318 budget build help?

Small Block Mopar Engine

  1. RickyBobby

    RickyBobby Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Vineland Nj
    Local Time:
    9:43 PM
    So I'm a young guy, looking to get a good first project going on. I'm not rich nor does my family have any spare money laying around so I want to try and get a build that will help me be a good daily driver, get decent fuel economy, but have some power to it, for as cheap as I can get. Doesn't need to be a drag car, just something I can be proud off. So I was thinking of getting a 318 dart and working from there. What can I do on a budget to help me reach my goal? Any help is appreciated!

    P.S. any reliability issues I should worry about with any of the 318 darts and or any suggested modifications? I drive my parents 4.0 ranger around and that this is good ol reliable, I would wish to see my dart be the same if possible.
     
  2. Valvebounce

    Valvebounce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Location:
    Christchurch New Zealand
    Local Time:
    4:43 PM
    If you get a good engine, (ie doesn't need a rebuild) I'd start by fitting a four barrel manifold and carb (like an edelbrock performer, or an LD4B if you can find one at the right price) And a set of headers. If your budget can stretch that far, fit a cam like a comp XE 262. It's a fairly low buck mod to port the heads like in Justin's thread "318 head porting for the average Joe"
    Or if you can get a good running 360 for cheap, throw it in. Nothing wrong with a 318 though. But bang for buck a 360 will yeild more for less coin. People on here say that they're cheap as to buy. (They certainly aren't cheap or plentiful where I live)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      48,128
      Likes Received:
      13568
      Joined:
      Jun 7, 2010
      Location:
      Georgia
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      Another approach is to build a "small 340". Just use the MP 340 cam, Weiand Action Plus intake and a Holley 600 with some headers on the stock engine. It would be stronger than you might think. Remember though, car hobby and cheap don't belong in the same sentence. You might can do it on a budget over time, but it's never going to be cheap.
       
    • VSTwister

      VSTwister Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      247
      Likes Received:
      9
      Joined:
      Apr 23, 2007
      Location:
      Columbiana, Ohio
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      True that. Cheap + car hobby = Not cheap.

      IMO, you can't go wrong with an a-body 318 car for practical and reliable. Despite the line being 37+ years old, parts are still available and reasonable. Even more so if you get a 73-76 model year, which is probably your best bet for a tight budget.
       
    • 68cuda78

      68cuda78 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      693
      Likes Received:
      15
      Joined:
      Feb 16, 2011
      Location:
      Indiana
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      Cheap is never cheap lol....
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      48,128
      Likes Received:
      13568
      Joined:
      Jun 7, 2010
      Location:
      Georgia
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      Yeah, you might can do it cheapER than some people, but it still ain't cheap. LOL
       
    • memike

      memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      50,856
      Likes Received:
      8722
      Joined:
      Jan 8, 2006
      Location:
      on the hill
      Local Time:
      9:43 PM
      I don't know about your area/home :coffee2: but if you look around you may find a donor auto/Truck that has just what you wan't, this has worked for me many times in life :glasses7: Just 1 1/2 years ago I found a 3/4 tun Dodge truck for sale and
      went and drove it to check out the 318 and transmission, It was a 2 barrel RV 318 and did not have blow by or smoke out the exhaust, ran and sounded good. pulled what I wanted, Ignition parts, and engine and trans then a scrap man cam to my house and gave me $200.00 for it.
      Know I have an RV 318 (soon to be 4 barrel) in my Ramcharger for $400.00
      and I driving it as I do some modes to it.
      Do you have a project car yet ? and yes a 318 is very reliable :glasses7: and you can build/add parts to make you very proud of it, Safety first, brakes drive train, fuel delivery and such :thumblef: But the main thing is to enjoy this new project :D
      Pick out a Car/Truck and don't get to crazy on buying stuff that you can do with out at first

      I could be in an area where these great 318 cars/trucks can be found for parts. A good driver V8 MoPar can be dun as cheep as the next depending on what supplies you throw at it. :coffee2:
       
    • RickyBobby

      RickyBobby Member

      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2013
      Location:
      Vineland Nj
      Local Time:
      9:43 PM
      Thanks for the help guys! And yeah I know those words don't go together but it's just for the time being really. I keep telling myself "just get a 4 banger for gas and leave it alone" but every time I see or even think of a muscle/pony car I quickly regret even thinking that haha. Either way, there arnt many for sale over where I am at on cl and what not, however I have still yet to check the junkyards, so away to adventure I go!
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      48,128
      Likes Received:
      13568
      Joined:
      Jun 7, 2010
      Location:
      Georgia
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      Getting a 4 banger shitbox is not a bad idea.
       
