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Author Topic: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build  (Read 8094 times)

Offline rjtx667

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2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« on: August 05, 2012, 01:06:11 am »
This started back in Feb of 2012:

I was goofing off at work and stubbled across a toy I could not resist for the price.

2000 Dodge Ramcharger with 5.2l

A friend made the purchase today and it should get picked up for shipping Tuesday or Wednesday. Figure a good week to get it here, not sure how long shipping a vehicle takes. Once it makes it here I will try to post some better pics, I got to see 1 once when I was in Mexico but that was ages ago and never got to drive one, should be interesting.

More fun will be getting the title work squared away, but since it has cali paperwork already I don't think it will be too bad.
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 01:07:07 am »
March 4th 2012

Well the new Ramcharger showed up thursday night, but we were not able to get it off the car hauler trailer because it had a broken hydraulic hose. After the driver worked at fixing it for about an hour we gave up and he went looking for a new hose. Friday morning he called and had it fixed. We meet up and got it unloaded. Buying sight unseen is quite an experience, and I can't say it was all that good lol.

The body is in pretty good shape, a dent in the driver front fender and everything else looks ok. There is also a broken tail light, which from my first quick search it seems that they might be specific to the ramcharger as I can't see any other vehicles that use that specific design.

The inside is where things get interesting. its like it has lots of "little" issues and maybe 1 not so little issue. I found out quickly that the ODB II port was dead, looking at the dash I could not find the cig lighter adapter to test for power. Into the dash I got... but wait the dash cover, once removed, shows there is no dash!!!!! its in pieces and the larger portion of it is just gone. Fine, I start ripping out the broken parts trying to get to what I want to look for, the missing cig lighter.

Well I got the whole dash and sub dash assembly out, and it was in very poor shape. The photo the seller used was far enough away to hide this fact, got to love it.

I noticed there were lots of little electrical things that seemed to be having issues, the brake lights and turn signals worked . Dome light, chime, etc did not. Started looked and found at this "base" ramcharger with no power locks or windows had been "rigged" up with some cheap aftermarket alarm and keyless entry module. Well who ever installed this was not very good at their job. They had cut and spliced wires and broke circuits. So I started the process of removing all the "trash" that had been installed, wires all over the place for stereo or alarm etc. Once it was all out and the bare wires covered back up I found that a lot of the fuses were either broke or missing. I filled in the fuses and the dome and ODB II started working. I got chime and all that fun stuff.

I then went under the hood to do some basic tune up stuff, I noticed some wires hanging, starting tracing and the hood light had been pulled off and fallen down into the driver lower control arm, moved it back into place. I then noticed that the battery tray was missing and the battery was just sitting down below where it should be. pulled battery and found more wires, they went to the washer fluid for front and back along with washer fluid level sensor. On the passenger side I found more wires, did not figure it out right away... but later when I was testing the horn and only heard a relay I figured out those go to the horns that are missing.

Finally made it to the tune up, the spark plugs are not original, as they are "Autolite Plat" plugs, but it looks like its been a long time since they were changed. The wires were Mopar wires, and I am 99% sure they were original. The cap and rotor had so much corrosion I can't believe it ran (and it idled pretty good at that). After getting it all changed out and cleaned up it idles good and revs real good too.

Took it on a test drive, and it did "OK" but not great, the transmission is having shifting issues and according to my MT2500 not wanting to shift between 2 and 3 and 3 and 4th. After some google'ing I found this is most likely the governor sensor and solenoid. I wanted to change the tranny fluid any way so I am going to hold off on that until I get the parts ordered. I did use the SeaFoam "TransTune" in it, and that did seem to help a little, I have used it before with good results. I also put some SeaFoam in the oil to run through it before I change the oil out.

I also ended up making a few runs to the junk yard and parts store. After a lot of searching I found a dash out of a 2000 dodge ram 1500 that was in good shape (apparently they break and crack a lot), its not the same color... a little darker but I think it will be ok. The yard is going to pull it tomorrow and we will see about getting it installed.

The title paper work is going slow, I have to get a few more forms from the seller but they are on their way. I don't know, but assume, I need the dash back in (along with a horn) to pass inspection. And I have to get the inspection before I can complete the tittle.

While I am in the dash working around and its off I decided to play with "upgrades" I bought new door panels, power window assembly, power locks, door wire harness (already had plugs to connect door harness too). It also did not have cruise and some quick research suggested it would be easy to add, get the part and cable for under the hood, the clock spring and buttons. I got all those at the junk yard, but then after I got it in found out that the wires to the clock spring are not there :-(

Another interesting thing I found out, is that while airbags were offered (driver and passenger) they appeared to be optional on the base model and standard on the SLT and SLT plus. So I am also looking to try and find out how hard this may or may not be to add.

so now I am trying to figure out how big of a pain all of this is going to be to fix, and how to go about fixing it. I am tempted to hold off on putting the dash back in until I can figure out the cruise. It also does not have tilt steering, so almost tempted to fixed that but I don't know how hard that is.

