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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some pics and info regarding my 85 Ramcharger Royal SE. Don't know any Dodge guys IRL so figured I'd share it here. I bought the truck in December 2018 off of Craigslist, bone stock. I really didn't have any plans for it when I bought it, but I've always been into big 4x4s so I guess it was inevitable that I would start messing with it. Some info:

Has a 360 LA that according to the previous owner was originally in a 90 or a 91 1 ton pickup. Other than an aluminum Edelbrock intake and Edelbrock 4 barrel carb, the motor is stock. Only things I've done are exhaust, got rid of the factory air box for an open style air cleaner, new valve covers, and maintenance stuff, plugs, wires, etc. Exhaust was all factory, I cut that all off and installed Hedman long tube headers and true dual Flowmaster Super 10s with no cats, 2 1/2 inch pipe.

Has the 727 auto trans with an np208 t case, haven't messed with either of those.

The truck had power windows and locks from the factory but the drivers side window was the only thing that worked. I pulled the inner panels off and the wiring was just a disaster. I am by no means a mechanic and know nothing about wiring, so I found an 84 D100 pickup with manual windows and manual locks, yanked those doors off and swapped them over.

The carpet was starting to rot and fall apart so I pulled it all out and put Herculiner on the entire floor, and bolted a toolbox in the back.

On New Years Eve 2019 I was on my way home from work when I lost all power, I found out later it was due to a bad alternator. Since it was almost 10:00 at night I just called for a ride and left it in the parking lot I pulled of into overnight. The next day, before I was able to come get it a lady backed into it, tucking the left corner of the bumper and the lower part of the left front fender underneath the frame. Since the fender was now rubbing pretty bad and I wasn't crazy about the stock front bumper anyway, I pulled the bumper off and beat the fender out with a sledgehammer since it was already ruined. Still looking for a replacement fender and I'll probably get new bumpers built eventually.

In January of this year my dad and I installed a 6" Skyjacker lift kit and 35x14.50r15 Nitto Mud Grapplers.

A few months later I had a driveline shop do 4.11 Yukon gears with the overhaul bearing kits, a Powertrax locker for the rear (it had the 9.25 rear end) and new axle shafts for the rear since the factory ones were shot. I currently have no front wheel drive because the factory CAD is shot so I'm waiting on a solid axle shaft to delete the CAD, but it's on backorder. I haven't even wheeled with it since doing the lift, tires, and gears because I don't have anyone to go with and I'm not going by myself in 2 wheel drive.

I think that about covers it. I don't have a whole lot else planned for the future other than paint and maybe some engine upgrades. I tried to post the pictures in roughly chronological order to show the changes it's gone through. Let me know what you guys think.

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I like it. Not too flashy but not beat to hell either. Right in the middle.

Tell me more about the exhaust work. Was it a kit or did a shop do it for you? I'm assuming with no cats, it was a home job. I need a dual kit for mine and I'm not impressed with much of what I'm finding out there that is available online. Do the headers seal up nice? Fit good?

Any issues with the 6 inch lift? I'm debating between 4 or a 6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like it. Not too flashy but not beat to hell either. Right in the middle.

Tell me more about the exhaust work. Was it a kit or did a shop do it for you? I'm assuming with no cats, it was a home job. I need a dual kit for mine and I'm not impressed with much of what I'm finding out there that is available online. Do the headers seal up nice? Fit good?

Any issues with the 6 inch lift? I'm debating between 4 or a 6.
The exhaust parts were all bought separate. The headers came out of the LMC truck catalogue, I installed those myself. I had a shop do the rest. I asked for no cats and they initially said no, then they were like "we'll figure it out". Went and picked it up and it had no cats. Kind of a "I won't tell anyone if you won't" sort of a deal, they were nice guys. It doesn't have tailpipes though, since I'm building it to be an off roader I didn't want tailpipes hanging off the back so I just had them put turndowns on the ends of the mufflers so the exhaust dumps before the rear axle. Mufflers, pipe, hardware, and labor was right around $600. Doesn't really rumble as much as a similar setup with tailpipes, but the super 10's still have a nice sound to them. Loud but not obnoxiously so. The headers were a perfect fit, I did have to unbolt the starter to get the drivers side up in there. Initially the seal was not good, had a horrific leak on both sides. The flanges warped right away, I think that was partially my fault for overtightening the bolts but they really ought to make them with thicker flanges. The other issue was the smog injection ports that I didn't know were there until after the headers were on and I was trying to figure out why they were leaking so bad, the factory manifolds account for that but aftermarket headers do not. So if you install headers without sealing those up, they leak. There's a great tutorial on Youtube by 318willrun on how to fix that. You take a quarter inch tap, tap those holes out, and stick a quarter inch set screw with some silicone (I used the Permatex copper) just far enough so that its flush. I then put a bunch of silicone around where the gasket goes, put in some new Mr. Gasket Ultraseal gaskets and on top of those some Proform aluminum gaskets, the kind that crush down and conform to the flange. Kind of a pain in the ass to do, but sealed everything right up. No leaks ever since.

No issues with the lift itself, more with the tires. The 14.50s are pretty wide. On flat ground, I can almost go lock to lock without them rubbing. But if the suspension is cycling whatsoever it rubs something fierce. Trimming up the front fenders is on the list. The rear doesn't rub at all, tons of room.

Between the 4 and the 6, it really just depends on what size tire you want. When I ordered the 6 I was originally planning on 37s, but since I don't plan on switching to 1 ton running gear (any time soon anyway) I decided 35s were probably better. If you're going with 33s or 35s a 4 is plenty, but if you want more clearance or want bigger tires I'd do a 6. From what I've seen they both run about the same cost. My only regret is I probably should have gone with a Rough Country, they're cheaper and from talking to some guys I know they're just as good as the other kits.
 

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I put super 10s/no cats on my true dual exhaust also. they sound perfect for the truck. not a fan of flowmasters 40s/44s. Great truck you got.
 

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Yeah I know about the smog holes, ran into that problem years ago with my ‘85. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the Hedmans. Thanks for the input.

I had 35 12.5s on my 85 with a 4 inch lift and they rubbed under suspension load. so I was wondering if yours fit on the 6 inch lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I know about the smog holes, ran into that problem years ago with my ‘85. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the Hedmans. Thanks for the input.

I had 35 12.5s on my 85 with a 4 inch lift and they rubbed under suspension load. so I was wondering if yours fit on the 6 inch lift.
If I were running 12.50s I may have gotten away with minimal rubbing, but the 14.50s are just too wide. I love the tires, bit some trimming is in order.
 
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