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1981 Dodge Ram D250 Crew Cab | 29k miles | sold straight runs great | rare |

Make: Dodge
Model: Other Pickups
Type: Crew Cab Pickup
Trim: RAM D250 Crew Cab
Year: 1981
Mileage: 29750
VIN: 1B7KD26R7BS179093
Color: Red
Engine: 318 cu in. (5.21 L) LA V8
Cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Black
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clean
Item location: Portland, Oregon, United States

1981 Dodge Other Pickups RAM D250 Crew Cab Additional Info:

1981 Dodge Ram D250 Crew Cab w/ 6 ½’ (short) bed
3/4 ton rear wheel drive
318 cu in. (5.21 L) LA V8 with automatic transmission.
29k (+/-) original miles on entire truck
ex-USAF and US Forest Service
Very straight, few if any dents & dings, intact glass
Light surface rust/scratches in bed.

Mechanically very sound – I wouldn’t hesitate to drive it across the country (but... sold "as-is" so you'll have to make up your own mind if you choose to do so).
Cosmetically: (a) needs a good cleaning... sorry... (b) bad rattle can red paint over original air force blue. Has a few holes drilled in roof where light bar was mounted (could be repaired and/or covered with marker lights.)
Undercarriage looks new – heavy duty military grade rustproofing applied when new. The only exception: Two small quarter-sized rust-through spots under the "heel" area of the driver's side floor pan where water may have collected and sat and rusted through from the inside of the truck. (Replacement metal easily available for ~$90... shouldn't be too hard to repair...)

