Farley`s Dodge Diplomat Forum

Forum Index => The Garage => Topic started by: SgtRauksauff on April 09, 2010, 19:24:33

Title: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 09, 2010, 19:24:33
**edit:  I renamed the thread, since it involves more than fuel lines (formerly titled "fuel lines, yay!!", and wanted to not start spewing more posts all over the forum.**


By way of introduction and my first post on this board, Here's a quick rundown on my car, and my first question:

I just picked up an '87 Diplomat, nothing too fancy.  Maroon, maroon interior, 318, 2bbl Lean-Burn, manual windows.  Sagging headliner, low tires, wouldn't start.  It had been sitting for a year or more.

First thing I did, was buy a new fuel pump for 22 bucks, and plopped it in.  Ran a line directly from the pump to a gas can, after cranking a bit, the car fired right up.

I wanted to check the tank out, because it was empty.  Nobody around has, or can get, a fuel tank lock ring or o-ring, so I didn't want to drop the tank and pull it apart right away.

I've got an external electric pump that I use on occasion for draining tanks and starting cars with no tanks, so I got a purolator clear filter, stuck it on the feed hose coming out of the tank,
ran that to the electric pump, poured a couple gallons into the tank, and started pumping away.  no gunk or dirt or ugliness, the gas came out as clear as it was when I poured it in.

so, I buttoned up the tank end, and put the filter on the feed hose above the front wheelwell, and kicked on the pump.  nope, nothing.  turns out, the line rusted about a foot back from he bottom of the wheel arch.

Easy, run new lines from front to back, that should only take a couple hours tops.

Now for my question:

5/16" is the main feed line.  Itty-Bitty is the size of the vent line (or 3/16-1/4"-ish).  Is 5-16" the size of the return line off of the fuel filter, or is that smaller?  Looks kinda like the same size as the feed, at least at the tank end, but the hose sizes look different at the fuel pump end.

Hopefully, I'll have this car on the road come the end of the weekend!

Thanks much,

Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: moparmuscle88 on April 09, 2010, 19:30:06
i am pretty sure its 5/16, but if your running new lines, you can run whatever size you want for them because they use a piece of rubber line as the coupling to connect it to the pump and the tnk pickup
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: Erics5th on April 10, 2010, 10:30:48
When you get your rubber line, get hose rated for fuel injection. The new blends in gas attacks the non-fuel injected hose and causes them to crack..remember that fire I had because of older, cracked hose?
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: olafla on April 10, 2010, 20:37:37
Hi guys. I just had a thread about the hoses on slantsix.org, see http://slantsix.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39706 (http://). I live in Norway, and some fuel is mixed with 15% ethanol over here, and that is BAAD news for old fuel hoses! This is a very serious matter, as it can create a fatal fuel leak! Please take care!
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 10, 2010, 23:26:11
Well, what I ended up doing, was cutting the lines right above the leaf spring shackle, and cutting the rubber hoses just before the front wheelwell.

Then, I got a 5ft section each of 5/16, 1/4, and 3/16 line, did a little bending of the ends, just to separate them from each other, and used some fuel hose and clamps to connect them.

Actually, for the charcoal canister line, I just used some 7/64" vacuum hose, as that's all that could be found. in that size. I used 1/4" hose for the return line off of the fuel filter, and 5/16" hose for the main feed line.
I didn't actually use fuel injection hose, because I didn't have any at the time.  I might just change that later on, after reading about those horror stories.

I also put a clear purolator fuel filter BEFORE the fuel pump, so I can see just what's coming from the tank.  If it starts to look really nasty, I'll drop the tank and clean it out.  I got a locking ring and o-ring on the way from RockAuto.com, less than 4 bucks!!

Also changed the air filter, the oil filter, and the oil, and new brake shoes on the passenger side.  Oh, and I put on my fresh new license plates!

Tomorrow will see new rear shocks, and the other side's brake shoes, and new plugs, cap, and rotor.  Oh, and new wiper blades, and any light bulbs that are burnt out.  Plug wires will be arriving on Monday or Tuesday, as will the front brake pads.

Hopefully, the brake lines aren't in the same boat as the fuel lines.  Which reminds, me, the air tube going into the catalytic converter is broken right at the cat.  What have you guys done as far as repairing that sort of thing?  I'm thinking a wire-wheel on a drill to clean it up, and weld it back on.  Fortunately, I don't need to get smog-checked or anything here in Wisconsin, otherwise I think this car would be off the road for quite a bit longer.

