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Thread: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

  1. #1
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    1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Here she is, my pride and joy.



    Backstory


    Some of you guys might recognize this truck. It's been in town since 1986. My grandfather gave me his 1986 Dodge Power Ram (W150). Funny enough, he bought it from Lakehead Motors that my other grandfather (recently departed, miss you) worked at as a salesman, while my parents were dating. Obviously a ton of sentimental value here, and I plan on keeping her forever. I can remember riding shotgun as a little kid with my grandpa, off to the hardware store, or taking me for a drive to go fishing.

    Its a Royal SE trim package, and had an original 5.2L 318 motor & a 727 3-speed automatic transmission.

    The Never-Ending Project

    I've done a ton of work to it over the last 3 or 4 years, including replacing almost everything in the engine bay (alternator, steering shaft, power steering pump, carb jets, fuel pump, etc).

    I swapped in a 5.9L 360 L.A. that came out of a Chrysler Cordoba (if I recall correctly?) that a good guy from the Bay City Mopar club gave me for absolutely free. I had a machine shop bore it slightly over, and I ported and polished the intake and exhaust. I installed a mild performance camshaft, and put a 4 barrel carburetor with a nice air cleaner on top.
    I also added a 4x4 Posi-Lok that replaces the vacuum actuator. Its a cable operated system that allows the engagement of the front axle from inside the cab. In the rear end, I added a Sure Grip Posi to the Chrysler 9 1/4 axle (not sure why, but the PO that owned the truck very briefly - ~5000km - had the dealership take the factory posi out?).

    Additional modifications include a larger exhaust system with a nice tip that I relocated to exit before the rear wheels, and a home-made block lift system to allow for the current 33 x 12.5 Mud Countrys. I also replaced shocks all around (shot already, shitty Ranchos) and a steering stabilizer. Homemade front and rear bumpers were built out of some 8" steel channel. I've also installed an aftermarket stereo.

    I've certainly just scraped the surface, there were more small things I'm missing.

    Disaster Strikes

    Oh yeah, and I damaged the front end one day and rebuilt it all. I don't want to get into the details of that - just pure frustration.

    Moving Forward


    So I recently came across a 2WD D150 of the same year. I bought it and will be amalgamating the best of the two trucks. My vision for the restoration is a daily drivable, but preserved classic that I can baby, yet use as a truck (camping, fishing, hunting). I also want to make some modifications to enhance its street presence, and give it more torque and power off the line, while enhancing economy slightly.

    I know its not / wont' be quite my grandpas original truck, but he supports the decisions I've made along the way, and its body is too far gone to repair easily. I am preserving the spirit of the truck, not necessarily all the sheet metal.

    The breakdown of the plans as I see it:


    • Completely teardown the other D150.
    • Strip the paint, complete body work, polish all trim, etc.
    • The body will be amalgamated with my W150.
    • I will use all the mechanical systems & drivetrain from my W150.
    • New paint for the amalgamated truck. I will do a slightly custom version of the paint job that's on my W150.
    • I've been thinking of trying to build / install some kind of functional performance hood scoop, maybe a shaker intake or something.
    • Epoxy underside, frame, axles, box rails. Basically anything that sees the elements.
    • Swap all my parts onto a new, 3/4 ton (8" tall vs 6" original) W250 frame that I purchased and am restoring. Pictures of that to come.
    • Fully detail engine compartment, wiring and plumbing. I'll probably get some new headers while I'm at it.
    • Implement a custom designed front and rear 4 link suspension system, and entirely eliminate leaf springs from the truck, and migrate to an air bag setup.
    • Revert overall stance of the truck to a more "street / classic / muscle truck" look, with slightly more clearance than stock. Maybe back down to a 30" or 31" tire.
    • Re-gear the differentials to 4.10 / 4.11s. Maybe larger? Right now its got 3.23s. Need to do some calculations here.
    • Swap in my new A518 OD transmission. Its basically a 727 with an OD slapped on. Should help performance / economy.


    Basically everything. Fun!

