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Author Topic: 1976 Big Block RC build  (Read 58250 times)

Offline SixGun

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1976 Big Block RC build
« on: July 27, 2012, 10:49:29 pm »
Today is first day of my new to me 1976 Ramcharger.  My motto has always been, " Turning Trash into Fun! ".  Usually take Junkyard dogs and turn them into fun dependable vehicles.  Nothing fancy.  This will be my first 4x4. I want it to be a trail rig that is street legal.  Picked up this Orange big block RC shell from San Marcos, TX from a RCC member, PGRINGO for $300.  This mama needs a lot of love.  Serious rust issues on the top and a little on the fenders.  Inside floor actually looks decent.  Needs front buckets, motor and trans, radiator, and pwr steering pump.  Master cylinder looks older than dirt and window channels, seals and possibly regulators need to be replaced.  Good news is that I have a 383/ 727  at my parent's place in Corpus Christi, TX about 2.5 hours away.  Both were running when pulled.  Unfortunately, the 383 is torn apart.  I have a possible line on front buckets from a buddy and a top from another buddy.  I would love to keep it topless but without a covered place to park it, the timing isn't right yet.  I really got to thank my loving wife and her family.  They helped me a bunch to get this in motion and a place to keep it for now. My brother-in-law really helped a bunch and wore an orange t-shirt to honor the old girl. LOL   My wife is very supportive and is as excited as I am.  Here's a few pics.  Check out my wife Yolanda doing her imitation of the Titanic pose and giving a new meaning to bucket seat. LOL ;D

"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

Offline Dodgestrike

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 10:57:54 pm »
That's a nice score for $300 , what plans do you have for it ?
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Offline SixGun

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 11:45:05 pm »
For now, my goal is to get it running .  The np203 is in the bed with the driveshafts, hood and gas tank.  I'm going to be doing some parts chasing right off the bat before any hi-po stuff. 

I've got an assortment of big block goodies laying around in 2 storage sheds in CC.  I've had a 383/ 400/ 440 on my 71 GTX at different times.  The fastest was the 383 believe it or not.  The tranny has a shift kit and deep pan.   I have a brand new, never been used TCI performance stall converter.  There's a trans cooler already on the RC shell.  The motor ran really strong and was very dependable.  Not sure if the PO of it had put in a performance cam or not but it ran well.  The Carter AVS ran real nice and I tried a holly 750 and a Carter TQ and did worse.  I want to go with the MP electronic distributer kit.  Not sure if it's the same as for my 71 but it had an orange ecu.  Looking for torque on this girl so a dual plane manifold this time around.  Duals with headers and thrush glass packs. 

I'm pretty sure it's the D44 front and 9.25 rear.  I want to keep the FT 4wd and look into getting the larger bolt pattern for front and back axles.  Just depends on whether the axles are in good shape.  I hate to dispose of good parts like rims, tires, and axles.  If I do go with bigger tires later on a lift will be in order but undetermined as of now.  Jungle's shackle flip comes to mind too.
"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 10:59:11 am »
I like it, and I bet you will have a lot of fun getting it going. Just have to hurry as you got a little less than a year for RamJam :-) lol

What are you going to focus on first?

Just make a list of what you need and we will see how much of it I have lol. I am going to try and build a storage building soon so I have a place to store all my spare parts  ;D
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline SixGun

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 01:36:04 pm »
I have 3 storage sheds right now.  One here in SA and 2 in Corpus.  Planning on a trip to CC this coming Sat. to pick up the motor and trans.  I need to dig around and see what else I can use.  I remember having an extra radiator but not sure if it's worth it.  I picked up a new one for a little over $100.  Piece of mind you know. 

First thing is to take the front clip off and see what needs to be cleaned or repaired before putting the drivetrain in.  Trying out a few places for transfer rebuild.  Really not sure how the transfer goes to the trans.  One picture I found, it looks like the tailshaft of the car 727 comes off and the adapter for the t-case goes in its place.  I have the adapter.  I have an old MP speed secrets book that mentions a shorter tailshaft for trucks.  Is that 2wd only?  When you pulled/ installed your drivetrain, did you do all 3 pieces at the same time?  Trying to figure out how the skid plates go on too.  Wish I knew why the gas tank was taken off.  Gonna take it to my place and clean in, fill it with water to check for leaks and hopefully test the sending unit.  I need to pull the window channels out.  Drivers side is horrible and rubber pieces are coming out.  Hopefully there's a kit for the whole nine yards.

For sure, the seats are a go.  Do you have the console too?  If not I see them in the JY all the time but not always complete.  I might have to piece one together and get a multi colored effect.  LOL
"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 02:22:41 pm »
The older trucks sending unit should not be a whole lot, as the pump will be on the engine.

I do have the console, its not in great shape but usable for a trail rig I am sure... at least till you find something better.

Do you have an engine lift?

I am not real sure on the older tranny's but the newer ones its the Over Drive section that is different for 2wd vs 4wd. I know that there has to be a difference on the old to, and it could just be a spacer but I am not sure.

I pulled my drivetrain all at once, and I can tell you it was a long pull and very interesting. I should know in a few weeks how hard it is to reinstall like that too lol. If you have it all apart and have to do work, I would probably suggest breaking it apart. But then again if the whole front clip is off it might not be too bad.

