beefing up the stock 318 engine CHEAP mods

Mopar Performance Issues

  1. PushinInkTattoo

    PushinInkTattoo Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Local Time:
    7:57 AM
    I have a bone stock 318 in my 74 dodge dart that I want to beef up a bit. I will admit right now im a cheap ass and dont want to sink a fortune in this thing. With that being said, what can I do for cheap/free? It already has dual exhaust with no cat. are headers worth it? dont know if its 2bbl or 4bbl, but maybe bigger carb (is the 2 to 4bbl upgrade cheap?) what about removing the smog pump and a/c? ar advance the ignition timing? bypass fan clutch? Im new to mopars so forgive the newb questions
     
  2. NEWATTHIS

    NEWATTHIS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Local Time:
    7:57 AM
    I also have a 318 dodge dart sport, but i spent more $$$$$ on it then you are willing to do. As far as the headers being worth it, i will say yes, but be prepared to go through hell first. Putting headers on my dart sport was a nightmare, i learned alot from the good people on this site, dont go any bigger than a 600 carb. good luck
     
  3. D/StockDart

    D/StockDart Hurst Shifted

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    So Cali
    Local Time:
    7:57 AM
    Headers, Good flowing exhaust, Stock four barrel, small cam, a 2,200 Stall, some 3.21:1 Gears- you will be set.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • needsaresto

      needsaresto Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      7,817
      Likes Received:
      204
      Joined:
      Nov 13, 2004
      Local Time:
      5:57 AM
      First of all welcome!

      As for your 318;It will be a 2 bbl unless someone already changed it. The cheapest upgrade to 4 bbl would be a cast iron stock intake and a thermoquad carb. Lots around on 360 powered trucks/vans and some 80's era 318 cop cars (Diplomats etc).Some late 80's 318's had rochesters as well and a good casting head called the 302. Make sure to get a 4 bbl air cleaner filter and housing. A K&N air filter is inexpensive,and reusable.

      Dont bother upgrading your ignition system. Not much gain per dollar there.

      Summit offers cheap headers,dual exhaust kits and cams. Your mopar is an A body. And yes it's fair amount of work to install headers. If you change the cam,do the timing chain. Upgrade it to at least a double roller. For a few more bucks you could add a tensioner. Wont help make power but will ensure accurate cam timing when the chain starts stretching.

      Another cheap upgrade would be a thinner head gasket. Buy an .028 thick Mr Gasket head gasket. A bit more compression will help.

      Transmission shift kits are inexpensive too and simple to install.

      A distributor recurve kit is another cheap upgrade that will help. Or grab a used one from a small block pickup/van. It will have a bit faster advance curve and lighter springs.

      If you can port and have the tools,that will definitely help quite a bit and cost you almost nothing.

      Rear gears would really help,but probably be more expensive than the other mods and I have no idea what you have for gears/diff.

      Good luck!
       
    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      40,659
      Likes Received:
      12218
      Joined:
      Jun 21, 2005
      Location:
      New York, on a Island
      Local Time:
      8:57 AM
      This is a stock part, it's on the car allready.
       
    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

      Messages:
      40,659
      Likes Received:
      12218
      Joined:
      Jun 21, 2005
      Location:
      New York, on a Island
      Local Time:
      8:57 AM
      What is your cash limit/ spending limit? A "Fortune" is a realitive term.



      Not much.



      In the long run, yes, when hunting for power.

      Realitively


      removing the smog and A/C pumps will free HP that is allready there. It's called parasidic loss. Or when you get rid of the pumps, gain.
      You can not "By pass" the fan clutch, but you can do 1 of 2 things.
      Get a viscous fan from MoPar which uses less power or got to a electric fan and rid yourself of parasidic power loss.

      For tips, read through my thread which is more about getting the old heap up and running and then adding power in a spirted way called, "On the Cheap", which is again, realitive to what's in your pocket.

      http://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/showthread.php?t=10508&page=1&pp=20

      In short, I took a bone stock 1979 - 318 and added a 4bbl. & intake, headers, cam and matched springs and a electric fan. The car has a auto trans and 3.21 gears on stock tires. At ATCO raceway N.J. on a cold cold day, untuned it ran 15.14 @ 89 mph.
      Check the classifieds here for intakes and carbs etc.... on the cheap.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        40,659
        Likes Received:
        12218
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        Further performance can be had cheaply with milling the heads. Cost for this varies widely. I had a set milled down for $35 and some can't believe it. I see others pay triple per head.

