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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here are some pics of my "new" truck as work begins to convert it to an R/T clone:

On jackstands w/ 285/60-17 Kumho STX tires stacked (got the tires for $98 each + shipping!) :


360 cold air intake (got it for $35 used!) :


Motor "before" shot:


Exhaust w/ stock cat:


Rear of stock exhaust:


I'll be starting brake work on the 4 wheel disk conversion and suspension work replacing the sway bars & shocks this week. Still working out the exhaust for a high flow cat & will need some new emblems.

EDIT
This truck is way cool to work on vs. a Trans Am- lots of room everywhere!
 

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look'n good. how far are you going with your transition?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
How far are you going with your transition?

Basically the exterior only. I was tempted to buy a used R/T interior, but figured the $ could be better spent elsewhere, since the truck has a good leather interior anyway.

Here are the plans at this point:

Engine / exhaust / ignition:
Add 1.7 roller rockers (on hold)
Add 52mm TB (on hold)
Add CAI (done)
Add MP headers (done)
Add high flow cat (done)
Add Dynomax cat-back (done)
Add Accel cap & rotor & Taylor wires & NGK plugs (done)
Add MSD6A ignition (done)

Suspension:
Add Addco F&R swaybars (front cancelled, rear installed)
Add KYB GR2 shocks (done)
Replace ball joints & tie rod ends in front end (done)

Brakes:
Add drilled & slotted front rotors w/ Hawk pads (done)
Add rear disks w/ Hawk pads & SS hoses (ordered, lost in space, cancelled :()

Exterior:
Blackout & add R/T wheels (done)
Add 285/60-17 tires (done)
Add xenon 6000K Eurodezigns bulbs & crystal headlights (done)
Add running boards / remove side tubes (on hold)
Blackout & replace Durango & 4x4 emblems (done)
Blackout & add 5.9 R/T emblems (done)
Remove Magnum V8 front fender emblems & add red R/T ones (done)

Interior:
Add Pioneer DEH-P77DH head unit (done), Pioneer 6.75" speakers (done), & Pioneer 12 disk CD changer (done)
Add 2001 R/T overhead console w/ Homelink buttons (done)

Wishlist:
New carpet & headliner
R/T seats
Supercharger
408 stroker motor :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Front suspension & brakes

I got energetic today & pulled the front wheels to inspect the suspension. The upper ball joints were really in bad shape! I found the rubber seals were mostly gone. A few bolts & a fork splitter & the upper arm was off! The nasty part here is drilling out the old rivets.

Here is a pic of the arms off the truck w/ the ball joints out:


The left tie rod end rubber seal was split, so I'm replacing both ends as well as the upper ball joints. The control arm bushings & lower ball joints look to be OK. The front shocks are easy to install.

I painted my front & rear calipers as well:



Rock Auto is fast on shipping parts. I have the rear calipers and am still waiting on everything else. Since I can't find braided SS brake hoses, I'm going to order AC Delco Durastop hoses for the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First problem

I noticed the front pinion seal was leaking, so now would be a good time to replace it. Easier said than done :( .

I was finally able to break the nut loose, and used a harmonic balancer puller to pull the yoke (came off w/o any problem). The seal was another issue, had to pry and pry around it & it finally popped out. The yoke was scored, so I either had to redi-sleeve (a metal sleeve is pressed over the yoke) it or replace it. I found a new yoke at Drivetrain Superstores for $26.46, so I ordered a new one.

In the process of doing this, I found that my truck has an open 12 bolt 9.25" rear, so it can handle a lot of power! Our '01 R/T has the posi 10 bolt 8.25" rear.

For those interested, Drivetrain Superstores sells a Dana Trac-Lok for the 9.25" rear for $174.95. If I had the time, this would be a good investment, but I have too many other things to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rear sway bar install & shock removal

The rear bar came today, so I got it installed along with the rear shocks removed tonight.

Old & new bars:


rear bar installed:


Pretty easy job, removing the rear shocks was tougher due to the top bolts being kind of hard to get to.

I did find out I still have the original spare tire underneath- still has the air inflation sticker on it & the nubs on the tire.

I went ahead & cut the exhaust off from the y-pipe back w/ a sawzall.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I love this truck!

I pulled the rest of the exhaust & then the manifolds- there is so much room here I could park another motor in the engine bay! :) Here is the passenger side manifold removed:


The MP Headers arrived today along with the rear shocks. Didn't have time to do the shocks, but the headers were a piece of cake. Here is the driver side header in place:


No broken bolts, no lacerated arms, what an easy job. The headers both installed from the top real easy. All I had to remove was the air box, which is being replaced anyway.