Looking at the pan diagrams, it seems I've got a 904 transmission.  Haven't really started digging into it yet, but what's the 'preferred' transmisison, the 904, or the 727?  Not that I plan on making changes anytime soon.

That's all for today! Hopefully, this isn't too much off topic, as none of this was performed in the garage, but out in the driveway.  Seems like the garage, rather than a place to park cars, is  a place to store and organize tools.  lol!

Oh, and I suppose I may as well put up some pictures.

Here's the photo I took last September, when I first bought the car (it sat there all winter, as I didn't have a place to put it, plus the owner needed to get me the proper paperwork for the title transeR:

Kinda dirty, from tree sap and other crap, but the grill is PERFECT!!  and just a tiny tiny bit of the chrome trim under the passenger hi-beam light , otherwise all the trim on the car is awesome!


This thing is in Wisconsin, and it's freakin CLEAN!!  There's a Rusty Jones sticker in the back window, so it was anti-rust treated at some point, which is a GOOD thing:
Rockers and Door Bottoms on a 23-year-old Wisconsin car don't come much cleaner than this!!

Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: spike on April 10, 2010, 23:41:55
nice dip. are you in WI? if so where at?
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: MarkM on April 11, 2010, 12:55:01
SgtRauksauff, that is absolutely beautiful.  That can't be an original Wisconsin car...  What kind of undercoating do you guys have up there?  Rubberized or oil?

As far as the cat goes, cut off the tube close to the cat and fold it over on it self twice with a pair of vice grips.  Then pull the rest of the air tubing out and toss the air pump.  You don't need it if you don't have smog checks.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 11, 2010, 19:49:55
spike, I'm in Baraboo.

Mr. Mullins, I actually just welded it back on.  I figured, unless/until I upgrade the exhaust, that air pump injecting fresh(er) air into the main cat can only help keep the cat clean and un-clogged!

Got everything done today, now I just gotta get some better tires on it and start driving it around to find out what else needs fixin'...  It's got Firestone 'Supremes' right now, and they're kinda dry-rotting/cracking/unsafe, I just don't trust'em.

Seems I've got 6.5" wheels on this car..  What size tires are a common upgrade from the 205/75-15?  Right now, there's a Kuhmo with the best tread, and it's only got a tread-width of 5.75", the rim is noticeably wider than the tread. 

Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: Erics5th on April 12, 2010, 01:33:05
I went to a 215/70R-15 on police rims..The tires are the same diamiter as the 205/75's, and you don't have to change the speedometer gear in the transmission, so your speedo will be accurate.
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: DobaMark on April 12, 2010, 04:01:16
You should have 15x7 rims, they were what was standard in either police or civilian trim.
I agree, 215-70-15 tires are the simplest upgrade that keeps the speedometer accurate.
Title: Re: Fuel Lines, yay!
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 12, 2010, 12:43:09
yeah, that's what I've pretty much decided, either the 215, or the 225, both /70-15.  I'm kinda leaning towards the 225's actually.

At first, I thought they might have been 15x7's, but I remembered that the tire balancer I just got had big measuring caliper.  I measured from bead to bead, and it came out 6.5.  I cross-checked it with some other rims I have with known widths, and they came out to what they should be.  the width-gauge is something along these lines:

I suppose it depends on where you actually measure, though.  From outside-Edge to outside-Edge, across the top of the rim, I'm sure it measures 7", but from bead to bead, just inside the rim, they only come to 6.5.

The spare's flat, and blown-out/separated junk, so I'll pull that one off and check the markings on the rims.

I've also got a set of 15x8 steelies, that my dad got from a '69 road runner, that I think with some 245/60-15's would be absolute sweetness.  But before I do any performance tires, basically every bushing on the car needs to be replaced.

Looks like the driver-side tab for the swaybar endlinks broke off of the LCA, and the passenger-side bushings are not there, so there's effectively no swaybar in the front right now.

