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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't need it and I overpaid for it, got a fair deal on it, got royally screwed on it, but I got it anyway. I am officially an addict. Waited a month, the price kept dropping, i went to see it and it was rust free (for Maine), had AC, had a new turbo, new starter, new calipers/rotors/pads/tie rods/u joints, new MC/booster, a new windshield and a new heater core. So I pulled the trigger. It began life in Oregon, was driven cross country and ended up here. I'm the 3rd owner in Maine so I'm expecting something big to pop its head up mechanically (ie. death wobble).
Problems so far include a leaks everywhere, hole in DS door, cobbled interior, crack in frame near steering box (partial thickness), hub leak on DS rear, and spliced fusible links.

Its an automatic (a leaky one!), 3.54 gears. Plans are to tow the farm equipment around with it. Needs tires to be inspectable. Has road salt on it from being towed down. There is enough frame rust that I think it was driven in Maine for 1 or 2 winters 4 or 5 winters.

Those 4x4 stickers have to go....They don't look stock, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Problem #1: Trailer hitch has one bolt on one side.  At least it was double nutted.  ::).  Both sides are welded to the frame.  Need to get this fixed for summer.
Minor problem: Hood and roof are going to need to be painted.  Small dent in roof corner also. No rust.

Possibly major problem:  Steering bracket cracked.  need to see whats behind it.

But wait there's more: frame crack (in the usual spot).  Obviously this needs to get fixed before it hits the road.  Will be welding and using the OEM reinforcement bracket like dodgeconnection sells.
PS tire-yikes! Inside wear, exposed down to the belt.  Evidence of the death wobble?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This was the biggest thing that screamed death wobble: steering stabilizer.  Previous owner insisted tires were worn because of bad tie rod and that the king pins were A-OK.  We'll find out.
Oh yeah, its got 290,000 miles on it.
DS of engine
I need to make sure nothing is bypassed here.  Don't need any fires totaling this thing.  I HATE crimp fitting too.  Some soldering coming up....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The interior: Carpet was trashed after heater core failed. Original seat was ripped and was replaced with these seats. I don't like them but they are comfy. May have to keep these. PO did a good job welding old frame to adapt these (EDIT: Yeah welding them to the cab floor...). My only other option is a bench seat from my parts truck or PT cruiser leather seats I picked up for another project. Right now, its impossible to get into the back.
Something scraped across the DS door and fender. Would be fixable except fro the hole in the middle of it. May cut a patch out a junk fender I have and repaint. PO also provided a spare door and fender (rust free) to replace the scratched ones. Still, my matching ability is not that good though with paint....
Broken windshield from the heater core change- Not guilty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Length of floors.  Floors are in excellent condition, in and out.  Still has leaks though.  Forgot to check for cowl cracks but expecting them...
Leaf spring shackle.  Nut does not belong.  Frame shackle bushings on the rear of this need replacement big time. (see below)
One more of engine.  Air filter will be removed in favor of stock one.  How important is the AC box insulation?  Its been MIA from the heater core swap.

Thats about it.  Windows work, PS lock is a little sticky.  Needs radio replaced and detents in shifter are gone.  Also need CC switches on steering wheel.  I'll keep chipping away at it and get the big stuff done as it warms up.  Can't believe I took on another project...One of the others will probably end up getting a new home.
 

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Body looks real clean. As for the front axle, replace everything that's worn. I just did it on my W250; tierod ends, u-joints, shocks, steering stablizer, ball joints. Death wobble can ruin your day!! This summer I want to pull the bed and blast and paint the frame.
 

