1975 Dodge

97C1500TJ

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If they are in good shape they are fine but if you see any cracks or marks from somebody beating them with a hammer they are dangerous.

if the tire tread is good and hold air, I would run them until it needs new tires and replace them with standard rims.
They hold air and all but they are dry rotted. Tread is fine. Rims are in good shape.
 

Moparmat2000

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Cool truck with an old skool LA 318. A modern magnum 318 or 360 will bolt right in place of an LA 318. Theres 4 barrel intakes out there that fit the magnum head pattern. Your original distributor will fit the magnum engine. Its kinda like MoPars version of a vortec. It was an evolution of a mopar small block. Your stock exhaust manifolds will bolt to a magnum, Magnums also have roller cams, If you decide on a 360 magnum, these engines are externally balanced, and will require an externally balanced flex plate so the engine doesnt shake itself apart. You will find them in ram pickups until the Hemi came out. They continued on in the B series vans until 2002. Magnums use SAE bolts. Nothing on em is metric.

Transmissions, Speaking of which, if you find a 1991-1995 360 automatic, you want the trans too. It's a 46RH or hydraulically shifted. Basically its an A727 big block gut trans with a lock up torque converter and an overdrive. Chrysler OD transmissions do not have an extra detent like GM ones. When OD and lockup are turned off, it's a regular 3 speed. You use toggle switches to turn on OD and lockup above 55mph, then turn them off below 55 mph. Theres also kits when retrofitting this trans to other vehicles you can buy that wire up pressure switches to automatically lock/unlock the trans while driving for you that have a toggle so you can turn it off for tow/haul.

You can use a mopar electronic distributor and fire it with a GM HEI 4 pin module. Check out www.designed2drive.com for a nice 4 pin module bracket for a chrysler electronic distributor. With this you get killer hot spark, and you ditch the firewall ballast resistor and wire the 2 wires together.

Also on the wiring deal, Chrysler's run the alternator output power through the firewall bulkhead to the ammeter, then to the battery. I recommend you bypass the ammeter and reroute the alternator output directly to the battery with an inline fuse link. See pix below for wiring ideas to help you out. Pic 1 is typical how that truck would be wired. Pic 2 is how to bypass the ammeter. Disconnect the battery before cooling with the dash as those ammeter leads are constant hot with battery connected. I just use a bolt and nut and a piece of shrink tube to bypass the gage. Final pic is the GM 4 pin module running a chrysler electronic distributor.

My son and I are building a hot 318 for his car. Got a free 1977 318 short block as a basis for it. Those are great engines that most regard as boat anchors. They have a generous 3.31 rod ratio, basically the same ****** as a 340, just not the bore size. What they lack from the factory is good compression, good camshafts, and are hobbled by 2 barrel carbs. The teener we are building the stock pistons TDC'd at .080" in the hole lol. This engine will have a balanced forged bottom end, zero deck keith black pistons, 65CC closed chambered fast burn heads off an 85 chrysler fifth ave with larger valves, and port and bowl work, off the shelf Melling 68 340 cam, weiand stealth intake, and an eddy 600. Engine should be good for 300-325hp and rev to 6K. If my math is correct it should end up with around 9.7-1 CR. Stock mid 70s teeners are around 8.0-1 and will run on moose piss lol. This engine should idle well with good vacuum. So much for a boat anchor.

I hope this all helps you out.
 

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Hipster

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Cool truck with an old skool LA 318. A modern magnum 318 or 360 will bolt right in place of an LA 318. Theres 4 barrel intakes out there that fit the magnum head pattern. Your original distributor will fit the magnum engine. Its linda like MoPars version of a vortec. It was an evolution of a mopar small block. Your stock exhaust manifolds will bolt to a magnum, Magnums also have roller cams, If you decide on a 360 magnum, these engines are externally balanced, and will require an externally balnced flex plate so the engine doesnt shake itself apart. You will find them in ram pickups until the Hemi came out. They continued on in the B series vans until 2002. Magnums use SAE bolts. Nothing on em is metric.