Title: new problem: feels like fuel starvation
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 12, 2010, 20:47:06
I'm having a wierd problem, now that I actually got the car out on the road for more than 15 minutes.  Feels like a fueling issue to me, but I'm not sure Here's my description, with my thoughts, let me know if you think I'm on the right track:

Drove the car to work today, and a bit yesterday, and it seemed fine, with maybe a slight stumble/hiccup going into 3rd gear. Today, when getting onto the interstate, I had to accelerate slower than I'd have liked, because with the pedal too far down, it started seemingly gasping for breath a bit.  Driving home, it seemed just fine, until just after pulling out of a parking lot, barely into 2nd gear, around 30-ish mph, the engine actually completely died.  I coasted it into a gas station's parking lot, turned the ignition off, cranked it over, and it fired right up.  Drove it home no problem.  Went to leave home less than 5 minutes later (just picked up a couple wrenches, I was going to hit up a salvage yard on my way to picking up some new tires). Got through town easily enough, then started uphill out of town at the last stoplight. The car just seemed to sputter and buck, so I turned off, gave it some throttle, worked fine up to about 60.  Did a U-turn, same thing back, just fine. out on the road, it lasted for about 1 mile before the same symptoms were back.  I ended up getting back home by turning it off and coasting, then starting it and giving it a bit more momentum before it finally died again, rinse, repeat.  There's no backfiring that I can tell, and no smell of gas  No black smoke from the tailpipe.

Now, when I turn the key off, I feel the gas pedal snap back a bit.  Is it supposed to do that?  There's a solenoid on the side of the carb that opens the throttle, is that just part of the fast-idle circuit?  That's something I need to address as well, because upon first start, more often than not, the car wants to run at a WAY faster idle than I feel comfortable with.

But, back to the vapor lock.  I've never run across it before, and am not sure exactly how it feels when driving.

Right now, in order of likelihood, I think I've got
1) dirt/crap/scum/scale/debris in the gas tank, causing the screen to clog, and no gas to travel the lines
2) broken fuel line somewhere still, sucking air but not fuel.
3) vapor lock?
4) would clogged cats cause this?
4) messed up carb somehow causing bad mojo
5) somebody doesn't like me, and put a voodoo hex on me.


Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: 270SE on April 13, 2010, 09:56:12
Try sticking the choke open. Part of it may be improperly connected or disfunctional. If that's the case it will stall the motor AND vapor-lock it. Honestly, I'd get another carb and get rid of the choke altogether. They malfunction too much on 2bbl's to be of any more use than harm. Otherwise, 4bbl swap time. It will only improve hp minimally but it will greatly improve drivability. A quick temporary fix you can do is to tie the choke open with some sturdy metal.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: DobaMark on April 13, 2010, 10:27:39
I've never had a serious choke problem on any car except on a 2.2 carb engine.  If you suspect the choke, it's easy to confirm.  Get the car up to temperature and see if the choke is open.  If so, then I would leave it.  Sometimes spraying the choke spring down with WD-40 or carb cleaner can make it work a little better.  I would never disable the carb on a car you intend to drive regularly.

I also don't think it's the converters being plugged either.  When I had that issue years ago, the car had to cool a bit before it it restarted and ran anywhere close to normal.  The spark plugs were also very black.  Engine vacuum would drop quite fast as the converters plugged as they warmed up.

I think the likely cause is fuel related.  Maybe you are sucking up junk in the tank or water.  Or maybe the tank's not venting.  Or maybe it's flooding because there's a float problem.

There are really three things involved in idle speed.  Fast idle should still be mechanically controlled I beleive.  It's adjustable on on the carb.  Base warm idle is set to the specified RPM and then there's a stepper or kicker that should kick up the idle speed under certain conditions like AC load.  It takes a buit of effort to set all this and a factory service manual comes in handy.  Also, modern gas tends to varnish up the carbs wghen gasoline sets in them a while.  You may have issues from the car just sitting so long.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: 270SE on April 13, 2010, 10:35:38
Car was undrivable on cold days because of choke sticking. Much easier fighting against not having a choke than getting vapor-locked. Sticking the choke open fixed it. I tied it to something on the air cleaner until I got rid of the 2bbl. That was my problem so I'll never rule it out.

