New Chopped Dakota project!

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. The durango has just not needed much done I’ve gotten it to well run as a good daily driver.

But have no fear Crazypete is back with a project that has been brewing in his brain for a few years now. I give you the long bed 1988 Dakota:


It’s been sitting in the yard for a bit, ran when parked and needs a new front trans seal. but I’ve been wanting to make a custom truck, along the lines of what is depicted here in this clunky  paint-o-shop:


Mine wont be so low, will have a roll bar and rumble seat to take the kids cruisin’, and the rough cuts have already begun:


I’m thinking a glossy black with neon blue speed stripes down the middle. but that’s not for a while. I’m going to take my time and get the body right before I start painting things. So stay tuned for the next instalments and see how I tub the cab and bed together.

A/c woes, fixes, and upgrades

I know it’s been awhile, but I have been working on the truck. When it got really hot, 102F, the A/C sucks, and the engine got hot at red lights.  I’ve heard this about these trucks from a few forums. I started to investigate.

1st off, the fan shroud was chopped. The previous owner and his redneck ingenuity, removed the bottom section of the fan shroud to replace the water pump, with out removing the fan. Needless to say the fan did not pull air correctly at idle. I replaced it.

I also added a helper fan to push air through the condenser:

fan helper

I don’t think it really does 2500 CFM as advertised, but the price and size was right. I even though I only needed 30 amp relays, I found a great deal for 5 70 amp relays and harnesses for only 15 $$!  Here’s a picture of the relay tapped into the fuel pump hot wire ( the fan relay clicks on when the fuel pump comes on, with the key turned in the ignition)relayThe biggest improvement I made was the foil duct tape to seal the air gaps between the radiator and condenser. This ensures that the air is pulled through the condenser and then the radiator.  Now that it’s all done, the engine doesn’t run hot sitting at stop lights, the A/C runs great at 98 degrees and below. There seems to still be a knee curve on the A/C performance above 98 degrees F, where the thing works as hard a s possible, but can’t remove and more energy from the air.  I’ll check the 143a coolant levels in the coming weeks and see if there’s a problem, but the system might have reached its limit.Thanks for reading.

OK, not what I expected

The slapper bars were ok, they tightened up the rear suspension abit, but only helped with body roll in the corners. I have found some HD spring to replace the rear leafs:

But that’s after the car is paid off and the  the front receiver gets installed:





I’ve got the bars installed It took about 30 minutes:


I know they shouldn’t always touch the spring, and should “slap” from about .5 inches away, but, there’s so much axle wrap, that’s just where they landed.

The only mod I made was cutting a notch to let the shock mount flush up:



I’ll test it tomorrow going to work!

Time to get ready to mow!

I finally get a chance to work on the mower this season. It’s that time of year when the grass is taller than the dogs.

I poured in some sea foam to get the carb cleaned out, the engine started and sputtered out. I could not get it to crank properly. It kept acting like the valve lash needed to be adjusted, but I just did that:


Next I checked the oil, there was bunches in there, but not just oil. I drained it out and found about half a gallon of old oil, fowled fuel, and possibly water. Looks like a carb needle was stuck open and I left the pet cock opened at the end of last season, so all the fuel drained into the cylinder and seeped past the rings into the crank!

I refilled filled the oil, added fresh fuel, and it cranked right up and ran very nicley. Now I need to replace the fuel lines and filter, the dang ethanol eats them away and I can see little black chunks coming off in the tank. The deck belt is also stretched and the battery needs to be replaced.

Needles to say, I pay about 70 plus dollars every year, just to make this machine run again. It’ll get going, but its to wet to mow today anyway, so maybe next weekend I’ll actually get to chop down the grass.