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Whats My Options?


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5:58 PM
Dec 7, 2022
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Yes! Another Swap Questions!!! Yes, I have used the Search feature ;) Looking for best ideas for what my car currently is set up with and what options are best for MMEEEEEEE....

1973 Base Duster - (Original Block, bored .30 already) 3* angled heads, Comp cam, Long Tube headers, Edelbrock intake, FI Tech 400 street setup & fuel, A883 with a sure grip 8 3/4 out back (3.91)

Obviously the block is starting to showcase its age and vulnrability, but is still a great daily driver which I do drive daily in the summer. (leaking from every oraface lol) It is slower than my wifes v6 Durango but it looks cooler ;)

What options fit my style best (daily driver, just need more fun power)?? (Yes, money is tight...) (yes a dragstrip is 30 minutes away and would love to take my son to watch it go down the track faster than a 14 sec. civic) (Yes, i want to keep my 4 speed)

1. rebuild the 318 again, bigger cam, heads, etc?
2. Gen 3 swap (keep the A883, FI Tech, exhaust, and fuel system?) - will all that work on a gen 3? assuming yes?
3. Throw everything away (Gen 3/trans swap) -
4. Junkyard 340,360,440 build?

I have a basic garage with basic tools. I have worked on all my classic cars so work is not a concern. I have pretty much everything except for a welder (yes I know I need to invest in one)

It all depends on you budget. Nothing wrong building a 318. Cost would be the same with any small block. 318,340,360.
Old saying (before power adders) "No substitute for cubic inches" The sky is the limit along with you credit !
Rebuild the one that you have. Warm it up a little bit, but make sure it will run on pump gas, and have fun with it.
A G3 swap would be a great upgrade but definitely cost a lot more. The transmission will carry over along with the fuel system but that is about it, you would need everything else including a control system for the G3 (Holley, Mopar, etc) which is by itself going to cost $1500 - $2000. You will need motor mounts and headers or try and make some manifolds work.

While the G3 is a great swap, I would recommend looking for a Magnum engine out of a pickup and build that while driving your car. It is a roller motor already and all of your SB stuff will swap right over when the time comes.
In 1981 I built a replacement motor for my 1776 318 van tow vehicle which I towed my '65 Dodge & trailer. Van, trailer, Coronet & tools was about 4850#. The 360 was such an improvement over the 318 I could hardly believe it. The 360 had some performance upgrades, forged pistons, Comp HE 260 cam, LD4 intake, new Carter aftermarket AFB, and cheap headers. The improvement on towing across country was amazing. Also got about 3 MPG improvement compared to the 318. A G3 Hemi sure would be great, but I bet more complicated and expressive than you may think.
5.9 magnums are everywhere.. You can swap into a magnum pretty cheap. The only thing you will really need to change is the intake. They can be had from Vans, Trucks, Durangos and a few other things they were put in.
Another advantage in going with a 5.9 Magnum, they are better made than their predecessors and run a long time if maintained (which you could probably say about any of them), I have a 5.9 in my 01 Ram 1500, just went past 108,000 miles.
A 5.9 is externally balanced. You would need to look in to that. You should have a 130 tooth flywheel and all the stock 5.9 is probably 143 truck.
Is there any specific year/make/model Magnums I should be looking for? I am sure there are many different types out there....
I believe they started the magnum engines in 1991? So anything from 1996 to 2002. Vans, trucks and some SUV's.
The basic engines remained pretty much the same however the front serpentine system, accessories and intakes changed some over the years but none of that should really matter.
Also the earlier Magnums had a fuel injection TB then later went to the beer barrel style intake with injectors and rails with a 50mm throttle body on the top.

This is the later Magnum intake.

i figure as long as its making less than 400HP, the FI Tech shouldn't have a problem running it so I'd assume any edelbrock intake would suffice in that area. I'll start my hunt for a junkyard magnum. Anyone have the build for a 400 HP magnum build with part numbers?
i figure as long as its making less than 400HP, the FI Tech shouldn't have a problem running it so I'd assume any edelbrock intake would suffice in that area. I'll start my hunt for a junkyard magnum. Anyone have the build for a 400 HP magnum build with part numbers?

Magnum engines take a special intake. Stock LA small block intakes won't fit without being drilled for the magnum intake bolt angles. I"m sure someone with more knowledge will chime in about that. Forabodiesonly.com has a magnum swap forum. with good build info. Lots more of those swaps going on in the a body world.

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5.9 magnum is a great swap. Flywheel balance, use distributor from 318, intake is your choice to buy or redrill&tap. I would use the serpentine belt system, unless it has no power steering and no a/c them just use single alt belt.
Magnum 5.9 that was in my Dakota R/T was rated at 245 hp. And a little less for every other vehicle they put them in. Truth is though they all got the same 5.9 The Dakota R/T just had a different ECU tune and a little better exhaust. Other than that they were run of the mill Magnums.

I did all of the bolt on upgrades to mine. Mopar Performance ECU, Mopar Performance M1 intake, Harland Sharp 1.7 Roller Rockers and headers. I never took it to a dyno but the seat of the pants dyno showed a decent improvement. But Since the Mopar Performance M1 intake was a single plane my fuel economy suffered drastically. But Its hot rodding and I sucked it up. The power range was 2500 rpm and up. The low end grunt was gone I installed a turtle into the floor of the M1 intake to help bring back some of the low end torque. It helped a bit but can't give you any actual numbers.

This was the intake I used. I also forgot to mention I installed a 52mm Billet throttle body. Up from the stock 50mm.


This is where the Turtle was installed.
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