Thread: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50

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  1. #121 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    I've started to change the way I think about vehicles in general, and I don't want to have something nice to drive RIGHT NOW.

    I want something that I can actually drive every day without being in fear of something happening that could damage or ruin it. I was bummed about the GP being totalled, and it was not feasible to try and salvage it. I did not have that option, since I'm not currently living in the same state that the GP was registered in. I would have had to trailer it all the way back to Kansas and get it inspected in that state in order to get a salvage title for it. I didn't have the time or resources to make that happen, so my only option was to let it go.

    When the Chrysler got totalled, I realized that I don't want to get another car that was worthy of keeping nice. At least not in the near future. The Chrysler was a somewhat rare car, and with the options it had, it would have held it's value for quite a long time. Losing that car hurt worse than I thought it would, and I don't want to feel that again.

    Therefore, my reasoning for choosing this utter pile of trash to work on and drive is so that I won't get attached to it and want to keep it "nice" or "clean". I can build this truck into as much of a rat-rod as I want, and not feel bad at all for "ruining" it. I can do terrible things like using sheet metal screws to fix holes in the floor, cutting up the body to put a roll bar or roll cage in it, I could cut up the bed and bob the back for more take-off angle while doing hill-climbs off road, I can cut holes in the hood or fenders for a snorkel or a hater pipe... And I won't feel any remorse because I bought this truck to have fun with it.

    I'll build my dream car later, when I can better afford to give it the care and attention it will deserve. But right now it's not the time for me to try and drive something nice that I can be proud of.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  4. #122 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    GTX Level Member cheatah faheatah's Avatar
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    "nice" is subjective and overrated, if what you drive makes you happy.... let your freak flag fly !
    For the record : I am NOT a naked meth-head who shoves rocks up my butt.
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  5. #123 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    Well... Considering that I've touched just about every bolt on this truck, I think it's fair to say that I will have practically rebuilt the entire truck by the time I'm done.

    It may have taken 6 months, but I've learned way more in these 6 months than I learned during the 5 years I owned the GP. I'm in the process of building an entire stand-alone electrical system, complete with with fuses and relays, just to run the extra stuff I've added to the truck. I know by heart exactly how any distributor based ignition system works and I can fix them. I can tune a carburetor by ear (probably not that accurately, but I can get it close enough). I can replace drum brakes without having to look at the instructions.

    Without this truck, I would still be completely clueless about any of that. So yeah, I'm happy that this truck has taught me so much that I didn't know.

    If someone tries to say that this kind of knowledge is outdated and useless, they are wrong. It will always be relevant and needed, because there will always be a desire for 60's muscle cars and older vehicles in general... Somebody needs to know how to keep them on the road, and how else am I going to find my perfect dream car?

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  7. #124 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    GrandPrix Junkie ItHurtz's Avatar
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    A gokart would be more practical.


    The 200 is dead?
    2000 GTPT Sold-brandonhall10 built trans
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    http://www.grandprixforums.net/threa...uestion.....no
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  8. #125 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    Gokart doesn't have 4 wheel drive and a manual transmission.

    Yes, idiot Virginia driver slammed on their brakes after cutting us off in an intersection and the impact set off all of the front airbags. He was at fault since he hit the person in front of him before we hit him.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  10. #126 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    GrandPrix Junkie ItHurtz's Avatar
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    Lifted trucks for all!
    2000 GTPT Sold-brandonhall10 built trans
    2009 Challenger SRT8
    http://www.grandprixforums.net/threa...uestion.....no
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  11. #127 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    That's why I'm gonna try and find some beefier axles to swap underneath this thing... There's zero US support for these trucks, but there's a company in Australia that makes a pretty legit 6 inch lift kit... The only problem is that it costs $3500 to get it shipped to me. Bit too much, considering I can get 1 ton axles out of a junkyard for less than $1000.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  12. #128 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    After talking with a few people on the forum, I took another good look at the hubs. With a couple of files, maybe a little bit of grinding I should be able to get the dents out and make them round again.

    I ordered four new wheel bearings, two new seals, and new parking brake cables. The bearings and seals should be here later this week, but the cables might not show up until next week. Once I get the bearings and seals I'm going to put the front end back together, but I haven't decided whether I'm going to go ahead and pull the old parking brake cables out or wait until they show up.

