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Technical 318 T Bucket Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CoronetRTguy, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    Okay a new post. It has been a while since I posted a question on building a T Bucket. My questions have to do with using a 318 and a 904 transmission. My uncle has two complete motors and transmission. One is in a 1974 Charger that is a parts car and the other is in a Dodge Ram Van. I would say the year is late 70's or into the 80's.

    My first question is on the Hot Rod Magazine build. Can I really get 400 HP out of a 318? If so is there any flaws in their build?

    Could I also add a six pack setup that would work on a 340? I would only add the six pack set up due to the look. I'm not sure how much horse power it would truly add.

    Would there be a way of getting just a bit more horse power if I were to tweak the Hot Rod Magazine build? Also torque?

    With that horse power increase what would I need to do to the 904 transmission?

    My last question is. How short of a frame could I go with if I use a 318?

    My goal on frame size is 96" and to not exceed 101". I like the more compact look. My goal is a 1960's look. I think the more I dig into doing a build I'm leaning for a 60's look and a late 60's would be fine with me. Torque Thrust rear wheels. Not sure what front wheels. What would you go with?

    What would be the advantage of going with a model A frame?

    I'm thinking of not channeling the T Bucket when I do it. I know I would not lose the little leg room and I kind of dig the look.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. chessterd5
    Joined: May 26, 2013
    Posts: 640

    chessterd5
    Member
    from u.s.a.

    Hello, I can only give my opinion so here goes.
    1) yes you can get 400 hp. from a 318. but you really don't need it in a T-bucket. they are very light in the rear.
    2) you can add a six pack setup. but you really don't need it. A single 4-barrell or even a 2-barrell will serve you well & keep tuning & maintenance to a minimum.
    3) probably, but see question #1. The reason why most people don't build 318's is because you can pretty much build the same thing with a 360 & gain 40 cubes.
    4) Nothing, see question #1. In a light rod like a T-bucket a little horsepower goes along way & all the horsepower in the world is useless if you can't get it to the ground.
    5) I think you're in the right neighborhood for a modified. model - T frames are set up at 100 in. with springs on top, & with a suicide front end they range from about 103 to about 112 in. depending.
    6) a model a frame is wider than a model t frame.
    I hope this helps. A 318 with a 904 & a 8 3/4 in my opinion would make a very nice T-bucket in even stock condition with few maintenance worries & off the shelf parts!
     
  3. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 764

    35desoto
    Member

    X 2 What he said above - good wisdom. They are a great motor and it will serve you well
     
  4. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    I think a Mopar small block is an excellent idea...but 400 hp plus in a T is for bragging rights only.
    My T has a 454 and its darn fast...but thankfully its mild mannered so its easy to drive.
    Because its a big block it gets lots of Ooohs and Awwws from the spectators, but thats its only GOOD reason to be in there. I have a rebuildable 283 I would LOVE to have the funds to rebuild and drop in it.
    Way easier on gas and lots of power in a sub 2000lb ride...and a very cool engine in its own right.
    I'd set the 318 up for around 250-300 horses and drive the piss out of the T, while getting decent fuel mileage and not dealing with the tempermental, semi-race engine crap that 400+ will be more likely to come with.
    That stuff is for race cars and trailer queens.
    The SBM is already different enough to get you the Ooohs amd Awwws anyway!
     

  5. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 762

    AndersF
    Member

    Mopar is the way to go if you ask me.
    But they have one disadvantage and that is the starter on the left side.
    Can give you some extra thinking to fit steeringbox and brakepedal.
    Dont worry that much about wheelbase.
    Keep the engine tight to the firewall and grille close as possible to the waterpump
    and the frontaxle under or just in front of the grille and it gonna look great.
     
  6. Moby
    Joined: May 18, 2014
    Posts: 138

    Moby
    Member Emeritus

    What Hackerbuilt said! And if you keep the compression in the regular gas zone, you'll drive it more.

    My bucket has 350 hp (and a good posi) so there's no cloud of tire smoke, it just hooks up and goes. About 1/10th of 1% of the time I wish it had 450 hp and the rest of the time it's perfect. A quick car that runs on regular and no tuning bullshit - what more could you want?
     
  7. Haven't seen the hot rod magazine build. We built a stroked 318 in the late '70s that made plenty of zot. 360 crank, 340 heads, hot cam single 4 on a factory manifold (which had a couple of tricks done to it that didn't shoe on the outside). Put it in a short track car that was very competitive.

    No 400 HP is not a stretch especially not with todays selection of aftermarket parts.
     
  8. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,675

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Years ago, when I had a 72 Satellite Sebring, I was planning to hop up the 318 or go to a 360. Yes, you CAN run a sis pack on all 3 small block MOPARs, but it's going to eat a lot of budget to do so. Last I checked, those intakes commanded premium money (though I sold the car forever ago and am out of touch with the market).

