Oh boy. -NOW a build thread

Just finished reading your whole thread over the last couple of evenings and I can definitely say I really like the build and your fab skills. You really don't mess around. I can say this though, I worked the last 3 years as a service writer at a dodge dealership with a lot of diesel traffic. Get rid of that emission BS. Once you hit 60k miles, you need to clean out the whole egr system which is pretty expensive, but that's not the big issue. If anything goes wrong with that system, it can leave you stranded. One message I saw many times was- Truck will not restart in XXX miles, and it means it.

I know its sketchy modifying a vehicle under warranty, but the first time you drive it and feel the difference in power, throttle response and fuel economy, you will kick yourself for waiting as long as you did. I had a customer who had a small fleet of trucks. Once one of them got out of warranty, the deleted all the egr stuff and put a programmer on it. The next time he came in, he had done the whole fleet regardless of warranty coverage. Those trucks feel restricted for a reason, they are. 95% of the issues we saw with the new trucks was with the emissions systems (dpf, NOx sensors, scr cats, def systems (that filter is like $90 by itself!), egr valves ($700+), etc), and lack of maintenance. I saw one warranty engine job in 3 years with 3-4 diesel techs flagging 60+ hours a week with a 1 week minimum backlog. Those engines are stout, just not all the crap bolted to them.

Just my $.02- keep up the good work.
Thanks! I hear you about the emissions crap and detune. Just dropped $4200 on a Subie engine and another $1600 on custom a-arms for by buggy build (that were done like crap -complete rip off as I'm going to have to redo a lot of it). So, disposable $ is tight (all going into the buggy right now). Still, the Ram mods are definitely on the list. Thanks again.
Not to derail the thread, but Subaru and Buggy are 2 of my favorite words... don't suppose there is a build thread or more info somewhere I can drool on? Which motor did you go with? :jumping:
Not to derail the thread, but Subaru and Buggy are 2 of my favorite words... don't suppose there is a build thread or more info somewhere I can drool on? Which motor did you go with? :jumping:
A little derail is okay, plus, since you're in my hometown, why not.

"Subaru" is my least favorite word.

Buggy is a Desert Dynamics and I've been stalled out all Summer waiting on new custom arms (which I got totally ripped off on, POS builder). Should have done them myself. My tig skills are still in their infancy, but at least I would have used the correct components and sized them correctly. Going to take some time to order the correct components and redo them correctly. Keeping it simple/reliable with a Honda 3.5 V-6.

Here it is with the factory arms. This setup was designed for the dunes, so the front spread is approx 10" wider than the rear (to allow for big paddles in back). O/S tire to tire front track would have come in at around 100" That won't work for a desert car, so I needed narrower front arms. Plan was to shave 7" off the front. Going to be closer to 6". I'll make up the remaining difference with front/rear wheel track with tire selection. Factory front:

Rear roller with 10.5" tires. I'll end up with 12.5" tires (need to order as they are now in stock).

