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How do I get more power out of my 318?

This is a discussion on How do I get more power out of my 318? within the Engine & Performance forums, part of the 1st Gen : 1981 - 1993 category!
heck i picked up a stock 4bbl intake and carb last year for free. i didn't need it but i ...

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Old 12-31-2016, 01:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ram Year: 81 93
Engine: 5.2
heck i picked up a stock 4bbl intake and carb last year for free. i didn't need it but i wasn't going to turn it down.

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81 dodge d150 custom long box 318 670CFM Holley Street Avenger Carb
89 RamCharger 4x4 318/727/3.21 on 33's
93 ramcharger 318 FI 2wd
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ram Year: 1991
Engine: 318
Originally Posted by Jimmy68 View Post
This is such an easy job to do and it seems to be getting lost and confused in conversation.
Yes, it all costs money. But if your at the chain swap then put in a nice cam and lifters. Unless you just can't afford them.
4BBL is nice and a nice Edelbrock perfomer RPM manifold would be nice.
I happened to use a stock 4BBL manifold (hard to find now) and a wrecker 750 Q-jet off a 350. Nice and cheap. I had a 360. But a Q-jet off a 305 or 307 will fit the bill for you. Q-jet came stock as 500cfm/750cfm and 800cfm (hard to find, off some Big blocks).
Heddman headerare nice and fit well without modification in my old truck. Quality was good and price was $200 at the time
Mini starter is like $60 at the wrecker.
All done your still looking at several hundred bucks by the time your done.
We know, but the problem always is the same. Someone asks about replacing a cam for more power and the rest of the motor is stock, so ensues the conversation of you can't get there from here. I've been involved in these discussions since I got my first car in 1974, a Chevelle SS with the 375 HP 396, and all my buddies who had bought small block Chevys or mopars all asked the same question. Back then it was a little easier because most small blocks at least had higher compression, and better flowing heads a d came stock with a 4 barrel.

Last edited by Sniper X; 12-31-2016 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Ram Year: 1999
Engine: 5.9 Magnum
Magnum cylinder heads would be a nice improvement, however an improved-design set that won't crack between the valves will run around $600, not to mention the cost of converting the block to accept the heads. They'll bolt on just fine, but the valvetrain oiling is very different between a Magnum engine and an LA engine. If you simply bolt a pair of Magnum heads onto an LA block without proper conversion, you will destroy the valvetrain very quickly.

You note that your distributor advance isn't functioning correctly. This will yield similar results to the "death flash" on the Magnum engine. In other words, the harder you try to accelerate, the "heavier" the boat anchor that is now your engine becomes. Fix this or you will never realize anything that even remotely resembles performance.

Other vacuum leaks? Any single vacuum leak can screw with how an engine performs, let alone what several will do. Fuel-injected engines can adapt to small leaks depending on where they are. A carbureted engine can't detect and adjust to any leak so even a small leak could lean out your mixture.

Factory engine? Exhaust "upgrades" won't net you much if anything at all. It's actually quite easy to kill your low-end power while picking up miniscule top-end gains by fiddling with the exhaust. DO NOT fall into the "true dual straight pipe" trap. Sure it looks cool, but there is no easier way to 1. kill your low-end torque, 2. make your truck sound obnoxious as hell. Stick to a single exhaust with slightly upsized pipes all around and you'll pick up some mid-range without significantly affecting low-end. Summit offers El Cheapo headers for Magnum heads for $200 and these are a direct fit on LA heads. Nevermind the gaskets that come with them, spend a little extra for quality gaskets and you'll thank yourself later.

Good choice on the carb. As wolfie said, it's nice to see that you aren't trying to "overcarburete" the engine. That cfm rating sounds appropriate for a mild 318.

No cam? No good. If you're gonna swap to a four-barrel and appropriate manifold and open up the exhaust, that "sausage" grind is going to bottleneck the entire setup. The later Magnum OEM cams were pretty soft, but they were still good enough to generate 245 horsepower. Your setup is rated for 140 horsepower, so I can only imagine how soft the cam is in that.

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