I wanted this to quickly become my daily driver, but it looks like it will take some time to get it there. Sorry for the bad picks, they were taken quickly with my phone. Once I get some more time I will try to get some better ones. (maybe after I get the dash in, whenever that may be).
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 01:08:50 am »
more pics of the truck from when it arrived
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 01:12:15 am »
other user:

I think the tailights are out of a mini van , I've read it all here somewhere .  Mini van and Durango parts I believe


me:

I have a 03 Durango and those tail lights are not the same ( as you see in the pic above)

the ramcharger actually has two clear/ white spots... one for reverse lights, one for orange turn signals.

I will get a Bette picture of the light tonight, but it actually has a small curve in it to match the body.

the hatch is from a caravan, I can confirm that.

I'm not to sure about the clear / white spots , only something I read here . Search it out . If not , dodgestrike is a member on this site and lives in Mexico . He has been hitting the JY's and selling older Mexican RC parts here . PM him or post an ad under the wanted section with what your looking for .



That would work, I do have a few other parts that I would like to fix that are Ramcharger specific. Its driving me crazy that I can't drive it yet, but it will get there. I have to drop the transmission pan tonight to find out the exact parts to replace in it so I can order those parts, but before I do I want to test drive it again with the MT2500 to make sure its the problem. I found out the MT2500 gives you the pressure reading on the governor sensor and I found a website that gives you what the range should be when it shifts.

I should also get the new dash today or tomorrow I think. So after the dash gets in I need a horn then I think it can pass inspection.


user: how much did you pay

me:

3k + 500 to ship, all in all not too bad, but I think I could have gotten a better deal if I had been there in person

user:

Where was the truck located, here in the states?

me:

It was in LA, he had started the process to title out in Cali but was not very far along. We are going to see if I have better luck.

The fact it will have ODB II, a horn, wipers, and all the required safety features should give me a good edge on him.

I just dropped the tranny pan, and someone had been in there before. I was wondering why the outside was so dirty until I found every screw hand tight. Once inside it was very dirty fluid, but I did not see any big metal chunks or shavings... It is missing the magnet in the bottom though, so I wonder if thats part of it. Ordering my parts for it so maybe we will find out once they come in.

As I mentioned before I put sea foam in it, and it did help. But from what I can tell it was the governor sensor. My MT2500 showed desired and actual readings, and it never got close to the 127 PSI it should have for 4th, always stayed below 45 or so. No wonder it had issues shifting.

Well it looks a little better with the replacement dash in there. I was living dangerously and replaced the dash wiring harness as well, seems the one I had was not 100% wired for cruise, power windows, and the like.

Yeah good thing to note, the wire harness between a 2000 RamCharger and a 2000 Ram 1500 are not 100% compatible.

I knew it might not have everything (rear wiper) but figured the basic would just flow across. Well Ignition works, engine control seems to (did not start it since the tranny pan is dropped right now) dash gauges, the new power windows and locks. Brake lights and headlights are also good.

What is not working:

Rear wiper (no wire at this point, I will try to splice it in at some point)
Turn signals and hazards (power at fuse and flasher in fuse panel)
dome lights (no power at fuse)
radio (no power at fuse)

there is 1 connector on the new harness that is different than the previous harness, and I am pretty sure (due to a miss connection on try 1) that the turn signals are on this connector. So now I have to find a FSM for the Ram1500 and start comparing and tracing wires. I believe I should be able to swap connectors and get that fixed up and working without too much trouble.
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 01:13:53 am »
March 15 2012

Man, the Flu can really mess with you. Been down and out for almost a week. Almost back to feeling human again.

Maybe this weekend I will get to work on the ram charger some more, I have not felt good enough to touch it. All of the parts for the transmission came in, so I am excited to get that finished up. I ended up buying a DIY transmission pan drain plug, so I want to see how that is going to work out as well.

I still have to look at the wiring some more, the extra plug  next to the main harness seems to have a collection of wires, one goes to the light control (running lights maybe) 2 go to the turn signal bundle on the column (turn signals) 2 tied straight into the main harness and another went to the rear wiper. There were 3 more black ones that all tied together.

I do want to go through and compare the main connection block and make sure things line up with the old one the best I can. I don't think it should be too hard to fix most of the wiring issues, though I am still not sure why the radio and dome lights are not working. I think it might be a loose connection on the back of the fuse panel.


March 19 2012

Finally feeling better and got to work on it some more this weekend. I found a plug on the back of the fuse box that was loose, once I got that fixed the dome lights, power mirrors, and radio all had power and worked (except for the broken radio).

