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Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:27 PM
I'll start this thread with my '83 Dodge Ram

I originally purchased this truck in 2006. The original owner died in a quadding accident and I purchased this truck "farm fresh" from just outside of Claresholm. Because of the war-machine front bumper, my truck was given the name "Smashy"

Here is Smashy as I purchased her in 2006

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Front-left.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Front-right.jpg

Note the build sheet still present behind the seat

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Build-sheet.jpg

The data tag under the hood
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Ident-sheet.jpg

4 speed standard (NP435 trans). It's not a speed demon but can pull the house off of your foundation

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Interior.jpg

360-2bbl V8 in stock trim.

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Engine-Left.jpg

Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:30 PM
In 2006 I did the following work to it.....

The day I swapped out those cheezy steel rims and tiny tires for a set of 32" BFG Mud Terrains and Turbine rims.

Tires bought used for 600 bucks (and in very good condition)
Rims bought from PYP for 60 bucks (and they are all dead straight!)

Notice the "war-machine" front bumper still on at this point.

Truck also got her engine pulled.

Previous owner had the engine rebuilt so it was easy to perk it up. Left the bottom end stock, swapped the cam, replaced the timing chain/gears, and had the heads rebuilt. New water pump, etc.

- Engine pulled apart and resealed
- Comp Cams 260H cam/lifter package (would go with the 268H next time)
- Heads rebuilt. All new exhaust valves and springs
- Edelbrock performer intake replaced the old 2 barrel piece of crap
- Rochester Quadrajet replaced the old Carter 2 barrel
- FBO ignition upgrade
- Hooker long tube headers
- Hooker 2.25" mandrel bent exhaust
- Hooker Aerochamber mufflers with dumps before the diff
- new clutch
- new fuel pump

Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:33 PM
This is how it looked after the work.... The engine pics were taken a couple years after the build (taken in 2008) hence some of the paint has flaked off the valve covers since then but you get the idea!!

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Smashy.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSCF1048.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSCF1277.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSCF1276.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSCF1269.jpg

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSCF1266.jpg

Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:36 PM
2007-2008 involved some more work. Alternator was replaced. I had also upgraded the cooling system with a larger radiator, and installed a fan shroud and clutch driven cooling fan to replace the original flex fan (these mods shown in the last engine pics).

The front driveshaft broke on me so I had a heavier one custom made for me by a shop out of Medicine Hat.

I replaced the rear brakes, brake hose, and steel lines.

Later in 2008 I made the mistake of selling it...... :cry:

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSCF1273.jpg

Maxt
11-20-2011, 09:43 PM
I was gonna say if you still had it, I wouldn't mind buying it ... I have the same truck more or less that the body is rotten on.. Well sort of the same, plus dana 60's 7" lift 35's and 440 4 spd. Trying to find a large trans tunnel cab in decent shape is pretty tough these days..

Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:46 PM
I sold it to a guy who took the truck to Medicine Hat where it spent a couple years. I was heartbroken. It didn't seem like a big deal to sell it at the time but my regret kicked in during the following weeks. I moved a couple times after that and misplaced his contact info.

Every time I drove to Medicine Hat to visit my girlfriends family I dedicated an hour every visit to drive around a different quadrant of the city (and surrounding towns) to try and find this truck.

Fast forward 2 years to 2010.....

I am doing my usual daily scan of Kijiji in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat when I stumbled upon a familiar sight....

a 1983 Dodge Power Ram had been posted on Medicine Hat Kijiji 8 minutes prior. IT WAS THE TRUCK!!!! My heart began to race and I wrote a reply without hesitation!!!

I asked how long the owner had owned the truck, and what work was done to it. His reply was that he had owned it for a couple years, had purchased it from a guy in Lethbridge (ME!!!!), and gave me a list of small odds/ends he had fixed (signal lights, fuel pump, etc). I quickly responded and told him I was the guy he bought the truck from and if he'd let me purchase it for the price he paid for it when he bought it from me. We had a good chuckle and agreed to that price and the following weekend I went to Med Hat and bought it back from him.

It drove exactly the same as it did when I sold it. A little rough around the edges but so much fun to drive. No vehicle on this earth has put a smile on my face like this truck has.

More surprising was in the 2 years he owned it, he had only put approx 5,000 kms on it from when I sold it. Besides some weathering (tires weather cracking, some gaskets dried out, a couple rust spots a little bigger than before) it was virtually frozen in time these past couple years.

Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:49 PM
This past summer I re-sealed the intake to correct one helluva bad vacuum leak, removed/repainted/resealed the headers. Installed a Mopar Performance ignition setup (re-curved distributor, ignition module, ballast resistor) and did a tune-up, and installed MSD plug wires.

More pics to follow in the next little while as I upgrade the fuel supply system and put new tires on it.....

