I found my dream truck when I first saw the 1st gen trucks on the Dodge lots back in the early nineties, unfortunately my budget and my dream were not even in the same universe. I never liked the 2nd and 3rd gen truck style – no offense intended for you guys who like those styles, they just were never that appealing to me. I was and am a solid 1st generation Dodge guy.
With kids, job changes, and other budget killers, it wasn’t until recently I was able to put myself in a position to buy one of those older beauties… and I actually found one, with patience, that is in decent shape on eBay (if I am to believe everything stated in the eBay ad as it almost seems too good to be true).
It is a 1990 Dodge Power Ram, 250 Extended Cab, Long Bed, EFI 360 5.9 V8, 4x4 with very little rust, only a little beat up on the wheel-wells, but otherwise looking good. I think it may have had a camper shell or slide-in camper for most of it’s life, as there is very little rust in the bed at all. Being from the Idaho area, I don’t think they use salt on the roads out there so that had to help it, too.
My question for the forum: The truck has 190,000 miles, is mechanically sound per the eBay ad, pushes cold air out the AC, starts immediately, shifts smoothly, works in 2w, 4w H & L, and doesn’t have any leaks… I don’t want to mess this up!
What sort of preventative maintenance do you suggest with this unknown history?
I thought I would start with switching it over to synthetic oil formulated for high miles to start cleaning out the inside and get those seals and whatever conditioned. Then, as my budget allows, start changing the rest of the filters and normal tune-up items.
Should I switch to a better grade sparkplug? Wires?
Any other suggestions?
I am a first responder with the fire department, but other than jumping on it to get to the station, I will probably be babying this truck – not much off-roading or long-trip hauling. I will use it to haul fireplace wood and lumber for projects, but otherwise this truck will only average about 45 – 70 miles a week.