I spliced in the turn signals and both now work along with the hazard lights. I did notice the turn signals are coming on when you hit the brakes, so I need to figure out why that is. I also have the running lights working on the rear, but not the front. The instrument lights are also not coming on yet.

So it looks like my list for inspection is getting smaller:

1) horn (need to install)
2) brake lights (turn signals coming on when hitting the brake)
3) running lights
4) instrument lights
5) change rear drum shoes

Some other things that also need to be finished up:

1) finish dash (install passenger air bag and air bag sensor)
2) finish power locks
3) install overhead console (it is plugged in and working, just not mounted... I do need to install a temp sensor for it as well).
4) Find short on gate lock actuator (it randomly goes off because of previous wiring mess)
5) re-wire rear wiper switch back in


I also got the transmission back together and it is shifting a lot better, the MT2500 shows the sensor reading correctly and it is shifting very smooth. It does seem to be shifting later than you would think, like around 4800 - 4900 RPM but it is shifting and working as it should. I do not know if someone has changed the shift pattern on this or not.

I am going to try and work on the list more this week so I can get it to pass the safety inspection this week and maybe try for the title next week. Can't go for the title without the safety inspection. Interestingly, the cops don't seem to care that I am driving a truck with Mexico plates on it. I have seen a few on my various test drive, and they just keep on going. I guess its not a huge deal like it would seem like, but I still want to get that fixed as soon as I can.

I will try to get some better pictures up soon, the interior is still a wreck from all the dash work that has been going on.

March 21 2012

I had a chance to make more progress last night. Horn is in and working (low only as the high plug is missing). I also finally tracked down why the turn lights were coming on when hitting the brake, quick snip of the pilers and that is resolved.

I also got the door panels on and the power windows/ mirrors finished up. The power door locks are in, but apparently the ones I got from the jy were junk so I am now hunting for a new set. Once I have that done I can run by the local locksmith and key a keyless fob programmed up (the wire harness I acquired had it built into the modules and I used that module).

I did notice I am also going to new new headlights on both sides, they were not well taken care of and broken(not to mention not very clear).

I was able to button up the dash pretty good, I have the airbags in and the glove box and cup holder. I even got adventurous and installed the overhead console and the new sun visors with lights and mirrors. I did mess up a bit (to cut happy) and made the hole in the headliner too big :-( But its not that bad of a loss since I have to re-do it anyways, it has several stains and cuts in it. I figure I might find one in a jy and re-cover it. Its interesting that it using a standard cab head liner then a seam to the back for the rest of the headliner.

I still have the issue with the front running lights and the gauge lights not working, have not had time to track that down... maybe this weekend.

I did notice a few new issues while driving it to work today, the A/C clutch is not engaging (open/ short) and the evap purge solenoid is also showing an open/ short. I am thinking this must be differences in the firewall connector pinouts, so will have to do some tracing and moving of cables, but should not be too bad. I am guessing this is what I will have to do to get the front running lights working as well.

I have a few pictures here, and will try to get more now that its getting cleaned up a bit. The back driver corner (as you can see in the pics) apparently had a minor fire issue, though I am not sure why. You can see the melted plastic and hole in the cardboard. With a closer look of the wire you can see where they spliced the wire together to get it working again. The PO was very good at hiding issues when he took pictures, but I guess it could be worse.
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 01:15:40 am »
March 21, 2012


I have read online that if its registered in Canada its " a lot easier" to get done than from Mexico. I too am curious about how the title process is going to go. I hope to get the state inspection done this week/end (inspection must be done before you can apply for title). I am also expecting the final paperwork I need in the mail this week to be able to apply for the title.

I bit of an interesting note, I filled up and drove around (city/ highway but more highway than city) and it showed an average of 15.7 MPG. I will take that for something that big that I just did a tune up on and am guessing it has a intake valley pan issue. I am debating trying to take it off and fix it vs just replacing the whole intake with a M1 as I did on my 92. My biggest concern is that on the 92 I broke a bolt, ended up having to remove heads to fix. Then I decided to get a valve job, found out heads were cracked and got new heads. Then in that process I decided to replace the cam and get new lifters and rods. Needless to say that "quick" intake swap turned into more than a weekend project and cost a lot more than budgeted. If I am going to do that, I need to save a bit more.

Its also strange how the transmission is shifting. While its a vast improvement from what it was doing, I can't tell if it still has issues, or if someone has played with the computer and changed shift points. I was showing it to a co-worker and let him drive it around, he ran it right up to 5600 RPMs when the red line should be 5250. I am fairly certain that the computer normally governs that and won't let you pass it. That suggest to me either someone has played with the computer, the tach gauge is off (Need to verify with MT2500) or that the tranny still has issues. It is shifting smooth(er) than it was but seems to almost always have a delayed shift. Meaning it lets the engine rev just a bit more than seems normal.