Transmissions, Speaking of which, if you find a 1991-1995 360 automatic, you want the trans too. It's a 46RH basically an A727 big block gut trans with a lock up torque converter and an overdrive. Chrysler OD transmissions do not have an extra detent like GM ones. When OD and lockup are turned off, it's a regular 3 speed. You use toggle switches to turn on OD and lockup above 55mph, then turn them off below 55 mph. Theres also kits when retrofitting this trans to other vehicles you can buy that wire up pressure switches to automatically lock/unlock the trans while driving for you that have a toggle so you can turn it off for tow/haul.

You can use a mopar electronic distributor and fire it with a GM HEI 4 pin module. Check out www.designed2drive.com for a nice 4 pin module bracket for a chrysler electronic distributor. With this you get killer hot spark, and you ditch the firewall ballast resistor and wire the 2 wires together.

Also on the wiring deal, Chrysler's run the alternator output power through the firewall bulkhead to the ammeter, then to the battery. I recommend you bypass the ammeter and reroute the alternator output directly to the battery with an inline fuse link. See pix below for wiring ideas to help you out. Pic 1 is typical how that truck would be wired. Pic 2 is how to bypass the ammeter. Disconnect the battery before cooling with the dash as those ammeter leads are constant hot with battery connected. I just use a bolt and nut and a piece of shrink tube to bypass the gage. Final pic is the GM 4 pin module running a chrysler electronic distributor.

My son and I are building a hot 318 for his car. Got a free 1977 318 short block as a basis for it. Those are great engines that most regard as boat anchors. They have a generous 3.31 rod ratio, basically the same ****** as a 340, just not the bore size. What they lack from the factory is good compression, good camshafts, and are hobbled by 2 barrel carbs. The teener we are building the stock pistons TDC'd at .080" in the hole lol. This engine will have a balanced forged bottom end, zero deck keith black pistons, closed chambered heads, off the shelf Melling 68 340 cam, weiand stealth intake, and an eddy 600. Engine should be good for 300-325hp and rev to 6K. Should idle well with good vacuum. So much for a boat anchor.

I hope this all helps you out.
Ditto on the amp gauge bypass, known problem and can burn the vehicle down in the middle of the night.
 

97C1500TJ

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Cool truck with an old skool LA 318. A modern magnum 318 or 360 will bolt right in place of an LA 318. Theres 4 barrel intakes out there that fit the magnum head pattern. Your original distributor will fit the magnum engine. Its kinda like MoPars version of a vortec. It was an evolution of a mopar small block. Your stock exhaust manifolds will bolt to a magnum, Magnums also have roller cams, If you decide on a 360 magnum, these engines are externally balanced, and will require an externally balanced flex plate so the engine doesnt shake itself apart. You will find them in ram pickups until the Hemi came out. They continued on in the B series vans until 2002. Magnums use SAE bolts. Nothing on em is metric.

Transmissions, Speaking of which, if you find a 1991-1995 360 automatic, you want the trans too. It's a 46RH or hydraulically shifted. Basically its an A727 big block gut trans with a lock up torque converter and an overdrive. Chrysler OD transmissions do not have an extra detent like GM ones. When OD and lockup are turned off, it's a regular 3 speed. You use toggle switches to turn on OD and lockup above 55mph, then turn them off below 55 mph. Theres also kits when retrofitting this trans to other vehicles you can buy that wire up pressure switches to automatically lock/unlock the trans while driving for you that have a toggle so you can turn it off for tow/haul.

You can use a mopar electronic distributor and fire it with a GM HEI 4 pin module. Check out www.designed2drive.com for a nice 4 pin module bracket for a chrysler electronic distributor. With this you get killer hot spark, and you ditch the firewall ballast resistor and wire the 2 wires together.

