Dodge RamCharger Central banner
1 - 20 of 158 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reserving space for my build.

Back story: When I was 18, I bought an old beater SUV that was more ready for the scrapyard than it was for the trails. That was my first 4X4. The elusive split door 74 Trailduster. I beat on that thing for about two more years after putting a used 318 and new transmission in it.

Marriage, kids, life, career… you folks know the drill… off it went in pieces and parts. I never wanted to see it go. (Not knowing how hard they would be to find again), I still regret letting it go.

Fast forward about 18 years… I bought another one for $600. Albeit, not a Trailduster, but a Ramcharger SE in pretty decent shape. Most of it is original with a two tone paint I have yet to see on another RC SE. Not sure if the paint is factory or not, but fits the original orange paint “age”. It has the original 360 and 727. It did not have a top, so I had to acquire another one. (NOT an easy task) The axles are not original. They are a six bolt with WARN hubs. I believe it’s a chevy axle. The seats… also not original. Plastic padded racing type stuff. The original seats are the deluxe parchment 5 passenger set per the under-hood build sheet.

Fast forward another 12’ish years. Yes, it was low priority and now that I’m 50, I’ve got that itch again… and of course, more money and facilities to work on it. It ran when I bought it. I’ve driven it around the SW WA backroads, but the cartilage is worn out on all the joints, the timing is off, and may have some vacuum issues. So it sat… WAY TOO LONG.

Now it’s go time. I spent many years watching all the how to shows on velocity, and my favorite dickhead of all time, Mark Warman of Graveyard Cars that taught me the passion of original equipment and studying the vehicle to dig up its past. We all know how rare it is to find a nice first gen RC, especially the first of the first gen.
This won’t be a frame off just yet. First order of business is studying the original shop manual, (EBAY) the original 74 owner’s manual (Also, EBAY), and buying all the new parts to bring it back to life and get it tuned so I can determine what needs to be done with the tranny, t-case, and diff’s. All the parts are in my cart on RockAuto.com and new parts being added daily.

The only mods I care to do now is swapping the t-case and tranny to add the ability to “unlock”, as well as nicer tires and wheels. I had a 4” rancho lift on my first TD, but not 100% sure on this one as I plan on pulling a new “vintage” inspired camping unit to spend time in the campgrounds.

That’s enough hot air for now…

Chad
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,314 Posts
Right on!
Back from the dead!
I'm not a big fan of "numbers matching" vehicles.
I want to drive them. Not just look at them.
I would suggest to do what YOU want. Most of all... make it a driver!
I'd recommend putting a New Process 205 Transfer Case in it... and a nice and big 440 in it!
Of course that's what I tell everybody here to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
NP205. Is that a locking T-case and will it bolt to a 727 torqueflight?

I'm not sure I really care about numbers matching either, but one day I may show it as my son wants to show his Galaxie 500 XL, so at that point, it will matter.

I have the tub and nose of a 78 Trailduster Sport (With Title) that comes stock from the factory with a 440 and AC. So that may be my powerhouse if I choose to build it one day.

I also have another 74 RC flinstone buggy. I was going to put the 78 TD tub on it, but with the 74's getting so rare, I hate to do that. One day I want to learn to weld, so the flinstone buggy may provide a good candidate. That is where I got the top for the one pictured above, and the only reason I bought the rust bucket ($250). I also just happened to find another 74 top, so that went on the topless rust bucket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,314 Posts
RCCADMAN said:
NP205. Is that a locking T-case and will it bolt to a 727 torqueflight?

I'm not sure I really care about numbers matching either, but one day I may show it as my son wants to show his Galaxie 500 XL, so at that point, it will matter.

I have the tub and nose of a 78 Trailduster Sport (With Title) that comes stock from the factory with a 440 and AC. So that may be my powerhouse if I choose to build it one day.

I also have another 74 RC flinstone buggy. I was going to put the 78 TD tub on it, but with the 74's getting so rare, I hate to do that. One day I want to learn to weld, so the flinstone buggy may provide a good candidate. That is where I got the top for the one pictured above, and the only reaso I bout the rust bucket ($250). I also just happened to find another 74 top, so that went on the topless rust bucket.
Go here for a current discussion on transmission/ transfer case swaps... https://ramchargercentral.com/vehicle-help/trailduster-engine-choice/

I'm a big fan of divorced case 205's. Those guys are the ultimate, no nambie pambie, honest to goodness, you'll know your in 4 wheel drive transfer cases.
Yes you will need to do more work to make them work... but they will work!

