Saturday, July 7, 2012

Been Working on a Project

Sometimes you have to put work away and have some we now have a non-farm project.

1986 Dodge D-150 with a newly rebuilt 318 small block V8, 3 speed auto with a shift kit, zero rust, zero body damage, new Kenwood stereo, custom wheels, window tint, new 500cfm Holley carb etc.

The paint is probably from one of those $300 MAACO places and it looks passable from 20 paces but it will be redone. Its not lowered (I hate that on a truck) but has a pleasing (to me) rake. Note the dual exhaust dumping out in front of the rear wheel. The authorities here wont pass it for street use because it doesnt have a catalytic converter so we are going to change it and I have low flow converters coming. We can do that or register it as an antique which doesnt require an inspection but limits you to 1000 miles per will install a new performance exhaust with cats.
We have been looking for awhile and its hard to find something at a low price that isnt all rusted out. I really got this for the body as its pristine and the fact that it has a newly rebuilt engine is just a bonus. I have had a Plymouth Belvedere with a 383, a 64 Impala, 67 Firebird with 400 big block and M-21 4 speed, a GTA, a 76 Camaro, several custom S-10 pickups, a previous 86 Dodge Power Wagon, a 1995 built Dodge Ram with a 360, 5 speed manual and custom wheels and engine mods etc, several Harleys and other motorcycles (used to race KZ-650s) and Holly had a T-Top red Corvette and an obnoxious crotch rocket motorcycle when we started dating. So we both like hot rods and motorcycles but after a few too many close calls with the Harleys...I promised her I would give up motorcycles...but not hot rodding!

We are adding the stock chrome grill insert back to the front, it actually looks good and a new one should arrive through the magic of mail in a couple days. I had a 1986 Dodge pickup when I first started dating Holly so this is kind of a nostalgia thing for me. Everyone wants a Chevy or Ford and Dodge gets forgotten but they are a good looking platform in my opinion. We have a few performance mods to the GMC but that is largely a farm truck now....just one that hauls the hay really really fast! We plan on keeping this old Dodge just for cruising and I doubt stacks of hay will grace its short bed.

The interior is unmolested in that no body decided to add a tach and drill holes in the dash pad etc. Lots of work to do (new seat, fix speedo, clean it, add carpet etc.) but the automatic windows work and its actually fairly clean. Unfortunately it came with a new Kenwood stereo that has a bajillion options including blue tooth and it glows blue and sends you all kinds of messages on its display when all I want is a button to push to hear music. I dont own a cell phone and I have found its reallty cumbersome to haul around the old rotary dial phone we have. Why do people think they are so important that people just have to get in touch 24/7? Anyway we are looking for a new/old stock push button AM/FM radio like it originally came with. I really only need three buttons on a radio anyway, Country, Classical/Opera, and NPR .
The 318 Chrysler small block was never as popular with hot roddrs as the Chevy 327 or Ford 289 and its not a horse power powerhouse but they are fairly bulletproof and you can tweak them a bit to get more HP. So far, this has a new carb, ignition, new alternator, new starter, new master cylinder, new AC compressor, and a complete internal rebuild to include rings, pistons (slight overbore), valves, bearings, crank turned, cam etc.. It has that new engine whine that is typical of the old Chrysler V8s...very pleasing indeed.

Still need to re-route, replace and insulate the fuel line, clean up some wiring, and add headers etc. Its no Camaro but it moves out at speed and its easy to work on. Currently we are working on the suspension with new Gabriel shocks, bushings etc and new tires are coming soon. Its nice to have a dedicated shop ....and if a nice 1960s or early 70s Camaro or  Fire  Bird came up at a good price know maybe the old Dodge would have some company! And I am always looking out for a Dodge Warlock with a that would be sweet...

But not to cover anything up, this is truly a project and has many things that need to be fixed. The heater core is shot and needs to be replaced and replumbed (as seen here), we will probably replace the ball joints, tie rod ends, and pittman arm soon, and you know the front windshield has some foggyness down by the passenger side dash that bugs me so....lots of things to do. But in the mean time we have had fun driving around....and lots of places to make out around here (yea we are in our 50s...get over it!) its been fun. More to come as we progress.


  1. Simple Life? Hardly. I don't know how I stumbled onto your blog but have enjoyed it. Your subsistence & self reliant rural lifestyle is an endeavor I'm envious of.

    We're looking for a rural area in the Pac. NW to do the same. 40 years of rust and rain is enough.

    Congrats! A salute to you all, and wish you well. -tworkman

  2. Thanks, it was our deam to do this and we really enjoy it.