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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, I wandered over from TTORA, ORC, and the Pirate Suzuki boards. Used to be a Dodge man, had an 87 Dak which ended up with 33's - really wasn't much of an offroader though, I was in my poser stage. :rolleyes: Anyhow, I'm still a big Mopar fan and may have found my next Dodge - a 1979 Power Wagon. 318, 4 spd, married NP203. Has locking hubs on the front axle, not sure what brand. I guess someone installed a kit or a different frontend on it. Anyhow, I want to restore it somewhat, but it truck has to get me back into those hard to reach hunting spots. This one isn't going to be a trail rig, my Sammy is for that, but I do want something decent offroad, road worthy, and just an all around fun ride. Since my buddy bought this one, we've rebuilt the carb, replaced all the electronic boxes (2 on the firewall and one on the fender if I remember right) new, completely new braking system except the master cylinde, tires, all filters and fuel lines, overlooked maintenance. It runs great, once it's warm. Until then it gets a little fussy. It has 4.10's at least, it's geared low. I plan on doing body work, the bed needs both wheel arches replaced, some work in the bedfloor, and the tailgate. The other night I drove it and the headlights just went out. I waited a moment, tapped the dimmer and they came back. Also, the tach doesn't work. I'm thinking that buying NOS Mopar wiring harnesses from the Dodge Connection or MoparParts.com would set this truck up. Change the harnesses with factory stuff, do some body work and roll. I was hoping for some pointers. Also, the grill is beat up, but he has a 74 that I can have the grill out of, two vertical blinker lenses. Direct swap? He said I can have the 79 for 1000. Anything to look out for or tips for any coming fixes? Thanks much - I know this is a newbie question but it's been a while since I've been around Dodges. The guy I'm buying it from (Maybe) has 5 fullsize Dodges - parts probably won't be a problem. So whatcha think?
 

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Sounds like a darn good setup. I would say 1/2 the time when a 70's dodge has locking hubs, someone put in a GM front axle. (you;d be suprised at the number of 6 lug "dodge" front axles i find in the wrecking yards :rolleyes: .
Anyway, things to watch out for is normally just body rust, and what not. If the ignition module, resositor, and voltage regualtor have been replaced, you are probabally ok. That factory tach is really rare. I personally have never seen one.. so it may be swapped in, and a good reason why it doesent work. Another problem with them is the amp meter. Some people by pass it, including me. Best way i know of is take some 8 gague wire and run it directly from the alternator to the battery.
your prob gonna ask where to check for rust.. most common is the floor pans (in mine that was heavily offroaded the body mounts were tweaked too), back of the rocker panels, wheel lips, and the radiator support (my "rust free" truck doesent have a spot of rust on the whole darn thing, but the radiator support, on both sides, below the battery has about a 2"x10" rust hole.. this is a 100% california truck remember), and if you look around, there are a few other places. Personally, i would just toss a new bed on, but i bet that rust free parts are alot more plentiful here than there.

Dunno what to tell you. You really sound like you are on the right path and know about what you are doing in it. Plus if it is a friend, and he has 5 trucks, I bet that he will be willing to give you a hand too.

Garrett
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the help. The front end is rustfree, fenders, core support, and hood have been replaced from a later model truck. The tach is factory or at least factory parts, it's hooked to the stock wiring harness with connectors and matches everything else under the dash. If you tap it a couple times, the needle will swing, then it goes back to 0 and stays there. The light in it still works. It's on the right side of the instrument panel, where the plain trim piece usually is. I think I'm gonna go for it. I'm hoping to score some doorpanels for it, the driver's is gone. Him and I are stripping an 86 Ramcharger to the frame today, the body is going to the crusher, maybe the doorpanels off it will fit with a little finaggling :D
 

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I had a problem with the lights going off, and it was the ?ground? on the passanger side by the windsheild washer fluid holder deal, also my truck has a factory tach, but again ive never seen another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The other evening I was driving this 79, stopped to put it in low lock, and the lights kicked off. Waited a couple seconds, flipped the headlight switch on and off, no joy. I hit the dimmer switch and they popped right back on. I'm no expert on the fullsizes, but I replaced the drivers side fender on my 87 Dakota a few years ago and forgot to hook the ground up on it. Hit the brakepedal and every idiot light came on, the gas gauge needle pointed straight down, and the brights came on - with the headlight switch off. Grounds can do some funny stuff. That's part of why I figure it's better to completely replace the wiring with stock or as close to stock parts as possible. Electrical fires suck, especially when insurance doesn't take into acountability the amount of time and work that goes into building any rig.
 
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