The choke was not functioning right and would suck shut under moderate acceleration and stall the car. Whenever it happened I had to quickly put it in park, put on parking brake, shut it down, pop the hood, and stick open the choke. Would have been easier to get rid of it. I've driven without a choke plenty. I'm not in that cold of a climate but it usually only stalls at stop signs and such so it's not that hard to just fire it back up and go back on the way.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: DobaMark on April 13, 2010, 11:33:57
The choke has nothing to do woth vapor lock.  If vapor lock occurs, it's because the fuel pump is trying to move fuel vapor instead of liquid fuel.  Somethign causes the fuel in the fuel line to vaporize.  One of Chrysler's fixes was to install a small electronic fuel pump near the tank where fuel should be cooler.  Pushing the fuel forward eliminted the problem of the mechanical pump stumbling because of trying to suck vapor through the system.

Next time the car dies, pull the air cleaner.  Look and verify the choke is open.  Then remove the air cleaner.  Move the throttle linkage by hand and see if you get a squirt of gas inside the carb.  If not, you may be starving for gas.  Or you may see signs the carb is flooding which can happen when older carb floats are no good.

The bad news is now carberators are more likely to need work because of the junk gasoline but fewer people know how to work on them.

If it's starving for gas, then it then comes down to vapor lock, line blockage, etc.
I had a 1979 Volare slant 6 that gave me fits.  It usually ran great, though sometimes it would simply refuse to start or not have the power it should. There was a slight hole in one of the rubber fuel lines near the tank that sometimes cause it to suck air instead of gas.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Ice Cold on April 13, 2010, 11:46:18
What Mark says..have to see if it's squirting gas.
With Canuck gas, good luck and props if you can get them running good with crap 87. Then if the crap 87 sits...all I hear is 'Nelson' :D :D. The handbook says 91, but 87 is 'acceptable'. If I'm not driving the car alot, I use only 94. If I am driving a lot, I can cheap out a bit w/ 91. I dunno, I have no problems keeping 5 M's and a F running.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 13, 2010, 12:59:15
Thanks for the tips, guys!

I actually pulled the air cleaner cover, and the choke was wide open as could be, I shut it, and it yanked itself back open, so the thermal spring in there seems to be working, and the flap isn't sticking.  Obviously, I'm going to need to properly adjust the carb. linkage and such, to make it act "properly".

The more I thought about it, I'm pretty sure that it's a dirty fuel tank. Seems it ran fine when turning, and fairly good acceleration right after turning, which I think washed the pickup clean.  But then, after driving gently in a straight line, the pickup gets clogged until there's no more draw on it (engine off) or it gets washed away (turning/sloshing.)

I got my o-ring and locking ring from Rock Auto in the mail yesterday after all this happened, so tonight I might just drop the tank, and see what's inside.  First, I'll just use my electric pump to suck it as dry as I can get it, then hopefully if there's crap inside, I'll be able to blow it out with compressed air.

I didn't even think of the tank not venting at all, but just pulling the cap off should remedy that possibility.

I'll be getting some new tires tonight, el-cheapo $55 215/70-15 all-seasons from Discount Tire. I waffled for a bit on getting something better, but right now I just want the car to be safe to drive without crappy old separating dry-rotting firestones.

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Diplomatic Immunity on April 13, 2010, 16:38:46
Just a thought before you drop the tank. How old is the gas in the tank?

A month or so back I didn't have enough gas in the tank to make it into town to fill up, and the only gas I had around was crap gas that was in the parts car tank that I put in my car to replace my holey tank that gas had to be 4 to 5 years old. and while driving to the station my car behaved much like the way you describe you car running.

Gas nowadays doesn't seem to even store for 6 months before it goes bad.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Bill55az on April 13, 2010, 20:42:46
High mileage cars with v8 often have cold weather driveabilitly issues due to the exhaust crossover of the intake manifold being plugged with carbon.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Ice Cold on April 13, 2010, 22:32:14
Does it get cold in AZ? :whist:
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Bill55az on April 13, 2010, 22:43:31
Some winter nights it gets a bit below 40.... :w00t:
I used to live in SE Idaho, tho, where I had the unhappy experience of cleaning out the crossover of an intake manifold...
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 14, 2010, 09:45:56
That's an interesting point about the crossover, I'll keep that in mind. However, it's been 40's for the lows lately, 70's in the highs, so I wouldn't expect this to be a cold-weather issue.

The fuel is probably about 1.5 gallons of old crap gas that I drained out of another car before, and then about 10 gallons of brand-new 87octane (10% ethanol, it's VERY hard to find non-ethanol gas  anymore).  And one can of seafoam.

