ditto on the side marker lights, as there I went off the SuperBright LED's bulb-finder look-up, as they had those listed (they didn't have the other two, or they were obviously wrong, can't remember).

I hit my super-beat-up used Montero seats that came with the truck as an extra, on the side pair, with a tried and proven product after work, the Resolve spray-on, rub-in and vacuum out when dry stuff. These crappers sat outside for who knows how long, but they're better than the seats that came with the truck and will get seat covers anyway. I just don't need them to smell particularly bad until I start gassing them with my own brand. I also got another pail of Capture, which is great stuff, if you've never tried it. It's made largely from dried up corn cobs and it absorbs stains and odors really well, doesn't leave much residue and vacuums out as well. That's stage two for the crap-seats.

I put new nuts on the exhaust manifold to fix where there were none, because they keep vibrating/thermal flexing off. It still has a big leak/crack somewhere. I'll probably want to replace the manifold with the long tube one I have and just get the whole system redone locally and custom. I'll have to retain a catalytic converter for emissions, but have some flexibility with a muffler. I'll keep the pipes small diameter for the scavenging effect. But that's down the line. Don't really care about that part yet.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on February 11, 2018, 10:29:42 PM
Not much to update on the 'Rammer. I "fixed" my radiator leak near the top hose inlet the old fashioned way, with JB Weld, which held when I drove the umpteen miles n back to Pa_Jero's house to pick up yet another set of SR chrome wheels on Saturday. The new carb works really well and it has lots of power even after reaching cruising speed. I filled up with gas after the trip but haven't gone out to do any real-world-testing to see where it's at now, but I expect a return to high-teen, maybe 20-ish mpg. Still not sure why anybody would mess with a Weber when the option of a $225, guaranteed forever, direct bolt-on option is available. It'll never be a pavement burner, no matter what, in stock form. I made zero adjustments to the carb after unboxing it and bolting it on, and it starts and runs just about perfectly.

My temporary fix for the rust holes is to clean them up, spray paint them with rust reformer and use real metal duct tape over them. I was sold on this stuff about ten years ago when installing a rooftop vent cap on my old house and needed something that was easy to use, weatherproof and would last. And it's a cheap, old truck, so who cares for now. If Toasty wants to fix it with his magic welds, I guess it'll happen, otherwise, I'll just cover that shit up. It's not Illinois, where rust just grows like weeds, anyway.

My Rock Auto cart is full of stuff most people would not approve of, brand-wise, for the steering and suspension that needs to be fixed. Hey, I kind of like Mevotech ball joints and Beck-Arnley upper a-arm shaft kits, myself. At least the idler and Pitman arm are Moog.

Major time again this weekend was spent with the Kill Bikes, the little, overpowered mini bikes Jorge and I have obtained. The track has developed with two different lap orientations for variety and added danger. The possibility of rain this weekend should help with track conditions, as we seem to be grinding all the gravel into sand and dust (adding new levels of danger!).

I guess I'll see some of you cool dudes on Saturday.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: Lordtrunks on February 12, 2018, 03:13:32 PM
I'm happy with moog's tie rods
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on February 14, 2018, 05:41:24 AM
I've always been happy with Moog stuff, too, so after thinking about it, I switched as much of the steering and suspension stuff back over to them in my shopping cart, which jacks up the shipping some, but gets me lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends, Pitman and idler arms from them. They don't offer the upper ball joints for either the Dodge or Mitsu version of the truck (I always check both because sometimes the companies don't catch the cross-over), so those stayed Mevotech.

I've done a couple of Gen 1's suspension/steering rebuilds now, and have retained some knowledge about keeping them stock and making the job a little easier that I can pass on. The upper a-arms use a shaft assembly instead of a-arm bushings, and it's really important to loosen the end nuts on those while the arm is still bolted into the truck. You'd have a bitch of a time getting them loose while the arm is in a vise afterwards, for example. Per the FSM, make sure to exactly center the threads on the new upper shaft when installing it into the a-arm or your caster adjustment is going to be out of whack. And have a shaft installed, preferably the old one, in the a-arm when pressing out the old ball joint and pressing in the new one or you stand a good chance of bending the shaft alignment by actually re-shaping the arm when you're pressing the ball joint itself. Bolt the a-arm with its new shaft and new ball joint back into the truck and put the shims in place, then tighten it up, THEN tighten the end nuts on the shaft to final spec, maintaining the centering so important to keeping caster correct. And what is that spec, you ask? Guten-tight, since I can't remember finding the actual number. I'd wager a guess to say that over the life of these vehicles, virtually no one ever replaces those shafts, but it's a metal-to-metal wear surface for the upper arm to pivot, so it'll eventually need to be done and they're relatively cheap. The upper arm HAS to come out to replace the upper ball joint anyway, and if you're staying Gen 1 with the suspension, it really should be done.

John B.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: IncorpoRatedX on February 18, 2018, 06:38:31 AM
I've got a ball joint press that'll make a liar out of you...

Did both my Gen 1 upper ball joints on the truck.

You can borrow it, if you dont want to deal with the shaft.
Title: Re: 1983 Dodge Power Ram
Post by: JohnnyBfromPeoria on February 19, 2018, 08:39:18 PM
Now that IS fascinating, IncX. I hadn't thought it would be possible to do that, so I may consider taking you up on that. On the other hand, pretty much everything is beat on this truck and the shafts aren't particularly difficult to do anyway. If your press can be used off the truck as well, it is likely a safer solution to using my straight 20 ton monster anyway. That thing can bend practically anything.

Toasty fixed the rust holes!! He is truly a master with the welding. Big thanks, Dude.

Toasty also came up with a spiffy name for the AZ Crew subsection charged with another one of my projects, but you'll have to read about that in the Gen 1 section.

John B.