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Author Topic: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)  (Read 119462 times)

Offline hilton8r

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1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« on: October 28, 2006, 03:45:55 PM »
I need to come up with another name for the blue pig... Maybe you guys can help. Be nice! ;D I meant to start a thread on this truck after I first got it, but neglected to do so... I'll fill in the blanks to catch up to present time and then keep current on posting my progress. I might have a few pics stored somewhere too.

The truck has come a long way from when I purchased it from Earl Kann. I was fortunate to get it since it had already been sold to Dave Larsen's friend... The truck was chock full of goodies. There was a lot of stuff for one of Earl's other trucks in there too along with a large bag of gold coins. ;D

I've tried to acquire parts for it as I can find/afford.

The truck would fire up, but the motor had a loud knock in the lower end. I purchased a used 440 motor from Shorty2275, but had to pick it up in Victorville. Shortly afterwards, I purchased a set of 3/4 ton axles out of an '83 Dodge utility truck from Shorty3375 and returned to Victorville to pick them up.

I ordered up some steel tube for a roll cage, front/rear bumpers, and a spare tire carrier. A few of us placed our orders together to get a price break on the steel tube. I'm glad we did considering the price for steel tube has continued to rise ever since.

I was very inexperienced in the world of Dodge. Fortunately, I've had a lot of help and support from the ORE gang and I'm slowly learning. I've also gotten my fair share of crap, but that was mostly from the Toyota guys! ;D This truck has fought me every step of the way, but I've gotten through it with a little help from my friends.

Bill helped me swap out the motor. It wasn't too bad as far as motor swaps go because it originally had a 440 and I swapped in another 440. I don't think it would have been as easy if I had been stepping up to a 440.

I held off installing the axles for quite some time so I could save up for 8 lug rims and 37" MTR's...

Bill has helped me every step of the way. We swapped out the axles in preparation for the Dodge vs Toyota trip to Big Bear. Bill hooked me up with a killer deal on some used 5" Super Lift springs for the rear and some new 5" Super Lift springs for the front. Bill fabbed up the u-bolt spring plates. I picked up a new set of u-bolts locally from Deaver. We installed a Detroit EZ-Lock locker in the front and a Lock-Right locker in the rear. We also installed a Mile Marker part-time kit for the transfer case. Next time, I will be sure to go through the axles thoroughly before the swap. :P Actually, the axles have been a nightmare. I will elaborate more on the issues I experienced with the axle shaft and tie rod. I've got the only Shaggy's custom driveshaft on the planet. Bill shortened it as a temporary fix to get me home, but he did such an awesome job, I'm going to keep it until I get around to installing a gear doubler. At least the drag link went in without concern. ;D We did eventually get the truck operational and slammed on the 8-lug Centerline rims and 37" GoodYear MTR's. She looks great and wheels great, except for the damn OVERHEATING problem I experienced in Moab... More on that later too! >:(

I purchased a 205 transfer case (turbo 350) from Jed that I will eventually upgrade to a turbo 450 and use for a gear doubler set up.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2007, 02:48:51 PM by hiltman »
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2006, 04:07:54 PM »
The new radiator from Summit Racing arrived today. The Milnor high flow water pump was shipped out of Ohio, and should arrive on Monday. An electric fan will be installed as soon as possible. I guarantee that this overheating issue will be fixed... >:D
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline Sten

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2006, 04:26:14 PM »
So you have some overheat issues. Be sure don't to use those rubberhoses look like spirals. They do keep the water from circulating between the radiator and engine. One of my pals had the same issue and after he changed out those hoses it was like new. So stay away from those "all-fit" universal hoses they mess up the waterflow. /Sten
80 Dodge Ramcharger SE 318 modified
99 Harley Davidson FXSTB Night Train customized
01 Chrysler Sebring 2,7
05 Chrysler 300C 3,5

Offline Spider Ram

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2006, 04:57:20 PM »
Hey John you are having what I call the "Dodge Experience". I think all of us have gone through some sort of struggle or another. I think that is why we love our trucks so much. If it was easy everyone would do it?  In the end we have our own creation that we are proud to have built and beat on. Like I tell my wife it is still cheaper then hookers and beer  ;D
You cannot name your truck. Your truck will be named by others for you and like a good build up it can't be rushed. Sure your Ramcharger has a couple of issues, but it is still a bad ass truck.  I hope to be able to catch up with you in the future and see what that thing is capable of.

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2006, 03:43:42 AM »
Thanks Spider. It truly is a bad ass truck, even if it is baby blue... I'll remember the hooker's and beer philosophy in case I ever get married and need rational logic...
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline Spider Ram

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2006, 09:00:55 AM »
Thanks Spider. It truly is a bad ass truck, even if it is baby blue... I'll remember the hooker's and beer philosophy in case I ever get married and need rational logic...

It really helps to toss that out there when your signigicant other starts talking about money or time spent with said vehicle. FWIW my wife calls mine the Mistress.

Offline EarlKann

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2006, 12:58:16 PM »
Here are some "before" pictures for you.  I don't recall having a name for the truck in the time that I owned it so lets get some suggestions coming.

First, in the yard in Las Vegas where I bought it from.  

This is where the "Dodge Experience" began.  Jed and I hauled ass to Vegas one morning with the trailer to pick it up.  It happens to be Jed's wife's birthday so we are in a hurry to get this done and get home.  Sooooo  of course, on the way back home halfway between Vegas and State Line....BOOM!  Trailer tire blows out.  Of course there is no spare.  Leave trailer on the side of the road and take tire back to Vegas spending probably over an hour searching for a tire shop that is open and stocks trailer tires.  We eventually got a tire and got home, but it was much later than planned.

