This is the '74 Ramcharger I scored from eBay, thanks to the listings on the eBay Deals board. I limped it home on 7 pistons, thanks to a push rod going through a rocker arm. Nothing else worked, except for the headlights on bright.
Now, 3 weeks later, about $1500 in parts, tires, the cheapest Maaco paint job I could buy, and lots and lots of work, it looks like this.
Justin and I worked our fingers to the bone scraping every inch of glass, and polishing every speck of chrome.
We replaced the rocker arms and rods (runs great, cam is really bumpy ), tune-up, dash harness...
Fixed the heater cable and blower motor, replaced all of the light bulbs and lenses, got the speedo and gauges working (except for the gas guage ), and tomorrow I'm putting in a new starter. That's all I'm planning for this one for now, and then it's back to Moe. I can't tell you how much I miss my original RC. :\'(
now that is a good lookin truck. nice job saving that one.
what's the details on the maaco paint job. how much, which one, and what did you do before you sent it off, and are you happy with it. just curious cuz i want to send mine out too for a somewhat cheap repaint.
sweet old RC Mike! nice find not to have to only sink 1500 in it to get it road worthy. wish i could find one that straight and void of rust here. all the ones i've seen older than 85 have see through floors and fenders.
I got the new starter in tonight (had to pull the header ), and also ran new battery/starter wires while I was at it. I'll get some engine/underside shots up in the next day or two...
Maaco paint job: Cost me apx. $400 with the 2 colors; black on top, plain grey on the bottom. I didn't do any body work, and didn't pay them to either. I did remove the grill and tail light rings, and then replaced the light lenses when they were done. Overall, I'm happy with it, but only because I was after a cheapo job. You definately get what you pay for.
Engine and drive train: It's a 318 block, but it's been bored out, and has what I think is a "hotter than RV" cam. I have to run it 12 degrees off dead center just to make it idle. They also had thrown on an Edelbrock 4bl intake and carb, but that's all I know about the engine. It also came with a Mallory ignition and distributor. I chucked the hand-made air cleaner (2bl housing with a 4bl plate welded to the bottom) and threw on a $20 Edelbrock open-air breather. The rest is like this: 727/203, 9 1/4 rear / Dana 44 with 5 on 4.5's, 2" add-a-leafs, and now 33x12.5 BF Muds on 15x10 steel wheels.
Well, I don't know about the mileage; my gas gauge is still broken. Seriously though, I think I'm getting about 12-14 around town, and possibly 16-18 on the highway, but I rarely leave town. You can do better than that with a 318 or 360, but not with the mods this motor has.
As for the wheel bearings, I've seen quicker than normal wear and tear due to over-sized tires on just about every truck I've ever owned. For instance, my old '85 RC had 14,000 miles on it when I bought it, and I ran 33x12.5's on it for 6 years before I replaced the bearings. I think it was about 50K-60K miles, or at 75K miles total. If you're supposed to be prepared replace wheel bearings every 100K or so, I'd call it worth it for the 33's. Everyone has their own threshold for how long things are supposed to last, and for me, I'd rather run 33's or bigger and live with doing my bearings more often than a stocker. Small sacrifice, if you ask me.
And by the way, "cheap-o" isn't offensive man, it's right on the nose! My neighbor across the street (the Pontiac collector) calls it a "Beautiful Beater", and that's exactly what it is. All I have to do now is decide which one is going to get which 440. - LOL!
Damn Mike, if you would of bought an 89 Dakota V6 4x4 starter you would of been able to put it on with the headers attached. I had made a post in the open board months ago with the stock big starter next to the Dakota starter.
Hey Mopar Man, sounds like a plan to me. I wouldn't waste yoru time with primer though unless you plan to be covering it up with something more weather proof soon. I've seen some people mix a little clear coat in the primer base to make it last, but raw primer will go to waste and need re-work within a month or two. The bearings in your axle run anywhere from $5-$25 each, depending on what you need specifically. Try this site: http://www.rockauto.com/ ; I've never bought stuff from them, but I look things up in their database to get ballpark costs and availability on parts.
Dude84, I couldn't agree with you more. Problem is I need to finish my 440 RC project before spending any more $ on this old dog.
Sam, why didn't I check here first? I don't know. Guess I live and learn. I did get lucky though; the header came off pretty easy compaired to some I've done. A little liquid wrench, and 5 minutes of wrenching did the trick.
The primer you see in the first pictures was there when I bought it. All I did was remove the grill and tail light rings. Maaco taped everything else off, sanded down the rust areas, and shot it. The pictures make it look better than it really is; I mean, the paint is nice and shiney and all, but it's a long way from being a good solid paint job. Like I said though, you get what you pay for, and I didn't pay much.
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