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Looking for background and info of truck is just bought

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
Just made the deal to purchase this vintage Dodge D50. It's supposedly a Walker Evans built truck. Has a rebuilt Keith Black built motor with dyno time only. Transmission is rebuilt but unknown what it is....but does have an overdrive. Truck has been sitting inside in storage for the last 10 to 15 years. Plan is to restore truck as it sits and race in the new BITD 4400 class. I'll rebuild Rancho shocks, hopefully, haven't heard the Ranchos worked all that well but want to race truck just the way it was set up back in the day. It does come with 3 other complete sets of shocks but are unknown brand. Anyone have any information on this truck? That is not me kneeling next to truck in pic, it is previous owner.
 

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TRichards

Well-Known Member
Good find. The BITD 4550 class is perfect for that. I would run the coilovers as is and upgrade the others to a more conventional shock like fox or king.
 

scary fast hummer

Well-Known Member
Cool!

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Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
YOu may want to do some local research. I remember there was a team out of Az. that had a D50/Yok sponsorship package back in the late 1980s maybe? But can't remember who it was. But I bet Pete Sohren might!
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
How many of those tires came with it?
Only the 5 that are on truck. There in bad shape from sitting for 15 years.
Changed my mind on shocks. Going to put a bypass on each corner up front along with original coil over. Hopefully I can find proper spring rate and spring that fits. In the back I would like to add a 2" bypass to replace where coilover is and add 2 2" coil overs on each side. I'll lighten up spring pack to hopefully get a little better ride. Going to add bumps stops in back due to recommendation from owner. Not expecting 3 link ride like my current Ranger but a little better than leafs with lightened leafs and coils. Never worked with a cantilevered suspension system. Any idea on how to figure out a spring rate? Also will truck still be legal for 4450 with shock changes? Not a suspension guy at all....do you think the idea for rear will work? I'm picking truck up in Reno next week and I'll have a better idea on what I have to work with. Rancho shocks on truck now look like regular Ranchos that were tapped and reservoirs added. They are rebuild able also. Never new Rancho tried their hand at racing shocks.
 

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Fire1998

Well-Known Member
YOu may want to do some local research. I remember there was a team out of Az. that had a D50/Yok sponsorship package back in the late 1980s maybe? But can't remember who it was. But I bet Pete Sohren might!
Thanks, I'll pm Pete.
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
Just talked to Ole Pistol Pete. it was his truck. Had a good conversation about truck and sent him a bunch of pics. Good to know where truck came from. He said call anytime about details or questions when we start digging into to truck. I've met Pete before at a race and had lunch with him. Great dude to talk to and a nice straight shooting guy!! Looks like I got a pretty good truck for the money. ......6k. Pete said motor alone rebuilt was worth that. Look forward to racing in the future 4450 BITD races. Might just get rid of my LS1 equipped 1400 truck I just finished. It's the truck in avatar. I'm thinking sink that money into this truck and have money left over for a race season!!
 

GDRBORETIRED

Well-Known Member
The first pic looks like a Millican ( near Bend Or. ) race. Can't help with any info but I do believe I've seen it race there.
 

TRichards

Well-Known Member
If it has rear leafs, I would ditch the coil overs. Going to be hard to get the spring rate right. Especially if you add air bumps. Go with bypasses, Yes they are legal for the 4550 class.
 

BlueCoyote

Well-Known Member
The first pic looks like a Millican ( near Bend Or. ) race. Can't help with any info but I do believe I've seen it race there.
Sure does look like Millican. Will ask the local OR crew tonite - they used to race there.


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Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Just talked to Ole Pistol Pete. it was his truck. Had a good conversation about truck and sent him a bunch of pics. Good to know where truck came from. He said call anytime about details or questions when we start digging into to truck. I've met Pete before at a race and had lunch with him. Great dude to talk to and a nice straight shooting guy!! Looks like I got a pretty good truck for the money. ......6k. Pete said motor alone rebuilt was worth that. Look forward to racing in the future 4450 BITD races. Might just get rid of my LS1 equipped 1400 truck I just finished. It's the truck in avatar. I'm thinking sink that money into this truck and have money left over for a race season!!
I thought it looked familiar. Just didn't want everyone to rag on you for buying a Pistol Truck! Some don't understand the power of the mullet.
 

BlueCoyote

Well-Known Member
CODRA Race - Millican OR - Oct 1993


CODRA - Millican OR Oct 1994


Photos from the vintage race albums...
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Fire1998

Well-Known Member
Want to try and keep truck as original as possible other than adding bypasses and bumpstops. Anyone have any experience racing with the current Yokohama 35" Geolanders? I'm on Generals racing team discount program for other truck but would like to keep Yokohamas on it if they are decent racing tires. The 35" Yokohamas are $236 a tire. Their more expensive than what I pay for same size General race tires thru discount program. Does Yokohama have a racer discount program? I'll be picking up truck in a week or so and look forward to start working on truck and getting her back in the dirt asap!!! The current owner says all it needs to be running is a new fuel cell. Everything else is ready to go other than some minor wiring. Wayne Demonja with C Fab in Colorado Springs will be helping me get this truck up to date with new shocks and putting new seats in it and whatever else it needs. Wayne rememberso racing against Pete back in the day. He ran Mazdas off road program back in the 80's. He's done a great job on my ranger getting it ready to race!
 

Fire1998

Well-Known Member
Cool truck, congrats. It looks like the non-Rancho shocks are Bilsteins.
Correct....the coilovers are Bilstein shocks. Truck also comes with original yellow Bilstein non reservoir shocks. I'll try and use the Bilstein coilovers on truck if CFab can rebuild them. Talked with Pete and he said leave rear alone other than new current smooth body shocks and add bumpstops. He didn't think rear would work that good with bypasses taking place of current coilovers. He had it pretty dialed in back then. Up front definitely add a triple bypass and bumpstops with one of the Bilstein coilovers and new spring rates. Wayne at CFAB suggested to remove a bunch of leaves in current stack and add bypasses along with 1 coilover and 1 smooth body per side. Basically have leaf springspring just be the axle carrier. Well see how it works in current setup before I go to far on it. I'm not a suspension guy at all....what would you guys do to get the best performance out of rear end? I'm open to any suggestions!!!
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
The cantilever set=up is a design that does the same thing as bypass shocks. If the geometry is correct, it ramps up shock shaft speed as it goes through travel, increasing the amount of compression as the suspension moves through its travel. More complicated than a bypass and more moving parts, but that is what they had to work with back then. If your plans are to run the truck as a 1450 truck and be competitive, then throw the whole shock set-up away and start with a coilover and bypass. If you want to preserve this as a vintage truck for NORRA and other vintage class races, just make the shocks work and leave it alone.
 
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