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Old 03-07-2013, 12:14 AM
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Switching cam shaft to fix fuel pump on 1988 Dodge Dakota

I have a 1988 Dodge Dakota, it came with a v6 but my friend's uncle who i bought it from had put what he said was a "boat engine" in the Dakota. It seems barely used and it appears to be a 318 to me, I have no real clue what year it is.

My issue though is my fuel pump stopped working about 5 months ago as I was driving. I knew before hand the engine was getting starved intermittently.

I put on about 3 brand new mechanical fuel pumps, no difference. I started using an electric one I got from an '89 Dak but it just never meshed up. Either it pumped too hard or the regulator didn't regulate down enough or the carb would overflow even at the lowest setting.

I got it running today, a bit of overflow, I had to keep my foot on the gas the majority of the time, and if its not cranked up successfully in the first one or two turns it kills any battery I put in it. Sometimes I get five. I have to turn the light switch I have fired to the pump on for a few seconds to feel the carb.

What I want to know is:
1. how does one check a cam shaft to see if its so worn it can't operator a mechanical fuel pump?

2. Is it even common for cams to get so used they just get worn down and cant reach the arm anymore on the pump?

3. How much do I have to remove to switch these cams out? I am getting in too much trouble breaking my cars down where I live and need to kinda rap hings up quick. Is it as simple as unbolting the engine mounts, jacking the engine up, taking the oil pan off and pulling it out?

4. I have found several new camshafts in my price range but they have different numbers. One says "318 360 .441"/.441" Lift 6901" while the other says "SB LA 318 360 .420"/.442" Lift 6900 (Fits: Dodge)"
and I wonder what that means, what the specifications on my camshaft are and if I can just interchange these camshafts and it work? Or is timing altered? I am just tired of dealing with the constant autowork and the excess gas use, and the fiddling with light switches and wiring and hoping the battery doesn't die.
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