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Nice looking truck.  Wish mine still looked that good.  I did however notice that it appears that you still have the factory injection pump.  With this smelly watery stuff they are selling at astronomical prices as diesel fuel be careful.  My factory pump went at about 260,000.  Had to get it replaced and it supposedly has been updated for this nasty fuel they are selling these days.  Only time and mileage will tell.  And before someone says it, Yes I do use fuel treatment to help with the pump lube.  BTM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hear you on the pump.  We've been messing around with our John Deere with pump problems. Got into the truck yesterday and found out the tilt works, tranny is leaking b/c of cheesy cork gasket, replaced the broken  armrest,  the passengers side door latch is broken, bedliner has a giant hole in it and needs to come out, there's water in the 205, and the dana 70 is low and may have the stock fluid in it. It was very low and looks like a factory seal and the paint is still on the bolts ( but there are 2 layers of black paint so maybe not. )
Its nice to have something to work on.  My other project is feeling under the weather.  I parked it in the woodlot to keep the poachers out and it got snowed in.  I've been plowing with the tractor.

Holy crap I just noticed you're from Baton Rouge.  I spent 10 years there and in Homer, LA with the dairy herds.  I wish I was there right now.  They have the best junkyards around there.  The one on the service road in Port Allen was my favorite.  Lafayette used to surprise me too. 

Edit: Got into the wiring today.  Fuse box had no melters but someone had replaced all the 10 amps with 20 amps and all the 20 amps with 30 amps.  Also got a new positive battery cable in, which was available from the dealer and even a reasonable price.  The heater core change was done pretty lousy too, the insulation is all gone and lots of screws were never put back in AND the box is cracked over the tranny hump top to bottom. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got a couple hours to get into the truck today.  Found the tidbit below: Cannot believe this slipped by me.  I checked this truck over for an hour before I bought it but missed this:
Something got really hot in there.  Hope its from a leak, since there is a new hose on it.  The truck has no steering assist right now and foaming quite badly so the pump is likely toast. 
Also got into the transfer case and drained this out:
The nice gray color of gear oil with water in it.  It was starting to separate towards the end.  I'm gonna let it drain overnight and then tackle the u-joints, center bearing and seals at the same time. 

Also found that the pinstripes are not stock. I like them better, but havn't been able to find a duplicate yet.  Whoever put them on cut right thru the paint with the razor....
So far I've identified leaks from the thermostat housing, the tranny cooler lines, the back of the IP and what I think is the front seal for the tranny.  It has a pretty high stall also so I think I might end up rebuilding the tranny and replacing the TC.  Before anything big happens, I'm doing the KDP first.  Still getting used to all the shaking and noise....

3/6/11 Update: had a productive day today.  Got the bedliner out, shoveled about 20 lbs of dirt out(only a little rust), adjusted the TV cable which made a  huge difference although its still sticky in the tranny side, checked the vacuum (25 mm Hg), checked the charging voltage (13.8 cold and 14.2 warm), figured out that the wiper motor was fine (not a dead short like the PO told me) but rather a bad switch.  Changed it out and it was running, just as it started raining. Also bled out the PS pump and good news: the pump works.  It just needed to be bled. Also drove it a little.  Got into 3rd gear, and the odometer and speedo work. I also noticed that the #6 injector fitting was leaking and tightened it up- no more leak.  AND got a whole bunch of air out of the PS caliper.  Could not get the rear bleeder screws off but I bet there is air there too.  Can't do a MC right without bleeding the whole system.    Only thing that went wrong today was the rain, the AC doesn't work and the plug into the ABS ring gear had the pins broken off inside the switch (only warning lite on now is the ABS light and brake light when pedal is down- likely the sensor and the air in the system). Lastly, this truck had a repaint at one time or another because the new paint is flaking in places and there is silver overspray on the side moldings.  I think the blue is still original.  The d150 is gonna donate lots of stuff for this one.  I'm also getting ready for the PT cruiser buckets because the smell from the current seats is driving me nuts.  Its a cross between horse manure and cigarettes.

3/9/11 update: Rear end vent was plugged up so i cleaned that out.  Replaced the transfer case seal and pulled the driveshaft to replace the center bearing which was shot.  U joints were the worst I've ever seen.  Missing all the needle bearing on one side at the axle and the other sides were broken.  Still can't get the rear bleeders out.  Not much room to work back there compared to the others.  The TV cable was missing the return spring also.  Would have burned up the tranny without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Got into the rear end today.  backlash is .040 too much.  As I turn the pinion the ring gear moves up so its time for a rebuild.  Gear oil had glitter in it... lots of crud but no metal chunks. Check out the magnet...

