Info sites for 1979 Dodge Van

Joined
Oct 15, 2003
Messages
214
Location
Calgary, Alberta
Hi all, I'm going to be purchasing a '79 Dodge camper van off an uncle of mine but I know nearly nothing about these vans. I've been poking around the 'net today looking for info or enthusiast sites (specifically for Dodge vans) and I'm not coming up with very much. Any suggestions? As for the van itself, its a '79 Dodge D200 (not sure if that's the correct model number...I'm used to Chev/Ford) Okanagan (sp?) conversion with a 360 engine. I don't know what trans/rearend is in it at this point. Thanks! Grg
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
23,160
Location
Apple Valley, California
It will have a 727 trans. Good trans for the most part. The reverse band is the only weak point. The bands are adjustable in it. 72 inch lbs comes to mind. If it's a light duty 3/4ton it will have 5 lugnuts and a 8 3/8 Chrysler rear end. Gearing could be 2.76, 3.23 or 3.55.I have heard of 3.91 gears in some but have never seen any. If it's a HD 3/4 it will have a Dana 60 rear. 8 lugnuts. Standard ratio was 3.55 and 4.10 was the HD option. The 360 was a good engine. It does have it's quirks. The worst being the gasket between the timing cover and the block that likes to leak after a water pump replacement.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
5,050
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: Chris142
It will have a 727 trans. Good trans for the most part. The reverse band is the only weak point. The bands are adjustable in it. 72 inch lbs comes to mind. If it's a light duty 3/4ton it will have 5 lugnuts and a 8 3/8 Chrysler rear end. Gearing could be 2.76, 3.23 or 3.55.I have heard of 3.91 gears in some but have never seen any. If it's a HD 3/4 it will have a Dana 60 rear. 8 lugnuts. Standard ratio was 3.55 and 4.10 was the HD option. The 360 was a good engine. It does have it's quirks. The worst being the gasket between the timing cover and the block that likes to leak after a water pump replacement.
Thanks to the frame, or lack thereof, isn't this van a b*tch to put a towing hitch on?
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Messages
15,221
Location
Canada
The drivetrains on old Dodge Vans are as tough as heck. Rust problems will destroy it before anything else. About 10 years ago, C&D ran an editorial written by one of the writers about his 'brother David's' 1975 Dodge van, and how he drove it for 18 years until it completely fell apart. It was apparently pumpkin orange, so it would have looked like the one above. Very entertaining read!
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
46,629
Location
New Jersey
neat! Id be more concerned about rust than about drivetrain issues at first... better tackle anything that might arise... including issues with rubber seals.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
3,775
Location
Houston, Tex
A college roommate had the early seventies edition of that van, with a 318. He bought it with around 100K miles, and put on at least another 200k, with only nominal maintenance, while I knew him. I travelled a lot of miles (including a trip to the Daytona 500)in one of those. Very solid vehicle.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
23,160
Location
Apple Valley, California
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
neat! Id be more concerned about rust than about drivetrain issues at first... better tackle anything that might arise... including issues with rubber seals.
Ya like the hidden coolant bypass hose that will blow at the worst time.
 
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