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Discussion Starter #1
Picked this guy up recently. 1979 Power Wagon. 360, Auto. It what you might call a 20/20 truck. From 20 yards away and 20MPH looks really nice.

Bought it from a guy who bought it from a movie car lot. Stepside with a big piece of plywood over bent up slats. Gas tank is gone so someone put a fuel cell in the already tiny bed. Missing the back bumper which I'm finding is almost impossible to find for stepsides. Looks like the core support was replaced with a later model. Not much lines up and headlights are held in place with bungees and zipties and so was the battery.

A little rust in the floor boards but that's something I can handle. 360 seems to be original and don't think its ever been apart. Transfer case is gone and a long tail 727 in its place. Should have been an original 203 transfer case since there at no locking hubs up front. That seems to be about a grand to put that back together with new drive shaft. Not sure if a 3 year old did the electrical but looks like 10 miles of spaghetti under hood and dash.

Everything leaked when I bought it. Especially since the dipstick tube was broken off with stick flopping around and spraying oil all over passengers side and alternator. Got that taken care of and cleaned up. Moved to both differential covers, oil pan, and the 727 is being a pain. Changed filter and pan gasket, tightened up several trans lines but still have leak around shaft seal and tail shaft yolk.

The thing that's bugging the crap out of me at the moment is the automatic shifter. I don't think its in the column but in the linkage. Usually one down is reverse. This truck seems closer to 2 down. Then instead of moving 2 more down for D, I have to move selector all the way down and a click and a half up for drive.

Used to have a snow plow attached so front bumper torn all to crap and barely hanging on. Think I'm going to grind or cut off those mounting brackets for cleaner look.

Tightening up all of the odds and ends that I can for now while on parts quest.

Oh yea, 4" lift fenders are notched out for much larger tires (think I can get 35s under it) but has 31s when I bought it!

I did say I was new to Dodge. Worked on Chevys, C10s, Suburbans, and El Caminos which there is tons more info and parts but really liked this old Dodge. My cousin and best friend in HS both Dodge 4x4, one an 84 stepside (440 auto) and other 76 long bed (383, 4 speed). His dad had an old military Power Wagon from the early 50s that he dropped a 71 sweptline body on. It had a 318 2bbl and was one of the toughest trucks I have ever seen. That was what people in the neighborhood people called to get their tractor unstuck.

Finding lots of great info. I'm sure I'll be back for how tos, and parts but will hopefully keep it more brief.

 

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shifter , older truck who has done what always a question , so first check motor and transmission mounts , then look at air filter , does the motor sit level side to side ? if motor was swapped , there are different height motor mount BRACKETS .318/360...    then there are trans linkage cross shaft bushings , and the trans shift arm has a sliding 90' pin adapter TO /ON the linkage at trans ..... yes its PRND21 , trans does have a detent at each

then .... is this a BODY lift ?? what if anything was done to that shifter cross shaft ? if it goes from body to trans ? or if its chassis to trans , has the rod been extended from body to cross shaft ? photos f cab mounts and that cross shaft deal would help welcome ..  ;D
 

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Welcome aboard. Nice find...A Macho stepside?
 

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I was wondering about that too. Doesn't have full stripe package so likely an "owner installed" thing. Hey, I did it with my (fleet side) frankenram.

The front bumper is supposed to be bent. Ok, maybe not but I've seen damn few that aren't.

The shift cross shaft (between frame rail / trans case) changed slightly around 81. Ya pretty much need the before / after pieces side by side to really notice but it was enough to throw off the shift throw. They shortened something in the column and made up the length with the cross shaft or vice versa. Mix and match parts (while swapping the trans) and ya'll never get the column to line up with the trans. On a early column with a late shaft, ya can bend part of the shaft to "adjust" it.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure if original stripes or Macho package. Seems to have been confirmed here that this was originally a snow plow truck. The paperwork from studio lot had it called the "Snow Wagon" With history of movie car, I can't tell if it was painted this way for a project or if they acquired it and ran it this way.