As far as the dash goes, it was not near as bad as I thought it would be. Of course just 3 weekends ago I had our durango all tore apart to replace the evap coil. That was bad!!!! The durango has "layers" of dash, this one does as well, but it goes in and out as one piece. That helps a lot. I am fearful of having to pull it out once more to check wiring for the gauge lights, as since its all in the dash harness I replaced, I can only assume that I missed something there.

I am exciting its making such good progress, and can't wait to get to drive it more. I would drive it more now, but with Mexico plates it just worries me too much :-)

DodgeRamcharger1987, let me know how yours goes as well. I had seen one on CL up in Canada near Seattle. It cost a good bit more than what I paid, but appeared to be in lots better shape, of course I thought this one was in better shape till it arrived lol.


I just realized I have not shown an updated pic of the dash, it was a bit dark and my phone flash not working great.  I hope this weekend to pull out the SLR to take better pics.

I have yet to get the rear seat to fold up, but I am pretty sure I know why/ how. There is a spot from a "pull tab" in the center of the bottom of the seat. (I see it there in my Brochure, but not in my truck). I am going to have to take the bottom of the seat apart to get it released so I can shove the release cord back through. After the bottom is pulled forward the back folds down. Its an interesting design, but the back releases are hidden pretty good. Then again this back seat is a good bit wider than the Gen 2 seats. It is not between the rear wheels so it can expand out on each side a few inches. The rear wheels are just behind it, which goes to help hiding the back release.

1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 01:16:27 am »
March 24 2012

Still working on the "bugs"

I did brakes this weekend, had the rotors and drums turned, but only 1 rotor and 1 drum were in good enough shape so I had to buy 1 of each and turn the others. The drum brakes were the normal pains, the old setup was different than the new springs and shoes,  but I bought the self adjuster repair kit and that helped get things lined out. The brake fluid was way dirty so I did a flush the best I could (emptied out the reservoir and refilled then went to each wheel and bleed it till it was clearer). The brakes still seem a little soft, so I am going to bleed them again tomorrow and see if that helps. It will stop and has some stoping power, but just seems it should have a bit more. As far as I can tell its not all wheel ABS, and its not locking up the fronts at this point.

One thing that I was shocked about while down there "playing" is the rear axle. I attached a pic, and from what I can tell it has a Dana 44 on the rear, open as best I can tell too. I did not know Dodge did this on any newer truck. The tag said 3.54 on it and I would believe it. Maybe I can get it swapped out to a 3.92 or something down the road.

I still need to track down my last 2 "safety" items so I can get it inspected. The gauge lights and the front running lights.

I also really care to get the AC working again, it was 80 today here and that is way too hot in a black truck with a dark grey interior and no AC 

The PO says the old title was finally put in the mail, so I hope to see that Tuesday or Wed. I will have to get a safety inspection before I can title it thought.

I called the local tax office (before I bought it) and was told all I need was the Safety inspection + out of state doc from them, Mexico title, proof of insurance, Texas title app, customs HS-7 form.

Hopefully I get all the paperwork I need and can see how it goes. Once its tagged I plan to either fix the intake plenum or replace the intake (depends on what the budget allows) and to replace/ upgrade the fuel injectors. Not sure if anyone ever has ever looked into this. I did it on my 92. The stock injectors are a single hole, there are "upgrade" injectors that have 4 holes. They flow the same amount of fuel, but provide a better spray pattern. I noticed a difference in the 92 when I did this, but then again with 20+ year old injectors replacing with stock would have probably made a difference in itself.

I have (only once or twice) got over 18MPG on the 92 since doing the injectors + the M1 intake. Of course that was on mostly flat highway and with a big tail wind... but I take what I can get 

1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 01:18:41 am »
march 25 2012

user:

Do you know how hard it would be, or take a wild guess how hard it would be, to make it 4x4? Youve spent enough time under it so I figured Id ask.   Looks like Im going to have to pass the one in Canada, and am looking at one in California with a clean California title, its painted ugly as hell but at least its already legal...  Keep up the great work on this rare beast! Itll be nice knowing someone whos taken almost everything apart to get help from! Good luck!

user:


To make it a 4x4 will take a doner truck ,a lot of work and a welder . Those chassis are different , first you have to saw the chassis in half and graft the 4x4 chassis onto the newer RC . Up until 1993 , you can convert the 2x4 chassis into a 4x4 . After 1993 isnt that easy 


March 25 2012

More progress today 

I will start off by saying something, that now after the fact appears quite obvious. If you ever replace a dash wiring harness on one of these things, make sure all the plugs are connected to the fuse panel BEFORE you install the dash, as after wards you cannot reach all of the plugs.