    - - - Updated - - -

    The new (to me) D150. Its a very clean truck. The story, as I got it, was that it was owned by a shop teacher from Hillcrest who has been retired for a while. It had around 130,000 original km's and is equipped with a 318 small block and a 3spd 727 auto. It ran pretty well actually, but not quite like my rebuilt 360. It had a 2 barrel carburetor.

    It feels like shit to start tearing up this truck, because its actually quite good. The only issues it would face going on the road and getting a safety would be fuel lines, brake lines, a totally rusted out rad cradle and a tune up (the truck backfires / diesels a bit when you kill the engine). I like to frame it my mind as - both trucks are being sacrificed for the greater good - which will be an awesome (in my opinion) preservation of a classic truck, with modern improvements.

    Here's some pictures before teardown:









    Here's pictures of the teardown (about 3 evenings of work):

























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    Last edited by TGunnell; 11-06-2015 at 09:35 AM. Reason: formatting


    1986 Dodge W150 Royal SE | 5.9L 360 LA

  2. #2
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Welcome to the forum! It's good to see you finally joined but I was kind of surprised.

    I can't wait to see how the truck turns out!
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

    How to: edit posts | post pictures w/ browser | post pictures w/ tapatalk

  3. #3
    Senior Member neeman77's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    I love seeing full overhauls, great work and keep us updated!
    Neema

    9.75 @ 143.41 MPH

    923 hp 735 ft/lbs

    In-Car Video Link

  4. #4
    n00b bANONYMOUS's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    I like where this is going, I can't wait for the next update!

  5. #5
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Subscribed.. Truck looks in awesome shape. Hopefully we might also see A engine swap to 383 or 440 .

  6. #6
    Senior Member DSM8_ALL's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    It's cheaper to find a 5.7 hemi and swap that in nowadays. At least you'd get gas mileage and more power than one of the old 383 or 400s.

  7. #7
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    5.7 Carb Hemi swap would be cool but early Hemi 5.7s were never know for good mileage. lol.

  8. #8
    n00b bANONYMOUS's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    I get 10MPG summer, 8MPG winter in my 5.7 Hemi, what is gas mileage?
    Last edited by bANONYMOUS; 12-01-2015 at 11:56 PM.

  9. #9
    HATER! MiniD1CK5's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Yeah I'd do a carbd newer hemi swap if it was mine, newer tech and better performance potential. Nice to see another from the long hair team to BTW!!!!
    Last edited by MarcGSR; 12-02-2015 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Posting Guidelines #7
    FUNCTION >FORM

    Randy Probst's take on the BRZ "it's like a BMW and a Lotus had a baby"

    "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere." -Colin Chapman

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  10. #10
    Senior Member bgodin23's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Ill be that guy.. 5.9 cummins swap!!
    2013 Kawasaki ZX14r- 8.72@158
    2016 Ford F-150
    2004 Kawasaki zx10r-9.45@150(sold)
    2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport-sold
    2013 Ford Focus ST- sold
    2006 Yamaha R6- sold

  11. #11
    Senior Member squarebit's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    I have a dead 383 somewhere.

  12. #12
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Sorry guys, no big block swap happening anytime soon... My 360 is freshly rebuilt just last year, and I've got a pile of 318 blocks and 727 small block transmissions lying about. My father and I have been playing around with the idea of a turbo'd low-comp 318 with aftermarket EFI. But this would be down the road. At this point, I've got my work cut out for me without an engine build.

    I'll be posting an update soon. I've done a lot more, just haven't uploaded the documentation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The New Frame

    Alright, update time. I got this all done during the last few weeks.

    First up - the new frame. I sourced this from an extended cab, '91 Cummins truck. The body was hacked up and molested, box was gone, engine pulled... So with the guy I bought it off we tore it all down, plasma cut the body bolts off and used his hoist to rip off the junk cab and load up the new frame.





    Small hiccup on the way home...



    Its 8" deep compared to the 6" on my original truck, so its quite a bit beefier. All other dimensions are the same. Except... its 18" longer to compensate for the rear seat / longer cab. Chop time!



    You can see in the picture that there are two identical crossmembers that support the extended cab. The extra 18" can be found bolt to bolt on the crossmember.



    So, we marked it up, and did an "S" shaped cut, removed the extra frame section and meticulously square everything up and tack welded it all in place. Go slow, as to not overheat the metal and shift anything, and check and recheck, check and recheck...