I think maybe the fuel sloshing around in the tank may have pulled/lifted any scale off the walls, and it's just floating about waiting to be sucked out.

I put the car on ramps last night, and PB-Blasted the snot out of the two bolts for holding the tank straps.  If they're still tight, i could always just use a torch to heat them up, right? lol.

If it comes to the worst, a new tank is only 81.79 bucks at RockAuto, for the Spectra tank, with lock ring kit and a 3-yr. warrantee.  Cool part is, one of their main hubs is only an hour away from me, so I tend to get things pretty quickly from them.

I planned on dropping the tank originally, but then I got greedy and cut a corner so i could get the car up and driving and show it off to some friends.  One step forward, two steps backward.  I have GOT to make myself remember, "stick to the plan!!!"

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Ice Cold on April 14, 2010, 11:07:04
I'm still against 87 :x  I have never have issues with 5M's and neither does the local M crowd here. 87 is crap in a lawnmower. :x I pulled a 79 Lebaron out of a garage that hadn't been started in 8-10 yrs. A battery/some 94  and I've been driving it for a yr. I even have cars sit and have no problems, as long I have a battery and 94. I'm pretty sure US gas is even worse than Canuck.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Diplomatic Immunity on April 14, 2010, 15:27:07
Well If you put Seafoam in it then yeah you undoubtedly have a bunch of rust crap floating around in the tank getting sucked onto the pickup plugging it up in no time flat.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 14, 2010, 19:10:18
Well, I drained, then dropped the tank.

It is CLEAN inside there.  took a high-powered LED flashlight and a mirror, and looked around all inside.  no dirtiness on the inside, it looks like fresh new metal.

The sock/strainer, however, does look dark brown.  Do they make replacements for them?  If so, where?  I couldn't find a listing at Autozone, napa, rockauto, or the local place.

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Diplomatic Immunity on April 14, 2010, 21:58:02
I don't know if they sell replacement pick up screens or not but if the tank was clear no sediment in the bottom or nothing then your problem has to be elsewhere, if your still worried about the pick up screen you can probably just run with out it since you have a filter before the pump.

 Was the tank empty when you got it or did it have some gas besides what you added. A gauge on E still has a significant amount of gas in the tank so if that was bad and you put in 1.5 more gal of bad gas and a can of seafoam then filled it with 87 octane the gas may still be the problem. 87 is nowhere near good enough to make bad gas usable adding cleaning solvents isn't going to help either. I would advise that since you more then likely pumped out the gas from your tank before dropping it you use the stuff for mower gas/weed killer and fill up on mid grade 91 or better. I don't know how its done in WI but here next door to you Cheeseheads in MN we only put the corn juice in the cheap gas, super is ethanol free.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Ice Cold on April 14, 2010, 22:28:35
Our gas is 'up to 10%' ethanol for a good 10 yrs or so. :rant: I know of a lot of Mopars and other street cars from the 70's that just sit because they can't run on 94. :rant:
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 15, 2010, 10:44:42
Most of our gas has ethanol in all three grades, occasionally I see a place without.  We basically have 87, 89, and 91or 93, and no 94.  I did drain the tank, but there's still a bit in there, maybe a gallon or so, but i think I'll dump it and go new.  I'm used to using 93 on all my other cars, but that's because they're either turboed (ford escort and Volvo) or tuned a bit (toyota corolla).  I guess I'll shop around until I find a place with no ethanol in the mid or high grade, and see what happens.

An interesting puzzle:  when I was pumping the fuel out of the tank, via an electric pump, I opened up the gas cap to listen for bubbling letting me know the tank was as empty as I could get it.  HISS goes air into the tank, with vacuum.  I wasn't sure, so I tried it again, and sure enough, the tank was under a pretty good vacuum, just from the pump sucking out gas. Does this indicate a failed gas cap, that may be causing this?  Or maybe a clogged charcoal canister?  Does the engine need to be running to create low pressure for the canister to work?

I feel kinda silly not checking the cas cap in the first place.  With an oh-so-tasty lip-lock, I was able to suck air through it, but not blow air through it. so theoretically, there should NOT have been vacuum in the tank, yet there was.  I made sure to close the cap with 3-4 clicks when closing it, so it should've been venting properly.

On a good note, there was a bit of rusty flakes on the trunk floor, so dropping the tank gives me a chance to clean the area and re-seal it against terminal cancer.

