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What did you do to your RAMCHARGER/TRAIL DUSTER/POWER WAGON today?

Ramcharger, Trailduster & Power Wagon Grrrr!! Tough Trucks! The Dodge Ramcharger and Plymouth Trailduster were full size SUV's that had good looks and brute strength. The Dodge Power Wagon was comparable to them in toughness, but came in pickup truck form only.

What did you do to your RAMCHARGER/TRAIL DUSTER/POWER WAGON today?

  #1  
Old 02-29-2016, 08:54 PM
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Lightbulb What did you do to your RAMCHARGER/TRAIL DUSTER/POWER WAGON today?

I DON'T take mine out in the winter anymore, UNLESS a heavy rain has washed the salt off the road first. Got our first rain in a few weeks early this morning, and the sun popped out by noon, so it was a good day to fire up ye olde RC and run some errands. Plus, it was my day off.

Only problem was, brake pedal went to the floor!

So I'm crawling around underneath, and don't see any puddles. All the lines look good, so I open up the master cylinder, to see if I have any fluid left. I have one bottle, with about 2 pints left in it. It takes that, and it disappears, so I break open another bottle, and add about half of THAT, before the level comes up to full. I go back to pumping the brake, and it's firmed up considerably. I pump it vigorously, HOPING to find a leak, but can't find anything. So I decide to run it down to my buddy at the local Monro Muffler (about 2 miles away) who rebuilt the ENTIRE brake system 2 years ago (only has about 800 miles on it since, though), to see if he can eyeball it real quick. Sure enough, he finds a loose fitting on the left rear. And THAT wheel has been locking up of late (last two times out) - when cold - under moderate braking!

Fitting probably came loose while shimming the rear axle last fall - just took all this time for the fluid to s-l-o-w-l-y leak out of it! He cinched it down, and it did fine the rest of the day (drove it about 15 miles in heavy stop-n-go rush hour traffic). I'll keep an eye on it - re-check the brake level fluid again tomorrow - make SURE it's topped off - but that was MY excitement for the day.
 
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:36 AM
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Dropped off the bumper at my 4WD Club President's house from trimming (he owns a plasma cutter!) and winch fitment.

Then I went and gave it the first wash of 2016. I don't drive it in winter weather - it's salt days are OVER - so it just looked dingy. Gonna Krylon some areas behind the bumper this afternoon, since it's now visible with the bumper removed!
 
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:04 AM
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Took it to Gibbs, my 4WD guy on Friday. I knew the eyebolt in the LEFT rear spring pack was broken (the shim was trying to squirt out) - same thing happened on the trail last November on the right side - and I didn't wanna drive all the way to Stuebenville next Saturday, only to spend two hours on a trail fix... again.

So Dave agreed to fix it, figuring it would BE a quick fix... and naturally, these things NEVER are. Turns out the U-bolts were stripped, and weren't going to hold everything together anyways for much longer.

Thankfully, he had some correct-sized (and TOUGHER!) U-bolts laying around, and put 'em on there for me. I'll say it again though - DON'T trust any lift kit with the words "rough," "tough," or "country" in them - it seems I'm constantly replacing the parts that came in their kits!!!
 
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:58 PM
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Cool

ASSuming Photoflubit is working again (a dangerous ASSumption these days ), here's yesterday's adventure.

Got this *&^%&^[email protected]#^&#$%& tub assembled, that I picked up from BLowes on Saturday. The hinges are a ROYAL PITA to install, but at 53 gallons, it's big enough to hold all my crap. I can stuff a cooler, a backpack, and maybe a tent in it still.

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Got it secured around the rear bench. The strap runs low enough, you can still sit in the back and use the seat belts!

Washed and 'shined' it after organizing the storage. 'Wax' is a bit strong of a word - thanks to the particulars of the paint, I shine it with... WD-40! One can hardly hurt an old Dodge with MORE oil! :thatfunny

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Went down to Nick's house last night to get the bumper. It's not ready for a hitch yet (more on that in a second), but it will be necessary for four wheeling this weekend.

After trimming away the bottom tab, this is what it looks like, installed.

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FEET more clearance than before!




Got home just before dark, & touched it up with some Krylon Semi-Flat Black.

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That way, I can scratch it all off again this Saturday! :stk:

AS for the winch... after test sizing it, it's about an inch too big to fit behind the front bumper. We COULD cut an inch deep out of that crossmember below the core support, but weakening that key link doesn't seem the wisest thing to do. SOOOOOO... we're going to built a front box receiver, and cradle mount the winch!

