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Recon1342 SuperDork
4/26/24 9:34 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

We always stenciled ours with regular flat black spray paint. If it can handle being chucked around by a bunch of Marines, your use case should be fine. 

CarGuy81 New Reader
5/2/24 10:05 p.m.

Love what you've done with the ride man! I made an account just to comment she looks great! I've got my own I'm replacing my head gasket on (sadly). It's been my daily driver for a year. The truck stays in the garage as much as possible!

Here is my 1989 Dodge Raider 6g72 152k miles, cheap Maaco paint job and 2" australian lift (torsion bars and springs).
Fully replaced every suspension part and bushing. Power steering gear replaced with a 1996 Montero rebuilt gearset. No more slop + direct bolt on with a tiny bit of jimmy-ing.

Wheels were specifically offset so I could get a dish look plus 1.5-2" stick out. Not too much, not too little. 32.5" tires. Not exactly 33 but close.

CarGuy81 New Reader
5/2/24 11:14 p.m.

In reply to boodaroo :

You may never see this or have sold your Montero already, but you can use 94-96 montero SR rear end which is locking and disc brakes. 1.5" wider or something though. Direct bolt in. Also can use the power sttering gear. I bought a rebuilt one from ebay. Fits with a little jimmy-ing. No more slop in steering. Effectively, the v6 rear end is comparable to the strength of a Ford 8.8 I've heard based on sizing.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/5/24 3:47 p.m.
CarGuy81 said:

Love what you've done with the ride man! I made an account just to comment she looks great! I've got my own I'm replacing my head gasket on (sadly). It's been my daily driver for a year. The truck stays in the garage as much as possible!

Here is my 1989 Dodge Raider 6g72 152k miles, cheap Maaco paint job and 2" australian lift (torsion bars and springs).
Fully replaced every suspension part and bushing. Power steering gear replaced with a 1996 Montero rebuilt gearset. No more slop + direct bolt on with a tiny bit of jimmy-ing.

Wheels were specifically offset so I could get a dish look plus 1.5-2" stick out. Not too much, not too little. 32.5" tires. Not exactly 33 but close.

looks great! That color shows well on the truck for sure, Maaco or otherwise. What tires are those? Got a build thread anywhere?

The Gen2/2.5 steering is still on my project list. I almost got the stuff a while back and then the seller bailed and I got distracted - but yeah, defintely still an upgrade I'm looking to do so thanks for the reminder!

If I ever run across an SR full rear end, it's certainly of interest as well. Not urgent as I have the drums set up/adjusted well and they work fine, and my LSD is still good, but my biggest interest is the beefed up trailing arms. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/7/24 10:52 p.m.

I have the 7-gallon Yakima Road Shower on the Sequoia, which has been very useful for camping, racing, and cleaning up messy kids. My plan had been to swap it onto the Raider for camping, but after some checking it's just too big to really fit on the rack easily - plus it's overkill in terms of weight and amount of water when it's just me by myself for a night or two (plus I carry 2 gallons in the rotopax). Since I work for a Yakima dealer I looked into getting the 4-gallon road shower, but as it turns out that one is almost as long as the 7-gallon, it's just a lot narrower. I could make it work but really not what I wanted. So dug around a bit on Amazon and found a 4-gallon (well, 3.8 I think) aluminum tank with a similar setup, for about half the price. What the hell, let's see if it's decent. 

So after two days it came in, so here's a quick review of what it comes with: The tank, which has a nice metal cap, pressure release valve, and a Shrader valve for pressurizing it. The tank has a bracket on the bottom with twin rails (like the ARB awnings and the Yaki tank as well), with mounting bolts that slide in. It has two handles on it - one on top for carrying and one on the side that holds two brackets for storing the hose/nozzle and for holding the handset in a "shower" setup. Kinda strange, but whatever.  It also comes with nice mounting hardware -actually much more than is needed, and it comes with locknuts (8) and also 8 spin-on nuts (in case you want to make it quicker to remove). It also comes with a hitch-receiver with a mount bracket as well, if you want to mount it down there. Plus a box-end wrench for the bolts. Aaaand, it comes with a decent little bike-style pump for pressurizing it, which is a nice addition. All told, $180 with a coupon on Amazon. The tank itself is decent, though the welding isn't beautiful, but whatever. Nothing on this truck is beautiful. Here it is:

Let me jump back for a second. The big Hardigg case in the previous post turned out to be just TOO big for the Raider. I'll use it in my offroad trailer and for race stuff with the Sequoia. Instead, I moved the Pelican Vault off the Sequoia onto the Raider. It's the right size for a couple camp chairs, my cot, and my big tarp. I mounted it up last week, and then I moved it over to fit the water tank. 

