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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everybody... I finally picked up the wagon I was looking for.  I had plans to build this exact truck but I ran into someone that already had it and was willing to let it go for next to nothing. 

It's a '74 W200 extended cab, 360 auto, D44/60, with a smaller hay bed.  It has a little bit of rust (floors have already been repaired), but is otherwise in fantastic condition.  Frame is virtually rust free.  I swear it was dealer maintained up until 10 years ago or so.  The son of the original owner just drove it around the block every couple days for a few years after his father passed.  He has a nice new big Chevy and just didn't like driving a piece of farm equipment disguised as a truck, lol. 

Near term plans with this thing are to finish the clean-up and transfer over the nice interior out of one of my parts trucks into this thing.  I stripped out the cab yesterday and hit it with some rust converter.  I'll get some primer and bondo onto it tonight.  I doesn't need much, just some pinholes to cover up.  I'll roll down some dynamat type stuff afterwards. 

It didn't have the original seat in it and it wasn't really nice anyways so I'm in the market for a nice 40/20/40 bench.  I've heard the early 2000s F-250s had good benches that can be had for cheap. 

I'll be doing the Ammeter bypass soon too as I don't like surprise fires. 

The only big ticket thing I'd like to handle soon is swapping a disc brake D44 from one of my parts trucks onto it.  I'll probably junk the parts truck and just ask the yard for the axle in return.  Drum brakes up front and ball joints that are going bad means I'd have to rebuild the one on the truck and if I'm doing that I might as well just rebuild the disc brake one at my leasure and swap it in.

I don't really want to change the character of the truck.  Everyone on my block has made sure to tell me how sweet it will look when it's up on 42's with trailing arm suspension and under-bed neon lights, but I think it's earned the right to look the way it looks after 45 years. 

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh yeah, Gonna get some sway bars on this thing so it doesn't feel like I'm going to die every time a small breeze comes up.
 

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Very nice. I agree, it looks great as it sits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finished up putting down the dynamat style sound mat and holy moley, this stuff is the real deal.  The only squeaks left in the truck come from the flatbed stakes now.  Got my stamped door panels from my 73' painted and installed into the truck as well.  It's a whole new truck now.

 

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I LIKE that truck. the short bed on my '73 W200 crew is badly beaten, and you are REALLY making me think about a flat bed conversion, lol! I normally don't like how they look on SRW trucks, but with those tires, that looks good! If I did it, I'd want a setup for a dump bed, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Took it on a little road trip up around Jackson California this weekend. Truck performed admirably but my ball joints are worse from hitting some nasty dirty roads. It's still 100% driveable but I'm gonna get working on that disc brake front axle from my 75' sooner rather than later.

The raised up flatbed gives it that "pipeliner" look that is just so badass. Lots of clearance for the rear tires and not really difficult to live with. I got these tension fit stake-bed fittings that are just fantastic for pick-up sized stake sides. The previous owner had this neat roll out mat thing you put UNDER your bulk load. When you want to dump it you just thread on the crank handle and roll the mat up and the load comes with it off the end of the flatbed. I think this is it: https://www.loadhandler.com/products.php Having a dump bed is nice and all but how many times are you actually going to use it?
 

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Is that disc 44 an 8 lug? Otherwise unless you do some swapping you're going to have 5 lug fronts and 8 lug rears.
 

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Do you know how hard it is to find white wall mud tires???

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The previous owner made my whitewall MT tire for me by just severely damaging the tire, lol.  These tires are pretty darn old and fell apart pretty bad on my trip.  A lot of tread chunked off the rear set.  I'm gonna be replacing them soon and I was thinking of changing out the wheels too.  I'll probably stick with wagon wheel style steelies, but maybe going to a 16"x10" rim instead of a 15"x10".  I'd like to move the wheels in a tiny bit - Sheriffs up here are known for ticketing people for having their wheels outside the fender and my fronts poke out a couple inches as they sit right now. 

Anybody have any recommendations for a wagon wheel steelie that will clear Dana 44 disc brakes? 

I have 4" backspacing on my 15"x10" wheels right now and if I went a little bigger I think I could pull them in a bit... I just have to find something like a 16"x10" wheel with 5" or 6" backspacing. 

