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rustyaccord : 1977 Dodge W100 Power Wagon

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    rustyaccord : 1977 Dodge W100 Power Wagon

    Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted an old 4x4. My dad daily drove a 1984 Chevy Scottsdale and I loved that truck. It was a huge part of my childhood. Since I bought my house about 3 years ago, I have become "that guy" who's always asking for help from people with a pickup. I hate being that guy. 4x4's around eastern Nebraska are extremely hard to find in good condition and for a good price. Lucky for me, a friend still had his old truck which was parked a few years back for various issues. I was able to pick it up for $600.

    Behold, Dingus the Power Wagon:

    I should probably rename it Snowball, because every time I go to work on it, I find something else that needs to be replaced or fixed. Oh well, it's nearing 50 years old, what do you expect?
    It has a 318 small block with a 727 automatic and the np203 full time transfer case.

    The engine was rebuilt about 7 years ago and has maybe 10k miles on it, so it's practically new. As far as I know, it has a stock rotating assembly, with a mild cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, and a demon 850 carburetor. More air than the smog heads know what to do with. Maybe a set of aluminum heads are in the future, I'm not sure yet. With the way gas prices seem to be going, efi may be the better option to go with first. It runs pretty good on the varnish out of the tank but could use a more in depth tuning session. So far, I've replaced the intake manifold gaskets, rebuilt the carb, repainted the valve covers, cleaned up the extra wires in the engine bay, and installed new radiator hoses. It probably still needs spark plugs and new belts.

    The transmission was overhauled a couple years after the engine so it's also about brand new. The only issue I have found so far was 3 of the 4 torque converter bolts were loose causing 2 of the legs on the flex plate to crack.

    Of course that led to "since I have to remove the transfer case and transmission to get to the flexplate, I'll just rebuild the transfer case."

    That bastard is heavy!

    And it was caked!

    For having over 160k miles on the clock, I really expected there to be a lot more wear in this thing. I'm very pleased with how it cleaned up.

    It gets pretty cold here in Nebraska and my garage is uninsulated so reassembly started in the kitchen. (I know I need flooring, it's too expensive right now!)

    Came out pretty good! I threw some paint on it to make it a little easier to wash the dirt off and keep the rust at bay for a bit.

    What's next?
    Brakes, tires, front axle shaft u-joints, springs, shocks, window and door seals, etc.
    Last edited by rustyaccord; 06-06-2022, 07:13 PM.

    After a lot more work bleeding brakes, new rad, and smaller carb, I think I got her dialed in pretty close. I don't know how the PO was able to drive it on the 850 carb. What a turd! It would bog off the line and once it got hot, would just flood and die. I swapped it out for a Holley 600 Street Warrior and that completely fixed the issue! I think it's still a bit rich at part throttle, but it's good enough for the time being. It heat soaks really bad so hot starts are a pain. Would a phenolic spacer help maybe? It drives and shifts pretty good especially after new shocks and tires. These are BFG All-Terrains in a 33 x 10.50 R15. I downsized from a 33 x 12.50 and I think these look a bit more aggressive. I believe this truck is on a 2.5" factory lift. The leaf springs are completely worn out so in the pic it's probably closer to 1.5" over stock height.

    Took it camping last weekend and found out that the windshield wipers are worthless, and the top of the windshield leaks in steady rain at highway speed. There's some small rust holes along the top of the windshield on the inside so I'm afraid to replace the seal because that's probably the only thing holding the skin of the cab together.

    In all, I'm very happy with the progress. It's a lot of fun to drive and definitely turns some heads. To date, I think I have close to $5k into it including licensing/insurance. Not too bad, considering something like a square body Chevy or an older Tacoma around here would be close to 3k - 4k just for purchase.
    Last edited by rustyaccord; 06-06-2022, 07:26 PM.