Diy - Magnum Swap!!

gwmax65

Magnum V8 Mopar
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gwmax65 submitted a new Article:

DIY - MAGNUM SWAP!!

Hello, I'm going to go in depth and detail on how I did my first Magnum Swap into my brothers 1965 Plymouth Valiant 200. The information I will be providing is intended to help you guys out there thinking about or are doing a Magnum Swap to your early/later A Body Mopar. Look into Magnumswap.com for more info as well.

Back story
I purchased a '65 Valiant a few years ago, had a 273/4.5L V8, ran and drove but no brakes till those eventually got fixed. I have a '65 blue Barracuda that had a later slant six drivetrain, test drove it once and decided it wasn't enough power for me, so I pulled the drivetrain from the Valiant and threw it in the Barracuda 1 week before I graduated high school -- achieved my goal for driving it there. Anyway, the Valiant sat and sat, after a few months driving around the Barracuda, I decided I wanted to go with a different drivetrain. I had a LA 360 motor & 727 I intended to throw in it, and had also recently acquired a 5.2L/318 Magnum. So with intentions & hopes high, I removed the Valiant's drivetrain from the Barracuda, separated the 904 transmission (cable shift/push button type), converted the magnum to carbureted, and swapped it into the Valiant. Currently my Barracuda is still sitting and plans have changed for it, going with a 5.9L Magnum and keeping the stock fuel injection. I currently own 2x '65 Barracudas and a '66, gave the '65 Valiant to my brother. That's pretty much the back story, now let's get onto how I did the swap.

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When I first got the 5.2L/318 Magnum for the '65 Valiant, I decided to do away with the stock fuel injection and go carbureted. First thing I did was document/take pictures all around of the motor, then began to clean it up. Magnums are found in 1994-2001 (some 2002-2003) Dodge Ram's, Dakotas, Vans, Jeeps, and Durangos, easy pick from the junkyard or online ad.
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Clean up
Used a metal scraper to get chunks of grease off, a couple cans of Gunk engine degreaser from the autoparts store, and then power washed it in the driveway with long cloth material from work (worked at a print shop, 28x40" industrial presses, used, used impression & blanket washer rolls) on the ground to catch the chunks of stuff flying off the motor. Made sure I had stuff I didn't want to get water in blocked off for the most part. Used the air compressor to blow excess water out of various spots. After everything was dry, bought 2 cans of high temp VHT Hemi Orange spray paint, shot the motor, let it dried, then began to take the fuel injection stuff off.
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Stuff ordered
Before I got too crazy disassembling stuff, I had to figure out what I needed. First thing I ordered was a re-gasket/re-seal kit. Thermostat. Since I decided to go with a carbureted setup I knew the intake manifold would need to be changed. I set out to buy an Edelbrock 7577 AirGap intake manifold off eBay. This type of intake manifold has the intake bolts going vertically instead at an angle like on the LA motors, so it's the perfect fit on any stock magnum. For a carburetor, my buddy sold me an Edelbrock 1406 (600cfm) carburetor. I also needed to get a special bracket to bolt onto the carburetor so I could still use my stock kick down linkage & throttle cable. This bracket is the Edelbrock 1481 bracket and can be bought from the autoparts store, ebay, or summit racing. I had to pull the nut & kickdown piece off the old 2bbl carburetor from the 273 to bolt onto the new throttle bracket.
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For ignition I decided to go with an HEI All-In-One Distributor. Going with this type of distributor required needing new spark plug wires, so I went to MSD's website, searched for the Magnum 5.2L/5.9L type spark plug wires and went with those, believe you can still use the stock magnum spark plug wires as well. The LA distributors have the female type posts and male type posts on the magnums, just like the HEI distributor. For spark plugs I went with E3 spark plugs, believe the part number should be E3.48. The advantage of having the HEI all-in-one distributor is you get a hotter spark, no more ballast resistor - just a 12V ignition wire tied into the existing ballast resistor wires, and the coil sits inside on top of the distributor. Plus there's a tach terminal.
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(Above pic is of my 2nd '65 Barracuda when it still had a 273, clear cap and rotor bought separate off ebay)
I thought about going with headers but found out TTI headers cost a fortune on early A bodies, but there's a vast more header selection for the later A bodies because in '67 they widened the shock towers for more space & throwing big blocks in, so I stuck with stock LA exhaust manifolds. On the driver's head of the motor towards the rear, some material needs to be grind off so the exhaust manifold will sit flush to the head. Since I decided to keep the stock serpentine belt set-up, I found out that I needed an AC delete bracket pulley which they sell on ebay. When I got the delete bracket I found out that it wouldn't bolt up to my accessories bracket because the hole spacing's were different between a Ram van motor and a truck, so I had to head to the junkyard and pull an accessories bracket from a '94-'01 Ram truck to make the AC delete bracket work. Note how I had to cut out a 2"x 2" square on the bracket for the heater hose adapter to fit/work on the intake.
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I ordered a later style voltage regulator & special 2 wire connector in order to use the magnum alternator, very easy to set that up, see my thread on how to make it work -- (see 5th post) -- I need to edit that post but I'll summarize it here, don't buy a cheap Chinese voltage regulator, specifically look up 'Mopar voltage regulator', it'll be black with white/yellow text, shaped like a rectangle and have a triangular connection with 2 little posts, they're also made in USA and will charge correctly/last sooo much longer. When you install the voltage regulator, make sure you have a PERFECT ground surface. On the special plug connector (search Mopar voltage regulator connector, for buying it), doesn't matter which side you choose, green or blue, for example we'll go with blue. Blue wire ties into the ignition system (Best to hook up at ballast resistor wires since it's the main ignition source), take a wire, hook it up to one of the 2 FLD posts on the alternator, then hook the other end of the wire to your ignition as well. Then for the green wire, take a long wire, hook to your last/unused FLD post, and splice the other end in with the green wire. Buy a 12 gauge wire about 2 feet long, hook to BATT. (Charging terminal) post on the alternator, then the other end straight to the battery +/Positive post. I DON'T recommend using your existing alternator BATT. wire because the magnum alternators typically put out a higher amperage compared to an LA - V belt driven style alternator, and you could risk causing an electrical fire because I believe there's an ammeter on the back of the instrument cluster panel that can only take so many amps, so going straight to the battery in this case literally bypasses that ammeter and works out perfectly.