 

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Microcube said:
The previous owner made my whitewall MT tire for me by just severely damaging the tire, lol. These tires are pretty darn old and fell apart pretty bad on my trip. A lot of tread chunked off the rear set. I'm gonna be replacing them soon and I was thinking of changing out the wheels too. I'll probably stick with wagon wheel style steelies, but maybe going to a 16"x10" rim instead of a 15"x10". I'd like to move the wheels in a tiny bit - Sheriffs up here are known for ticketing people for having their wheels outside the fender and my fronts poke out a couple inches as they sit right now.

Anybody have any recommendations for a wagon wheel steelie that will clear Dana 44 disc brakes?

I have 4" backspacing on my 15"x10" wheels right now and if I went a little bigger I think I could pull them in a bit... I just have to find something like a 16"x10" wheel with 5" or 6" backspacing.
Any 15" will clear the calipers. There's all kinds of 15" wagon wheel ones out there. And they're cheap too! 16" are less available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh boy... here we go.  So I guess I REALLY should have taken care of the front axle sooner, rather than later.  I thought it was just the ball joints but unfortunately there were some other big issues.  The truck made it just fine on my last big trip, but the old lady took the truck to get some plywood for her business and called me reporting a "clicky" noise.  I assumed it was just the ball joints finally getting bad and just told her to take it easy on the way home.  When she got home I found what is pictured below.  The wheel almost fell off on the freeway. 

The only thing I think could have happened is when I went around and torqued everything down before my trip I must have pulled the studs beyond their yield strength and they stretched out.  Every lugnut was checked and re-torqued three weeks before this happened. 

Anyways, now I have a ruined hub.  At least three of the studs were squishing around inside the hub.  Unless I can find a NOS or used hub I might have to look into sketchier options like getting the holes on the hub and brake drum drilled out bigger and using a stud with a larger shank. 

Not to mention that during disassembly I found one of my external hubs was broken.  There was no snap ring holding anything together on the passenger side.  Also the weird lock washer on the spindle was installed inside out so it wasn't actually locking anything.  The external spindle nut as well as the inner bearing nut on the spindle were both loose.  They were both obviously installed with a screwdriver and hammer because somebody didn't feel like buying a thin-wall 2 1/2" socket. 

I'd bail on this axle and try to toss something else under it but I already bought all the ball joints/U-joints/bearings/studs/lugs and new matching wheels. 

What should I do?  Do any of you have a '74 3/4 ton hub I could convince you to part with?

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
holy moly... I found someone on Craigslist selling W200 D44 hubs out of a 73.  This could save my weekend here...
 

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Microcube said:
Anybody have any recommendations for a wagon wheel steelie that will clear Dana 44 disc brakes?

I have 4" backspacing on my 15"x10" wheels right now and if I went a little bigger I think I could pull them in a bit... I just have to find something like a 16"x10" wheel with 5" or 6" backspacing.
Any more than 4" backspacing, and you'll likely have trouble with the tire hitting the pitman/draglink on right turns.

16" 8-lug wagons are quite common. I run 16x8's with 315/75R16s on my W250.

3rdgen 17" wheels have ~6" backspacing, but need 1.5-2" spacers to fit decent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This was my discovery too.  I got under there with a tape and stared at everything for an hour or so.  I ended up just ordering 15"x10" wheels with 4" backspacing.  The same wheel I took off.

Now the only thing I'm dealing with is scope creep.  I'm ready to put it all back together, but man... it would be great to treat the rust and get some POR-15 on everything.  It would also be nice to get my knuckle machined for hi-steer arms while I have it off for future crossover steering.  Finding someone in the bay who can tackle it with minimal turn-around is a problem though. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Alright!  Road trip time come Friday.  I'm going to get my passenger arm decked and tapped for studs up at WFO Concepts in Auburn.  They're gonna drill it all out for 55 bucks if I buy studs from them at the same time, and turn it around while I fart around town up there.

I'll get pics of the final product. 
 

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Microcube said:
Alright! Road trip time come Friday. I'm going to get my passenger arm decked and tapped for studs up at WFO Concepts in Auburn. They're gonna drill it all out for 55 bucks if I buy studs from them at the same time, and turn it around while I fart around town up there.

I'll get pics of the final product.
Isn't great when there's a shop fairly close to you that actually knows what they're doing?
 
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