With that being said, I found yet another plug I missed, and yes I had to semi remove the dash again to get to it. Once plugged in I had more bugs killed.... The assumed bad radio... works, granted the driver front speaker did not and the driver rear speaker is missing. Both passenger side speakers work, as do the steering wheel controls. The dash now also has lights which is good, I don't think the cops would like my previous work around of using my phone to light the gauges.

A little think that I did also notice, while the driver turn signals worked outside the indicator did not come on in the cluster. This has now been resolved. The system error about the purge solenoid having an open/ short resolved itself too along with the A/C clutch. That was a very good thing, as it was 80 or so today and since the A/C was working we got to drive it around some more.

While I was in the dash tinkering I played a little swap game, I now have MPH instead of Km/H and I have PSI and F vs the metric equivalent. According to my MT2500 the displays are close to the computer reading, though the speed is wrong (I assume this is because of the 17" wheels someone put on it, but I like them so they will stay).

I just now finished working on the front running lights. I ran a splice wire from the known good turn signal that the rear used under the dash to the driver front running light. Once everything was tied in and cleaned up it worked both driver and passenger lights because I kept the existing wire in the loop.

Between the electrical work done today and the last round of brake bleeding I believe I am almost ready for an inspection. Normally the computers need about 75-100 miles to set all the reading correctly so I will drive it to work tomorrow and once near my house will stop off and get it inspected.

Sometime early this week my new door lock latches should arrive, I expect these to resolve my issues with the power locks. Once the power locks are working 100% I can get the new keyless entry fobs which I am also looking forward to, but will probably wait until after the titling is done.

The after title list is getting quite large 

Keyless entry
intake (repair or replace)
upgrade injectors
new head lights
replace broken tail light
and I am sure a few more things


As for the 4wd question, I would agree it would be quite hard. I may try to look into this more down the road, but not at this time. I can say one of the most obvious problems is the fuel tank. It is not in the rear as the older ram chargers, but like a truck up between the frames on the driver side. It is too long for a transfer case to fit in there as well.

Crossing my fingers to have it inspected and titled this week, lets see how that goes

1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 01:20:05 am »
March 27 2012

Well it passed inspection today, so that is one more hurdle out of the way.

I got some documents in the main from the PO, but I don't think they are all that I need. I am going to go to the DMV at lunch and find out.


It was not titled in CA, but they started the process in CA for it being titled there.



Ran by the DMV at lunch just to see where I stood. It went much better than I thought.

I did not get it registered, as I believed, the PO sent me the purchase invoice. But I did learn something interesting....

Mexico does NOT have vehicle titles 

Each state in Mexico has its own vehicle registration form which is used as proof of ownership. I am reaching out to the PO for one of these (has to be an original not a copy). After that I need to get the police department to have the theft department look it over and fill out a form.

I did have enough documents with me to get a 30 day temp tag, which I see as great progress.

I am going to try and get the other form filled out today on the way home from work, if the PO can get me what I need quickly I think I will be set pretty soon.

Driving it around more now, the transmission is still acting funny. Not slipping or anything, but like its delayed on shifting from 1st to 2nd (normally will shift at 2900 rpm on a light acceleration, higher on a hard acceleration). It also has issues with down shifting if your doing 40 or so and hit it, its like it down shifts from 3rd or 4th to 1st and red lines real quick. I am thinking this could have something to do with the downshift cable and or link but I have not had time to look into it. For now I just get to take my time getting where I want to get, but the air is cold and the ride is decent so I can handle that.

So far this has been easier than when I registered my 92 from Kansas to Texas, we shall see if that stays true.

I did figure out 2 things last night.

1) my brake issue was due to a wheel cylinder that was having issues. I was able to repair it and get it working as the local auto parts store claimed to not have the replacement parts.

2) after looking online more I determined that the wheel cylinder was from the 94-99 year models not the 2000 and up. It got me thinking and looked some more, if I had requested the shoes for the 99 year model they too would have worked without all the replacement parts I got.

Very interesting, but at least I know now. And I also now have a 2000 shoe brake setup minus the wheel cylinder which should make things easier in the future.

I also worked on the Transmission "TV" cable/ downshift cable. It was clearly out of whack but I have not had any luck getting it set as it should be yet. I am going to keep tweaking it little by little until I get it right. Its amazing how much difference that little cable can make in the transmission.

I also called and left a message with the police department about getting the form filled out, but I am still waiting on a call back.

if it wasn't for bad luck....


man talk about a bad week/end. It started out working on my 92 ram charger, upgrading the rear suspension. After getting into it for a few hours I found some really really bad news. Both front and rear leaf spring hangers were shot. Even worse, after I got the front hanger off I found a hole about 1/2 the height of the frame!!!!!

I now have to step back and re-evaluate how I am going to proceed, as it is clear I can't use this frame and maybe not even this body. I think its just too far gone, which is really sad because the engine sounds great with all the upgrades that have been done.

