Well, this isn’t possible unless you had an `85 or earlier Crew Cab, and somehow it magically “acquired” the VIN from a `92 Ram with the Cummins. Isn’t it amazing what people will do in California to get around emissions? At least they chose the biggest and baddest gas motor they could find, a 440!
SOME HISTORY from Dodge Truck History Books…
Dodge discontinued the full four-door Crew Cab in Model Year 1985. In 1986, the Crew Cab option was no longer available (per the Standard Catalog of American Light-Duty Trucks). True full sized, four Door Crew Cabs from Dodge would not become available on the RAM again until the Mega Cab showed up in 2006 (or on the Dakota in 2000). Although Quad Cab trucks did have four doors, they were not officially considered “Crew Cabs.” (editor’s note – Don Bunn edited and provided the Dodge Truck information for the Standard Catalog mentioned previously).
HISTORICAL EVIDENCE ON MY `92 DUALLY CREW
It turns out this truck started life as a 1982 Dodge D-350 Chassis Cab Dually, with LA-360 small block engine. One of 4,916 D-350′s built in 1982. How can I say this?
1.) When the VIN number was migrated to a `92 Cummins Truck VIN (this is the VIN on the dash), the guys were somewhat serious about covering up the original truck VIN. However, they didn’t do a flawless job of it… they left the original VIN sticker behind the driver side rear door. It says ”DATE OF MFGR. 06-82. I’m surpised the great big “VOID” letters never flagged anyone at the California DMV!
2.) There are weld witness marks on the chassis from square tubing having been welded to the frame. Also, there are no rubber pads between the truck bed and frame. Dodge always put rubber pieces between the bed and frame to provide a small amount of isolaton. On my `67, this isolation was provided by chunks of oak; on the `93 D-250, there are 1/8 inch thick pieces of rubber between the bed and frame.
3.) The truck bed must be from an `89-`93 Dodge Ram with the Cummins and was not original on the truck. This is because the gas tank door says “Diesel Fuel Only.” Along with the lack of rubber pads, this indicates the truck bed was swapped in later. It doesn’t look like the gas door was ever removed because there are no witness marks on the screws.
4.) The original Vacuum Hose Routing Diagram was affixed to the driver’s side inner-fenderwell just behind the battery tray. It is for a 360 engine.
So, the VIN plate on the dash is from a `92 Cummins Truck. Probably one that was worn out or wrecked. Whoever did this “switcheroo” swapped in the entire plastic `92 dashboard shell, complete with VIN plate still riveted to it. They removed the stamped cab identification plate (under the hood, passenger side), and epoxied a cover panel over the Cummins Turbo Diesel Information Center still left in the dash. Surprising they went to this much trouble considering
The inside of the hood is painted a silvery grey, much like many of the `89-`93 First Gen Rams with the Cummins. Even the old hood sticker is still there from the `92 which showed important equipment such as rear axle, transmission and other parts. They did a pretty good job of “converting” this truck into a `92.
The driver’s side rear door is painted over red, and has Ziebart rustproofing plugs that none of the other doors have. Which means that door was brought into to replace the original door at one point. How could someone dent or mangle an original crew cab door? No fair!
CUSTOMIZATION AND OTHER NOTES
It’s pretty clear that this truck has been through at least one or more customized iterations throughout its life. The most notable was, at one point, the truck was lowered (slammed into the weeds, in fact). It was so slammed, that the tires rubbed frequently on the inside of all four fenderwells. The tolerances were so close with the dual rear tires that the frequent interference stretched the fenderwells out into the bed and deformed the bed floor upward. Some of the rear tires still have a smooth spot where all the tire markings have been rubbed off!
Amazing that someone could drive the truck around like this and not worry about all that interference. Thankfully, the truck is back to normal height, but the C-notched frame remains!!! You never know, I might want to lower it again!!
HAS THIS BEEN DONE BEFORE?
Unfortunately I was not the first person to put a new 5.7L Hemi Engine in a Sweptline Era truck. Sadly, I was also not the first to take a first Gen Cummins, pair it up with a `72-`85 Crew Cab, and bolt a `92 grille on the front.
Case in point, “Cybertron.” This truck was featured as a “Reader’s Ride” in the “Postal Route” section of Diesel Power Magazine (the December 2007 issue, to be exact, page 24). I think this truck is very well done, a really classy job. It was a lot of work, because the frame had to be stretched, but you can’t even tell, this thing is straight as a pin (look at the trim moulding along the body). And what a nice billet grille on a `92 Ram!
See more photos of this `92 W-250 here:
The truck was also featured as one of the smaller thumbnail images on the back of the 2008 TDR Calendar. What a Famous truck!
http://www.turbodieselregister.com/2008Calendar/2008TDRCalWeb2.pdf (see last page of the PDF)
Credit: Standard Catalog of American Light Duty Trucks. 2nd Edition, 1993. pp 258 (note that there are newer editions of this book available).
Copyright Kris Wickstead ©2009. Always use good sense, the proper safety procedures, PPE and safe equipment. Follow all manufacturers instructions. For informational purposes only. Not a guarantee of any kind. Use information at your own risk.
Copyright Kris Wickstead ©2010 or as of web page posting date. Do not reproduce this page for commercial use without permission. Always use good sense, the proper safety procedures, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safe equipment. Follow all manufacturers instructions. For informational purposes only. Not a guarantee of any kind. Use information at your own risk.