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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, not the 'Ramchargers' of the 60's but an actual 1984 Dodge 2x4 Ramcharger. I will be starting within the next couple weeks in going with a Straight Axle install on the truck. What I have in mind for those who can picture what I'm up to..... is the RC with a straight axle, and either of three choices in drive train I have available to me currently. I'll start with the least desireable for the weight concerns, and that is a 440/727 combo, pumped a bit as time goes by. Second is a 340, with two choices here, a stroker or a stocker 340, again a 904 or 727. The third choice is the existing 318 with RHS heads, H beams, forged crank and single plane or Air Gap and of course the appropriate carb. There are Hooker Comps on that unit right now, but none of the mentioned speed parts ...yet...

Ok that's an idea of the motor..... a unit in small block with 450-500hp, or the BB 440 with around 550hp. Again you see the goals, and actually their not too hard to get to. A seperate note, I'm hating finding all the Speed parts like rods and cranks coming out of China like Scat and Eagle, but their affordable, will they stand up? I'd only want to sacrifice a 318 for that experiment.

The RAMCHARGER...... I will start with the straight axle, and Speedway has been in the forefront as far as I have been able to locate, and I know we have a member here fabbing up axles, so I will persue that, as I may want to go with a slightly thicker tube for my weight. I'll likely ditch the fenderwells in favor of some alluminum sheet metal fabrication work myself, for the sake of lightness, and possible fender-well headers.

The rear will get tubbed slightly to use all the available room I can backing up with offset, to as close to the leaf as I can. This tubbing will be homebuilt and sheet metal since it will likely only be an additional 5-6" in width per side. But that will allow me to go with some 12" wide wheels on the back and put down about 12-14"'s of tread and still be plumbed down from the widest part of the body over the rear wells. In other words, a lot under the car, with none of the hanging out tire thing, which to me looks .... just Wrong. Lakewood traction bars for the rear, and about 4 or 5" lift, or as little as needed to set about level front to back. I don't mind the front 1 or 2 inches above, but no more than that ....for Me.
So,..... you get a lot of ambitious people day dreaming a hot rod, but a vast majority that never follow through with it for various reasons. Well, First thing I will do before anything even gets jacked up on jack-stands, is to get me a better Digital camera to document the build which I hope to take pics showing many small events and WTF's along the way. IN reality, I should have funds by the end of the weekend. So lets give this a starting date of today to be fair. Follow me through the trials, I promise it will be interesting, and I will certainly need your help too, questions or ideas to make it all gell.......................... There it is........Rich:):)
 

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I think it is a great build. I've seen some mid 60's gasser Dodge pick ups as well as much older but never an '80's version. Not sure what you are looking for in the power versus user friendly area but I would recommend the big block right from the beginning and then build it to your expectations. Nothing wrong with the small blocks by any means but the big block can be built mild to wild and using many original or stock type parts. The 440 is a stout engine. Or start out mild and then add later as time/money/desire over takes your better judgement, ha! Yes by all means start a build thread and show all your progress, ideas, desires and build. Ask away for help anytime. And never forget, I love spending other peoples money, LOL. I'm excited about your build and really looking forward to reading about it. Really good having you here Rich. GASSERS--GOOOODDDD!!!! Mark L
 

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Rich, sounds cool.

I've seen builds on the 318 (stroked) that made surprising HP and torque numbers. The main question is, if there's nothing like cubic inches, why not start with the lowly 360 and build from there? More cubes, lighter weight than the RBs and BRBs, lower initial price (340 blocks are crazy expensive) and - BONUS - even more HP & torque.

Which ever way you decide to go I'm going to share this build with my brother. He's got a similar (first gen Dakota) with a 318/904. I know he'll get a kick out of this.

Mike
 

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Why not keep it all Mopar and use the 2wd Cherokee straight axle and springs up front? Disc brakes, and they're very reasonably priced.
 

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Rich, My 17 year old son has an 82 4x4 Ramcharger he and I are restoring. He is in love with that truck. Post some pictures as soon as you can. We will be following your build. Bob C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well just standing with the hood open, I noticed that my Hooker Comp headers on the passenger side are a bit too close to the frame on one pipe for my liking. I think I can loosen the motor mounts and work it over a quarter inch or so, as I only have about a quarter inch now as it sets, and that would give me about three eights or a quarter inch of clearance. I'm going to want to box the front of the frame, maybe the whole frame. Fortunatly Ramchargers had a seperate frame and were not unibody. The other alternative would be to pull the header and have it angle milled just a bit to pivot the tubes towards the center, thus providing a bit more clearance. Well I'm still in my time frame for start-up, as it's just become the weekend as I set here typing Saturday morning at 6:00 am. I'll get a couple pictures of the Ramcharger on here as soon as I have light, and it will contribute to the before and after of this build. I'm glad I'v got nothing but time, because I don't want to rush anything. When I do get done, I want to cruise back out to Cali and visit some Family and friends. I'v tryed contacting Coupebuilder on a custom heavy duty tube axle to carry the weight of my Ramcharger which might be slightly on the heavy side compared to ...say a 55-56 Chev,
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, I know I left a bunch of you wondering about my progress, but the funds came through yesterday, I'm hooked up. Let the build begin. As I promised, I will start with documenting everything with pictures, my 'thought's, the particular parts that inevidably get 'Blessed' ...rizzel rakin, razzel frakken dang etc. and my progress along the way. My fabrication skills are pretty good, and I am an experianced welder, though I will farm out the axle tube/pads welding to a certified somebody hereabouts in NASCAR country, Ought to be easy enough to find. So it starts on October 26 2011 in the wee hours before the sun comes up, coffee and smokes.
 

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You go boy!! I have 2 Rams- not gassers tho- my gassers a 66 Dodge- warmed over 360. My 82 rams a Walker Evans tribute, and the other is a 85 rock hound 8 lugger.
 

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!THIS THREAD IS WORTHLESS WITHOUT PICS!!!!!!!!!! :)

Just breaking your stones, man.
 
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