Got the drums off, rivets gouged both sides but they are also worn nearly 1/4 inch per side.  Out of spec...

Adjusters were broken on this side (DS) and lying between the drum and the backing plate.  Seal fell right off the drum. 3 grooves on the DS so its getting a speedy sleeve.  PS spindle was pristine, but not the bearings.  The spindle nut lock fell out and tumbled around in there.  I found one small chunk of it.  The nut was chewed up pretty good. 

I've never rebuilt a rear before but am gonna try this one.  Will do bearings, ring/ pinion, shims, seals, limited slip clutches etc.  Better to do it before the case is junk than after.
 

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fun stuff! looks like you are on the right track to making a realy nice reliable rig. doing gears isnt to bad. there are basically 3 ways to do it right. buy a pinion depth gauge, and learn how to use it (not hard, just expensive). or, there are numbers engraved on the pinion head. learn what they mean, and where they are measured from. that info combined with a little fancy math will get you in the ball-park. but you will probly still need to fine-tune. and third, an educated-guess at the shim-stacks, and lots of experience. whichever way you go you will need to learn how to read the contact patch. BUT, in your case, i would just buy a bearing kit, disassemble, and reassemble. make sure all shims go right back where you found them, and i bet you will be fine. new bearings will tighten your backlash up a surprising amount.
 

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jerseybud said:
Problem #1: Trailer hitch has one bolt on one side. At least it was double nutted. ::). Both sides are welded to the frame. Need to get this fixed for summer.
Holy bottom of the sea, Batman! That is just from 2 winters in Maine? Do you need a tetanus shot when applying/renewing you license?
 

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looks like you have a lot of work ahead of you.
great project truck though, it'll be a beast when you're done!

where exactly is that frame crack located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
EricY8s, Frame crack is here, outlined in red thin line. This is where the steering box is on the drivers side. On the inside of the frame is where its visible, under the drivers side of the radiator. They usually crack here. Seems to be the only one so far

Kansas, Nearest I can figure is 2-3 winters. Old Oregon registration was good until 2006. It was purchased in 2002 and first titled here in 2008. 3000 miles were put on in that time. May have been driven in the winter and then sat for long periods, the worst possible scenario. I can find no Maine registration or inspection stickers. It was off the road for the last 9 months; amazingly the sheet metal is rust free. There was dirt built up in the rockers but I've pulled alot of it out. Will finish it on the next hot dry day and put the eastwood internal frame coating in there. I guess it could have been a truck near the coast of Oregon. I've found that rust free trucks have accelerated corrosion in the right environment. My s10 had rust thru in the rockers within 4 years of new in New York state: when it hit Louisiana, the rust stopped dead in its tracks. Anyways the pictures look bad but its not pitted like my 88. Thats much worse.
Mopar, gears are definately shot, edges are sharp and pattern is full on all teeth. Will be expensive and I'm not thrilled about it, but cheaper than replacing a bad case. Thanks for the encouragement. Hope the tranny has no surprises.
 

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i would watch ebay for a good used set of gears. i have seen them go for $80 or so. and read up on the mumbering on the pinion head. everybody surrounds gear set up with "voo-doo", and "its an art". its not. its just a matter of pinion-depth, and backlash. i have a real good link on the numbers on a dana pinion head, and how to set depth. ill see if i can find it and post it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Killer dowel pin is killed

3/21/11 update- Busted my ass this weekend trying to get something done with the good weather and all that happened was finding more problems. Got the new u joints in and the carrier bearing installed. Double checked the camshaft thrust plate bolts were tight, locktited them and closed it up. I have to say the lower radiator hose is the toughest one I've ever had to deal with to get out. Also found this: the rear end yoke wallowed out because of what I presume what excess movement after the needle bearings fell out of the rusted U joint. Luckily I found a ebay yoke. (see below)

If anyone is interested, here is the difference between a spicer U joint and GMB u joint. Spicer on the left

Today I went to move it and the tranny is whining like a power steering pump although it works OK, the brake lights are on all the time now for some reason. Definitely gonna fix the rear brakes and pay attention to the tranny before anything else goes down.

