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Hi guys and gals. My name is Tom and I've been looking around for a decent short bed first gen ...


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Old 12-10-2016, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi guys and gals. My name is Tom and I've been looking around for a decent short bed first gen 2wd for a while. A buddy of mine has one that he barely uses and I've been after him a while trying to get it but he just won't sell it.

A couple of weeks ago one popped up on facebook and I inquired soon as I seen it. However it was already spoken for. I was a bit bummed out but kept looking. Out of no where 2 weeks later I was messaged by the owner and asked if I was still interested. Apparently a deposit was given but then the buyer backed out. I didn't hesitate and went straight there to check it out.

The ad said the truck needs a fuel pump. It's the throttle body 318. Sure enough the truck wouldn't start. I sprayed a little fuel in the intake and it attempted to run. I definitely do not hear the fuel pump running in the tank so seems it may be the culprit.

The truck was owned by the father of the current owner. He bought the truck brand new in 1988. It has 94000 original miles. As far as rust there is surface rust on the hood and roof. And there are 2 small areas on the rear wheel wells where moisture sat on top of the pain in the ass chrome trim. Other than that she is solid as a rock. The floor pans still have factory paint on the bottom and top. Not a stitch of rust. The frame still have numbers that were painted on in assembly and they are still quite legible.

The girl told me the odometer never flipped and given the condition of the truck I really don't believe it has nearly 200k on it. The interior is in better shape then my 2002 super duty. Bed floor is in good shape.

Now for the kicker. I paid $300 for the truck. The hitch is that her father died 8 years ago and since then no one has dealt with a title. She gave me a bill of sale and told me to keep her contact info and she would do anything she could to help me get a title. Here in Va. the most common practice I've seen is abandoned vehicle. If the vehicle is on your property for 48 hours it is abandoned. DMV will attempt to contact the registered VIN owner and after 15 days if no one has contacted them back I will be given a title in my name. I hope it goes that easy. Regardless I feel I got a steal. I kinda felt bad when I was leaving as I could tell it really was hard for the girl to sell it but it seems this time of year people do desperate things to get some extra cash.

The truck needs a good going through so my immediate plans are getting it running, going through suspension and brakes. Pretty much getting it roadworthy.

My vision for this truck is lower her a few inches, maybe white paint???, fix up the interior a bit, try and find another motor to build up a little to give her a few extra ponies and swap them out. The truck was a factory AC truck and I'd really like to get that working for summer cruising. I'm having trouble with wheel visions. I'm picturing kind of a pro-touring type build but not sure how big wheels would look on the truck. I guess time will tell. I really look forward to this project as it's about the only truck I've passionately hunted for a long time. I owned a couple short bed square body chevys and they are fun but overdone. These dodges are rare to see out there and that's what I love about them.

I'll post up some pics soon as I figure out how. Hope you all like the truck and please feel free to express opinions or concerns.


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Old 12-10-2016, 11:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's some pics I took today when I got her home.











Here's the worst of the rust. Seems like a minor repair to what you usually see on 28 year old vehicles.


I've already ordered an LMC catalog for the truck. Any other sources of parts that you guys know of please by all means share them with me.
codered and Joe w. like this.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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There are some good bones there for an awesome build.

Good luck with the project.


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Old 12-11-2016, 05:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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The fuel pump is easy, I just did mine. The truck looks great especially since you only paid 300 clams. However, I'd go straight to the motor vehicle poeple and ask them if a bill of sale is enough and if not persue a title but don't tell them the original owner died. That can lead to the state trying to posses it and selling it off at auction and your out 300 dollars. Since it is now on your land, you can do an abandoned vehicle seizure. Usually takes 30 days for the state to get back to you on a title search. Then you can go title it in your name.


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Old 12-11-2016, 07:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The previous owner had the bed off to do the fuel pump. They just sat it back on the truck so I just loosely put a couple bolts in it and strapped it down for the tow home. Soon as I can get a hand lifting it off I'm going to pull it. I'll probably pull the tank too just to clean it out good. If it looks bad I may go ahead and get a new tank.

Before I do too much I'm going to try to deal with the title issue. Don't want to dump too much money in it til it's in my name. Going to try and get the ball rolling on that tomorrow.
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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welcome. for its age it definitely looks like a pretty decent truck at a steal of a deal. if you have any questions just ask. someone is likely to know. from what i have seen it is very common for 88-90 trucks to have the fuel pump fail. i paid $1000 for my 89 and it had a bad fuel pump a bad brake lines. as far as parts go rockauto.com can be a pretty decent place to get parts sometime. i know for me if i can order enough parts from 1 location i usually save a crap load of money over buying at my local parts store.


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Old 12-11-2016, 09:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea I order all my stuff from rock auto if I'm not in a hurry. It's usually here in 2 days.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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they are pretty good. i have ordered lot of parts from them in the past. as far as a few pony increase you could do a magnum swap. you almost need to find someone that has a 92 or 93 dodge truck with 318 for harness and computer but it would be a pretty good bump to power especially for a short bed. i know my 89 has nothing on my 93 power wise. 170hp for a 88-91 318 and it jumped to 230hp for the 92 and newer 318's. not a huge jump but a pretty good jump. i know my 81 long bed get practically no traction on a wet day as is and with a 318 magnum i would likely get even less traction. do a swap like that would also likely allow you to find and install a 46RH transmission to go with the new engine so that it would also help you get a bit better fuel mileage on the highway.

now there is other swap options. you could also put a hemi in there. it would be a bit more expensive but it is also possible. either way i would still recommend trying to get a 46RH to drop behind it. a 36RH or 32RH is ok for around town but when you hit the highways the 46RH will help fuel mileage a lot
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow. So today I popped the fuel pump assemble out and wow. That thing is terrible. 1- I have seen hundreds of different fuel pump assembly designs in my time. Never have I seen one so stupidly engineered as this one. It appears the return line is a huge coiled up steel line. What the purpose of that is way beyond me. 2- Everything is rusted slam up. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to salvage any metal parts from it. Problem is that I also cannot find a replacement. Any ideas. I'll get some pics in the morning.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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yup it is definitely a messed up design. the also only used them from 88-90 so they are pretty hard to find. you will likely just have to make what you have work. also i don't think the curly line is the return line. if you look closer i am pretty sure it is actually hooked up to the drain line. the fuel supply and return are inside the curly line. you can probably soda blast the rust on it. also before putting the fuel sending unit back in look inside the tank. i am pretty sure the sending unit is suppose to go in a specific way and there is a bracket or something molded into the bottom of the tank for it to sit in.


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