• Gene G.'s 1986 Dodge W150

The orange truck is a 1986 W150. I found it on a Facebook Dodge truck trader page. It was being sold as a nearly perfectly restored truck, with a small ignition problem needing to be addressed. Let’s just say that was as far from the truth as possible. The truck was a complete mess, with so many mechanical problems it wasn’t even funny. Sadly, it was an internet sale that was paid in full. Live and learn.

After getting it home from Lansing, KS, I was able to get the correct wheels and tires back on it. That’s when problem number one was found. The spindle nuts weren’t torqued correctly and had loosened, destroying the hub, the bearings and the lock out. The hub was completely full of metal shavings. After getting that fixed, the truck started spraying coolant all over the place. Sadly, the coolant hoses were rotted. That’s when I started to worry that I was trumped on the condition of what I bought.

The problems continued. The truck must’ve had a fire under the hood. The wiring harness was fried. The 4WD vacuum hoses were mostly melted off or missing. After replacing all of the melted parts from a donor truck, I realized that the engine in the truck had cracked heads. It had a tremendous amount of white smoke coming out of the exhaust, and the coolant was always low after running. It was clear, I needed to find a donor parts truck to make this thing right again.

My friend Ken Tupa, Jr. helped by selling me a truck he was going to part with since all he wanted was the rust-free box. I took so many parts from that truck, helping me to get mine road ready. The Dodge truck world is full of great guys, helping in any way they can!

My daughter Abby and I went at it. Pulling the old out, pulling the replacements from the donor truck. Cleaning, painting and installing. Did a bit of swapping as well. New intake, carb and a few other goodies. After swapping and making it dependable, I opted to remove the 4” lift kit. My goal was to get this truck back to looking as stock as possible. The orange and black are sharp. I blacked out the grille, put factory LE wheels on it with a nice set of 31 x 10.5 Michelins. I’m leaving a long list of part replacements out, but trust me this thing has been a nightmare of a purchase. Thankfully hard work and persistence has paid off. Now it’s a turnkey, ready-to-cruise, dependable, eye-catching truck.