engine build for reliability

Discussion in 'Small Block Mopar Engine' started by mrhinsjc, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. mrhinsjc

    mrhinsjc Member

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    So let's say you are going to build a small block and the most important goal is reliability. Say your daughter will be driving it. I have a 70 Duster and 69 Dart and both are pretty much blank slates. Both are 318s/ Here are a few of my thoughts.

    mini-starter
    Toyota alternator
    MSD ignition and distributor
    fuel injection? Not sure of type
    bypass alternator gauge, continuous high-current wire thru bulkhead fitting.

    What would you do? Say expense is no object.
     
  2. Plymouth 65

    Plymouth 65 Floorable Deplorable

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    This isn't going to go over well here. I'd buy her a new Honda Accord! Lol 65'
     
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    • Evan Dutch

      Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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      What is the benefit of a Toyota alternator?
       
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      • Willyrd

        Willyrd Well-Known Member

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        I'd throw a 3/4 speed in there to force her to stay off of her phone, I know fitech makes a very compact 2v efi system for like 800 bucks, I think pertronix would suffice, i'd also do an aluminum rad
         
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        • Willyrd

          Willyrd Well-Known Member

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          I have no idea, seems like it would just complicate the wiring
           
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          • Murray

            Murray FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I agree with a previous post. These cars are very reliable the way they are if they are maintained well- quality parts, good mechanical ability. The only thing that might improve it are some modern upgrades. They would be electronic ignition (Mopar) and a simple bolt-on fuel injection. The rest is just good maintenance- good rubber parts, hoses, belts, tires. Change all the fluids- engine, trans, P/S, brake, rear end. Good quality brakes. A new battery. I did these things for my kids.
             
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            • retractable

              retractable FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              My Daughter drives a 1967 Barracuda with a 273 with 2 bl carb. Points and std distributor . Rebuilt Mopar alternator. She had it repainted in 1989 but does not drive it in the winter here in Minnesota. Her Barracuda is very reliable and does not let her stranded on the road. Easy to work on and parts are available if needed. I would keep it more original.
               
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              • AJ/FormS

                AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

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                None of the above; electric fuel pump and AAA card.
                 
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                • dodge71demon

                  dodge71demon Well-Known Member

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                  da36b81fe3e3024cb8af0ad14bfa9775.jpg
                   
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                  • halfafish

                    halfafish 66 Valiant, hot-rod in training FABO Gold Member

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                    Hah! This will meet with ridicule, but if you really want reliability, pull that 318 and put in a slant. It will run forever...
                     
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                    • MrJLR

                      MrJLR Built, not bought FABO Gold Member

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                      A dead stock 318 is about as reliable as it gets.
                      Add a pinch of common sense and she'll be good to go.


                      Jeff
                       
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                      • diymirage

                        diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                        if expense is no issue i would buy two high compression 408 strokers
                        who cares if it blows, i got an extra on anyway
                         
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                        • Evan Dutch

                          Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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                          Now we’re talking.
                           
                        • Mattax

                          Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                          For reliability, pretty much stock. Use as much OEM and as few 'rebuilt' or 'remanufactured' or 'go fast' parts as possible. Use local rebuilder who does work him/herself whenever possible.

                          Modifications:
                          * The mini-starters are more reliable than the originals. But the originals aren't terrible. Also easy to change out. call this Optional.
                          * Alternator. Original will do fine unless the car will be running air conditioning, or idling a lot a night with lights & wipers on. A 'squareback' will handle that. Options will depend on load.
                          * Leave the ammeter alone. Its useful. Since you're in a humid climate, a parallel wire direct from the alternator output to the ammeter's altenrator side would add reliability. You could do the same from the fusible link to the ammeter's battery side. (aka Nacho's parallel bulkhead bypass).
                          * MSD distributor. NO. Not necessarily more reliable and the distributor will have a less efficient timing curve. Stock distributor is plenty reliable. Only issue with points is they do wear, the cam wears, and therefore they need regular maint. Good points and condensors are getting harder find (see Halifaxhops for good ones if none local). If that fails the 'reliability' requirement (and I can understand that) then go for a Chrysler built magnetic pickup version with correct advance.
                          * MSD ignition. The reliablility has varied over the years and there's really no need or advantage to a multi-spark CD ignition on stock engine. OTH it can be triggered by the points distibutor. Other options are Pertronix Ignitor I into the points distributor (check if that's doable), or an externally mounted genuine HEI module with a magnetic pickup distributor. Whatever is purchased, have a spare on hand.
                          * FI. No. More stuff to go wrong. Requires a new wiring strategy. All this to do what a carb does fine. If there was a ton of emmissions controls, then EFI can have an edge, but not for a '69.

