87 Dodge Ram full size


Old 10-05-03, 05:10 PM
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87 Dodge Ram full size

My 1987 Dodge Ram full-size van with eight cylinder 318 engine destroys front tires. The inside edges of the tires wear down to the steel belts within a few thousand miles while the outside edges show almost no tread wear. I once had a 1985 of the same model that had the identical problem. Is this a problem common to all Ram vans of that era? Once I had the older vehicle aligned, but it quickly went out of alignment.
Is it a lost cause to get this vehicles aligned, or should I expect a reliable alignment shop to make a fix that will hold; and, if so, about what should I expect to spend in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area?
While Iím on the Ram, it started backfiring a few weeks ago. It just reached 130,000 miles. What are some likely causes of this problem and estimated costs of the fix?
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Old 10-05-03, 05:34 PM
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What condition is the front end in?

When's the last time it saw a tune up or any carburetor service?
Old 10-05-03, 05:50 PM
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
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Sounds like you have a camber problem. Can't say if it is 'common' or not, but as a vehicle ages, all the suspension parts grow a little weaker which tend to lower the ride height of the vehicle which can certainly cause incorrect camber. Any 'good' alignment shop should be able to correct it and also tell you how many degrees it was out-of-camber. Knowing how many degrees of camber was corrected is your clue that the job was done completely.

Some shops which don't specialize in alignments will only correct toe-in tow-out problems because they are very easy to correct with a wrench, compared to caster and camber corrections which often involve shimming front end parts with special shims.
Old 10-05-03, 08:04 PM
mike from nj
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lugnut---the key word you said there is 'good' alignment shop. any 'good' alignment shop will do a pre-alignment inspection and see what parts are worn out, any wear on any part makes an alignment useless!!

also, this is a dodge van, it has no chevy shims, it has the much easier slots, any 'good' alignment shop will tighten these bolts with the biggest wrench in the shop to prevent those bolts from sliding next time.

when you shop around for the cheapest alignment, and you use that coupon you found in yesterday's paper for a $19.99 special, you're lucky if the shop even sets tire pressure. you got what you paid for, a cheap alignment! a good one will cost around $60-90 depending on the local market.

1987 is the transition year for fuel injection i believe, it's been a while, but i think all 87s were throttle body efi, does this van have a 'check engine' light?

let us know
Old 10-06-03, 07:16 AM
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According to Chrysler PAIS (Bell and Howell) this 318 is Holley 2 barrel equipped. The 360 was Rochester Q-jet equipped.

Chrysler stopped using carburetors on trucks circa 1989.

I would say start with the basics here, good tuneup and cleaning/servicing, see where that nets you. Then get into the carburetor if you still have issues.

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