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About Radarsonwheels

  • Rank
    Senior Member, have way too much spare time on my hands

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Bucks County PA
  • Interests
    I like loud dangerous steel things
  • My Project Cars
    '86 ramcharger '73 swinger '54 3/4 ton

Contact Methods

  • Biography
    Ex-Harley wrench
  • Occupation
    Commercial artist


  • Location
    Levittown PA
  • Interests
    Wrenching, drawing on people

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372 profile views
  1. Oh and the torqueflite 904 behind the slants is pretty easy to set up- you can get an aftermarket cable controlled console shifter for a couple hundred bucks and the kickdown linkage (actually throttle pressure linkage) is neccesary to keep from burning it up but if the mechanical linkage is hard to fit you can get a cable setup for that too that is east to install and fits any chassis. Lokar makes that and a nice throttle setup too.
  2. The slant six is an awesome engine. My first mopar (73 swinger) had a 198 and I put a worked head on a 225 with headers and a holley 2 barrel on it with 3.73 gears and had so much fun! I would blow up motors, grab a new one off craigslist for $200, throw my good top end on them and be back on the road the next day. The slant is supposed to be unkillable but they last longer if you don’t try to break them the whole time you are driving them. Everybody swaps them out for v8s so parts are super cheap and pretty easy to find. They were my introduction to the car hobby after learning to wrench building harley motors. The slants have a rabid fanbase at slantsix.org- very active forum. I understand the v6 recommendation but I always kind of hated the 3.9- it has the same fuel milage as a 318 and way less power. It might be a much tighter package lengthwise though. I just scrapped one complete throttle body to pan I couldn’t sell it complete running with a transmission- had it on craigslist for $100 for two months...
  3. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Thanks! It’s been a long road but it’s finally coming together. Fingers crossed that it isn’t too low with the hardwood bed, big block, and trans installed. At least I have an aluminum top end but I’m sure it will still settle an inch or 2. Always three steps forward two steps back!
  4. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Ha! I put one right under the middle of the step between the bed & cab and it felt rock solid climbing in and out of the bed area. The one by the door I might need to send outriggers fore and aft so it doesn’t act like a fulcrum when people step in the wrong place but it’s pretty solid too. The fronts catch less of the frame but all 4 hang down. I thought I was done for the day but my kid went to play with the neighbor’s kid for a couple hours and I managed to get all 4 brackets in. The boards just sit right on top. I figure I’ll let the fender locate the rear and do a sheetmetal screw down into the front where you can’t see it. As long as they don’t rattle the brackets can just take the weight. Maybe they should be spot welded after the bed is totally located and mounted? I hate rattles. The mounting structure underneath is toast. I cut it away where it wouldn’t let the boards sit directly on the bracket. She’s a stepside again! The best kind of truck! Next the front bumper then the bed. The engine block should be done any day now too I get to start checking bearing clearances, filing piston rings, shaving the oil pickup boss to clear the stroker, measuring compression height- lotsa fun not to mention mocking up the driveline to mount it and start making a firewall.
  5. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Thanks Ggdad- looks like the wax sealer is the way to go. I’m getting closer on the running boards. They fit great now that they’re shorter. I have them mocked up- pinched onto the rear fenders and cribbed up to meet the cab. They have 6” ground clearance in the front and 6.75” in the back- nicely raked and above the scrub line. It’s low but still practical for drivability. I fabricated some brackets to hold them up. They should be cooled down enough to paint in a little while then I’m going to weld them into the frame. The bed is sitting a little lower than it will end up so the fender’s board mount holes line up which is good because every bit I can move the bed up relative to the chassis gives me more cargo room. As it sits now I was going to have to raise the bedfloor 6” or so from stock inside the box. Lifting the bed also means less or no clearancing the inner tubs for axle travel and the bed front for driveshaft clearance.
  6. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Thanks Merle. I have been reading everything I can and I have some good books but I never engineered a suspension before just worked on existing ones. I think there’s a lot of room for error but I want to try and get it right!
