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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 2007, when gas prices were close to $5.00/gal. I stopped driving my 77 Trail Duster. It gets 6 MPG. While it sat for 11 years, pack rats moved in, mostly on top of the gas tank, and transfercase. I left the hood open to discourage nesting, but that lead to other problems, like sun rotted plastics. 5 years ago, I started working on it, but the reverse band in the transmission broke while driving it around the yard. So the project went on hold.

A few months ago I decided to get to work on it again. I replaced all the brake hydraulics, replaced and belts and hoses, got the transmission rebuilt, repaired wire damage caused by rats, and more.

Last week I drove it for the first time in years, and got it registered. The project is ongoing, with a lot to do. Some things in the near future are under hood heat control (header wrap, and other heat shielding). Carburetor modifications to help the Carter AFB perform better off road. More wire repairs under the dash, rats got in there too. Interior improvements, carpet, seats. 4 inch lift and 35 inch tires.
There are a few small dents in the body I will have to repair if I want to paint. I like the Medium green sunfire metalis, with a white roof. Their will be more.
Steve





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today I changed the rear differential oil, replaced the door lock cylinders,and  replaced the horn.
Steve
 

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Good deal I love stories like this!  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fixed the radio today. Rats had chewed through several wires. Power, speaker, and antenna wires all chewed up. Replaced the antenna. Will need to get some new speakers, but good enough for now.

Also replaced my old fiberglass CB antenna with a stainless steel whip antenna. The gel coat on the old antenna had deteriorated, and glass fibers were exposed, and coming off.
Will have to put the CB back in. I wish I would have kept the old 8 track AM/FM/CB that it had when I bought it. I replaced that 20 years ago with a CD player.

Put a new K&N filter on it today. The old one was damaged by the sun, I had the hood open for years to keep the rats from nesting on the engine. I put a cheap paper filter, in the original housing, on it to get it running.

Found an exhaust leak, on a header collector gasket. Ordered some Percy's aluminum header and collector gaskets. Will remove the headers, paint, wrap, and replace gaskets soon.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Replaced drivers side window regulator, and door window seals, both sides.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Was going to wrap the headers, but decided not to after reading about premature header failure due to wrap.  painted the passenger side header, gave up on the drivers side.
Replaced the collector and header gaskets with aluminum gaskets. My collector leak is gone, but now I have leaks at the header gasket. To be fair to the gasket, I didn't follow the directions exactly. I did not flat file my headers. Ordered some new Headman gaskets, I never had a problem with the old gaskets.

Replaced the starter with a mini starter. Had to run new wires to the starter, the terminals are a little farther away. I had the header out of the way, and the old started had a hard time turning when hot, so it seemed like a good time to upgrade.  The mini starter does spin fast.

Replaced the motor mounts.  They were flattened, and I had them loose to get the header out.

Steve

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have been having trouble starting. When cranking, it would not fire until I let go of the key, and then it was intermittent.  So, I needed to take a look at the starter ignition  circuit.  Disconnected battery ground. Measured the resistance from battery +, to the ballast resistor, the terminal with 2 wires. When the key was in the starter position, I got 50 ohms, in the run position, 1 ohm.
Next moved the probe from the resistor to  pin 24 on the bulkhead feedthrough. Found that wire to be very loose. Seated it in better, and now get 1 ohm when starting. Now with the new mini starter, it starts instantly.

My bulkhead feedthrough is in terrible shape, I need to replace all the insulators involved. It's too bad the going price on the bulkhead feedthrough, insulator only, is over $200.
I have not yet found a source of the insulators that plug in to the bulkhead. I will eventually need to find a replacement.
Steve
 

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Nice project! You're basically a neighbor (I'm in Mesa, Las Sendas/Red Mountain area) so I'll make sure to keep an eye out for your rig.

When I did my 78 and 79, the wiring was terrible. On my 79, I ended up going with a full Painless Wiring harness and custom bulkhead connector and it added a great bit of reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
pc1p
Thanks. I'm in the Superstition foothills. May be I'll see you in the Bulldog canyon OHV area some day. I'm almost ready to take it for a drive in the desert.

I'm still thinking about my wiring options. It all works for now. I bought a mil spec 47 pin cannon connector I may use. Or I may just feed the wires through a grommet, feedthrough boot, like they do on new cars. I was thinking of just making my own harness, using marine grade wire. It seems to be much better quality when compared to automotive wire.

So, for now I will just clean and grease the connections, and may be bypass the amp meter. This will be a project for when I have more energy.

