Swaping 318's

dodge
ramcharger

#1

i have a 1983 dodge ramcharger that was born with a 318. when i bought the truck the 318 was seized. i stumbled onto a 1972 dodge motorhome with a 318 with only 7200 miles so i grabbed it. i was wondering about how much work and money will i have to spend to drop thin motor in and start it?


#2

Did you see the engine run before buying it? It only has 7,200 miles (?) of wear, but it has 38 years of rot and rust.


#3

There is a big difference in age and applications. Does the intake manifold and exhaust headers from the seized engine bolt up directly to the motorhome mill?

You might have to use the motorhome mill like a new short block. Strip off the heads, manifolds, distributor, ignition, and pollution controls from the old motor and bolt them onto the motorhome mill.

There are a lot of opportunities for incompatabilities in this project so be ready to improvise as needed and hope you can make it run.


#4

If you’re going to be replacing the engine anyway, how about putting a 360 in it? Same block I believe. You’ll be a lot happier with the performance of a 360 than an emissions-choked 318 in your truck. Find one from a truck or junked New Yorker or similar of around the same year.


#5

Check for pilot bushing hole in back of crank on the motorhome engine if your truck is a standard. Some times if the engine came out with an automatic transmission they didn’t put the hole in the crank for the pillot bushing. Had a 71 Dodge Charger with the automatic and changed it over to a pistol grip four speed standard tranny and had to change the crank out to do this!


#6

I would be concerned about the transmission connections, they tend to change over the years.


#7

It’s a big jump from a '72 to a '83…The '72 has NO smog stuff and is a sweet running engine. If you can turn it over with a breaker bar on the front crankshaft bolt it should be OK…It has points ignition but the electronic set-up from the '83 should drop right in. If the '83 used a “feedback” carb, I would use the carb off the '72…The basic engines are the same so you should be able to swap parts around without too much trouble…I hope a smog test is not part of the picture…That could be a problem…

Be careful with any 360 conversions. THOSE engines were externally balanced (they are a stroked 318) and the torque converter or flywheel MUST be for a 360. I always favored the shorter stroked 318 as they were smoother and more reliable…


#8

Go for it,I believe you will pleased with the performance.Get a good carb and think about saving the old ANTI EMP ignition system (put a coil in a grounded metal can somewhere.)Anyway the power and better economy will please you,shouldnt be a whole lot of fuss(please keep us posted)


#9

Hopefully we won’t have to resort to using any equipment stashed away against a future EMP any time soon… Though 2012 is coming up pretty fast… lol