Magnum 318/5.2L Swap (Carbureted) - Stock serpentine alternator set-up?

Since Magnums don't have a mechanical fuel pump eccentric or hole in the timing cover for mounting a fuel pump, I went with a low psi Holley fuel pump from summit racing. I discovered that having a magnum out of a ram van had an advantage for making the magnum power steering pump work because the pump sits significantly lower compared to the dodge trucks, made it so I didn't have to relocate the battery to the trunk. Went to the house of evco to get custom power steering hoses made to work with the power steering box.
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Bought $200 Mopar Magnum valve covers off ebay. Had to buy an oil filter angle adapter + special bolt that has oil passages & came with gasket + washers, from ebay. For an oil pan since all magnums have the truck style oil pan, I went to summit and bought a sum-g3536 oil pan, essentially it's an LA 360 car style mid sump oil pan, LA 273/318 oil pans will NOT work on any Magnum motor. I also had to order a mid-sump oil pickup tube. If you are magnum swapping into a slant six car, early or later A body, you will need a V8 center link for oil pan clearance. For later A bodies, you DON'T have to change your K frame out if your car is a slant six, go to schumacher creative services website for conversion motor mounts, early A bodies share the same K frame between a slant six and small block V8 - schumacher also makes motor mounts for Big Block swaps in early and later A bodies, heck they even make slant six conversion mounts if you want to go backwards in performance! I used my stock motor mounts from the LA 273, the passenger motor mount ear of the block on a magnum is flipped around compared to the LA 273/318, but can still work with a long high grade bolt -- See my thread about this... That being said, something else important to take note is between an LA 273/318 and an LA 360, the motor mount perches/ears are different in dimensions, however, on the Magnum 318/360 they are the same on the passenger side, dimensions based off the LA 273/318, again, it's only the passenger side that is flipped around on the Magnums.

Small block 318/360 Magnum Swap - Motor mount answers for those with questions
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I bought a Champion 3 core aluminum radiator, and failed to take notice of which side the water pump faces, so I had to combine 2 radiator hoses and an exhaust pipe to couple them together along with hose clamps, still works just fine. For a fan setup I decided to go with an electric fan. Also bought a $10 chrome oil dipstick tube.
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The Magnum Swap
Before I swapped the intake manifold I had made sure that all the intake bolts were soaked in WD-40 (PB Blaster is better) because they're notorious for breaking upon removal (This happened to me on my 2nd magnum swap into my other '65 Barracuda, had to use my cheap flux welder to weld bolt ends to the stud of the broken bolt, out they came). When I got my new intake I was surprised to see how I would be using 2 main water jacket cross overs instead of 4 like the stock intake has, apparently this is normal and fine. So I undid all the intake manifold bolts very carefully, then pulled the bee hive off.
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I proceeded to clean the surface where the intake manifold meets the heads really good. They say to not use the front and rear seal that comes in the re-gasket kit with your intake manifold for it can still cause leaks, but to rather use high temp RTV (gasket maker) and run a 1/4" bead across those surfaces + in the corners & still obviously use your new intake manifold gaskets. Once the new intake is on, there's a bolt down sequence you're supposed to follow, I just kinda made mine up but you can look the sequence up online, and be oh so very careful when you torque the bolts, they can snap really easily, I'd say snug and just a bit more.
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Next I drained all the oil out of the block, had let the RTV setup for an hour or so on the intake manifold before I flipped it over, just didn't want to chance getting oil mixed in with it until it had enough time to setup. Flipped the motor over so I could work on the bottom end. Pulled the pan off, cleaned the surface up really good, should've pulled the rear main cap off to replace the rear main seal at the time but didn't...
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Got my oil pan, and found out that you can still use the magnum (nearly leak proof) one piece oil pan seal, if it looks like the rear piece of the seal won't seat on the pan, it will, it'll stretch itself around the pan when bolted down. Swapped the oil pickup tube out for the mid-sump type, shorter in length and closer to the crank for the LA 360 car style oil pan to work with. Note, before bolting on a new water pump, slide the new bypass hose on the intake so it won't be a pain...
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Threw the new seal on the pan, then put some small gobs of high temp RTV in the corners of the rear and front bearing caps, threw the pan on, bolted it down & torqued to spec.
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Flipped the motor up again, then replaced the valve covers & gaskets and forgot at the time to do some grinding work on the drivers head so the exhaust manifold can sit flush.
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(above pic was the 2nd time going back in after the front pump seal was replaced, spare the confusion... Note the bare metal on the drivers side head, that's where you have to grind)
I ended up hooking just about everything up but the serpentine belt system, took it off the stand, got the trans mounted (REMEMBER TO SEAT THE TORQUE CONVERTER IN THE TRANSMISSION'S FRONT PUMP, DON'T SLIDE THE TRANSMISSION ONTO THE TQ BOLTED TO MOTOR), filled back up with 10-30W oil, installed the HEI All-In-One distributor w/new spark plug wires & spark plugs, and did a test fire, success. Before I hooked it up to the trans I wanted to use the stock magnum flex plate, 1-2 of the holes of the flex plate that mount onto the torque converter needed to be slightly drilled to get everything to bolt up. At the time I failed to realize that the pilot (back of the torque converter that recesses in the back of the crank shaft) of the torque converter was smaller than the hole on the crank and some how I managed to bolt the torque converter up slightly out from being centered up (out of round). The one thing that killed me on this swap was not replacing the FRONT PUMP SEAL, little seal that goes around the input shaft, has an orange color to it, so after everything was said and done with the swap, drove it for 3 months before it began puking atf fluid BAD, put it off for nearly a year till I finally built up the motivation to yank the 904 back out and replace that darn front pump seal.
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Aside from that and getting back to how I got it into the Valiant the first time, I bought an engine lift plate that bolts onto the intake bore hole where the carburetor would be, used my crap 1 ton engine lift, had a friend with me to help, pulled the hood off the Valiant, moved the motor with transmission attached into position, and moved the car towards the drivetrain as I began to lower it. My buddy eventually had to stand on the transmission as it went in to achieve the angle needed, note there's a firewall lip that the ball n trunion (Pre '66 trans) adapter/tail shaft has to jump across, and swoop right on in.
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I notice things weren't right with the motor mounts, then found out they were backwards/on the wrong sides... Swapped them and right on in it went. hurried and secured the motor mounts with the motor mount nuts, then used a floor jack on the tail shaft of the transmission to lift it up, bolt the cross member in, then got towards getting everything bolted in. When everything was all said and done, it was a sleeper. I would highly recommend NOT using the magnum flex plate, but rather use the X style LA flex plate to make everything easier. To this day the torque converter still spins slightly out of round, mainly because of the pilot of the torque converter being small, not lining things up properly when bolted to the magnum flex plate that has 1-2 holes that had been slightly drilled open more as well. Ever since that front pump seal got replaced, it's been running strong for 6 months now. Some things to note - LA 273/318's are internally balanced while the LA 360 is externally balanced, same rule applies for the Magnums. On a 360 Magnum/LA, there are counter weights on the flex plate (some years on the magnum had extra weights added to the torque converter instead of flex plate) and counter weights on the harmonic balancer/vibration dampener. On the 318 Magnum/LA motor there are no counter weights on the flex plate or balancer because of it being internally balanced, again. However, that doesn't mean any torque converter won't have extra counter weights added to them. This build was done around $1000, every penny spent was well worth it, they're very fun and torquey motors! It's hard to kill a Magnum V8.

