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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey people. i have a bunch of body mods i want to do to my '89 rc. any thoughts on what to do, what parts to use from what, ideas, and general opinions help.

here is the list:
1. Phantom grille. remove the stock grill and headlight buckets. make a phantom grille from 1/4" square bar (not sure of whether to use aluminum or steel because i don't know what finish i want: painted, polished or chromed). make tabs to use the stock screw locations. space the bars about 1/2"-3/4" apart so they don't interfer with the headlight operation. install Silvania SilverStar sealed beams (H6054/SS). then take plexiglass, sandblast the inside to make it not completely clear but still useable, and mount an orange bulb in a metal housing behind that. the 'etching' will also hide that there is orange behind it.
2. Steel cowl induction hood. take the top skin off a stock hood and bend it up to be a seperate scoop. then i would set it in place, mark where it sits, and cut out the skin from mine. then just weld it all in smooth. maybe mount a tach inside the scoop opening.
3. Shaved squirters and modified cowl. the squirters never work so i'm shaving them off. modify the cowl so that only some of the openings are there anymore, like the middle few. screen off the openings under it like the how-to here shows.
4. Frenched in antenna. remove it from the stock fender mount and mount it inside a pipe on the driver's b-pillar. i already have a custom shorty antenna and want it to have about 1" sticking out. on the passengers b-pillar mount a clone antenna that will serve as a cb antenna. jc whitney has an adapter to use that style for a cb. i know i'll have crappy range but i only need it for road trips to talk to buddies in other cars. i know what you're thinking (what about water in the hole?) i will weld a small bung in the bottom of each and run a small tube to the underside of the body to keep it out.
5. Replace the door handles. remove the stock "grab handles" and put on some modern flush style ones. maybe from a newer dodge or something odd. only hinderence would be hooking it up inside the door to my stuff.
6. Shaved trim. i've already removed the lower wide trim. the studs on the body haven't been ground off yet. there are a few holes from bolts for that. the upper trim is all held into place with rivots and when i remove those, i'll weld the holes. i'll sell the upper trim if anyone needs it.
7. Remove rear inner wheel well lip. the inner wheel lip on the back 'wells looks kinda sharp and when i lower it i'll need the clearence. just notch it and bend it up. then tack the tabs.
8. Steel roll pan. make a steel roll pan with a center located plate box. have a light or two in the box. have notchs for the exhaust to go through. and mount the backup lights behind grilles that match the one up front. i have a fiberglass summit pan if anyone needs it. $35+s/h. better than the $100(ish) for a new one. it does have a small crack in it, but its fixable and doesn't effect strenght.
9. Smooth out liftgate concave. being that the 'gate is 'glass, i can just 'glass over the concave.
10. 3rd brakelight in 'gate. take a led or cool one from a car/truck and mount it above the window glass on the liftgate for added visabilty.
11. Shaved tail lights. shave them smooth and french some round lights in. a 3" and a 1-1/2" on each side. reverse light in rollpan.
12. Shaved roof lines. shave off the little body lines in the roof skin. they look kinda cool but are a bitch to wash, so they go byebye.
13. Suicide driver door. being that the lower hinge has ripped the sheet metal on the driver door anyways, i might as well suicide it. think i could use the stock latches and catches on the other side or should i buy some new ones?
14. Weld everything smooth. weld the fenders to the cowl and to the filler panel below the grill. weld the rockers to the body and fenders. weld the pinch welds on the b and c pillars so they are smooth.

thats about it. if i think of more, i'll add it. some of these are feesable in the very near future, others are something down the road. either way, opinions help alot. thanks for reading this long post.
 

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I'm not much into the custom car look like what you used to see along time ago, but here are some thoughts.....

StandardByker88 said:
1. Phantom grille. remove the stock grill and headlight buckets. make a phantom grille from 1/4" square bar (not sure of whether to use aluminum or steel because i don't know what finish i want: painted, polished or chromed). make tabs to use the stock screw locations. space the bars about 1/2"-3/4" apart so they don't interfer with the headlight operation. install Silvania SilverStar sealed beams (H6054/SS). then take plexiglass, sandblast the inside to make it not completely clear but still useable, and mount an orange bulb in a metal housing behind that. the 'etching' will also hide that there is orange behind it.
I'm not exactly sure what you are describing here. I used to like the full width grille using aluminum bar stock. The headlights were behind these bars, but this may not be legal. Heres a thought. Remember those cool hidden headlights as used on the 68 to 70 Chargers and other Chrysler products? It might be possible to fabricate a similar idea using thin aluminum stock, but have a section that covers the headlights, and which is hinged to open up when the lights are turned on.

