Live Auctions

Spotless Hauler: 1989 Dodge Ram D250

Once a classic pickup has a few years under its belt, it is common for it to look a bit rough around the edges. However, there will occasionally be an exception to that rule. That appears to be the case with this 1989 Dodge Ram D250. Its current owner recently treated the vehicle to a cosmetic refresh, and it presents superbly. His attention to detail has been excellent, and the buyer will reap the benefits. Located in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, you will find the Ram listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has soared past the reserve and currently sits at $8,077.

This Ram makes a positive first impression. The owner recently treated it to a cosmetic refresh, including a repaint in its original Light Blue Metallic. When reassembling the vehicle, he installed all new seals and rubbers. That should eliminate any chances of water or dust leaks, which is a bonus in a pickup with more than three decades of active service. The panels appear perfectly straight, with no noticeable dings or dents. The most positive news surrounds the subject of rust. The panels are as clean as a whistle, while the floors and frame are perfect. The exterior trim and chrome shine as impressively as the paint, and there are no visible flaws in the glass. The overall condition should ensure that this Ram turns heads for all the right reasons.

Opening this pickup’s doors reveals an interior that presents as nicely as the exterior. The owner installed a new carpet set and a custom-stitched leather cover on the seat as part of the refurbishment. These remain in perfect condition, while the remaining trim appears excellent. The dash and pad show no evidence of cracks or problems, while the same is true of the wheel. An aftermarket Sony CD player with USB input fills the spot originally occupied by the factory radio, and the Ram also features power windows. While its interior appointments wouldn’t compete with modern offerings, time spent aboard this pickup should still be pleasant.

When it was new, this Dodge Ram would have offered class-leading performance. Its engine bay is occupied by a 5.9-liter Cummins six-cylinder Turbo Diesel that produces 160hp and an incredible 400 ft/lbs of torque. The power finds its way to the rear wheels via a three-speed automatic transmission, with power steering and power brakes as standard features of this package. The secret to this Dodge’s success is not its engine power but its torque delivery. It peaks at a mere 1,700rpm, endowing the Ram with exceptional pulling power. Its acceleration figures weren’t shabby for a vehicle of this size and weight. While I haven’t been able to locate a ¼ mile ET, this Ram should leap from 0-60 mph in 11.8 seconds. The seller indicates that this classic has 100,000 miles showing on its clock. That figure is below average for a vehicle of this type and age but doesn’t represent an outrageous claim. He says that the Dodge runs and drives like a dream, suggesting that the buyer shouldn’t be reaching into their pocket to spend their cash on anything beyond regular servicing in the near future.

There’s a lot to like about this 1989 Dodge Ram, and its overall condition would suit a meticulous buyer. It may be stretching things to describe it as being in an as-new state, but its presentation is well above average for a pickup of this vintage. That Cummins Diesel under the hood should make it an effective tow vehicle, and I’m surprised that it hasn’t attracted more than eleven bids. It is destined to go to a new home, and it could be to the person who submits bid number twelve. Could you be that lucky person?


  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Not often you find something like this in our way. If the price is right go for it! But be aware that there are some things to watch out for. I’ve mentioned a few times before to watch out for that VE injection pump. If it’s the original and hasn’t had anything done to it then plan on having it gone through and updates installed. If by some chance it’s been gone through and is back in place just light it and ride it. But something I’ve run into several times over the years is that there is a break in the type of injection pump right at the ’91 model year.

    The first ones (’88-’90) use a “wax pellet” KSB (Cold Start Advance. I won’t try to say what the German term is for that because there isn’t enough space to write it) on the advance piston. It isn’t energized cold but is energized when the engine temp reaches 125 degrees. When cold the transfer pump pressure doubles to force the advance piston to full but when up to temperature it operates normally.

    Now, effective ’91, the KSB is a solenoid valve that is energized cold and shut down at 125 degrees. Other than that the advance piston operates the same way.

    Now the reason I say this is that so many of these are bought and sold via the local salvage yards, and with them anything goes. A VE? Hell, they all bolt up to the same triangle mounting flange. But you can end up with some performance problems, not to mention premature drive shaft seal failure and a crankcase flooded with diesel fuel. A quick check is to look at the high pressure nipples. The older models are about 3 inches long and the others are 2. The first thing that will happen when trying to put the wrong unit on is that the high pressure lines won’t line up properly.