    I swapped in a 727 tranny when the 904 crapped out on me; in hindsight, I should have just fixed the 904 and kept driving because doing that cost a bunch of money and TONS of time while not netting any real gain.

    So, in short, I'd say drop in the 318/904 as is and get the car on the road before you sweat performance upgrades.
     
  9. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,388

    George
    Member

    What is your intentions with the car? 400 hp out of a 318 is getting a bit unruly for street driving. The 904 in OEM configuration is pretty much maxed out with a stock or just mildly warmed up 318, with much of a build up a 727 would be a good idea. The Van probably had a 727. As was said, a 4 bl & intake, & a mild cam would be good, beyond that pick up a cheap van or pick up with a 360 in it.
     
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  10. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    Yeah I wasn't thinking about how light the Bucket would be. I guess 400 HP is not needed (but fun) and anything over 300 HP would be fine with me.

    I'm not sure that the van would use the 727 author or not. I would have thought it would be a 904. I know the 74 Charger is using a 904 unless it was ordered different. I need to find out what rear is in the van as well. The 8 3/4 rears are a tad harder to find in my area (or the last time I looked) and once in a while a Ford 9" will show up.

    The 318 in the van would either be given to me or sold to me for $200 bucks. The van is not worth anything and I would offer to pull motor and trans and have someone pick it up for scrap (that pays) and let it the cash go to my uncle.

    The six pack setups can still be found through aftermarket parts vendors. I just thought the look of it would give it that old school feel and I have always liked the six pack setups.

    I did find a 401 Nail head motor out of a 63 Buick. I have no idea on these motors and it is something I would have to inspect and do some research on.

    I'm a Mopar guy and I would love to have a Mopar motor in my bucket. I also want a very compact looking bucket. I really love the look.

    If I were to go with torque thrust wheels, what would be the front wheels? Would they be torque thrust as well? I want a 60's feel.
     
  11. Reversed corvair box sits on top of the frame and avoids the starter, so does the typical "straight" t bucket pedal assembly.
     
  12. 2x4 also gives off an old school vibe and they actually are a better performance upgrade than a 6 pack. But that is entirely up to you, spend your money where you want it spent I guess.

    The nailhead will make lots of torque, and will look pretty cool doing it or it could. It won't take much in the line of hopping up in your little car to give it pucker power. if it is in good shape your biggest expense will be during the first couple of weeks that you drive it, astronaut diapers are not cheap.

    Either one would be a good e choice as far as hot rod engines go, it is just a matter of what you want and of course the condition of what you are buying. it may be easier to find a prom dress for the Buick then the mopar.
     
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,475

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The 318 should work great for your application. 400HP is not that hard to get, I have seen different magazine buildups with about the same figure. Mopar Action did a low budget buildup on one recently and got about that much, the only "trick" parts were cheap aftermarket heads that they bought only because the originals were shot.
    A 904 will work fine in such a light car.

    If you need a shorter trans because of the short wheelbase they used a shorty in 4 wd pickups and also in club cab pickups. But, they were 727s. The 904 soaks up less HP and is less bulky which is nice if you like footroom in your T bucket.

    The Japanese gear reduction starter is smaller than the old Mopar job and will give a little extra clearance. This is a common swap even on big blocks, where space is tight for a swap.

    If it was mine, I think I would to a cheap overhaul with rings, bearings, timing chain, and valve job plus a cam, headers and 4 barrel and give it a whirl. You may find you have all the "fun power" you need in such a light car.

    360 heads will fit and have bigger ports and valves, similar to a 340 BUT will lower the compression unless you fit pop up pistons. They made a 318 cop car engine with a 4 barrel in the 80s, it had the 360 heads but with higher compression. I don't know if they made different heads or different pistons.

    Of course there are aftermarket heads but - expensive overkill for a cheap 318. If you are going to do a lot of work and spend a lot of money, may as well dig up a 360 or 383.

    The Mopar Action article may be available online. The point is you can get good power out of the 318 with a few common hot rod tricks. The dyno crew was impressed with how well it did for a cheap little engine. The 318 is under rated, it is a strong built engine with enough stamina to take the extra power with no special parts and a good cam, headers and a 4 barrel really wake it up.
     
  14. A traditional, pre-'66 build with a 318? Your biggest challenge is dressing it so it doesn't look like late '60s or -- even worse -- '70s-'80s style. (Unless that's the non-HAMB-friendly style you're going for.) The SBM is a killer engine with lots of potential. Two small four-barrels will look more traditional than a six-pack, unless you're talking about a 3x2 intake with Stromberg 97s or similar.

    Look for Hot Rod and Car Craft mags from '63-'64 for inspiration.

    Oh, and chrome steelies would be appropriate front wheels!
     