  7. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Man it just started pouring here in Philly. It’s really dumping! Here’s a pic of my shortened running boards including the scrap pieces. The outside edge needs a little hammer and dolly work but they’re welded up flat and straight. I will probably use the dimpled leftover sections to repair some of the rust in the driver’s board it is rusted through with bondo frisbees under the door area. I chose not to make myself crazy trying to make the dimple spacing line up- it would have affected the way the boards interacted with the door & fender in the front.
  8. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Good question Merle. I cut the perches off the top of the 9.25” rear that located it on a 70s ramcharger. Right now the new perches are just pinched inbetween the axle tubes and the springs with the pinion facing generally forward. Once the motor and transmission are mounted I will see how the angles want to play. Then the perches will get welded in along with some shock mounts so I can use the dakota upper shock crossmember. I’m very visual so I drew a picture to explain what I’m dealing with. Fig. A top view The motor transmission and driveshaft are all offset to the passenger side. Mopar offset most stuff but it’s not always the same amount. When I make motor and trans mounts the driveline angle must be parallel to the frame. How much offset will be dictated by the rear axle housing. I haven’t figured out yet if a 70’s RC has the same offset as a 1st gen dakota but the engine will need to move rearward so sideways at the same time won’t be a big deal. This is the ‘easy part’ haha Fig. B side view two styles- production and race: In a production car the driveline angle (3°ish down) matches the pinion angle (3° up) but their parallel lines don’t intersect. The universals only have to correct on one axis so their phase cancels itself out. They don’t vibrate but they have to work enough to keep the needle bearings moving around enough to not seize up. In a race setup (also usually centered from the top and custom length axles to center the pinion) the driveline is aimed right at the pinion and the working angle is one straight line. This doesn’t waste energy working the U-joints but is better suited to 1/4 mile at a time than thousands of trouble free miles. The U-joints don’t do much. Fig. C dynamic flex Even in a four link race car the pinion will rotate up a little under power as the ring gear is pushed down. My setup is looser with leaf springs. Either way the pinion needs to be set a few degrees down at rest so that it becomes ideal under load. Leafs can move a lot and if they stress the leafs too far the spring power will eventually break traction and snap the pinion back down. When this happens over and over real fast you get violent wheel hop instead of a hard launch or smooth burnout. I’m fighting this two ways- first my 70s mopar muscle car xhd (super stock) springs have a short front segment- 20” out of 54” are in front of the axle. This makes it stiff. The second thing is the ‘slapper’ bars. They are welded to the U-bolt mounting plate and when the springs wind up it forces a rubber bumper into the bottom of the front spring eye, theoretically putting that rotating force into the chassis instead of the spring and further planting the tire. The shady thing I did and why most folks do a 4 link when lowering a truck or adding big power is I changed the spring angle when I moved the front hanger. This will accentuate roll steer in a turn- when the suspension compresses the wheelbase will increase by up to 1.5” at full travel, causing understeer as the outside wheel moves back in the chassis. I’m counting on stiff springs and shocks along with limited travel to minimize this effect. A sway bar would be another band-aid for roll steer. These are the compromises I made in order to use the parts laying around my garage and my welder instead of giving my checkbook the workout. In any case I plan to be hazing the tires more than practicing for the Nurinburgring. Sorry for writing an essay to answer a simple question- but there’s not really a simple answer! radar
  9. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Ggdad I bet that deck still looks good! Penefin is exactly what I was looking at to finish it. Maybe some paint for the end grain. I got both running boards shortened up today using the scraps from sectioning the bed as a template for how much to cut off. The driver’s side board is muuuch rougher than the PS board. I guess all the years of stepping wore the paint off and let the rust in. At least now they will fit lengthwise and I can start making brackets for them.
  10. Radarsonwheels