3/23/11 update- My new front seal and cover seals are good- no leaks!. Realigned the PS door so it shuts better. Still not right but might need a hinge to get it right. I hate adjusting doors by myself. Also put the new VC seals on. Old ones were shot and likely the source of all the oil on the engine. Didn't get a chance to adjust the valves yet. Cold weather is really hanging on this year.
I've also noticed that the 92 and 93 dodges I look at have very little of the factory frame paint left on them whereas trucks like my 88 had remarkably tough coatings. Even my sisters 98 dakota still had 98% of the frame paint left after 11 years of Maine driving. On the 92 and 93 it almost looks like they tried to use wax like GM used and then figured out it stinks and isn't durable.

4/3/11 update- Got into the dash and fixed the bend in the AC cable. It bent because the door in the ac/heater box was binding and the heat was on all the time. It was binding because a few nuts and bolts were missing and everything was flexing. Finally got it working reasonably with some TLC. Took apart the DS door. Theres not just one hole but multiple holes and all but one filled with bondo. Almost like someone poked holes in it punching a dent out. Guess I'll be replacing and painting.... Also took off the 4x4 stickers, painted the 4x4 shifter cover, discovered that the PT cruiser seats are going to be nearly a direct bolt in to the frame the PO made. This would have made my day but there is some metal glitter in the oil for the engine. BAD! I have my fingers crossed that its the old oil from when the old turbo failed. I'll send it out for analysis and see whats in it. Its not from the drive gears up front, so that leaves the turbo, camshaft or valvetrain. I thought #5 looked a little funny when I changed the VC gaskets so maybe thats the problem...

4/10/11 update- saw a really nice pair of cloth seats in a 2002? Cirrus or stratus or something like that at the JY. Cloth and gray and had manual adjustment for height and lumbar. The mounting is different than the PT cruiser seats and they will require more welding. Also noted that Jeep CJ seats have a tilt mechanism and are pretty nice and would be good in a club cab. I never see them in the JY though...
4/15/11 update- Forgot to mention it was retrofitted with a hx35 turbo when the PO changed it out. Got a CD player out of a 1999 Caravan in it- it was a tight fit compared to the heater only trucks. The plug ins are in a different location. Also discovered a leak thru a crack in the sealer at the seam where the crew cab side extension is on the drivers side. Amazingly the weatherstripping for the club cab windows is nice and tight. Also pulling my hair out trying to get the right inner wheel bearings for the rear. It looks like a Timken 382 A and 28622 combo race/bearing combo at this point. Lots of contradictory information out there. Outer bearings were a cinch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got a little work done on it today. It was a chore to just get it out of the yard. Bald 235-85-16 tires with all the weight in the front don't work very well in mud. I got stuck and had to be pulled out with the tractor which looks like it has metal in the oil too. Alot of it.

Changed the oil and luckily someone put in a magnetic drain plug along the way. Not too bad but some shards that don't belong. Drew a sample and sending out the analysis this week. I suspect fuel dilution because it smells a tad different than our tractors running 15w-40.

Finally got in the transmission and found this: Filter pulled apart at the seams. Never seen that before.

Fluid was bypassing the filter because of that, which wasn't good because of all this in the tranny pan. Aluminum shards. Not to mention what junk was on the magnet, which for the most part was what I would consider normal, but too much of it.

It was getting dark and I wasn't about to pull the valve body to fix the detent ball that popped out and was on the magnet, change the shifter seal and adjust the bands. Anyways, this is a trick piece from Mopar. A re-usable tranny gasket. Part number 2464324AC.

