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  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Feb 2011
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    5,175
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    Tucson AZ
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    New Holland TC-45

    Default Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    A little over 2 years ago I quit using the old Dodge 500 / D500, flat bed. Brakes had gone out. I worked it for a while with no brakes. Had been starting it about once a month, but about 2 years ago just sort of forgot about it. A couple months ago, started thinking I should get it road ready, just in case something happened to my 1997 Chevy 4WD PU.

    Old Dodge is sort of an odd ball, not very many made and this on is Gov. Issue, delivered to the Air Force. It has 39,000 actual miles on it. No power steering, AC, or Radio. Transmission is 1 step up from a crash box, better match RPM & speed before shifting. Clutch is also a little tricky, no feathering it in, All In or All out. Little 318 Engine, 4 speed trans. First gear is only used if you want to go straight up, Even overloaded 2nd gear is fine. Rated for a 2,500 load, I've had almost 3 times that on it, takes almost that much to even see the springs compress.

    Yesterday I put in a good battery, 3 gallons of gas in it and poured a little down the Carb. Cranked fine, not a hint of starting. Tinker & Futz, nothing. Let it rest start over this AM. Climb up under the hood, ( about 5 feet up), lots of room in there. Test light says there is juice going to the coil. other side dead. AH! points must be stuck. It ain't got no points, 1 one of those magnet things. Must be the coil??? Check a few other little things,. Nothing has been fixed.

    I know it is not going to work, but what the heck. Pour a cap full of gas in the carb. Hit the key, as I let go it sounded like it may fire. Get in so I can work the gas petal, It fires off, lots of missing but its running. It always needed to be choked to start, but once running, time to ease it in. In 3 or 4 minutes it cleared and started purring (OK Growling as the muffler is shot.) just like it always did.

    Me One Happy Camper.

    Now the real work begins. Tires weigh about 100 pounds each, brake drum is even heaver & Axel has to be pulled. Not having a helper it may not be too much fun. Not going to kill myself getting it done, slow & easy is my way.

    At some point may restore it to near new condition. I Love the Old Beast.
    -dodge-1-jpg - -dodge-2-jpg
    ::"I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it."

    New Holland TC45 1,300+ hours - FEL - back hoe - post hole digger - Hydraulic Gannon - cement mixer - pressure washer - 1975 Dodge 500 flat bed - 1974 chevy C65 6 yard dump truck.
    All home made by me. loading forks - 2 drags - roller - Sheep's Foot - Pusher (to unload flat bed truck.) - pickle fork digger - Log splitter -

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2009
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    3,089
    Location
    Lee, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Sounds like fun! And I mean that literally, not sarcastically. I find work like this fun, at least when it can be done at your leisure. It is not a lot of fun when you absolutely need the truck and are rushed. I have too many projects going on, but for some reason I am finding more... I would love to have an old truck like that.

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    New Holland TC-45

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Quote Originally Posted by mikehaugen View Post
    Sounds like fun! And I mean that literally, not sarcastically. I find work like this fun, at least when it can be done at your leisure. It is not a lot of fun when you absolutely need the truck and are rushed. I have too many projects going on, but for some reason I am finding more... I would love to have an old truck like that.
    Correct can be fun unless under pressure. I am well blessed with old trucks. Have a 1974 Chevy C-65 that some day I will put an engine 7 clutch in. I call it the best 5 cylinder Chevy I ever owned. 3 Cylinders belong to the union and are on strike.

    When & if I ever get to it, in town at my brother in laws, is a 1956 1 Ton Ford. It was near perfect when I bought it in about 1980. He wore it out in his demolition business. A project for me & my Grandson when he moves out here.

    Where I live it's 3 miles to anything, mostly dirt road. 25 Miles just to edge of town, naturally every place that is where you can buy anything is further on.
    ::"I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it."

    New Holland TC45 1,300+ hours - FEL - back hoe - post hole digger - Hydraulic Gannon - cement mixer - pressure washer - 1975 Dodge 500 flat bed - 1974 chevy C65 6 yard dump truck.
    All home made by me. loading forks - 2 drags - roller - Sheep's Foot - Pusher (to unload flat bed truck.) - pickle fork digger - Log splitter -

  4. #4
    Elite Member bindian's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    4,767
    Location
    Willis, Texas
    Tractor
    Mahindra 6520 4WD

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Jim you old coot. Get that thing street legal. For a kick, take that 318 out and put a Cummins in it!
    hugs, Brandi

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Jul 2011
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    14,436
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    Yanceyville, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    I have a First Cousin that is a Staff Sargent - career soldier - that bought one of the Dodge Pickup's at an Army Surplus Auction. He loves that truck
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Tucson AZ
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    New Holland TC-45

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Quote Originally Posted by bindian View Post
    Jim you old coot. Get that thing street legal. For a kick, take that 318 out and put a Cummins in it!
    hugs, Brandi
    Hi Lady,
    Those terms of endearment aren't going to get you anyplace. I am wise to you girl people.

