Considering a 85 Dodge D350 dually flatbed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ditch witch, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I have an opportunity to pick up an 85 Dodge D350 dually flatbed from work for around $100. The truck runs but ATM we're using the backhoe to push start it because it needs a solenoid (just replaced the starter). Well, we were until the yoke on the driveshaft broke anyway. Should run around $750 to do the repairs and the truck runs like a demon. Oh.. and it needs tires. All 6.

    I have no need for this truck in regular life. I am only looking at it because on the offchance an EMP ever hit, our late model trucks will be out of commission. For no more than I'd spend getting this one fixed and some pipe cowcatchers welded on it, it wouldn't bother me to just stick it in the shop as a "just in case". I know it's a gas hog but we generally keep a few thousand gallons in overhead tanks at work so should the worst case scenario arrive, I think I'm pretty covered for fuel for a bit.

    Problem is the Mr. is going to go into orbit. He just rolls his eyes on the guns, food, compound bow lessons, "camping gear", etc but an ugly, battle scarred, sherman tank of a truck is going to really drive home that this isn't just my "amusing tin foil hat hobby".

    Any opinions on whether this is worth a fight?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The only reason you ask is because you aren't sure yourself. Just do it.
    Sapper John, Gator 45/70 and Cephus like this.
  3. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Eh mostly I'm not sure if this truck is worth the headache (both the fixing up and the "you got WHAT" nonsense). I'd rather a 78 F150 4x4 but those aren't cheap around here unless they're utter trash. I like the price and toughness of this truck, but not real thrilled with it not being four wheel drive. Also not sure what I think about the flatbed vs a bed with sides... haven't decided yet why I think that should matter.

    And maybe I'm wondering if my tin foil hat has finally gotten a little tight to even be considering a truck just for the fabled EMP bug out scenario.
  4. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    An '85 Dodge has electronic ignition - an EMP consideration. But easy enough to store an extra box or two in a Faraday Cage.
    Duallies also don't perform too well in an off-road situation, but your load capability will be nice.
  5. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    Look at it this way: You have way more than $100 worth of parts if you want to scrap it.
    tulianr and Cephus like this.
  6. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    I'm in the 'Just Do It' camp.
    It might be the reason why there is a 1 ton dually chevy sitting in the yard. :oops:

    Hauling! it can haul way more than the half ton pickup.
    It's got stake sides
    and a dump box (which has some hydraulic issues but no matter)
    and creeper gear.

    It's rusty, sucks gas, has torn seats, horn don't work, dented, interior lights dont work, too wide to use the side mirrors.

    It hauls 4 face cord of wood easy (about 1 in the reg. pickup)
    has tube bumpers that i've used to create a parking space in the scrub. w00t that was fun. drive 10 miles an hour straight into the brush until the truck stopped, then back out. trim branches and tree trunks out of the way, repeat.

    most fun you are going to have for under a thousand dollars!
  7. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    A diesel would be da snizzle from that time frame 1985....
  8. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    I'd be on that like a duck on a's worth more than that just as scrap.Or it would be here..
  9. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Yeah but parts are cheap and I can replace a lot of stuff on this thing (unlike my Tacoma, yikes!). I'm already factoring in buying a few replacement parts every month, like belts, hoses, water pump, etc and just piling them up in the cab as I go. As for the off-roading, well.... it's a 100 miles of flat out here so I don't guess it's that big of an issue that it's not 4x4 or is a dually.

    Far as EMP replacement parts go, what all am I lookin at? I have "points" stuck in my head but frankly I have no idea what "points" are unless I just call it by another name. Distributor? Plug wires? Ignition switch?
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Personally, I'd really hold out for a 4WD.
  11. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    The truck is worth more than $100 in scrap metal alone, even after you pull out the engine, transmission and rear axle. You could always part it out, if you have that ability. However, if you have to pay somebody to strip it the labor costs will be more than it's worth.

    Is it gas or diesel ? It sounds like it is a gas engine from your posts.

    As far as keeping it to use as a just in case vehicle, I guess that depends on what all is wrong with it and the cost of the parts and labor. Especially if you are not mechanically inclined and have to pay somebody. Without being there myself it is a hard call to make on my end if it is worth it or not to keep as a just in case vehicle.

    If EMP is your concern any vehicle pre-electronic ignition is an even better option, less parts to keep on hand. I think some people get too wrapped up in the EMP thing myself and there is plenty of controversy concerning the topic.

    Just to let you know when I purchased new tires for my 2006 F-350 dually last year it cost me over $1400 for tires, mounting and balance. One thing with a dually, if you do not have 6 steel wheels on it and it has 4 chrome wheels and 2 steel wheels. You will have to pay the tire shop to mount/balance everytime you need to rotate your tires.

    It is was me, I would buy it in a heart beat. I would scrap the truck and sell the engine, transmission, rear axle and any of the other usable parts.
  12. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    Points are contact points located under the distributor cap. You would also need a condenser, also found under the distributor cap. I'm more familiar with Chevy stuff from that year, probably someone more attuned to MOPAR stuff can help you more.
  13. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I will agree they do not perform as well as a single rear wheel axle pick up. However, when I purchased my truck it had B.F. Goodrich Mud terrains on it and I was amazed at how good it performed off-road. It is all in the tires and gear ratio of the axles. Most people run all terrain or highway tires on duallies. So yeah, they generally do not do well off-road.
  14. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    My last Dodge...May it rest in Mexico...ccc
    ditch witch likes this.
  15. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    The dually problem off-road isn't just the lack of traction, but also the width. There are many parts of our hunting lease a dually simply cannot go - too narrow as the road snakes through the trees.
    I have the Dodge Ramcharger - 1985. Electronic ignition - not points & condenser. Don't know how it will get along after an EMP.

    But I do like the Dodge trucks.
  16. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Width is always a problem off road.

    The most common "bug out" scenarios most people risk are hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes etc.

    All of the above knock down trees, telephone poles, light poles and often leave a roof or some other large chunk of debris blocking the road.
    If a 4X6 Dualie (front and rear locking differentials) cannot negotiate the aftermath of a major weather event on a paved road; it is a poor choice for a BOV.....
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    That ^^^ and a good chainsaw...!
  18. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    After a hurricane it is usually hot and humid so add a winch. ;)
  19. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Winch is cool...But slower than a good 3/8 dragline chain with hook's on each end...
    Remember this is a torque monster...Get ya some...ccc
  20. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    I'm a Dodge fan myself... with that said... good motors, weak frames... fact is it was pretty common to keep your old motor and just order a new truck without... they dont let us do that anymore...

    Good work trucks are always a good thing but dont expect to resale for a profit... no one wants these big dually's with the prices of fuel being what they are
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