Out with the old:


And in with the new:


I still need bolts & gaskets to complete the job, but this is the easiest header install (motor in vehicle) I've ever done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
R/T wheels are in

Here are the center caps painted:


Here is one of the wheels:


Still have not put the rear shocks on, and will need to pull the axles for the rear disk conversion. Lots of stuff to do & it seems like not a lot of time to do it :( .
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Ball joints, tie rod ends, rotors, pads

I got a lot of stuff today, but have not got it all installed yet.

Ball joints, tie rods, rotor:


I did get the left side done, though:
 

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rotors look'n good. where did you pick them up at? how much. I'm gett'n ready to do mine soon...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rotors

rockadaous said:
rotors look'n good. where did you pick them up at? how much. I'm gett'n ready to do mine soon...
Check out this thread that deals w/ brakes. xtreme6669 said he has over 5K miles on them w/ no warpage. I bought them on eBay from user ID rrotorz for $110 plus $25 shipping and got them in 9 days.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Almost no pics tonight...

I got the right front suspension/brakes/shock installed, only to find out I'm out of chassis grease.

The rear shocks are in place, I'm going to wait on the passenger side until my "custom" exhaust system gets here.

Peeled off all the emblems tonight- the V8 Magnum ones on the front fenders mount in holes, so I wil need to think of something to put there. A few ideas:

False advertising, but the right (emblem) size. :p



I really like these, but they are too big!


Oops! Right engine size, wrong vehicle. :)

I'm considering running "debadged" until I sort out all the emblems. The Dodge parts after discount are still real expensive.

I could always put these on the doors (minus the Viper part of course- YIKES!- I just saw the price on these: $150 :jawdrop: ) :


What I may end up doing is the red R/Ts on the front fenders (found some that are the right size & reasonably priced), and the standard door "Durango 5.9 R/T" on the rear & nothing or possibly "Dodge" on the doors. Seeing as how Dodge didn't make an R/T Durango in '98, my options are wide open.

Another option is to get some custom cut & colored (black) regular decals.

Any opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Latest update

I got the header bolts from Summit, 5/16-18 x 3/4 long- they seem to be too short. I tried to find other small head ARP header bolts but they are all 3/8 thread, and I don't want to pay over $2/bolt for their regular ones.

I have shopped at Bolt Depot before and they give good service, so I ordered some allen head stainless bolts for the headers.

I got the new front pinion yoke installed tonight and will refill the diff tomorrow.

I painted the OH console after installing the Homelink from the 01 console I bought. I grafted the panel in to the rear of the 98 console where the remote door opener would usually be. Not too bad a job, but my body putty skills leave a lot to be desired. I repainted the whole assembly a light gray to match the headliner- all consoles are kind of tan, even if you have a gray interior :confused: . The wiring is very similar and requires only 3 wires to be spliced to the 98 wiring.

The Dynomax muffler is in, as is the 3" cat w/ O2 bung. Looks like the parts will line up pretty good, but I'm going to have to have the connector pipe bent at a muffler shop. I'm still waiting on the tailpipe, so I can't hang anything yet.

The ignition parts are in (except for the plugs), so I will be working underhood soon.

Cardomain pic upload is still down, so no update pics. The console pics are worth 1K words :).

EDIT- Used my other Cardomain account to upload the pic:


EDIT-
I forgot to write that I've decided to go with the "Dodge" door scheme and "Durango 5.9 R/T" hatch scheme.

The header bolts are a PITA! I see why they are so short- a couple of tubes are real close to the bolts. I ended up using some of the ARP bolts & some 1" long stainless steel socket head bolts.

I'm also going to buy a couple of 3" 45 degree pipes from JC Whitney to connect the cat to the muffler. This should get me to the muffler shop OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
10-30-04 update

I have given up on the front ADDCO swaybar- it is still not here, so I have cancelled the order. The rear disks are MIA as well, so I'm sticking with drums for now.

I got the rest of the headers/y-pipe hooked up; the bolts on these headers are very difficult to install.

Got the front diff refilled with synthetic gear oil.

Reinstalled the front old swaybar (it is pretty big, so the ADDCO one would not have made much of a difference IMO), reinstalled the skidplate crossmember & skidplate.

Changed oil & filter & put the front wheels back on.

Tightened the rear shocks.

The R/T front fender (red) emblems came today and I hope to install them tonight.

