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Technical 318 Engine Install In 1955 Dodge Pickup Truck???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flat Six Fix, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    On this truck, do not believe any off setting is necessary, as with the cars. The 55 dodge trucks did come with the poly V8s too.

    Hi Frankie, yup already have the 904 waiting in the wings a non lock up type. Yes the smog motor is a not high perf, but is still a lot more umph than a stock tired flattie. I have driven those cars with that engine, and although not real fast more balls than a stock flathead 6 cyl engine......
     
  2. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Just went to get gas for the truck. It is very cold here today, it actually snowed a bit last night, 45 f with a stiff 35-40 mph northwest wind.
    I drove onto the highway, against this wind, very slow to get to speed once I shifted from 3rd to 4th, with the 3.23 gears in the diff.
    Got to 60 mph, then had no trouble holding her there although the pedal was closer to the metal for this.
    Now this is what I want to correct, I am not looking for big power or anything, but do want to cruise comfortably at 65-70 mph, which is good in thee parts, but do not want to spend the day getting there either.
    So what do I do with this,flathead 6 cyl speed parts, and get about 150-170 hp and 5 spd, or swap into the V8 318 LA smogger.
    I am not backing out, just really love these old flathead engines, and mine is the big 251, a 265 with triple carbs,headers, hot cam, venolia pistons would be nice though, and traditional..
     
  3. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535

    50dodge4x4
    Member

    Ok, I commented on your other thread concerning the flathead 6, but let me cover this one as well. I have installed a 360 into a 54 Dodge truck, but that one I used an F, M & J body subframe (cross torsion bar Volare k member & suspension) and that is not what your looking for. I have also installed a 360 in a 55 Dodge panel van, but that one was already modified with a Mopar big block before we started. All that given, I have installed a lot of Mopar V8s in a lot of 40s Mopar cars.

    You can round up the poly parts and install the LA motor using the original V8 parts, with some modifications, if you can find them. I wouldn't be surprised if someone makes a bolt in kit either. If you have some welding skills, its not hard to make the mounts. La motor mounts are towards the front on both sides of the motor, and the rear mount is on the tail shaft of the trans. The motor mounts, bolted to the motor will sit inside the truck frame rails, so you have to build brackets out from the motor mounts to attach to the frame rails. You will also have to make a transmission cross member, because the original truck didn't have one. The original transmission hung from side mounts at the bell.

    Remove the old motor & transmission. It will be a lot easier if you remove all the front sheet metal as a first step, then you won't have to climb over, under, and around it. You are going to have to trim off your original transmission bell mounting brackets. Be careful trimming the driver side bracket if your keeping the under floor master cylinder. so you don't weaken the master cylinder bracket. Bolt your "new" motor & transmission together, and I would also have your motor mount brackets and exhaust manifolds bolted to the motor as well. Attach chains and cherry picker (or what ever you use to swap motors) to the motor/trans combo. The concept is we are going to hang the motor & trans into the motor cavity with the picker, so we can position the motor in its best location to clear everything. Be aware some firewall modification may be required to position the motor correctly (the passenger side, right side, head sits farther rare ward the the driver side, left, head). Two things you need to understand. 1) The intake carb mounting flange sets the motor at a 3 degree angle (back lower) when the flange is level. The motor is designed to run with that carb flange level. You want to make that carb flange as level as possible, front to back, and side to side. 2) As the motor and trans are in position, the center line of the crankshaft & transmission shaft have to be parallel with the pinion shaft on the rear end. (or 90 degrees to the axle tubes if you would rather). The center lines don't have to be inline, they can be off set right, or left, and/or up or down, but they have to be lined up in the same direction.(or 90 degrees to the axle tubes). The u joints in the drive shaft can accommodate up to a 30 degree offset. You will have to adjust the motor & trans location to accommodate the u joint tolerances. (a 10 -15 degree u joint angle is the preferred angle). Remember you have to keep the drive line center lines correct.

    Transmission crossmember. The trans crossmember will need to attach to both sides of the frame rails, and each side needs to attach to both the upper and the lower frame rail flanges. Not attaching to both the upper & the lower flanges will eventually break a chunk off the frame flange and the trans will be dangling in the breeze in preparation of the catastrophic failure to shortly come. The center of the crossmember will attach to the transmission mount. I usually use an 1/8" wall 1" x 2" rectangular tube for the trans crossmember. Often the tube will sit on top of the upper rail flange. I will cut & flange the ends so it can be bolted to the upper frame flange, then I will add and angle iron bracket to bolt between the crossmember tube and the lower flange on each side Everything bolts together, both sides basically the same. Once the motor & trans are in a good location, mark & drill the trans mount holes into the crossmember tube. I usually will drill the holes all the way through the tube, the drill a larger hole in the bottom so the nut & socket can fit through to tighten the trans mount bolts. Mount the transmission tail shaft first, be sure the u joint angles are good.

