Cover photo by Rob Hentschel
Welcome back to our coverage of Project Power Laggin’! Follow along as we take a tired 1979 Dodge W150 Power Wagon we found in Central Maine and transform it from a derelict roadside attraction to a dependable, powerful weekend workhorse that lives up to it’s given name! In this installment, we continue to discover and fix even more previous-owner hackery, while taking the time to install some accessories and upgrades!
Man, it’s been a while since we took a look at what’s going on with the ol’ Wagon of Laggin’. Since the last installment of this series, the world has changed quite a bit. While we are all coping with the “new normal” and many people are spending more time at home, we’ve kept busy (and sane!) by turning wrenches on all sorts of stuff, including Project Power Laggin’. I’ve been driving it more than ever, since most trips are for local provisions around the area. It’s also been a trusty steed for trips to the hardware and home improvement store for picking up supplies for house projects. In other words, we’ve been putting Project Power Laggin’ to work! And with more seat time, it became apparent that there was still more previous owner “fixes” that needed attention. And while we were in there, we added some welcome creature comforts and styling upgrades along the way. This is a big update with lots to cover, so let’s dive right in!
As you can see, Project Power Laggin’ has kept us plenty busy since that last update. So, where do we go from here? Well, for one, that “Laggin'” nickname is still as relevant as ever. Even though the truck is running better with its new fuel pump and choke thermostat, it’s still exhibiting a troubling, intermittent problem. Sometimes, it will settle into a very low, barely running idle to the point of almost stalling. It will do this at random, and to be honest, I’m not sure what’s causing it. Shutting it down and restarting it seems to help most of the time. The Carter BBD 2BBL carb was rebuilt 3 years ago, but I’m not ruling it out. I’ve gone through and adjusted the idle circuit and timing, and it runs nice when it’s not exhibiting the issue. It could also be due to an intermittent vacuum leak, a bad EGR valve (yes, it’s still on there), or some other mystery malady. It really has us stumped. It would also make for an excuse to swap on some new performance induction bits. Hopefully, we’ll have a positive update on this soon. Feel free to comment below if you have an idea of what could be causing this.
Other than that, Project Power Laggin’ is slated for some rust repair, some suspension work, and some more reliability and convenience fixes. It’s still putting in work and earning its keep, even if it’s been a little temperamental lately. Hell, it’s 41 years old; that’s about 246 years old in work truck years! It’s earned the right to be a jerk sometimes, but we’ll keep wrenching on it to make it better.