And by the way, the stock Timken rear bearing part numbers for this truck are: Outer LM 104949 (Set 38). Inner 28682 for the bearing, 28622 for the race. Every single catalog I've looked in messed this up, but I pulled the hub and these are the right numbers for sure. Also compared the new drums to the old drums: The old drums are paper thin.
Well at this point I've been thru most of the systems and its gonna be an expensive truck (rebuild rear end, rear brakes/bearings, tires, interior, possible tranny rebuild, etc). I'll follow m-o-p-a-r's advice and re-bearing/ re clutch the rear end. The tranny debris isn't good, but could be worse. I guess I'll see how it does driving around town and then if its bad, put in a new convertor and rebuild the slush box. It might be next year before that happens. While I was trying to get unstuck, I got into the turbo a little bit and once the rpms get up, the power comes on in mountains. Which reminds me, the injection pump will be getting a seal kit pretty soon. Most of the leaks are fixed except for that one.
Also got the brake light wiring fixed. There were spots where the insulation was worn away and the wires were corroded. PO had scotch locked splices from side to side. The scotchlocks were corroded too making things worse. I cut and soldered some new wires in and things work fine now.

4/20/11 update- After the fiasco in my yard getting stuck and having no tires that would pass inspection for the 92 or 93 I bought a set of BFG all terrain 265-75-16 tires (Made in USA) today. Talk about expensive....I'll be alternating these between the 92 and the 93. I also spent an hour cleaning off the original rims as the dirt and gear oil from the axle seal leaks had formed a 3/8 inch crust. Lots of scraping, simple green, one brush and the carwash later they look much better. Gonna go with the beauty rings and the dog dishes. Nothing fancy. Also sent the oil out today so i should have results in 2-3 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got into the rear brakes finally since they were weak and also worn out. Only had time to do one side today.
Started with gear oil soaked drums and linings.

Changed out the bearings and races. Ordered a special driver from quad4x4 and a cheapo driver set from ebay. The big 3.1 inch driver in the cheap set fits the outer bearings: the quad4x4 fit the inners. I highly recommend the proper drivers- the brass drifts were helpful in tight spots too.

I upgraded to the 3 inch wide brakes from the 2.5 inch. Kept the 1 inch wheel cylinders but replaced them. Lock nuts were worn out-literally. Note the grooves on the back compared to the new one. Apparently this is a common problem.


Passengers side outer bearing surface was bunged up. Only one spot caught my fingernail amazingly. I polished it with 400 grit sandpaper and we'll see how it goes...

Got the new parts on- managed to not break the seized brake like. Unhooked the old wheel cylinder by pulling it thru the backing plate just enough to unscrew it. Then screwed the new one on, bolted it up and kept working the nut back and forth with PB blaster until it let go.


I washed the hub in parts cleaner, then in hot soapy water, blew it off with compressed air and drove the races in. Had the races in the freezer and the hub in the oven at 170 and they still went tough. But at least they are square. Then had to wahs the hub again to wash the metal dust off. (Compressed air worked better on the DS. )

Put the hub, sleeve and drum together and drove the lugs. Biggest problem all day was the sleeve didn't want to go all the way into the new drum. Stupid chinese junk. I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could have found a US made drum....

I primed the drums with ERE and then duplicolor black caliper paint. Had to brush the cosmoline coating off the drums first with lacquer thinner and a toothbrush.
5/1/11 update- I got around to doing the sleeve today on the DS. What a PIA. Started with this spindle:

and ended with this after 2 hours of meticulous dremel-ing and fine work with a small file set and diamond knife sharpener. Wrapped all the bearing surfaces in thick tape, several layers. Drove the sleeve on with a long piece of exhaust pipe. This thing better work. I used the instruction in a DTR sticky but it was for a dually and the single rear wheel axles have a step that puts the sleeve out well beyond where it should be. Maybe they make a narrower sleeve. I used NAPA/SKF sleeve part # 99287. The last 3 digits are the inside diameter. It says it fits 2.873-2.879 shafts.

Got everything togather , no problems until the end when I snapped a hub bolt off (overtorque). Get to dig that out this week. Also ran a telescoping magnet thru the axle tubes. You would not believe the junk that I got out...Its a must do.
Lastly, these are the seats I plan to put in this pig.