    In the next couple of days I'll be helping a co-worker haul the truck he just bought on post, and as payment for my help he's giving me the toolbox mounted in the bed. The truck he bought is a little '99 Ford Ranger stepside, and the box might not be wide enough to actually sit on the sides of my truck's bed. If it's not wide enough, I'm just going to fab up some brackets and mount the box so the top of the lid is flush with the sides of the bed.

    Hopefully I'll actually be able to get some work done on the truck this week, and have a legitimate update.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  14. #129 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    Killa Bee Scottydoggs's Avatar
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    id just drill and bolt the box to the floor of the bed if it dont sit on the rails like it should.....got to love a box tho. nice to store crap in being a little standard cab is lacking any real space.

    98 Buick Regal GS, F body brakes, Caddy STS wheels, tinted tails L36 bottom end, lightly ported heads, 1.95 roller rockers, headers, gen 5 N* 3.0 pulley, FSIC, 42 lb injectors, a BrandonHall rebuilt trans, DHP tuned and AEM water/Meth injection https://goo.gl/gpV5kW
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  15. #130 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    I'm wanting to keep at least a few inches under the box so I can get dirt and leaves out from underneath it.

    The brake cables, bearings and seals showed up on Tuesday, and I managed to throw my back out on Wednesday, so the past two days has sucked. I'm able to move now, and I'm going to start putting everything back together tonight.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  16. #131 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    Killa Bee Scottydoggs's Avatar
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    i feel ya on the back going out crap. mine went out 2 times in 2 weeks, as it started to feel good it went out for lunch again.

    if its bolted to the bed floor nothing can get under it. when they are raised up like normal, everything under the sun goes under there. kinda blows until your cleaning it out and find stuff you thought you lost lol

    98 Buick Regal GS, F body brakes, Caddy STS wheels, tinted tails L36 bottom end, lightly ported heads, 1.95 roller rockers, headers, gen 5 N* 3.0 pulley, FSIC, 42 lb injectors, a BrandonHall rebuilt trans, DHP tuned and AEM water/Meth injection https://goo.gl/gpV5kW
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  17. #132 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    I'll figure it out once I get the box, I might look into trading it for one that actually fits.

    I made a little bit of progress, got the old parking brake cables out and started installing the new ones... I'm going to have to pull the drums back off after I finish putting the cables in to adjust them.

    The hub that was messed up is going to take quite a bit of file work to get the new seal installed, it looks like the last person to touch it beat the snot out of it with a hammer and mushroomed the edge.

    I found a wiring diagram for the A/C, it looks like I might have to go back under the dash to find out if either the thermistor or the thermostat aren't functioning... If not I can at least bypass them and make sure the rest of the A/C system works.

    I might have this truck back on the road by the end of this weekend, and I'm pretty excited about that.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  18. #133 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
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    Truck is alive yet again. The brakes suck, but they're better than before.

    I'm reasonably convinced that a new brake booster and some new drums in the back will solve that issue.

    I ran a full bottle of water through the carb, put half a bottle of sea foam down the carb, and I'm really surprised that there was zero smoke out off the exhaust. This engine might be very recently rebuilt, or at least newer than the rest of the truck.

    After that I got the idle mixture pretty damn close to lean best idle, and the timing is as close as I can get it by ear.

    As for performance, this thing hauls ass. I started to do a second gear pull on a back road, but it broke the tires loose at 30 mph. I only went to about half throttle, if that...

    The clutch feels fine, the steering feels good and tight, the suspension could use some new bushings but the ride is still fine.

    The exhaust is good and loud when I'm getting into it, but it's quiet enough at 1500-2000 rpm that I can drive through residential areas without getting too many dirty looks. I still plan on adding an o2 sensor and a AFR gauge, but that might be a while.

    Honestly, I'm just excited to have it running and driving.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  20. #134 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    So the rear main seal is leaking pretty good while the truck is driving, which is most likely covering the clutch in oil and causing smoke to roll out from underneath the truck for the first 5-10 minutes of stop and go driving.

    I'm going to have a coworker drive the truck to rule out operator error, he's been driving a standard for years... If it doesn't smoke while he's driving it, then I will claim full responsibility for burning up a 22 year old clutch (I can just barely tell that there was a "97" written in sharpie on the bellhousing, I'm guessing that's the last time the clutch was replaced.)

    More fun!

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  21. #135 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
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    I may be inexperienced at driving a standard, but I'm worse at diagnosing problems without evidence.