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More info
Last year I bought a 2nd 1965 Plymouth Barracuda (Chocolate frosty colored) - see my thread...

1965 Plymouth Barracuda - 318 MAGNUM V8
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Also last year I traded my 1974 Plymouth /6 Duster for a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda 273 Commando - thread on that car is here...

1966 Plymouth Barracuda - Commando 273 V8
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Anyways, I just recently got done with my 2nd magnum swap on my 2nd '65 Barracuda. I had to get my 904 push button/cable shift type transmission rebuilt because I had lost reverse but still had all gears in drive, that was kinda my justification for doing the swap since the trans had to come out anyways, had a 273. So I got the 904 rebuilt, hook it up to my 2nd 318 magnum, swap it in, and what do ya know, it doesn't have reverse or 1st. I had my trans guy put a shift kit in it but some reprogramer rod wouldn't fit, so most of a shift kit was installed. I tried multiple things with the valve body, pulling it out, putting it back in, several times, it got tiring. I eventually pulled that transmission back out, and decided to use a later 904 that came from a 1974 Plymouth Roadrunner. My trans guy is currently swapping the new guts he threw in the old 904, into the newer 904, pre '66 904's are very problematic, and it sucks having to constantly keep an eye on the cable adjustments + ball n trunion driveshaft was a bad setup from the get-go. Bought a B&M ratchet shifter to install in the Barracuda to work with the later 904 transmission, and already got a slip yoke driveshaft made for it. Gonna update my thread about this pretty soon, on this magnum swap I decided to go with the V belt style for that classic look and it's working pretty good so far. Used a LA 360 timing cover, bought a fuel pump block off plate, kept the LA 273 water pump so I could bolt the alternator up with ease, and for the future use my 273 LA power steering pump if I want to convert from manual steering to power steering. Also on this swap I used the LA - X shaped flex plate, the newer ('66-up) 904 torque convert pilot will fit like it's supposed to in the back of the crank shaft. Hope this info helps, post/message with questions, think I've covered it all. Check out my threads & YouTube Channel full of Mopar -

gwmax11

Mopar or No Car!
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Keep reading the rest of the posts, contains more information I forgot to mention, can't edit that info into this post, too many characters for the system.

Ahh, keep thinking of more stuff I forgot to include, it'll only let me type so many characters in one post which sucks, so here's some more useful information.

Intake fitting holes/intake bolt down sequence:

Update to this thread, added a pic, one side 12 8 3 1 5 9, other side, 11 7 4 2 6 10 for intake manifold bolt down sequence. The heater hose adapter size on the front right of the intake is 3/8", next to that on the left is 5/16-18" -- This is where I installed the temperature probe for my electric fan, can also plug it with an NPT plug assortment kit found at the auto parts store. Then on the very left is where the temperature probe goes (1/8"). On the passenger side towards the rear of the intake manifold runner there is a 3/8" threaded hole there just like the heater hole, plugged that with an NPT plug as well. Bypass hole size on the intake is 3/4", fitting comes with intake. For the heater hose fitting and thermostat housing, just pulled them from the stock magnum fuel injection intake manifold, cleaned up with a wire brush wheel on an angle grinder, and painted with VHT high-temp silver paint.

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Starter:

For a starter I bought a $60 rebuilt mini (high torque) starter off eBay, they crank 2-3 times faster compared to the stock dinosaur starter, use less power when cranking, and are very good for oh crap my engine stalled situations! Also very ideal for header clearance. On my transmission I left the inspection plate off, most do, cause they get bent so easily and then your left with this annoying noise caused by the torque converter bolts rubbing it.

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Picture of Voltage Regulator - Note, this is not a Mopar voltage regulator, this was before I discovered non Mopar voltage regulators had BIG issues, buy one made in USA!

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Breather's and PCV

For a breather on one of my valve covers I went to the auto parts store and got an Edelbrock breather, came with it's own grommet, for the other side I used an old PCV valve and snugged it into a grommet, on my 2nd Magnum swap I bought an actual PCV breather that is as big as the Edelbrock breather, but has a snout to slide a hose over and connect to the front of the carburetor. Grommet sizes needed are about 1 - 1/4"

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Throttle cable bracket

For a bracket to hold my throttle cable in place I used my existing throttle bracket from the 2bbl LA 273 V8. The intake bolt size on the Magnums are 5/16" - 18 thread pitch. I went to Lowe's and got a 6" LONG bolt, 2 nut-washers, then pulled 1 intake bolt out on the drivers side in relation to where the throttle cable is, secured the throttle cable bracket on the bolt along with the nut washer, then threaded in the long bolt to a point, then secured the bolt with the 2nd nut washer on the intake manifold.