    Old truck is not lacking for power, If it could get traction it would go straight up. It does come up a little short on highway speed. Happy at 50/55 MPH above 60 it is not so happy. That little engine just sips fuel as well.

    More later, always glad to see that you are out & about.
    Jim
    ::"I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it."

    New Holland TC45 1,300+ hours - FEL - back hoe - post hole digger - Hydraulic Gannon - cement mixer - pressure washer - 1975 Dodge 500 flat bed - 1974 chevy C65 6 yard dump truck.
    All home made by me. loading forks - 2 drags - roller - Sheep's Foot - Pusher (to unload flat bed truck.) - pickle fork digger - Log splitter -

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    When I saw that "Dodge 500", I first thought you might be talking about the Dodge 500 that I wished I could afford when I was a teenager.
    Bird

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    New Holland TC-45

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    When I saw that "Dodge 500", I first thought you might be talking about the Dodge 500 that I wished I could afford when I was a teenager.
    Yep, most every time I try to buy parts, after digging out old parts books they want to look up the automobile.
    Not too many 500 trucks were made, the design was used more for motor homes than trucks. That was the M500 series.
    ::"I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it."

    New Holland TC45 1,300+ hours - FEL - back hoe - post hole digger - Hydraulic Gannon - cement mixer - pressure washer - 1975 Dodge 500 flat bed - 1974 chevy C65 6 yard dump truck.
    All home made by me. loading forks - 2 drags - roller - Sheep's Foot - Pusher (to unload flat bed truck.) - pickle fork digger - Log splitter -

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Quote Originally Posted by crash325 View Post
    Yep, most every time I try to buy parts, after digging out old parts books they want to look up the automobile.
    Not too many 500 trucks were made, the design was used more for motor homes than trucks. That was the M500 series.
    I can't remember for sure if they called my motorhome chassis an M500, but I bought a new 1973 Winnebago Brave that was the smallest class A motorhome Winnebago made. I do know that it had a 318 cu. in. Dodge engine, but they called it an "industrial" engine. When I changed oil, it held 8 quarts instead of the 4 that the car engines held. I heard back then that they considered the car engine to be a 100k mile engine and the industrial engine to be a 150k mile engine. I was also a little disappointed in the acceleration until the first time I changed oil, and while servicing it, I happened to notice the throttle linkage only opened the throttle halfway when the pedal was all the way down. After I adjusted the linkage, the acceleration was quite good.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    New Holland TC-45

    Default Re: Me A Happy Camper - 1975 Dodge 500

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    I can't remember for sure if they called my motorhome chassis an M500, but I bought a new 1973 Winnebago Brave that was the smallest class A motorhome Winnebago made. I do know that it had a 318 cu. in. Dodge engine, but they called it an "industrial" engine. When I changed oil, it held 8 quarts instead of the 4 that the car engines held. I heard back then that they considered the car engine to be a 100k mile engine and the industrial engine to be a 150k mile engine. I was also a little disappointed in the acceleration until the first time I changed oil, and while servicing it, I happened to notice the throttle linkage only opened the throttle halfway when the pedal was all the way down. After I adjusted the linkage, the acceleration was quite good.
    The 318 & 360 were some of the best engines Dodge ever built. Had a 1973 Power Wagon ( A friend had it specially built - 4 ton truck. Bad back would not let him use it. I just picked up his lease.) 360 engine. With a heavy load it would come out of the desert in high gear, not even full throttle.

    Got a 1977 with a 440 engine, total dog. That was the year smog controls were nuts. Could not get from San Diego to Yuma without putting some gas in it. Wound up putting a 50 gallon tank in the bed. Maybe without the smog crap it would have been good, but???

    2 New Wheel cylinders $25 each + tax. Made in China. 4 Years ago wheel cylinders were $35 + tax. Made in the USA. No choice just have to take what I can get, many parts places will not even look.

    Tinkered a little today. Looked at carb, and for the first time, noticed it has a governor on it. Should have know and maybe a few years ago, did know.

    Could not find them but had bought ( several years ago ) a set of gauges. Will get another set if not found and will add a tachometer as well.

    Getting the seat reupholstered is also on the agenda. Want something a little better & more comfortable than the original.
    ::"I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it."

    New Holland TC45 1,300+ hours - FEL - back hoe - post hole digger - Hydraulic Gannon - cement mixer - pressure washer - 1975 Dodge 500 flat bed - 1974 chevy C65 6 yard dump truck.
    All home made by me. loading forks - 2 drags - roller - Sheep's Foot - Pusher (to unload flat bed truck.) - pickle fork digger - Log splitter -

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