Also on the wiring deal, Chrysler's run the alternator output power through the firewall bulkhead to the ammeter, then to the battery. I recommend you bypass the ammeter and reroute the alternator output directly to the battery with an inline fuse link. See pix below for wiring ideas to help you out. Pic 1 is typical how that truck would be wired. Pic 2 is how to bypass the ammeter. Disconnect the battery before cooling with the dash as those ammeter leads are constant hot with battery connected. I just use a bolt and nut and a piece of shrink tube to bypass the gage. Final pic is the GM 4 pin module running a chrysler electronic distributor.

My son and I are building a hot 318 for his car. Got a free 1977 318 short block as a basis for it. Those are great engines that most regard as boat anchors. They have a generous 3.31 rod ratio, basically the same ****** as a 340, just not the bore size. What they lack from the factory is good compression, good camshafts, and are hobbled by 2 barrel carbs. The teener we are building the stock pistons TDC'd at .080" in the hole lol. This engine will have a balanced forged bottom end, zero deck keith black pistons, 65CC closed chambered fast burn heads off an 85 chrysler fifth ave with larger valves, and port and bowl work, off the shelf Melling 68 340 cam, weiand stealth intake, and an eddy 600. Engine should be good for 300-325hp and rev to 6K. If my math is correct it should end up with around 9.7-1 CR. Stock mid 70s teeners are around 8.0-1 and will run on moose piss lol. This engine should idle well with good vacuum. So much for a boat anchor.

I hope this all helps you out.
Cool truck with an old skool LA 318. A modern magnum 318 or 360 will bolt right in place of an LA 318. Theres 4 barrel intakes out there that fit the magnum head pattern. Your original distributor will fit the magnum engine. Its kinda like MoPars version of a vortec. It was an evolution of a mopar small block. Your stock exhaust manifolds will bolt to a magnum, Magnums also have roller cams, If you decide on a 360 magnum, these engines are externally balanced, and will require an externally balanced flex plate so the engine doesnt shake itself apart. You will find them in ram pickups until the Hemi came out. They continued on in the B series vans until 2002. Magnums use SAE bolts. Nothing on em is metric.

Transmissions, Speaking of which, if you find a 1991-1995 360 automatic, you want the trans too. It's a 46RH or hydraulically shifted. Basically its an A727 big block gut trans with a lock up torque converter and an overdrive. Chrysler OD transmissions do not have an extra detent like GM ones. When OD and lockup are turned off, it's a regular 3 speed. You use toggle switches to turn on OD and lockup above 55mph, then turn them off below 55 mph. Theres also kits when retrofitting this trans to other vehicles you can buy that wire up pressure switches to automatically lock/unlock the trans while driving for you that have a toggle so you can turn it off for tow/haul.

You can use a mopar electronic distributor and fire it with a GM HEI 4 pin module. Check out www.designed2drive.com for a nice 4 pin module bracket for a chrysler electronic distributor. With this you get killer hot spark, and you ditch the firewall ballast resistor and wire the 2 wires together.

Also on the wiring deal, Chrysler's run the alternator output power through the firewall bulkhead to the ammeter, then to the battery. I recommend you bypass the ammeter and reroute the alternator output directly to the battery with an inline fuse link. See pix below for wiring ideas to help you out. Pic 1 is typical how that truck would be wired. Pic 2 is how to bypass the ammeter. Disconnect the battery before cooling with the dash as those ammeter leads are constant hot with battery connected. I just use a bolt and nut and a piece of shrink tube to bypass the gage. Final pic is the GM 4 pin module running a chrysler electronic distributor.

My son and I are building a hot 318 for his car. Got a free 1977 318 short block as a basis for it. Those are great engines that most regard as boat anchors. They have a generous 3.31 rod ratio, basically the same ****** as a 340, just not the bore size. What they lack from the factory is good compression, good camshafts, and are hobbled by 2 barrel carbs. The teener we are building the stock pistons TDC'd at .080" in the hole lol. This engine will have a balanced forged bottom end, zero deck keith black pistons, 65CC closed chambered fast burn heads off an 85 chrysler fifth ave with larger valves, and port and bowl work, off the shelf Melling 68 340 cam, weiand stealth intake, and an eddy 600. Engine should be good for 300-325hp and rev to 6K. If my math is correct it should end up with around 9.7-1 CR. Stock mid 70s teeners are around 8.0-1 and will run on moose piss lol. This engine should idle well with good vacuum. So much for a boat anchor.

