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Thread: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

  1. #1
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    This is the latest project...I've been thinking about a Rampage project for a few years now, but never stumbled into the right car to start on. Around last Thanksgiving, I found the car that I was going to build. It's a 1984 Rampage 2.2 Prospector, straight and very solid. While I've been picturing this build in my head for a long time, so it's been fun to get started on it. Here are a few pics of the car when my son and I picked it up and when it landed in my driveway.
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  2. #2
    Slugmobile & MeanMini Caretaker Turbo Mopar Contributor wheming's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    And you are planning on: ???????
    Wayne H.

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  3. #3
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Next step was assessing what I had. The car was a roller already, so doing a better inspection (meaning one that didn't occur in the dark!) was relatively easy. Interior parts were in very good shape, floor was not perfect at the seam but significantly better that most other L bodies I've looked at the last few years. Fenders, quarters and doors were in outstanding shape as were the frame rails.

    The first step was to yank the K frame out and start working on the floors. I decided that anything that had thinned a bit would just be cut out and replaced now since I hate doing floor work and really didn't feel like going back to finish anything later. Plus, since the car will be painted inside and out, this was my chance to get it solid. I also wire wheeled any remaining surface rust, dug out the crap ton of old, cracked, leaking seam sealer throughout the interior and POR'd it up. Metal used was still filing cabinet metal from the ScAries project.

    I also started to patch up the HVAC holes in the firewall, cowl and seam welded the strut towers (because racecar!). I haven't done any of the finishing work that will be necessary before paint but that will come after we get through the major fabrication work.
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    Last edited by Pat; 03-03-2014 at 11:27 PM.

  4. #4
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    One of the reasons I wanted a Rampage (along with the fact that I just think they are neat) is the low starting weight and the long wheelbase, which is an advantage for drag racing. My hesitation for getting another L body, particularly a Rampage, was the fact that the suspension sucks, which I need since the car has to be an autocrosser also. The front stub strut control arms have bind by design and the rear leaf springs and shock configuration leave a lot to be desired. The other L body hesitation has always been cheap (for GRM) axles that will withstand the power I want to make with a 5 speed and I've had issues with steering racks. I also had a concern that the fastest L body rack I'd be able to get into the car was 16:1, which should be fine, but I wanted to go a bit faster with the longer wheelbase for tight autocrossing.

    Starting with the front suspension, I started to measure up to narrow an dual pivot K frame. Going this route would help the suspension bind, but I'd still be stuck with the rest of the L body stuff I didn't want. Then, I thought why not see if I can narrow the K frame mounts and actually fit a full width K based K frame in the car! Next came the cutting wheel, sawzall and welder! Within a few hours, I had a full width Daytona K frame in an L body! What I did was section out and narrow the rear ears on the K frame to fit the L body studs. For the front mounts, I cut the pedestals off the Daytona frame and the original Rampage frame. Once cleaned up, I was able to weld the L body pedestals to the Daytona frame in the correct locations to make the k frame a complete bolt on that fits just fine between the L body frame rails.

    For control arms, I originally was going to use the cast arms but they didn't quite give me enough suspension travel before the rear of the arm would hit the frame rail. I could have notched the frame or did some grinding on the arm, but the '89-'90 stamped arms had more rear clearance and fit perfectly. I wanted the caster gain from the cast, but I'm going to be able to get that out of rocking the top of the strut back when I get there. I ended up trading the cast arms for stamped arms, so budget neutral.

    A huge benefit of this route is that I eliminate the bind in the front suspension, I pick up track width for handling, I can run the much stronger stock K based axles and I can use the 14:1 K based rack. The L body coupler was a perfect match for the Daytona rack. All I had to do firewall wise was modify the rack opening a bit, which was relatively easy. The stock piece that covers the hole will still work, it will just be angled a bit. The steering column even fits at stock length.

    All front suspension parts came from the ScAries, which I used as a parts car for the build (don't worry, ScAries is already semi rebuilt and heading to Syracuse with my brother who now owns it!)

    For struts/springs, what I have so far is a pair of Subaru Impreza strut inserts that I bought used a while ago in K based strut bodies, modified for coil over sleeves, a ton of coil over springs that I've been picking up on craigslist and the GRM forum over the last year so I have spring options, a modified L body upper spring seat to fit the coilover spring and modified L body spring hats and bearings. I didn't get any pics of the struts, but I will at some point, but so far, it looks like it will work just fine!
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    Last edited by Pat; 03-03-2014 at 09:42 AM.

