Junkyard Find: 1984 Dodge Ram 150 Royal SE With Slant-Six Engine

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1984 dodge ram 150 royal se with slant six engine
Can you imagine buying a new full-size Detroit pickup truck with the top luxury trim package and less than 100 horsepower? In 2018, such a truck would be smashed to bits by angry mobs, were it to appear in a showroom, but this half-ton pickup with 95 Slant-Six horses, four-on-the-floor manual transmission, and the Royal SE package would have been considered pretty nice, 34 years back.
The Slant-Six would run just fine no matter how cruelly you treated it, making it a great truck engine (if you didn’t mind very leisurely acceleration). This is the 225-cubic-inch version, rated at 96 horsepower; Chrysler put this engine in U.S.-market trucks and vans through the 1987 model year, after which it was replaced by the Magnum 3.9 V6 (aka three-quarters of a 318 V8). While the Slant-Six was the base engine in the D-series Ram pickups and vans for the 1981-1987 period, nearly all of them were purchased with V8s.
Real trucks had three pedals back in the 1980s, and this one has the rugged New Process 435 four-speed. Perhaps this transmission was overkill for an engine that made a mere 170 lb-ft of torque, but nobody complained.
The Royal SE package (which also went into Ramchargers) included a chrome grille, power steering, fake wood trim in the cab, and so on.
These door pulls are pretty classy.
Work trucks tend to stay in service for decades longer than ordinary cars, but this one finally reached the end of the line in Colorado.
We. Are. Dodge. And. This. Is. How. We. Back. Our. Trucks.
If you like these junkyard posts, you can reach all 1500+ right here at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand!
Join the conversation
3 of 34 comments
  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on Nov 27, 2018

    Being a life long n.e. Ohioan it pains me so to such rust free sheetmetal on such an old vehicle :( . That truck would have been a pile of iron oxide by its tenth birthday in these parts.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Nov 29, 2018

    I about lost my mind with frustration over how slow my '77 Power Wagon was when I first had it. And it had the 2 barrel 360! I would have burned this thing, or gone looking for an engine to transplant. Everything was a pain to do in my truck, pass, merge, go uphill. I remember driving it to LA in June 1977 when it was a couple of months old and having it floored, and barely keeping up with traffic. I decided right then it had to be changed. First was an aluminum intake manifold and a Carter 4 barrel. Later on, it had a cam and lifters, headers, and ported heads. It was a lot of fun when it wasn't needing to be fixed. I lasted 4 years before I cracked and decided it had to go.

    • HotPotato HotPotato on Dec 02, 2018

      "Whatchu callin' a Power Wagon!? Gimme a 440 and a 4-barrel or go home!"

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).