My Photo
Location: United States

Monday, March 14, 2011

'Old Pickup Trucks': The 1986 Dodge W250  4x4

I like old trucks and especially those that haven’t been neutered with EPA garbage. They are gutsy old workhorses from a time when pulling power and payload were the prime desideratum. You can still find them in usable condition; this old 86 W250 (¾ ton) has a carbureted 318, 4 speed and NP-205 transfer case. Front diff is a Dana 44 and the rear is a 60. Anyhow, here’s ‘Old Blackie’. I stand just short of six feet and my nose just misses the top of the side mirror. The 35” BFG A/T’s & 4” body lift stand it up pretty good.

The old 318 is real healthy and thankfully, doesn’t use oil. Lawdy... the abuse we heaped upon 318s as teenagers was awful and the victims were usually old 59-65 Mopar's, often with push-button trannies. We'd goose them backwards for 50 feet, then punch the L button and just stand on it. Chrysler built some bomb-proof stuff over the years and the 318 is a prime example. This one has an Edelbrock four-barrel, hi-rise intake & chrome valve covers…

Someone added in buckets, tach & dig that hot-rod steering wheel!

And finally… ‘surfer sitckers’… we’re only about 600 miles from the nearest saltwater!

Kids have had ahold of it and needless to say, I’ve found a few things I’ll be fixing- but it’s also nice to see of kids taking interest in old iron. Blackie is a tough old truck  that spews enough carbon to make Al Gore cry, each time the secondaries on that Edelbrock s kick open.

An early February blizzard provided some snow-wheelin’, and Blackie ain't a-skeered of no snow. We still had over a foot on the ground at the time of this photo, and with the few days we had above freezing, it was hard on top and powdery underneath. Now I had a perfectly valid reason to venture off down below the range... the burn barrel needed dumped.

I knew it was would get interesting when I had to lean on the throttle a little going downhill--and it got real interesting coming back up--but in second gear at about 3200 rpm all four of those 35's were throwing snow and we came right back out. This is the fourth set of Goodrich A/T's I've had and I remain seriously impressed... I've used several other brands with supposedly more aggressive tread and I don't think they would have chewed uphill through this mess.

Improvements to the old truck are underway. Wiper arms/bushings have been rebuilt/replaced and I'm almost done sorting out the wiring abortions committed over the years. A general ignition tune-up and fine tuning of the Edelbrock are also in the works.

To eliminate steering slop, I installed a Borgeson Steering shaft (Part# 000940), new ragjoint and adjusted the steering box slack, all of which helped immensely. Dodge's pre-94 OEM steering shaft 'universal' was a design screw-up and only good for about 4000 miles when brand-spanking new. The other justification for the Borgeson was this- you never know what you're going to find, when a bunch of kids decide to do a body-lift.

The Borgeson shaft as 4" of flex to accommodate  those body lifts, and is exactly what Dodge should have used in the first place. 

I've gotten Ol' Blackie off in the boonies a few times and it's proving to be a tank. Washed out creek crossings were easily handled. The trick is make sure you get up on what's left of the slab, after chugging across the gravel bar.. 

Mileage is holding around 17-18 mpg so long as you stay out of the 4 barrel and hold highway driving to about 2000 rpm.  In this the big tires are a help. Next up are creature-comfort improvements to the cockpit, which is also short of suitable places to stow firearms... all in good time. I'm having a ball with this old beater and liking it better all the time.


Blogger Six said...

That's a nice old truck.

I read your post in The Hall and I agree totally with what you said and your decision to leave. I've been staying away for a while now. The juvenile tone and idiocy has gotten out of hand. I'm glad I found your blog. You've got a lot of firearms knowledge that I hope to tap into from time to time. I need some good 30-30 recipes!

Monday, March 21, 2011 7:20:00 PM  
Blogger Sarge said...

Thanks Six, I appreciate the support. The place is what it is and the fact is, I don't fit there. I liked the camaraderie and freedom, but couldn't tolerate the gender-bender stuff. Such is life in the 21st Century, I reckon.

I have yet to find a better 30-30 load than 34.0 grains of H4895 and Sierra's .30/150 flat soft point.

Take care & stay in touch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Mose Jefferson said...

Reading that made me want to go climb under my '87 Wagoneer. Great post.

It won't win any trophies, but 33 grains of BL(C)-2 and a 150 gr. core-lokt or power-point works alright for me.

Monday, August 29, 2011 6:22:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home