So after I was recovered from that mess I decided to install the new power door locks on the 2000 ram charger. Got them in and working, but I needed to adjust the lock (the part that goes through the door panel, it was rubbing and too tight for the locks to work correctly). Last light I finally got around to doing this and testing the locks. Both sides started locking and un locking great. At some point in the process the doors were locked and I just reached over (from the outside) and pulled the lock up to open the door. Bad News!!!!

The new dash setup has the keyless entry, but it also has the security alarm. When you lock the doors it arms it, but I can't get it to disarm the alarm. so the horn started going off like crazy (had to un plug it). Everything I did to disarm the alarm failed. unlock the door from outside with key, put key in ignition, start the truck (it starts for 2 seconds then turns off).

So now I have a 2000 ram charger that can't leave my garage 

I am going to call the locksmith to see how much its gonna cost to have them come out and program a key fob so I can disable the alarm. I also need to figure out why the other methods of disarming are not working. There is a slight concern that the new BCM might have the sentry key option, I have no way to be sure. I don't see this as likely as I have been driving this around for weeks now with this BCM.

Of interesting note when I swapped the BCM back to the old one it still would not start, even after clearing all memory with the mt2500 and disconnecting the battery for 10+ min. I am guessing the PCM is looking for something from the BCM before it will allow it to keep running.

So while its good to know these securities systems work, and work well... its a real pain that I can't get it to start. I had already planned to take it to the locksmith today for a key fob too, probably just added 60-70 to the cost for the "trip charge"

It seems you cannot program the fob yourself if you don't have 1 working remote, which I don't.

Live and learn I guess. No update on the registration yet, still gathering all the paperwork up.


1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 01:23:29 am »
April 2 2012

nteresting the things you learn. I found a TSB

http://dodgeram.info/tsb/2003/08-023-03.htm

that talked about an issue with door locks and the security system. Gave some part numbers to replace. Apparently this does not happen often now days as no dealer had the driver side and only 1 dealer had the passenger side in all of DFW. I was able to make it to the stealership in time to get the passenger side (I ordered the driver side).

These are "disarm switches"(I had no disarm switches period). They go on the back of the key lock cylinder on the door handle and from what I can tell give out 12 ohms in "neutral" and apx 2 ohms in unlock and under 1 ohm in lock. So that's how the computer knows when you unlock it

it was 9:30 or so before I got to start digging around on it tonight, went over to the passenger side and the plug fit and went just as it should (I had been wondering what the extra plug on the door wire harness was for)

had it all set up, popped in the fuse to give it a go..... nothing!!!!!!!!! exact same issue. Now I am getting pissed off, but I start to wonder if it requires you to have both sides to work correctly (still not sure on this yet). So I start trying to do some test with an ohms meter, strange thing is I get nothing at the CTM. ok lets backup, I disconnect the door wire harness and start looking it over, I test and find where the wire is on the door side. I go and look on the body side.... there is no wire there !!!!!!

That explains why nothing changed, and it also means another item to add to the junk yard list and another round of R&R of the dash to replace that particular wiring harness.

In the mean time I did what any "engineer" worthy of the title would do, I cut the wires near the CTM and ran temp splices from there to the passenger door where I cut back some of the insulation. reset all the fuses and TADA it worked, alarm turned off and it started right up.

I still have to figure out an exact short term solution for this (having wires on the floor board does not really count for me). I also have to get all the parts back together again (doors and lower dash). I will get this done tomorrow, then Wed on the way to work the first stop is the locksmith for a key fob to avoid this issue in the future.

Working on all of this did give me a thought, this is kind of my Frankenstein as I have made this particular ram charger do things it was not meant to do. With that in mind I think I am going to name it Frank, short for Frankenstein. Any thoughts?


user:

Wow, what a mess!   I hope you can figure out the problem. Just out of curiousity, how did you find this truck in the first place?

Also, hope the Canyon Sport isnt down for good.


me:

I found it on craigslist.

Sadly yes the 92 Canyon Sport is a goner, I just posted a parting out ad on here. The rust is just too much.

I have some feelers out for a new 92 or 93 that I can make my own and swap my upgrades over to, though I am tempted to move some to the 2000 RC once its titled and done. the M1 intake seemed to make a nice difference on the 92, granted I did the intake, headers, and cam all at once on it... but I can do that again 


April 12 2012


Been a while since I posted here, been playing with the 91/ 92 RC's too much 

I did make it to the jy tuesday after work for a few minutes and got a few key items I needed. I still need to go back, but that will wait for another day.

Last night I got the outside temp sensor to work, as well as the Passenger Airbag disarm switch.

I started on the cruise and made good progress.