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Some bolt measurements

The bolt size to hold a motor on an engine stand are 9/16" for the top 2 (or can do all 4) and 1 size up for the lower 2 bolts for better support. On my setup where my 360 Magnum is currently stationed on the engine stand, the top 2 bolts that thread into the block are 4 - 1/2" long with 20 washers each bolt (40 washers), the thickness of the washers are 0.055" according to my digital calipers. The 2 bottom bolts are 8 - 1/2" long, using 2x 1/4" washers and 2x 9/16" nuts.

IN CASE you need an extension for your kick down rod, you can buy 2 feet of 1/4"-28 all thread rod (size of the kick down adjusting rod, new 2ft rod can be cut to desired length), for a coupler, you specifically have to type in the same measurement and put 'coupler nut' after, bought off eBay all for $11. Your existing kick down linkage from an LA V8 WILL bolt up no problem on a Magnum.

Throttle return bracket

For a throttle return bracket I went and bought an aftermarket one from the auto parts store and got my throttle return springs there, bolted on the drivers side front runner of the intake manifold.
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Carb Spacers

I wanted to use a 1" carburetor spacer on the AirGap intake to perhaps get a little more low end torque, but it makes the carb sit way too high, would need a hood scoop, so running without a spacer, got literally a 1" gap from the air cleaner to hood as is.

Oil Filter Adapter BOLT Pictures
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Priming The Oil Pump
This probably should've been one of the first things to mention... It's a good idea to prime your oil pump/engine. In order to do this, you must first buy a OIL PUMP PRIMING SHAFT (Part # for the shaft -- P4286800). You'll also want a drill to attach the priming shaft to, have it set to go clockwise. Now before you pull the distributor, take note on where the rotor is pointing at, cause when you remove the gear the distributor shaft rides on inside, you'll only have 6 ways to get that gear shaft for pointing the rotor in the correct direction, and you will want the rotor to be pointing at the same spot when that gear is put back in. Ok, so remove the distributor, get some fish line, wrap it around the gear down inside, and as you are pulling you might need to get a flat blade screw driver on that gear, rotate it clockwise to let it raise a bit and to help it come out. Once you've pulled the gear out, you'll also notice how the shaft on that gear has 6 sides, this will play a great role, again, in where your rotor points. insert the drill with the priming shaft down on the oil pump, make sure you got clean 10-30W oil in the pan, and then begin running the drill clockwise for about a minute. Once done, put the gear back in, slide the distributor back in and if you notice that the rotor isn't pointing where it was, you'll have to pull the distributor back out, insert a flat blade, rotate clockwise 1 out of the 6 faces over, put the distributor back in, repeat the process if it's still not quite where it was to begin with, and you'll get it where the rotor was pointing before.
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Exhaust port difference LA vs MAGNUM
There's a slight difference in the center 2 exhaust ports on Magnums, they're spaced out farther compared to the LA heads and this could pose a performance problem if you use LA headers/manifolds. The performance on my first Magnum swap in the Valiant is going really well with stock LA exhaust manifolds. Don't forget to grind the drivers side head for header/manifold clearance, to make it sit flush. Some say you can actually make the Magnum exhaust manifolds work, I've tried this on my early A bodies only to find they run into the firewall, so unless the firewall is modified to recess an exhaust pipe, don't believe they will work on early A bodies, have seen them working on later A bodies, but a rare sight to see stock magnum manifolds in cars. Also, if you are going to use stock exhaust manifolds, you DON'T have to swap the thread studs from LA to Magnum, you can make the Magnum studs work perfectly fine with combining the exhaust bolts/nuts from the Magnum and the LA motor.
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LA vs MAGNUM Timing Cover
Here's a picture of the Magnum timing cover on the left and an LA 360 timing cover on the right. I remember some stipulation on the front main crank seal when I was working on converting my 2nd 318 Magnum to a V belt style. Seemed like some LA 273, even LA 318 timing covers I got my hands on they would have a cast recess in the timing cover for the seal to sit against, but on the LA 360 timing cover there's no recess, just is a push through seal, same exact seal as on the Magnum.
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LA 360 timing cover from an 1986 motor, old seal out (blue) - Now on my 2nd 318 Magnum.

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Picture of a timing cover I bought to replace the corroded timing cover on the LA 273 in my 2nd '65 Barracuda (Before the 2nd Magnum Swap), note how there's a cast lip on the front, the seal for this timing cover is smaller in circumference and is installed on the back side. Ignition timing spots still on same drivers side, from what I know on '65 - 273 timing covers the ignition timing spot is on the passenger side + has the same action going on with the cast lip.
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Broken Dipstick Tube? EZ OUT!
Another thing that typically happens is dipstick tubes can easily break on Magnum engines, the best way to get them out is to use an EZ out bit, turning counter clockwise because it's reverse threaded in order to pull whatever out. Using vice grips and a hammer while going counter clockwise it'll eventually get a bite and begin to come out on the next step. Once I got a bite on the broken tube with the EZ out, the oil pan was already off so I took a flat blade screw driver, slid it down the cast tube part of the block till it touched the EZ out tip, smacked the screw driver with a mallet and out the broken tube came! When I bought a new chrome dipstick, for the 2nd time I had to do some very slight grinding on the bottom end of the tube that slides into the block, so it would slide easily with some resistance into the block, along with a gob of high temp RTV/gasket maker.
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Using LA Exhaust Manifolds
If you choose to use LA exhaust manifolds like I did, you MUST get the heater valve on the passenger exhaust manifold taken out, they typically stick in inconvenient positions and CAN cause burnt exhaust valves + bad for performance. Once you've got the heater valve removed you'll have 2 small holes that'll need to be plugged, simply just weld them up, make sure you have a very clean surface when doing this. Take to a machine shop if you don't have the equipment needed to remove the heater valve. You can use Magnum exhaust manifold gaskets no problem, same for LA gaskets, however I probably would suggest using the Magnum gaskets because I think in theory they won't cut off flow to the 2 center exhaust ports since the center portion on the LA exhaust manifolds are a big oval-ish shape instead of 2 separated ports, they're combined.

Stock Magnum Heads
They say stock Magnum Heads are prone to cracking, the cracking supposedly happens at the valve seats, however I'm heading to my 3rd Magnum swap and haven't found any cracks between all 3 Magnum motors I've worked on. They make so many different heads out there, one that kinda sticks out are EngineQuest heads, they are supposedly a better design and specifically replace Magnum heads, I may be looking into getting a set for my 3rd Magnum swap for better performance later on, and they don't crack. Don't let the head cracking portion change your mind about doing a Magnum swap, even if there are cracks, they are very very minor/more or less hardly affect performance.

