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Coder GRM+ Member
12/11/20 1:20 p.m.

I've been told you guys like everything.  I'm gonna put that to the test, lol.  I plan to document the slow rebuilding of this utterly abused 1988 Dodge Ram D-150.  It'll never be a big-horsepower build.  I might do some small performance tweaks, but mostly I'm going to be fixing and cleaning up things.

Back story:

A few months ago, I was perusing the "old and cheap" vehicles on Facebook Marketplace, as I'm sure many of us like to do.  I came across this old dodge pickup.

     How do you say no to that face?

I thought it was super cool, but I already had too many projects, so it stayed in fantasy land.  I watched as the seller slowly lowered the price, week after week, until earlier this month, it got into "why not" range.  So I called my brother up.   He wasn't as enthusiastic about it as I was, but he agreed to help me get it home.  I contacted the seller, worked out a deal, and for $800 I drove it home that weekend.  It stalled at every stop and the brakes rattled your teeth anytime you even thought about touching them, but it was mine and I love it.

     The drive home -- Look! Air conditioning!

     Safe at home.  That's my 89 Bronco II :)

Here's some photos from before I did too much to it:

   The previous owner did some "modifications" that I will be un-doing.  But I'm probably keeping the lights on front lol.

The first order of business was getting those dry-rotted tires taken care of.  A new set of Cooper Discoverer RTXs did the trick.  I decided to let NTB do the oil change while they were at it.  The guy couldn't find the oil filter in the system when I was paying so I got the oil change free! Huzzah!

   While I was there, I was informed that my brakes were shot and one of my motor mounts was chained in place!

I went on an amazon/ebay/autozone shopping spree, picking up new headlight bucket/turn signals, tail lights, door locks, rotors, pad, calipers, and an original Dodge service manual.  I also wen to the local salvage yard and managed to find a single D250 that had already been picked over pretty good.  But I pulled a passenger door, hood, front driver side fender, seatbelts and retainers, a few other small pieces.


    Calling them "shot" is being generous.

    Tires and tail lights on the truck

   Better shot of the tail lights.  I like the black trim.

     Headlight buckets/turn signal lenses on.  Gonna paint the grill to match eventually.

     While I was changing the brakes, I noticed this little gem.  A compression fitting -__-  (notice the lock from the motor mount in the background, lol)

I figured out my "stalls at every stop sign" issue.  The EGR solenoid is supplying vacuum all the time.  So for now I have the line off the EGR so it will idle.  I have a smoke machine on the way to help me track down what I assume is a major vacuum leak.  A lot of the lines are questionable at best, so they're all getting replaced eventually.  I have a sneaking suspicion that they aren't routed properly anyway.  Much of this truck has been futzed with and is not right.  It should be a fun project!  



Cooter UberDork
12/11/20 1:32 p.m.

Welcome to GRM.

You'll find there are quite a few of us here with '72-93 Dodge trucks and Ramchargers







Cooter UberDork
12/11/20 2:11 p.m.
Coder said:


     While I was changing the brakes, I noticed this little gem.  A compression fitting -__-  (notice the lock from the motor mount in the background, lol)

Oh, and that may not actually be a compression fitting, but a flare union (with double flares)

I would still replace the linne with a single piece, however. 

mr2s2000elise UltraDork
12/11/20 2:15 p.m.

God that blue dually above is pure SEX. I dont know what it is about duallys - gets me every time

chandler UltimaDork
12/11/20 2:15 p.m.

Very cool

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/20 2:20 p.m.

Cool truck!  And that's a regular flare union, not a compression fitting. Should be as robust as any other flared joint, although with twice as many potential leaks.  

Coder GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/11/20 2:48 p.m.

Good to know!  It might stay in place for a little bit then.  I'm working on all the things necessary to get it to pass safety inspection.  I have a feeling ball joints and tie rod ends are in my future.  Along with those motor mounts.

Thanks for the welcome!  I'm glad to see there's other Dodge truck fans here!

JeremyJ Reader
12/11/20 4:19 p.m.

Another Dodge truck owner here. I almost snagged an '83 D150 a couple of months back, but it slipped out from underneath me. They're cool trucks. 

Mezzanine Dork
12/11/20 6:57 p.m.

Great project! You're right that we love all sorts of orphans here. I've got a '66 D200 that's about as manky as your new truck. Nice score. 

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/11/20 7:12 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

God that blue dually above is pure SEX. I dont know what it is about duallys - gets me every time

And it's missing the condom...you know that protective bit in front of your head... ;)

DarkMonohue GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/11/20 7:50 p.m.

Man, you guys showing off your uptown Big Three pickups are driving me bernanners.

But I'll watch.

Sweet truck. I'll pile on with a picture of mine.

Ok maybe two pictures.


chandler UltimaDork
12/12/20 8:36 a.m.

I find this funny, every time someone posts a first gen build thread everyone posts pics of their own. We don't do that anywhere else. Anyway, here are a couple of mine

Cooter UberDork
12/12/20 3:15 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

Well except for when I post my M body build.cheeky

Maybe it's a Dodge Thing...

Cooter UberDork
12/12/20 3:21 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) said:

Sweet truck. I'll pile on with a picture of mine.


Okay, why have I not seen this one before???

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out a hood treatment for the white MegaCrew Dually I posted in the snow above.  Are those pieces of angle on the hood, louvers, or reverse louvers?   Because these make me want to add reverse louvers of a similar dimension to my hood.

In reply to Cooter :

There was a build thread that got photoberked. The long and short is I used some of these,

careful measuring, and and an angle grinder. They are okay for a POS, but a bit ahem, agricultural. With practice, they could turn out well.

In reply to Chandler:


12/12/20 4:32 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) :

You also nabbed a "Powerstroke DIESEL" label off a junked truck and cut it down to "Power DIE" didn't you?

Coder GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/12/20 6:04 p.m.

You guys are great. lol.  I'm happy to see so many first gens here!  I feel like I've found my people smiley crying

I had a few hours today so I tackled the motor mount situation.  I decided to start on the "good" side.

And by good side, I mean:

     The only thing holding the motor to the truck was gravity and a dog chain.

     I cleaned everything up on this side. Looks purdy.


That left me with the Secure Mount™️ locking motor mount. 

Luckily, I had the key:


With that unlocked, I found the mount to be in similar condition to the other side.

     I was running low on time and the engine bracket bolts were obstructed on this side, so I didn't clean up over here.

     I noticed this clean spot after I finished up.  Good thing my jacket is already gray!

preach GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/13/20 1:34 a.m.

Love these and never knew there were so many in GRM.

In reply to Girthquake: Yup.

To Coder: Hey, at least the previous owner cared enough to chain it down.

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/13/20 8:39 a.m.

Just when you think you've seen it all, this guy shows up with an engine anti-theft device. Previous owner must have lived in a rough neighborhood!

Love the first gen Dodges. I've been dreaming of a 1st gen Cummins but they just keep climbing in price every year.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
12/13/20 8:51 a.m.

Another 1972-93 Dodge? Nice!

Here's mine:

I know all about fixing former owner hackery. Tons of fun.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/13/20 8:53 a.m.

Looks like a fun project. Good grab on the FSM they are a life saver. 

Georges1991 Reader
12/13/20 3:29 p.m.

Oh, hello!


Coder GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/14/20 12:05 a.m.

Nice Rams everyone!  We've got quite a collection here!  

Perhaps someone here knows where I can find a new multifunction lever?  Everything works, but the lever itself is... uh... "been repaired". 

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