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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #1
montecarlo33
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Default 85 Dodge w150

So I never did a build thread so I figured I would start now that I just bought a new toy and will be transforming it to fit my needs which will be a road worthy trail rig. Its a 1985 Dodge W150 standard cab short box 4x4 with a 6 inch rancho lift and a 3 inch body lift. Has a 318/NP435 4 speed trans and 1/2 ton axles. Came rolling on 38in gumbos that couldnt hold air in a few of them.

Bought the truck just before the new year off CL for 1000 bucks. When I bought it the trans wouldnt shift, and grinded lots of gears when it did. After looking under truck it had a bad leak between the trans and transfer and all the fuild leaked out. Also since the 435 has a maunal linkage for the clutch the body lift was not put properly and they had the linkage all twisted and it wouldnt engage. Plus it didnt help that this truck had a diffrent cab which came from a automatic. Fixed leak and had one of my good friends who owns a shop fix my clutch since I couldnt seem to make it work. Now its great!

Last friday I picked up a set of 35" thornbirds for 150 bucks, all 50% and hold air! Just gunna use these as spares until I find a new set, but at least the tires all stay inflated. Also picked up a rancho dual steering stablizer since the cheap one on the truck was blown out. Surprising enough these thornbirds ride very well compared to those gumbos on the street. I still have the common dodge loose steering I want to address.

the 318 has a slight tick and also has a elebrock carb on it and is starting to run like crap. Starts and drives ok, just not alot of power. Carb looks like a 600 so it sounds like its too big. Also the carb when I bought it was only held down by 3 bolts , looks like a stock intake and it wont work with my new Holley. Luckly this site has been great help, I got in contact with Flat Black and hes got a pile of parts for me.

Plans are right now:

-360 swap with new holley 670 truck avenger that I just bought. Maybe a cam before its installed. I was planning on a new iginition system too.
-3/4 axles swap (dana 44 with out CAD (mine how has this) and dana 60 rear
-Lockers front and rear( looking at somthing simple like a lockright) maybe gears too, 3/4 axles have 4:11 gears already.
-Want to end up sitting on 37 or 38's MT Tires, been looking at Mickey thompson MTZ's
-Good set of headers ( stock manifolds with duals w/ glasspacks now)
-12,500 lb winch to get me out of stickey situations
-custom bumpers with tow out points (soild)
-Got to fix the drivers floor due to rust, also need to sheet metal around the transmission, PO decided to cut up half the middle section to fit the manual
- Dual u joint steering shaft and new steering box with brace
-Dash lights and a few other electrical things to fix
-add a few gauges like tach, water temp, oil press, volts
-Good set of offroad lights, probley 4 big ones
-dual Batterys
-Reworked drive shafts. Front is too short and rear needs to be shortened for the dana 60
-Replace back window that was broken.

Will be working and updating as time allows, but the plan is to have a rig that I can go trail riding in the piegon river forest or in what we call the bombing range just outside waters and still make it home. Truck is going to see a good deal of road time so I am going for dependablity on this build.
Check out my pictures. Also got this truck off a guy who knew nothing about it and he got it on a trade from someone in west branch. Wouldnt mind knowing some history. Or maybe I dont! lol
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Last edited by montecarlo33; January 12th, 2012 at 03:55 PM.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good build. I have a 87 W-150 Short bed. I love that body style.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #3
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This weekend Im replacing all belts, changing out the voltage regulator(getting a dim in electrical for no reason). Also gunna cut up and remove carpet and start working on this floor. Since I dont have a welder im gunna try to do silicone and rivits with the new floor pans. Also drivers side wheel bearing is pretty loose and I wanted to use these axles for a bit longer until it got warmer outside, so I will probley be doing that too. Also hoping to get some trail time in i hope.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good build. I have a 87 W-150 Short bed. I love that body style.
Me too even though I was always a chevy fan. I love more that this truck is shortbed instead of long bed like my last truck which was a 84 chevy. Had to sell that one because I was moving out of state at that time. Sold my snowmobile last year and bought this because I wanted to get back into the sport because you dont need snow.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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Ya i am a fan of any short bed truck. The bad thing about dodge over chevy's and ford's is the parts. Twice as much and harder to come by.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Ya i am a fan of any short bed truck. The bad thing about dodge over chevy's and ford's is the parts. Twice as much and harder to come by.
Ya know I thought the same....that is until I started talking to Flat black He seems to have everything dodge that i am looking for including that hard to find dash light over the heater controls.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Sounds like a good build. i had an 84. Had 20" of lift and 39.5 boggers with a built 440. Ill definetly watcg this.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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Sounds like a good build. i had an 84. Had 20" of lift and 39.5 boggers with a built 440. Ill definetly watcg this.
Wow 20" of lift? I take it its the one in your avatar? Yeah when its all said and done I may end up putting bigger leafs on it, like a set of 6 or 8 inch chevy springs or somthing. Wouldnt mind a bit more lift. We'll see.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Ya its the one in the avatar. I have a few more in my profile photos. Good luck with it.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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Ya its the one in the avatar. I have a few more in my profile photos. Good luck with it.
Thanks. Very nice rig. Maybe one day when I get a car hauler and tow truck I will lift mine like that.

