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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. It has been a few years since I have owned a real truck and I am thrilled to say I am now the proud owner of a 1991.5 Std Cab Ram W250 LE! Really clean body (no rust), interior needs work and as far as I can tell an almost totaly stock engine and drive train. I am new to diesels but not to wrenching. Computer geek by trade, mechanic fabricator by hobby.

This weekend I have spent a bit of time under the hood trying to figure out what I have and what mods have been done to the truck, developing a plan of action for it, cause mods cost money and that stuff just doesnt grow on trees.

As it sits now (I believe) I have
  • 12 valve, intercooled, VE pumped cummins
  • H1C turbo w/ 21 cm exhaust houseing.
  • Stock airbox with a round no name filter
  • 3 inch downpipe and exhaust cut off under the bed w/ muffler
  • 518/46RH tranny that last owner claims was rebuilt in the past
  • D60/D70 3.54 std axles w/ 265 tires
  • Antilock brakes? Some VIN lookups say 4WALB some say none. I am not sure what to look for to confirm one way or the other or inbetween.
The rest of today will be spent changing engine, diffs and trany oil. Air, oil and fuel filters, and trying to clean up the inside a bit. If I can get to it, drill some holes in the airbox and pull the speedo signal modifier at the transfer case and see if that fixes the speedo from reading 10% fast.

This is a long term truck for me. It will be my DD when I cant commute in the wifes car, home truck duties, pull my '76 CJ5 to trails and some day a camper and CJ5 to distant trails. So here is the mod list as I see it from reading on these forums.
  • 4" exhaust from Diamond Eye
  • Gauges (Tach, EGT, Trany Temp, Boost)
  • Turbo upgrade
  • Fuel pump turn up
  • Injectors
  • Seats, carpet, some sound proofing
  • 47RH some day
  • F/R LSD some day
After reading around in these forums for the last several days, this is a good group of people and I look forward to any help I can get or give.

Thanks C. :smile2:
 

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welcome, sounds like a man with a plan. and don't be shy...we wanna see that Dodge! an no guff about it not being pretty yet, I show off my multi colored truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, air and oil filter changed. Engine, differentials and transfer case oil changed. Went to change the tranny fluid and could not find a drain bolt.... a little more reading on the forums and "oh yeah, that needs to be done by someone with a machine" :doh:

Did get six 2" holes punched in the stock air box so the beast should be breathing fine now. Got the steering wheel turned right side up from a PO doing some sort of steering work. Tried to fix the speed sensor from reading 10% over but tightened the nut to much and split it.:doh: x2

Fuel filter will be next weekend, but I gotta figure out how to fill it up prior to putting it back on. Don't normally keep diesel in a jug in the garage. How do you all do it?
 

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I keep about a gallon of fuel around just for filter changes. I haven't messed with the fluid on my trans, my Uncle changed that when he got the truck,but usually with an autmatic you just drop the pan on the bottom (messy) and change the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Um yeah, I have had my fill of messy this weekend. I am pretty sure Jiffy Lube can handle the tranny and the radiator flush.

Here are the only pics I have of my beast so far. PO repainted it black with silver fleck (Raiders Colors), but it came out looking like an orange peel. They didn't sand or clear coat. so I am thinking of stripping it down and redoing it in a dark blue. Maybe use Monstaliner or Raptor.
 

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What I do with any auto trannies I service is to leave one bolt on the front and back of the pan, and remove the rest. Then loosen one of them almost all the way off, then just start to loosen the other....then crack the pan...if it hasn't loosened on it's own. The fluid will mostly drain out the side with the loosened bolt.

Once the pan is off I then install an aftermarket drain plug....you can see one I recently installed here....post #17

http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/89-93-non-powertrain/2044914-project-sno-ball-85-ramcharger-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. Does that seem to get all the fluid in the cooler and TC as well? May I ask why you didnt put it in the lowest part of the pan (the little valley right next to the drain)?

What I do with any auto trannies I service is to leave one bolt on the front and back of the pan, and remove the rest. Then loosen one of them almost all the way off, then just start to loosen the other....then crack the pan...if it hasn't loosened on it's own. The fluid will mostly drain out the side with the loosened bolt.

Once the pan is off I then install an aftermarket drain plug....you can see one I recently installed here....post #17

http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/89-93-non-powertrain/2044914-project-sno-ball-85-ramcharger-2.html
 

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Thanks. Does that seem to get all the fluid in the cooler and TC as well? May I ask why you didnt put it in the lowest part of the pan (the little valley right next to the drain)?
You run into clearance issue around the filter in that area....it does stick up into the pan by about 3/8 to 1/2". I have installed a dozen or more of these over the years...and this is the best spot for them that I have found.;)

You get most of the fluid out.....there is a little left in the pan due to the height of the drain, but it is below the rail of the pan. So I just carefully pull the pan down, then tip it into a container....very little mess. :)

The cooler and TC will drain back "Slowly" through the valve body, but if you want it to drain faster then pull down the valve body and most of the cooler and TC will drain out within 10-30min. You need to remove the shift linkage from the selector shaft to pull the valve body down....and since you did that, you may as well replace that seal on the selector shaft. ;)

You will not get all of it out, but you will still get more then jiffy lube ever will with there "service"...and I use that term loosely. I have had some nasty fluid in 727's over the years, and just did as I mentioned above, then drove for a month and did another service, then went 6 months and did another service....and finally one more at a year.....tranny fluid was clean and clear by then and all the crud had been filtered out.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, so when you say "drain back slowly", I am hearing "pull the plug, go get a beer, eat dinner, sleep, go to work and come back the next day, by that time the cooler and TC should have drained." Which I am ok with, hmm maybe 2 beer.