    Motor mounts. Once the trans is positioned, we move forward to the motor mount frame brackets. You have brackets that bolt onto the motor, rubber mounts that bolt to those brackets, and brackets the fit between the rubber mounts and the frame rails. Remember that you have to keep the drive line center lines in correct alignment, and the carb flange as level as possible. If you positioned your motor carefully, everything should clear everything, it simply a matter of connecting the rubber mounts to the frame. You are on your own, I'm not going to pretend I remember how to make those frame brackets. I prefer 1/8" thick steel, and I prefer to bolt onto the upper & lower frame flanges if possible, but I have welded the frame brackets to the frame rails in the past. I prefer to make bolting the rubber onto the frame brackets as easily as possible (for future rubber mount changes if ever needed). You should be able to handle the rest of the job. As you see, it involves some work to install a V8 in one of these.

    Lets talk about that smogger 318. Yes, 74 was about as bad as it got, but they are not hopeless. The biggest restriction on the 318 was the single exhaust system. It limited the amount of exhaust that could exit the motor. Simple dual exhaust using the original exhaust manifolds is a huge improvement (better flowing manifolds are around, and headers are another better step). The 2nd issue is the small 2bbl carb. The 3rd issue is the cam timing, Mopar retarded the cam timing to meet 74 emissions! A dual exhaust with the stock manifolds, a 2bbl carb of a 360, or a small 4 bbl carb, and an aftermarket timing chain & gears will wake up the 318. A cam from a 360 will be an improvement, but one from a 340 will be a pretty big improvement, and there are aftermarket cams that will kick butt. The trick is don't get carried away, a monster high lift, long duration, big valve overlap cam is a waste of money with the low compression. Now if your going to spring for pistons....Don't buy a cam that makes power over 4500- 5,000 rpm, the motor won't see those rpms on the street with a 3:23 rear axle. A 904 will work fine behind that 318, but get it rebuilt before its installed, and add a trans cooler. Gene
     
  4. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    mega thanx Gene, what a great tutorial. Now I have not made final decisions, as I do have a liking to Mopar flatheads, but will keep all posted....
     
  5. 1955_dodge
    Joined: Mar 6, 2013
    Posts: 5

    1955_dodge
    Member

    Hello,
    I have a 1955 C1 with a 1973 318. I bought the truck with this engine already swapped with a A904 transmission. So far not too many problems besides breaking an ear off the torque converter and breaking the right engine mount. Here are a few pictures of the engine.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,325

    73RR
    Member


    What is the front clip from?

    And as to the 'smogger' label for the post 72 engines, remember that for 1972, ALL manufacturers
    started using net hp/tq numbers so they are really not as bad as folks tend to think......the biggest change for Mopar was a just drop in c/r.

    .
     
  7. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,459

    greybeard360
    Member

    318 going into a 51 Dodge.... had to sink the steering gear backet into the frame for a little clearance on left side.

    CAM00044.jpg CAM00049.jpg CAM00053.jpg CAM00056.jpg
     
  8. 1955_dodge
    Joined: Mar 6, 2013
    Posts: 5

    1955_dodge
    Member

    As far as I know, no front clip. Was a V8 truck originally and things have just been welded to the stock frame. Has a Chevy power steering unit and a Chevy column but have had the kingpins done with the stock '55 kit. My drive shaft has been modified and I am guessing by the look of the welds, not balanced.
     
  9. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,325

    73RR
    Member

    ...aahhhh.....the steering box raised the question and I couldn't see the rest of the stuff.

    .
     
  10. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Hi all, been a while, but getting back into the (OT) 1974 318 engine, gave here a nice paint job today, this engine was super clean, new gaskets for the most part too.
    I have the Holley 2 bbl carb, and the dizzy with electronic ignition too.
    My big ?, what do I need to plumb in for emissions, what can I bypass or eliminate.
    I will be using it with a A 904 trans...Here is a pic of the engine, gonna be dual exhaust with stock manifolds, not looking for big pwer, just nice reliable powertrain
     
  11. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Pic of the aforementioned engine.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    I most likely will have to retain the EGR valve, but need to figure it all out to make it work.
    I have heard these engines like to ping without an EGR in the mix.
    I will be running dual exhaust off stock manifolds no catalytic converter, no issues with emissions compliance in my jurisdiction.
     
  13. IADodge
    Joined: Jul 5, 2015
    Posts: 4

    IADodge

    I think if you get a standard carb and a electronic ignition dist, you shouldn't need to worry about the EGR. The 340 in my old Duster didn't have a EGR and I didn't have a singing problem.
    I am swapping my 54 truck cab and box unto a 92 Dakota frame. Actually bought 2 360s. One for the Ol' Dodge and one for my JEEP.
    I don't plan on using a EGR on either of them.
     