Oil Filter #'s
I always buy Wix oil filters, for the shorty it's the 51085 filter, for the longer one that filters more oil (which is better), 51515.
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Utilizing The Stock Fuel Injection
I'm currently embarking on my 3rd Magnum Swap and intend on making it work with the stock fuel injection. I don't have much, if any info on how to make this work, but would suggest searching on FABO for more info. Stay tuned for the next Magnum Swap write up - Stock Fuel Injection. Just found some useful video/info content on YouTube, check out this guy's channel, he goes through how to Magnum Swap into a Jeep TJ and using the stock fuel injection.

MontanaLowGear

Removing A Drive Train As A Unit Via Engine Lift
1st I'd start off getting a 2 ton engine lift, either borrow one or buy one, bought my 2 ton lift off eBay. I'd also recommend getting one with extendable legs for better leverage, or at least have a friend stand on the back of the engine lift as the motor is coming out, or buy an engine leveler (best method).

2nd, if your engine is a 4bbl, you can remove the carburetor, buy a lift plate for around $20 at the auto parts store, and bolt it on in place of the carburetor (Yes, those little carburetor studs can take the load, make sure you have thick washers on before nuts, I used left over Magnum/LA exhaust manifold washers). If you don't have a 4bbl carb, but a 2bbl carb intake on your V8, buy a chain to bolt to the motor going from corner to corner on the face of the motor heads, if a slant six, bolt onto the front face of the head and on the top bolt hole that usually secures a vacuum amplifier or something else in place.

3, once you have the engine lift, lift plate or chain acquired, proceed to drain the radiator by opening the petcock on the bottom, and let it drain into a clean oil drain pan. Once drained, remove the top and lower radiator hose. Remove your transmission cooler lines from the radiator. Remove the radiator. Remove wires going to the alternator & temperature sensor + oil dummy light/pressure sensor. Unhook the battery. If you have power steering, remove the power steering hoses and pump from the motor. Remove the belt driven cooling fan from the water pump. Optional, remove alternator. Unbolt exhaust pipes from exhaust manifolds, use PB blaster if you need to get rusty bolts to come off. Remove the shift rod or shift cables (if early A body for shift cables pre '66) going to the transmission. Remove the connector for the safety neutral switch. Remove the starter from the bell housing (Can let the starter just rest on the center link if you don't want to completely remove it). Remove the driveshaft, if slip yoke type ('66-up cars) make sure you have a oil drain pan ready to catch transmission fluid, same for pulling the speedometer cable from the tail shaft. I usually get by leaving the transmission cooler lines hooked up to the trans as I pull it out, sometimes it can get caught on the front core support and be a little problematic to get out, you can remove the trans cooler lines from the trans before pulling if you want to. Remove the 1 bell housing bolt on the transmission that holds the trans dipstick tube in, pull dipstick tube, sometimes there's another bolt holding the tube to the trans right at where the tube goes into the trans. Remove oil filter angle adapter if you have one and or remove oil filter. Remove the drivers side exhaust manifold if a V8 and let it hang there on the gear box if you can't pull the drive train out, LA manifold usually hugs around the gear box.

Lastly, get the lift plate or chain or engine leveler (for changing the angle of the drive train when coming out, easiest method) bolted on, have someone help pull the hood off, get the lift attached with the hook's length adjustment slack taken up as much as possible for max lift, if a chain, make the chain have as less slack as possible, use a couple bolts at the hook so the chain won't slide, and then start pulling it out, lifting it up as you push the car backwards. Note you may hang up at the firewall lip to transmission tunnel, have someone stand on the trans to get past that lip and to help achieve the angle needed for getting it past the front core support (again, you can use an engine leveler, bolts in 4 corner intake bolts on a V8 or front and back faces of the heads, easier for changing angles) and swoop right on out. Pic below pulling the 273 drive train out of my 2nd '65 Barracuda while using a chain, and friend as counter weight since my 2 ton didn't come with extendable legs...
View attachment 1714973168

Ignition Timing
Firing order between an LA and Magnum engine are the SAME, distributor rotor spins clockwise, firing order is 1 8 4 3 6 5 7 2. I'd check online on some Mopar site for the correct timing, if I guessed it probably would be closest to 10° before top dead center (BTDC), using a timing light shinning on the crank and looking at the small slash on the harmonic balancer (while running obviously), in relation to where it moves to the stationary timing tag bolted to or part of the timing cover and also having the black crimp looking thing (sensor) of the timing gun hooked to cylinder #1 over the spark plug wire (drivers side front). Begin rotating the distributor clockwise or counter clockwise till you're around 10 degrees BTDC according to the flashes of the gun, again, looking at the timing slash/mark against the timing degree # mark on the timing cover. Only thing to watch out for is making sure your not 180° out on the distributor cause that'll cause it to backfire/not run. I mean it's perfectly fine to have it happen, won't damage anything, it'll just let you know you gotta pull the distributor out and rotate the flat blade shaft 180°, reinstall and should be fine. Remember to make sure you inserted the gear back in correctly that the flat blade shaft of the distributor rides on, if, you had pulled the gear out to prime the oil pump system, otherwise it will throw the rotor's firing position off, and you'll have to pull the drivers side valve cover + cylinder #1 spark plug out to find Top Dead Center with both intake and exhaust valves closed + #1 cylinder at the top. Can insert a long screw driver down the spark plug hole to get an idea if the cylinder is all the way at the top or bottom, and adjust the gear inside the distributor hole clockwise (only 6 spots that gear can go cause it's hex-shaped) till you find the rotor pointing exactly at cylinder #1. Do all that or move each spark plug wire over clockwise or counter clockwise 1-2 positions till it'll fire.

