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1989 RamCharger

Discussion in 'Other Vehicle Discussions' started by awptickes, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    take pics in the ghetto to make up for the lack of hood.
     
  2. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    I suppose I could do that.

    How about taking a picture in front of the church Frank and Claire Underwood renewed their vows? It's kinda near where I work.
     
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  3. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    who is that? lol
     
  4. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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  5. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Just drove it 20-ish miles to work. Looks like everything is good.

    The 2-3 shift is a little delayed, seems like it needs some adjustment.
     
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  6. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    [​IMG]

    And yes, as promised, it is the church from season 3 episode 7.

    After it got warmed up, it shifted a lot better. Looks like its good to drive around again. Woot!
     
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  7. hondarin

    hondarin Please enter a value using 50 characters or fewer. VIP

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    Looks like the hood is reinstalled....
     
  8. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    I decided against driving to work sans hood. They probably would have doublepluainspected it this morning, and it'd attract attention to the malfunctioning emissions equipment.
     
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  9. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    I never got into that show. I saw the first episode and liked it, but kinda just never watched ep 2. lol


    Now, you need to get your self some wheel bright/degreaser for them 10's
     
  10. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Lol, they're actually 15s. Eventually I plan on washing it. Probably before I put the new tires on.
     
  11. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    So, let's recap the Holiday Monday Ramcharger‬ Adventure‬, with a little bit of Roadkill-ness thrown in:
    My wife and I went down to Alexandria, VA to pick up some furniture from my mother in the ramcharger. Hopped in the car, drove two hours, not an issue at all, no hiccups, great fuel economy, relatively smooth ride for an '89 truck/SUV.
    We drive to my mother's house, the storage unit, load up the furniture, drive back to her house, my mother cooks us some food, and we hop in the truck and head home at about 4pm.
    I drove the truck no more than 2 miles, and it sputters, lopes, and I rolled up to a red light, and it just dies. It shook, stuttered, and then finally died. I crank it again, it cranked, cranked, cranked, and nothing. So, I gave it a sec, checked the fuses, tried to put the four-way-flashers on, only to remember that I haven't fixed that part yet, and I hopped out of the car, popped the hood, and stared. I jiggled the fuses again, and it turned over. Awesome.

    So, we drive not even 1/2 a mile down the road, and it does the same thing again... Keep in mind, I just replaced the entire ignition system south of the ignition coil. I pull it across a lane or two of traffic while it's dying, and get onto the shoulder, on the bridge that goes over the i95 express-lanes. Then I decided to check the battery terminals again, even though I've got horn, radio, lights, turn signals, etc. thinking it might be a heat issue. I grabbed a wrench out of the back, removed the terminals, reinstalled them, then removed the wires going into the terminals, blew off all of the corrosion, and replaced them again. I got inside to crank it, and it turned over, ran for a bit, then died again.

    Ok, so I'm thinking at this point, it's the ignition system. I've got power, I can smell the fuel, I know it's getting air because I can smell the fuel out the tail pipe, so it's spark... I called my mother to inform her that we're stranded, and need her to navigate us through the NoVA HELL to get to a gas station, so I can tear into the truck and diagnose it. While she's on the way, I looked into the engine bay.

    Now, side note, if you've never seen a Dodge Ramcharger in person, it's a big truck, roughly equivalent to a 2500 or F250 today, so it requires climbing onto the wheel hub, stepping onto the bumper, and supporting yourself on something in the engine that isn't hot, then moving your hands to the front cowl (where the windshield wipers are) so you can actually see inside. You clean the windshield by standing on top of one of the tires, then stepping onto the cowl. I did this Dodge-inspection-dance, and, (important detail here in retrospect), put my left hand on the grille, right hand on the air-cleaner, and left hand on the cowl, just next to the ignition coil. I proceed to reseat all of the spark plug wires, jiggle all of the essential harness connections on the distributor, coolant sensor, and A/C compressor clutch.

    As I finish with the harness-jiggling, I sliped slightly, and my left hand bumped the ignition coil.

    So, I got back into the truck, started it, and it ran. It ran fine. I revved it, and it it responded. I put it into drive, and revved it against the brake, and it was fine. So, I turned the engine off, got out, and waited for my mother to arrive. She arrived, and lead me to a BP station that after explaining that I needed something for a car through the two-inch-thick bullet-resistant "glass" the attendant explained they don't sell it. So we went back to the car to find an autoparts store on the interwebs, only a couple hundred feet away. Truck cranked, ran, and we drove over there.

