Author Topic: 1987 Raider "Christmas tree"  (Read 2768 times)


  • Member
  • Posts: 17
  • I'm new here!
1987 Raider "Christmas tree"
« on: October 03, 2017, 07:03:03 PM »
Hello all! Relatively new to the FB group, and the forums. I will have a build thread in a week or two showing off the Raider, but for right now, I'm trying to take care of some odds and ends. I have a 1987 Dodge Raider, 2.6L, 4WD, auto transmission.

Like, where to start on this Christmas tree? I've been looking at the factory service manual and trying to figure things out.

1st, the EGR light automatically comes on every 50k, and this has 67K on it. Should I reset the switch, and if it comes back I need to get further into the system? The main EGR valve looks like an easy switch and runs $25.

2nd, the A/T temp switch. It was on when I got it, fluid appears nominal. The picture taken is from the right side, laying down. The manual says to pull the connector off to see if it's in the sensor or the wiring. Am I correct that the sensor is in the top right with the red/black wires coming out? There appears to be another sensor to the left of it, plus the one on the bottom of the photo. I wanted to make sure I was messing with the right thing.

3/4 I'm not sure where to start to troubleshoot the Brake and Battery light. Brake fluid level is good, but it looks like a newer brake fluid unit. Perhaps it's a different type? Any pointers would be appreciated.

5th Oil pressure gauge is giving me nothing, pointers there too?

6th Inclinometer, do people fill that with silicone oil or glycerin to get them working again? Or is it more complicated than that?

Yes, that is a lot of questions. I'm attempting to teach myself these things without leaning on my mechanic too much. Appreciate any help.


Jared in Lincoln


  • Member
  • Posts: 17
  • I'm new here!
Re: 1987 Raider "Christmas tree"
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 10:36:06 PM »
Thanks to RXIN for the advice. It turned out that once I put in a new alternator and A/T temp sensor, all my lights went out. Next question...

How do I make this thing go faster? I thought with new plugs, fuel filter, air filter, etc, I'd be cooking along, but I'm still on the strugglebus trying to get to 65. Any advice?


  • Member
  • Posts: 152
Re: 1987 Raider "Christmas tree"
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 09:33:40 AM »

How do I make this thing go faster? I thought with new plugs, fuel filter, air filter, etc, I'd be cooking along, but I'm still on the strugglebus trying to get to 65. Any advice?

🤣😂🤣😂🤣🤣 faster...😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣
1. 2.6 auto, develop patience
2. Ensure the vacuum secondary is operational
3. Refer back to #1


  • I'm Getting Around To It
  • Member
  • Posts: 255
  • Get Off My Lawn! Or gravel, or whatever it is!
Re: 1987 Raider "Christmas tree"
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 12:08:34 AM »
Golly, the lack of support is just appalling (kidding).

The 2.6 is sensitive power-wise to timing. Just a bit more initial advance can pay dividends, so pay attention to the underhood sticker and the timing mark indicated as "recommended," then advance it another degree or two, listening for pre-detonation under light load/accel conditions.

Make sure your distributor's centrifugal advance is working correctly. At least make sure there aren't any parts missing from the thing. At even less than that, make sure the timing advances when the vacuum advance is connected and you rev the engine off idle. I've seen a couple of worn out distributors on the 2.6.

As mentioned above, the vacuum-operated secondary on the Mikuni carb (which is great when it's not not great) has to be operational. A Mighty-Vac or Harbor Freight equivalent or your lips, if you can develop vacuum with your mouth, will tell you if the flying saucer actuator does its actuating business and holds that position until vacuum is released. Unless that happens, you're operating on a one barrel carb.

On the other underhood sticker, make sure to carefully trace and confirm the routing/placement of all the vacuum lines. And good luck with that. Use a marking pen to mark each one as you verify it. There's a whole lot of them on an 87. I believe the factory shop manual, commonly referred to as the 'FSM' has a larger print version of each sub-model's (Federal or CA emissions) layout.

If you still have a catalytic converter, make sure the thing isn't clogged. You can't tell at idle, but you sure can at highway speeds/high load condition.

Transmission fluid full? Better check that when it's "hot" and in neutral with the engine running.

Let us know.

John B.
AZ Crew/East Sider/Former 14th St Crew
95 SR, 35x12.5-15 on 8" steelies, 2" BL, stuff cut off, stuff welded on, lights, sound, front ARB pending
87 Raider, There's a turbo 2.6 under its hood, really
83 "Dodge" Power Ram 50, a bit lifted, way slow and gets more comments from random people than the other two put together
'95 Montero SR. Pretty much stock, Trail Gear Sliders, ADD skid plates, Stereo by Shovel, Timing maintenance by Pa_Jero