You'll also want to make sure you have your distributor advance hose plugged off while checking timing and make sure you maintain around 650 rpms or whatever site/book recommends your rpm to be at as you check your timing cause it's gonna change your rpms as you are rotating the distributor, best to have a tachometer hooked up while timing, I always buy the sun pro super tach 2/II from eBay around $30-$40 and they work flawlessly if new, and make sure on the back of the tachometer too that out of the 3 switches 4/6/8 you're on 8 cause it calculates rpms different based on how many cylinders there are.
View attachment 1714973222

Power Steering Pump LA - Place To Grind For Fit
On my 2nd Magnum Swap since I went to a V belt setup, I wanted to mount my power steering pump and found that I couldn't make my alternator or power steering work with the newer water pump (ordered a '86 Dodge ram water pump for a LA 360 to work on my Magnum, snout extends very long) so I swapped the good working 273 LA water pump on my Magnum to find that you have to have this type of 273 water pump if you want to bolt up your existing V belt accessories. The alternator & bracket bolted up with NO problems at all. Take note how the newer/later water pump's bypass and heater hose fitting are part of the pump. On the 273 LA power steering pump I had to do a tiny bit grinding on the motor to make it fit, see pics below.
View attachment 1714973187
View attachment 1714973188
View attachment 1714973189
View attachment 1714973190

Below 2 pics show the later water pump that will NOT work with 273 LA accessories.

View attachment 1714973191
View attachment 1714973192

SEE 3RD INFO POST!

3RD INFO POST

Harmonic Balancer/Vibration Dampener For LA V Belt Conversion

For a harmonic balancer/vibration dampener for my 2nd 318 Magnum (internally balanced) I went with the SUM-163273 balancer from Summit Racing. I used an air driven impact gun to pull the front crank bolt out that bolts the harmonic balancer on. Then I used my harmonic balancer puller (can rent one from auto parts store) to remove it. On these Magnums, the serpentine pulley and harmonic balancer are one, non separable, and thus the reason for buying a new harmonic balancer with no pulley attached. Then, I oiled up the front timing cover seal, and shaft on the new harmonic balancer. Slid it on, used a 2x4 and mallet to give it a good start onto the crank shaft, you can't go wrong putting this pulley on cause it's only keyed 1 way. Once I got it on, I drove it home with the front crank bolt and impact gun. There's a torque spec for getting this on properly, I just kept going clockwise till I couldn't see the dampener moving on anymore, had like 1/8" or less from the back of the dampener to the timing cover info gauge -- good enough. I was going to use my LA 360 V belt crank pulley that have 4 V belt grooves, but found out it wouldn't work with my upper 273 pulleys because the circumference of 2 of the pulleys are bigger and rub against the upper 273 water pump attachable pulley. So I had to go with my 273 crank pulley that has 2 V belt grooves, and only lets you bolt 5/6 bolts onto the dampener, which is perfectly fine but at the time I wanted to have all 6/6 bolted up with the LA 360 crank pulley. I also have another LA 273 that has 3 V belt grooves if I wanted to add aftermarket AC later on, other 2 grooves would be for water pump/alternator and power steering.
View attachment 1714973457
View attachment 1714973456

Installing External Electric Fuel Pump
I went with a low psi Holley external electric fuel pump. You CAN NOT install the electric fuel pump in the engine bay because it will burn the pump up, it's a pusher, not a puller. I've had a cheap pump before this one acted up, like it would over heat, not from the engine heat but because it's too much for the pump to pull the fuel from the tank from such a long distance and pump it to the carburetor, bought this holley thinking the cheap fuel pump was bad, but the holley did the same thing, over heat, quit pumping till it cooled, and begin to kinda pump again till it overheated. I found out that you HAVE to install an electric fuel pump 10 vertical inches away from the fuel tank. I installed mine on the frame rail and tied it into the fuel line by eye balling and cutting a certain amount of the metal fuel line out in order to install the fuel pump. I installed the filter that comes with the pump, screws in, and then put the pump at an angle, following the down/up slope line of the fuel line & frame rail, and relatively below the fuel tank. As I had the pump positioned where I wanted it, I then grabbed a small flat blade, etched in the center of the mounting holes onto the frame rail so I'd know where to drill. The fuel pump comes with self tapping bolts. Once the 2 holes were drilled and big enough, I installed the bolts only to let them self tap first into the frame rail, afterwards I eventually bolted the fuel pump in place, note the bolt closest to the top will probably be nearly impossible to completely tighten down with the amount of space given, just at least have the lower one tight. I then installed the fuel hoses to the fuel pump, to the metal fuel lines. On the negative wire, I hooked that directly to the lower mounting bolt for ground. For the positive I was pretty meticulous on how that went on my 2nd magnum swap but on the first magnum swap on the '65 Valiant. There's a few rubber grommets that go to the trunk, so I slit a small hole in the center of one, ran a long wire from my aftermarket switch all the way through that grommet and then to the fuel pump. However in my '65 Barracuda with the 2nd Magnum swap, I used a ton of zip ties by zip tie-ing a very long wire going from the aftermarket switch inside, out the firewall, all along the brake line that goes to the rear axle and then spliced it in with the fuel pump. Used a 10 amp fuse to the aftermarket ATM/ATC fuse block I installed. Still run a see through fram fuel filter before fuel goes into the carburetor. For my random metal fuel line setup going from the main fuel line, to a fuel rubber hose of 5", then the metal fuel line going to the fuel filter, used some transmission cooler lines laying around, and slightly bent them accordingly to make everything work right.
View attachment 1714973266
View attachment 1714973267
View attachment 1714973268

Oil Pressure Gauge
It's HIGHLY recommended that you have an oil pressure gauge for any motor, BAD idea to rely on the oil pressure dummy light on the cluster panel, cause what happens when the light bulb there burns out and you have a real oil crisis going on? Boom. I went on eBay and bought a cheap 2" oil pressure gauge with a sensor. The sensor screws in place of your dummy light switch, and you simply wire the gauge wire to the oil pressure sending switch/sensor, must also be providing 12V to the gauge when ignition is on. It is NORMAL for the oil pressure to come down as the motor heats up.
View attachment 1714973209

Voltage Meter Gauge
It isn't a bad idea to buy a voltage meter gauge (from eBay) so you can see how your battery voltage is while the alternator is charging it. 14.7 Volts is normal.
View attachment 1714973210

Water Temperature Gauge
If your water temperature gauge isn't reading correctly on the instrument cluster panel (most don't) then it's also HIGHLY recommended that you buy an aftermarket gauge so you know where your engine temperatures are at, last thing you want is to be overheating and not knowing before hand. Gauges can be found on eBay as well.
View attachment 1714973221

Aftermarket Fuse Box
I usually head to the auto parts store to buy a small ATM (Small fuses) or ATC (Bigger fuses) 6 circuit or so fuse box. I'll tie my hot leads to the Positive battery clamp connection to the new fuse block, then on the other bank of terminals that are filtered by the fuse is where I'll hook up aftermarket small switches that'll supply power to the electric fuel pump and/or electric choke heater on the carburetor.