Rat Fink
11-20-2011, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by Maxt
I was gonna say if you still had it, I wouldn't mind buying it ... I have the same truck more or less that the body is rotten on.. Well sort of the same, plus dana 60's 7" lift 35's and 440 4 spd. Trying to find a large trans tunnel cab in decent shape is pretty tough these days..

NEVER FOR SALE AGAIN!!! :rofl:

To be honest, it would take a lot of money for me to want to sell this one for good. More money than what the truck is worth in anyone elses eyes I'm sure of it.

Hage69
11-20-2011, 10:54 PM
I'm not such a truck guy, but :hitit: :love:

Cos
11-20-2011, 11:55 PM
I love this truck. So clean and badass in real life. Also the sound it makes! :pimp:

corsvette
11-21-2011, 12:35 AM
Yeah, i'd hang on to it, it near impossible to find that gen Dodge with such a straight body (if its as good as it looks in the pics) Ever thought about doing a Cummins swap?

Maxt
11-21-2011, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Rat Fink


NEVER FOR SALE AGAIN!!! :rofl:

To be honest, it would take a lot of money for me to want to sell this one for good. More money than what the truck is worth in anyone elses eyes I'm sure of it.
Yes, even though mine is rusted out, I would never sell it I don't think..
On all early dodges, the windshield rubbers shrink and leak, thats where the cab rust starts. It runs down the inner walls and then onto the floor.. So important to keep them fresh and sealed on these trucks..
Not sure its worth doing a cummins swap on a gas model, the frames and springs were heavier on the cummins models, as well as getting the heavier axles and 205 t case.

Hallowed_point
11-21-2011, 11:19 AM
Your truck looks awesome RF. I like that it's stick shift and its very classic looking :thumbsup:

Chantastic
12-29-2011, 09:20 PM
The fact that you bought it back makes this build all that much better.

I'm not a truck guy either, but I guess having recently completed a practicum out in the Brooks area, I understand the pick up truck culture a lot more now. Looking forward to reading more as you progress!

Rat Fink
01-10-2012, 12:05 AM
Well, the truck hasn't made much progress lately.

BUT...I did order myself a 2012 Focus. Pics to follow when I take delivery!

I figure I'm going to lump all my rides into one thread.

cam_wmh
01-25-2012, 01:13 AM
This is one of my favourite threads. Your trucks a beaut.

Twenty
02-24-2012, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by Rat Fink
Well, the truck hasn't made much progress lately.

BUT...I did order myself a 2012 Focus. Pics to follow when I take delivery!

I figure I'm going to lump all my rides into one thread.

We need more pictures of the Fofo, c'mon! 2012 is the best year for them. ;)

Dodge115
02-25-2012, 03:13 PM
Nice, I work for Dodge LOVE the truck man haha while reading your short story I was hoping you had found it again!

Very nice truck I hope you will be holding on to it for a very long time! :burnout:

Rat Fink
02-25-2012, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Twenty


We need more pictures of the Fofo, c'mon! 2012 is the best year for them. ;)

haha, I need to take some recent pics, but here's the ones from when I did the PDI on it. It has tint and 3M done on it now, and hopefully in the next month I'll be ordering Ti headlights and fog bezels.

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0016.jpg
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0017.jpg
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0018.jpg
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0020.jpg
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0022.jpg

Twenty
03-28-2012, 02:55 PM
I am forever jealous of those with the Tuscany interior package. If I didn't have a yellow Focus, I would've gone for it.

Graham_A_M
03-28-2012, 05:03 PM
Too bad, if you did want to do a cummins swap we just sold our mint old '92 Ram D250 with a cummins for $4k. MINT condition but it needed a lot of parts that Dodge stopped making many years ago, so we had to either sell it or park it. :facepalm:

Would have been a great donor truck for you!

Looks great! Same with the car.

xnvy
03-28-2012, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Chantastic
The fact that you bought it back makes this build all that much better. :werd: That story felt epic just reading it.
Also, the interior colour on the Focus is just plain awesome! :thumbsup:

Rat Fink
06-13-2012, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the kind words fellas!

Well, I sorted out my driveability issues this week. Sediment buildup in my float bowl was causing my needle/seat to be sticky and dried out carb gaskets wound up with me rebuilding the carb this week. It runs like a raped ape once again :love:

However, my steering box is leaking well beyond my comfort zone. My steering shaft has tons of slop in the coupler, my steering box and power steering pump have really taken a beating over the years and so I parked it again in the name of safety. My rear pinion seal and diff cover are leaking, and its pretty much ready for a vehicle wide fluid change. Since I'm moving to another city in a couple months I need this vehicle to be ready in every way.

sooo....today I bought myself a new steering box, power steering pump and pressure line. I ordered the Borgeson steering shaft to replace the stock steering shaft and eliminate the crappy coupler design in exchange for a more sturdy and longer lasting design. I am also acquiring all the necessary fluids to service my front diff/rear diff/transfer case/transmission/oil change. I'll snap a few pics when all my parts arrive. In total it will come to around 650-700 bucks but well worth it (have to keep telling myself this) :rofl: It should steer like new once this next phase is finished so I am looking forward to that.

