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Old 03-01-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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Good point on the doghouse. I left it off figuring that the bare interior would not be of much interest but it would still be good shelter from the elements.


Keep the recommendations coming, especially for certain product brands like the Hughes that was mentioned. I'd have likely gone with whichever gasket kit was handy so appreciate the hard won knowledge of the group.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:47 AM   #12
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I know nothing about Dodge's, but that compression test doesn't look good. May be time for a rebuilt long block. Looks like a blank canvas inside. Going to be a fun project.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:21 PM   #13
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We knew going in about the head gasket but figured the van was cheap enough that even if we needed a different engine it would still be doable. More of a hassle, of course, but worth it (we hope) for this van's body configuration.


After a decade plus in a Westy we have some ideas for the build and don't expect a huge amount of use so have a hard time rationalizing the expense of a Sprinter/Transit/Promaster/SMB. However, this Dodge might be a stepping stone to a different big van.


Did a little work today charging the battery and cleaning up the terminals and disconnecting some of the Braun wheelchair lift wiring, and I put the doghouse back in position to keep the critters out. I think the van still has two batteries in an underbody tray.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:34 PM   #14
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Once you get used to the size Campism, you won't notice it much.

When Lady Shadetree and I first rolled into a parking lot that first week we owned our E350, we just looked at each other and giggled.
"This thing is huge" she said.
"It's embarrassing to have this much room for just the two of us" I replied.

We got used to it. Every time we are on the freeway in the van though she always comments how comfortable it is to travel in. Have fun planning your build. Get the mechanics squared away and start on the fun stuff. Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
@campism make sure to put the dog house back on each time when you are done working, or otherwise securely cover the opening. Otherwise itís a very tempting open front door for lots of critters that would like a cozy place to spend the night or longer.

Yup, what he said ^^^^^



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Old 03-03-2019, 01:49 PM   #16
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Swapping the motor for another may be the way to go. Iíd check the block for warpage at the head surface along with the heads themselves.

Engine swaps in vans are really fun so I would avoid it if possible.

The factory service manual will be infinitely helpful. So would the factory diagnostic manual.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:58 PM   #17
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I dug this list up from a post to another new Dodge owner:

Dodge issues:

Battery tray and inner wheelhousing beneath it will be rotted out from battery acid.

Itís a unibody vehicle so check all the suspension mounting areas for rot and cracks.

The strut rod bushings will be shot and not look bad. Replace them with factory or Moog pieces only. Install exactly as instructed.

If rad is not plastic and aluminum replace it.

Timing chain on small block Chryslers is very long and prone to stretching. Replace it with a Hughes enginesí deburred unit and run the V6 Magnum engine chain tensioner. Do the Hughes complete plenum kit too. IN-lb torque wrench!

Front brake pads start to rattle over time on unpaved roads. Beat the ears of the pads over HARD with a hammer.

Replace the rear end lube. No one ever does and the rear axle gets noisy.

Exterior rear view mirrors have a clip in them that breaks and the damn thing folds in when you slam the door.

When the key is first turned to ďrunĒ the check engine light comes on as a test of the lightís function. The day it doesnít replace the pcm/ computer. Itís toast.

Turning the key to run then off to run to off to run should cycle the pcm code reading feature. Handy when diagnosing gremlins.

Best wishes.

I own 8 of them... including a Ď96

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Old 03-03-2019, 02:25 PM   #18
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Good grief Charlie Brown you have Dodge on the brain...

Here's the manual on CD. I've bought from these guys before.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Dodge-...YAAOSwFNZWu50K

Priceless for working on old stuff.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:42 PM   #19
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@pntyrmvr, thanks for that information. I discovered the battery tray rot the other day, so hope the rest of the issues are NOT as listed. It will simplify my life immensely but I guess I'll find out. And thanks for the link to the manual on CD. I'd rather have a book but they are hard to find.

As soon as the rain lets up I'll get back out there and do some more noodling around on the van but still won't be able to get to the heads for a while yet.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:09 PM   #20
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Another slight diversion. We moved to this neighborhood about six years ago and during some get-oriented meanderings I spotted this jewel, an A100 van sinking into the driveway of a rundown-looking house about two miles from our place. It has not budged. I recently posted about it on another forum and one guy asked me for more info. He searched out the owner, whose dad bought the van new, and is going to buy the thing for a van project he has long wanted to do. According to what he told me, it's a '67 with about 130K miles, slant 6 with 3 on the tree and rusted rockers.
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