Couple more from Occotillo.
I didn't remember until just now looking at these pictures, but I remember now that even on this trip it was having issues with getting hot.  It was fine running the washes, but the temps would climb when doing the low speed crawling/exploring stuff.  Sorry I missed warning you on that one.



If it is any consolation my Toyota also had a cooling problem and I had to swap out the radiator in that myself.

Wanted: Set of 80's style gold mod/nugget wheels in good condition.

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2006, 01:22:39 PM »
Thanks for the pics Earl. I was stoked when I first saw that big aluminum radiator that came with. It appears to have been glued at the top at some point... So I'm pretty sure now that the radiator is the problem.

The trailer flat you got doesn't surprise me one bit. And here's why... I got a trailer flat in the middle of nowhere Southern Utah returning home to California on a Sunday. I had gone up to Salt Lake for a few days and my Mom was making the drive with me to visit for a week before flying back home. Of course, she had her cute little dog 'Missy' with her. I jumped out of the truck to take care of business. I'm super prepared and all (atypical) because I have my floor jack in the back and I had thought ahead to take in one of the trailer tires before the trip to get a spare tire/rim... I recently bought the trailer, so I didn't realize that it only had car tires on it. The weight I was hauling was making short work of them, even though they still appeared to have plenty of tread. Ok, so I slammed the door shut and then heard the passenger door slam shut and then... drum roll please... I heard the doors lock. I look through the window to see Missy propped up on the door handle AND my keys dangling from the ignition. Last I heard, Missy had not found her way home yet! >:D

At least I have four new trailer tires and packed bearings ($800 plus) to get me where I need to go. But still no spare... Because it gets worse... :P I remove the flat tire and proceed to replace it with the spare but... drum roll please... The tire shop had given me a 5 on 4.5" rim, but I needed a 5 on 5" rim...

So, same thing... Triple A'd the door locks. Both of our cel phones were in the truck, but there was a cop parked on the other side of I-15 with a radar gun who called them for us. Drove about 10 miles to find a tire shop and whipped out the credit card and we were on the road again as Willie Nelson would say. :P

On a side note, I thought for sure I'd find a Ford Courier with Gold Nugget rims for you somewhere in Utah... I'll keep looking Earl! O0
« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 01:28:58 PM by hiltman »
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline MikeT

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2006, 11:35:39 AM »
Wow, what a story. Gotta love those "Murphys Laws".

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2006, 08:23:53 PM »
I'm petitioning to get the name Murphy's Law officially changed to Hiltman's Law...

Here's a couple of after pics of the big blue tird...





EDIT: fixed links
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 12:27:36 AM by hiltman »
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2006, 08:25:56 PM »
We trimmed the hell out of those fenders. Bill is an artist, but in a good way... ;D

The fender wells were cut and stretched to go back in nicely and the edges were folded up to form a smooth lip.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2006, 08:28:21 PM by hiltman »
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2006, 08:35:39 PM »
One of the first names that came to mind was 'blue pig'... and then that kind of turned to 'blue bacon' after it over heated... 'Blue tird' came to mind several times when I was fighting her along the way. 'Blue Bomber'... 'Blue Ball' is another. Just plain 'Blue'... Anything but Christine... I guess I don't need to include the word blue... Was 'Blue Tooth' a factory option back in '77? ;D I'm sure something will stick on her first real run. I hope that's soon.
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2006, 08:42:56 PM »
To do list:

Fix over-heating problem (Radiator/Electric Fan/Milnor High-volume water pump)
Weld rear shock mount tabs and install rear shocks
Rear disc brake conversion
Shaggy's Custom Bumpers
Roll cage
Spare tire carrier
CB
Dual batteries
Replace wiring harness
Stereo
Rhino line interior
205 Gear doubler
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 03:13:04 PM by hiltman »
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline Jedrattle

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2006, 08:47:10 PM »
  You know...in those pics it looks about the same color as seagul sh#t!!!  ;D



















































 With all the crap you have talked I had to get even somewhere! Blue bird sh#t is the nickname I'd give it!! >:D
way too many and not enough $$$

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006, 08:51:02 PM »
That may be true Jed, but that Seagull Sh#t will buff right out... ;D
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline Jedrattle

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2006, 09:12:22 PM »
That may be true Jed, but that Seagull Sh#t will buff right out... ;D


 This I got to see............just think of the smell as the buffer gets that sh#t nice and warm!!  ;D























 Seriously......it's looking good. I like the wheels. But please build some bumpers asap. That rear setup looks very redneck!!!  I am having brake problems! ::)  I may have to replumb the rear brake. They feel like they are not working.





way too many and not enough $$$

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2006, 09:25:02 PM »
Trust me... I have been very hesitant to post pictures with the stock bumpers... :P
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...

Offline Spider Ram

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2006, 11:00:24 PM »
Hey John I noticed in your pics it looks like you have 2 fuel tanks.

Offline EarlKann

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2006, 11:44:38 PM »
I'm not sure if I like the wheels.  What size are they??  17"  I think I'll have to see them in person to make a final determination.
Wanted: Set of 80's style gold mod/nugget wheels in good condition.

Offline hilton8r

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Re: 1977 Dodge Ram Charger 4x4 440... (Hiltman)
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2006, 01:19:58 AM »
Hey John I noticed in your pics it looks like you have 2 fuel tanks.

There were two tanks, but I removed the auxiliary tank a couple months ago. I lost a whole tank of fuel and decided that I didn't need the tank or want to mess around fixing it. I haven't done anything with the filler cap yet. Maybe that can be my first project in learning 'body work'... Or maybe not... ;D Maybe Earl knows if it was stock or not. I'll ask before I bash him in the next post. ;D I've heard some came with a second tank.
2001 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually 4x4 6.6L Turbo Diesel (DTD :->)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 390
1974 Plymouth Trail Duster 4x4 440
1943 Dodge WC51...