Goal was to be up and running by Spring Break '17. Arms and Subaru engine suck ($ and loss of time) have made it so that I'm unlikely to meet that goal now. Transaxle is going to run around $10-12k. I needed to finish my convertible Bug resto (I just have to reassemble it and buy some minor knick knacks) and sell that to fund the transaxle and remaining buggy costs. Buggy is taking up my working shop space, so can't pull my Bug into working side of the shop until the buggy is a full roller (and we can push the buggy over to the storage (non-insulated and gravel floor) side of the shop and pull the Bug in so I can finish it (I figure <80hrs to complete)). I also have half the house to finish painting and dig a foundation by hand for the enclosed rear porch on the house (100 year old house). Never enough hours in the day.
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Thanks for entertaining the request. I agree that getting good, reliable power out of a Subaru can be expensive, but the 220k miles on my old WRX were sure fun. I am actually originally from Bellingham, so I guess we traded climates at some point in time. That buggy looks like it is going to be a lot of fun when it's finished. I forgot to mention that 'long-travel' is also one of my favorite words. Hope to catch up with you somewhere on an adventure someday and grab a cold one. :friday:
A couple weeks back, I was checking out a guy's full-time BF camper (kiteboarder). He has a triple receiver hitch (I've seen those before as I suspect many of you have as well) and he used the outer receivers to mount/support, a full-width under box at the rear of his camper. Great design (custom box with a step). It did get me thinking again about an accessible spare tire mount. I have a SuperHitch magnum (30K) hitch. The cross tube is 4x4 (same o/s dimension as many RV bumpers). Curt makes a bolt-on RV bumper hitch (you've likely seen them) for 4x4 bumpers. The light flickered and me thinks I'll grab two of those RV bumper hitches and bolt them to my SuperHitch. That way I could make a simple spare tire mount for the rear of the rig (couldn't buy the usual hitch mounted spare rack as I have too much overhang). I could, in fact, do a pair of them and bridge them with expanded metal stair tread for the nice step/landing. Even if I didn't add spares to the rear (I have two extra spares, one Alcoa front and one inner/outer steely, so seems I should), the The RV hitch mounts would allow me to build the deck/landing/step regardless. I think the smart play would be to make the deck supports (which would be 2x2) with receiver ends so I can choose to use spare mounts, or one mount or remove them when not needed. I may have to beef up the RV hitch mounts as they are only rated for 3500/350 (if I recall). The deck extension, although shared, would definitely lower the rating. Expanded stair tread would actually go below the current hitch extensions.

I have two different hitch extensions (this is the shorter one (cut down and reconfigured in order to increase capacity)). So long as I keep the tread under the extension, I could run either without an issue.

The Bolt -on Curt RV hitch:

The Galv stair tread I have (more or less).

Anyway, I think I have a plan.
If wondering why have the tread under the extension, my fold down camper step rests just bove the extension (actually touches it) when down. Although the perspective in the pics above make it look like the works are fairly low to the ground, trust me, It's currently a mighty big step up onto the camper step.



Renaissance Redneck
I'm in a similar state with my set up. It's a big step up. I welded some expanded metal for traction on the top of my Jeeps tow bar. That helps a bit. I'm going to have to re-work it all when the Northern Lite arrives at the end of the month. I have a bunch of designs rolling around in my head, but won't get to far into it until I have the camper and truck sitting by my welder.
I saw a picture of a F550 dually with 275 Conti MPT's, it reminded me of this thread since you had mentioned tire options I think at one point. Needless to say, the truck looked wicked. Go to highwayproducts and click on their custom flat bed gallery, you will see it there.
Haven't popped in here in awhile. Going to be doing some work on the Ram to improve the gawd awful mileage and undo the commercial rig detune (The Ram is just a gutless fuel guzzling pig). Hopefully these tweaks will turn things around in the horrible mileage and gutless arena. That is my #1 complaint about going to a commercial rig (that and insurance). My former D-max dually had tons more power and got very respectable mileage (after similar tweaks). I will say after two years of ownership, I'm glad I opted for the 4.44 gears instead of the 4.88. This thing really cruises down the highway nicely. Anyway, if these tweaks don't change things around, I may consider looking at a freewheel kit down the road. I've also found myself perusing CL ads for D-Max duallys and F-450 pickups....just in case.

Sad to report for the first time ever, I had to chain up a 4x4. Last month up at my usual ski resort (actually the end of Dec), there was a crazy amount of snow in the parking lot...crazy amount (23"). I was trudging along nicely, with lots of momentum, through the unplowed lot with my eye on a possible camp spot, when a plow backed into my path. Had to stop and all was lost. Managed to only get one chain on (front) and had to winch myself free. An hour and a half ordeal. Buses, car, 4x4s, etc., where stuck all over the place. Total mess. Camping spots were not plowed, so I was directed to setup on the hardpark for the night. The big plows came in that night and come morning, we were sitting up high on an eye shaped snow island. Hours after getting unstuck, and before the big plows arrived. I snapped a pic. May not look like much, but that area, outside the hard pack in the foreground, was a death trap.