Rat Fink
06-24-2012, 08:37 PM
Well, it's been a productive weekend!

Work performed:
replaced steering box
replaced steering shaft
replaced power steering pump
replaced power steering pump pressure hose
replaced battery
replaced negative battery cable, positive cable end, and chassis ground
replaced rear pinion seal and serviced rear diff
serviced transfer case
serviced front diff
oil change
replaced front left turn signal pigtail
replaced exhaust hangar



Here's the only pic I have of the carb overhaul I recently did.

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0075.jpg

Here's my truck all prepped for surgery

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0077.jpg

Here's all the parts I threw at it :rofl:
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0076.jpg

Here is the steering box that has been leaking since I owned the truck the first time back in 2005! Its gotten too bad to deal with now so its gotta go.
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0078.jpg

Here it is on the floor!
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0080.jpg

Here is the old worn out steering shaft next to the upgraded Borgeson steering shaft. Notice the heavier U-joint setup as opposed to the original coupler design.
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0081.jpg

The old power steering pump beside the new one. (required removal of the reservoir off the old pump and transfer of it to the new pump).
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0082.jpg

I installed the new shaft, pump, and gearbox and ran the vehicle and verified no leaks and everything checked out ok before I gave it all a quick shot of paint. It's no show truck at the moment, hence why I'm not too crazy about a small bit of overspray.
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0086.jpg

The old piece of crap Motomaster battery and side post ground cable had to go!
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0079.jpg

Replaced with an 850cca Ford battery, with new ground cable to the engine block as well as a chassis ground from the battery to the body.
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0085.jpg

The rear pinion leak, and leak from the rear cover
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0083.jpg

New pinion seal in, rear cover removed, as well as front diff cover removed and transfer case draining.
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0084.jpg

Re-assembled, brushed the front and rear diff clean and gave them a shot of rust paint. front diff,rear diff, transfer case refilled and oil change done. While it was in the air I found an exhaust hangar that needed repair, as well as a worn shock insulator but I'm going to be replacing all 4 shocks soon enough
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0089.jpg

Front left marker bulb socket corroded and rusted apart as you can see in the pic below. Made a new harness by spicing a new pigtail in with the old connector and installed new bulbs in both front turn signal sockets so it's like new (forgot to take a pic of the new harness).
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0087.jpg

Rat Fink
06-24-2012, 08:43 PM
Here's a sentimental shot of what my "office" has been for over two and a half years now. I only have 8 more work days and then I am off to another dealership (and another city).

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0090.jpg

corsvette
06-24-2012, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by Rat Fink
Here's a sentimental shot of what my "office" has been for over two and a half years now. I only have 8 more work days and then I am off to another dealership (and another city).

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/IMG_0090.jpg

Are you staying with ford? the build lookd great so far :thumbsup:

Rat Fink
06-24-2012, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by corsvette


Are you staying with ford? the build lookd great so far :thumbsup:

Thanks! Ya, I'm staying with Ford so it'll be a pretty easy transition to the new dealer.

Twenty
06-26-2012, 04:49 PM
It wouldn't be one here on Calgary, would it? :D

Rat Fink
06-29-2012, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Twenty
It wouldn't be one here on Calgary, would it? :D

Nope, not calgary!

Rat Fink
09-22-2014, 09:53 PM
Well, I sold my Focus. Here is the final picture I took of it. The car sold a few days later

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/DSC_0381.jpg

Thought I'd bump this thread. I haven't done much with my truck. I put new tires on it a year ago (32" BFG All-Terrains to replace the mud-terrains).

This past week I chucked another 400 dollars at it for the following...

Overhauled the transfer case (was leaking - figured I should replace all the bearings and seals while I was in there. The hard parts were all decent)
Replaced all e-brake cables from the pedal to the wheels
Replaced both rear wheel cylinders
Replaced my brake master cylinder and did a full brake flush
Ordered an oil pan gasket set and filter adapter gasket which I will do shortly

Here are some pics...

Prepped for surgery
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Truck-shop.jpg

The leaking transfer case
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Tcaseunderneath.jpg

Mounted on the bench fixture
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Tcasebench.jpg

Opened up
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Tcasebench2.jpg

Case sections in the parts washer!
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Tcasebench3.jpg

The best part of this job is the 120 needle bearings you have to install on re-assembly!
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Tcasebench4.jpg

All ready to go onto the mainshaft!
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/Tcasebench5.jpg

The rest of the re-assembly was pretty uneventful. Now I have a transfer-case that doesn't leak. The front output flange required a speedy-sleeve to be installed to make up for a seal groove that was worn into it.

On another note. We brought my wife's project car home. Stay tuned for this one over the winter.

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/polypolara/AMX.jpg

Shlade
09-22-2014, 09:59 PM
Pretty awesome! Surprised I didn't see this thread before haha