Thanks for the input, guys!

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: Patrick on April 15, 2010, 13:13:47
Yes a venting issue can stall the engine. At one time my old fifth ave actually sucked in the gas a little. It went THUD! when I opened the tank.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 15, 2010, 14:08:05
Well, I found a link to the fuel sock.

From Year One, they want $17.25 + shipping for it. yikes!!


I'm going to either run without, or make something else work.

and get a new cap while I'm at it...

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: ih8gmandford on April 15, 2010, 16:26:01
 I've bought a ton of hydraulic / pneumatic stuff that I've been going through. I have a small screw-on filter that was a debris screen for a hydraulic pump pick-up. It would probably be a breeze to rig it to a compression fitting and install it on the end of the pickup tube. I'll sell it to you CHEAP if you wanna try it. - Jason  [email protected]
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress (renamed thread)
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 15, 2010, 16:29:39
I've got a good lead... apparently, 60's-70's chevy trucks used a 5/16" pickup also, and they sell a sock for them for about 7 bucks.  I'm swinging down to napa to take a look.  If it works, that'll be perfect!
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 21, 2010, 10:54:40
Well, then!


Fuel Pickup Strainer/Sock was used, from an '86 Chevrolet C20, w/350.  The opening was a tiny hair bigger than the pickup, so I jammed the end of a ziptie into it.  perfect!

New 215/70's on, and balanced. Cleaned up and repainted the rims, with black farm implement enamel.  The car looks SO much better now!
Oh, and the rims ARE 7-inchers.  Three mounted on the car, and the spare, were all 7" ones, and the one that I measured (of course) was a 6.5", lol!  Just my luck!

Last night, driving to meet some friends, the battery ended up going super-stone dead, car wouldn't run, stranded on the road about 10 minutes from my destination in BFE.  Brand NEW battery. A good samaritan jumper-cable charged it to get it started again, disconnected the neg. cable, car died.  Sounds like a bad alternator to me.  New alternator is in stock at Autozone (they're still open!!!).  He drives me there and back, we swap in the new alternator, Fires right up, he leaves, I leave.  About a mile later, headlights are super dim, car is stumbling, and dies.  F$&@#@#!!!

So, I call my friends, it's now after 9pm, so AZ is closed.  Wal-mart is open.  I have them get me a new 950CCA group34 battery, and bring it to me.  We get to Taco John's, where another buddy met us with a DMM (Digital MultiMeter.) There is 12.4v out of the battery, and it sinks a bit when the car starts.  So, alternator is not charging.  Check the main alt lead, 29V, kinda strange...  Check the continuity of the green and blue wires going to the Voltage Regulator, they're fine.  so, maybe the VR is bad.  Then I got to thinking, we should still see SOMETHING at the battery.  So we continuity test between the battery and the Alt, get nothing.  argh!!  So, I start stripping the harness, at every joint, to see if there's something broken/corroded.

Sure enough, there's a fusible link that seems to be kinda melted.  So, I drive it to a friends house, and use a bit of 10ga speaker wire, solder it to the 8ga. alt wire, and use a crimp connector on the other side for the smaller gauge wire.  yay!!  we now have an alternator charging the battery!!

Question 1:  So, what are other, GOOD fixes for these fusible links?  I kinda don't trust them now, I wonder if others of them might be funky too.

Question 2:  I'd like a new door/trunk lock set.  I've currently got no keys for this, and it needs them.  Where have people got them before?  I'd rather have 1 key for the doors and trunk, rather than one for the doors and a separate one for the trunk.



Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: DobaMark on April 21, 2010, 11:10:43
Only the fleet cars used one key design for everything, it was optional and some fleets ordered it some did not.  The others had one key design for the doors and ignition and a second for the trunk and glove box.  The problem is because of the grooves on the key blank the trunk and door/ignition key blanks can't be interchanged.  Even looking in the parts book, I can't see separate parts so maybe a locksmith could convert it.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 21, 2010, 12:26:40
I'm a dummy!!

For some reason, I thought that the ignition was by itself, and the doors, trunk, and glove box were together. So basically, all I need is a TRUNK lock, and either go without the glovebox lock, or maybe get that one re-keyed to match the trunk lock, which can be had for about 15 bucks from Autozone, $20 at Oreilly's, $21 from Napa.. None of the ones in the junkyards around here have the keys..