But for now I need to keep her streetable and manageable on the road.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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nice project. i have an 84 W150 same as yours. reg cab short bed 318 4 speed. i wish i had time and money to finish it. i got a dana 60 under the front and have a gm 14 bolt for the rear. i need to get leafs to put under it as my plans are to run 44's. as for an engine i'm going to somehow finance a 408 from blueprint engines. the one i want makes 445 horse and 500 ft-lbs but it's a 7000 dollar engine.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #12
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I had a 91 318/auto farm truck with a long bed there for about 8 months that I picked up for 8 bills. It had a 3" lift/drove down the road, I managed to rebuild the engine(floated the valves) and install headers on it before the transmission became a issue that I just did not want to mess with.

Sounds like this thing is going to be impressive. Subscribed.



Hey, disconnect the ground wire going to the speedo under the dash and see what it does to the odometer.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #13
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sounds like you got a good deal on the truck for $1000. sure would save me alot of time.
i'll be watching this one
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Old January 16th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #14
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Hey, disconnect the ground wire going to the speedo under the dash and see what it does to the odometer.
Does it run in reverse or something?

We got alot of snow this weekend and I took it out snow wheeling and had a blast. Also adding disconnecting the interior buzzer to the list of things to do.

Also brake light came on and off while I was driving and my fuild was a bit low, so I believe I may have a small leak to track down. But it was cold as hell this weekend, and I just got done being sick so i didnt get much done.

This week Im working on the little stuff thats bugging me, like a new battery hold down, cleaning up gobs of wire from PO and hopefully cutting up some carpet to work on floor. Also drivers side bearing is in need, and getting a new front driveshaft cause mine is toast. Does anyone recall if the ones from automatics in this year are any longer? I remember hearing that somewhere that they were like 2 inches longer or somthing.

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Old January 16th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #15
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Im going to be watching this one! Im hoping to get another old dodge soon!
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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #16
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slacker. lol keep up the good work
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Old January 17th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #17
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Its alot colder up here then shepherd......
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Old January 17th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #18
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when u fine a set of tires sell me the 35s
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Old January 18th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #19
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when u fine a set of tires sell me the 35s
I will let you know if I do, they are accually good tires, even though they get a bad rap. I may just keep them as spares but I will keep it in mind.

better do an update or I may get caught slacking again

Got the front end tore apart for the wheel bearing, finishing that and also found that my trans leak was back so tearing it back apart to reseal. Got my front driveshaft off and am having it retubed by a local friend. next step is this floor so I can hold in some heat!
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Old January 27th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #20
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Got a bunch of stuff done by myself and a buddy of mine. Had his dad retubed my front shaft, its back on and works great, plenty of length now even if I wanted to lift it some more. Also got the front wheel bearing installed, trans leak fixed, and my buddy tuned my carb up for me. Timing was way off and distribitor was loose. Runs so much better now, has lots of power in all gears, also moved it to full advanced and set it there. Still plan on the motor swap, but its nice to have it running decent right now, just has a lazy lifter on #4 that comes and goes. Started going though also the rats nest of wires that are all over the floor, mostly from the current radio and radios and speakers before it. Got to clean all that up before I rip out the carpet to fix the floor. Payday is in a few days and Im counting quarters so It will have to wait a few more days. Will update with pictures this weekend of my progress.
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