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Technical 318 LA and 904 transmission

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bambamshere, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
    Member

    Hopefully the post is ok here. Ok so bought a 1974 Cuda 318 LA with a 904 transmission. Everything is stock in it and was rebuilt a few years back but every thing stock was put back in. I am planing on putting this in a 1956 Fargo. I took the 2 barrel intake off the other day and the heads just to see what I have. There is no sludge and .030 pistons. Now I have been looking at cam kits that come with the cam, lifters, springs and timing chain. The timing chain is single not double.

    I do have a question. My buddy is somewhat of a mechanic. Works on a lot of old cars. Keeps telling me to get double roller timing chain. I am not going to be racing or anything like it. Do I really need one?

    The cam kit I have been looking at. https://www.summitracing.com/dom/parts/cca-k20-221-3

    I have also seen on here about mild cams. What would be considered a mild cam for 318 LA motor.

    Now for intake. I will be getting a 4 barrel intake. Maybe Edelbrock Performer with a 650 carburetor or a Weiand Action+Plus with a Holley 670 Carburetor. Both intakes are dual plane. I will be using my original heads for now. Not sure with the Edelbrock performer if I will need 340 heads. Think I read that along the way.

    Any help would be good thank you in advance.
     
  2. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,335

    BJR
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  3. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,816

    gene-koning
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    That 318/904 will work well in that 56 Fargo.

    Talking cams is a tough issue, so many other things play into a cam selection. The cam shown is pretty big for a daily driven street motor, hence the "extreme energy" a simple "high energy would probably work better on the street. I would suggest not much bigger then the numbers of a stock 340 cam, but knowing what compression numbers those pistons are would have an effect on the cam choice. Hotter cams don't like low compression pistons, and just because the parts in your 318 are "replacement" stock parts, it doesn't mean there are not improved stock parts. Upgrades may already be present. The 904 will help, and the rear end gear would also make a difference. What you are expecting as far as performance, and how you intend to drive the Fargo will have a huge effect on cam choice.

    Being in Canada, you might want an intake with the heat crossover and an electric choke on the carb, it will have much better street manors in cooler weather, so you wouldn't be limited to strictly mid summer driving.

    The double roller timing chain isn't a requirement, but if your changing the cam, one would sure want to be sure the timing chain and gears are in good shape.

    If you build a lot of power, an unmodified 904 will be on the edge of a long life, depending on how you drive it.

    Starting out talking about a 74 Cuda on a traditional board probably wasn't a good starting point, and most of the guys here associate a 318 with a grandma car. They don't think you can make any power from them, and they assume they are unreliable, but some of us know better. Gene
     
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  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,693

    41rodderz
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    from Oregon

    You meant to say you bought a 1964 Cuda with said engine/trans. combo . ;)
     
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  5. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
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    no I wish buddy bought a 440 for his 1970 Cuda and this 318 was in it. I also have a 354 Hemi. That motor will take a few years to build
     
  6. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 323

    jaracer
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    Back when I worked at a Dodge dealership your questions would have been easy to answer. Back in the late 70's and 80's you picked up a Direct Connection catalog and it was all there. In fact the double row timing chain from Direct Connection was less expensive than the stock part. The old Purple Shaft was a good street cam.

    The A904 is pretty stout as long as it is in a fairly light vehicle. The trick to longevity on a TorqueFlite is proper throttle linkage adjustment. Also, adjusting the rear band will help prevent rear band from breaking.
     
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  7. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
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    It is a 1970 Cuda that my buddy has. He bought a 440 to put in it. I got the 318 till I put together my 354 hemi. That won't be for about 3 to 4 years.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
  8. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,238

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    A Holley 600 is plenty on the 318. The Performer cam & intake is a small upgrade from stock, probably be fine in a truck that's a driver.
     
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  9. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,238

    George
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    Best I recall, the 340 heads have bigger ports & valves, but drop the C/R some.
     
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  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
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    yup, 318 ports (intake and exhaust) are pretty small compared to 340 and 360 ports. Although in the 1980s(?) they went to the larger ports on the 318, possibly related to putting 4bbls on them? It's all a bit foggy...do some more research so you'll know.
     
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  11. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,770

    BLAKE
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    I put that same combo into this '66 Barracuda and it ran great. Motor was stock from salvage (Thanks, @FLAT-TOP BOB) with an Edelbrock intake and 650 carb, trans was a core I had rebuilt to stock.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  12. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
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    Be great to get 340 heads right now but unfortunately I really can't afford between 1200 to 1700 dollars right now

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
  13. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
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    I thought the edelbrock intake needed 340 or 360 heads

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
  14. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,310

    derbydad276
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    have the heads gone through at your local machine shop ...or just exchange them for a off the shelf set of 360 heads my guess the engine from the early 70's running on unleaded fuel.. the exhaust seats guides and valves will be shot
    since I'm guessing that this isn't a race truck...
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cca-k20-208-2/make/dodge
     
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  15. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,770

    BLAKE
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    Nope. Edelbrock 2176 fits the LA motors, including 318.
     
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  16. NWRustyJunk
    Joined: Jan 2, 2017
    Posts: 318

    NWRustyJunk
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    You could find a set of newer 1.88 valve heads. They were made in the late '80s and early '90s. They flow a little bit better than the older 318 heads.
     
