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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '72 Duster that I'm restoring and need some parts for converting it from a slant 6 to a V-8 and was wondering if anyone can tell me what parts are interchangeable from a '71 Dart to a '72 Duster. I found a '71 Dart V-8 car to use for parts, will the V-8 wiring harness just plug right into the firewall of a S-6 car and work with the S-6 ignition? Also, are the tranny crossmembers and driveshafts the same? :confused:
 

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This should be a very easy swap. I haven't done one of these before but common sense tells me that all the V8 parts from the Dart should bolt right up to your Duster.

If it was me I'd swap the rear too just for the extra insurance with a V8 under the hood. Like I said I haven't done an "A" body engine swap but this should be pretty darn easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think the rearend in my V-6 car is the same as the V-8 car. If memory serves me correct the 4" wheel pattern rearend with a cover on the rear of the rearend is a 7 1/4". They must hold up somewhat if they put them in from the factory :(
 

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Hold off on that cutting torch!

The '72 Duster and the '71 Dart are basically the same car with different grilles and taillights. Anything you can unbolt from the Dart will bolt into (and onto) the Duster - with a few exceptions like body panels.

I have a few questions for you though...

Is the Dart a Demon or Sport? What size V-8 does it have in it? Automatic or manual transmission? Front disc brakes on either car?

You have to be careful with these Mopars - you don't want to cut up a Dart Demon or Dart Sport with an original 340 or 383 to make your Slant 6 Duster go faster. It might be better to restore the Dart and drive the Duster while you're doing it. You can find V-8 (318) Mopars in wrecking yards by the hundreds, and a quick scan of the newspaper will probably yield several for less than $500. Hell, the guy across the street from me has as Dodge Diplomat with a 318 in it for sale for $400. It's better to cut up an old truck or an old Aspen or Volare station wagon for parts than an old Dart.

One of the biggest mistakes of my life was selling my original '72 Duster 340 to some mope who made it into a stock car. GOD I miss that car! Do a bit of research on both cars and go from there. Trust me - you'd kick yourself from here to next Friday if you later discovered that you had cut up a $40,000 car to make a $2000 car a little bit cooler...
 

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MOPAR Guy
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STATUTORY GRAPE said:
I think the rearend in my V-6 car is the same as the V-8 car. If memory serves me correct the 4" wheel pattern rearend with a cover on the rear of the rearend is a 7 1/4".
If the engine you're putting in is any bigger than the 318 you'll want to swap out the 7 1/4 "baby dana" for an 8 3/4. My dad had a 340 'Cuda, it snapped that 7 1/4 without problem. As for where to get an engine, (if the dart is a 340, or something like that) the 383 in my '62 Chrysler 300 Sport is out of an old truck. Those engines are not too hard to find in trucks. (At least where I live.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Dart that I want to use for parts is a 318 car (or so I'm told,,,, is there any way of telling a 318 from a 340?) Did they come from the factory with a 340, 7 1/4" setup? This Dart also has drum brakes front and rear. The body/interior on my Duster is in good shape basically all I need it drivetrain and electrical. The Dart, however, has such a badly rotted frame that it would be pointless to even try to fix that car. I have a spare 7 1/4" with the big wheel pattern, are they any stronger than the ones with the small wheel pattern? If I list the VIN or any other I.D. on here can anyone decode the car for me? I'm not sure if this car is a Sport model or not. How long will a 7 1/4" last behind a 360 if you don't get rough with it? I have a 360 that I would like to put in it when I'm done. :thumbup:
 

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MOPAR Guy
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re: Mopar "A" body question.....

I may be wrong, but if I remember correctly, the 8 3/4" was an option with the 318, but even that little engine could break it. I know the 360 would need the 8 3/4". My dad (who's been a MOPAR guy for some 30 odd years... very odd years...) also concurs with this statement. By the way, the 360 would be an awsome engine to put in a Duster! :thumbup:
 

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You can download a Mopar VIN decoder here as well as a lot of other useful information.
 

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Yes a 318 Dart can have a 8 3/4 diffy.I had one all original.And the wiring plus bulkhead plugs will all swap,no sweat.Swap the K frame and steering system too,with torsion bars and all.The drive shaft will be longer though.But a good shop will shorten and balance it in one hour.
By the way,engine size is stamped in small numbers,left side front of block deck height.More or less behind the P/S pump.Good luck.
 

