1988 Ramcharger Cummins Conversion - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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1988 Ramcharger Cummins Conversion

Well, I haven't been real active on the forums over the last couple years but I've been quite busy with a few projects. This one in particular I've been slowly piecing together over the last year or so. These next few posts are going to contain 30-40 pictures, so viewers beware(or enjoy).

notice that this was all done in my driveway. so all you guys without a shop, no excuses!

The plan was to build a bug-out-vehicle type rig. No electronics, bare bones, tough, dependable, and without breaking the bank. General breakdown of the build:

- 1988 Ramcharger (originally 318/auto and 2wd)
- W250 rolling chassis w/ 4.10 diffs (shortened to fit the RC wheelbase)
- 91-93 front clip/intercooler
- VE powered 6bt
- tuned pump/fuel pin/3200 spring
- HVLP piston lift pump
- 47rh transmission
- NP205 transfer case

So with all that in mind, parts collecting started. I found the Ramcharger about 10 minutes from home for scrap price with a clean title.


I then found a complete rolling chassis with a518/np205(no motor) in Missouri. So I loaded up the trailer and hopped in the old goat and headed north. Drove most of the way the first day, slept in the truck for 3-4 hours at a truck stop, picked up the load, and made it back to Austin that night. Nothing like a 36 hour road trip in the old 1 gem. Took this old junk cab with me for free.99. had a good steering column and cab harness in it.


the a518 was junk so I sold it as a core and found a good(hopefully) used 47rh w/ maghytec pan. Was told the trans has a fairly fresh rebuild on it, but we know how that goes. had it freight shipped to me from the NE.

came across a good running intercooled motor up in Texarkana. So I hopped in the little thirst gen and did the 600 mile roundtrip one day. Ended up getting a ton of great parts for the truck on this run and this is when I decided to go with the intercooled front clip. got the core support complete with radiator, intercooler, condenser, lower valence, grille, headlights, the works.

The bulk of the parts collecting was done, now came the fun.


'67 D100 on '89 D350 chassis/12v/a518 --- '88 Ramcharger on '93 W250 chassis/12v/47rh --- '93 W250 race truktor --- '03 1500 shorty 12v/a518 --- 12 3500 cclb studded, deleted, tunez, 5

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 01:59 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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This post will be the tear down of the Ramcharger

Had to get the RC tore down and see what I had. Prior to buying this one, I had never been inside one of these before. They're actually pretty damn cool. I really like the back seat and storage but still feels like a full size truck, not an SUV.

first thing, remove the front clip and get rid of the 318/auto. This thing was pretty unmolested under the hood.



ahhhhh, much better


and to gut the interior

'67 D100 on '89 D350 chassis/12v/a518 --- '88 Ramcharger on '93 W250 chassis/12v/47rh --- '93 W250 race truktor --- '03 1500 shorty 12v/a518 --- 12 3500 cclb studded, deleted, tunez, 5

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 01:47 AM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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This post will be the frame work and suspension

decided to use the truck frame and just shorten it to fit the RC wheelbase. So I spent a few hours measuring, leveling, squaring, leveling, measuring again, and finally got the death wheel out and went to town.


each side has (6) 7/16" bolts bolted through the frame to a piece of 1/2" plate on the inside of the frame rail. I tig welded the step-cut as well as the perimeter of the 1/2" plate.



I then replaced all the bearings, races, seals, brakes, U-joints, steering components, leaf springs, bushings, u-bolts, and shocks on both axles.
- rear suspension - D150 rear springs re-arched for ~2" of lift on stock 6" blocks
- front suspension - W250 Skyjacker 2" lift springs w/ 1" longer shackles
This was all a complete experiment and initially it looked like it was going to sit really high in the rear but it seems to be level now that its almost together.
I even painted the frame.


made some new angle iron mounts for the ramcharger fuel tank.
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'67 D100 on '89 D350 chassis/12v/a518 --- '88 Ramcharger on '93 W250 chassis/12v/47rh --- '93 W250 race truktor --- '03 1500 shorty 12v/a518 --- 12 3500 cclb studded, deleted, tunez, 5

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 02:26 AM.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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This post will be the interior work

Got the interior gutted/cleaned and did some reinforcing of the passenger side floor. It hadn't rusted through but it had some bubbling "surface" rust and felt pretty soft. So I stripped it down to bare metal, treated it, primed it, and then did 4-5 layers of fiberglass.


I wanted the interior to be rugged and simple. So I decided to strip the floors of all vinyl/padding and spray the entire interior of the truck with Raptor Liner. I sprayed everything. Floors, trim, door panels, back panels, center console, and dash. I think it turned out pretty good. Not sure how well it's going to hold up on the high traffic plastic stuff like the door panels, but don't much care either. I made new back wall panels out of some 1/4" plywood and then attached the old panels to the backside of them for some sound deadening. Also, now that I'm posting this, I realize I don't have a picture of the interior all put together.






For seats I used 1st gen Captains chairs in the front and the stock RC rear seat. I'd like to get them reupholstered in vinyl but for now they're blue cloth.
***WILL INSERT PIC OF COMPLETE INTERIOR WITH SEATS***
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'67 D100 on '89 D350 chassis/12v/a518 --- '88 Ramcharger on '93 W250 chassis/12v/47rh --- '93 W250 race truktor --- '03 1500 shorty 12v/a518 --- 12 3500 cclb studded, deleted, tunez, 5

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 02:12 AM.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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This post will be powertrain, wiring, and other odds and ends

I did the known problem child gaskets/seals, KDP, valve lash, etc on the engine before poking it in there. Also, mated it to the 47rh and stabbed it all as one piece(minus NP205). The fuel supply system is a draw straw to a remote filter head with a CAT 3 micron filter, to the HVLP pump and then through the stock fuel filter with all 3/8" fuel line. This is so I can run WMO on the fly if I need to, again, think bug-out-vehicle.


and then bench pressed the NP205 in place on my back and took a pic to celebrate


The engine I bought was from a 5 speed truck so I didn't have the heat exchanger and all of the cooling lines. Being a light vehicle that will never tow or see more than maybe 250hp, I decided to just go with this dual core Derale trans cooler with fan. If it's not enough, I'll add another small one up front behind the grille.