2. Steel cowl induction hood. take the top skin off a stock hood and bend it up to be a seperate scoop. then i would set it in place, mark where it sits, and cut out the skin from mine. then just weld it all in smooth. maybe mount a tach inside the scoop opening.
I know it's not unique but those fiberglass with the Challenger R/T hood scoops are still very cool. For the tach, there is some company making a cockpit type HUD display which would be very unique. As I recall it, they had several gauges that can be viewed in the HUD display.

3. Shaved squirters and modified cowl. the squirters never work so i'm shaving them off. modify the cowl so that only some of the openings are there anymore, like the middle few. screen off the openings under it like the how-to here shows.
Although you can just add a fiberglass raised cowl to hide the wipers, it's possible to make some big changes with the help of an autobody shop.

4. Frenched in antenna. remove it from the stock fender mount and mount it inside a pipe on the driver's b-pillar. i already have a custom shorty antenna and want it to have about 1" sticking out. on the passengers b-pillar mount a clone antenna that will serve as a cb antenna. jc whitney has an adapter to use that style for a cb. i know i'll have crappy range but i only need it for road trips to talk to buddies in other cars. i know what you're thinking (what about water in the hole?) i will weld a small bung in the bottom of each and run a small tube to the underside of the body to keep it out.
It's an old and classic idea, but still very cool.

5. Replace the door handles. remove the stock "grab handles" and put on some modern flush style ones. maybe from a newer dodge or something odd. only hinderence would be hooking it up inside the door to my stuff.
There are some door handles that operate off of a cable, so you can do just about anything, however having the door handles shaved off completely and operated by a remote switch is the way to go

8. Steel roll pan. make a steel roll pan with a center located plate box. have a light or two in the box. have notchs for the exhaust to go through. and mount the backup lights behind grilles that match the one up front. i have a fiberglass summit pan if anyone needs it. $35+s/h. better than the $100(ish) for a new one. it does have a small crack in it, but its fixable and doesn't effect strenght.
It depends if you need to have a rear bumper by law, check into this first. As for the exaust. I like them when they come thru part of the body thru a hole. For a better look you can have an aluminum trim piece bolted around the exaust hole.

9. Smooth out liftgate concave. being that the 'gate is 'glass, i can just 'glass over the concave.
No, you just can't fill in the concave with several pounds of fiberglass. You can make a fiberglass panel and blend it into the hatch

10. 3rd brakelight in 'gate. take a led or cool one from a car/truck and mount it above the window glass on the liftgate for added visabilty.
Or mount it flush to the filled in concave panel, using an LED light

13. Suicide driver door. being that the lower hinge has ripped the sheet metal on the driver door anyways, i might as well suicide it. think i could use the stock latches and catches on the other side or should i buy some new ones?
I'm not entirely fond of suicide doors. They are not as practical as regular doors and they actually can be very dangerous if you don't have good door latches. I would rather prefer gull wing doors, although they can be impractical in congested parking lots.

14. Weld everything smooth. weld the fenders to the cowl and to the filler panel below the grill. weld the rockers to the body and fenders. weld the pinch welds on the b and c pillars so they are smooth.
Although it would make for a cleaner look, it may crack as the body is designed to flex

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
on a basic note, alot of the ideas i have are based on a money perspective...im trying to use creative ways to save cash. and i have access to welders and all that stuff and have experiance with them.

1. yeah, the kinda that goes in front of the healdlights...hidden would be cool but harder to do.
2. part of the idea is that its unique...and alot cheaper. plus i perfer steel to fiberglass usually.
3. nah, i want to change it. its got a gouge in it anyways so i have nothing to lose.
4. thats part of the attraction to it, is the classic touch. and i love the look. anybody can weld in a filler patch, but doing that extra bit is what makes it awesome.
5. again, i perfer a different handle to none at all, plus its alot eaiser in daily use.
8. if i do, ill make a big ass one that hides behind the roll pan. and eventually ill prolly dump the exhause in front of the rear tires so i dont have to jump the axle.
9. lol...thats what i meant, make a panel...not goop it up...lol.
10. nah, i want it up above the glass because its higher. when the truck is lowered, ill want to be seen easier.
13. gull wings are harder to do, and a turd in a parking lot. suicide wont be too bad. and if im scared, i can put a strap on the inside.
14. im not too worried about, if it crackes ill reweld it...lol

thanks alot for the reply...made some good points and ideas.
 