At this point, I'm waiting on the tailpipe and a couple of 45 degree 3" exhaust pipes to finish the exhaust, although the Mopar headers do not point where I need them to hook up the high flow cat w/ O2 sensor port. I'll have to run some flex pipe in here to hook everything up.

Mechanically, I still need to install the cap, rotor, plug wires, and plugs, as well as the MSD6A ignition (I bought this for another car, but never used it, so I bought the adapter harness for it from Summit).

After that, I will install the CAI and then go to the tire shop to have the tires mounted & balanced on the new R/T wheels and a front end alignment.

For the exterior, I have ordered "Dodge" emblems for the front doors, and "Durango 5.9 R/T" for the rear hatch, along with the above red R/T emblems for the front fenders where the "Magnum V8" ones were. I found that the bodyshop that repaired the truck after it was hit while parked did not replace the right fron parking lamp assembly & it was cracked, so I bought a used one. I found part of an old bulb in it, so they did a pretty sloppy job here. I also bought some clear headlights for the HID style bulbs I bought (the passenger side was also not replaced & had yellowed).

On the interior, I have to reassemble the OH console and then reinstall it in the truck. I've also got new speakers and a Pioneer head unit coming, and I will need to install my existing Pioneer CD changer (taken from another vehicle) someplace.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
11-01 update

I got the MSD 6A mounted on the passenger side of the engine bay using the old airbox studs and some flat aluminum. Ditto the MSD coil- used a garage door safety sensor holder & a flat piece of steel, here is the pic:


I got the red R/T emblems mounted on the fronts of the fenders, I think they look pretty classy, since they came off a 60's Mopar. Now all I need is a HEMI! :)

Here is one of the emblems installed:


I need to tackle the cap, rotor, & plugs/wires tomorrow. I have an appointment Friday 11-5 to get the tires mounted on the R/T wheels & the front end aligned. In the meantime, I need to hook up the header outlet to the cat, and the cat to the muffler. The tailpipe is on BO @ Summit, so it will be delayed at least a week.

Here is the console installed:
 

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That pile of Moog,
What numbers are they??
I'll be getting them when I do my brakes,Where did you get them??

RICK
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Stampede4point7 said:
Where did you get the Black R/T rims?!?!
AAA silver R/T rims + Eastwood satin black wheel paint + clear coat :).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
2K R/T said:
That pile of Moog,
What numbers are they??
I'll be getting them when I do my brakes,Where did you get them??

RICK
Rock Auto. Order via their online catalog.

You can get a better deal than I did:
Dear RockAuto Customer,

Thank you for being a www.RockAuto.com customer. To show our appreciation, we would like to give you and your friends a special discount on auto parts. Here's how it works:

- You give this discount code: 151234120057 to friends, neighbors, relatives, the guy at the corner garage--anyone you know who works on cars or trucks.
- When someone (Including yourself) places an order at www.rockauto.com and enters your discount code in the "How did you hear about us" line of the shopping cart, he or she will receive an immediate 5% discount on that order.
- The discount code expires on December 28, 2004; so don't wait!

**Each month we see people who put the word "discount" in front of their code and do not get the discount. Please enter ONLY the discount code.**

If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us. And thanks again for buying your auto parts at RockAuto!


Vrroom, Vrroom!

Becky

www.rockauto.com
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
11-02 update

I'm 51% sure the rotor I got from Summit won't fit :(. It was the right part # on the box, but it looks like the wrong rotor was packaged.

Got the new plugs installed & the Pioneer head unit, CD changer, & 3 of 4 speakers in- lost some time watching the election while I was working on the D :). I guess the wife was sort of right when she said I wouldn't get anything done in the garage when I put my TV out there (wired the garage for cable when I built it :D). The stereo work was really a breeze- the dash & door panels come off really easy, and the Pioneer speakers had adapter rings that lined up almost perfectly for the Dodge housings on the doors (for some reason, the rear ones fit better than the front ones). I bought a wiring harness for this radio/truck as well, so it was also a breeze. I found the CD changer will press-fit into the well behind the third seat. Running the wire to it was about the hardest part of the install.

Head unit (poor quality pic) :


Speaker installed pic:


CD changer installed:


I called Summit & they will overnight the correct rotor to me
. Great customer service.

I got a pair of the crystal headlights in as well- I found old damage to the right side, and some rust under the left side, so I treated it w/ Rustoleum after sanding it.

All that is lacking as of now is the exhaust past the y-pipe, one speaker, the rotor, cap, wires, headlights, and the emblems.

I'm hoping to be operational by Friday 11-5. Otherwise, the tire shop will have to come to me :p.
 
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