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Projects Is a 318 enough to power a 52 Desoto

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junkyardjeff, May 3, 2019.

  1. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,036

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I can get a 52 Desoto 4 door for next to nothing and the same with a Dodge truck with a 318 so would a 318 be enough for the Desoto or should I go with a 360.
     
  2. grimmfalcon138
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 149

    grimmfalcon138
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    from az

  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,753

    squirrel
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    I had one in a 47 plymouth, that measly stock 2bbl 318 easily overpowered the old brakes!
     
  4. grimmfalcon138
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 149

    grimmfalcon138
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    from az

    Squirrel, you are absolutely correct as usual. My valiant still had the stock 9"? Drum brakes when I first made the v8 swap. Stopping was scary.
     
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  5. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 725

    Oldioron
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    A Dodge 3/4 ton truck cam with a 318 I don't know why a Desoto couldn't be powered by a 318. Its not going to be a race car but oh well.
    Just make sure the 318 is in good shape.
     
  6. hoodwinx454
    Joined: Apr 19, 2012
    Posts: 126

    hoodwinx454
    Member

    If you can get both for a good price do it. In my opinion the 318 would work fine stock or hop it up some or a lot!! What ever you decide I’m sure it will be a blast to drive. Good luck with and post some pics when you get it.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,477

    41rodderz
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    from Oregon

    Heck flathead sixes, 276 and 291 low hp hemis powered Desotos , so a 318 shouldn't be a problem .
     
    62rebel likes this.
  8. TWKundrat
    Joined: Apr 6, 2010
    Posts: 121

    TWKundrat
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  9. andydodge
    Joined: Sep 28, 2008
    Posts: 859

    andydodge
    Member

    The 318 should be fine in the Desoto, just no 9 second 1/4's..........but throw an aftermarket intake, carby, maybe a cam, maybe upgrade the ignition and a decent low restriction exhaust even with or without headers and you should have a car that will give you some fun.....a 360 would give you more fun with the same basic improvements but it depends on how much you want to spend.....the 318 Poly in my 1940 Dodge still gives me enough fun..........lol.........andyd
     
  10. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 710

    Truckdoctor Andy
    Member

    I had a 318 in an O/T Dodge 4x4 Pickup. It was stock, except for a 340 cam and it pulled trailers just fine. It should be fine in a DeSoto.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 710

    Truckdoctor Andy
    Member

    By the way, the 318 was one of Mother Mopar’s greatest engines, not necessarily a screaming power house, but a great everyday get it done engine.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  12. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,036

    junkyardjeff
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    It does have a hemi but is apart and has been sitting since 74 open to the elements,I would like to get it going but is the extended bellhousing block which makes it difficult to adapt a modern automatic trans but could go with a T-5. I will most likely keep the hemi for a hotrod project as this one will be my long distance cruiser.
     
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,959

    Rusty O'Toole
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    52 DeSoto V8 was 276 cu in and 160HP. Typical 318 2 barrel 230HP (gross HP, compare to 1952 gross HP) so a 318 and Torqueflite should perform better than new.

    To come at it from another angle, the 52 DeSoto weighs 3675 pounds compared to a 1986 Chrysler Fifth Avenue at 3700. The Fifth Avenue came with a 318 rated at 140HP (net). They were not exactly a performance car but had no problem keeping up with traffic and running air conditioning, power steering etc.

    The 318 will work just fine for all practical purposes and as others have pointed out can be hopped up if you wish. They seem to respond very well to the normal tricks of cam, headers and single 4 barrel intake.

    The 318 has the extra advantage of getting significantly better mileage than a 360. Either will fit fairly easily as your car was made for a V8, unlike earlier 6 cylinder only models. You will need to figure out motor mounts etc but I don't think you need to worry about steering box interference.

    Pickups have a different oil pan than passenger cars, you may need to change the pan and pump for a better fit, this remains to be seen.

    If it was mine I would try the 318 dead stock, 2 barrel single exhaust and all. I predict the performance will be quite good, considering that the DeSoto has a considerably lower rear axle gear ratio than a modern car. It should be ideal for a cruiser or tour car. If it doesn't work out you can do a mild hop up later.

    To really burn rubber you want a 360 or a 5.7 Hemi
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  14. Google "318 stroker kit" plenty of power for ya...cool project idea,52 DeSoto!
     
  15. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 320

    proartguy
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    from Sparks, NV

  16. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,967

    porknbeaner
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    Well let's see '52 Desoto. I am thinking flathead 6 stock? 318? well it does make more power than the flathead and the flathead pulled it just fine.
     
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  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,018

    gimpyshotrods
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    No. You need a 440, minimum.
     