    • RickyBobby

      RickyBobby Member

      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2013
      Location:
      Vineland Nj
      Local Time:
      9:43 PM
      To me the idea is good but I have the need to feel proud about what I drive, and a shitbox does nothing to the pride, where as a nice little project v8 would. I have a passion for them and I'm tired of only expressing it online or in theory, so why not put that passion to better use, right? It's going to be an over-time-as-I-drive kinda deal so I don't expect it to be the baddest car on the street after a month or two, so I will be patient with my first.
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      48,128
      Likes Received:
      13568
      Joined:
      Jun 7, 2010
      Location:
      Georgia
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      It does nothing for pride, but it shows you're smart. Gas ain't cheap. Your little shitbox will pay off while you fix up your pridemobile in the background. I'm not saying have one or the other. I'm saying have both.
       
    • RickyBobby

      RickyBobby Member

      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Joined:
      Jul 30, 2013
      Location:
      Vineland Nj
      Local Time:
      9:43 PM
      Well with my situation, to have both I would have to get a barely running beater at best, if not that will set me back more than I would like-_-. But I do see what you mean now, sorry for jumping the gun and giving a little speech lol
       
    • younggun2.0

      younggun2.0 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      4,695
      Likes Received:
      872
      Joined:
      Jan 27, 2012
      Location:
      federal way, wa
      Local Time:
      7:43 PM
      very wise words here. I have a nice big block dart that i am building. its loud, fast and runs pretty damn hard. you know what i drive every day? a POS 97 nissan sentra. it has 3 different brand wheels on it and is down right ugly. it was wrecked so bad once it should have been totaled but i put a front clip on it. it has over 400k miles on it and i have changed the trans 3 times now. you know why i do all that work on that hunk of shit? because it gets 38mpg and i drive for 2 weeks on 40 bucks.
       
    • Woods74

      Woods74 Quick Senior

      Messages:
      6,003
      Likes Received:
      216
      Joined:
      Aug 21, 2010
      Location:
      Seattle, WA
      Local Time:
      7:43 PM
      Yup. Get a shitbox to fund the love. Been there done that, it's a great way to operate.

      If you can, put a 360 in; maybe even a magnum from pick'n'pull, you'll be glad you did!
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      48,128
      Likes Received:
      13568
      Joined:
      Jun 7, 2010
      Location:
      Georgia
      Local Time:
      10:43 PM
      It's ok. I don't know man. You'd be surprised what you can get a little POS hyundia for. Long as it runs good, who cares what it looks like?
       
    • younggun2.0

      younggun2.0 Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      4,695
      Likes Received:
      872
      Joined:
      Jan 27, 2012
      Location:
      federal way, wa
      Local Time:
      7:43 PM

      there is that point as well as the fact that if you looking for a car that gets mileage a hot rodded, carberated v8 isnt the hot ticket. your gonna be dumping all your money down the filler tube at the gas station instead of buying cool parts for the hot rod. i work 21 miles from home. I drove my dart to work this morning. i put $30 in the tank right before i left. im gonna have to dump another $20 just to get home. that $50 would carry my ass to and from for a month in my lil rice burner. that and if i get hit by some teenager with a cell phone glued to her hand im not gonna have to kill her if im in the nissan.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        5,478
        Likes Received:
        1264
        Joined:
        Oct 11, 2011
        Location:
        FL
        Local Time:
        10:43 PM
        What's your budget?

        With a little homework and patience, you can pick up a fairly clean, not too rusty 318 or 225 A, B, or F body, that only needs minor repair to be very dependable.

        My 318 Satellite gets almost 15 MPG in mixed driving, and after replacing a few normal wear items, I'd trust it to let my wife drive it to Atlanta.

        An A or F body would get better MPG and with a 318 would have more power (mine's not bad) and a slant would get better mileage.

        I've seen a couple really clean Volares and a few Dusters under $3500.
         
