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Old 07-22-2015, 09:05 AM   #1
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98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for dead!

A Fun SMB Story.

I saw this dodge advertised as a camper van and the ad mentioned it needed work. I spoke to the nice old gal and they bought it new, used it sparingly and it is in poor condition from sitting extended periods of time.......Since I have a SMB problem I bought it.

THE BAD:
The paint is oxidized, there is rust on the rear side door from a previous dent that creased and was never repaired. The rear hitch receiver was never removed and rusted/welded itself in, was able to remove it but it is sloppy. The biggest issue is the frame, right front. there was a mouse nest in the box section.
and when you ad in that the AC drains directly on top of the box section frame, you have a recipe for a large rust hole.......This vintage of Dodge B series seems to have issues with this type of problem.

It has 80k and is completely original- my plan was to use it for my company and I still might.
Will make that decision if I like driving it or not. I already own a 03 Ford SMB EB 40ish that is a full conversion.


The Frame problem:
I have cleaned up the rusted hole on the frame and will be welding new sections, luckily it's isolated to the outer portion of the box section and the inner and lower rails are nearly free of rust.
although its an extensive repair it will easily be as strong or stronger than it was new.
I am not worried about the structural integrity as the sections that need repair are only there for mounting the front clip and bumper.
all the damaged area is 8-10" forward of the Upper A-arm. (right front)


The Mechanical list:

1) Interior detail-
Buff, wax, vac, simple headliner repair, replace orig radio (display is going), remove running boards, remove ugly and faded stripes even though I know they will still be casting a shadow from paint fade.
nice part is non smokers and very clean with no stinks.....

2) Complete mechanical-
Tune-up, upgrades and or replace anything that may need a R&R.
So far I replaced- Plugs, wires, cap, rotor, PCV, filters, serp belt, pulleys & more.

3) Drive line-
Looks great but there are many thing that are still orig and will be replaced. Shocks, rear brake lines replaced as one was weaping, brakes, pads, shoes rotors drums were either turned or replaced.


that pretty much sums it up.....I am either going to sell it or use it for my business.
When I purchased it I thought it would be a little easier of a repair.......but when you buy a vehicle sight unseen ...they never get newer or nicer.

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Old 07-22-2015, 01:03 PM   #2
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Re: 98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for de

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Old 07-22-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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Re: 98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for de

I got up, had coffee, returned dozens of emails.....
Hopped in my wagon and went over to my local welding supply and picked up some gas for my wire feed,
I moved my prior cycle resto shop a few years ago and never set up my Hobart at my home shop.
good excuse....

I picked up two sheets of .188" and .135" made 7 templates.
Dusted off my Peddinghaus anvil and Boom!

I made templates
I cut out all the rust.
I test fit and adjusted the 7 pieces to work together.
I started from the inside & bottom up, so I could get inside the box section and fill any voids.
I am almost done and it turned out better than I expected.

The only problem is ..........I will never do this again without a hoist (used to have one in my last home shop)

Its not perfect, but its not a race vehicle.

Is it ok to say without being laughed at that its better that stock Dodge box section rails?
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06 Tiger CX Chev 2500HD 4WD Duramax.
94,95,97 Tiger CX Chev & Dodge 2WD & 4Wd
2-SMB's E350's - sold.
35 Jeeps from 1941-2012 (most sold 41' kept)
64 IH Scout Survivor. (Driver.) and much more.....
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:47 AM   #4
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Re: 98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for de

Hi,

It's refreshing to see another Dodge SMB being resurrected. Let me know if you need parts for the Dodge. My new wife "Leggz" says we're swimming in Dodge vans.

Keep em rolling.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: 98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for de

Put a ton of time in to finish this thing quickly.

Frame repair is done and it looks great.
Tune-up is all done, cleaned, waxed, detailed, rims cleaned up when I serviced the brakes and driveline.

I fixed a few door panel rattles, going to throw new tires on it this week or weekend.....

After 20+ hrs of work it drives very nice although I am going to have a buddy go through the steering. It has a little play, in my opinion it should be better.

The only thing left on my list is a poorly working passenger door lock actuator....works intermittently.


what do you guys think its worth?
80k - only rust on body is rear side door bottom....has been sealed.
recently spent 2G on maintenance.

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06 Tiger CX Chev 2500HD 4WD Duramax.
94,95,97 Tiger CX Chev & Dodge 2WD & 4Wd
2-SMB's E350's - sold.
35 Jeeps from 1941-2012 (most sold 41' kept)
64 IH Scout Survivor. (Driver.) and much more.....
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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Re: 98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for de

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06 Tiger CX Chev 2500HD 4WD Duramax.
94,95,97 Tiger CX Chev & Dodge 2WD & 4Wd
2-SMB's E350's - sold.
35 Jeeps from 1941-2012 (most sold 41' kept)
64 IH Scout Survivor. (Driver.) and much more.....
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: 98 Dodge SMB, Refresh of a Dodge Derelict! - left for de

Looking good. How did you refinish the welds on the frame so they would not rust? Inside photos?
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Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
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