    The oil that was leaking from the underside of the engine is spraying onto the exhaust and causing the smoke.

    The inside of the bellhousing has a little bit of oil, but not enough to soak the clutch or be a concern right now. The clutch looks fine from what I can see, might need to adjust the cable so it will let out sooner but according to my coworker it feels pretty good.

    New tires go on it today.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  23. #136 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
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    i think theres something about measuring free play in a clutch pedal.
    other than knowing that, what i know is that IF the clutch is bad on a 1970 international scout, its possible to get the revs up high in gear then let off the gas and slip it into the next gear. drove like that for 3 years but that was living in BFE. not much bumper to bumper traffic out there cept in planting/harvest season.
    08 grand prix NA3800
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  24. #137 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've got the whole adjustment procedure that I can do, but it's working fine now that I'm learning the whole "balance between throttle and clutch" part of driving a standard, and each time I drive I just keep getting better at it.

    Got the new tires on it finally.

    2019-08-15_05-14-32 by Ben Stryker, on Flickr

    I got the new drums yesterday, I'm going to fog them black before putting them on the truck. I still have to replace the brake hoses, and if the brakes still don't work as well as they should I'm junkyard diving for a functional brake booster. I have a feeling the drums and hoses will do a lot for pedal feel...

    I also temporarily fixed the temporary fuel tank mounting strap that I just kinda threw together, the two screws had stripped out and it was starting to sag, so I pulled it farther down, drilled a hole and put a bolt in... Eventually I need to actually fix it, but it'll hold for now.

    I changed the oil, it was almost completely black after only ~10 hours of idling in the driveway and maybe 30-ish miles of driving. I'm going to change it again after it turns black, I'm curious how long it will take this time.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  26. #138 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    Killa Bee Scottydoggs's Avatar
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    you need to flush that engine oil out with kerosene.

    whole name of the game with a stick is to get the clutch out as quick and smooth as you can. truck like that i bet you could ease the clutch out with out giving it any gas and get going pretty easy.

    another cool trick, if your on a hill. hold the brake pedal, then ease the clutch up till you feel it catch a bit, then let the brakes go, truck should just sit there and not roll back, now feather the gas and let the clutch up the rest of the way. as soon as its got a tire spun a revolution the clutch should be full up already. dont burn it.

    98 Buick Regal GS, F body brakes, Caddy STS wheels, tinted tails L36 bottom end, lightly ported heads, 1.95 roller rockers, headers, gen 5 N* 3.0 pulley, FSIC, 42 lb injectors, a BrandonHall rebuilt trans, DHP tuned and AEM water/Meth injection https://goo.gl/gpV5kW
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  28. #139 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    I break things. WarStryker13's Avatar
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    I was gonna use diesel, add it and drive for ~15-20 minutes right before draining it.

    Next weekend I'm going to have one of my NCO's ride with me and teach me, he's been driving a standard since he was 12 and learned on a non-synchronized 3 speed in a '50's ford truck. I'm getting better, I just need to keep driving it and keep practicing.

    04 GP GT2: Handling upgrades, go-slow parts, and an attitude. Totaled.
    87 Dodge Ram 50:​ Junkyard rescue, resurrection in progress.
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  30. #140 Re: Junkyard rescue of an '87 Dodge Power Ram 50 
    Killa Bee Scottydoggs's Avatar
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    diesel works too, not sure id run it tho, just dump a gallon through it.

    no syncros means no clutch use needed once moving. run it through a gear, pull it out of gear as you let off the gas, then wait for the rpms to drop and it will drop right into the next gear for ya. you can also down shift with no clutch. need to brake some to slow your self down some, then rev it up and pop it in a lower gear. this all take practice to learn what rpm it drops in at. most are like 1500 rpm or so. you can rest the stick over the gear with light pressure and feel the gear touching feels like a chip chip chip, but at a point it will slide in like it was made to slide in. note the rpms and then you dont need to feel the gear chip by. push to hard your making hamburger. some how im sure you made/heard the grinding sound of a fuked up shift lol

    98 Buick Regal GS, F body brakes, Caddy STS wheels, tinted tails L36 bottom end, lightly ported heads, 1.95 roller rockers, headers, gen 5 N* 3.0 pulley, FSIC, 42 lb injectors, a BrandonHall rebuilt trans, DHP tuned and AEM water/Meth injection https://goo.gl/gpV5kW
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