        Advancing the ignition will help, but you can go to far.

        A simple air cleaner from the local auto store will help.

        A MSD ingnition will clean up and ignition issues and will put some mileage in your tank. IMO, this is a worth while thing to do.

        IMO, this kit which is preety complete as far as I can tell is a nice package.
        Once I had this in hand, I'd port the heads with 1.88 and 1.60 valves (360 valves) and be set up for a good street runner. This should make a easy 350 HP. But cheap is realitive.
        http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=CMB-03-0162&autoview=sku
         
      • PushinInkTattoo

        PushinInkTattoo Member

        Messages:
        12
        Likes Received:
        0
        Joined:
        Mar 4, 2009
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        cheap to me is less than 400$ in the whole project. so yeah prolly wont be doing the heads. the 4 bbl carb and intake sound like my best option at this point. I think I may even have a 4bbl holley laying around somewhere
         
      • 340 Dart

        340 Dart I don't know shit.

        Messages:
        2,475
        Likes Received:
        16
        Joined:
        Feb 5, 2007
        Location:
        San Antonio
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        $400? If it were mine I would spend it like this:

        Cheapo headers ($100), used eddie performer intake ($50-$75), used Viscous fan ($50), a rebuild kit for that carb you have ($20?) Lighter springs for your distributor ($20?) and some decent gears. Buy really good header gaskets or double them up because those cheapo headers will probably leak. This is exactly what I did with the old stock 318 in my Duster. My gear choice was .410's. I have the car on stands now in the garage. It is getting a new 340 and 904 in it, but the melted rubber from the "stock" 318 is still splattered all over my quarter panels.:thumbrig:

        You will think you have a different car.

        If more was in the budget I would go a different way, but if I only had the $400 this is what I would do for simple cheap upgrades.

        This should get you your "fix" for a year or so. In that year, I would try and pick up a used 360 (or 318 if you prefer) and built it a piece at a time with good parts. When the 318 is ready for a rebuild you can just swap in your new motor and your car is only down for a day.

        You can even use all the parts you bought for the old motor on the new one. I would try to get a little better headers on the new engine though.
         
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        40,659
        Likes Received:
        12218
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        Your close to screwed, the abpove suggestion is a good one. The headers from Summit or Jegs @ something like $99 and finish it up with a pair of 4ft. straight pipe @ 2-1/4 inch and a pair of summit or Thrush turbo mufflers. There very inexpensive. You'll probably need 8 clamps and 2 hangers. System ends in front of the rear axle. Exhaust gaskets should be Mr. Gasket Ultra seals. Very good stuff.

        The above mentioned used intake and carb might be found here or at a swap meet. Carter carbs are easiest to rebuild.

        On a gear change, you'll spend about $400 on parts nevermind the installation of them.
         
      • needsaresto

        needsaresto Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        7,817
        Likes Received:
        204
        Joined:
        Nov 13, 2004
        Local Time:
        5:57 AM
        So far on my gear change in my 8 1/4 for my M body, I bought a decent set of used 3:55 gears. $120. Cant imagine spending another $280 to install them myself...

        I had no idea the factory head gaskets were .028 thick. Mr gasket does sell thinner ones.

        Agreed on the headers. I spent $50 on my used set,which havent even been run,just trial fitted and bashed a bit. They look just like hedmans. You will need header bolts as well as gaskets,again cheap.

        A cast iron intake should be cheaper than any aluminum intake and they are actually a very good piece. it's unlikely you'll encounter cracks or stripped holes. If it's spread bore,it'll bolt right on. Dont pay more than $25.

        I still thnik gears would give you the most bang for buck in the acceleration department,IF you can get a good used set for cheap.
         
      • clhyer

        clhyer Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        3,789
        Likes Received:
        264
        Joined:
        Feb 24, 2007
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        I have a cast iron 4 bbl intake I would let go for $25 plus shipping. It is on a 318 truck engine. Shoot me a PM with your email address if you would like pics or have any questions about it. It is a spread bore.
        C
         
      • AdamR

        AdamR Big Member

        Messages:
        17,765
        Likes Received:
        363
        Joined:
        Dec 31, 1969
        Location:
        Bethel, CT
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        On the real cheap ? A real good tune up, Cap, wires, plugs and filters.

