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' 85 318 ?

968 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  48 Dodge
It is possible to make a'85 318 run without any of it's computer stuff on it ? I just got one in a "85 5th avenue, for parts, wondering if I can save the motor? Never owned or driven a 318. Is it worth saving ? ..........thanks
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sure thing

yeah, just strip all the lean burn crap off of it, put a distributor from an older small block mopar in (easy to find) and put a regular carb on it. Is it a 2 or 4 barrel?

318s are awesome motors for reliability, torque and will run virtually forever with minimal maintenance.

They make good hot rod motors as well with a mild cam (a 268 degree 340 cam works very well in them) mild porting or some newer heart shape chambered heads or even better magnum heads, a pair of small tube headers and dual exhaust and a good dual plane intake with a small four barrel on it (a Weiand action series or Edelbrock Performer is a good choice with a 600 holley or edelbrock carb).

The biggest problem with small block Mopars of the 70's and 80's is the crappy nylon gear silent roller timing chain that wore out and stretched badly, retarding cam timing and making the ignition timing bounce all over the place. Do yourself a favor and change to a double roller or true roller high performance timing set before you put it in anything.
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I absolutely agree with 48Dodge. The 318 is Chrysler's bread and butter grocery getter motor. Used in everything from station wagons to trucks. Just like it's big brothers the 340 and 360 it responds very well to performance modifications and the best part is they're cheap and there are a zillion of them out there so used parts are easy to come by.
thanks guys, for the info, just got the car home , paid $75 for, pulled it home, brakes worked. Has electric seats and windows, now, I guess it may even have a motor I can use ! Will start stripping the car for parts in a few days , ....thanks again !... p.s. .... the owner said the tranny wasn't very good, I know the basics, how hard is it to rebiuld ? and is it worth it ? I did a turbo 400 once a long time ago . I don't know what trans it is , only opened up the hood long enough to see the suspension , closed the hood and bought the car.!
I just did it. '86 318 in my Divco. Pulled off the fuel inj. and installed an Edelbrock, AFB, and manual fuel pump. I checked the cam for the eccentric on the front of the cam for the fuel pump arm. Check it out in my project journal.

an '85 would have a lockup torque converter version of the 904 torqueflite in it. Not too bad to rebuild, probably easier than a TH400 (about a hundred pounds lighter too). I have personally grenaded several lock up torque converters, which in turn contaminated and destroyed the rest of the transmission and I tend to avoid them now. I know you can get performance lockup converters now, and it will get you better gas mileage. What I don't know is if they stand up to brake torques and hard launches any better than stock.

A 904 is a pretty good medium duty transmission with very little rotating mass and fairly tough innards. Somehow they get them to stay together behind 800+ horsepower Hemis in Super Stock racing!

I tend to beat on things so I usually use a 727 torqueflite (had one in my street/strip Duster for many years, much abuse, no problems).

I guess it depends on the application and your expectations as to whether to rebuild the lockup 904 or look for a nonlockup 904 or 727.
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by " lock up converter " , I assume it's similar to the one I had in a '81 Olds deisel, that locked up into direct drive as a last shift or high gear ?
old thread, new question :

I need to know what determins the the final height of the engine ? So far I got the rear tranny mount level with the frame bottom, intake and carb level, but I need more clearance under it for the steering arms. ' It's a '85 318 going into '48 Dodge???
knighthawk said:
I need to know what determins the the final height of the engine ? So far I got the rear tranny mount level with the frame bottom, intake and carb level, but I need more clearance under it for the steering arms. ' It's a '85 318 going into '48 Dodge???
I'd use an arming switch to disconnect lockup until when you desire it, such as on the highway cruise only.

Frame level, rear suspension at ride height, raise the tailshaft as high as feesible, measure u-joint angles rear and front, adjust engine height to get correct forward u-joint angle. Normally the engine will tilt about 3* to the rear, with the carb surface about level.
You can move the motor left or right in the frame to miss other components if you need to. Nothing says it has to be centered and as a matter of fact, if you were to go to a boneyard and measure the OEM installations, you probably wouldn't ever find one that is centered, with some Mopars being off by as much as 3". If you do move it left or right, keep the centerline of the crank parallel with the centerline of the chassis. Do not angle the motor/trans in relationship to the chassis from a birdseye view.

You'll want to make sure that the centerline of the engine/trans and the centerline of the pinion are within a degree or so of each other as the vehicle is viewed from the side. They need to be parallel for the u-joints to work properly. Otherwise, you'll get an annoying vibration and short u-joint life. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying they need to be in line with each other, they just need to be PARALLEL with each other. You can use wedges that are specifically manufactured for the purpose of changing the angle of the differential at the differential/spring interface if you have leaf springs.
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O K , I understand the centering thing I got the tail tucked up as high as it will go , carb level. Looks good, BUT , If I smoothen the bumps out of the firewall to clear the valve covers , so I can move the motor back 2 more inches, the fan will end up IN SIDE the core support, and I'll need to mount a radiator in FRONT of the core support. There appears to be enough room,, But will I be able to find or make a rad that will fit....................I'm talking low budget, here.........on second though, how about if I modify the firewall so I can move it back about 4 inches, then maybe the rad will fit where it supposed to ?
Firewall surgery

You can't use an arming switch for the lockup on that era of transmission - it is a hydraulic circuit that is controlled by the governor and the valve body.

I put a big block Mopar in my '48 Dodge pickup. I looked at keeping the stock firewall, but I decided I wanted the motor back farther for the rad location and in general to get the weight back farther (700 lbs of big block makes this an important consideration). What I did was decide how wide I wanted the opening, at what height, and cut the firewall out. I made a sheet metal box the dimensions of the opening and 6" deep and welded it to the opening. I am putting a whole new floor in anyway, so I built a nice clean transmission tunnel to mate up with the new firewall.

I would have to think your situation would be easier with the small block. By the way, congratulations on putting a mopar in a Mopar. I feel really sad when I see a nice Mopar street rod with a brand X motor in it.
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