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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was goofing off at work and stubbled across a toy I could not resist for the price.

2000 Dodge Ramcharger with 5.2l

A friend made the purchase today and it should get picked up for shipping Tuesday or Wednesday. Figure a good week to get it here, not sure how long shipping a vehicle takes. Once it makes it here I will try to post some better pics, I got to see 1 once when I was in Mexico but that was ages ago and never got to drive one, should be interesting.

More fun will be getting the title work squared away, but since it has cali paperwork already I don't think it will be too bad.
 

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wow 2000 ramcharger .. i know production stoped here in the states in the early 90s .. but production continued in mexico .. so that there truck is for sure a mexican truck lol .. is it already registered here in the U.S? do you have any more pictures?
 

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OMG i knew i had selective hearing but turns out i have selective reading too everything i said in the last post you just mentioned  {pc}  lol its a nice find though good luck with the registration let us know what happened
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well the new Ramcharger showed up thursday night, but we were not able to get it off the car hauler trailer because it had a broken hydraulic hose. After the driver worked at fixing it for about an hour we gave up and he went looking for a new hose. Friday morning he called and had it fixed. We meet up and got it unloaded. Buying sight unseen is quite an experience, and I can't say it was all that good lol.

The body is in pretty good shape, a dent in the driver front fender and everything else looks ok. There is also a broken tail light, which from my first quick search it seems that they might be specific to the ramcharger as I can't see any other vehicles that use that specific design.

The inside is where things get interesting. its like it has lots of "little" issues and maybe 1 not so little issue. I found out quickly that the ODB II port was dead, looking at the dash I could not find the cig lighter adapter to test for power. Into the dash I got... but wait the dash cover, once removed, shows there is no dash!!!!! its in pieces and the larger portion of it is just gone. Fine, I start ripping out the broken parts trying to get to what I want to look for, the missing cig lighter.

Well I got the whole dash and sub dash assembly out, and it was in very poor shape. The photo the seller used was far enough away to hide this fact, got to love it.

I noticed there were lots of little electrical things that seemed to be having issues, the brake lights and turn signals worked . Dome light, chime, etc did not. Started looked and found at this "base" ramcharger with no power locks or windows had been "rigged" up with some cheap aftermarket alarm and keyless entry module. Well who ever installed this was not very good at their job. They had cut and spliced wires and broke circuits. So I started the process of removing all the "trash" that had been installed, wires all over the place for stereo or alarm etc. Once it was all out and the bare wires covered back up I found that a lot of the fuses were either broke or missing. I filled in the fuses and the dome and ODB II started working. I got chime and all that fun stuff.

I then went under the hood to do some basic tune up stuff, I noticed some wires hanging, starting tracing and the hood light had been pulled off and fallen down into the driver lower control arm, moved it back into place. I then noticed that the battery tray was missing and the battery was just sitting down below where it should be. pulled battery and found more wires, they went to the washer fluid for front and back along with washer fluid level sensor. On the passenger side I found more wires, did not figure it out right away... but later when I was testing the horn and only heard a relay I figured out those go to the horns that are missing.

Finally made it to the tune up, the spark plugs are not original, as they are "Autolite Plat" plugs, but it looks like its been a long time since they were changed. The wires were Mopar wires, and I am 99% sure they were original. The cap and rotor had so much corrosion I can't believe it ran (and it idled pretty good at that). After getting it all changed out and cleaned up it idles good and revs real good too.

Took it on a test drive, and it did "OK" but not great, the transmission is having shifting issues and according to my MT2500 not wanting to shift between 2 and 3 and 3 and 4th. After some google'ing I found this is most likely the governor sensor and solenoid. I wanted to change the tranny fluid any way so I am going to hold off on that until I get the parts ordered. I did use the SeaFoam "TransTune" in it, and that did seem to help a little, I have used it before with good results. I also put some SeaFoam in the oil to run through it before I change the oil out.

I also ended up making a few runs to the junk yard and parts store. After a lot of searching I found a dash out of a 2000 dodge ram 1500 that was in good shape (apparently they break and crack a lot), its not the same color... a little darker but I think it will be ok. The yard is going to pull it tomorrow and we will see about getting it installed.

The title paper work is going slow, I have to get a few more forms from the seller but they are on their way. I don't know, but assume, I need the dash back in (along with a horn) to pass inspection. And I have to get the inspection before I can complete the tittle.

While I am in the dash working around and its off I decided to play with "upgrades" I bought new door panels, power window assembly, power locks, door wire harness (already had plugs to connect door harness too). It also did not have cruise and some quick research suggested it would be easy to add, get the part and cable for under the hood, the clock spring and buttons. I got all those at the junk yard, but then after I got it in found out that the wires to the clock spring are not there :-(

Another interesting thing I found out, is that while airbags were offered (driver and passenger) they appeared to be optional on the base model and standard on the SLT and SLT plus. So I am also looking to try and find out how hard this may or may not be to add.

so now I am trying to figure out how big of a pain all of this is going to be to fix, and how to go about fixing it. I am tempted to hold off on putting the dash back in until I can figure out the cruise. It also does not have tilt steering, so almost tempted to fixed that but I don't know how hard that is.

I wanted this to quickly become my daily driver, but it looks like it will take some time to get it there. Sorry for the bad picks, they were taken quickly with my phone. Once I get some more time I will try to get some better ones. (maybe after I get the dash in, whenever that may be).
 

