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Towing modifications?

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by wevie, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. wevie

    wevie Junior Member

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    Ram Year:
    1985
    Engine:
    318
    Greetings and salutations!

    I have owned my trusty 1985 D150 for many, many... many years. Love the old gal. It is bone stock right down to the stock (replacement) muffler and hubcaps. 318 automatic.

    I drive it 30 miles a day commuting. On the weekends I used to put a small pickup bed camper in it and pull my 14 ft aluminum fishing boat.

    This year I upgraded to a 20 foot bumper pull camper again with my boat behind that.

    This seems to be a bit much for the ol' '85. A modern 1/2 ton has absolutely no problem pulling this small camper/boat combo but the Dodge struggles. I have to get a run up to hills and even then I scrub speed down to sometimes 45 mph and I'm downshifted by then and to the floor.

    So, I'm thinking of which modifications could be made to the truck to make it tow better. I am thinking that I would probably get the most improvement from a set of 3.90 or so gears in the rear.

    Am I on the right path here or is there something else that would be a better improvement?

    I'm not opposed to just buying a "modern" truck, but I sure would miss my old dodge!
     
  2. crazzywolfie

    crazzywolfie Senior Member

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    different gears would help but they would also hurt top speed and fuel mileage. there is really no cheap way to add more power. a tow/rv cam might help it but hard to say. it sounds like you pulling a lot. fuel injection might help and they make conversion kits but you usually require a 4barrel intake
     
  3. wevie

    wevie Junior Member

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    Fuel mileage isn't too important. I mean, it doesn't do too bad daily driving. I'd guess 15 ish but never measured it. Pulling the camper/boat I'm getting around 7.

    Fuel injection I could just pull off of a 90 ish j-yard truck, right?
     
  4. crash68

    crash68 Senior Member

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  5. crazzywolfie

    crazzywolfie Senior Member

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    well if you are going junkyard fuel injection i would try finding an engine/trans setup out of a 92 or 93 ram truck or ramcharger since they have the 318 magnum and are usually attached to a 46RH tranmission which has a 4th gear. makes a huge difference
    it is really not that hard if you know what you need but it in the end it is really not worth it. if i was doing a EFI swap i would probably use a fi tech kit. they are pretty cheap but have real good options
    fuel injection kit
    https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/fif-30003/overview/
    fuel pump for it
    https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/fif-40003/overview/
     
    crash68 likes this.
  6. PaPitt

    PaPitt Member

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    Ram Year:
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    Engine:
    5.9L
    I'm going to say since you like your truck & Don't want a new one.
    I understander that.
    & You said Gas mileage doesn't matter much. SO.
    i'D LOOK AROUND for another truck WRECKED OR some problem .. that has a 360cid motor in it. OR BUY ONE A 360 FROM THE WRECKING YARD.
    I believe you can swap in the 360 in place of the 318 still in the 86. But I don't like wrecking yard big parts because I like every part & blot..
    .... But nothing beat more cubic inches.
    ... I've swapped to 4.11 before & I didn't like my truck any longer .
    If you came up with a wrecking yard motor If I really was going to use it to pull lots of miles .. Then I'd just drop it off at the Machine shop & say fix it.
    & Buy a new big radiator . all new belts water pump Trans seal & maybe even a new CCI . Torque convertor . Service the trans . H/D shocks Michelin tires new brakes .
    I'd give it a once over. About $5000 is sure cheaper than a new truck . & It makes for a much more pleasant vacation.
     
  7. PaPitt

    PaPitt Member

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    I'll tell you another thing I did to another truck I built once ... I came up with this old 318 1975 1/2 ton . I built a flat bed goose neck bed for it . & I put a 3/4 rear axle with like 4:11 gears in it . But from some other old doaner truck I installed a sway bar it was a 1 inch bar. New rubber bushings new grade 8 bolts .. Man did it help control that old 75 truck. iT WAS SWEET. tHERE WAS NO TWIST IN THAT OLD TRUCK AFTER THAT.
     
  8. PaPitt

    PaPitt Member

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    bUT BACK TO ADDING EFI . I have heard people saying good thing about those Holly Sniper EFI units. I believe that's their name . But the ones I've heard about are on FORDS Bronco . I'm on another web sight for Classic Broncos.
    .... But I don't think I'll do as much as the bigger motor. & Then EFI IT.
     
  9. gofishn

    gofishn Senior Member

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    thiunking 318 is just tired and needs rebuiild for that purpose, will probably give many more years of service, as is though, not pulling,
    I know, for a fact, 318 D100 will pull a 2oft trailer, just fine. did back in the 80's.


    I agree with others, rebuild an engine, tranny, rear end shocks springs tires, call it good and drive old girl till wheels fall off
     

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