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Old 01-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1978 Dodge Dreamer 1 Ton Dually Van

Have any of you actually driven one of these?? Ha.. Or even seen one?!? Here is a link to a guy on cardomain with pictures..

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/216469...m-van-150?rp=1

Pretty unique, and very cool in my opinion.. Could have some potential for a low budget tow rig. Has a sleeper and holding tanks for water.

Anyway, I'm going to pick one up in February/March. It looks almost identical to the one pictured on cardomain.

Plans... Might find a wrecked 12v cummins w/5 speed to swap over. If not.. I'll get the 440 big block running smooth again.

The rear end would have to be a D60-70 no?

For $300 bucks.. Why the hell not?!? It's cooler than my 08 Tundra 5.7 4x4.. And originally built as a tow rig


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Old 01-08-2011, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its got chevy tail lights so its got to be worth something.

That interior looks like an animal might be living in there. Would be an interesting piece, but my van days are over.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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From what I've read.. It could have 490 torque & 4:10 gears.. Wouldn't hurt, that's for sure
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This one looks killer..



This guy has some better pictures, looks pretty decent>

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3212058/1978-dodge-custom
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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paint job and a 12valve and you got yourself the end all be all tow rig setup.

lets see a build thread!
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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paint job and a 12valve and you got yourself the end all be all tow rig setup.

lets see a build thread!
That's the plan! We'll see about the 12valve though. If the 440 is in okay condition.. I'll definitely use that for a while

Hope its not wider than the trailer I'll be using to pick it up. It'd suck to make a 5-6 hour round trip with a trailer to narrow Guess I could pull the outter wheels off to load it up.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Good luck.Dodge vans from that time didn't have frames.That's why I bought a conversion made by El Dorado.It used a 1979 E350 dually chassi with a 460/C6 and a 1979 pickup bed.









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Old 01-09-2011, 06:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess lining up any body lines or making anything look like it belonged there was out of the question on any of these huh?
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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El Dorado and Centurion started making them in 1979.After 1980 the pickup beds lined up a lot better.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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El Dorado and Centurion started making them in 1979.After 1980 the pickup beds lined up a lot better.
Good to know. I dont think they could get much worse.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good luck.Dodge vans from that time didn't have frames.That's why I bought a conversion made by El Dorado.It used a 1979 E350 dually chassi with a 460/C6 and a 1979 pickup bed.
Literally huh? I definitely didn't know that. Kinda sucks.

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Old 01-09-2011, 02:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Have any of you actually driven one of these?? Ha.. Or even seen one?!?
Up until about 10 years ago I used to sporadically see one around the city.Didn't really care for it, and until now thought it was some backyard hack job.

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Old 01-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Literally huh? I definitely didn't know that. Kinda sucks.
I don't think he's right. I had a '78 Dodge cutaway van chassis that most definitely had a frame. How do you think they built motorhomes on those chassis without one?
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It wouldn't make sense to have a dedicated tow vehicle that uses sub-frames rather than a full beefy frame, as a foundation.. I hope that information is wrong
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There's no way it's unibody, it wouldn't even work.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't think he's right. I had a '78 Dodge cutaway van chassis that most definitely had a frame. How do you think they built motorhomes on those chassis without one?

The same way the Ford motorhomes were built before 1975.Ford vans didn't get frames until 1975.Vans that were used to be motorhomes came with a cab and unibody floor.

You can go here and find out more about them.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There are a couple around central Florida in the Dodge and Ford variety from different companies...

And to whoever said these Van's didn't have frames, your a fuckin idiot... I know this for a fact because the 78 Dodge Van RV I have setting in my backyard has a full frame.

Oh and pic_jon, type "78 dodge van frame" into google and go to images, look what comes up first. Your new toy...
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This one looks killer..

Just saw one like that on Thursday at the scrap metal yard. Picker bringing in a load to sell. Definitely not in that kind of shape though.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yup, I'd totally rock that thing. Your fuel mileage won't be astounding, but it should tow like a mofo. Van engine compartments are super tight, I think a 6B Cummins is a no-go due to length.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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There are a couple around central Florida in the Dodge and Ford variety from different companies...

And to whoever said these Van's didn't have frames, your a fuckin idiot... I know this for a fact because the 78 Dodge Van RV I have setting in my backyard has a full frame.

Oh and pic_jon, type "78 dodge van frame" into google and go to images, look what comes up first. Your new toy...
Here is another link that will tell you that the 1970s vans do not have a frame.Because they didn't have a frame a 1978 B300 only has a GVWR of 150lbs more then an E250.I can post pictures later of my 1977 Tradesman 200.
To the OP,the January 1979 issue of Street Vans has a Dodge Dreamer on the cover along with a review.I'd scan it for you but I'm in Iraq.If you go to Vannin.com some will have that issue and will scan it for you.

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Old 01-10-2011, 04:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Here is the issue.I have the cover on my laptop.

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Old 01-10-2011, 05:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Here is the issue.I have the cover on my laptop.

That's awesome.. I'll have to ask someone about scanning that review for me..

The people I'm getting the dreamer from still use the Travel Trailer that came with it from Dreamer. That thing is Huge..... Especially for a van
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:53 AM   #23 (permalink)
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The same way the Ford motorhomes were built before 1975.Ford vans didn't get frames until 1975.Vans that were used to be motorhomes came with a cab and unibody floor.

You can go here and find out more about them.
What part did you miss? I OWNED a 1978 Dodge cutaway van chassis. It had a frame.

EDIT: Looking at some of the links you provided, I think there is a misunderstanding of terminology. There is a set of frame rails just like any other framed vehicle would have, Chrysler may have just welded the body directly to them. I don't remember that part of it, nor does it really matter in my opinion. "Frame" or not, a 1 ton Dodge van chassis should be up to the task of towing things without a problem. My chassis had a 440, tf727, and a D70 rear in it. No problems at all with it other than those caused by a lack of use.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:18 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I think they do tie in the frame to the existing front sub, it's been a while since I have looked at a Dodge cut-away. If you have ever looked at a dodge van, that front sub is VERY beefy.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:28 AM   #25 (permalink)
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What part did you miss? I OWNED a 1978 Dodge cutaway van chassis. It had a frame.

EDIT: Looking at some of the links you provided, I think there is a misunderstanding of terminology. There is a set of frame rails just like any other framed vehicle would have, Chrysler may have just welded the body directly to them. I don't remember that part of it, nor does it really matter in my opinion. "Frame" or not, a 1 ton Dodge van chassis should be up to the task of towing things without a problem. My chassis had a 440, tf727, and a D70 rear in it. No problems at all with it other than those caused by a lack of use.
Come to find out that's the same drivetrain in the Dreamer Van.. 440, 727 & 4:10's in the D70. Haven't had the chance to read up on the tf727 yet. I'll probably dig up some info now, since it's slow at work.

Can't remember which source this came from.. But I read the 440 engine is rated at +/-490 torque.. That's impressive to me. Quite a bit more than our tundra.

I know the van will need a shit load of TLC. Anything that sits and sits for years on end is going to need some work. The good news is, the old man would start it up periodically and drive around to keep the juices flowing. He's also a pretty good wrench, having to work on his own big rigs and tractors.

Should make for an interesting project
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