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The 7 1/4" are junk and should have never been put behind anything larger than a slant six. With this all being said, ask me how I know? I currently have a 72 Dart with a 318 and a 7 1/4" rearend that needs to be replaced. I also have a 73 Dart that has a 198 slant six and surprise surprise it also has a 7 1/4" rearend. The 8 3/4" rearend is a excellent rearend but are tough to find for a A body car. The next problem with this is that the 8 3/4" was phased out of use on the A body cars in 1972. What does this all boil down to???? In 1973 Chrysler went to the larger five bolt pattern. If you want to upgrade to a set of disc brakes, your best option is to find a 73-76 A Body car and buy them. If you do this and keep the rearend you have or slap a pre 72 A body 8 3/4" rearend under your car, you will have two different wheel patterns. Your best bet is to find a 73-76 A body, V8, disc brake, 8 1/4" rearend car and take everything you need off it and put it on your 72 Duster. The 73 and later disc brakes are better than the pre 72 setups. The K member on the 73 and up use the stronger spool type motor mounts. I might be wrong on the date but I am sure Chrysler went to the stronger rods in the 318 in 1973. One other point to note is the 8 1/4" rearend is pretty descent and can take a fair amount of abuse, so don't discount it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Is the 360 block and 318 block the same on the exterior as far as bolt on's? I would rather put the 360 in the Duster because the 318 in the Dart is only a 2bbl and the 360 already has the 4 bbl on it. Also, will the tranny from the Dart (318) bolt right on to the 360? Also, would the Dart with the 318 be more likely to have a 7 1/4 or an 8 1/4 rearend and how do I tell the difference between the two? :sweat:
 

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It is getting complicated.But do not despair.The 360 is also a LA family engine.It has its peculiarities though.One is the left side motor mount bosses cast on the block.They are at a different position when compared to 318,340 and 273.I have no idea why they did it but you can get a special bracket adapter to properly fit the rubber mount to the K frame.Also the 360 is externally balanced.It means you will have to use the same damper and torque converter/flywheel.Yes the tranny patterns are the same.Torqflight 904 (smaller) or 727 will bolt on. I bet the Dart will have a big 8 3/4 diffy.They open to the front.You can tell in a second.
 

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If you end up putting the 360 in your Duster I would strongly suggest installing the 727 Torqueflight instead of the 904. The 904 is in the 7 1/4" diff class, in my opinion, and can also be easily broken. The 727 on the other hand is bullet-proof.
 

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Centerline said:
You can download a Mopar VIN decoder here as well as a lot of other useful information.
Great link Centerline! I wasn't on the site for more than 10 seconds before this link smacked me between the eyes:

http://www.moparts.com/Tech/tech/pages/big-block-dart.html

(I know it says "big-block-dart" but if you click the link, it takes you to a page titled, "A-BODY ENGINE CONVERSION, FROM A SLANT 6 TO EITHER A SMALL BLOCK or BIG BLOCK FROM 1967-1976")

The following is not directed toward Centerline! It is directed more toward those who thought I jumped the gun a bit.

In my previous post, I was more concerned with another rare A body going under the torch to make something out of something else. It turns out that this wasn't the case this time, but you never know. Think about it - "I found this old 1966 Plymouth Belvedere convertible that is trashed. It has something called a Hemi in it, and I'd like to put it into my Neon just for giggles. Both cars have 4-speed transmissions, so the clutch pedal will work. Is this a bolt in swap?" GRRRRRRRRRRRR!

I know I drive a Chevy right now, but I swear if I see one more '69-'70 Charger cut up for a Dukes of Hazard movie, I'm gonna scream so loud Iacocca will hear me! (Yes, I know he's dead - that's my point!) :pain:
 

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Dusty82 said:
"I found this old 1966 Plymouth Belvedere convertible that is trashed. It has something called a Hemi in it, and I'd like to put it into my Neon just for giggles. Both cars have 4-speed transmissions, so the clutch pedal will work. Is this a bolt in swap?" GRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Waste a Hemi by putting it in a Neon??? :nono: How despicable! Put it in something with class, a Hemi deserves better.
 

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Dusty82 said:
............I'm gonna scream so loud Iacocca will hear me! (Yes, I know he's dead - that's my point!) :pain:
Actually you won't have to scream that loud. Lee Iacocca is still alive and kicking.
 

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Centerline said:
Actually you won't have to scream that loud. Lee Iacocca is still alive and kicking.
Seriously? I thought he passed away earlier this year! Hmmmmm - guess I gotta wake up and smell the maple nut crunch. (The right people will get that.)

And Sir Joab, that was sarcasm. I don't have a Neon or a Hemi to desecrate by attempting such a swap. I was basically illustrating the mentality of someone who doesn't know what they have, and doesn't really care as long as they think they're being cool - and NO I DON'T think Grape falls into this catagory. We all know people who would cut up a '66 Belvedere Hemi 4-speed convertible, not knowing that they're as rare as an honest politician. Sad really.
 

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Dusty82 said:
We all know people who would cut up a '66 Belvedere Hemi 4-speed convertible, not knowing that they're as rare as an honest politician.
I'm not sure about that, you can still find Hemis!!! ;)
 
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