So here's where I mounted it. The Pelican box opens to the center of the truck , but that's better anyhow since the other way it falls open into the GMRS antenna. The tank goes outside of it. 

But, to fit it I cut off the "side handle" thing. FIrst, it's kind of dumb (IMO) plus it's on the wrong side...would be fine for a driver's side mount, but the awning is there.  So chop chop:

The black bracket I don't really need. And the silver bracket would be used to hold the handset on the tank when on the road - but I'll just take the hose off the tank when driving and toss it inside. So I turned the bracket 90 degrees at a down angle and bolted it to the rack like so:

Which lets me use it as a shower mount

Oh, the handset is plastic, but has a nice on-off button and 3 spray settings that are decent, so I'll use it until I invariably break it somehow lol

After it was all set up, I put a couple gallons of water in and put about 15psi of air in it. No leaks, no issues, held the pressure fine, and even with that low air still had a nice shower stream

So yeah, not bad for an Amazon cheapie. Works fine, is nice and compact, and looks decent up there. Mounted up easily with the provided brackets.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/13/24 10:13 p.m.

Mini project. SInce I added the wheel spacers, this thing gets really, really dirty when we're in muddy areas (and it always seems to rain when we go wheeling/camping). Now yeah, it looks cool all muddy and stuff, but I especially dislike having mud flinging into the open windows and on my shoulder and stuff on trail lol. I've been looking at various fender flares, but didn't want fiberglass (to easy to damage on trail) and the only ABS ones I found that looked good were like $400 from Europe. Not worth it. Let's do this the cheap and just as effective way, and try to make it look decent. 

If I was a Jeep guy, I could just buy pre-molded fender extensions or whatever, but this is a Raider....so I went back to my cheap source of tough but flexible material: Amazon. Specifically, these big-ass truck mudflaps (24x30") for 21 bucks:

These are pretty easy to cut, but not too floppy so they still hold their form and don't sag or get wavy or whatever.  So off to cutting. The idea here is to just add 1-inch extensions at the top of the wheel wells (more as the fenders taper in):

So after some measuring and cutting and sanding (so the edges are rounded, not sharp), I installed them into the fender lip using stainless self-tapping metal screws. Not the most bougie way, but it will work fine and hold well. So here's the finished product (sorry, hard to take good pics of stuff this low-key)

Also in the mail today finally got one of the few kinda fancy and not really necessary things that I occasionally buy.  This is a canvas case for my 5lb propane tank made up in Canada by Northbound Expeditions (they have some other cool stuff as well like nice tailgate/trash bags, air compressor bags, and so on...https://www.nbexpeditions.com/ ). Not that I really need to put my tank in a case, but it's convenient to be able to keep my gas line/hose with it and some other associated gear. I looked at the cheapo ones on Amazon and elsewhere but didn't really like any of them. This one has carry handles, cinch straps, and a bunch of mounting straps as well. The upper zipper is nice and has a velcro cover for it, and there's room inside for my 6-foot gas line and some other stuff. All in all, a nice little bag that's really nice quality. Sometimes you just want to buy something nice, you know? lol

Not strapped in, but you get the picture. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/23/24 4:34 p.m.

Packing up for a couple days camping and wheeling this weekend. Always a bit of Tetris in this little thing, especially when I'm brining the ARB room, chainsaw, kitchen, and full toolkit with me

Since I have a tendency to not be able to find my lighting at night, figured I'd make a little box for it with some picking foam so it doesn't rattle around

Also, since i put the new suspension on I feel like there's more drivetrain vibration at higher speeds. One possibility is the extra angle on the driveshaft U-joints is causing it, so cut out some steel to make a 6-7mm spacer. IDK if it will do anything, but we'll see. Probably should go a bit thicker than this but it's all I had sitting around at the moment.

Will be heading out to PA/Western MD with some of the guys you've seen in this thread already for a couple nights. Hopefully it's not raining this time like it always seems to lol. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/26/24 11:19 p.m.