I fixed my exhaust leaks, at the header gaskets. I no longer smell like exhaust after driving the truck.

I am back to the Headman fiber gaskets, with some high temp copper rtv. There seems to be a ridge on the upper edge of the cylinder head, that interferes with the seating of the header. I seem to have the leaks sealed. If I ever pull the heads, I will address the ridge if I reuse the heads.

Also working on cargo storage. I was looking at wheel well tool boxes, to store my jack and other tools. All the affordable boxed seem to be made with thin aluminum.
I settled on a Czech military surplus wood crate, that will fit behind the back seat.
https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/czech-military-surplus-gun-storage-box-used?a=2109226
This has room for recovery gear, and spare parts.
I will attach some "D" rings to the floor for ratchet straps. In the wheel well spaces, I will put some Jerry can holders.
Steve
 

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AzTrailduster said:
Found an exhaust leak, on a header collector gasket. Ordered some Percy's aluminum header and collector gaskets. Will remove the headers, paint, wrap, and replace gaskets soon.

Steve
Good to see you get it back on the road!
A cheaper and way better fix on the collectors is using Ultra Copper High Temp Silicone.
Put a small bead of it on a clean flange surface.
Let it semi dry for a few hours- bolt them up.
I do this on my header copper gaskets. Except I let it dry overnight. No more exhaust leaks ever.
I would suggest not wrap your headers. Paint them with VHT header paint. When they start looking a little rough... touch up the paint. Just mask a little around the area you need to redo. I've been doing this for quite awhile. Cheap and it works really good...

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Kurt,
I decided not to wrap after I read a lot of bad reports of premature failure after wrapping. The aluminum collector gaskets sealed great. The aluminum header gaskets leaked. I went back to the fiber Headman gaskets, with some copper RTV. No more leaks.

Next will be tuning the carburetor. I have a Edelbrock strip kit on the way here.  I need to lean the mixture a bit. My plugs are black, and the truck stinks.

Steve
 

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AzTrailduster said:
Kurt,
I decided not to wrap after I read a lot of bad reports of premature failure after wrapping. The aluminum collector gaskets sealed great. The aluminum header gaskets leaked. I went back to the fiber Headman gaskets, with some copper RTV. No more leaks.

Next will be tuning the carburetor. I have a Edelbrock strip kit on the way here. I need to lean the mixture a bit. My plugs are black, and the truck stinks.

Steve
I don't think your truck stinks. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It stinks. I don't know how we could breath back in the 1960s and 70s, when most cars stunk. I am tempted to install catalytic converters, just to make it smell better. But, I will start with carb tuning.  It just runs rich. Also, I'm not sure if my spark plug fowling is from running rich, or oil, probably both. There is no smoke in the exhaust.

My tuning kit arrived today, so Sunday I will start with a larger metering rod. I have a Carter AFB 9636SA, 625 cfm. I got an Edelbrock 1405 (600cfm) strip kit. The jets and metering rods about the correct size, with the factory jet size in the middle of the assortment. The original Carter kits cost around 10x the price of the Edelbrock, if you can find one.
 

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changes is gasoline and cat converters is when auto's really began to stink , an objectionable smell  , one that runs well stinks less no matter the type of fuel delivery system .
 

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I hear ya @AzTrailduster - that "old car stink" was once something I loved, but now it's nauseating. Maybe that's the sign that I'm getting old (I even prefer quieter pipes on my Harley, so I know I'm getting older!).

Even properly tuned on a dyno, my 66 Mustang had quite the smell. The same as my 78 RamCharger. Ironically, my 79 D200 didn't smell due to the fact that I was required to run a catalytic converter. Nowadays, I love fuel injection for its reliability and for keeping catalytic converters happy for a long time. When we run the Jeeps, I love seeing classic iron on the trails, particularly old flat fenders and CJ-5's, but there's a reason we keep them at the back :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The primary jets were larger than original, @ 101, replaced with 98. Metering rods were original, 70/60, changed to 73/52.
That seems to have worked. ;D

Hopefully that will give a leaner cruise, and a bit of enrichment on acceleration. My plugs were black. Now, after a short drive around the neighborhood, they look good, tan.

I also lowered the floats, and added a restriction to the channel that connects the two bowls. This will hopefully help it run better at extreme angles. I need to rework that, I used silicon tubing, and apparently silicon is not good to use with gas.

As for the stink, I think it has improved, time will tell.
Steve
 
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