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Old 05-21-2014, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1997 Ram 1500 Crawler- Resurrected

Saved from impending doom I picked up this 97 or more like paid for a few months ago. The previous owner is Jason and he built it up to what it is.

Lockers front and rear
BDS shackle flip
10" lift
Rancho shocks (these need to be replaced)
Hydro assist
Solid steering shaft
Krawler solid link long arm kit
USA 6x6 16" double bead locks (made right as he wrote a review on them unlike many others that got fucked by him)
Etc, etc.

He had put well over $5K into building the motor before life circumstances and worn out C's in the front axle forced him to park it in 2009. At that point the motor had maybe 3-5K miles on it.

Hughes racing throttle body
Keith Black Hypereuctectic pistons (.030 overbore)
Mild Cam (not sure of duration and lift)
Roller rockers 1.6 ratio
20lb injectors
160 amp alternator
Reflashed ECU
MSD off road ignition
ported and polished
lots of other things I am probably forgetting

The motor however would not turn over. We pulled it in his driveway and I sent it off to Weisner and Cerrato in Modesto for a long block rebuild. These guys have been around a long time and build race motors so I felt confident they would do a good job.

Turned out whoever did the block didn't get all the blasting media out of it. This guy found every little detail wrong with the motor. Timing was off and a few push rods were bent. So it got all new bearings, resurfaced, heads cleaned, new push rods, all bearings, etc.

Jason and I put the motor in a couple weekends ago and after some fiddling with the inconveniently located distributor had it running with 5 gallons of fresh fuel mixed with some of the old the pump could not get out.

Motor done, onto the front axle. Lots of grinding and painting to get the surface rust off before installing. Axle tubes full of sand as donor axle came from a guy that lived in Pismo!

I picked up a set of Moog front ball joints. The upper joint shaft would move a half inch up and down. When down the knuckle was not thick enough to take up the shaft space. I read somewhere on the net this was normal. Others say it is not a desirable trait and to buy Raybestos pro grade. So I did and guess what? They move as well. Fuck it. Put them in anyways. Anyone else have experience or knowledge about this?

At this point its ready to hit the road and make its way back to XXX Traction in Seaside to get the 4:56's and front locker taken out of the old axle and installed in the new one that's under the truck now.

Below are pics of the truck before Jason parked it and how it looks now. Shitlbuffout. I'll post up pics of the progress.

Future plans if I like wheeling a full size vs. my old 96 4Runner is to put in one tons, coilovers, and 40's or 42's.

I have a 10 point roll cage to install right now and it needs rock sliders. Door sills are beat to shit on passenger side.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Motor before getting all the accessories bolted up. Oh yeah! Shop claimed 60 HP over stock. Not sure of torque but I don't care. Shit is new and reliable.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is how the truck looks now and some progress of removal and replacement of the front axle.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks good! I saw that on craigslist a while back. I'll be following this one for sure.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good to see Jason's rig moving again!

Rick
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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wow... talk about a blast from the past. i wheeled with Jason 10+ years ago out at Prairie City. glad to see that truck is still around
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice, subscribed.
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Jason is an awesome dude. He has gone way above and beyond to help me get this thing back on the trail. His driveway, his tools, his time.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Can you post pics of the cage when its done. I need to do a cage in mine and am having a hard time finding something I like.
Love the over all look of the truck!
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah I can do that. I want to retain the back seat so will be making some modifications to that in order to make it all fit. Or just throw some buckets back there. Dunno yet. Need to mock it all up. I can ask Jason the brand of kit he bought and let you know.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That would be awesome! Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Cage came from here:
Chrysler Products Race Car, Racing, Dragster, Chassis, Roll bars, Cages, Fabrication, Suspensions, Parts, Shocks, Springs, Motor Plates, Brakes, Drivelines, Housings
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Awesome! I havnt seen that rig in at least 10 years now. Went a few trips back the PS.com days an watched it wheel way back then. Great to see its still around. I'm Subbed for sure
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Gonna miss the thing, for sure. Even though it had been parked for so long, i wanted it to live again. I could not afford to do it myself, so off to someone else that will appreciate it.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What mods are need to make the cage work for the back seats? Haven't looked hard but have a '00 model 1500 4x4 that I wanna cage and put rockwells on just wasn't sure of a cage that could be bought already packaged. Also does anyone know of a place to get a sheetmetal dash that still uses the factory pieces or am I gonna need to one off it. Sorry bout hijack just curious if this truck has one or not
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The cage kit only comes with A and B pillars, so if you have a quad cab, then its technically A and C pillars. The B and C would be the same. You need to remove the rear bench if you want to install the cage to protect the entire cab instead of just the front row.

I ended up buying a second B pillar to make it into a "family cage" and was going to swap out the rear bench for two buckets. I wanted the B pillar support as well as the C since the cab is large and the truck heavy.

Another option would be to install as a B pillar and then build a flat bed and tie that front hoop into the interior cage but that would require hacking the cab to pass the supports through

I do not know about the dash.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help. Wanna try to find a template to use to get an idea
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Drove it from Modesto back to Santa Cruz Monday night. Handles like shit but what do you expect with heavy steel beadlocks and bias ply tires. Thought it would have more power but its a dog. Perhaps when the motor breaks in the power will increase.

Next morning drove it to XXX Traction (Lavender Brothers) in Seaside. The XXX Titan they built some years ago is looking bad ass. Now that's a full size I want to drive! I digress.

Its getting the 4:56 gears swapped in the front from the old axle and the idling issue investigated. Doesn't want to idle when warm. Yeah, check TPS, IACV, O2 Sensors, etc. According to Toby motors that have been modded can be a bitch to tune. I know its in good hands and they will get to the bottom of it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Gear swap completed. Had to clean out the throttle body and replace the IACV. Wouldn't idle when hot. All good now.

The bad: went to get a smog and got shit for the CARB approved headers. Also said that my cat was not legit that Jason had installed back in 2007 from a reputable exhaust shop. Fuck.

Ended up replacing the cat with a new one ($260 installed) and I'll get it smogged tomorrow. Funny, the last smog station I went to asked-"does it have a cam"? I was like no, and they said, uh huh, sounds like it. Busted.

No matter, found a smog station that recognizes the headers are carb legal. Next up is to do some sanding and painting to kill all the surface rust. Wheels look like crap.

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Old 06-11-2014, 10:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Gotta love this BS state we live in huh? haha Smog pisses me off today
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:00 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I remember watching Jason build that thing on pavementsucks. I haven't been on that site for a million years either. Makes me miss my Dodge. He was one of the cats that inspired me to build mine
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:11 PM   #23 (permalink)
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It hits the dirt of Hollister again this coming Monday/Tuesday. Passed smog and after hanging out at the local DMV for a couple of hours walked out with plates and tags.

Jason did an awesome job building this thing back in the day. I'm sure with a little sprucing up it will get me laid.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:16 AM   #24 (permalink)
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They called you on the cam? It's a mild one. I just run around Hollister in 4-low all day long. Unless on the flats it's also in 1st all the time, then 2nd or D is fine. Lock out the OD.

Don't break it your first time out with it!

And I guess I need to change my username now!
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor Hammer View Post
. I'm sure with a little sprucing up it will get me laid.
haha dont get cocky now

Hopfully ill see that thing on the trail someday soon then
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