Let's have a camping weekend. Friday afternoon I headed up through West Va. into southern PA to meet up with some of the camping/wheeling group for a couple days.  The meetup for the first night of camping was in Buchanon State Forest, up on a mountain in a Primitive site that took some driving (thanks Google Maps) via some questionable roads littered with places that looked much like meth labs, or junk-collector old houses with "No Trespassing" signs everywhere. I'll admit that driving solo into this area at dusk made me just a bit nervous lol.....I may or may not have had my 6" hunting knife stuck in the gap next to my seat haha. Anyhow, finally arrived and met a few of the guys who got there early. 

Unremarkable evening, just some food and beers and campfire, and set up the Ironman Room for the first time onthe Raider, which proved to be a nice comfortable sleep....until about 2 am when loud, repetitive bird started making a racket, for about 2 hours. It was so loud I swear it was sitting on top of my awning lol. We ID'd it as a Whip-poor-will, and it woke everyone up lol. Extra loud in an area where there was no other noise to speak of.
IN the morning Andy cooked up some breakfast sandwiches and I had plenty of coffee.....

....and we headed to La Vale Maryland about 45 minutes away to meet the rest of the group that came up that morning. While we were fueling up this Earth Roamer rolled in...with a middle-aged couple and seemingly their parents. So that's what a vehicle that costs almost as much as my house looked like lol. IDK if they were going off-road anywhere, this area's trails would be mostly too tight for something that size!

So we then headed further south to Wolf Den Run MD (right on the border with W.Va.) one of our favorite places in this area for it's large trail selection and conditions, great views, cheap entry ($10-12 for the day), and not many people there (kind of a new/secret-ish place) . It's a nice mix of rocky terrain, gravel trail, muddy areas, and can always be counted on to have a lot of water on the trails even if it hasn't been raining....

Anyhow, nice weather all day along with Andy in his lightly-modified Montero Sport, Josh and Yvette in their stock-ish Rubicon, a couple guys in decently-modded Tacomas, Denise in her Sequoia, and some of Andy's friends in a Dodge Ram pickup. Mike joined up later with us XJ as well. 

At a deep water hole the Ram guys sliced open the side of their tire and didn't have a sufficient jack (or an all-terrain spare) for some reason, so it took a while to dig out another jack and then find some wood to prop it higher to change their spare. They went and dropped the truck off at the parking lot and proceeded as riders for the rest of the day

I was running caboose to help out the new guys and took an outside line in the puddle and hit probably the same rock, but with my front control arm. It wasn't comfortable, at all.....

I took a few other hard hits over the day - that's the part about flooded areas in a rocky park, a few of which have step-downs unseen, and I also dropped onto the gas tank skid pretty hard at one point. More on that later. 

During the day several times we ran into a couple in their brand-new Ranger Raptor, who were trying it out. They joined us for a while and the truck looks plenty capable in stock form, but they were taking it slow and eventually bailed out to do their own thing, after everyone (including them) hit the big vertical hillclimbs on the coal hill at the top, which are somewhat scary, but fun. The Raptor clearly has a ton of power and made nice turbo noises going up lol...

Otherwise, good wheeling and nobody else did any significant damage, though it was pretty overgrown in some areas and everyone got plenty of pinstripes. 

One part has a long "canal" that's nice for pics and not rocky. I've done it plenty, and it wasn't as full as usual today, so I went across the field next to it to get ahead and take pics. The field was very, very muddy and I had to carry some speed to not get stuck. Didn't see a drainage canal and did a hard up-and-down (thanks short wheelbase), and the rest of the group informed me I had both rear wheels in the air.....so that was ill-advised. But I got out to take some pics of the rest. Usually it's about a foot deeper....

At the end, I followed andy down a side area that was pretty rutted, and ended up high-centered on my diff...oops. 

so had to get a quick pull back so I could climb the banks a bit lol

Here's some other pics from the day

Headed down to the lot and aired up. Look, we all match now...

From there we headed back toward camp, but stopped off at Dan's Rock on the way. Dan's Rock is a big outcropping on top of a mountain, with lots of communciations towers, but it's best known for being totally covered in graffiti and is quite a sight - both the rocks and the 360-degree view of three states!

Then back to camp....with some nice sky

....and set up again in the dark. Since rain was expected (but ended up being minimal) everyone went extra-heavy with the shelters, and I set up my "full camp" just to have more dry space

There was more food, more beer, more campfire, more late-night, and everyone crashed out by 1am......aaand the damn bird piped up once again about an hour later, but this time he must have been a ways away because it was much quieter :)

The rest of the group was going for a cruise up into PA, but I headed south to home. I'll note that the transfer case slight drop seems to have gotten rid of the highway vibration, since I was cruising at 70+ with no vibration (or, no more than any other 80s 4x4 on A/Ts....)

