everything hurts

Mary – beeing the true Dodge truck she is – developed another leak.






Darn! These are annoying to replace. Everything inside the front axle housing has to take a vacation on the bench.

The FSM says you will need a bunch of special tools for this job but you can do it without them. It just takes longer and hurts more in the end.

The differential gear assembly can be removed pretty easily with a trick so simple you wouldn’t believe it. I didn’t but i gave it a try because i feared i would be in for a fight.

Take a rag, it should be fairly clean (old towel works well), fold it once. Feed the folded rag into the differential carrier so it is guided between the teeth of the pinion and the ring rear until you can’t turn it by hand any more.

Loosen the end caps until they are just barely on. All they have to do is stop the carrier from falling out of the housing unintentionaly.

Then use a tire iron (or something else that’ll fit and is strong enough), stick it next to the u-joint on the drive shaft and continue to turn the carrier and pull the rag into the gears.

Keep on turning. The towel will be compressed between the gears and try to push the carrier away. The only direction it can go is forward, out of the housing.

This may take some time, refolding of the towel but eventually it will come out and it does not need a lot of force or prying.

Eventually i got there. Passenger side knuckle off (because i wanted to change the ball joints on that as well). Passenger and drivers side axles out. The short CAD axle stub pushed into the axle tube.

You could tell someone was in there, the cover gasket was missing.

But the gears look excellent, the bearings look excellent, very very little wear.

Reassembly was pretty easy, except for fumbling the short CAD axle stub shaft back into the carrier.

I finally got it done by grabbing it through the CAD actuator hole on the driver side with one hand and fishing for its other end with a finger stuck into the gear that accepts the shaft.

You will have to lift the shaft a little bit while gently pushing with the other and guide it into the gear. Not fun at all.

It’s done, it took hours, my whole body hurts (ha, the joys of slowly dieing aka. age).


Read you next time.

Posted in Codename Idaho | Leave a comment

repair dem tunes!


Yesterday i finally had it with this truck.

The rattling and scratching speaker in the drivers door annoyed me enough to get going with the repair. It also is pretty weak compared to the other speakers in the truck.

In the past months i gathered some experience with this kind of work and i racked up the equipment, tools and materials (read: leftovers from other repair jobs).

So here is a quick rundown on how i repaired a defective membrane on one of the rare speakers of my 1985 W250 “Mary”.

Removal from the door required pulling the doorcard which won’t be covered right now.

It’s simple: basic tools + brute force.

Fast forward through the disassembly and removal, here we have the problem on the table.

It is pretty obvious what caused the rattle and scratching noises.

The membrane had come off the metal cage by what seems to be fluid damage and force excerted from the plastic retainer the speaker is located in.

I began to disect the speaker and remove the gasket.

The gasket is the surround around the membrane made from cardboard.

Pretty obvious, huh?

I can repair that. The next step was to remove the membrane alltogether to try and flatten the distorted edge for re-glueing. It came off the cage easily and cutting and lifiting it from the paper cone was straightforward as well.

No problems whatsoever, the glue had lost all of its properties, was loose and could be peeled off.

To straighten the distorted edge of the membrane i used my electric iron, which worked surprisingly well and quick.

All flat again:

Getting ready for the glue-up.

And all slobbered up again. Sorry there is no pictures of the application of the glue but this stuff draws strands and tacks up quickly and i did not want to cover my phone with gluey fingerprints or stick a glove to it…

It looks a bit messy but that was done on purpose to reinforce the glue joint between the membrane and the cone. This will not hinder the “performance” of the speaker and is covered by the speaker covers.

I then hooked it up to my trusty old signal generator for aligning the cone and testing the speaker.

This particular signal generator is perfect for that task because of its output range of 3-30 volts. No problems could be heard any more.

Now why is this just part of the problem? Well, the speaker does not rattle and scratch anymore but it still is weak.

This might be a problem with the voice coil beeing damaged by the prolonged scratching but then again the connections might be wrong. I fiddled with these when i had to replace the original radio and there might be a phase error (swapped plus/minus) which leads to reduced output.

But that is a totally different story…


By the way, does anybody have the Chrysler AM/FM/Cassette radio, with a black face and part no. 4311 686 left over and would like to donate it to the project?

If it does not work, no problem, i can fix these. I just can’t find one…

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Hi there,

just to let you know: this project is not dead at all.
I ran into some personal problems beginning of the year and it cost me about the whole year to kinda sort this out.

The project indeed is on the side burner but still occupies a lot of thought every day.
Especially the front axle really gives me headaches because i am not really sure if i should stick to my original plan and modify the original crossmember and build a smaller second one for the rear LCA mounts


if i just should build a subframe assembly that will accept both LCA mounts and bolt to the frame as a unit.

This would allow for working around the shape of the engine and its accessories… That’s something that will have to be thought through before i continue building stuff.
I’ll update this thread as i proceed.

I think the next update will be sometime in January.

Stay tuned.


Posted in because race truck, personal stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scratched that itch…

I had some cash burning a hole in my pocket.

Here’s the complete electronics to run my truck.


Mopar Standalone wiring harness for the 392 Gen 3 Hemi engine (for manual transmissions OR automatics with a separate controller only).

A Racepak IQ3 dash and the power steering pump kit for the crate Hemis.


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I was always under the impression that “it should fit” , “it’s gotta fit in there”, “the shape of the frame rails and headers fit together” …

With the engine in a OEM V8 location for our trucks, none of that happened.

With a bit of … hacking stuff apart, conservatively speaking, things kind of fall together as i hoped they would. The engine needs to move back another 2″ and then it’s home i think.

Installed the lift tool, broke out the grinder, hacked a cutout into the floor after the firewall left the body. Now see for yourself.

The headers seem to touch but they don’t. Actually there’s like 1.5″ of clearance around them. I could not install the engine with the headers attached, but they “rolled” into place very easily.

Now to break my head about engine mounts…

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… tear down that wall!

Mr. Kingcrunch, please tear down that wall!

Allrighty then, all engines are free to travel.

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uh, got steering?

Been working on/off on this project. Little bits here and there.

Such as the steering column.


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