    I bought gloves, contact cleaner, and battery terminal cleaner/protectant, still thinking it was a power issue. (I was absolutely correct, just looking in the wrong place.) I was convinced it was the "engine computer" which is nothing more than a couple resistors, diodes, a relay, and a 4-bit microprocessor that has less processing power than the charger for a cell phone. I sprayed everything I could think of, still thinking it was the "computer" that was the issue. Sprayed the contacts, sprayed the harness, battery connectors, reseated the plug wires again after cleaning them, sprayed the plugs, etc. It wasn't a good area, and I was convinced that the PoLice Officer in a radio car rolling around the lot was about to ticket me for "working on a vehicle in public" or whatever NoVA rule I was probably breaking, so we beat feet out of there.

    I'm satisfied, so we got going again. My mother leading us the way out of there onto 95. This time the truck died while we were on i95-i395 merge, commonly known as "The Mixing Bowl", I had to cross approximately 8 lanes of traffic, at about 20-ish mph, with no power at all. I watched my mother pull away, and I got the truck into neutral, and proceeded to roll to the right shoulder, and got into the best-possible worst-spot possible. I hopped out, popped the hood, and stared again. Jiggled everything again, and tried starting it again. This time it cranked, cranked, cranked, and then it backfired. AWESOME. I tried cranking again, and it cranked for a while, then backfired again. AWESOME. I know what it is.

    I hopped out, looked at the low-voltage side of the ignition coil, jiggled the ring-terminals, then sprayed some contact cleaner on them, and jiggled them again. I hopped back down out of the engine bay, threw the contact cleaner onto the seat, and cranked it. It ran. It ran a lot better than it ever has before. I hopped out, slammed the hood shut, then hopped back in the seat and proceeded to merge onto the highway.

    No issues for the remaining 100-ish miles home. I'm still kicking myself for not touching those terminals... It would have saved a whole lot of adrenaline shakes, fear, time, and general fear of death on a highway.

    And here's the rub: it got like 17mpg or more on the trip home. lol.


    Now I'm getting told the new tires are at least a week and a half out.
     
  12. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    I've got a ballast resistor and coil now sitting in the truck.

    This morning I checked the terminals on the coil... One terminal was loose, and had corrosion in it because it was probably holding water. So, yeah, pulled that off, hit it with a brass brush, then tightened and greased it. Now it shouldn't have any issues again.

    [​IMG]

    Here are my awesome relays:
    [​IMG]

    Gonna stop by the parts store tonight and get spares of each.

    Just got shipment notification of my 31" tires last night. They should get here Tuesday.
     
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  13. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Going to make new high-amperage cables this weekend, when GSRCRXSi and I went to the Tough Mudder last weekend, the truck didn't want to leave my garage. We figured out that it was the battery cables as they entered the terminals. So I picked up some military-style terminals, crimp ends, and a bunch of 4AWG wire.

    I got the tires this past week. They're beefy, at 52lbs each.
    [​IMG]


    Well, the Firestone service dude took a long ass time... (almost two hours) because the wheels were really corroded and he had to buff/sand the bead seat.

    Driving around, they're not as loud as I thought they'd be. They've got some nice grip to 'em on the road, I'll probably know more about how they "feel" in a few weeks when I go off road. They definitely make the truck look more aggressive, and it "feels" like it's got a bit more height (265/70r15 to 30x10.5r15) but that's just an illusion. They feel a lot heavier driving around, it takes a lot more gas pedal to hold speed. That's going to suck the next time I fill up, and the time after, etc. I forgot how easily rocks get caught in big knobby tires, freaked me out turning out of the firestone a little bit. I thought I lost a wheel weight.

    Ignore the mess in the background, the garage is a little messy right now.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    @GSRCRXsi and I yanked down a tree the other day, after it fell into the ONLY TREE IT COULD HAVE GOTTEN CAUGHT IN. So yeah. 4WD V8 FTW.



    He's a horrible camera man, probably because he was so far away, trying to not get hit with a 60ft oak.


    Posted to another board on 10/30:
    The u-joints are still in the love box, and I haven't gotten around to them. Looks like all I had to do was tighten the straps and it's all good. 300-ish miles and nothing flew off yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  15. GSRCRXsi

    GSRCRXsi Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Yeah sorry about that. I got distracted laughing at the pure asshattery that was happening and wasn't paying attention to what I was filming.
     
  16. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    was 'hold my beer' muttered before this? if not, you need to try harder at being a redneck :)
     
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  17. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    There were two six-packs in the back, if that counts for anything. lol.
     
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  18. chadcharb

    chadcharb Well-Known Member VIP

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    Only if it was bush
     
  19. awptickes

    awptickes unimpressed by you VIP

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    Nah, it was bottles of Sierra Nevada. I don't stoop that low, lol.
     
  20. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Busch*. I love RamChargers. I might have missed it, 318, 360, or 440?
     
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