  14. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Okay sounds good to me....
     
  15. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Any chance you could take pics of the motor mounts and trans crossmember please, if possible.....thanx Fred
     
  16. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    For those who have installed an LA 318 and 904/727 trans into a 54-57 Dodge truck, what did yall do for a trans crossmember? I am trying to get all good and ready for the big swap, and am trying to get as much ready in advance.
    Now here is a ? for the Transmission Gurus, bought a 1975 A 904 trans, outside case awa a bit dirty, cleaned it all up, the trans fluid is clean and bright, going to drop the pan, to inspect.
    I am doing this swap on "poverty build" so may install this trans as is, would put in new fluid and filter, etc, though. Any advice on this one.....thanx in advance
     
  17. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

  18. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,325

    73RR
    Member

    If the fluid is bright and clean then it sounds like a good choice. Check for garbage stuck in the pan just in case the fluid was changed prior to you getting the trans.

    .
     
    270dodge likes this.
  19. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535

    50dodge4x4
    Member

    On my truck I made a pretty simple angle iron crossmember. I used 1/4" x 2" x 2" angle and attached the angle to the frame with at least grade 5 3/8" x 1" long bolts with washers and lock nuts on all. One piece runs side to side and sits on (and is bolted to) the top of the bottom flange of the frame. Then on each side is a short piece of angle that attaches (bolted) to the bottom angle, about 6" from the center on each side and goes to the bottom of (and is bolted to) the top flange on the frame above the bottom angle iron.. The ends of these two pieces of angle are notched and bent so they sit flat against the frame rail flanges. At the center of the bottom angle, a plate is welded that the trans rubber mount will bolt to. The 1/4" x 2" x 2" angle is stout enough to support the trans, and by bolting to both the upper and the lower frame flanges, it spreads the load enough the frame doesn't have any long term issues. The most difficult part is drilling the holes in the top flanges.

    On the 904 trans, I would take a good look at the torque converter snout that goes into the trans. I have seen several that develop cracks at the edges of the machined slots. If there are cracks there, you will want to replace the converter. Be sure the converter is fully seated in the trans before you tighten up the bell housing bolts, and don't forget to have the flex plate bolted to the trans before you bolt up the trans. It sucks to have the trans all bolted up and find the flex plate laying there! Not that I have done such a thing, mind you......Gene
     
  20. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    sounds good Gene, got any pics or a drawing of this trying to picture in my mind how this is.....thanx
     
  21. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Was also thinking of using a clutch housing crossmember off a 1955 dodge 1 ton, I can install it from rail to rail, then weld on a pad for the 904 to mount too.
    It would be the same as the 1 on the truck, now, but I can leave that 1 undisturbed, and it will be stronger too.
    Does sound like it would work?
     
  22. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535

    50dodge4x4
    Member

    I don't have any pictures of my cross member, it was a few years back. Kind of picture a K laid on its back with the legs sticking up. the top of the "K" connects to the frame flanges on one side, the bottom of the "K" attaches to the frame flanges on the other side, and the trans bolts to the center.

    Flat Six. You could use the original clutch housing crossmember from your truck, but you will want to modify it to bolt up to the 904 trans mount, fit the frame at the rear of the trans and make it so it could be removed if you need to pull the trans. That might be enough modifications that it might be easier to start from scratch. If you leave it in its original location, it will be in the way of a lot of stuff. Gene
     
  23. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Update, have the trans at a shop whom I trust, very least it will get a seal kit, and shift kit.
    A good friend of mine, will be do all the welding and fabrication for the install, checked out some of his work again yesterday, and it is top notch.
    So will continue to gather parts for the swap, and anytime from now til spring it will get done in Buddys large heated shop, as it is friggin very cold and snowy here in winter.
    I will update as progress continues.
    The only warm up the 318 will get is dual exhaust and possibly a small 4 bbl carb and intake. I want to see what this engine is all about before going in too deep, pockets wise as I am a cheap a$$ to boot.
     
  24. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Hello does your exhaust pipes and manifolds clear the frame? Any chance of getting a few pics of that, the motor mounts and brackets to frame and trans cross member please.....thanx again
     
  25. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    UPDATE 5 years later decided to undertake this swap.
    More details to follow, here's the pics of work so far.
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    More pics
     

    Attached Files:

    Truckdoctor Andy and George like this.
  27. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
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    First start on 318 swap.
     
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  28. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,043

    Flat Six Fix
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    I did go for a short drive.
    While not a race truck power difference from flathead 6 is night and day.
     
  29. Looks and sounds like a great job. It’s so nice to see a Chrysler engine in a Fargo. I love my SBC’s, but that 318 is one heck of a fine engine. In fact, it’s my favorite Chrysler engine.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  30. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,816

    gene-koning
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    Is your trans crossmember bolted to that flange on the frame?
     

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