  5. #5
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Now the rear suspension...all of the Rampage rear suspension was torn out of it. I disliked the lack of tuning ability I'd have with the leaf spring set up, didn't want helper springs, the shock mounting points sucked, etc. Plus, making it worse, I'd have to run some sort of spacers to get the rear track width to match the front, which would compound the disaster that is Rampage rear suspension even further. I knew I was going to do something different with the rear. I debated trying to fabricate an independent rear set up, but for an autocross car, half of the time the rear bar that is used is so stiff it essentially isn't an independent rear anyway. A twist beam rear would be much easier to make and would likely work as good or better for what I want to do with the car.

    The front attachment point for the rear leafs are in the same location as they would be for the Charger or Omni, but with longer wheel base, the axle was moved back on very long leaf springs. What I did was make a bracket that bolted to the stock front pick up point, then plated the frame rail on the side and ran a piece of tubing as a strut/gusset to eliminate any flex in the pick up point. I now have a K based (thank you ScAries!) rear twist beam axle bolted into the back of the Rampage. We set it up to move the wheels back an additional .75" for a bit of extra wheel base (now a total of 104.75") and to better position the wheels in the wheel well. For springs and shocks, I haven't started yet, but I'm thinking that I will go one of two routes...build spring mounts like I did on the Shadow last year to run 2.5" coilover springs and run shocks up through the bed to fabricated mounts or just run rear struts from another application. I have a pair of rear GLHS Koni's from my old GLHS that my brother wrecked that are halfway decent. I could convert them to run coilover springs and only have to make one set of mounts. I may tie the upper mounts to the roll cage down bars in the rear, which will give plenty of strength. We'll see...need to do a lot of drawing/measuring to make that work.

    In the end though, the car is turning into a K car with a Rampage body on it, which is what I wanted. I can interchange nearly all of the parts with my other cars, the parts are stronger, they'll work better for what I'm doing and all with the benefit of running them on a much lighter platform.
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  6. #6
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    A few pics to show the tire fitment. The suspension is bolted up, but there are no springs in it so I can mess around with ride height ideas. The white wheels are 15x7 Kosei's with a 38mm offset and 225/50 Kuhmo V710's. The gray wheels are 15x8 Revolutions (don't remember the offset/backspace) with 225/45 Hoosier A6's.

    I think it needs more tire.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Subscribed
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  8. #8
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    I can't wait to see the finished product, this is going to be awesome. Subscribed!

  9. #9
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    I'm curious what the power plant is going to be?
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  10. #10
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Quote Originally Posted by 85boostbox View Post
    I'm curious what the power plant is going to be?
    Well, I had a plan...until I found these inside!

    Not sure what plan B is going to be just yet.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    Well, I had a plan...until I found these inside!

    Not sure what plan B is going to be just yet.
    Bummer! I'm sure you'll think of something though.

  12. #12
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    Well, I had a plan...until I found these inside!

    Not sure what plan B is going to be just yet.
    Ah just run some gear oil through it. It will be alright
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  13. #13
    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    Well, I had a plan...until I found these inside!

    Not sure what plan B is going to be just yet.
    What does the crankshaft look like?

  14. #14
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Quote Originally Posted by 135sohc View Post
    What does the crankshaft look like?
    It needs to be turned. No way around it. I have a few other options available. Just decided to work on the chassis first.

  15. #15
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    I'd suggest a 2.4L personally. Make up some mounts, and a distributor adapter. If you can do the leg work, shoot up 95 up to Jessup and go to Crazy Rays junkyard. Grab a mostly complete engine for 150 bucks, and then go on neons.org and find tons of good deals on parts. If you look around enough, it's not hard to get a Turbo PT engine around here.

    I am LOVING the wheel fitment with the full length K-member and axle. I've been dying to get a dual pivot K-member done up for mine. I wanted to do the normal narrowing it down the center, but I like your idea better. Allows you to use more common parts.

    Have you thought about using a steering quickener?

  16. #16
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014


  17. #17
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    I might have missed it but what did you do for the strut hats. Any condition with binding you the from the wider k frame?
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  18. #18
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Are the stock srt4 rod/piston assys still avail and cheap?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by 85boostbox View Post
    I might have missed it but what did you do for the strut hats. Any condition with binding you the from the wider k frame?
    No bind with stock l body mounts. With camber maxed (-3.6), it starts to get tight but I am not going to run that much anyway.

  19. #19
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Ok cool. So your running L body struts
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  20. #20
    turbo addict Pat's Avatar
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    Re: Pat's GRM Rampage Project - $2014

    Quote Originally Posted by 85boostbox View Post
    Ok cool. So your running L body struts
    No, Daytona strut bodies with Impreza inserts, modified and spaced to fit l body mounts.

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