Just a thought on your generator delima. If it's only seldom used (as it should be) perhaps using your onboard alternator with a boost converter or a second one with its own dedicated regulator would suffice to keep batteries out of danger. It's not fuel efficient but if it's rarely used then the trade off might be ok? No extra fuels.... no camper space used....
So, I went for Raceme tunes and Pro-Flo exhaust with a muffler. If you have an Aisin trans, I'd recommend you avoid the RaceMe. Here's the deal: RaceMe recommends you use only the stock + deletes tune for the Aisin as they haven't broken the code for the Aisin (no one has) a they've had reports of hard shifting on any other setting. The exhaust, even with a muffler, is ear piercing at warm up idle (turbo). I thought it sounds like a jet sitting on the tarmac. My wife, who was not hip to my assesment, texted me as I drove off and stated the exhaust sounds like a jet getting ready to takeoff. I've tested the RaceMe at both the 30HP (which is still way below the non-tuned smaller Ram pickups (3500)) and stock levels. Absolutely zero increase in mileage at 30 and, perhaps 1mpg at stock (very much a perhaps). Trans shifting is noticeably harder at BOTH the 30 and stock settings. In other words, the RaceMe, insofar as it relates to a CC with an Aisin, is absolutely worthless. Actually, it's worse than worthless because it cost a big chunk of change, no improvements to speak of and, possibly, harder on the trans as evidenced by the harder shifts. The RaceMe and exhaust are coming off, going back to stock and ready to do battle with RaceMe for selling the tuner equivalent of snake oil (again, only insofar as it relates to C&Cs with the Aisin). I installed the RaceMe on Sunday afternoon. Oh, I updated the RaceMe with the latest download yesterday just in case I would see any improvements. Got an error loading it into the ECM. RaceMe then automatically attempts to load the factory tune back in (you have no say in the matter) and that too failed. Left me with a no-start condition. After additional attempts, I finally got it to load the factory tunes (which I can't run with the exhaust), but then it allowed me to load the stock + deletes tune. After that very scary half hour, I came to realize this program is not what I would consider reliable. Not hard to imagine being the middle of Baja with a no-start condition after that. So back everything goes to stock (exhaust and factory tunes), and that's how it will stay. The best improvement I did to my former D-max was tunes and exhaust. Was quiet, more powerful and 33% gain in mileage. Not so with the RaceMe AND the Aisin equipped C&C Ram as it's about the wrost thing you can do. Again, that's my experience with a very specific vehicle. Great reports from those with 3500s and no Aisin trans.

The RaceMe and Flo Pro exhaust combo was an attempt to cure two shortcomings that I have with the rig. That said, I'm pretty much over the Ram at this point. The horrible mileage, the lack of power (over 14k GVWR gets you a detune per EPA regs), the cursed 19.5s, and commercial insurance. I still have to pencil things out to see just how much of a hit I'm going to take, but I'll likely sell my near new Ram (only 18k on the clock) come late April. I may do as I originally planned on doing and get a F450 pickup (it will have to be used as I'm going to lose my arse on the ram sale, if I do it). I'll still have to deal with 19.5s, but the F450 pickup (not C&C) will cure the other issues I have. Then again, I may lighten my load further and go back to a D-Max 3500. Most likely I'll just keep opening my wallet and keep the Ram if the hit is too great and wait (perhaps forever) for a tuner that cracks the Aisin code and allows one to easily disable (as needed -for example when anyone is around (camping near anyone within a mile)) the cold weather warm up use of the turbo/exhaust brake (which is why it is so painfully loud with the Flo-Pro during cold temp starts).


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Bummer, my 3500 with the Aisin has plenty of get up and I still get ~18 mpg with three camper on doing 70 mph, but then again I'm only a smidge over 10k loaded... swing by when you're in the Hood next time, kiting season is just around the corner ;)

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