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how about getting rid of the lift gate all together?

install steel tail gate and upper lift gate from older rc. or if the upper doesnt match body lines, cut your lift gate off at a point that meets the tail gate.

then cut the steel dodge ram thing out and re weld it flush. so you have a smooth tail gate with raised dodge lettering.

i want some nice aluminum machined trim rings around an exhaust exiting through the roll pan.

lambo doors are an option for tight parking but the hinges cost too damn much.

you could concentrate on interior as well.

maybe a different dash/gauges
seats carpet. i ve even seen a ramcharger done up with beautifal wood trim. wonder if the pics are still around. its digger bears. heres some pics of digger bears

http://ramchargercentral.com/boards/index.php?board=22;action=display;threadid=31120;start=0








ok so better wood and screws/hard ware would have made it look even better

with shaved handles, do not use the button with the kit. every one at a car show knows the button is in the wheel well, between the hood/cowl or in some other such place.

what we did was use a magnetic switch from jc wittney. when a magnet is placed near this cheap inconspicous sensor mounted inside the car behind security stickjer in window it would close circuit.

used a little remote with a cow magnet insdie. used a small radio antenna for looks. plus it acted as a probe to reach the switch without actually touching the magnet to the glass. you could have a smaller magnet inside a pen.

well now thats old school. you can buy keyless entry/alarms for under $50 that have auxillary functions such as door/trunk poppers.

the old school trick was to use a trunk popper from an old caddy since they had heaviest trunks. but now real solenoids are so cheap.

make sure you leave the key holes there even if door handles go. how will you get in if batteries die?

heres my thought on a grille. remove everything on support except lights. lay out the shape and bolt holes on sheet metal. make it one big smooth front end and cut a rams head out in the center for air flow. use a good fan since you are restricting air flow.

how about a front roll pan? i ve seen that and its sharp, if allowed in your state.

definelty need unique tail lights if you want people to say hmmm. the point isnt to wow them but rather leave them scratching their head.

look around at car shows for clues. plus check out vendor section for cool scores.

did i mention flame throwers are still cool? ;D anyways

a mono tone or custom tu-tone will defintely set your truck off.

no cheap ass vinyl pin striping either.

a bird bath hood would be cool modified. maybe some small scoops. and if you want tach on dash check out gto resto mags for the lil tach hood scoop.

you dont have to completely turn to custom to make your truck custom. you can use allready built material from other vehicles.

a "custom" steering colum would be cool.

just a heads up but gm and dodge columns inter change.

what i did is bought a 4 speed column and sanded the thing to bare pot metal or magnesium or wth it is. then gave it a kinda satin brushed look with finer sand paper. not chrome but kinda a billet i guess. the best idea is to get the housing from a dodge motor home. it has a smoother look. there is no lever to lock and unlock colum and no shift mechanism on the column. well i havent finished it but i was going to turn a piece of aluminum to fit in key hole as a plug. put some nice round radious on the poiece and it would look sharp. then put key some where else such as dash or anywhere.

if comfort is more your thing you could score a niece 70s/80s tilt telescoping column from some plush gm

dont forget some classy comfy seats. i saw monster garage or some one take those import racing seats you see all the time rip the cloth off and install a tan leather. had the looks of a ferarri or lambo. http://www.katzkin.com/SITE/HTML/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks a ton for the ideas. this post was mostly to get peoples opinons on the exterior ideas. i already have a super plush stock interior and tons of ideas for it. i have a tilt column already. super cushy vinyl/fabric seats. nice system. im going to install some 83 camaro electric seats soon that im going to recover with vinyl and tweed. i have a dodge radier rear bench to throw in. im going to refab the wall panels. redo the headliner. possibly a sunroof. add a nice domelight between the visors. make a smooth flowing 'glass console. make yet another custom sub box (this would be number 4).
ive also thought heavily about doing the half gate/tailgate combo and then making the gate spin sideways instead of tipping down. front roll pan is a little too smooth, i like the 89 style bumper, looks really beefy yet smooth. and a birbath hood would flow that center section into a cowl scoop really easy and cool. ive had that idea for like 6 years (we've had alot of dodge trucks).
and for paint, the big back window trim inside, from that up...dark blue. matching blue headliner and upper trim. paint the dash black, black seats with blue insets and piping, black carpet. and the level that the big window trim is at will get wraped around the back gate doorjamb, and follow that across the body to the nose. and on the back gate, have it drop down kinda tribal like where the blue goes into the black and have black/white/blue/grey pinstripping done there in the old skool style.

see, i got me some ideas....:D and i havent even started on the ideas i have for the frame and suspension....:D
later everyone, im going to make a page on my site tonight that has 2 sets of ideas for the complete buildup of my truck...a modest custom version, and a totally wild custom version. bye ppl...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, that idea list is a little longer than expected so i should have it added in a few days. on notebook paper, it was 5 pages and thats just inside, outside, and half of the frame stuff...not even started on paint, engine/drivetrain, stereo. later...
 
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