• Welcome to For Trucks Only !

    We are a community of American Brand Pickup Truck and SUV owners. Join now! Its Free!

1985 Ram Project

Lucked out at the Junk Yard today found a manual transmission steering column.

Windage tray and oil pan are on.
Smart move putting in a windage tray . That's one of those little things that a lot of people don't think about .
Haven't updated this in a while but progress is being made to the truck. The 383 and the A-833OD are married together and installed in the truck. Cut a hole in the floor and are working on a new transmission tunnel. If your paying attention you may notice the truck changed its color, I'm building it the way I want, and I really didn't like the nubs for the trim. So they were all ground off, the holes for the trim and the emblems on the side were welded up, and we blocked and re-painted it.

I rebuilt the manual steering gear, rebuilt the steering column and Borgeson steering shaft are installed and all new MOOG steering linkage.

Mancini Racing aluminum water pump housing, high flow water pump and 190* high flow T-stat installed.

Been working on the chrome delete. Have almost everything finished. Door handles, key locks, and all the little chrome pieces for the vent windows are either painted or powder coated black.




Last edited:

If I can't find a mount for the manual brakes Master Cylinder, I'll make one. Once the Master is mounted I can run all new Stainless Steel lines.
Working on a hydraulic clutch setup.
I have a 9.25" rear that I want to rebuild and install, working on an idea for a cheap disc brake upgrade.

Biggest difference, I'm ditching the Carbs. I'm going to try QFI fuel injection (keeping the tunnel ram).

With higher electrical demand, I picked up a 90amp Chrysler built alternator. See link, bottom of the page, plastic backed one.

Anyone know what the torque spec is for the tie rod ends?
Last edited:
Got the fan, and wiper motors painted and installed today. Painted the inside of the passenger door. Installed the glass in the driver door today. and partially installed the heater hoses, I need a heater valve yet. I have been blacking out all of the chrome on my truck, I'm doing this because I'm making my version of a Midnite Express Truck. I received my "Midnite Express Truck" decal in the mail yesterday along with the "Dodge Ram" tailgate decal. Both decals are flat black.




Looking good so far "JGC403" ! Did you ever find out if your going to have to change out your proportioning valve when you swap to the manual brake set up ?
I don't think the proportioning valve is any different. But it won't mater in my case. I am planning on going to disc brakes on my 9.25" so I got an adjustable proportioning valve.
level or drop?

I'm working on the same project with a small block and 4 speed. I didnt know if you still planned on lowering or leveling the truck or what you think would look better after you finish
Wheres the updates?

I have been working on it (not as much as I would like) just haven't been posting.

So the plan was to go with fuel injection, couldn't seem to find something that would work with the Tunnel Ram set up, so I switched to a RPM air gap for now, along with QFI's Throttle Body fuel injection system.

After I bought The QFI kit and reading the instructions I discovered that the QFI system is supposed to be able to run 2 QFI TB, but for now I'll just stick with the Air Gap for now, down the road I'll swap it out to see a difference. I think 2000cfm thru 2 TB might be a little much for the 383 though.

The shifter linkage is connected, had to get the 1-2 rod shortened, because I switched the the ball and detent side cover, the operating lever wasn't clocked right and the shift linkage was to long, couldn't find one that would work so we had to shorten it.

I'm using the QFI system to control the timing also, so I had to get an MSD distributor, that I was able to lock out the mechanical advance.

Wrapped the headers, I know they will probably rust out but I figured what the hell. Best price i found on headers are from BPE, they are actually made by Hooker for BPE,even though the collectors neck down to 2.25", I cut the collector off where it necked down and welded on a 3" flange. So now I have a 3" collector. Still cheaper than Hooker headers with the 3" collector. Sandblasted, painted with header paint on the outside, and Eastwood internal exhaust coating on the inside, so we will see how it holds up.

We got the rest of the sheet metal painted and the hood installed.

Battery is mounted under the box on the passenger side.

What needs to be finished, interior is not even close, still have a hole in the floor for the shifter that I need to finish, hydraulic clutch, exhaust system, and a couple odds and ends. Need to make my own bed cover.

Need to find an upholsterer near Reading, PA to do my bench seat, sun visors and arm rests.



Last edited:
Would like to get it on a chassis dyno once the engine is broken in and there are a couple of miles on it, to get the fuel and timing curves tuned in, I'll take a crab spacer with just to throw on and see if it does anything for the 383.

After trying a couple of throttle cable brackets i got one from a guy on ebay, very nice piece.

Last edited:
Update. Holes for stacks are done. Roll in bed liner is done. Used Dupli-Color Bed Armor, turned out pretty good, I'm happy with it. I'm putting a bed cover on and I probably won't be using the box to much, but we will see how well it holds up. One thing, the scuff pad that is included in the kit is definitely not enough. Along with scuffing the paint sufficiently, I had some rust in the box I had to take care of. Ended up using wire wheel, a nylon wheel, scotch brite pad and Eastwood Rust Converter, spent several hours cleaning, scuffing and more cleaning the bed.

Also pulled the second brake drum out of the Molasses today and will be painting that with high temp paint tomorrow.

Got a new toy this week. A Rivet Nut Tool. I am changing the door panels in the truck to earlier steel door panels. The dimples for the screw holes to hold the door panels on are in the '85 doors, they just need to be drilled out. I could of done that and just used some sheet metal screws to hold them on. But, I wanted to make it a little nicer and I'll put a rivet nut in each hole.


Last edited:
Just wanted to say................Drum Brakes Suck.

The last time in worked on a set of drums was a couple of years ago on a 1965 New Yorker, and now it is all coming back to me how much of a pain in the ass they are. This time at least I have the correct tools with me. It makes it easier but still a pain in the ass.

Hmm... disk brake conversion.....
I can't say with any certainty, but I *think* the rear disc brakes off a newer Jeep will bolt on to a 9 1/4...I might have to do some looking. Apart from that--yes, drums are very little on the fun factor. But, since you have the correct tools, that takes out a great deal of the frustration and potential for self-induced injury...
Look'in good "JGC403" ! I'd like to see how those door panels come out . I noticed you wrapped your headers . That should definitely help with engine compartment heat as well as keeping your plug wires from getting to hot . Oh by the way . Hooker doesn't make the hookers just for BPE . You can get the same ones from places like Summit and such . That's just a line that BPE tells people . Do a search on Summit or jegs with your part number and you'll see what I'm saying .
Just dropped the driveshaft off at the driveshaft shop. It will be getting new U-joints and balanced. Should get that back late next week.

Hear is a sneak peak of the driverside door panel. I have to get the arm rest made/ re-upholstered. But everything looks like it should work fine.

Hear is a sneak peak of the driverside door panel. I have to get the arm rest made/ re-upholstered. But everything looks like it should work fine.

Maybe someone has some original arm rest pads for the steel panels ... They are slightly different. I have a set of steel panels myself but not the armrest pads.