Parts needed and compatibility

Uncle Bob

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I'm going to look at a Magnum motor/trans out of a van to go into a 77 commercial chassis van with a 360 LA/727 combo. The magnum is injected (factory), and the 360 has a 2bbl carb on it.

I hope to just do a basically direct swap - no intake swap, no timing cover swap, etc. So it's given that I will need a high-pressure fuel pump, maybe a "pump on a stick". The 360 mounts should bolt directly to the Magnum, AFAIK. The Magnum is supposed to have been a running engine pulled out recently so I know the parts are compatible with each other.

What electronics will I need to run the injectors, ignition, and transmission? I also wondered if it just has a single computer/wiring harness or do I need to have multiple parts to get it to work? The more I read it seems I would need to add a bunch of sensors and rig things up to get it running, is that true?

I probably overlooked other things, so please speak up if you notice anything.

I'd really like to just do a straight engine swap but am skeptical because that would just be too easy for kind of luck I have.

Thanks for any info!!
 

Uncle Bob

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Magnumswap.com
Thanks

That site seems more oriented to stripping it down to the bare minimum, but what I want to do is keep as much of the original as possible.

I've already just about talked myself out of it being easy, or for that matter, a good idea. The vehicle has power steering and A/C so I'd have to adapt what comes with the Magnum to work and I'm not really interested in taking the motor apart at all to set up to use the LA parts. The longer I look, the less attractive it is.
 

RustyRatRod

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Thanks

That site seems more oriented to stripping it down to the bare minimum, but what I want to do is keep as much of the original as possible.

I've already just about talked myself out of it being easy, or for that matter, a good idea. The vehicle has power steering and A/C so I'd have to adapt what comes with the Magnum to work and I'm not really interested in taking the motor apart at all to set up to use the LA parts. The longer I look, the less attractive it is.
I'll admit, it's certainly not what I'd call a bolt in turnkey swap. If you're looking for something with minimal trouble, just go with the LA engine.
 

Uncle Bob

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I just went out and reminded myself of what a charlie foxtrot it is going to be to pull the engine. TBH I'd rather scrap this thing and go into debt for a brand new one but that's my practical brain thinking, not my real one.

The engine that's in it would start and idle without smoking but as it warmed up it smoked more and more and was as liable to die leaving a stop as it was to run. It was a recipe for a break down.

I still haven't pulled the heads to see if they're just flat worn out or not. The engine has about 80k on it if the odo is correct. I know valve seals cause smoke at start up then clean up after that burns off - this is doing the opposite. Is there a typical head problem that could cause that? Valve guides have been mentioned but I don't know.
 

RustyRatRod

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I just went out and reminded myself of what a charlie foxtrot it is going to be to pull the engine. TBH I'd rather scrap this thing and go into debt for a brand new one but that's my practical brain thinking, not my real one.

The engine that's in it would start and idle without smoking but as it warmed up it smoked more and more and was as liable to die leaving a stop as it was to run. It was a recipe for a break down.

I still haven't pulled the heads to see if they're just flat worn out or not. The engine has about 80k on it if the odo is correct. I know valve seals cause smoke at start up then clean up after that burns off - this is doing the opposite. Is there a typical head problem that could cause that? Valve guides have been mentioned but I don't know.
I have a friend who very recently got a 70s model van and it did the same thing. He put valve seals in it and cleared it up and it's one of the smoothest running small blocks I've ever seen. The original valve seals were broken all to pieces.
 

Uncle Bob

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I have a friend who very recently got a 70s model van and it did the same thing. He put valve seals in it and cleared it up and it's one of the smoothest running small blocks I've ever seen. The original valve seals were broken all to pieces.
It would be great if that was the problem with this one. I think I will still need to pull the heads instead of fighting with them in the chassis. IIRC there's not much room under the cover either.
 

JDMopar

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There's more room under the doghouse of a Dodge van with a small block than you would think. It wouldn't be any, if much harder to get the valve springs off than it would to get the head bolts loose.
As far as the Magnum motor goes, if you can get every piece of the wiring under the hood of the donor van, including the big fuse box and computer wiring, you will be WAY ahead of the game. From what I have read on here and a few other places, there are only 4 or 5 wires you need to identify and hook up to make it run as long as you have all the wiring. I am going to swap a 5.9 Magnum into an 88 D100 pickup and have all of the above-mentioned wiring complete and uncut. I've yet to find the time to sit down and figure it out though. I've got a friend who said he'd print me out a wiring diagram for the 1998 Dodge 3500 my Magnum came out of so I can figure it out. Good luck to you whichever way you decide to go.
:thumbsup:
 

67Dart273

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OP if I were you and you are attempting to tackle this yourself, you need to scare up a service manual for the donor vehicle. I do wish I was better acquainted with all this, but the fact is I don't have time. There is or used to be a harness you could buy online to do so but they were not cheap. Sounds like you are intending to use the computerized transmission? Is this a 2wd trans? I've been told that "if" the vehicle had security system (OEM) options that could be a problem, but others have contested that.

There are or were various Dodge/ Ram / etc forums that had a few service manuals for download.
 

Uncle Bob

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There's more room under the doghouse of a Dodge van with a small block than you would think. It wouldn't be any, if much harder to get the valve springs off than it would to get the head bolts loose.
I don't remember what it looks like under the doghouse but I thought of those rusty exhaust studs/bolts and think it would be wise of me to at least try to do the seals with the heads in place if possible.
you are attempting to tackle this yourself
I've talked myself right out of the engine swap. Even disregarding the hassle of the engine R&R it seems like more trouble and/or expense than it's worth.
 
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