    Just saying. Many years in the repair business have taught me those tips…

    Like 38
  2. Steve Clinton

    In the day, no one would have ever considered this truck ‘collectible’. Considering what new pickups look like and what they cost, this truck’s value is a no-brainer!

    Like 19
  3. Stevieg Member

    4 wheel drive is the only thing missing I would want.

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      The vast majority of them out west were exactly that; 4×4, usually Club Cabs. Crew Cab models took their time coming in but once established were here to stay…

      Like 4
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    Dodges were about the loudest diesel trucks.
    If your neighbor warmed theirs up early in the morning,
    you wouldn’t be able to sleep.

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Those small diesels were loud, and carried on right through to the 6.7 when injection rate-shaping sort of quieted them down. I’m sure the ‘Brown Shirts’ in the EPA helped with the legislation on engine noise too. But I remember the Ford 6.9/7.3 IDI engines weren’t the quietest on a cold morning. A nice chilly morning at the campground and they were firing up those diesels so they could at least charge up the batteries on the RV. It kind of disrupted that nice quiet mountain lake vacation in Glacier Park…

      Like 3
  5. Howard A Member

    Well, it’s tough to follow geomechs, who is laid up due to an ice related injury, the down side, is it takes a lot longer to heal at our age, the up side, is we get to hear from him more often.
    This was a revolutionary truck, 1st year for the Cummings[sic], however, I read, not the 1st Dodge diesel pickup offered. In 1978, I read, Dodge offered a Mitsubishi 6 cyl. 105 hp. diesel in their full size trucks, with dismal results, as expected. As a “one year” offering, they are quite rare today. The original owner here HAD to have something to do with big diesel trucks to even consider a diesel in 1989. The benefits of the Cummins were yet to be known, and was a radical departure from the tried and true gas jobs. The diesel had some mighty big shoes to fill.
    Well, history has shown, I can’t think of another motor that racked up more miles than ANY previous motor, and it didn’t take long, soon, word got out, it was hip to have a Cummins diesel powered pickup. Cummins had their heyday with the Big Cam 855, and modern Cummins semi motors are considered junk these days, and their popularity has fallen. As odd as it may sound, Detroit is the motor to have today. I think it was these motors that kept tumbleweeds from blowing through Cummins facilities.
    A great find, I’m sure the family misses dear old dad, and the truck, obviously his pride and joy, must be sold to pay the mounting health care costs towards the end dad amassed. It’s up to $17,500, so far, that should help the poor struggling nursing home or doctors,,,

    Like 10
    • Howard A Member

      Acch, ran out of time on my nursing home /doctor rant. Reason I say the semi truck connection, is I was working for a trucking company in 1989, and a driver pulled in with a new truck like this, only 4wd. Naturally, all the grumbly truck drivers stood around, “A Cummins in a pickup? Get out”,, but there it was idling away sounding just like their Big Cam cousins, it was a momentous day for light truck owners, for sure.

      Like 12
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        One of the first things I noticed when the small Cummins came into play was the number of wannabe ‘Billie Big Rigs’ that came on the scene. I remember one idiot coming into the shop wanting a ‘Jake Brake.’ I got out some information on exhaust brake kits and showed him. But, NOOOO, he wanted a real live JAKE BRAKE that uses engine compression to slow you down, just like the big Cummins. I must’ve got 15 of those dimwits in the first month. They all wanted to hear that ‘Blowdown’ when they applied the brake. Seriously? How about a CB with a pair of ‘Twin Huskies?’ Add a loudspeaker and you can mimick the sound of a Jake. But be careful, you’ll have to wash the spit off the inside of the windshield. And I also sell glass cleaner…

        Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        Yeah, kind of funny, and not ha-ha funny, how someone wants the “sound” of an engine brake, but completely misses the point as to why they were even created. It wasn’t for the sound. Engine brakes, to a truck driver, are the cats axx. I loved them. Combined with trailer brakes, I never put brakes on my tractors or on the company tractors I drove. Boss wondered why they went through so many trailer brakes, I said, hmm, must be a proportioning valve issue,,,the boss knew.
        The biggest snafu with engine brakes, is when these ya-hoo cowboys ran straight pipes, which do nothing for the actual truck operation, rattling the windows at 2 am in a hospital zone,,,now you know why there are laws with signs clearly posted. Doesn’t matter, truckers are a lot like bikers, or at least used to be,, my way or no way, with a big middle finger in the air,,,,I always had mufflers on my trucks.

