A Real Adventure


I have been reading Mopar Action since
the ’90s and I love your articles. I especially
love your tech and restoration advice and I
absolutely love your sense of humor. You,
sir, are a wealth of information and I know
you will be able to answer my question with
little to no effort, so here is my question:
My crabby ass dad has a 1973 Dodge
D100 Adventurer Sport 1/2 ton truck, 360.
He purchased it used when I was ten years
old. My older brother got his hands on it
when he obtained his driver’s license and
he beat it, raced it and killed a deer with it.
My dad gave it to my brother as a graduation
present and he attempted to bring
it back to like new status with Bondo and
primer spray paint in his hand. Needless
to say it has been sitting in the weeds, not
running, since 1989. I plan on finishing what
my brother started with the truck this winter
and I began the planning stage. Since the
truck has sat for decades and the brake
system and the fuel system need attention,
I was wondering if I can do an upgrade.
I own a 1984 Dodge Ram that runs and
drives. The rear differential is a limited slip
and the front suspension needs no work.
The brake system is good, the transmission
has been replaced with a rebuilt unit
and is flawless. The 318 gives what it’s got
and fires up with the touch of the key but
it smokes and has no power. The cab is
rusted out to the point of no return and the
wiring is butchered. (The truck spent its
life as a public utility vehicle.) My question
is can I take the 1973 cab and attach it to
the 1984 frame? I have a rust-free 1980s
box and with the help of LMC I can get
the rest of the parts I need to bring this
truck back to a “wow, that’s cool” appearance.
If I can’t do that, will I be able to use
the K-member and rear end on the 1973
frame? I believe this will save me time and
money since I won’t have to replace or
rebuild the braking system, suspension
system or the fuel system. I would also be
able to get rid of that behind the seat gas
tank. This truck holds a lot of memories for
my family and I would like to bring her back
to life.

First off, I should tell you that I am in no
way a Dodge D/W pickup expert. I grew
up in NYC, where pickups were as useless
as teats on a bull. anything left in the bed
would grow legs 30 seconds after you
walked away. Now ask me about A and
B-vans – sure! OK…1972 thru 1993/94
Dodge pickups were all built on the same

basic platform, so, as far as I know, most
major subassemblies can be swapped with few hindrances.
As far as the powertrain, if it were mine,
I’d find a clean 1993 with a SMPI 360
Magnum and A518 and swap it all in the
older chassis. Again, this isn’t difficult. A
1992-’93 318 Magnum is also viable. Avoid
any of the TBI setups. A 5.7L Hemi is also
do-able, but not as straightforward.
As far as K-members, there is none. The
engine support crossmember is welded to
the frame on D1 thru D3 models.
Hope this helps.

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