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Hello everyone,

I am working here in central Utah taking a semester off school and came across an 83 (I believe) for sale. It was an old State Highway vehicle (originally bright orange now beige) and is for sale from someone I met. I have always loved these Ramchargers but I am unsure what a fair price for it.

I have attached some photos. It does run and drive, I have seen it move under its own power and don't hear anything that alarms me. Its got a sizable fender dent, that's the major issue (Aside from a bad paintjob)

The only rust is slight in the rear quarter, everything else is super solid. It even has an old survey tool (see photo). I don't know anything regarding ease of access to parts (he has 3 parts cars so I am seeing if I can get parts off those is I get it).

This would be just a car to work on and drive while I am in the area then sell before I leave most likely, as I do not believe I will be able to ship it back to home.

I am curious as to the following:
1.) Ease of access to parts for these
2.) Ease of working on the vehicle, this would be my first major project/daily
3.) Fair pricing of ones in these condition

Thanks guys, I appreciate it.
 

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Looks like a typical early '80s fleet Ramcharger.  I would be very concerned about the paint job.  Paint jobs that cover everything, body damage, mirrors, emblems, etc are cover jobs and more often than not, cover up a lot of shady stuff.  In my opinion, I would buy one that was still orange over one that had such an obviously shitty paint job.

Parts availability is an issue with any '93 and older Dodge truck.  Some parts are easily found, like tune up and engine parts while other parts, like emissions, parts for options like delay wipers, interior trim, and some unique drivetrain parts are made of unobtainium and can only be repaired yourself or found used.  You can easily keep one running and driving, but if you wanted to completely restore one, it's next to impossible, and if you have inspections or emissions testing, you can run into trouble.

As for working on the, they are pretty easy to work on.  Most common maintenance can be done with normal tools in your driveway but you can run into a few things that will require special tools and knowledge if you want to start rebuilding assemblies in the drivetrain or engine.  A Factory Service Manual (FSM) will tell you everything you need to know to work on one, so if you have basic mechanical skills you can do just about everything to rebuild one from the ground up once you acquire the tools.  Basically the same as any '70s or '80s American truck.

As for price, that's tough as I personally would pass on that one just because of the paint.  It's just a red flag to me.  If I were to get it, it would have to be cheap because I would be expecting some sort of trouble with it, hidden rust, title issues, fried wiring, dead engine or drivetrain components, etc.  It would be a parts vehicle for me, so $500 maximum.  If it were wearing it's worn factory paint and whatever issues were plain to see, clean title and it ran and drove, I would probably be looking in the $1,200-$1,500 range.  But that one in particular, I would either pass on or I would go over with a fine tooth comb, compression check, pull the diff covers, the whole nine yards.

Just my .02
 

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Like elwenil said, finding SOME parts will be difficult. 

I'm not liking the missing breather on the drivers side valve cover.  You didnt show any pics of the rust on the quarter either.  Fixing rot takes some fab work and a gas mig welder and time

In my mind, i'd expect it to need a engine and probably drivetrain work- there had to be a reason a solid RC was parked right?

Would be thinking 1200 ish if the roof and drivers side floor pan, and cab mounts were perfect and no signs of being driven over or dragged over stumps/heavy wheeling/rockcrawling
 

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Yeah, the more I look at it, the more red flags I see.  I think that is the PCV valve that is missing, which is a big no-no.  The smog pump is also missing.  Roof rust is something I didn't think to mention, but this could be an excellent candidate for it and that could be what the paint is hiding.  It's missing the panel under the steering column, which means the fuse box is either hanging down somewhere or is zip tied up so that you probably can't get to it without something to cut the zip ties with.  The driver side floor has red oxide primer while the passenger got the exterior tan color which tells me something is wrong there somewhere.  I can't see the latch for the roof vent, which means it is probably glued shut.
 

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Underside looks fairly typical and nothing stands out as unusual.  The rear axle is leaking, which is common, but could mean it has been run low of fluid and the already compromised pinion bearing design could have wiped them out.  The Exhaust exits in front of the rear tire, which I personally do not like.  It helps rot the rubber and can be an issue if the engine blows and dumps oil out the exhaust on the highway.

Note that the rust on the lower panel is coming from the inside, which means there is probably more than hasn't yet eaten it's way through to bubble the paint.
 

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Ok, in that shot it looks like both floors are red oxide primer.  The paint job just gets more ridiculous with the missing half of the roof, lol.  For the roof rust, look very closely just above the drip rail all along the windshield.  Push on that area from the bodyline above the driprail down to the drip rail for any soft or "crunchy" spots.  Also look for scale and rust in the drip rail trough.
 

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The custom coat hanger exhaust hanger in the one photo does not inspire confidence.  Looks like that truck has seen a lot of deferred maintenance and a Maaco paint job.  You're probably looking at a lot of remedial maintenance and that can add up pretty quickly.  I would factor that in to any offer you make.
 

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I'd agree with everything Elwenil said about this mess. If it actually starts, runs, drives, stops, steers without catching fire or scaring you to death, I'd call it a $500 project. Not more than a grand but it would have to run really great for that.

I think the big question is how much money are you willing to lose on the adventure. The OP sounds like yer looking for something to learn how to wrench on and occasional beat like a rented mule then sell when yer ready to blow town. This thing looks good for goals 1 and 2 but finding somebody else to buy it with that paint job is gonna be tough. As in take the plates off and walk away tough.

What kinda shape is the white one in?? From a parts hunt and turn your own wrenches perspective its about the same as the one you asked about. Dash wiring is the usual show stopper but entirely fixable. I'd be looking at that one because of the pop top.
 

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the first thing i thought about was the roof and saw what looks to be some rust beginning/covered with paint...perhaps because mines on the brink of needing a replacement and knowing what that needs to repair..whether thats a new cab or cut. either way quite the project for a do-it-yourselfer..unless it's a labor of love so to speak. new sig? nice one

and the part of the roof i'm referring to is just above the gasket on passenger side...hard to tell from the pic, but to the OP, pay close attention to that area. On most i've seen that have rust bubble through on the rockers there's roof rust along that drip well. It get's up in there deep and can be hard to see. very common problem on all rcs and older dodge trucks. might be ok..just check it out. Personally, i'm seeing more rust than i'm comfortable with in my situation with the time i have to work on one if there are ones with less for the same price or even a buck or two more. Could be a great project. Good luck with it whichever way you decide.

Elwenil said:
Ok, in that shot it looks like both floors are red oxide primer. The paint job just gets more ridiculous with the missing half of the roof, lol. For the roof rust, look very closely just above the drip rail all along the windshield. Push on that area from the bodyline above the driprail down to the drip rail for any soft or "crunchy" spots. Also look for scale and rust in the drip rail trough.
 

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Reading everyone else’s posts, I should have consulted before buying my W150. 0.0
Mine had a burnt exhaust valve, because the lack of lead in the fuel for my 1977-80 motor didn’t come with hardened valve seats. The other cylinder head had a crack, which these older ones are prone for. New heads ain’t cheap. Nor is the work that goes into them. And by the time your replacing heads, you might as well fix this and that.

Elwenil knows best. $500 tops, though I’m sure they won’t want to give it away for that because everyone nowadays think their junk is gold.
If it runs and drives, forget the rust and the paint and drive it till the wheels fall off. Just the upkeep would be a struggle to break even.
 
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