I hope this all helps you out.
Thanks for the insight! I was not aware of the ammeter issue. Is there a way to rewire it to work after bypassing it? I plan to keep the original motor and trans for now. Kind of going off the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” ….Even if it is a Dodge….My grandfather (a GM guy) used to always say “They Dodge everything but the garage.” I’ve got a lot of brake work to do among an endless list of stuff. A lot of stuff has happened recently and I’m in a bit of a depression spell so I lack motivation. I’m trying though.

Currently I’m at this

Remove box
Shorten frame
New driveshaft
Replace brake lines, MC, and booster
PS hoses
Valve cover gaskets
Weld in new floor pans
New tires (and rims if they deem unsafe)
4 barrel intake and carb
Front end rebuild
New body bushings
 

Moparmat2000

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A lot of guys just do the bypass and install a volt gage in the dash in place of the ammeter. Sun makes a nice 2" mini that fits well. I did this on my 67 barracuda dash. I gutted a 2" sun volt gage and only used the internals. I used the barracuda ammeter face. Modded the bottom edge for it to screw to the volt gage guts, and clipped and glued on the ammeters needle pointer. I found the 12V in going into the cluster and wired to that, and ran the negative to a ground return. I used plastic spacers on the mounting studs to set the gage height. Looks like an ammeter, and when u have 13V the needle is just a hair above the halfway point on the gage. You fine tune that with an adjustment on the pot on the back circuit board of the volt gage.

Also the oil pressure, fuel level, and water temp are 6V gages. Theres a small rectangle metal box on the circuit board. It's an IVR instrument voltage regulator. It uses vibrating points to drop 12v to 6V to run those 3 gages. If it sticks open they drop, if it sticks closed they peg. You can buy a solid state replacement, or make your own if you like doing that. I included a schematic for a homemade IVR with about $5 worth of stuff. Or buy the plug n play tor about $20 and be done. Heres pix of my volt meter conversion on a barracuda rallye dash, and the IVR schematic. Barracuda rallye dash the IVR is inside the gas gage. Had to dewire it but leave the gage functioning. This is why my IVR uses ring terminals. If you do the mod on your truck circuit board it uses male spades. My dad and I restored a 1979 Dodge lil red express truck years ago. The dash is the same as yours.
 

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Moparmat2000

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Easy way to check the water temp and fuel level gages to make sure the gage and wiring is good is to unplug the wires from the sending units, then ground the sending unit feed wire to a good ground, flip the ignition switch on and and if the wiring and gage is good the needles should deflect to the full high side. Remember they are 6V gages so dont leave the key on. Just leave it on long enough to get a deflection on the needle to verify the gage and wiring to the sender is good. If you get a deflection on the needle then the wiring and gage is good. Problem at that point is the sending unit, or how the sender is or is not grounding out to complete the circuit.

That truck may have a plastic gas tank. Dodge pickups came with a polyethylene plastic tank in the 1970s. Great to not have rust issues, but the sending unit requires a return ground wire to the chassis. These trucks are really simple. Dont overthink them.
 

Moparmat2000

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Also a mid 1990s Ram Van uses the same lower door hinge as your 76 truck. However the van lower door hinge has replacable bronse bushings like our GMT400s. Your truck has steel pins on steel hinges, no bushings. The hinges wear out and sag. A new 1990s Ram Van lower hinge with bushings from Dorman at RockAuto is about $37 perfect way to fix a sagging drivers door. A lot of NOS stuff for these pops up on evilbay as Dodge M880 which was the military designator for the dodge 4x4 pickup and Ramcharger. People buy the DRMO parts lots and re sell since the M880s are long gone.
 
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