Are you going to keep the axles on it or look for newer ones?

If you have the whole front opened up I would suggest a good cleaning and some etch primer on anything you can hit. They sell it in the rattle cans and its a very good thing to have. Its what the body shop is doing to the 91 right now  ;D
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline Dodgestrike

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 09:22:59 pm »
I think you should get a trans that is for 4x4 already , if you get it from a truck get it with the transfer case attached if your truck has the stock one its a np203 full time unless someone changed it or added a kit to make it part time in wich case the axles have some small lock outs.

if you get a trans from a truck with a np208-241-205 it will not work with a np203 because the tailshaft is np203 specific , if it is full time and you don't have a use for it I would go get a tf727-np208 or np241 and use that to keep it simple.

as for the axles I would use the one already in the truck and just change the parts from the knuckles out to make it 5x5.5 botl pattern to get rid of the unit bearings and don't use the CAD axle that would be probably in the parts truck you find for the knuckles-stubs-hubs etc.

you would get a lower range as np203 is 1.96:1 and the others are lower , except for the np205 wich is 2:1 wich is pretty much the same.

I installed the engine/trans attached but I think with the transfer attached it would be hard really tricky lol
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Offline SixGun

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 12:41:12 am »
Dodgestrike, found this link that seems to say the same as you.  When Ryan pulled his drivetrain, he took the front clip off.  How did you do yours?  My RC has a panel cut out in the floor.  Looks like factory access for the transfer but I can't tell.

Hoping to keep the FT setup.  I believe it's a 203 but I'll know tommorrow when I actually get my first day off to go through it all.  Gonna haul some parts to my place.  Got a lot to do tommorrow.  I also need an inspection on the 91 D150 and apply for title on the 76 RC.
"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

Offline Dodgestrike

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 02:10:09 am »
well I only took the radiator off ... taking the front clip makes more sense  ;D

you can tell by just looking at the shifter if its a 203 it should say low /low-loc /neutral/hi/ hi-loc not in that particular order but I can't remember. the center hump is removable I think for access to the transfer I think.
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Offline workgoats

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 06:14:37 pm »
The 203 transfer is really heavy.  But, whatever you do, do not take the 203 apart under the truck.  Take it apart at the adapter to transfer.  Probably 8 bolts.

If you break the the transfer in the middle, about 115 roller bearings fall on the ground.  I have been there and done that.

Offline SixGun

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 10:24:59 pm »
Don't know how the PO did it but the np203 is safe and snug in the back of the RC.  The adapter is already disconnected.  The bolts were off the peek-a-boo panel so probably used that.

I pulled the glove box out and there was a little music box called Happy Tooter that went out to a speaker in the grille.  I thought that sucker was a siren but now it sounds like a musical fart box. LOL  Has a little red plug in device and a speed dial (rapid toot?).  Maybe it was an ice cream man mobile. ???

I was pleasantly surprised how little rust was on the floor board.  None on the passenger side and very  little surface rust on the driver's.  Also, were these factory chrome wheels?
"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

Offline Dodgestrike

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 11:21:16 pm »
well it is a np203  , and it seems the truck was fairly loaded with options , including the pedals with aluminum binding thats cool.
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Offline SixGun

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 09:33:24 am »
I cleaned out the gas tank yesterday.  Filled it first and it didn't leak.  That's good but the sending unit is questionable.  Rusty but moves.  Can they be checked out of the vehicle?  Also need a rubber grommet for the top vent.  Any ideas??  What size tank is this baby, I read somewhere that they have 34 gal tanks.  Is that true?

I also cleaned up the transfer adapter.  I guess all the greasy mud and sand preserved it well.  Both skid plates cleaned up nicely.  Just gotta put a layer of paint to preserve it.  Need ALL new rubber hoses. They were all cut so I need to measure after I put it back in. 

35 year old rubber body mounts scare me.  Anyone use the poly mounts?  Are they squeaky.  I used some poly mounts way back when on a GTX front end and they squeaked something awful.  Anyone recommend a brand that doesn't squeak.
"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

Offline workgoats

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 01:41:45 pm »
You should be able to check the sender out of the tank.  I don 't know what the ohms should read but someone will have the info for the correct range on that unit.

If the gas tank is plastic, it should be about 35 gallons.  If it is metal, I don't know.  I suspect you can buy the grommets at NAPA or any other good parts store if they are willing to do a little looking.

The adapter will end up with some transmission fluid in it.  You should be sure to put a gasket or some good gasket maker between the adapter and both the transmission and the transfer.

Offline SixGun

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Re: 1976 Big Block RC build
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2012, 02:25:40 pm »
You should be able to check the sender out of the tank.  I don 't know what the ohms should read but someone will have the info for the correct range on that unit.

The adapter will end up with some transmission fluid in it.  You should be sure to put a gasket or some good gasket maker between the adapter and both the transmission and the transfer.

Did some internet searches but came up empty handed for checking the sending unit.  I should post it on RCC.  I'm sure someone has checked one before.  I just dont wanna put it all back together to take it back apart.

I did clean off some crispy gaskets on both ends of the adapter.  I wonder if one comes in a transmission gasket set and other in a transfer gasket set. LOL  Wouldn't surprise me.
"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas" - Davy Crocket

 

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