  15. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,388

    George
    Member

    Vans often have the 727 for hard duty. As far as a 8 3/4 or 9" ...axles are another area, like cam & carb, there things are over done. In the 80s I saw a line of Aspen/Volares in a junkyard. The /6 & stick cars had 8 1/4 while the 318/904 cars had 7 1/4! Evidently Chrysler thinks the A/T cars get less shock to the axle than a stick delivers even with a lot more cubes.
     
  16. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    I had not thought about two four setup. I also had never seen one on a SBM. I think I have seen them for a 383 in the past. That would be a cool little setup.

    Mopar back in the day did some crazy things and as to why is anyones guess. I have seen sales bank cars come out looking like someone ordered it and optioned to be a drag car from the get go. My 70 Challenger R/T was ordered with a 383, 3spd, no console, Dana 60, tic toc tac, stripe delete and drums with rally wheels. It was one of 331 cars made and one of maybe one with the options. The car was setup to be a sales bank car and a street strip car. I also think it had no power steering. It was an odd ball car.

    I wish we still had all the junk yards in the area that we had at one time.
     
  17. I've parted out lots of these cars, six and v8 cars an have never seen a 71/4 in one, certainly not saying they don't exist, I've just never seen it.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  18. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,368

    stubbsrodandcustom
    Member
    from Spring tx

    Don't know where you are with this but figured I would throw in .02

    A well mannered 318 la block with 302 heads off a mid 80s truck or car, and a rv cam will do everything you want with the 904 still holding up. Will say this for the mopars vs the nailheads, easier to get parts for when you have an issue on the road. I know from experience. And they love to use their torque so running a taller rear gear is something the motor loves for some reason. 250 to 300 horses on a bucket is fun and quick and if done right with a thumper cam or something like that will sound real radical and still be good mannered for street use. If you do just a decent small cam with zoomies or lake headers, it has an exhaust note very different from the normal SBC, just like the nailhead has a different exhaust note.

    a single 4 barrel intake with the vintage speed 2 -2 adapter on top would like sick with some nice duces and velocity stacks etc. great drivability and instant torque...

    Making it look 60s isn't hard, you can still find SBM offy stuff out there, and they do make a basic finned alum valve cover also.

    If I had my A to do over again, I would do a real decent built 318 and drive it daily maybe, maybe not.
     
  19. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,675

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

  20. 69fury
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,419

    69fury
    Member

    you'll have no issues with the 904 if it's fresh. If you're going to build it (i would) put in a transgo kit, or maybe a cheetah if you want reverse pattern/manual valve body. I finally broke the bellhousing and front pump off my 904-after 3 years of racing it -behind a 520 lb ft 415inch SBM with a low gearset planetary, and really sticky tires in a car that was 3850lbs empty- it'll do fine in a Tbucket-rick
     
  21. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    Thanks guys for the info. I will be going with the 318 when I get started. I just started a new small business adventure so I hope to have some funds shortly to build. The 318 and 904 trans is mine and waiting on me.
     
  22. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,582

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. a veteran died today


    Talk to me more about bad gas mileage, ? even in a real lite car? I have a big block, in my truck, can hardly feed it enuff..
     
  23. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,759

    swifty
    Member

    I have a 318 poly in a T-bucket with a 96" wheelbase. Built the car in the early 60's and still have it over 50 years later. Even just a warm 318 will have plenty of go in your bucket. Moon make a very nice set of finned valve covers and as someone suggested a 4 barrel manifold with a 2x2 to 4 adapter should look good hanging on top.
     
  24. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    Very cool. Would love to see some pics of your bucket. Its also very cool to hear you still own it.
     
  25. Zandoz
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 307

    Zandoz
    Member

    An old Poly would be my first choice for MOPAR power. The more modern 273/318/340 would be my 2nd choice....especially an old 273, in part just because they are so seldom seen in a hot rod.

    For the original poster, that 318 should be just fine...even if it were mostly stock. For my little short wheelbase lightweight bobtail T build I'll be using an engine with probably half the horsepower of a mildly built 318. Even with that small of an engine it will still have about the same lb/hp ratio as a new Camaro RS...more than enough for the little cruiser I want.
     
  26. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    I have a mid-60's POLY for my 63 dodge and it would make an amazing looking T engine. Out of curiosity I measured the width and its approx 2 inches WIDER than my 454...and the scalloped valve covers will have people scratching their heads.
    Lots of visual appeal in a smaller cube engine!
     
  27. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,388

    George
    Member

    Across the heads, but I doubt the block is "wide"!
     
  28. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    Of course I meant across the heads! I can't see much point in pulling them to measure the actual block! :confused:
     
  29. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,388

    George
    Member

    People keep saying "wide bock 318", when I suspect the block width is the same as the LA. Seems easier to say/type Poly vs Wide block. :)
     

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