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Technical 1961 Dodge Dart truck questions.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Skiroule69, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Skiroule69
    Joined: Dec 29, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Skiroule69
    Member

    Sold my '57 Buick and am looking at a replacement project. It's a '61 Dodge 'Dart' pickup. 1/2 ton long box. V-8/4-speed trans. I have a couple questions about it, since I've never had one of these.

    First, the truck runs but the engine smokes. The seller isn't 100% on the engine displacement, but reading up on it I assume it's a polysphere V-8. Thinking about rebuild options and wondering if it'd just be simpler to replace it with an LA-series 318 or 360 for the time being and worry about the 'Poly' later on, if at all. I haven't found much for resources for these trucks online, but what I do seem to find indicates the bell housings between the Poly and the LA aren't the same. Can anyone confirm this? If they aren't, is there an adapter so I can mate the LA to the four-speed?

    Second, does anyone know what size wheel bolt pattern this thing has? It's a five-lug setup. Looking ahead to wheel swap options. Thanks guys! -Marc.
     
  2. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    I put a 360 in a truck like that and used the three-speed stick transmission. Bellhousing bolted up, but I had to get a flywheel balanced to the 360. That was 40 years ago, I don't remember what the flywheel was out of. I know it was a bit of a parts scramble to get it all together, but it is possible with all stock parts. I retained the original hydraulic clutch setup.
     
  3. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,395

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

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  4. Skiroule69
    Joined: Dec 29, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Skiroule69
    Member

    Ha! I thought the same thing! Apparently it's what Dodge called them in '61. In '62 it became the D-100 and the Dart became, well, the Dart.
     
  5. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,143

    earlymopar
    Member

    Assuming it's a 1/2 ton model, the bolt pattern is the usual 5 on 4.5" (Ford, Chrysler, Studebaker). The LA and A series (Poly) block are the same on the bell housing bolt pattern except for 1 hole. They do mate up.
    - EM
     
  6. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,267

    Squablow
    Member

    Never heard of a Dart pickup, learned something new today. How many miles are on the engine? I have to wonder if the smoking isn't a valve seal issue and not a rings/wear issue? Sometimes a valve job with new seals/seats is all it takes to make the smoke go away. Not everytime, but worth doing a compression and leakdown test (I think that's what you need to do to determine it, right?) just to see. 318 Poly is a good engine and known for long life, could be worth a shot.
     
  7. what Squablow said....I run 3 early poly's....good little engine.....
     
  8. carguy699
    Joined: Jan 16, 2013
    Posts: 81

    carguy699
    Member

    be advised that Chrysler changed the crank flange bolt pattern beginning in 1962 along with bell housing bolt pattern(although I believe the bell can be used. the flange difference will,however, determine what trans you can use with what engine.
    jim
     
  9. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 266

    Poh
    Member
    from Quincy,Ca.

    5 on 5.5 should be the bolt pattern for wheels, not sure on engines.


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  10. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,226

    manyolcars

    Its definitely not a traditional hotrod
     
  11. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,143

    earlymopar
    Member

    He asked about wheel bolt pattern as well, hence my reply of being (5) on 4.5"

    - EM
     
    Poh likes this.
  12. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,047

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hnstray, low budget and Poh like this.
  13. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 266

    Poh
    Member
    from Quincy,Ca.

    So the earlier trucks were the same bp as the cars? I know the later ones shared the large bolt pattern with Jeep and ford.. hence my reply.


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    Sorry, lapse in updates with my interweb , everyday is a school day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  14. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,143

    earlymopar
    Member

    I'm far from en expert but I believe that at least the 1/2 ton pickups were the same BP as the passenger cars.

    - EM
     
  15. Skiroule69
    Joined: Dec 29, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Skiroule69
    Member

    In the ad photos, it looks like it's got Mercury Mountaineer SUV wheels on it right now, so whatever that would be. 5 on 4.5 I guess? Looks like a pretty sweet old pickup.
     
    low budget likes this.
  16. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,553

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    I never heard of the trucks being called a dart either, but yeah they are 5 on 4.5, I cant remember specifically about the trucks but if they are like a lot of the old chrysler products the driver side will have left hand thread lug nuts/studs and the passenger right hand thread.

    Not that this pertains to your truck but the old pre 73 dart cars etc only had a 5 on 4 bolt circle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  17. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,260

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Yawn........very tiring reading this so often......
     
    57 Fargo likes this.
  18. Yes the drivers side of the truck will be left hand thread, and to confirm above responses, the bolt pattern is 5 on 4.5 just like the cars


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