If it was a color change, they did a pretty good job. Behind the bed, underneath, and jambs are all correct. The only exception appears to be the core support and hood. Obviously some damage along the way and was replaced from a red truck.

I believe it has a 4" suspension lift. Body mounts look stock. Hefty blocks between leafs and axels all around. Transmission looks like it has an aftermarket bracket between crossmember and trans to compensate for lift.

dodge82273 mentioned extension shafts and so did RWG75. I'll try to post up a couple of pics. Everything seems to be correct length but really loose and sloppy. No idea what modifications were done when lifted.
 

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I hope you don't have lift blocks up front on the front axle. If so, they gotta come out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, my mistake. Blocks only on the rear. No blocks on the front. Included pic is of body mounts. They don't look lifted plus bumpers seem to line up correctly.

The front fenders have been trimmed. I'm thinking someone had 35s or 36s on it at some point. Right now truck has 31s and doesn't look right.

 

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Factory Macho or not, it looks good. Are you sure it's a 79? It has the 77/78 grill. Of course, that grill could have been swapped in the past.
As for the lift, I don't see lift springs or a body lift. All the 4x4 trucks have the rear blocks and your blocks are not tall. Yet, your truck does seem to have a high stance. Maybe the lift is in the shackles?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It’s titled as a 79 but I said in another post, the hood and core support were replaced from a red truck. Maybe it was all one of the previous owners could find as a donor.

Could be shackles but they don’t seem to be changed. Especially the front because they have the snow plow mounts welded to the shackle brackets. Who knows. Keeping my eye out for some bigger tires to fill in some of that space at the moment.
 

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front springs have an arch thats where its lift comes from , rear has an extra block ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Starting to believe the front springs were changed out and rear was a shackle flip because the wheels are shifted forward about 6”.

Shifter brackets seem to line up. However, I hit the salvage yard looking for what the differences were. Seems like linkage is correct, aligned,  not bent, extended or hacked up. But mine are missing all the bushings making everything flop around when changing gears.
 

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Yeah that is usually about 75% of the threads on here. Trying to figure out the hack jobs people have done over the years. Fixing the things that can either destroy the truck, you, or both.  :eek:

I am guilty of changing things too, but at least I try and make the stuff reliable and drive able.  That is the passion all of us on here have.  We try not to butcher things, then tape them together to get rid of.  Do it right the first time that is the best advice I can give. 

Neil 
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Kurt and Neil!

I agree, this is the best place I have found for Dodge trucks. And yes, posting several questions to correct the hack jobs done by POs. Thankfully everyone is here has been informative and helpful!

FYI... caught a break in the rain and fixed the gear selector today. All it needed was those salvage yard bushings. Right on the money now even with the indicator on the column.

 

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'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
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Welcome to the site for sure! Your truck is probably a '79 but someone did change the grille to the '77/'78 grille and the factory never made a Macho stepside. Someone just painted those graphics on as I can see it's not factory correct. Either way, It's still a great score! Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep 1978. Looks like a PO crashed it and robbed a 77 donor for grill, hood,  core support. Donor was red so stood out when I opened the hood but the other hint was the cowl was a little too tall, so probably 79 correct. With the parts, labor, and PITA to make it correct, I said screw it, Bought a 78 cowl and a couple of rattle cans to cover the red and planning to clean up and run that way.

I did not know that Macho paint never came on the stepside but this is my first Dodge truck, so I have leaned heavily on the knowledge here. At some point, someone took time and did a nice repaint because interior is black, bed and back of cab are black and all of the little scuffs, scrapes, and underside don’t show a different color (other than obvious red parts mentioned above). I guess it is possible truck was originally black and someone added the yellow.

Either way, gets several compliments. Not sure if it’s because its old school, tall, yellow, or simply that there aren’t many around these parts. Right now just trying to clean it up, fix 40 years worth of delayed, neglected, or just plain crappy maintenance and enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We moved this summer so not much time with the Bumble Beast but found a tailgate decal and put it on this weekend.
 

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