        Advance the timing to 10* before TDC, Summit racing has headers for $100. Pick up a used Performer intake, Probably around $100. Then hunt for a cheap edelbrock 500 or 600cfm carb.
         
      • PushinInkTattoo

        PushinInkTattoo Member

        Messages:
        12
        Likes Received:
        0
        Joined:
        Mar 4, 2009
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        clhyer, sent you a message. dont want to do a gear change cuz I still drive on the highway. whats the deal with the distributor springs? are they hard to put in? where can I buy a set at?
         
      • LXguy

        LXguy Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        2,373
        Likes Received:
        93
        Joined:
        Jul 23, 2008
        Location:
        Champaign IL
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        Are you sure that stock head gasket is that thin? The source material I have says .40 or thicker?
         
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        40,659
        Likes Received:
        12218
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        Yes, very sure. OE head gaskets are the same one found in the MP parts catolog as there listed @ .22 - .028 thick.

        Any gasket after that is aftermarket and the Fel-Pro's I normally see are .039.
         
      • krms19

        krms19 New Member

        Messages:
        1
        Likes Received:
        0
        Joined:
        Jan 26, 2016
        Location:
        Saskatoon
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        Can you send me the link for this kit? I click the link and it won't open
         
      • skizzo

        skizzo Fubar Emeritus II

        Messages:
        153
        Likes Received:
        24
        Joined:
        Jul 22, 2015
        Location:
        Castle Rock, CO.
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        For $400? Tune up, get your timing dialed, exhaust exactly as mentioned by rumblefish. Jegs has pretty nice copper gasket for the headers, best $31 you'll ever spend if you rock headers with a 5/16" badly bead ground warp master flange (like summit or jegs headers, which I like and run:).
         
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        40,659
        Likes Received:
        12218
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        The tread is over 7 years old AKA "Dead Thread" LMAO!

        What ever I posted that link for I no longer remember what it was for.
        PM me if you want.
         
      • 318JavelinDaddy-o

        318JavelinDaddy-o New Member

        Messages:
        1
        Likes Received:
        0
        Joined:
        Feb 22, 2019
        Location:
        Ft. Worth Texas
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        Why would this thread be dead? I found some good stuff straight from Steve Dulcich and Hot Rod Magazine: 318 Engine Build - A Parts Book 400HP 318 - Mopar Muscle Magazine
         
      • rumblefish360

        rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        40,659
        Likes Received:
        12218
        Joined:
        Jun 21, 2005
        Location:
        New York, on a Island
        Local Time:
        8:57 AM
        It becomes dead after people stop posting in it and that is often after several years it gets called dead.

        That link is very old and seen many many times. It’s old news except to new eyes. It is easily found here and on the goggle search engine.
         
      • AJ/FormS

        AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

        Messages:
        20,735
        Likes Received:
        8133
        Joined:
        Jan 19, 2014
        Location:
        South-Central Manitoba,Canada, 900ftelevation
        Local Time:
        7:57 AM
        Twice resurrected.................. now clogging the system, again. But, I've been caught posting to a dead thread too, after someone else resurrected it. Oh, hey, look; I did it again,lol.
         
        • Like Like x 2
        • toolmanmike

          toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

          Messages:
          58,604
          Likes Received:
          45933
          Joined:
          Jan 18, 2006
          Location:
          Iowa
          Local Time:
          7:57 AM
          Holy resurrected thread Batman! Add this one to the hundreds of "how do I give my 318 more power" threads. There's hundred of threads but only a couple pages of recommendations that really work. :lol:
           
          • Agree Agree x 2
          • Syleng1

            Syleng1 Karma is real and Life is short... FABO Gold Member

            Messages:
            2,053
            Likes Received:
            1668
            Joined:
            Jul 5, 2005
            Location:
            North Franklin, CT
            Local Time:
            8:57 AM
            AED status- “Clear the patient.” “Checking for heart arrhythmia”. “Applying voltage”
            We have a beat!

            just reviving the patient again!:lol:

            We need more 318 cam shaft info!
             
          • j par

            j par Well-hung Member

            Messages:
            27,696
            Likes Received:
            15118
            Joined:
            Jul 2, 2014
            Location:
            Portland Oregon
            Local Time:
            5:57 AM
            I was going to say if you don't know a 2 barrel from a four-barrel you're not only new to Mopar you're new to working on cars period... Then I seen the date and said holy cow this is old...
             
            • Agree Agree x 1
            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.