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  17. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,816

    gene-koning
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    The small port 318 heads work with the large port 340/360 intake just fine on a street motor until you get above 4500 rpm, then they sort of run out of air. The small ports actually give you better throttle response off idle. The 340 & 360 heads will cost you compression. Gene
     
  18. whateverit takes
    Joined: Sep 5, 2013
    Posts: 49

    whateverit takes
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    from new york

    I have a 318LA/904 combo in my OT 68 Dodge Coronet Station Wagon with the same camshaft (I advise you to degree it or have it done). I added a double roller timing chain and I recommend it as it allows easier camshaft timing when degreeing said cam. As for heads I have the stock "920" castings which are stock on the 68 engine and have smaller combustion chambers allowing a little more compression. It is a stock 68 318 which had about 67,000 miles I was told when I paid $150 to the previous owner. I have 2.94 gears in the rear axle. I designed my combo around good low end torque and mpg in a heavy vehicle with no aerodynamics. I also have an Edelbrock Performer intake with a matching #1406 carb with electric choke. I had the 904 trans rebuilt to stock specs as a precaution but it had been running fine behind my previous 318 engine. This has been my daily driver for 5 years. I recently moved from NY to Fl and drove the wagon during the move getting slightly over 17 mpg. I hope this helps. If the photo is breaking the rules, please delete. 68 Longroof resize.jpg
     
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  19. whateverit takes
    Joined: Sep 5, 2013
    Posts: 49

    whateverit takes
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    from new york

    I should add that I used to have a 49 B1B Dodge Panel Truck with a rebuilt 340 and an A518 overdrive transmission with 3:55 gears and it was a blast to drive. 49 Dodge Panel Truck.jpg 49 Dodge Panel Truck 1.jpg
     
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  20. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,750

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    I bought a 75 Dodge 1/2 ton that had an Edelbrock intake a 600 holley and headers. Ran great and had good power. Sold it to a guy who put a 440 in it and ruined it. Too much weight on the nose.
     
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  21. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
    Member

    So you left the old camshaft in it that came with motor. I have a original Schneider cam if anyone has heard of that before. I don't think it is anything to do with the racing cams. I found on the internet that the factory camshaft which this is. The 318 LA 2 barrel has a 373/400 intake/exhaust and 240/248 and the Duration. The 360 has a 410/412 intake and exhaust and 252/256 duration. I was looking because I want to put 4 barrel on it looking for what a 4 barrel 340 and 360 had and that was a 430/444 Intake and Exhaust and 268/276 duration. That way I thing I could use same springs at least. I have a double roller timing chain coming right now.

    If I can change lifters and cam and timing chain I should be good. I think or should I change springs also since I already have heads off?
     
  22. whateverit takes
    Joined: Sep 5, 2013
    Posts: 49

    whateverit takes
    Member
    from new york

    If your question about the "old camshaft in it that came with the motor" is for me, no I swapped in the Comp Cams bumpstick you have in the link. Very good results.
     
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  23. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,238

    George
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    The cam maker probably has recommended springs. But, if your's are original, they've probably got a lot of miles on them
     
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  24. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,310

    derbydad276
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    a518 trans is the way to go
     
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  25. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
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    Oh ok the kit I have in my orignal post. Still thinking about it.
     
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  26. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
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    The link to kit that I have in my first post comes with springs in it.
     
  27. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,238

    George
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    solves that question...
     
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  28. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,217

    stubbsrodandcustom
    Member
    from Spring tx

    Well I got the same truck just dodge.. same motor and trans... its got a mild cam... I did splurge and get the 302 casting heads when I rebuild but had the 675 on there when she was stock, Stock heads depending on the year are good... Dont expect the stock springs to hold up to anything over 5-5.5k rpm, you will float some valves... With a decent size tire expect to be 3000 rpm at 80 mph... Probably have put over 60k miles on this old truck over the last 10 years. Trans is still a 1969 trans NOT rebuilt, only a fluid change and a few seals. Motor was rebuilt and didnt need to be honestly, dont worry about single vs double chain man, for a street truck, no huge HP its not worth it... Singles in 318 lasted how many hundred thousand miles? Ill try to snap a photo of my engine in there for you tonight.. Hope this helps.. Tip of the day; Don't get all caught up in the IFS front end crap either, these trucks ride good, and make a ford or chevy look like a flat wagon in that department, plus dodge/fargo had the best turning radius of these years.
     
  29. Bambamshere
    Joined: Oct 24, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Bambamshere
    Member


    That's good to here. I got this truck about 3 years ago at least home. I have been thinking of doing this for a bit actually. Did you install this motor in your truck? If so do you have pictures of motor mounts or the measurements for them? Lots of stuff to consider.

    This truck has been in family since it was new and was farm truck before I got to it. There is a flathead 6 in it right now and not good for highway. It was put in to truck 10 years ago because the original had a rod go through the block. The engine now that is in it is a 251 out of a combine. Not much get up and go in it. The 318 that is going in to it is not the final motor. But it is a upgrade. I bought a 354 Hemi that will take a few years to build.
     
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  30. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,217

    stubbsrodandcustom
    Member
    from Spring tx

    Yeah I installed it, I can try to get you some rough dimensions, I notched my firewall to push the motor back... So mine would be different, along with you trying to throw a 354 in there after...
     
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