Made a steering shaft using the rag joint end of the old shaft, some double D shaft, and a splined joint. I think this cost me about $40 from summitracing, 1/4 the price of a borgeson


didn't have a trans dipstick so I used this one from a 60s/70s small block mopar application. just took a little tweaking of the mounting tab and works great.


got a new front driveshaft made and old rear shortened. funny seeing the front shaft longer than the rear.

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 06:03 AM.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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This post will be exterior, paint, body swap, etc.

Well I skipped over the body swap a few posts back but here it is. Because the truck frame has a larger hump over the rear axle, it will interfere with the floor of the RC. This means you need ~3" of body lift to clear the frame. I knew this going in, which was why I only went with about 2" of suspension lift, this thing is gonna be huge. So I put the body up on jack stands, slid the old frame out, slid the new frame in, and started measuring. Now, I could have bought a 3" body lift, but I am so cheap, so instead I made these spacers from some tubing I had laying around with some big washers tacked to each end. These were only required for the front 2 mounts of the cab. The RC body has 8 mounting points. The forward 2 required 3" spacers, the next 2 mounted right up as stock, the rear 4 I had to make mounts on the frame to mount to. I used some really heavy angle iron bolted/welded to the frame and some fresh hockey pucks for body mounts. I know what you're thinking, "WHAT A HACK JOB!!!" well, I don't care. Do I know it's strong? Yes. Is this to ever be a daily driven/highway vehicle? No.





also, sloped driveway hack/tip. those flat tires were great for keeping this thing in one place. also made it easy to work on the inside and outside of the truck as it sat nice and low(not great for crawling under)

Just this last week I removed all of the trim and hit the body with the DA sander to get it down to a decent base coat of paint. I'm going to be spraying the exterior with the same Raptor Liner that I did the interior with. I also finally caved and threw the wheels/tires on her. Picked these up used but darn near perfect tread. They're a 35x12.50 BFG Mud Terrain. This thing sits 5 1/2" higher than my W250(leveled on 285/70/17). It's big. This is how it sits as of today, 04/06/2019


'67 D100 on '89 D350 chassis/12v/a518 --- '88 Ramcharger on '93 W250 chassis/12v/47rh --- '93 W250 race truktor --- '03 1500 shorty 12v/a518 --- 12 3500 cclb studded, deleted, tunez, 5

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 03:06 AM.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 01:57 AM
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And this post will be of me waiting for more pics and info....
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1984/93 Dodge Crewcab, W350, 1 Ton SRW, long box, 350K Km's, hydroboost, 366 spring, fuel pin to deep side, 14cm housing, Piston LP, PS IC, Isspro Boost, Pyro and tach, NV4500, 29 spline NP205, 3.54's.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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some other odds and ends

I picked up an old beat up OBS Ford ranch hand rear bumper. Took a little tweaking but I think it fits the Dodge quite well.


I had some old D250 badges that I was never going to use so I got artsy one day and made these





Wired OD and Lockup to toggles on the dash. I wanted the ability to lock the TC in 3rd as well as OD. Also didn't want to deal with any electronics.(old dash bezel in place just for testing)


trying to wrap up the wiring now. Headlights and trans cooler fan on relays. I made this to mount to the drivers side inner fender to keep all my relays and fuse blocks in one place. I'm using a 92-93 engine bay harness that I've tweaked to work with the RC cab harness. I hate wiring, tedious and time consuming. The only aftermarket gauge I'm installing is trans temp.


Im going to use a fuse block I got out of an OBS Ford Explorer to eliminate the fusible links and will leave me 6-8 extra circuits to add accessories later on if need be.
***will post pic of said fuse panel with wiring diagram***

Last edited by justinfonder; 04-06-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrashingcows View Post
And this post will be of me waiting for more pics and info....
thought you'd like this one. remember seeing you buy a RC a few years back and discussed swapping it. ever get going on that?

'67 D100 on '89 D350 chassis/12v/a518 --- '88 Ramcharger on '93 W250 chassis/12v/47rh --- '93 W250 race truktor --- '03 1500 shorty 12v/a518 --- 12 3500 cclb studded, deleted, tunez, 5
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 06:48 AM
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Nice work as usual!!

84 K5 Blazer 97 12v, 47re with E-TransControl, Dodge Dana 60 with free spin hubs, Dana 70, B&M Mega shifter

96 F350 SC dually zf5, 4x4, 92 Cummins, THD 5x12's, THD fuel pin, THD HVLP with adjustable fuel pressure mod, WM, h1c 60/60/12cm WG wired
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:52 AM
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Subscribing for more greatness. Looking amazing Justin! Btw ram charger badges are on point.
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-2008 6.7l QCLB 4x4,g56,J-67(23ME),valair DD,64.5/72/14,2nd gen mani,arp 425's,boost and pyro... -1993 W250 CCLB...
-1996 brewed s14 w/ 386 rwhp & 341 rwtq @17psi twinscroll baby!!!(gt3076r)
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:13 AM
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bad as$. Love the simplicity.

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