A link to additional photos is available by request if you send me a message. (ApparentlyeBay doesn't allow me to put the link here to make it easy for you.)
This is a rare truck:First year of the Ram,Crew Cab,Short bed
It is one of only a few years of first generation Ram crew cabs. Good luck finding another one anywhere in this condition.
History: It was originally a USAF vehicle (and the original paint is "Air Force Blue") from 1981 to 1985 (+/-), then transferred to the U.S. Forest Service and was converted to a fire truck (given a rattle-can fire engine red paint job and had a fire fighting apparatus mounted in the back -- water tank, pump, hose and reel). The US Forest Service loaned the truck out to the Idaho Dept. of Lands, who sent it to the small rural volunteer Glenwood-Caribel Fire District in western/central Idaho where it sat in a garage and was used "once or twice a year" (according to the Idaho Dept. of Lands personnel who was responsible for its upkeep and sale) for 30 years until its retirement in late 2015 -- hence the low miles. I purchased it via GSA (federal govt.) auction in 2016, took it to a shop in Lewiston, ID for a mechanical once-over and a new set of tires, then drove it home to Portland, OR. It didn't pass emissions the first time through, so while my temp permit was still valid, I drove it to a fire fighting museum, donated the fire fighting apparatus/equipment that was mounted in the back (small water tank, hose reel, water pump) then parked it in my driveway to work on it. There it sat in the shade for a few years -- with occasional engine starts and drives around the block -- while I considered the cost and logistics of doing a Cummins swap. I gave up on that idea this past May and took it to a mechanic to rebuild the carb and get it ready to be titled for the first time ever. We found a number of additional items to sort, and have repaired everything. It has recently passed stringent DEQ emissions testing for the Portland Metro area, whereupon I finished the process of getting it titled, registered, licensed, etc.
The truck had 28,615 miles on it when i bought it, and I have put about 1k miles on it since.
Aside from starting it and driving around the block on occasion, I didn't do anything to it until May of this year, when I took it to a local mechanic to overhaul the carburetor and get it to pass the stringent DEQ test in the local Portland metro area. It passed with flying colors. The mechanic also did a number of miscellaneous repairs, serviced the brakes, full lube/oil/filter, etc. to have it ready to roll.
I was originally planning to swap in a Cummins 5.9 12v diesel, which can be legally done and registered in the Portland metro area due to this being a Ram model which makes a 12v swap legal (so, any Cummins 6BT 12v from an’89 to ’97 Dodge can be used as a donor), and then it would be emissions-exempt due to the 3/4 ton rating. I haven't had the time/space/money for the swap, so I thought I'd pass this beast onto someone else who might be interested. Runs great as-is, though, and I believe there's very little work needed if you want to keep it a gas-powered hauler.
Body: Really straight and solid, especially for being a working truck. The frame and body panels are all straight, although the bed needs to be re-centered. There are a few minor dents and dings, but no serious body damage or evidence of past body repair.
There are a couple of holes (from where the fire fighting apparatus was installed), scratches and surface rust in the bed from being a working truck, but generally it's quite solid.
There are a half dozen or so holes in the roof from various lights or antenna -- plugged (temporarily) with panhead stainless machine screws with waterproof washers on top and wing nuts inside and/or electrical and duct tape.
There are markings on it indicating rust proofing was applied to military specs when new, and the undercarriage looks amazing for a truck of this age.
I have replaced the wiper motor (TWICE... first was a dud...) with OEM rebuilt unit, along with wiper arm linkage bushings (the scars have finally healed on the backs of my hands from that job!).
Has military pintle hitch bolted to the rear bumper.
Due to a few cracks in the mounting locations, the plastic front grill seen in the photos taken along side the canyon highway and in the driveway has since been replaced by a period correct aftermarket grill. The general shape of the front section is the same for ’81 through ’92 Rams, so you could put newer front grill style on it if desired.
At the time of purchase, I brought it to a reputable shop for a once-over before driving it home. Work included new battery, oil, oil filter, air filter, belts, hoses, spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, water pump, fuel pump, new radiator, hoses, new transmission fluid, new differential oil and full check of brakes. It runs like a top and shifts great.
In May of this year, I took it to a local mechanic who rebuilt the carburetor, and took it through the DEQ testing process – it passed with flying colors (the mechanic said it was one of the cleanest burning vehicles of this vintage he’s ever seen). While in the shop, the mechanic sorted and lubed some stuck windows (they now all roll up and down perfectly). He repaired a faulty horn switch and got the wipers to work finally (apparently the new “rebuilt” wiper motor I installed was faulty), as well as rebuilt or otherwise repaired the brakes which didn't like being underused for a few years.
It has four (4) new Firestone Transforce HT E-rated tires (with less than 1000 miles on them) on painted steel wheels; two extra steel wheels with older tires. Four of the wheels are painted "Air Force Blue" and the other two painted white.
The rear axle is geared for pulling. I had the shop change the differential oil and they replaced the differential cover in the process (but said everything looked good on the inside). It runs, drives and shifts smooth. Not a speed demon on the freeway. If you want to swap the tranny for something else, the cab has the manual transmission "hump" I believe -- I'm guessing Dodge made only one type of floor pan for the crew cabs of this generation, regardless of transmission used.
Interior: "Spartan" best describes it. Has a heater, but no AC (although I can't imagine it would be difficult to source the factory parts to add it). This is an ex-military vehicle with no trim. Headliner? Never had one. Insulation? None. The interior color is the original Air Force blue with black vinyl seats and black vinyl/rubber flooring. The rubber/vinyl floor is in fair condition with a few small holes/cracks. Bench seats: Both black; Front bench seat is in great shape (note the backside of the bench seat is "unfinished" leaving the springs in view from the rear and it has a couple scuffs behind the driver's side); The rear bench is in generally in good shape, but has a several rips/tears on the passenger side (assuming from storage of fire fighting equipment); included in the sale are two (2) new blue & gray "saddle blanket" bench seat covers that haven't been installed. I added an aftermarket 12v cigarette lighter so I could power a phone charger. I have purchased a replacement ashtray to fill the gap... but haven't installed it. I purchased and installed a set of used OEM sun visors as the original driver's side wouldn't stay up all the way. I'll include the originals. No rear seat belts. I purchased a set of used belts that I'll include (I'm pretty sure rear seat belt mounts exist in the body).
Note: The truck came with a rodent nest in the heating vent, but no dead rodents. It has been cleaned out, and according to my relatively good sense of smell, doesn't smell of rodent.
(1) Roof: Straight and solid, but has half a dozen or so holes drilled in the roof -- plugged with stainless machine screw and rubber washers above and/or electrical and duct tape.
(2) Parked in a garage in Central Idaho for 30 years left the body in great condition, but much of the rubber has become dry/brittle. In the engine compartment, most of this has been sorted (new hoses, belts, etc. as needed). The window & door seals are dried and some brittle. Fortunately the rain gutters keep the rain from leaking in, but to be a "daily driver" you'd want to change the door & window seals. I have purchased a couple of door seals from LMC and will include them with the truck.
(3) The ash tray was removed by the previous owners, and some additional wires remain from lights, sirens, radios, etc. that were removed for the sale.
(4) There are remnants of wires and a switch from disconnected fire fighting and emergency equipment (lights, radio, siren, water pump, etc.).
(5) It's due for a wash
(6) RUST! VERY LITTLE -- in fact the whole truck is about as solid and rust free as you could imagine for a truck of this age -- almost like new. BUT while taking photos to sell the truck, I discovered two small (quarter-size) rust through spots on the driver's side floor pan under the driver "heel" area... appears to be where water may have collected over the years. LMCTrucks.com sells replacement floor section for about $90, so a relatively easy thing to remedy.
Other issues may exist. Selling this AS-IS. You're welcome to arrange a pre-purchase inspection at your expense. I'm not likely to let it out of my sight, but might consider accompanying it to an off-site inspection at your expense, and at my convenience.
I welcome all questions. I'm happy to show it in person to a potential buyer.
Unless your name is Wayne Carini or Tom Cotter, do not contact me if you're a broker, re-seller, buyer's agent, consignor, auction house, auto listing service, auto dealer, auto wholesaler, auto detailer, restoration shop, or any other agent, broker or service provider.
Think I’m asking too much? The original auction purchase, plus the new set of tires, and all of the work done to it puts me at about break-even at about $7500. Do some research first and find another one of this vintage with this few miles in as-good condition. You might be right if you think I'm asking too much... but I’ll be happy to let you know what the final selling price the market determines.
Out of state buyers: I will not pay to ship it. If you want to ship it, YOU are welcome to arrange shipping, and at YOUR expense, but I will not release the vehicle to anyone unless payment in full is in my bank account and all checks/transactions have cleared/verified. That said, if you want to fly into town to pay for it and drive it home, I'll gladly pick you up at Portland International Airport (PDX) and you can see the truck to verify it's legitimate, and we can do the transaction at my bank, and once cleared you can drive off into the sunset (well, you're probably heading any direction but West, but the Oregon Coast is beautiful and worth the side trip if you make it out here).
I will only deal with a buyer who is planning to and prepared to buy it directly from me with cash payment in full up front in person (and who already has their spouse's support and approval, if needed).
If you made it this far, thanks for your interest.
NOTE: I am also selling this locally and reserve the right to end this auction early if a suitable in-person deal is reached.
SHIPPING: Shipping to USA buyers in the lower 48 only. ANY and ALL ARRANGEMENTS and COSTS are to be MANAGED and PAID by the BUYER and are NOT included in this sale. If an out of state buyer chooses to have the truck shipped, then all funds from the sale must be received and verified before Title and vehicle will be released. Once vehicle is in possession of the shipper, it will be considered in possession of the buyer and sale is final. The buyer takes all responsibilityfor any damage, theft, or other issue after the moment the vehicle is taken possession by the shipper and buyer.