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I think the tailights are out of a mini van , I've read it all here somewhere .  Mini van and Durango parts I believe
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a 03 Durango and those tail lights are not the same ( as you see in the pic above)

the ramcharger actually has two clear/ white spots... one for reverse lights, one for orange turn signals.

I will get a Bette picture of the light tonight, but it actually has a small curve in it to match the body.

the hatch is from a caravan, I can confirm that.
 

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I'm not to sure about the clear / white spots , only something I read here . Search it out . If not , dodgestrike is a member on this site and lives in Mexico . He has been hitting the JY's and selling older Mexican RC parts here . PM him or post an ad under the wanted section with what your looking for .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That would work, I do have a few other parts that I would like to fix that are Ramcharger specific. Its driving me crazy that I can't drive it yet, but it will get there. I have to drop the transmission pan tonight to find out the exact parts to replace in it so I can order those parts, but before I do I want to test drive it again with the MT2500 to make sure its the problem. I found out the MT2500 gives you the pressure reading on the governor sensor and I found a website that gives you what the range should be when it shifts.

I should also get the new dash today or tomorrow I think. So after the dash gets in I need a horn then I think it can pass inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
3k + 500 to ship, all in all not too bad, but I think I could have gotten a better deal if I had been there in person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It was in LA, he had started the process to title out in Cali but was not very far along. We are going to see if I have better luck.

The fact it will have ODB II, a horn, wipers, and all the required safety features should give me a good edge on him.

I just dropped the tranny pan, and someone had been in there before. I was wondering why the outside was so dirty until I found every screw hand tight. Once inside it was very dirty fluid, but I did not see any big metal chunks or shavings... It is missing the magnet in the bottom though, so I wonder if thats part of it. Ordering my parts for it so maybe we will find out once they come in.

As I mentioned before I put sea foam in it, and it did help. But from what I can tell it was the governor sensor. My MT2500 showed desired and actual readings, and it never got close to the 127 PSI it should have for 4th, always stayed below 45 or so. No wonder it had issues shifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well it looks a little better with the replacement dash in there. I was living dangerously and replaced the dash wiring harness as well, seems the one I had was not 100% wired for cruise, power windows, and the like.

Yeah good thing to note, the wire harness between a 2000 RamCharger and a 2000 Ram 1500 are not 100% compatible.

I knew it might not have everything (rear wiper) but figured the basic would just flow across. Well Ignition works, engine control seems to (did not start it since the tranny pan is dropped right now) dash gauges, the new power windows and locks. Brake lights and headlights are also good.

What is not working:

Rear wiper (no wire at this point, I will try to splice it in at some point)
Turn signals and hazards (power at fuse and flasher in fuse panel)
dome lights (no power at fuse)
radio (no power at fuse)

there is 1 connector on the new harness that is different than the previous harness, and I am pretty sure (due to a miss connection on try 1) that the turn signals are on this connector. So now I have to find a FSM for the Ram1500 and start comparing and tracing wires. I believe I should be able to swap connectors and get that fixed up and working without too much trouble.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Man, the Flu can really mess with you. Been down and out for almost a week. Almost back to feeling human again.

Maybe this weekend I will get to work on the ram charger some more, I have not felt good enough to touch it. All of the parts for the transmission came in, so I am excited to get that finished up. I ended up buying a DIY transmission pan drain plug, so I want to see how that is going to work out as well.

I still have to look at the wiring some more, the extra plug  next to the main harness seems to have a collection of wires, one goes to the light control (running lights maybe) 2 go to the turn signal bundle on the column (turn signals) 2 tied straight into the main harness and another went to the rear wiper. There were 3 more black ones that all tied together.

I do want to go through and compare the main connection block and make sure things line up with the old one the best I can. I don't think it should be too hard to fix most of the wiring issues, though I am still not sure why the radio and dome lights are not working. I think it might be a loose connection on the back of the fuse panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Finally feeling better and got to work on it some more this weekend. I found a plug on the back of the fuse box that was loose, once I got that fixed the dome lights, power mirrors, and radio all had power and worked (except for the broken radio).

I spliced in the turn signals and both now work along with the hazard lights. I did notice the turn signals are coming on when you hit the brakes, so I need to figure out why that is. I also have the running lights working on the rear, but not the front. The instrument lights are also not coming on yet.

So it looks like my list for inspection is getting smaller:

1) horn (need to install)
2) brake lights (turn signals coming on when hitting the brake)
3) running lights
4) instrument lights
5) change rear drum shoes

Some other things that also need to be finished up:

1) finish dash (install passenger air bag and air bag sensor)
2) finish power locks
3) install overhead console (it is plugged in and working, just not mounted... I do need to install a temp sensor for it as well).
4) Find short on gate lock actuator (it randomly goes off because of previous wiring mess)
5) re-wire rear wiper switch back in


I also got the transmission back together and it is shifting a lot better, the MT2500 shows the sensor reading correctly and it is shifting very smooth. It does seem to be shifting later than you would think, like around 4800 - 4900 RPM but it is shifting and working as it should. I do not know if someone has changed the shift pattern on this or not.

I am going to try and work on the list more this week so I can get it to pass the safety inspection this week and maybe try for the title next week. Can't go for the title without the safety inspection. Interestingly, the cops don't seem to care that I am driving a truck with Mexico plates on it. I have seen a few on my various test drive, and they just keep on going. I guess its not a huge deal like it would seem like, but I still want to get that fixed as soon as I can.

I will try to get some better pictures up soon, the interior is still a wreck from all the dash work that has been going on.
 
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