Abandoned 1980 Big Block Dodge Truck Sat for 14 Years, Gets Cool Budget Restoration

Many enthusiasts, yours truly included, would be curious to see what a world where customizing cars is free of the dreaded financial burden looks like. However, the closest thing real life provides is budget builds. And this 1980 Dodge D-Series pickup truck is just what the cash-strapped resto-doctor ordered.

To start with the piggy bank details, we’ll mention that the truck was grabbed from Facebook for $1,000, while the solid Big Block that now sits under its hood only cost $500. And we can expect the other costs associated with the project to be just as low.

Now, since there are no miracles in the world of builders, you might be wondering how such a low budget shenanigan was possible, especially since we’re talking about a vehicle that may not become a drag strip sensation, but still has to run nicely, giving its driver the torquey Big Block feel for many miles. The answer comes from all the time the builder is investing in the project.

This 1980 Dodge Truck has been given a new lease on life by Dylan McCool

We’ve talked about the adventures of Dylan McCool before, with the YouTuber having put together a vast collection of affordable cars. And, as mentioned above, this Dodge D-Series is an example as good as any.

As for that time investment, it’s not just about the hours Dylan spent seeking out the truck online or taking care of it once he brought the vehicle home—he bought the pickup about one year ago, but it seems the man only recently started working on it.

You see, the enthusiast has also honed his building skills and he’s not afraid to pull apart an engine and fix it. However, the Big Block that had replaced this Dodge’s factory 318 ci (5.2L) V8 more than a decade before Dylan got the vehicle was too far gone—the truck sat for some 14 years.

As such, the aficionado grabbed a 400 ci (6.6L L) Big Block from a late 1970s Chrysler Cordoba—this is the $500 motor mentioned above—gave it a bit of attention and put it into the truck—this engine was initially destined for another one of the man’s projects, a 1965 Dodge Monaco, but we’ll sure that car will find a new heart too.

There are plenty of other details to sort out

Fitting such a monster in the engine bay of a vehicle that no longer came with Big Blocks by 1980 did bring some space challenges, but Dylan found a way around them.

And while the exterior, with its factory black finish, is almost untouched by anything but superficial rust, the red cabin has seen better days.

Nevertheless, you have to love the can-do attitude of the YouTuber: “The seats have some cigarette burns in them, the dash is cracked, but that’s okay. We can fix a lot of that stuff […]. It’s a very nice truck overall!

Now, while the first clip below provides the first part of the 1980 Dodge truck’s transformation, there’s also a second video, which tells the story of its new-to-it Mopar Big Block. As usual. Dylan shares plenty of advice with us, so amateur builders can enjoy a few tips and tricks.



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