Also if you do a 440... de-smog that thing. They are pigs if you don't. So why bother otherwise? ;D

Oh! I show my truck off and on. It does fine against Galaxie 500's. ;D
https://ramchargercentral.com/mopar-trucks/my-'74-power-wagon-i-ordered-from-dodge-on-873/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice looking PowerWagon! Had a buddy in my younger wheelin days that had a blue one he dubbed "The Blue Moose." (Circa 1989)

Not sure I want to divorce the case. Thank you for teaching me what they are. I appreciate that. I was taught that the newer RC's had a locking t-case and transmission that would bolt up to my 360. I won't be wheelin this one hard. Maybe some forest service roads or primitive campgrounds.

There is a steakhouse directly over Capital Forest from me tho. mostly logging roads and forest service roads.
Straight line is always the best! Over the mountain and thru the woods!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
KurtfromLaQuinta said:
I'd recommend putting a New Process 205 Transfer Case in it... and a nice and big 440 in it!
Of course that's what I tell everybody here to do.
Yep, I can vouch for that. Welcome aboard, Chad. Let the build up begin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52,873 Posts
welcome aboard!

You have many ways to go to get rid of the full time 4x4 with a small block. If you go big block not so many.
727/208 out a an RC, W150 or A-518 overdrive auto/208
727/241 out of a W250, W350 or A-518 overdrive auto/241
727/205 out of a W350 or A-518 overdrive auto/205
if you go with the overdrive you will need to make a switch for the overdrive lock and unlock.

I have seen plenty of RC SE models have had 2 myself. It's just a trim/paint/seats package.

Good luck with the build.  {cool}
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the info Mopar65pa. I will definitely study up on all those options.

I am just starting to look for the SE seats. They shouldn't be too difficult to find looking at all the vehicles that used them.

I am not sure I can bring the wood panel tailgate trim back to life. I hope I can find a panel that can be restored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52,873 Posts
RCCADMAN said:
I am not sure I can bring the wood panel tailgate trim back to life. I hope I can find a panel that can be restored.
You can buy the wood grain skin. it may not be a perfect match but it will look new. Also post up pics of the trim around it. I have a few sets off 77-80 tailgates if they are the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mopar65pa, the trim is in good shape, just oxidized. I'm sure it will need a new skin.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
52,873 Posts
heat gun and a razor scraper will take the old stuff off. Then you can buy new, cut it to fit and stick it on there.  ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mopar65pa. I have a heat gun and scrapers. Going to have to try that. I see 3M has some adhesive wood grain vinyl wrap with different wood grains. Even curly maple and walnut, to bubinga and rosewood. Do you know of any others? Anyone else know? I'd like to redo all the trim in the same color.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update:

I ordered the Galen white book for light trucks from Year One. Saved about $5.

Does anyone know where the "Fender Tag" is on a 74? There are none on the fender lip.

I may have found a set of deluxe seats in parchment. There is a homeless camp along the interstate with a dodge motorhome that has the motorhome part missing. Just the frame and cab. The back of the cab is facing the interstate so there they are in all their glory. Parchment deluxe seats! I'll pay them a visit when the snow stops...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
All dodge truck "fender tags" are pop riveted to the cab.  They are underneath the vent cowl right in front of windshield drivers side.  Kind of a pain to get to especially if you don't have the hood off.  I believe ramchargers are in the same location. I believe there are like 5 or 6 screws holding it on.

Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
My 2 cents, if you are going to swap the transfer case, I'd swap the case and transmission  get a 518 with either a 205 or 241 transfer case.  I like the 241 because of the lower gear ratio, and its plenty strong.  If you want bulletproof, then by all means go with the 205.  The OD gear in the 518 is the key point IMO  If you are going to do any highway driving the OD makes it so much nicer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you Neil, I will go look there.

Thank you murfman. I will keep those in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Galen white book came in today. It answered MOST of the codes but left a few questions about paint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now I'm curious about the door pillar tag. It has faded so bad that most of it is gone and what is left is almost readable. I know the numbers are on the door tag, but is it legal to had write or metal stamp the numbers back in?
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
29,795 Posts
I don't think it's legal to do anything with the vehicle certification tag.  There used to be a place that would reprint them and as long as you only reproduced the correct info you would probably be ok.  Not that anyone really pays much attention to the tags these days anyway, but if there were ever a question about the VIN number, it would get looked at closely.  The days of swapping VINs, titles and body parts are pretty much gone with how most states are about paperwork to support the changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,500 Posts
I had an '82 with a swapped cab , numbers on door sticker did NOT match dash numbers , I contemplated moving from N.Y. to Oregon , went TO that state asked , guess troopers have to "LOOK" at the truck , O.K. asked troopers at THAT place , I told him the situation ,  he chuckled , said what year ? , no we're not worried about those .... I guess they are somewhat realistic ?     
 
1 - 20 of 158 Posts
Top