I am finding I am missing a lot of wires with my engine wire harness, but until I have the time and money to replace the whole thing I am patching as needed. the Temp sensor has 2 wires that run through the engine harness and then to the fuse panel on the dash that connects up to the overhead console, I just ran it direct to the console and spliced it. It works 

The cruise is very interesting, and I am very glad I bought the FSM's online as I would be lost without them. The cruise module under the hood has 4 wires. 1 to ground, 1 to the cab for the brake petal and 2 to the PCM. The ones to the PCM connect via the junction in the "power center" under the hood. (its the big 2x2 square connection that goes straight to the PCM). I disconnection the battery and PCM, unbolted the fuse/ power center and turned it over and removed the bottom.

I took the connection out of one at the jy and used it for a reference to where the wires should go (I know the colors via the FSM) I then removed the wire from the jy junction and insert it into mine.

I verified via my MT2500 that the servo's for cruise are working, I performed test on the cruise relay, and the different servo's. But cruise would not work, the MT2500 did not recognize any button push or power on.

After reviewing the FSM again, I figured out that there are 2 more wires that go from the cruise buttons to the power center/ fuse under the hood. So tonight I need to splice 2 more wires in as I did last night and cross my fingers for it to work.

The keyless entry is working great and I got the compass direction corrected on the overhead console (had to set the variance zone correctly).

I am still getting all the paperwork finished up to complete the registration, but I think I am getting close. I will be glad when that part is over. I have $250 of upgrade injectors sitting on my desk begging to be installed lol

We are doing a small road trip next weekend, and would love to take it for the drive so hopefully everything works out as I want. I am too lazy to take a road trip without cruise now days... or maybe just too spoiled?


April 14 2012

Got the wires ran for the cruise switches... still does not work 

I pulled out my FSM's , man I love those things.

I see the Cruise Voltage and I notice it responds correctly when the buttons are pressed, but that its not "working"

After some quick internet searching I figure out that I am probably one of the ones that need the dealer to "enable" the cruise in the PCM.

I am going to head in to the dealer monday morning to fix that, change the odometer from kilo to miles, and adjust the tire size so the speedo is not off). It should be less than $100 and I figure well worth it :-D

I wonder what kind of looks I am going to get at the dealer lol

I will let everyone know how the cruise thing goes... I really hope it works after this, I just wish the MT2500 could enable the functions I need done instead of the dealer/ DRB III.


April 15th 2012

So its suppose to be a good day when you learn something new right?

I learned something today   

Apparently Dodge Engineer's are smarter than I gave them credit. While I had all the wiring done and in place for the cruise, I did not have the vacuum line. I figured I would do that when I got everything working, and well I never got it all working.

Since I figured my issue was I needed to "enable" cruise in the PCM I was cleaning it up so I could try and run by a stealership tomorrow and I figured what the hell, I will put the vacuum hose on it and get it all ready to go in case they want to test it after its enabled.

Start it up afterwards to check for vacuum leaks and for some reason I hit the cruise button. It came on   

I decide to go for a quick drive, the cruise "light" (the words "cruise" in the odometer gauge) then go off   MT2500 complaining of a P1683 (S/C short). Get back home, sure enough my ground is not good... get it fixed and try again.

Yeah the cruise works, cancel is not but what can you expect for jy parts, all others work.

So for today's lesson: The PCM is smart enough to not turn cruise on if there is no vacuum to the cruise servo's 


Cheaper to learn this way than to give the stealership $75 and them tell me it was already enabled.



user:

Haha doesnt always seem to be something simple.   I woulda loved to see the look of the faces of the guys at the dealership. 

As for the one I was looking at, the guy hasnt got back with me about the letter so I doubt he got it. Too much effort apparently...   Wish I could find one, but I like that red Sport package too much.

me:

well I still have to take it to the dealership for getting the odometer changed to miles and see if they can adjust the speedo / tire size.

Sorry to hear the issues on your find, why does it seem the non RRC owners of these things are such a pain to deal with?



user:

I think its because they think these trucks are worth their weight in gold for being so rare... 


me:

That could be, I can tell you that after this sucker is done I might think the same. The difference being mine will be in better shape and will be closer to the value those guys normally demand. I don't think I will be in a hurry to try and sell it anytime soon. It drives really good and has a bigger back seat than the 2nd gen ram charger's, and that makes it easier to get car seats back there.

I think its funny people always ask me how many of these are around, I say I have no clue but when's the last time you saw one? And now that I know how hard parts are to find for these things (even in Mexico) I don't think I am too far off.

If I don't get a break on my tail lights soon I will have to try and modify the opening for another light before its painted. I have seen pics, so I know it can but done but I have no clue how hard it would be.

