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  #1  
Old 10-28-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Engine Options - What To Do?

OK, I have a 1999 Ram 1500 SLT ext. cab 4X4, with the 5.2 and an auto trans. Purchased it last December with 33K miles on it, it has 37K on it now.

Except for the paint, it's in great shape. However, it needs more power, more tire and more presence. And I can't leave well enough alone so I'm working up my mod plan. Let's just say it's gonna be taller and look a bit different when I'm done.

But what I'm stumped on is the powertrain. With the lift, I believe I'm gonna need a bit more power and different gears.

I've never built a 318 and don't know where to start or even if it's a good way to go. I may be wrong but maybe trying to build the 318 isn't a good idea as my options and resulting power rating is limited, much like the old GM 307 V-8. I'm not adverse to coring out the stock engine and going with a MOPAR crate engine or something built from the Magnum line of engines.

I've been perusing some online info on small block strokers up to 410 cu. inch. My power goal is right around 400HP. It also has to be emissions legal as we get inspected here every two years.

Comments? Suggestions?

Am I wasting my time with the 318 and is my money better spent going to a performance crate engine?

Oh, and then there's those pesky computers and engine management controls I gotta deal with too... This may preclude the 440 wedge I was considering as I am not certain how I can meld two different computer controls and not throw codes, which disqualifies the vehicle as emissions compliant and I won't be able to register it.

So, any wisdom you can share with me will be greatly appreciated!

And thanks to everyone who participated in the wheel thread. Too bad the XD rims don't come in a 5 X 5.5 lug size.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:57 PM
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Hey MADDOG iam a big fan of the 318 and 340 back when. I had a 1998 4x4 ram with the 318 in it. The motor had good power , i understand what your saying /tires lift.etc. Stock 318 is what power? good cam 4 increase and changing gears in the rear end sounds pretty good to me. I used to do 1/4 mile years ago and a buddy of mine had a close to stock Cuda that would take just about anyone. Right cam and gear ratio can do amazing things. He really had dick in his car and for a long time know believed him. Whats the plans 4x4 or street ? or both.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for the info, bones. I know I'm gonna have to re-gear the truck (both ends as it's a 4X4) and it will primarily be used on the street with a little off-road action, mud and snow work.

I'm just not sure what I can get outta the 318 with a build. I'm doing the research but it appears there are a lot of strokers based on the Magnum small black that would work. I'd rather not start throwing money at the engine, then find I can't get to where I want to be (400+ HP) without stroking the engine. I may be bucks ahead going with a crate motor but it just has to be fairly compatible with the computer. I know some guys that can tweak the program if needed and I expect that WILL be needed.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:19 PM
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Mopar had a Magnum 380 crate engine a few years back. 360 block with some nice heads and intake manifold making 380HP. 400HP is not too much to ask from a 318 at all. I would definitely check out Mopar's upgrades for the LA block, and even Edelbrock's line of heads and intakes.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:20 PM
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Thanks, Daniel.

I haven't given up on the 440 or the 6.1L but I may be able to do this cheaper and with less computer hassles by going with a built LA engine.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:38 PM
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I did some research

Quoted from a Mopar buildup:

I got a complete Blueprinted/Balanced .030 5.9 block with 4" Eagle stroker crank, H beam Eagle rods, Diamond custom forged pistons, Clevite
bearings, Mellings oil pump, new hyd roller lifters, yokes, retainer tray, custom grind Comp Cam, Custom deep sump oil pan, Cloyes roller timing chain, timing cover, SFI Pro dampner, brass freeze plugs. All this was Less than the above mentioned crate motor ($4,999).

I could have chosen to reuse my stock 5.9 heads for free but due to the higher calibre of this shortblock that would have been a real waste. I decided to spring a little more for the best and got their complete C&C ported R/T heads, Cometic headgaskets, ARP head bolts, Harland Sharp custom roller rockers, Hardened pushrods.

Initial dyno's were in the 453hp area with an Accel DFI on beginners mild tunes. More recent advanced dyno tuning with larger injectors and adding a 1000 cfm throttle body have seen 518hp. It has more in it but i'm done and plenty happy with what I got.


Edit: Forgot to mention it was a Magnum 360 block built to a 408 stroker.

Last edited by chithead; 10-28-2009 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:42 PM
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WOOOO...now that sounds like a winner. So where's this write up at???
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:07 PM
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I think I found it over at Mopar Muscle magazine. Googled Mopar Magnum 380 and it was towards the top.

Edit: Looks like Southeast performance is who put it together.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:11 PM
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A nice 360 with a supercharger .
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:53 PM
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Guess I shoulda said "no forced induction"...LOL

Good suggestion though, Tom!
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