      • caferacerx

        caferacerx BAND MEMBER

        Messages:
        3,649
        Likes Received:
        41
        Joined:
        Aug 15, 2009
        Location:
        philly PA
        Local Time:
        10:43 PM
        here is my ultra low buck junk yard 318 build
        U-pull it yards and pullathon's are your friend, prices are what I payed for this stuff
        off newer trucks and vans, yank some MAGNUM heads, 5.2 or 5.9 keep ALL the head bolts and rockers, you will re use them, $50 the pair
        off of an older small block grab the electronic distributor (make sure it has a vacuum advance) and the ignition box, with all the connectors and wires, $15
        find a Magnum bolt pattern intake,(LA intake will not fit) Mopar performance Edelbrock, or chinese knockoff (I got a chinese crosswind used off ebay for $65 shipped)
        7.650" magnum to la block adapter push rods (got mine from jessel on closeout for $3 each or $48 a set of 16)
        smaller 340 cam, around .450 lift remember the Magnum rockers are 1.6 not 1.5 so that .450 lift will become .485 or so, and magnum heads max out at .520 or so
        http://www.summitracing.com/compare cheap and work fine, they also come with the oil through lifters you will need for the magnum heads
        summit SUM-K6900 or SUM-K6901 cam and lifter kit http://www.summitracing.com/compare
        Edelbrock 600 CFM carb, used off craigslist $50
        and some links to read
        http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=3134434&page=1&fpart=1&vc=1
        http://www.summitracing.com/search/...l-Length-in/7-650-in/?keyword=summit+pushrods

        http://www.dippy.org/forum2/index.php/topic,295.0.html

        http://www.magnumswap.com/

        http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=100682
         
      • 1wild&crazyguy

        1wild&crazyguy Banned

        Messages:
        8,603
        Likes Received:
        120
        Joined:
        Jul 11, 2009
        Location:
        Surrounded by mopar
        Local Time:
        9:43 PM
        Mostly what everyone here has said will greatly improve the performance of your 318.
        Before you choose split pattern or single, consider things like headers or manifolds? Porting or no porting? Despite raw flow numbers...bolting on intakes usually hurt intake flow meanwhile slapping on headers picks up exh flow.
        If all that too much to ponder ....then just do the following 'pretty much the same' mods/bolt ons...
        600 carb, performer or action plus int manifold , hyd 340 spec cam or something like a 262* .460 lift 112cl , headers, and if you can at least do this...mill the heads .040
         
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 so close yet so far away

        Messages:
        33,470
        Likes Received:
        5535
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        10:43 PM
        Valve bounce has a great reply if the engine is in good shape. The cam is still small enough for the stock converter and a set of 3.23-3.21 gears will work really nice with it. An extra stall converter would be great but the expense is not needed.

        I put together a '79-318 for a Duster a while back that was a nice performer. It was all done on the cheap when possible. The following is a part list that should be a Le to get you into the high 14's.

        Open air cleaner
        600 CFM carb (I used a Carter/Edelbrock AFB)
        Edelbrocks LD4B
        Crane Cams & lifters (@.050) 216-229-.545/.480-112 spec'd cam
        Hooker headers into a Summit racing dual exhaust at 2-1/2 inch's

        When you get the cam selected, also purchase the valve springs to match it. Crane's springs are a bolt on and Comp's require machine work to install.
        Use a MSD or equal to get the most out of the air and fuel charge at low and mid RPM's and just tune tune tune that set up.

        Going up 1 cam size to the above mentioned ""340" cam (but NOT the stock replacement unit) should net you another .5 second at the strip when optimized.
         
      • RustyRatRod

        RustyRatRod 30 Degrees Outta Whack FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        48,128
        Likes Received:
        13568
        Joined:
        Jun 7, 2010
        Location:
        Georgia
        Local Time:
        10:43 PM
        You can sure tell an old fart. lol Great recommendation. I'm right there with you.
         
      • moper

        moper FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        15,412
        Likes Received:
        1509
        Joined:
        Dec 27, 2004
        Location:
        eastern CT
        Local Time:
        3:43 AM
        In terms of old affordable Mopars - don't overlook the F bodies (Aspen and Volarie) as they came with 318s and actually ahndle and stop well given their age. Some had 360's too. They are very inexpensive, pretty much all the cheap speed parts fit them, and the repair parts aren;t really expensive if they need something. Another route would be the 80s vintage Dodge trucks that came with v8s. A shortbed 318 2bbl will respond very well to mods too and is very easy to work on and repair.
        If you can scratch up a couple grand that would buy something decent in either of those lines.
         
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 so close yet so far away

        Messages:
        33,470
        Likes Received:
        5535
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        10:43 PM
        Thanks Rusty! LOL

        Good idea Moper!
         
      • YY1

        YY1 Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        5,478
        Likes Received:
        1264
        Joined:
        Oct 11, 2011
        Location:
        FL
        Local Time:
        10:43 PM
        Don't overlook First Gen to 2000-ish Dakotas.

        WAY easy to work on and get parts for.

        92 and up already has an FI Magnum engine.

        I'd avoid the ".7" engines, though (3.7 and 4.7).

        Not quite the street cred as a A/B/F body, but they have their own somewhat hard core following.
         
      1. This site uses cookies to help personalize content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
        By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.