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wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/14 4:17 p.m.

After lurking on this site for years, I thought it was high time I gave a little back. As such, BEHOLD The beautiful Dodge W250 (edit, its aD250-what do I know) that has long belonged to my brother. Now I am responsible for the family truck's upkeep.

Something interesting under the hood:

First off, I did a bunch of work to the old thing-Wheel Bearings, Brakes, Master Cylinder, Ball Joints, Drag link, etc. Boring Maintenance items, and I really Didn't take pics. -Lesson one. TAKE PICS.

Today, I got a Photobucket account, and started. This is my third attempt, and after clicking the small camera Icon above the smiley faces, and copying and pasting the picture's URL, I have successfully made pretty pics appear. Don't laugh, this is a big step for me.

On with the show. A crappy, duct tape repair on the intake- not on my watch. This thing needs to breathe;

Rebar and angle iron mount for the massive K&N fiter;

My Trick "Clod Air Intake" being made;

Completed intake;

Another shot of 4" of goodness. No comments, please;

And a shot of my completed "scoop", and a little glimpse into the future. More to come;

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
12/28/14 8:19 p.m.

I like this so far.

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
12/28/14 8:24 p.m.

Your gonna mess around and make me go to Craig list and buy another old truck, aren't you?

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/14 9:46 p.m.

In watching others' Build Threads, I am often really impressed with the narrative qualities contained therein. None of that here. Let's show some interior-There was a colony of ants living under the carpet, so I did this; And then this;

(Imagine a pressure washer action shot here) Now, what would really help is a pic or two showing you how I lovingly wire wheeled, rustproofed, then coated the interior with roll on bedliner, but, No pics of that. What I did record for posterity-The mechanical oil pressure gauge, and horn button I put in the recently vacated dashboard vent. Note the two bumps on top of the dash. They are screws that hold a small block of wood I used to locate my awesome gauge panel;

, and the HUGE steering wheel I got from the Pick-a-part Note 8-ball shifter for additional style points.

The drivers door was trashed (twisted), and a new door came with the truck -Thanks, Bro! Only Problem? Its manual, and the truck has Power everything. Never to fear, I deleted the power doors and mirrors. The switch for the passenger's window was relocated to the dash (see oil pressure gauge pic above), and I did this;

Piece of 1X4 burned, sanded and clearcoated for the armrest. I also rebuilt the hinge while I was in there, and poured a whole bottle of drano down the cowl vent. The cowl was filled with years of leaves, and had blocked the drain down near the hinges. Now, thanks to the garden hose, and drano, they flow free.Now a gratuitous shot of the Pioneer CD player that came with the truck-Thanks, Bro! In putting this thread together, I am seeing tons of stuff I didn't record well, and really, just HOW MANY pics it must take to make a cohesive, easy to understand thread. I mean, none of them look like this does in my head. I forgot to photograph the precision chunks of wood I used to wedge the radio in place, how I painted them so it would "look good", The I-Pod port interface (formerly ash-tray), and my sweet job of zip tying, gluing, and taping I did on the ventilation system to lock everything to DEFROST, and hang the rest.

Heck, I guess every build thread DOES need a narrative, too. Here Goes- I had agreed to buy this off my brother months before I took possession. Being the considerate person he is, he wanted to empty the garbage that had spent perhaps a year festering in the back . Problem was, the truck had seen better days. It was overcharging, and who-knew what else. So we set out to the dump together, but the brakes start smoking within a mile or two. We call it, and get it to my house, which is now closer. Interesting thing about all that wet garbage; it looks like a breeding ground to mosquitoes. Most of the early struggles I had with this truck, were working while constantly being bitten by the little buggers. Highly Unpleasant. This is where the truck began to fight me. 7 or 8 Voltage regulators, and it wouldn't charge correctly. I finally had an armature shop put an internal, Made in the U.S.A Voltage regulator in, and bypassed the problematic ECU internal VR. Many here helped. Thanks. In the process of trying to make this thing charge, I ran a new primary charging wire, stripped the whole under hood harness, learned that alternators put out 3-phase, had various systems in, and out several times, and basically, got my butt kicked-all while having a blast for some reason. This thing was only supposed to be a tool for towing, parts hauling, and trips to the dump, but I began to grow a little attached.

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/29/14 9:15 a.m.

Cool Project!

Is the air filter rigidly mounted to the inner fender while the turbo is mounted to an engine that can move on its mounts?

chandlerGTi UltraDork
12/29/14 10:00 a.m.

Somewhere on here is my w150 build thread, v8 though....

volvoclearinghouse Dork
12/29/14 10:44 a.m.

I loved my old 3/4 ton Cummins Dodge pickup. '92. That thing was an anvil in every sense of the word. I mean, I literally used it to beat stuff on.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/29/14 3:25 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: Cool Project! Is the air filter rigidly mounted to the inner fender while the turbo is mounted to an engine that can move on its mounts?

