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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building up my 1977, M-880 as a command center for emergency management.318-300hp crate engine installed.
5" lift-3 body 2 spring,new trans,t-case and axles.
I am replacing the bed with a 2500# unimog radio box.
It is 10' long 80" wide and 52" high.
1]I know W250 came with 4;88 r/p as an option-I want to install 5'13s to help with the radio box weight.Think that will hurt highway running. I have 32' tires now with 4;10 r/p.
2] I am adding air bags and new springs to carry the radio box. I want to get rid of the rear axle blockes.Good idea?
3]I am installing a detroit in the rear and a truetrac up front.With the full time system will the truetrac work ok?
I thought I would add a ARG p/s pump to help turn the front.
4]What is the best upgrade for the Ing./dist sys. out there?

Any and all ideas/thought welcome.
Best Regards Rick
 

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1) 5.13 and 32" tires will not work very well for regular highway travel
2) Great Idea. I would love to see the finished install
3) The Detriot in the rear is great, the truetrac could make for some hard steering.
4) Ther are all kinds of options i.e. MSD, DUI, are a few
 

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howdy
# 0 why the three[3] inch body lift and only 32 inch tires / M-880,s have bigger wheel wheels than stock dodges to run the 900/16 or 875/16 tires or 16.5 in the same size

# 1 5.13,s will turn 38,s and with the 300hp MAG it should move pretty good with the 4.10,s

# 2 YES

# 3 you might wear it out quickly if you do alot of city driving / lots of lefts and rights

# 3 1/2 the ARG is good but only needed for large tires

# 4 stock is the best because its simple and it works / others like the MSD
 

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1. I've got 4.10s and 33's my top speed is only about 65-70 on a 3 speed trans
2. Ditto from above sounds like a great idea and blocks always are kindva a pain
3. Consider some lockout hubs up front not as strong as flanges but it dosent sound like you need the strength anway
4. I've got a DUI on my 360 and it works great simple one wire hookup and plenty of power from a nice hot spark, alsoif there ever is a problem (hasent happened in the 2 plus years I've had it) parts are cheap common GM stuff
 

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I had 5.13s' in one of my old Plymouth Fury's and that limited my top speed to right at 118 MPH.. Can't remember what size tires that had on it back then; probably something like an L78-15; I went back to find those gears for my '69 Roadrunner, but by then they were long gone.
I think a 4.56 would be good enough; but the objective it seems is to have highway driveability, not a cruiser; 5.13's will be fine; because odds are you'll end up with more tire than you're thinking right now.
 

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i have a M880, hints the name. But i run 36' hummer tires with 4.10 and a 440 big block. and i get around fine. if you drive this on the road 5.13 is way to much. now my rig is for off road use only so i have never driven on the road. your 318 will do fine with 32' tire and 4.10's you would actual even be better with 33' tire.
 

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My suggestions are as follows.

Based on the weight you expect to carry, air bags are a viable option for added support. If you don't get air bags the next option is to install overload springs.

I would leave the axle ratio alone. 5.13s are alittle too low for highway use and you should have enough engine power to push the added weight, 4.88 gears, and 32 inch tall tires. In fact you can go with a taller gear, unless you off road in the rocks.
There is the point that you may consider taller tires in the future and you want low enough gearing to turn the taller tires. However a W250 only has a Dana 44HD in the front. With the added weight, lower gearing, and taller tires, you may find that in certain conditions, your front axle may not be enough to handle such demands.

Detroit and True Tracs on a full time 4x4 could be difficult to drive on slick or icy conditions. In any other conditions you might experiance difficult steering and potential axleshaft or axleshaft u-joint breakage with that Dana 44HD and the added weight. If it were me, I'd use the rear locker and either leave the front with an open diff, or spend the extra $$$ and go with a selectable locker in the front.

Some other suggestions. If you have an automatic tranny, install an aftermarket tranny cooler to keep down the ATF temp, I'd also suggest a larger radiator and an electrical fan to keep your engine cool. You're pulling much more weight, and the engine will work harder, which results in more engine and tranny heat that you have to get rid of.

Ed
 

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i have a w200 clubcab with 4.10s and a 360. that thing will haul anything i ask it to and some. the only worry i have is the front diff. the D44 is fine for a smaller rig but in these bigger ones i would prefer to have a D60 up front just for strength. 5.13s are not a very street freindly gear as others have said. right now i am running 9.5x16.5 tires on stock wheels and if i had wanted them i could have gotten 8 ply or higher rated tires.. i would personally keep the suspention mostly stock with of course an overload system ( airbags, overload springs.... whatever) and a set of like 33s and you should have no problems at all with hauling that big of a load around. and if you find you dont have enough OOMPH! to get up hills.... hello Mr. Cummins!!! ;D or bigblock....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the input. I will look at 4:88 r/ps ,but I live where the glaciers stopped and its either up or down here,with poor roads.I just thought the 5:13s would take some of the strain off the vehical pulling the extra 2500# around. The most highway driving I would see is surrounding counties that I would provide mutal aid for in a disaster.
I will get a locker for the front that I can control-what do you think[cable-electric-or air] up front.
I have a oversized radiator with electric fans and trans cooler now. I have a cool can with electric fuel pump I can add for the hot long hauls.I may add hood vents to help get rid of the engine heat better.
Thanks again,please feel free to provide more input,
Best Regards Rick
 

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On the front locker, I would go with an ARB. Install an OBA system with a good size tank and you would be surprised how much you would use the air. Especially the type of work you will be doing with the truck. Which you probably have already planned on some type of OBA system.

Sounds like a interesting project post some pics of it, if you can.

Eric
 
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