                          Great engines.
                           
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                          • Wyrmrider

                            Wyrmrider Well-Known Member

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                            5.2 or 5.6 magnum
                            new timing chain
                            shift kit
                            spare crank angle sensor, coil might even mount the spare coil with some quick disconnects and show daughter how to swap- seems to be biggest failure point
                            second in line fuel pump fuel pressure gauge
                            should run just about forever 0W-40 eurospec Oil for those cold starts AGM battery

                            I had a new 68 318 that went 300k but would not want daughter to screw with carb car these days in Michigan
                            new 92 5.2 truck now over 250 k only call to AAA was crank angle sensor and coil died but not all at once
                            my daughter drove 77 Pacer wagon- also no failures but she was hard on reverse until I went 999 trans with double wrap band
                            (steep backing up driveway late to school when cold)
                             
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                            • MOPAROFFICIAL

                              MOPAROFFICIAL Well-Known Member

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                              Go with a 340'ish grind cast iron core hyd roller in a mag or late LA roller block and use factory spider and rollers.
                              Msd ignition all around.
                              Fi tech
                              Exh manifolds with 2 1/2 pipes.
                              Headers drag, or cost, or leak, or trap a starter sometimes....etc.
                              Otherwise a holley 600, for a girl now..,and extra needles and seats in the glove box and a tutorial on how to change them should be given to her.lol
                               
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                              • Wyrmrider

                                Wyrmrider Well-Known Member

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                                The magnum C.I exhausts are said to be better than the 360
                                stock magnum FI works fine
                                 
                              • Jadaharabi

                                Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Build the Duster
                                5.2 magnum with 600 cfm
                                Electric fuel pump
                                904 with good guts
                                Rebuilt frontend
                                Front disc brakes
                                Power steering
                                New shocks
                                MSD 6al with eletronic dist
                                Led light bulbs
                                Duel exhaust
                                Steel wheels w/hub caps
                                New tires
                                Painted a color she likes
                                 
                              • MoparMike1974

                                MoparMike1974 Well-Known Member

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                                A good upgrade for reliability is a deep trans pan and extra capacity oil pan. The stock pans are marginal in capacity, especially the engine.
                                 
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                                • Mattax

                                  Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                                  She's not racing it. Driving it around the island. Deep trans pan got trashed on the streets around here. I did install a small trans cooler, mostly because its has a higher than stock torque converter and does see uh hard use. I agree the stock oil pans are shallow. For autocrossing, a few well placed baffles are adequate. Probably didn't hurt for drag racing either, but don't see how its really a reliability issue on a stock 318.
                                   
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                                  • Mattax

                                    Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                                    Although strictly speaking not an engine reliability issue, there is one modification I that is very worthwhile if driving at night. Install a pair of fused relays for powering the headlights. This will take load off of the headlight switch, the connector, the hi/low switch, the little 18 gage wires to the lamps as well as the bulkhead connections for the headlights and the main line from the alternator. Member 'crackedback' sells a plug in kit, or you can go to Daniel Stern lighting for a diagram if you want to make your own.
                                     
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                                    • AJ/FormS

                                      AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

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                                      That is a great idea
                                      After I ran a large gauge wire to the headlights, my headlamp switch stopped stinking,lol,and my lights were much brighter
                                       
                                    • cuda620

                                      cuda620 Well-Known Member

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                                      Some great info here. I do agree with the 318 or the 225 though.
                                       
                                    • Cope

                                      Cope Well-Known Member

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                                      This, but rebuild the 318 they LAST FOR EVER.
                                      @TrailBeast for HEI. distributer
                                       
                                    • AJ/FormS

                                      AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

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                                      360's go just as far and long as 318s.
                                      With money no object I highly recommend a moderately cammed 360 with aluminum heads and cylinder pressure cranked up to 185psi, and a spreadbore carb. I got one of those to go 12.9/106 and 32 mpgs. OK wait, the 32 was with double overdrive lol; the final drive ratio was 1.966 lol.... 65 was 1530 or something.Unbelievable BB type, crapyurpants low-rpm torque.
                                       
                                      Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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