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Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! #749441
June 11th 2019 2:36 am
June 11th 2019 2:36 am
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
SoCalDaji Offline OP
stranger
SoCalDaji  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
Hi all!

Have found some good, useful information here, and wanted to contribute by posting about my build.

I had been looking for a Dodge Ram van (B-series) for quite awhile, and back in January of this year, I came across a beautiful one-owner example. Loved it the moment I saw it - a 1996 B2500 with the 5.9 that had been well taken care of.


Here it is shortly after I brought it home -

[Linked Image]


Getting smogged -

[Linked Image]


Backseats were hardly used - the previous owner had used it mostly to take her custom frames to art shows and local markets.

[Linked Image]


Dash was so clean - had only 120k on the clock

[Linked Image]




AdSense long
Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749442
June 11th 2019 2:45 am
June 11th 2019 2:45 am
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
SoCalDaji Offline OP
stranger
SoCalDaji  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
I did a few small things immediately, such as repairing the side mirror that would fold in at freeway speeds, swapped in some KYB shocks, changed the fluids and spark plugs, etc., and started looking up parts/info on it. Finally got around to modding it a few weeks ago and have learned a lot along the way through trial and error, so I hope the following information is helpful.

I was going for the Dajiban look, but found that there were not a whole lot of street/performance wheels in the 5x139.7 bolt patterns. Most wheels I found were the steelies look (which is cool in its own way), or off-road ones. Shot an email to a shop in Japan to inquire about the RS Watanabe's that they run over there, but never heard back. But I finally came across some that I thought would look good, so did some fitment calculations and took the plunge and ordered them up.

[Linked Image]


I wanted to do a wider wheel in the rear, but unfortunately this wheel only came in one width for the 16" diameter. I will keep on the lookout for a more aggressive fitment, but in the meantime I went ahead and had these mounted up before lowering the van so I could see how exactly how much of a drop I needed.


[Linked Image]


Here are the specs of this fitment:

16x8 ET+0 up front
16x8 ET-25 rear
Center hub bore is 108.1mm
245/50/16 (I went with Hankook V2 Concept 2's)


I also went to my muffler shop and had them install a Flowmaster with a side exit in front of the rear wheel. I went with dual oval slanted tips, and shot it with some high-temp black paint for a stealthy look. The sound is intoxicating - nice, throaty rumble that roars when it is opened up.

[Linked Image]


Also installed some aluminum lugs - the thread pitch on this van is 1/2" x 20


[Linked Image]






Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749444
June 11th 2019 3:10 am
June 11th 2019 3:10 am
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
SoCalDaji Offline OP
stranger
SoCalDaji  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
Front 3/4 view with wheels installed at stock height. Filling up as it is thirsty driving around town!

[Linked Image]


Now to lowering it - took out the tape measure and figured out I'd ideally need 3.5-4" to fill the wheel gap, but decided to go a little conservative in case I end up running a tire with a little more sidewall in the future. Scoured the forums and got some information on options of cut springs/spindles for the front and flip kit/shackles for the rear. I found a local shop that specializes in manufacturing leaf springs, and talked to the gracious owner there and figured out a game plan to lower it.


View of the shop -

[Linked Image]


Ended up cutting a coil off the front springs, and trimmed the bump stops. While the front suspension was apart, I went ahead and replaced the ball joints as well as the control arm bushings with new Moog parts as they were pretty worn. The shocks were still fairly new, so I didn't change those out. The front end is smooth and tight - what a difference replacing those worn parts made!

For the rears, the leaf springs were disassembled and de-arched. Overall, I got a 3" drop all around, with the rear sitting just a touch higher than the front for a proper stance. The ride is similar to stock - I was expecting it to be pretty horrendous, but was wowed by the smoothness and control it exhibits over bumps.


After an alignment, took it over to my local wrap place to have them install some film on the sidemarkers. Hard to see in that pic, but I ordered a front lower valance for a Dodge Ram. It was a bit tricky to get it to fit properly, but with some trimming on the edges and screws in the right locations, it worked out fairly well. Here it is sitting pretty with the new stance!

[Linked Image]




Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749445
June 11th 2019 3:21 am
June 11th 2019 3:21 am
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
SoCalDaji Offline OP
stranger
SoCalDaji  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
Now onto the interior, which is still a work in progress. I wanted to change out the steering wheel, front seats, and redo the headliner. I was able to tackle the steering wheel over this past weekend, and will hopefully get to the other stuff soon.

I used a NRG short hub to mount an aftermarket steering wheel. Removing the stock steering wheel took quite a bit of effort - I highly recommend using a steering wheel puller to remove it properly without potentially damaging anything. Using that particular hub required the removal of the clock spring, which was problematic as that would mean the horn wouldn't work. So I wired up a small push button to activate the horn and mounted it on the steering column, a little ways back so it is not accidentally bumped. I'm in the process of modifying a center horn button that will fit in the middle to cover up the unsightly hole, so please excuse the work in progress.

[Linked Image]


Here is the NRG short hub I used. (The part number is NRG SRK-170H)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749446
June 11th 2019 3:25 am
June 11th 2019 3:25 am
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
SoCalDaji Offline OP
stranger
SoCalDaji  Offline OP
stranger
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Los Angeles, CA
That's pretty much it for now - I sprayed the front grille black, changed out the headlight/sidemarker bulbs for LED ones, and will be working on the headliner in the next week or two and starting to research seats. Other than that, I am enjoying this van and look forward to continuing learning and having fun with it!


Side view -

[Linked Image]


And a much-needed glamour shot of it!

[Linked Image]

Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749448
June 11th 2019 7:07 am
June 11th 2019 7:07 am
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 26,173
Pittsburgh,Pa USA
newkirkinc1 Offline
Old Timer
newkirkinc1  Offline
Old Timer
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 26,173
Pittsburgh,Pa USA
Looks great!


Jim & Lucy Newkirk
1965 Chevy Bad Influence
1981 Chevy-the Love Shack
2012 Chevy Van
Wrangler go cart Van
vanninvanner@comcast.net
Vannerz
77 chevy Prohecy rebuild
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Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749451
June 11th 2019 8:38 am
June 11th 2019 8:38 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 862
Indiana
tuner4life Offline
old hand
tuner4life  Offline
old hand
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 862
Indiana
Hell yeah! I love a good dajiban build! That van was immaculate. Great score!


[Linked Image]
Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749452
June 11th 2019 9:02 am
June 11th 2019 9:02 am
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 219
Beaufort, SC USA
NEmery Offline
enthusiast
NEmery  Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 219
Beaufort, SC USA
very clean van. looks great so far.

Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749458
June 11th 2019 9:56 am
June 11th 2019 9:56 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,405
Michigan
Dyno_Dave Offline
pooh-bah
Dyno_Dave  Offline
pooh-bah
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,405
Michigan
Yes, your patience was rewarded with a very clean van to start with. Love the mods and the look. Nice work!

Re: Dajiban in SoCal - my build thread! [Re: SoCalDaji] #749459
June 11th 2019 10:45 am
June 11th 2019 10:45 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,168
West Texas
W
Wedgy Offline
old hand
Wedgy  Offline
old hand
W
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,168
West Texas
welcome Wow
That's got to be the cleanest '96 on the planet

The mods are nicely done too. Great job Bud!

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