MOTOR MOUNTS
I just barely found out that Magnum 318 and 360's are technically NOT the same on the drivers side... You more than likely will run into this problem '67-'72 swaps. The 318 Magnum has 4 holes on the drivers side while the 360 Magnum has 3 holes. However they are the SAME for the passenger side, for '67-'72 cars you CAN still use your passenger side motor mount no problem, same for pre (before) '67 cars if you use a long high grade bolt on the lower 1 hole. The way to correct this for you guys who are 5.9L Magnum Swapping into a '67-'72 car is to buy a set or just the driver's side motor mount for a 5.9L Magnum on Schumacher Creative Services website, 318 Magnum's drivers side WILL work with early/later LA 273/318 motor mounts, and again for the 5.9L/360 Magnum & 5.2L/318 Magnum, early/later 273/318 LA mounts WILL work on the passenger side. For pre '67 cars you CAN use your LA 273 drivers motor mount with NO PROBLEMS, again, passenger side just use a long high grade/heavy duty bolt to tie in the motor mount to ear perch.

Anyways, I'll probably think of more stuff to post, refresh this page every now and again to see edits into previous posts! There's so much info here, use CTRL + F on your keyboard to search for specific things.

Part 4 of more useful info...

Priming The Oil Pump Part 2.

DON'T use an impact gun when you're priming the oil pump, that's guaranteed to brake something, has to be a drill, and has to be spinning fast enough to actually see oil flowing with the valve covers off. The idea is to get oil flowing through everything important in the motor vs spraying the cylinder walls with lubricant and calling it 'good enough'.

The reason you really should have the gear/shaft that the distributor rides on, back in the factory correct position is because when you undo all your spark plug wires in the future, or perhaps a next owner, they're gonna go off the relative position of where each spark plug wire goes according to any Mopar ignition timing picture/diagram, so if that gear is off, you can be spending a lot of time moving spark plug wires over trying to figure out at what point it's gonna run, rather than just simply looking at an ignition timing picture and getting right on the first time.

Remember again, there's only 6 ways that gear/shaft will go back in because the shaft is hex shaped. Once you got the gear/shaft back in, be sure to make sure it's where it needs to be like the factory had it, you can turn 1/6 faces over as many times as you want with the gear STILL INSTALLED, just rotate it clockwise with a flat blade screw driver. Now, the easiest way to determine where the rotor needs to be pointing at, is pull the drivers valve cover off, pull the cylinder #1 spark plug off, find TDC (Top Dead Center) on the COMPRESSION STROKE (Both intake and exhaust valves closed), then see where the rotor is pointing at in relation to the cap, if it's not lined up with the #1 spark plug wire, according to the relative position in any picture/diagram they provide online/anywhere else of the ignition timing, then rotate that gear/shaft over as many turns as it takes till you are lined up.

Automatic Transmission Seals
Before throwing your 904/727 in, it's a really good idea to replace a few seals & other. Be sure you replace your front pump seal that the torque converter slides & spins against, also before seating the torque converter in the front pump, make sure the snout is lubed up with transmission fluid. I usually stand my transmissions up to seat the torque converter, there will be 3 initial drops before it's fully seated, and if the mounting tabs on the torque converter to the flex plate are sticking out past the bell housing, that means it's NOT seated, will have to slightly pull outward and rotate to different positions till it finds it's happy spot/lined up with the front pump gear tabs. Be sure to replace your shift shaft seal, the way I replace mine is I drop the valve body, if yours hangs up, get your drive shaft in the tail shaft and slightly turn it and it will release the parking lock rod that's attached to the valve body and will come out. Pop the old shift shaft seal out from underneath, lube the new seal with trans fluid, pop it in from above using the correct socket size and a hammer. Next, replace the filter on the valve body & pan gasket. Lastly, replace your tail shaft to drive shaft seal, and that covers the major points that typically leak, also make sure your transmission cooler line adapters are snug so they don't leak.

Rear Axles
I'm still using the 7 - 1/4" rear ends with 2.76 gears (highway gears/stock) in both of my Magnum Swapped 318 cars and they're holding up just fine, but intend on throwing in an 8 - 1/4" or 8 - 3/4" rear end later on.

Brakes
I'm still using the 9" drums all around on the '65 Valiant with the first Magnum Swap, they work ok, disc brakes are a much better setup obviously so look forward to converting the fronts later on, my 2nd '65 Barracuda has 10" drums all around which are way better than 9" drums, but also intend to swap the fronts to discs. For early A body disc conversions from what I've researched, is you can get the conversion kits from SSBC brakes, they even have conversions that'll fit over your stock 9" or 10" spindles. As far as the upper and lower ball joint, they should come with the conversion kit, if not, I've been told you can use '73/'74 types that'll bolt right up, typically it needs the bigger upper & lower ball joints.

Read more about this article here...
 
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gwmax65

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I haven't, thinking of swapping in a Hughes whiplash camshaft later on.
 

gwmax65

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Something I forgot to note on the mechanical fuel pump subject

There's a site suggested on magnumswaps website that sells an eccentric to bolt to your cam shaft if you choose to go V belt style & want a mechanical fuel pump. On my 2nd Magnum swap I thought about this and did quite a bit of research only to find most people saying the aftermarket made eccentric was engineered poorly or simply doesn't work, some saying it works for them, so I just got a block off plate from JEGS since my 2nd magnum swap was converted to a V belt style pulley system and got another low psi Holley electric fuel pump. Electric fuel pumps are very good to help stop potential vapor locking, and really help keep your engine running while going up a hill to keep the fuel bowl filled & not stall.
 
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jaywalkker

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This is exactly what I want for my 72 demon, thanks so much for the write up!

