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Think about that you are a high school kid and you’re wanting for your first automotive to be a basic truck, but you weren’t born into the lucky sperm club, so you’ll must go the low buck route. The trick is going to be finding one thing cool without paying the premium for a mainstream alternative, like a sq.-body Chevrolet.

It’s referred to as that other white meat, the square-body Dodge Ram. That was the premise for the story of the highschool customized when this 1986 Dodge Ram pickup was first launched to Customized Traditional Trucks readers almost 10 years in the past; it was to be a typical cents approach for a kid buying his first truck.

The perfect-promoting traditional truck magazines on the earth 10 years ago have been Custom Traditional Trucks and Traditional Trucks, and the same firm published them each. It didn’t begin out that method; Customized Classic Trucks was born out of Petersen’s Rod & Custom and Classic Trucks spun off from Primedia’s Truckin. It was after one writer owned the 2 traditional truck magazines that I turned the editor of Custom Traditional Trucks in 2005, and i needed to do a couple of issues to tell apart CCT’s path from CT. The first change was raising the latest mannequin 12 months coated from 1972 to 1987 to include the rising later styles.

The primary tech article in Custom Basic Trucks was on how one can do a serious service on an outdated truck a person just bought. The Dodge pickup identify changed to Dodge Ram in 1981 and the extremely storied, fast-shifting Chrysler Torgueflite three-speed automated transmission was called a LoadFlite in trucks. We made the required adjustments to the LoadFlite, installed a shift package, Fram transmission filter, and filled it with Royal Purple synthetic transmission fluid. The broad-ratio gearing is 2.74:1 in First, 1.Fifty four in Second, and 1.00 in Third with a lockup torque converter … it now shifts quick and exhausting. Regarding the rearend, a weak reminiscence recollects a Dana 44, however can’t remember the gearing … it was refilled with Royal Purple artificial gear oil.

During the course of 10 years I used the truck for tech articles in Custom Basic Trucks, Basic Trucks, and LMC Truck’s American Truck. I couldn’t always persist with the low buck constructed for a college kid theme. Sometimes I used what we name “editor dollars,” and there are parts on this Dodge that cash can’t buy. High-finish upgrades were because of industry connections; the MagnaFlow twin exhaust is a one-off stainless steel system customized fabricated in Magnaflow’s R&D center.

For the physique and paint the students in Riverside Metropolis College’s autobody program bought busy. The RCC instructors spearheading the undertaking were Jerry Sievers and Mark Williams. The Dodge was on the faculty in Riverside, California, for almost a dozen semesters and provided numerous students a fingers-on expertise bodyworking and painting a “complete” from begin to complete. The Dodge was a great starting platform: an original-owner truck with low mileage, unique paint, and zero rust. The students shaved the DOT marker lights and the gas door by welding in steel blanks.

An military of scholars grabbed double-action sanders and sanded it to the bare metallic. Then Summit Racing’s DTM epoxy primer went on, adopted by blocking out quite a few guidecoats. Auto Air Color’s waterbased sealer and Auto Air Color’s VOC-free waterbased basecoat black was topped with Summit Racing’s high-solids, quick-drying urethane clear. Afterward the students used Mothers rubbing compounds and polishes to coloration sand and rub the paint out.

The inside features the inventory 1986 Dodge Ram bench seat and door panels reupholstered in black vinyl by the scholars in Riverside Metropolis College’s auto upholstery class. The carpeting and sound-deadening mat was done for a tech article in Basic Trucks utilizing Eastwood’s Thermo-Coustic mat on prime of an extremely rust-free ground and LMC Truck black loop carpeting over that. The steering wheel is a “shrunken” Dodge Charger wheel by Grant.

In 1985 Dodge upgraded its 318-inch V-eight with a roller cam and fast-burn heads. For this 1986 318 we sourced from LMC Truck, and Summit Racing Gear an Edelbrock aluminum intake with an Edelbrock four-barrel carb it replicates the manufacturing unit police possibility. The distributor curved to the cam is a Efficiency Distributors unit complete with Davis Unified Ignition coil. The charging system is also from Performance Distributors featuring a Mr. Amp excessive-output alternator, and Dyna-Batt battery. The chrome valve covers and air cleaner are from LMC Truck.

The custom-made 17-inch steel wheels by Stockton Wheels had been powdercoated gloss black by Ludikris Kustom of Fontana, California, and mounted with Toyo Proxes II 255R80-17 110V tires.

In 2016 I sold the Highschool Customized to my pal Harold Clay of Enid, Oklahoma. Harold owns Harold’s Hot Rod Shop and we shot extra tech articles on the Dodge in Enid. George Gordon installed the custom 200mm halogen headlights and manufacturing unit substitute parking/turn sign lenses straight from the pages of LMC Truck’s Dodge catalog. The LMC heavy-obligation wiring harness ensures a full cost meets the halogen headlights. On the rear Gordon made brackets and installed a brand new chrome rear bumper and taillight lens with chrome bezels. A lowering kit from O’Reilly Auto Components in Enid dropped the extent with the front.

Clay appreciated the RT bedside graphics portrayed in Chris Brown’s concept illustration, an important part of the 1986 Dodge’s unique identity, and commissioned Terrall Prince’s Royal Signs to bring them to life. The story may be discovered in the Sep. ’17 difficulty of Basic Trucks.