        Like 7
  6. JP

    A great buy for someone!

    Like 1
  7. Tim961

    It’s a great looking truck but nobody mentioned the salvage title? There’s no such thing as a “little fire under the dash”! If the insurance company totaled it I would be very wary.

    Like 3
  8. Michael Berkemeier

    Amen, the best trucks ever made…until early 2007 anyway. After that, it was all downhill.

    Like 1
  9. Howie Mueler

    $17,300 now!!!

    Like 1
  10. John Member

    Had a Cummins in aaa 2001 Holiday Rambler Endeavor MH. jake brake and all. Was a great engine, had a alternator go out because of placement and had to have the rear facing radiator cleaned.
    Dodge/Chrysler products….only had one that was no problem, a 67 Plymouth FIII, great vehicle, the rest junk, spent more time on a hook then the road,;sensors..junk..Had a 67 Dodgr Van, could put your finger in between the body and door. A 76, towed 4 times in a weekend. Finally found out it was a pick up coil. And on and on

    Like 1
  11. John L.

    Auction over, some idiot paid $22,300.00, for a 33 year old truck with a rebuilt title, the result of a cab fire.

    Like 3
    • Iowa Farmer

      Idiot? I think not. Compare this REAL pickup with the luxury BS they call pickups today. Comfort of a Cadillac with an itty bitty nearly useless box and if 4×4 are too tall to use that useless box efficiently. I miss the 4×2 farm pickups I grew up with: ’62 Chevy half, ’69 Ford F250 and ’74 Chevy half with EIGHT FOOT boxes and low enough to toss in as well as unload fence posts, tractor tires, etc. The Dodge buyer got a bargain.

      Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        I agree, “idiot” may be a bit harsh, but I also agree, someone that had deep pockets, is in for rude awakening. The current “flash-in-the-pan”, is clean vintage pickups whether they are familiar with them or not. An even bigger blunder, was on TV auction, ( I know, but it is entertaining, even though, I have to turn it off after a spell) several older pickups came through, one squarebody GM, BASIC pickup, 6, 3 speed on column, no options, had an alleged 714 miles, which I don’t think is necessarily a good thing, it hammered at THIRTY($30) GRAND!! Another, ’67 Ford, with a camper shell, again, the truck was clean, but a basic truck, again, $30g’s. While it’s true, new trucks are expensive, look what you get, engineering marvels( until they fail, of course), this is an old pickup truck,,,not even in the same league.

        Like 1
      • Iowa Farmer

        Howard A, I quote you, “engineering marvels( until they fail, of course)”. New pickups are pretty much useless as work vehicles with their paper thin sheet metal, fancy electronics bound to fail and when it happens, head to the bank for a loan. And when the huge solar flare hits us, the only vehicles that can run as usual are the old ones with points ignition. So, hang on to your pre-electronic ignition vehicles, the old ones a zillion times tougher than the shiny newer crap. But I digress as I’ve just purchased my newest vehicle, an ’04 Chevy Silverado 4×4 extended cab with ugh, 6′ box and too many creature comfort gadgets. 189K miles on the 5.3 and rusted/gone rockers. The average resale for these in this area in this condition and miles is $5K to $9K. I paid $1K for it, replaced all of the brake lines with stainless for $115 as well as new tires for $500 from FB Marketplace. Adding in the labor, I have a $6K pickup for $2K. But that solar flare will kill it. It’s not for resale, I’ll drive it into the ground. BTW, the Dodge was a BARGAIN and a far cry better than today’s fancy pansy pickups. Well, except for Dodge 1 tons.

  12. Stevieg Member

    The truck is now for sale on Craig’s List in Detroit for $24,900. The seller claims it is all original & never painted, and that he has owned it for about 1 year.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I guess he has the right to sell it again…

  13. KRB

    If someone paid $22K for that instead of a brand new truck then they’d have about that much left over to spend on improving it or upgrading (like brakes maybe) and not have all the electronics and sensors to go bad. It’s basically an old tractor and just as easy to work on. Keep the rust away and it’s the last truck they’d ever have to buy.

    I have a ’93 W250 CTD and smile every time I drive it. It’s a truck and that’s what I use it for. I don’t need a display to entertain me or bells and buzzers to remind me that I’m driving a vehicle and should behave accordingly. I have other vehicles for travel, errands etc.

    The headlight switch wasn’t relayed and was a common area to overheat and could have caused the fire possibly.

    Like 1

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