So, the only real "performance" mods it seems were the intake and carburetor, MSD ignition, and the HEI profile you selected?
Can you say how much a difference a mostly stock 360 did for overall power vs the /6?
Also, what kinda mileage do you get keeping your foot out of it?

Thx again, awesome writeup.
 

gwmax65

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Yes those are the main performance mods I did to this 318 Magnum, it gets up and goes in a hurry, plenty of G forces with this stout little engine. MSD spark plug wires are what I'm using and the HEI module is built inside the all-in-one distributor, creates a hotter spark, better on mpg's and saves tons of money vs going for an MSD box which is more for high end performance applications, especially for people that drag race. I'm not really sure how to reply to the 360 compared to slant six question since I've never drove an A body with a 360, currently doing a 360 Magnum swap in my slant six '65 blue Barracuda and I would expect it to make a DRAMATIC difference in power, even the 318 Magnum has gobs of power over any stock slant six. These Magnum engine's are designed to operate with today's gasoline, they can get very decent gas mileage, especially out of a 318 Magnum. This 318 Magnum got 21mpg highway, and that included some lead footing around, probably could get as high as 25mpg, for the 360 Magnum I would expect between 18-22mpg highway, not sure around city, just depends how you have everything tuned, driving conditions, and how your foot feels. Happy to help! Been meaning to type this up for a while now, finally got around to doing it, now I don't have to repeat myself on facebook in all the Mopar groups I'm in for people interested in Magnum Swapping.
 
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Shainesboostin

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AWESOME MAN!!! I needed this, think ive talked to you on FB before. Im balls deep in mine as we speak. Just bought all my gaskets, timing chain, ect. Hoping to get it going in the next week or two. Lots of little things i didnt think of.

Thanks for this thread bro!
 

gwmax65

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If you came here to just bash on my edelbrock triangular air cleaner, please leave, I've have had many back fires with different motors with this same type of air cleaner, not once has it caught on fire. Even if it did catch on fire there's this thing they call a FIREWALL.
 
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gwmax65

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AWESOME MAN!!! I needed this, think ive talked to you on FB before. Im balls deep in mine as we speak. Just bought all my gaskets, timing chain, ect. Hoping to get it going in the next week or two. Lots of little things i didnt think of.

Thanks for this thread bro!

You're welcome! Happy I could help out! :)
 
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If you came here to just bash on my edelbrock triangular air cleaner, please leave, I've have had many back fires with different motors with this same type of air cleaner, not once has it caught on fire. Even if it did catch on fire there's this thing they call a FIREWALL.

I actually came on here because I didn't remember doing a magnum swap and the title made it look like i had something to do with it ;)
then when I saw you were using that piece of kindling for an airfliter, I figured I would give you a heads up
but, if your fine with an engine fire, as long as it doesn't spread passed the firewall, that's fine by me
 

Shainesboostin

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You didnt use the intake manifold gaskets on the front and back off the block? I bought a set, but see some people say just use RTV at front and rear. Seems sketchy to me. Love the air cleaner btw. Seriously.
 

Shainesboostin

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Covering some good stuff! Lots of the little details are tough. (Kickdown linkage has almost killed me).
 

Shainesboostin

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Also, did your pan and gasket look like this?

Dosent look like itll seal. The pan ridge comes UP.

Pan 2.jpg


Pan 3.jpg


Pan.jpg
 

gwmax65

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(Covering this again for other people even though we talked about it on FB)

I've done 2 of these Magnum swaps now and have used the 1 piece oil pan seal with no problems + no trimming of any sorts on any gaskets/seals on both of my Magnum swaps, serpentine or V belt. Come to think of it I do believe having somewhat of the same problem you're having, but then found out it fixes itself perfectly in place by stretching as you begin to bolt it to the motor. Maybe they make 2 different one piece seals, maybe it's something to do with your oil pan, or maybe as I said it just needs a little help by being bolted on/having it stretch. Remember to use RTV in the corners of the front and rear main bearing caps after you've figured out if that seal will work for you.

Thanks! I love these air cleaners to death as well. Yes I'm trying to be very particulate and get every detail I possibly can on here for future reference + to help others :). Finishing my 2nd Magnum swap and did the same as before with the RTV on the front & rear of the intake, absolutely no leaks. You can use those gaskets if you want but I'm just going off of what I've found out and know that works. I'm also constantly updating & editing this thread so give it a refresh every now and again, hope that seal works out on your oil pan!
 

Scottd9990

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I like the paint job. When you installed the magnum did you chains or just the plate that mounts to the top of the intake manifold. I am always cautious about using one of those to support the weight of the motor.

I am not sure I understand your question? I used stock motor mounts, mine had la340 before.

IMG_0397.JPG
 

Scottd9990

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I think I get it now. You mean when installing the motor?? I used chain from front head bolt to opposite rear head bolts. Use the bolts that mount power steering and rear ground strap locations.
 
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gwmax65

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how much horsepower did the 318 magnum make? (gwmax65) version

According to Allpar.com they make 220 HP @4400 and 295 Torque @3200

I'm inclined to believe that they make way more power than what they say, it HAULS!
 

Purcell69

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I latched on to this forum after seeing a Facebook post about Magnum swaps. I'm blending a few vehicles together to make something I enjoy driving and I need some help sorting out the "must haves" for the factory fuel injection.

I have a 1957 Chevrolet truck that I have mounted on a modified 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 4wd chassis. I wanted the better riding suspension offered by the Dodge components with modern upgrades like power steering and disc brakes. To keep things "simple" , I kept all the Dodge running gear instead of using common Chevy parts. The donor Ram had a 5.9 Magnum with an automatic transmission. The motor had been overheated by the previous owner and was partially disassembled, meaning none of the engine harness components were connected.

I have the factory service manual for 1994, so I can sort out what connector goes where, I just need to sort down what circuits are required for the engine and transmission. I have a Ron Francis wire works harness to handle the rest of the chassis.

image.jpeg


I don't want to take the easy way out and run GM running gear.

I know the MOPAR guys are out there and someone has had to have sorted out the MPFI for the Magnum in other vehicles, like 'A' bodies. Truth be known, I'm a MOPAR guy from way back.

Anyway, any help is appreciated. I want to have this truck moving under its own power on fuel injection in 2017.

No hijack intended.

-Joe
 
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