    0NE BAD 51 MERC likes this.
  18. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 797

    Hombre
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Desoto did not make an extended block on any of there Hemi's. There are adapters to put just about any tranny behind your Desoto. If it is a extended block it is a Chrysler engine a 331 and not a Desoto.
     
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  19. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,959

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    52 was the first V8 DeSoto. They had to widen the body and frame to get the V8 to fit, this means a different V8 will fit easily, compared to earlier 6 cylinder only cars. The change came in 1951 since they shared body and frame with Chrysler, and Chrysler got their first V8 in 51.

    The 318 is a good choice for one that will be driven regularly, where you want economy, driveability and reasonable performance. It is slightly lighter than the original engine and won't over match the brakes, suspension or rear axle.

    One eeky beeky I forgot to mention - the hand brake is on the back of the transmission, any replacement transmission, like a Torqueflite, won't have this. So you won't have a hand brake unless you swap out the rear axle. There are lots of rear axles of suitable width with the 4 1/2X5 bolt pattern such as Jeep and Ford. Maybe Lincoln with disc brakes, or a pickup truck.
     
  20. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,434

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    ^^^^^^Hombre has it right! The DeSoto will have a long bellhousing, but not an extended block. Same for Dodge in ‘53.

    I don’t understand the basis of the original doubt. Horsepower to weight is the basic key to performance. The Desoto did not weigh 6000 lbs unless it was one of the long wheelbase Suburban limo/taxi models and had a family of fat people aboard with their luggage.

    And, a 318 is a better choice than a 360 if fuel economy is of concern. I was a Mopar dealer in the ‘80s & ‘90s and the 360s were consistently poorer on mileage by more than the difference in cubes would account for. My personal vehicle for several years and 90,000 miles was a ‘99 Durango 2 WD, 5.2L (318) automatic and I towed a loaded car hauler trailer many miles, and except for my later acquired Dodge diesel pickup, it was one of the best workhorses I drove.

    I did swap out the original 3.21 rear end for a 3.92, but the Durango weighed close to 4000 lbs and the loaded trailer usually 5500 to 6500 lbs. A 318 will move your DeSoto just fine.

    Edit: Rusty is also correct.....put in a Ford Explorer 8.8” rear end. It will fit.
    They can be found with 3.27, 3.55, 3.73 and 4.10 ratios. Often with limited slip.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Hombre likes this.
  21. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,996

    George
    Member

    1st thing I do with a 318 is bin the intake & 2 bl carb......
     
  22. sedantudor
    Joined: Jan 28, 2012
    Posts: 50

    sedantudor

    I would agree that a 318 will work just fine. I personally have one ready to be installed in a 1937 Plymouth Pt-50 truck. A 318 will make a reliable and affordable engine for a cruiser. Parts are plentiful and affordable.
     
  23. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,036

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    It might stay 2 bbl for awhile but will be dual exhaust from the start.
     
  24. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 958

    rustydusty
    Member

    I had a 318 in my '50 Dodge . plenty of power and could burn rubber at the drop of a hat. 0519181041.jpg
     
  25. poss51kustom
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 50

    poss51kustom
    Member
    from ohio

  26. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,967

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Actually depends the E brake (or park brake if you learned to drive after the '60s LOL) was on the back of the transmission all the way through the push button era. Well at least close to the end of the ball and trunnion era so up to around '62-'64.

    Something that none of us ever think to use and is trick to the bode is the disc brake on the rear end yolk setup. I think it was a roundy round deal. I have seen them with a cable caliper as well as hydraulic. Has nothing to do with the thread but it popped into my brain while I was typing, so no charge for the info. :D

    The car we drove our senior year in high school was a '66 Fury II with a 318. It had 125K on it when we traded it and I still saw it motoring around the small town we live in 3 years later. They were or are a good motor. Hell even the polies were good motors. Dependable as a hammer, I guess you could break the handle though so even a hammer is not as dependable as it sounds.
     
  27. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,036

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I would have no problem with a poly 318 if a non push button trans could be bolted on,yes there will be some work to hook up the parking brake handle to a newer rear end.
     
  28. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,063

    sunbeam
    Member

    An early poly should bolt up to the existing transmission I think.
     
  29. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,996

    George
    Member

    A '62 & up Poly will bolt right up to a '62 & up Tranny, believe you'd need a SB 727. '61 & earlier Poly will bolt up using a 392 Hemi to 727 SB adaptor kit. QEC (73RR) makes one I like.
     
  30. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,214

    gene-koning
    Member

    I put a built up LA 318 into a 70 Road Runner for a few years. One trip around the block could scare the heck out of you. It left little doubt the 318 could be used to motivate about anything you ever wanted to drive. The more modern 5.2 (318) Magnum motors are a stronger starting point! Gene
     

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