Yep, solid to the inner fender, but those silicone boots have some slop. It appears to be enough. I guess time will tell.

mndsm MegaDork
12/29/14 3:33 p.m.

I like where this is going. Big old gnarly diesel trucks never fail to amuse.

bgkast GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/29/14 3:41 p.m.

Nice truck, I really like these first gen Cummins trucks. Why couldn't you swap your power window, mirrors and interior panel to the new door?

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/29/14 4:26 p.m.

So, one day, I'm messing with the truck, and I hear a high pitched squeal coming from the dash. I proceed to rip all the buzzers out, but it continues. Intermittently. I pull the dash apart for the 9th or tenth time in this project, removing things, and replacing them once the squeal comes back. Heck, the squeal even started a couple of times while the engine wasn't running. I was pulling some box with wires going to it behind the glove box when, by chance, I hit something. The pitch changed. Keep in mind the mosquitoes, and realize the noise had me going a little batty by this point, so when I hit the vacuum hose on a dashpot that did something or the other with the HVAC, I was really ready for a win.

This truck has been wrecked. A lot. Not by my brother, nor myself, but lots of other people. The Carfax actually says "JUNK", not salvage, rebuilt, or anything like that, but JUNK. The condenser was toast. AC hadn't worked in years. The heat worked, but not really out the vent you had it set for. So, in light of all those things, plus the fact that the included grill -Thanks, Bro, wouldn't fit with it on, The Ac got (partially) aborted. I put a ball valve in the heater line to the core, and proceeded to remove all that vacuum actuated (ha!) HVAC stuff, Zip tying, gluing, taping, and generally using any means necessary to ditch all vacuum controls. See a trend here? Crappy computer-bypass, Crappy heater controls-Bypass.Cruise doesn't work? Abort.

So, some more pics are in order. I wanted to use the included aluminum wheels-Thanks, Bro. Like a jerk, I forgot to take pics of the oven cleaner, wire wheel, priming and clear coating stage,so we'll skip right to some overall pics. Note also cheap mirrors welded to the body-Classy...

Those are some MILESTAR Radial SL369s in a LT 235/85/R16 if you were wondering. Brand spankin, too. Try to stifle your gasps of amazement.

Note the snazzy included grill-Thanks, Bro, which took a crap load of cutting, hammering, and swearing to fit. I had to lower the headlights some 2". and cut the core support a good bit, as well as the aforementioned condenser removal, and a little off the valence. Then it fit! Not too well, and I wouldn't exactly call the headlights "level", but they are aimed well. Also, Yes, I admit it, I am rusting this thing on purpose. It just sort of happened.

Those with sharper eyes may have already seen the chrome acorn nuts I put down the center of the hood. Here's a better shot;

Other projects patiently awaiting their turn;

And more of the same;

...Aaand, finally, a teaser for the next installment; And look-a-there, editor- You could see this "foreshadowing" exhaust shot a few back if you look. Learning is fun.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/29/14 4:34 p.m.

In reply to bgkast:

Totally could have, but honestly, this has become sort of an art project, and the asymmetry really scratches an itch. I tell myself every fix is the simplest fix for a given problem, but the reality is I'm just having fun. I put those ridiculous mirrors on it because they reminded me of my Dad's old work truck. If I'm honest, the factory power mirrors probably worked better.Its tough being a slave to fashion.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
12/29/14 4:49 p.m.

It's got vent windows, what do you need AC for annyway?

mndsm MegaDork
12/29/14 5:32 p.m.

I think you need to go to the chrome shop at your local truck stop. Seriously.

Dusterbd13 SuperDork
12/29/14 6:38 p.m.

Bags. Please?

volvoclearinghouse Dork
12/30/14 7:02 a.m.

Love where this is going. If you desire asymetry, why not cut the grill in half and graft on half of an old, roundie-headlight Dodge grill?

chiodos New Reader
12/30/14 10:38 a.m.

Awesome truck! My uncle had a mint d250 4x4 that I fell in love with. I think this needs a bit more mad max wink wink

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/30/14 3:38 p.m.

To just blab for a minute, and, kind of get back to the original intent, Here are some things I've learned: Photobucket crops my pictures a bit. I should leave larger margins. It is really cool to have most of the work done and photographed, but the threads I really enjoy (looking at Burrito Enthusiast, Ditchdigger, and NOHOME to name a VERY few) seem to be updated as work is done. We'll get there with this one eventually. And finally, while this is kind of cool, it is not exactly informative. I love how much I learn from this forum. Maybe later, I'll have some real knowledge to impart.

In the meantime, one more "before" shot;

...And some implements for upcoming events; To answer some Questions, make responses, observations, etc-

Airbags are not in the future. I have been looking at raising the shackles, though.

I, too, have used this as an anvil, cutting table, drop cloth, and bludgeon. Good truck.

The big thing this thing really needs is a stick shift. Aside from that, 4X4 would be nice. See how low the front sits? That's called spring fatigue.