Made it home, and opened up all the gear to dry it out.

Guess I need to wash stuff....

So after all was washed, did a quick damage assessment. The control arm you already saw. Front skid lower section took a few good hits but it's pretty beefy

Gas tank took a heavy hit on the corner, just outside the skidplate area I had previously reinforced (I KNEW I'd regret not going the full width, dammit.....)

Yep, that's mashed, but no leaks or anything at least. oh well...the price of having a shorty truck where the gas tank has to hang out in the back :/

I also had noticed my coolant overflow bottle looked pretty brown so did a drain/flush of the coolant system. It's been a while since I did a coolant change and clearly the old gunk in the engine has freed itself up and it looked like muddy water (I'll note that my operating temps have been excellent, even with plenty of 5+ mile highway uphill pulls at full throttle and a lot of wheeling on a warm day)


So that's about it, until some of the others post up some pics of *me* that I can steal haha...As always, a learning experience and I have a few things on my list to improve, fix, or buy to make things work better (primarily regarding packing, cooking, and sleeping). 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/30/24 11:26 p.m.

Got the welder and some scrap metal out today to beef up the gas tank skid once again, this time on the sides and the mount brackets, the areas that bent on the last trip. Eventually I'll just buy some 1/8" sheet and make an actual nice one, but for the time being patching together with more metal will be sufficient. I have a few dozen metal ski boot display shelves that are 1/16" or slightly more, powdercoated, and a good size for metal projects. So grabbed a couple of those and cut off the slot-wall tabs, and them bent over the front lip to give extra rigidity. Then just prepped and welded them over the wimpy stock plate edges (after banging them flat).  Unfortunately I ran out of welding gas about 1/4 of the way through and only have .035 flux core...but I have no patience, and nobody will really see this so just did it with the .35 flux. So it really looks janky lol

cut off some other tabs from shelves to make some reinforcement pieces for the rear mounts, since those also got bent

Then painted it black, because it hides the ugliness better than the beige :)

Anyhow, it's back on there and hopefully will be a bit better protection against rear drops onto the tank.

Also, took a load of junk and old furniture to the dump. Is this overlanding?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/5/24 8:01 p.m.

I like taking a shower in the morning. A morning without a shower first thing (and a coffee) is a lousy morning, in general. Usually I'll just spray my hair or something, but time to go the whole way and get a shower enclosure. Got this OVS one for a reasonable price (with a coupon) and it came in today. Mounts up just like any awning, with the twin-track captive bolts, but it's a lot lighter than even my 48" awning (actually surprisingly light). This thing is 44" long so mounted up nicely just outiside my water tank. Didn't feel like welding so just bolted it on using the supplied L-brackets. Seems to be good quality, takes about 10 seconds to set up and about 30 seconds to put away entirely so should be pretty convenient. Also has a couple little baggy/pockets inside to put toiletries in, and the inside zips down partway in case you want to reach into your vehicle through the window to get your stuff, I guess. All in all, pretty pleased with it and will update once I've used it. Some pics, as usual:

(side note, I think this is the last thing to go on the roof. This thing is super-light, but less weight is better up top, of course). 

Now I totally have three non-matching awning-type things on 3 sides of the truck. Am I doing "overland matching style" wrong? :)

johndej UltraDork
7/12/24 6:10 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/16/24 11:09 p.m.

That is very nearby (never seen it on the road though). And the asking price is like 3x what I paid for both of mine combined lol...It's an offroad package model (note headlight sprayers), but a 4-cyl with the leaf spring rear. For that price in that condition, it really needs to be an '89 with the V6 IMO. That said, if it's not rusty, someone will pay that for it probably.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/16/24 11:09 p.m.

I've been traveling for work so not much doing during June, and now it's hot AF out there so not doing much either haha....but a little project tonight. The original windshield wiper arms have the "tab" style end...just a flat slot that fits into the blade bracket. It's flimsy....I've had one wiper just fly right off on the road. And even when not flying off, the blade is able to twist with each up/down stroke. Maybe the design works if the blade has a metal bracket, but aftermarket blades these days have plastic brackets and exacerbate this lame design.

So, got a couple spare e30 (bmw) wipers, which have the more common (and more functional) J-hook end:

Some cutting and welding and now the Raider has J-hooks

So, it's something small and nobody would ever even notice, but I think it will make a legitimate difference in....er...wiper performance haha

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