    It will be boxed and plated on the inside after I finish the continuous weld for extra support. Don't start crying about welding frames - tons of people do it to lengthen or shorten, and when I'm done this frame will be much stronger than factory.

    The Blue Shithole

    I was out in Winnipeg for my birthday with my lovely girlfriend + some friends, when I got a call from my dad...

    Him - "Hey! I bought another truck!"

    Me - "...WTF?!?!"

    So this one was a blue, extended cab, real rusty POS that you might have seen sitting on Balmoral for a while. He got it for real cheap. I wondered why the hell he bought another truck, especially such a crap wagon until I realized it had an OD transmission with the proper crossmember, a spare set of 4x4 axles (prayed for 3.92s or 4.10s, alas, 3.55s), the transmission tunnel I could graft into the 2wd cab and basically a spare set of anything else I may need. The axles are in nice shape, I think I'll clean these ones up and use them for the regear.







    Anyways, the body was shot. You'll see in the pictures. One of the PO's had laminated about 3 or 4 layers of metal with rivets in some areas, just a true hack job. Hockey puck cab supports screwed on willy-nilly, the works. Totally ****ed. Check it out:











    We chopped it all up as it was beyond saving, but kept the sheet metal if I need certain profiles during the bodywork process. Makes for an easier mashup than trying to fab certain sheet metal profiles, bevels and stamped areas. Sorry there aren't many before pictures, I wasn't anticipating another teardown at this point, and my dad started without my one day when I was at work. We hacked out the trans tunnel to fit to the new cab and pulled the 318 + OD transmission + transfer case.





    So, anyone looking for any first gen stuff? I have extras! This week with the wonderful warm weather I'll be cleaning up the frame and all the crossmembers + axles + tierod, etc.

    Stay tuned folks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 50BWZUvh.jpg   WTVRN1Ih.jpg   QmtOjCSh.jpg   QmtOjCSl.jpg   e7mQGNeh.jpg   opYxhA9h.jpg  

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    7UhEZXSh.jpg   Jz9iQT2h.jpg   IZ7saHRh.jpg   vf4AWTah.jpg   qJgGDDdh.jpg   fSfLsUdh.jpg  



    1986 Dodge W150 Royal SE | 5.9L 360 LA

  13. #13
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Frame Progress

    Just a small update regarding the frame. I'm taking advantage of our ridiculous weather and rolled the frame outside for cleanup. It's coming along well! Just three hours with a wire wheel (a shitty Chinese one at that...) and the metal looks like new! See for yourself:





    Suspension Teaser

    Figured I'd tease the new suspension. I recently started a job as an intern architectural technologist, and have been using a 3D modelling program called Revit. With three generations of DIY'ers, (my grandpa, father and I) we've devised our own custom air-ride 4-link suspension system to completely eliminate the leaf spring setup.

    It'll be a typically forward facing 4 link setup in the rear, with airbags centered over the old spring mounts with typical 4-link setup ie) panhard bar + rear sway bar. The front is a little tricky to maintain the steering system so the airbags will be cantilevered slightly farther back over the axle, close to the original shock mounts. It will have a set of parallel links facing forward, and a triangulated link to a custom crossmember under the rad cradle.

    Here's some of the wooden mockups we made to get a sense of the geometry / clearance. Airbags have been ordered, as well as articulating joints + bushings.








    More to come soon!




    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails nYqc4fAl.jpg   S8DE4BOl.jpg   LQZ0ZTql.jpg   7bF4SuWl.jpg   v9lab4ll.jpg  


    1986 Dodge W150 Royal SE | 5.9L 360 LA

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mitsubaru's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    Wow. The frame looks great.

  15. #15
    Premium Member Nabs's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Gen Dodge Truck - Restoration Project

    The pictures really don't convey the size of the frame. Seeing it in person made me realize how big it really is. It's going to be awesome to see this thing on bags in the spring!
    "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster"

    ///M3 Journal | E39 540i Journal | Turbo Install | Carbon Roof Time-Lapse Install

    How to: edit posts | post pictures w/ browser | post pictures w/ tapatalk

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