I already have a rear Class III receiver, so building one for the front, cradle-mounting it, and going with synthetic winch rope, seems to be the way to go. We can also store the winch in the rear when not in use - especially since that synthetic rope is UV light sensitive, and breaks down easily.

We're also looking at fabbing up some tube for a grill guard, and maybe even incorporating it into a semi-exocage/rock slider arrangement. We'll keep you posted...
 
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:58 AM
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So I've been smelling gasoline more and more strongly in the truck of late. I felt like a dog Monday night - coming back up the highway, hanging my head out the window - trying to get some FRESH air!

As the fuel line was COMPLETELY replaced (mostly with stainless steel) - ALONG with the fuel pump - before she began rolling again in 2013, I wasn't too worried about that. Had the Hughes plenum fix done as well, so that wasn't a concern. The smell was strong UNDER the hood, and was coming through the fresh air vent, and the a/c; it was STRONGEST in fact, near the front of the right fender... at the EVAP CANISTER.

Having read about this piece of algore-inspired crap - designed to save the rare & endangered iceberg... ... crapping out on later model Dodges, I was certain the same was going on with mine. SOOOOO... time to take it out, and give it a closer look, before I kill myself, along with whichever son goes with me Saturday, and possibly anybody behind me on the trail, with these fumes!

The retaining strap was nicely rusted into place. After getting the right-size socket, and wrenching on it for 10 minutes, it finally came loose. I KNOW there's a crack (it's plastic) or leak in it somewhere - the hoses weren't even charged when I pulled them off.

Moreover, I know THEY'RE not the issue, BECAUSE... after screwing an appropriate sized bolt into each of them (to seal them off), the truck fired up JUST fine, AND... NO MORE GASOLINE SMELL!!!



Plugged the lines, zip-tied them together, and laid them behind the washer fluid reservoir and out of the way. Let the truck run for 10 minutes - ran the vent and blower, and then the a/c - no more choking on gas fumes, baby! While I had access to that area, I also hit it with some Krylon, to help prevent any surface rust on the inner fender & fender well.




The offending culprit - I'm going to let it air out in my tool shed for a while, before I crack it open, and see what I can do to seal it up. Pittsburgh has emission inspections, and while my RC is mileage exempt (less than 5k miles/year), I don't wanna just toss it. I may need it to VISUALLY pass a future inspection, and at $111 for a new one from RockAuto, I'd like to try my hand at FIXING this one, before buying a new one, should it come to that.

All systems GO now, for wheeling on Saturday!
 
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:24 PM
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Lightbulb

Had our club officers meeting tonight. Moved it to the President's house, since he has the cool welding gear, and my front bumper needed some new d-ring anchors welded to it!

They arrived from 4WP this morning, so on they went!

Fellow Steeltown Offroader, Zachary, helping to prep the bumper

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Nick, welding away.

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3 passes later, they're on!

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Paint.

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And VOILA - it's ready for my mis-matched set of clevis d-rings!!!

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Meh... at least they're on!
 
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:39 PM
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Lightbulb

I think I have the stumbling issue figured out. Found out how to read codes on these OBD-1 Magnums, and have come up with the following (and I re-checked this FOUR times, to make sure I got it right).

Code #12 - recent battery disconnect within the last 50 cranking cycles

This was expected, since we just changed the ECU. That, and I disconnected it, while installing the new IAC valve on Monday.

Code #32 - EGR solenoid circuit

Pretty sure this was related to my IAC valve problem (the spring was SPRUNG - stuck in the open position, and covered in soot - probably the REAL source of my smelling gasoline under the hood). I'm going to blow out the evap canister with compressed air, and hook it BACK up here this week. I'm pretty sure this will eliminate code 32, but I might need a new solenoid as well, to be safe. The factory one IS 24 years old, after all.

Code #37 - Torque Converter clutch solenoid, OR, transmission temperature sensor reading too high or too low

My money is on the former, after wheeling it pretty hard at Phoenix Offroad. Certainly explains the stumbling.

Here's hoping it's ONLY two solenoids that need replacing at this point, and NOT a new torque converter or some such. Remarkably, those were the only codes it was throwing. After the 24 years it's had - 6 of them sitting still - I was looking forward to about a dozen MORE codes...
 
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:46 PM
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Red face

It's FINALLY gotten to the shop, to get the torque converter solenoid replaced - here's hoping I get it back before Christmas!!!
 

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