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1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
#761200 May 21st 2020 1:42 am
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New member with a 1985 Dodge B250 that I am preparing for a road trip. Thought I'd put the project in one thread rather than create loads of new threads as I am going to have a ton of questions. Already started one thread looking for a new front turn signal. Will update here once I get somewhere with that particular query.

The van actually belongs to my 24YO daughter. She just purchased it so she and a friend can take a road trip - in a few weeks. It's in pretty good, driveable, condition but she wants to do some remodeling, cleaning, tidying, etc., and I want to make sure it will be as reliable and safe as possible.

The old Dodge is a passenger van and appears to have had a camper conversion done very early in its life. It has a high top with a vent and a 120V air conditioner. There are also a few extra interior lights and a cubby above the front seats. The odometer shows 95,000 miles but a review of the extensive service records shows it has actually been around the clock twice but had a rebuilt engine installed at the 275,000 mile mark. That was a few years ago, however. During a test-drive, engine and transmission appeared fine. The brakes are ok - no noises or pulling, if not terribly powerful. AC works. Tires are ancient and need replacing even though they have lots of tread left. We have discovered a few electrical gremlins that I hope to sort out in the coming weeks.

The previous owner did not have it for long. He removed the rear bench seat, installed some wood flooring on top of the carpet, built a bed and hung curtains. My daughter has already replaced the wood floor with something more to her taste and pulled out the bed to facilitate other mods and to make it higher for more storage space underneath.

Will make a post about the things daughter and I are doing, along with a few photos, in the coming days.

Feel free to make comments, suggestions, etc. All advice gratefully received.

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761202 May 21st 2020 1:47 am
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First question for the collective was already posted in this thread - asking for leads on a turn signal lens. Have also checked out a few local scrap yards that don't have any old enough vans. A couple more to try. Also considering how to possibly make a repair. Stay tuned!

Last edited by Slartidbartfast; May 21st 2020 1:52 am.
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761203 May 21st 2020 1:52 am
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Next question that has stumped me: How can I tell which alternator is installed? I know they come in various manufacturers and outputs from a weedy(?) 50 Amps up to 120 Amps or something like that. This one has dual belts but no external fan, if that helps. Reason I'd like to know is that we are installing a house battery for lights, electronics charging, entertainment, etc. and I'm planning to have a DC-DC charger for it. Probably only a 20A charger but I do not want to over-tax the alternator.

Last edited by Slartidbartfast; May 21st 2020 2:23 am.
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761403 May 26th 2020 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by Slartidbartfast
Next question that has stumped me: How can I tell which alternator is installed? I know they come in various manufacturers and outputs from a weedy(?) 50 Amps up to 120 Amps or something like that. This one has dual belts but no external fan, if that helps. Reason I'd like to know is that we are installing a house battery for lights, electronics charging, entertainment, etc. and I'm planning to have a DC-DC charger for it. Probably only a 20A charger but I do not want to over-tax the alternator.

...Anybody?

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761404 May 26th 2020 12:08 pm
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I had held off in hopes that one of the Dodge guys would know. My only guess would be to remove the alt and look for decals or numbering on the existing one of some sort. Auto parts store should be able to cross reference something if you can find numbers.


[Linked Image]
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761407 May 26th 2020 2:01 pm
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Rock Auto shows that for an 85 B250 w/ a 318, a 2 groove pulley no fan is a 60 amp alt. That's going on pictures that match your description, so I cant guarantee whats on yours but that's a starting point. They have a few 100+ amp alt options w/ 2 groove and fan.


1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761636 May 30th 2020 10:39 am
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That confirms what I saw that the 2-pulley, internal-fan alternators can be 60A or 78A (something like that.) We are installing a 100Ah house battery with (probably) a 20A DC-DC charger so I expect the 60A would work but 100A would be better.

I have to look at all the serial numbers anyway as I'm also trying to figure out if the van has a lock-up transmission, as the recommended fluid is apparently different.

There are several other projects underway right now, as I'm trying to figure out how to install a couple of swiveling "captain's chairs" my daughter has found locally.

Last edited by Slartidbartfast; May 30th 2020 10:40 am.
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761639 May 30th 2020 1:04 pm
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If your seats use a threaded stud through the floor, I would highly suggest trying to use that to mount the base plates of the chair bases. You can also make adapters out of sheet metal for either the seat to the base and/or seat base to the floor. Reason I suggest that is the unibody frame rails get int the way underneath so drilling new holes may not be easy unless you’re using lag screws, which I personally wouldn’t trust the strength of heaven forbid there’s an accident.

If the van has the original hood, it should say what transmission it has, my guess is a standard 727


1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761667 May 31st 2020 12:33 pm
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I have a welder so the swivel seat base plates will be suitably modified to fit on the existing studs. That was already the plan but thanks for the additional information. I am going to make brackets to mount the seat belts to the base plates as well.

Thanks for info on the transmission. The under-hood equipment ID sheet was almost illegible but some photo enhancement helped. If both hood and other equipment are original then this van has:
BGA POWER DISK BRAKES
BJA STD DUTY FRT DIS...(illegible)
BKG 11 X 2.5 AUTO AD...(illegible)
DGA STD DUTY AUTO TR...(illegible)
DGG A999 AUTO TRANS...(illegible)
DHA LOCK-UP TORQUE ...(illegible)
D...(illegible) 3300# FRONT AXL...(illegible)
DMB 2.94 AXLE RATIO...(illegible)
DRA CHRY - 8.25 AXL...(illegible)
NDA CATALYTIC CONVE...(illegible)
SJM 1455/1590# PAD/GROUN
SNE 1600/1810# PAD/GROUN

Some of this seems obvious to me but some could use additional deciphering. Any input would be both interesting and helpful.

Re: 1985 RAM B250 Royal Van - Project
Slartidbartfast #761689 May 31st 2020 9:28 pm
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Photos:

Daughter and friends installing wood flooring
[Linked Image]

Panels all removed for repainting
[Linked Image]

Paint refinished by daughter - her first foray into such activities. Experimenting with repainting wheels (tyres will all be replaced so no concern about overspray)
[Linked Image]

Extra hoses for rear heater (presumably disconnected due to heater core leaking?) will all be removed.
[Linked Image]

Work in progress - will probably not use this cabinet
[Linked Image]

Cleaning up roof where PO had caulked all around A/C rather than replacing gasket (hint - it didn't stop the leak)
[Linked Image]

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