I did look for round headlight grilles, but finally figured, the one I have in hand must be the right one. Now, one round eye, and one square- I hadn't thought of that.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/2/15 4:10 p.m.

To get this more or less up-to date, Exhaust before;


More during;

That's the mount where the exhaust attaches to the bellhousing on the headpipe. I bought a FLO-Pro Turbo back kit without muffler. Everything I could find was 4X4 only, except this. When it showed up, the instructions said 4X4 ONLY.Oh bother. Several cuts, some welding, and a bit of wasted work until I finally decided to mix and match some of the intended positions,and we arrive at... After;

But first, I did this; Which is just about where the factory heat shield went.

The HUGE muffler, of course, came with the truck-Thanks, Bro! Its presence opened up another 3' or so of pipe for me to screw up, before finally getting it where I wanted it. The muffler itself, is basically a glasspack, so I mounted it in the "quiet/ restrictive" direction to try to shush this thing. It sounds almost exactly the same. Maybe a little throatier at part throttle, but largely, the same. 4" mandrel with a couple of mediocre welds compared to 2.5", squished, and rotted pipe should at least eliminate this bottleneck in the system.

I am still working on a solution for the overdrive (it hunts and pecks). Once again, the lousy computer is to blame. This thing is mechanical injection, so the long term goal is to maybe do a mechanical fuel cut-off, some other type of gauges, and ditch the thing altogether. To be honest, I'm amazed the computer does anything, as a previous wreck destroyed its mounting points, and it is just laying loose in the inner fender. Right now, my speedo, ammeter, and temp gauge are working, so I'm pretty happy (Oil pressure didn't work, hence the mechanical beaut I put in the vent).

Mid- term plans are to try out the later model turbo that came with the truck(Thanks, Bro!). It is a bit smaller, for a quicker spool. This will take some work, namely, blocking (welding?)the wastegate shut, and hooking it up to the headpipe. Also, there is an overboost spring that, you guessed it, came with the truck, and all the timing, and fuel pressure adjustments everyone tells me are simple, effective doorways to more performance and economy. Basically, from here on, I'm looking for low hanging fruit. Maybe a front air dam, and/or topper to squeeze some MPGs out of this thing (yes, the mirrors were probably a dumb move in this respect).

The one thing I promise is this will not "Roll Coal". Those guys are LAME.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/2/15 6:46 p.m.
chandlerGTi wrote: Somewhere on here is my w150 build thread, v8 though....

Yeah, I think I remember that. King cab, 4X4 with cool Fixes for the 4X, and bed off action, right? You poor Ohio bastidge. I see these trucks everywhere now- the intro to The WalkingDead, around town, etc. Guess I wasn't paying attention before.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/2/15 7:10 p.m.

My W250 was a 5 speed stick shift. A buddy of mine had one with the automatic, and was always having transmission problems. I also had the extended cab and 4x. God what a truck.

The computers on these suck. I manually rigged everything on mine- except the speedometer/odometer, which quit and I didn't care. The truck was slow, and had a bazillion miles on it, so knowing how slow I was going or how many miles over a bazillion it had on it weren't really relevant.

Your truck is awesome, and I love this thread.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/2/15 8:02 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse:Thanks, man. Do I remember your rusted Ghia with some type of readily available rust inhibitor/clear coat? I would be interested in details, of coure, not to be applied until this is perfectly rusted.

If this truck were a king cab, stick shift, 4 wheel drive, I would almost immediately go broke turning it into a version of The ULTIMATE Vehicle. As is, it is much fun, and, I am constantly amazed by the public response. 99% positive, but it seems no one fails to comment. A Lady stopped me at the supermarket to berate me for driving a gas guzzler. I explained that it got better mileage than most mini trucks, to which, she simply replied " Well, it stinks.". And, while I guess that's true, the idea that this may someday run on fryer grease pleases me to no end.

fidelity101 SuperDork
1/2/15 11:22 p.m.

Most excellent! Also i think i have the same wheels on the frankenburban. Are they steel or AL?

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/3/15 7:49 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy:

Amazing you'd get that reaction in Tennessee. I live in MD and almost always get positive comments on my diesel truck (2000 F350). I only remember one person ever in my life chastising my driving a truck, and my reply was something along the lines of "You have a right to speak to me like that when you actually work for a living and your hands look like mine". That shut the kid up right quick.

BTW, I just realized have an old college buddy who lives in your town. Small world.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/15 10:36 a.m.
fidelity101 wrote: Most excellent! Also i think i have the same wheels on the frankenburban. Are they steel or AL?

They are aluminum. My brother and I got them at the pull-a-part. They were on an old 1 ton Ford, which was on those two wheels welded together "jackstand" things, which sank a bit. We had to let the air out of the tires, and still a good bit of wrastlin' to get them off-Scary! Then we broke them down at the manual tire machine they have there. They were. $20 each w/o tires, or $35 each with, as I recall.

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