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: Ice Cold on April 21, 2010, 13:24:42
I'd be checking the grounds and voltage regulator for the fusable link problems. I've never had a issue with them in my M's. :umm:
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 21, 2010, 14:03:48
I think I may have done it myself... [stupidMode]When dealing with the fuel filter/lines, I didn't disconnect the battery[/stupidMode], and moving the alternator out of the way to get to the fuel pump, I may have shorted it. I saw a brief puff of smoke, but didn't smell anything burnt.  Didn't see it as an issue at the time, but obviously I toasted the Fusible Link.  Not to say that something else isn't still waiting to show me it's damaged, though.

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 23, 2010, 11:56:58

My trunk lock came in yesterday, so the secret screwdriver key is no longer neededl!!  And I picked up a set of front brake pads.  Did some test cleaning with some Simple Green, and some wierd spots on the paint came right off.  Gonna have to do a nice good hand-scrub to the whole car.

Oh, and a buddy hooked me up with a gorgeous set of vented dog dish caps!!!  I found a set of the squad steelies on a Grand Fury at a junkyard, but the guy wanted 100 bucks for the set.   Seems kinda high to me, for a set of rusty steel wheels.

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: Diplomatic Immunity on April 23, 2010, 19:09:07
A rock for real cop wheels is actually a pretty good price. especially considering you don't have to have them shipped.
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: 79dodge4ever on April 23, 2010, 20:31:51
they can sell for a good sum of money cleaned up and look mighty fine on an M body car, plus there vented to aid in cooling your brakes and are wider than cillvilan wheels, I believe somewheres around 7.5-8 inches wide, I paid 80 for a set without hub caps and thought that was a deal! they are super hard to find because no one wants to sell them around here
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 23, 2010, 23:13:12
I might have to go pick them up then.  I should go back again anyways, I think I should get the innards for the trunk lock cover, since mine was mangled a bit. The outside part's fine, but a little oxidized, but the springs inside to hold it open are all bent and broken.

I didn't measure them, but I thought the squad wheels were still 15x7?

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: 79dodge4ever on April 24, 2010, 12:14:19
if you can afford to you should get every picking you can think of off the salvage yard car if it is truely a service car :cop: It will have heavier suspension, larger transmission cooler, power steering cooler, and maybe a 360/ 727 auto with 8 1/4 depending on what it was used for, check the VIN to be sure though oh and post some pics, after all there free!  
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: DobaMark on April 25, 2010, 15:41:29
The cop wheels are 15x7, same as width as the 80's civilian wheels in most cases.  The cop wheels are heavier duty and look better.
they can sell for a good sum of money cleaned up and look mighty fine on an M body car, plus there vented to aid in cooling your brakes and are wider than cillvilan wheels, I believe somewheres around 7.5-8 inches wide, I paid 80 for a set without hub caps and thought that was a deal! they are super hard to find because no one wants to sell them around here
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: SgtRauksauff on April 28, 2010, 12:11:31
Worthless without pics, eh?

Well, here are some from my cellphone...

Here's what the fuel pickup strainer first looked like:

Here's the 1986 Chevy C20 5/16" strainer

Here's the strainer attached to the Dippy fuel pickup.  I DID have to use a bit of ziptie, to make a tighter fit between the tube and the strainer opening.

Here's me at the gas station, putting some fresh 93 in...

This was the day before I got my vented dog dishes, so just plain black-painted wheels.

And a front-angle view....

Just this past sunday, the brake warning light came on, so I'm going to have to take care of that.  I'm going to shine the car up as much as I can, then take it to some locations around the area to get some good photos, with better than my cellphone.  no DSLR for me, I've got a point-n-shoot, but it works well enough!

Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: Prospect62 on May 12, 2010, 01:02:34
Any updates? I love that burgundy color - reminds me of the car from the movie "Short Time" with Dabney Coleman. Also reminds me of the car that Woodvark was selling that I wanted VERY badly.

I'd love to see more photos of this beauty and hear how things are going!
Title: Re: '87 Dip, problems and progress
Post by: moparman71 on May 15, 2010, 16:53:02
Hey Sarge, it's been fgreat reading your thread on your Dippy! It's a great looking car. I'm also curious to see some pictures with the DD caps and police rims.