    Steering Slop

    Oof sloppy steering stinks. Mine I would have to turn pretty far in each direction before it started correcting. Holding a curve was easy but going straight could be a chore. The schoolbus size wheel amplifies the slop too! My sloppy steering box was a major factor in doing a chassis swap to power rack and pinion. I also had done kingpins, shackles, shocks, tie rods. My nomenclature is probably off but the box has a link that goes back to the driver’s knuckle which I replaced, and the link to the passenger side also got two new tie rods screwed in, and an alignment was done. I was even considering adding wedges under my spring perches to get more caster- parallel parking be damned, but got talked out of it by my local oldschool alignment guy. Make sure your front spring hangers don’t have side to side play- mine did. It wasn’t a cure though. There is a worm and a sector gear in there. Mine was a Gemmer brand box- yours looks like it I think. Anyway there is a screw with a locknut on the outside of the box. You can tighten it up to take out some slop but be aware that there is supposed to be a tight spot in the middle. As you screw the stud it makes the gears mesh more tightly but if you go too tight you are just quickly wearing it out instead of taking out slop. I found some companies that would rebuild it- basically they fabricate fresh gears to go in there, but to the tune of $600ish and I didn’t know if I would cut the box off from the column and weld it back or make a collapsible segment later. I thought it would be silly to ship the whole long shaft too.
  11. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    So it’s sitting on the springs again and somehow I lost 1.5” of travel. The axle is 1/2” away from the rubber bump stops, with no bed or driveline installed. Too low. The front spring hangers couldn’t go any lower and still provide access for the bolts and the shackle hangers I didn’t want to hang way off the frame so all the welding is done and those points aren’t moving again. The wheel hits the tub how I want and the shackle angle is good so I ordered a set of longer shackles to get a little bit more lift and travel.
  12. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    My good buddy had some ipe (ironwood) stashed he’s going to hook me up with. It’s 3 boards 1” thick by 11” wide so I’ll need to buy two more (at $90 each!), four bed strips, and some stainless hardware but I should be all in for around $400 said and done which isn’t too bad for heavy duty premium hardwood. The ipe will look great with an oil finish and last forever. I’m pretty excited about it!
  13. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    One step closer to having the rear suspension all done! The shackles are rebuilt, I pressed the rubber and chiseled the steel sleeves out of the front spring eyes, and pulled the rubber bushings out of the rear eyes. All my new poly spring bushings are ready to get lubed and installed once the fresh paint dries on the springs. The axle will have to just get clamped to the perches for now until I set the driveline angle- then I’ll be able to set the pinion angle and weld in the perches. I liked the shackle angle on my first stab at locating the front hangers so I moved the shackle hangers up the same 2.8” and down a smidge to leave compression room for a heavy wood bed and frame.
  14. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    I have to wait for my spring bushings come in to get the chassis sitting on the suspension. I think I’ll shift my focus to the bumpers and running boards. My front bumper and frame stubs needs to get located and welded to my rad support crossmember and shouldn’t be too bad to do. The rear bumper is basically a pretzel. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it. The dakota bumper was too modern looking for me. The rear looks good with no bumper. I’ll probably see if I can’t straighten it out some in the shop press before I give up on it. The running boards need to be sectioned the same amount as the bed sides, which also need final fitting and welding since I took 12” out of them and just tacked them back up for mockup. Today I sandblasted the shackle hangers and painted them john deere blitz black. I’ve been using the JD chassis paint on clean parts and por15 on rougher stuff. It takes a little effort but working with clean restored parts is always nice.
  15. Radarsonwheels

    512 cid C series on Dakota chassis- build thread

    Thanks Wayfarer! It was supposed to rain cats & dogs here in philly today but never did so I hauled the bed off again and got to work on the shackle hangers. Cutting off factory rivets and air hammering them out is much more fun when I can find my ear protection but I was too dirty to go back into the house and dig around. I got them off and the 1989 upper shackle bolts were much easier to get out off the truck in the shop press. Those 1/2” bolts get stuck good over a few decades. I ordered a set of poly bushings for a dakota which only ended up fitting the upper shackle pins. So I ordered a set for ‘72 dart leaf springs. The rear spring eyes are the only part that’s going to work using the factory dodge dart sleeveless bushings for 1/2” lower shackle pins. It turns out that the mancini extra heavy duty (super stock but not offset like 002 003 muscle car springs) front leaf eyes are 1.5” ID. The standard Dart bushing set is for 2” ID front spring eyes. D’oh! Also the dart bushings are 3” wide with 5/8” pins while the Dakota hangers are only 2 7/8” wide with 1/2” pins. Ugh make up your mind mopar! I considered chucking up the fat front eye bushings in a drill and trying to remove 1/2” of diameter but after five minutes of slow slow progress shaving urethane on the belt sander I called RuffStuff in Cali and ordered some 1.5” OD by 2 7/8” wide poly bushings that take 1/2” pins. I’ll have to shave 1/8” off the 3” inner metal sleeves to fit them but the $20 shipped pricetag is worth a few minutes of fitting.

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