They have 3 things going for them. Perfectly flat mounting surface, armrest, and cheap. I put some boxes on them this winter, thats why they are wrinkled. But slowly making progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oil analysis came back. There was no fuel or antifreeze in it but something is screwy. Aluminum (9), Copper (10), Lead (17) and silicon (13) were elevated. Its consistent with the oil not being changed after the turbo failed, or it being the first oil change after the failure, in my opinion. I thought there was metal flake sitting on the floor of #5 cylinder valvetrain and was worried about the valves being way out of adjustment but now I'm wondering about the lower end. This from blackstone:
"We did see some elevated aluminum, which typically shows wear at the pistons, and copper and lead probably show wear at the bearings. Silicon is mildly elevated, and could show dirt in the engine, so since you're unsure of this engine's history, we suggest checking the air filter for any leaks or problems. Averages show normal wear after a 400-hour oil use interval, so wear is high on a per-hour basis considering this oil was run less than 50 hours."

I'll retest later this summer; already got a new air filter in it (stock). Most of the projects will be on hold as I may be layed off soon. On the bright side, I got the broken axle hub bolt out with one strike from the hammer/chisel. Then it unscrewed by hand.

5/8/11 update- Got the tranny back together today. Putting the parking rod back in the pawl was fun; I made it more complicated than it needed to be. So far everything works. Also, the DS drum is rusting already despite the paint. WTH. Also worked on the parts truck. The computer went bad over the winter and I did a compression test since it had no fuel pressure or ignition. All 8 cylinders are about 145, which ironically is less than the smoker in the 92 w250 which was at 160. I thought for sure there would be a head gasket leak, but there may be a crack instead as I heard it hissing low on the passenger side after I shut it down., Also got the oil light to flicker.
I also can't make up my mind on the seats. The blue ones, despite the smell, are damn comfy. I'm considering just putting gray seat covers on them or eventually having them reupholstered. Since I can't put any more money into this, I think the next phase will be tearing apart the drivers side, pulling the steering box and welding the crack up. Will clean the intercooler while I'm in there. Might as well re-seal the IP while its easy to get to.

5/11/11 update- Took it for its first ride back the road. Never broke 30 mph. Got the atf level dialed in and kept filling the rear end for the new bearings. Truck has good power, broke the tires loose a couple times on the dirt road. No obvious slipping from the tranny. No death wobble. However, brakes are FUBAR. Touch teh pedal, hear a big hiss, then the pedal drops away and all the brakes hit at once, almost locking them up. And the brakes are weak in reverse. Something is wrong with the booster despite it being new. Also discovered the passenger side was repainted in its entirety in the past. The drivers side is original.
5/14/11 update- Truck is running pretty nice today. Bled the brakes again. Things are a little better. May need a vacuum reservoir.... Anyway this thing is on hold as my DD lost a tranny this week AND getting ready to pull the tranny I found a crack in the radiator. When it rains it pours. Driving the 88 right now. Almost 15 mpg on the highway! Working on a s10 makes you appreciate how easy the 1st gens are to work on.
5/23/11 update- The '88 is getting 17.2 mpg on the highway in its sweet spot at 63mph. However, to get that number I have the timing way up and am running premium fuel. Its a rocket set up like this but kind of expensive.
5/30/11 update- Tranny is back in the s10 and working, but with a front pump knock when cold. GM sent me a reman with the output shaft splines nice and worn also. Not too happy......Anyway, got the rockers blown out and decided to go with fluid film instead of the eastwood stuff. Also aligned the PS door- toughest one yet, don't know why it was so bad. Saving up for the rear end re-bearing.
6/4/11 update- bled the MC with no improvement. Got to thinking about threads on DTR and my next target is the ABS dump valve. Have a spare on the parts truck that works, so I'll test it and see what happens. Also installed new rear motor mounts, new front shocks. Also tested the AC and the compressor is getting power and cycling but not putting out too much cold air. Its either a low charge with a leak, a bad compressor or someone mixed r12 and r134 and clogged the system. I've never had a vehicle with AC before, I'm really excited.

I am liking this truck more and more even though I've only driven it 3 miles. Parts for the rear end are on the way.
 
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