This may be loaded question but the Jiffy Lube (or oil service of your choice) transfer pump doesn't really pull and change all the tranny fluid like they claim?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Over the last few weekends I replaced most of the front end. Both axle u joints, both tie rod ends, drag link and 4 spring bushings. When I read that last sentence, it doesn't sound like much, but oye vey what a workout removing those parts by yourself that haven't been touched in 25 years. Rides and steers much better now though, well worth it. Also got my new piston lift pump and fuel filter installed.

Next on the short list.

Alignment
Order up a Diamond Eye 4" w/ muffler
Install the THD fuel pin and gov spring
Install a 351 turbo and the DE exhaust.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
And the short list moves down the long list a bit.

Alignment - DONE
Order up a Diamond Eye 4" w/ muffler - Done
Install the THD fuel pin and gov spring - Done

NEXT
Install a 351 turbo and the DE exhaust.
Gauges
M&H Timing Spacer
Tune the pump
Tighten up the tranny w/TQ converter
Pull the bed, knock out some dents and weld up the separating corners that the PO hid with bondo
Bed Liner
Tool box
Interior
 
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If you haven't changed you tranny fluid already, I would add little pressure to the lines while you are there. I can't wait to change mine so I can do that. Good PM too. Lots of good write-ups on the web for it
 
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And the short list moves down the long list a bit.

Alignment - DONE
Order up a Diamond Eye 4" w/ muffler - Done
Install the THD fuel pin and gov spring - Done

NEXT
Install a 351 turbo and the DE exhaust.
Gauges
M&H Timing Spacer
Tune the pump
Tighten up the tranny w/TQ converter
Pull the bed, knock out some dents and weld up the separating corners that the PO hid with bondo
Bed Liner
Tool box
Interior
This is what I call the snowball effect! the bigger it gets the bigger it gets:stirpot:
 

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Um yeah, I have had my fill of messy this weekend. I am pretty sure Jiffy Lube can handle the tranny and the radiator flush.

Here are the only pics I have of my beast so far. PO repainted it black with silver fleck (Raiders Colors), but it came out looking like an orange peel. They didn't sand or clear coat. so I am thinking of stripping it down and redoing it in a dark blue. Maybe use Monstaliner or Raptor.
If they stripped the original paint and primer and preped the metal properly before they painted it. (IF) I wouldn't strip it again. Good paint regardless of surface appearance sanded soothe and sealed makes a great start for new paint. If not get rid of ALL traces of the origonal paint and primer or you will have problems for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you haven't changed you tranny fluid already, I would add little pressure to the lines while you are there. I can't wait to change mine so I can do that. Good PM too. Lots of good write-ups on the web for it
Thanks, I will look it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If they stripped the original paint and primer and preped the metal properly before they painted it. (IF) I wouldn't strip it again. Good paint regardless of surface appearance sanded soothe and sealed makes a great start for new paint. If not get rid of ALL traces of the origonal paint and primer or you will have problems for sure.
I have no idea how far down they took it. It was the guys kid (late 20s) in the shop out back. I have to strip it down to bare metal at the repair sites either way. All 4 corners are either cracked or splitting at the seams. It appears they tried to hide it with bondo and paint which worked until it didn't. A little light MIG work and it will be stronger than new :)
 

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I have no idea how far down they took it. It was the guys kid (late 20s) in the shop out back. I have to strip it down to bare metal at the repair sites either way. All 4 corners are either cracked or splitting at the seams. It appears they tried to hide it with bondo and paint which worked until it didn't. A little light MIG work and it will be stronger than new :)
I am lucky I guess I bought my 1990 in 96. I got to see it as is when traded in. It had some door dings and a slightly banged up right rear bed rail.
No previous owner surprises:grin2:

You will know more when you get started on the repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Working on a HE351CW turbo swap and 4" exhaust. Got the old out this weekend, and ran into a few issues with the new, so now it is a several day job instead of just a weekender. If I had read a few more threads on this swap I probably could have saved myself a few hours of "why the heck doesn't this fit?" and "Oh, this needs to be replaced, better get fabricating". Probably could have been done on Sunday. :banghead:

Picked up the new drain hose at House of Hoses because none of the local autoparts shops had 7/8 ID oil hose. Also got two 45* exhaust pieces from Oreilles, cut them up and welded together the leftovers to make a new intercooler pipe. I am sure a smooth mandrel bent tubing would be better, but this will get back on the road in the mean time.

Hopefully tonight I'll finish plumbing the cold side of the turbo and maybe even get the down pipe on. Here is hoping. :grd:
 

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Ok, wrapped up the turbo swap and the DE exhaust. Had to remake the intercooler inlet pipe, because the new turbo outlet is about 5" higher than the OEM. I started with a couple of 45* exhaust tubes from Orilies but didnt like the "pinch bends", lots of bumps and ridges to disrupt the air flow. So I picked up a couple from Napa that were mandral bent, much better! Great help and a spring gate kit from Eric over at The Hungry Diesel (THD) made short work of setting up the turbo.

Took it for a quick drive tonight, and while it was not as pronounced an improvement as the fuel pin and gov spring, I could definatly feel it in my seat of the pants dyno. Lots more pull right off the line.

Next up
Gauges
Timing Spacer
Turn up the pump.

Ciao till next time!
 
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