1989 Dodge W150 - Diamond in the rough?

I have a 1989 dodge pickup with 2210 miles. It was a farm truck the interior is perfect the brake pedal has all the rubber dash is perfect the 4wd knob is perfectly painted on runs like new arm rest have not one crack the seats no rips at all but the outside is beat. Lady said the bought new in 1989 they drove it on the farm for 1 year and broke something in the bed dropping big stones he pulled it next to the barn covered but on dirt. The underneath is perfect just rusted from Indiana winters. I feel like it actually might only have 2200 miles. What do y’all think? Even the cheap leather like stuff at the bottom of the 4wd stick is perfect. Still has 2 tires from 1989 and I have original title from feb 2 1989. Hardest 2200 miles a truck ever saw. Also was plated in 2021 with 1621 miles claimed. I feel like I found a diamond.

Sounds like you found a great parts truck, one bad thing about not driving a vehicle is the seals and gaskets tend to dry up leak… I have seen where people only drive 3 miles a day and never any road trips and completely ruin the vehicle…
I would be curios as to what broke in the bed area that keep him from driving it around the farm only…

But it could be a great project truck also…

1 Like

As long as there’s no structural rust issues, restoring this truck to every-day use sounds like a fun project and shouldn’t prove overly expensive other than the labor, which presumably you’ll do some yourself. . The interior seems to have benefitted more from being covered than the exterior, sort of puzzling. But what’s the saying about gift horses?, maybe better to not ask too many questions … lol … All the rubber component have deteriorated quite a bit, but 1989 they had pretty good quality rubber, so hopefully not much of that (excepting tires) will require immediate replacement. What does the wiring harness look like? Farm trucks are often loaded beyond the rated capacity, so you may have some axle and suspension system parts that need replacement, along the bed damage. With any luck the transmission and engine remain in good shape. Hopefully it is a manual transmission. Suggest to not drive it until all of the driveline components are lubed. If you don’t drive it in 4WD mode, you can just leave the front-end 4WD components for later. If you have to drive it in 4WD mode, the front driveshaft bearings likely need to be lubed first, which may require removing the front drive shafts. Inspect the brake components on all 4 wheels before driving of course, they’ll probably need a lube at least. The distributor probably need some attention before running the engine, especially a little lube for the shaft bearing. All in all, I think you’ve done very well!

I think you found a lump of coal that will take a lot of work to make it a diamond (in your eyes…)

I can think of a looong list of problems a 34 year old vehicle will have no matter WHAT mileage it has! Plastics gone brittle, rubber cracked, fuel lines not resistant to modern ethanol laden fuel. Jellied fuel in the gas tank, fuel lines and filters. Similar parts availability of a 1967 Simca (if you don’t even know what that IS… that is my point!). Grease coagulated into wax. Tires that should be scrapped immediately.

All for a truck not well-loved by buyers in 1989.


Bah, humbug! Vintage and classic trucks from the 1970s to 1990s are increasing in value and desirability as people become tired of the overpriced, over-complex, and oversized trucks that are being sold new today. If this old truck has minor surface rust, and just needs to be cleaned up, and have the rubber parts replaced, it should be a fine project, which will result in an excellent vehicle to drive!


Where would you get those rubber seals? I can’t find replacement weatherstrip online for a W150.

Hagerty’s valuation tool says these trucks in excellent condition are worth a whopping $24,200… or about twice the cost of a new paint job alone. This value for a local car-show winning restoration.

As a beater truck, It is just fine. but just to get it safe and reliable will take significant time and money. Worth it to a DIYer (you) but a very expensive proposition for an owner that needs to pay for that work.

1 Like

Admittedly, it would be better if it were a Power Wagon , but I think Dodge trucks are pretty well liked in general.

OP said something broke in the bed area dropping stones into the bed. Rust is an issue, but the broken part would be the key fix before worrying about rust.

There’s nothing to discuss until it gets put on a lift and inspected by someone who knows what to look for. My concern is RUST. It was parked on dirt so there has been exposure to moisture for decades. If the frame is rotted it’s really a pile of parts.