Cruise worked great today on way to/from work. I had to let a friend borrow it for a day or two   He blew a brake line and no one has a replacement part. He was talking about driving around with a bottle of brake fluid and duct tape on the line. I put my foot down on that and said drive this (he too has kids to haul around). Once I get it back I am going to install the new injectors and hopefully take it on a road trip this weekend to Shreveport.

I have a rough baseline of MPG on these injectors, so I am curious to see what the change is after the upgrade.


April 19th 2012

Wow, its amazing what happens when you get the correct information.

I am not sure about other states, but Texas has a Bonded Title process. This is for when you do not have all the required documents to get a title ( I had the bill of sell, and the previous bill of sell but no title as Mexico does not have titles).

I ran down to the office during lunch and they said no problem... started working... problem. Since it was never in the American market there was no automated way for them to value it; had to take a form down to the Dodge house and get it appraised. I am not sure if they were just trying to help me out, or were really thinking it; but they appraised it at $1500 because it was in "Rough Condition and needs a paint job". While I was leaving there were 8 or so sales men gathered around looking at it and started asking me questions. It was pretty funny to see, most of them had never heard of it and did not know it was ever made.

Anyways back to the DMV office, I was lucky and got the same person again. She looked it all over, typed it up and said here you go. Get a bond for 1.5x the appraised value and go to the county tax office. Sweet progress is made 

I start thinking, where in the heck am I going to get a bond quickly. I saw them online but I know that will take 2-3 days to finish up, I look over... sure enough there is a bond smith (or whatever they are called). I walk over and go in ask how long it takes to get one... "about 5 Minutes". Well about 10 minutes later I walked out with all my paperwork and a bond.

I am past my lunch hour, but I don't give a damn I am seeing this through. I head over to the county tax office and there is no line... Man my luck is holding good today. Walk up and explain what I am doing (they were not all that helpful before). They review the paperwork then head off and have a little meeting in the back, about 10 minutes later she comes back asked me to fill 2 forms out. Pay the fee and I'm done.

I now have a proper and legal registration for the 2000 Ramcharger, license plates and window sticker. The title will be in the mail in a week or two. For the next 3 years it will have "bonded" listed on it in case someone tries to claim ownership, in which case they must take me to court and convince a judge. If they do then the bond covers the value and I have to re-inburse the bond company. After 3 years the bonded will be removed and it will be a clean normal title. Interestingly apparently I can sell it even with it as a bonded title, but if a dispute ever comes up I will be responsible for the bond.

Its been an interesting process but I am very grateful its over. Now I can focus on finishing fixing it and getting a good coat of paint on it. Until then its drive time 

1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

Offline rjtx667

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Re: 2000 Mexico Ramcharger - Complete build
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 01:24:58 am »
user:

congrats man! Was wondering if you would get hosed after all that work...glad ya dindn't.  I love when the DMV has to cooperate because ducks are in a row. Every DMV rep i have ever dealt with, besides Fallon, NV and comercial in the Reno office have been on some lame power trip and just want you to jump through hoops. Way to stick it too em. Drive the hell outa her, you deserve it!

dif user:

What did you say when you went in there? Staing you have a mexican built ramcharger? Or that you have a non titled vehicle. My experience is the type of question you ask depends on the number of hoops you have to jump through. Like I said I have a 93 mexicahrger, and would love to import it per say. Instead of swapping frames and claiming its a 89.

So mexico had no titles? Ever? Explains why the guy said there was no title when I bought it. I just thought he meant lost title.


April 22 2012
I was 100% honest. I stated I bought a vehicle site unseen from a person in Cali who brought it from the Mexico to the US. I stated he claimed to have all the paperwork but did not. When asked for the title he sent me the dealer invoice with what appears as transfer of ownerships on the back (I have been told that is what Mexico "considers the title").

I made sure to state I did not bring it into the US and that I had tried to get all the docs, but could not.

I have kept copies of everything so that if anyone ever ask I have proof I clearly and precisely explained the circumstances and was given the title and registration. 

I don't really see any issues coming from it, and even with the bonded title I don't see issues. Someone from Mexico would have to find it here, drive to DFW and file a claim and take me to court. They would then have to convince a judge that they are right and I am wrong and then proceed to claim a value of the truck. I have documents showing it was valued at $1500, and this being AFTER I put about $2k of my own money and countless hours into it.

We did drive it over to shreveport this weekend. It got about 16 on the trip here, so not too bad but not great. I just replaced the fuel injectors, and it appears one of them is leaking(internally) as its loosing fuel pressure when its turned off. I will get that figured out tomorrow and replace the bad one. I am also about to order a M1 intake for it as well, I want to see if I can get a bit more out of the MPG, granted with my lead foot that's hard.

Good luck on getting your 93 done, but I don't see it being a huge issue after finding out what all I have gone through.
1935 Dodge KC Truck
1991 &1993 RamCharger
2000 RamCharger
2005 Cummins

 

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