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Where have all the Mopars gone?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sckracing, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Actually it's more like where the %&$# have all the Mopar engine parts run off to. Maybe some of you Mopar die-hards can explain to me why it's been such a total whiskey bottle ordeal trying to track down stock Mopar engine parts (And yes I checked craigslist, eBay, Mopar club sites, etc.)

    Cutting to the chase, a year or so ago I picked up a good used '74 318/904 combo from a local car club guy to throw into my '39 Desoto (on behest of some of my good buds from racing to keep it all Mopar versus going Chevy). This is my first "streetable hot rod" project (I've always built GM muscle cars and drag cars in the past).

    Although I initially figured this would be a good reliable "cruisin' around" motor, the drag racing/motorhead in me just had to research the horsepower limits of it.
    To my surprise it came in under 175 horses, and in my book that was tantamount to going to Chuckee Cheese's for a bachelor party!

    Unfortunately in my quest to stay on the down low, money-wise, for the motor, it has taken me over 5 months and more $$$ trips to the Summit/JEGS/Mopar Performance catalogs than I ever envisioned, just to complete it. Seriously, I believe it now has cost me almost as much to add some punch (used Magnum heads, new cam, special Edelbrock 4bbl magnum manifold, new headers, new carb, new ignition) to my lil' 318 as the entire car cost originally.:confused:

    So just for my piece of mind, can somebody out there tell me they've ran into the same problem with trying to build Mopar motors... (not that I'll ever try this again, unless of course it's for a 'Cuda or Roadrunner).
    And to who evers hoarding the stock used Mopar engine parts...,
    I'm telling my dad on you!!!!
  2. rhd
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 351

    from austin tx

    i just picked up a 318 about a week or so ago and have already found just about everything i need but 1 exhaust manifold........
  3. I know of a bunch of people around me town.... its all in who ya know... I went to get tires today and one of the employees is a mpar fan with a whole garage full of parts... :D
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,933


    been almost 20 years since I threw together a 340, and it took a while to track down parts for a reasonable price.

    I agree the 318 is not what I'd start out with for a hot rod mopar...specially a 70s version of it...

  5. bottom line "fast ain't cheap!"
  6. I just go out back and grab whatever i need, if i don't got it my buddy does! you are lookin in the wrong places, you should have been able to build a 400hp motor for around 1500 bucks.
  7. moparmonkey
    Joined: Aug 14, 2009
    Posts: 565

    from NorCal

    Getting 400 hp out of a 318 reliably isn't gonna happen for 1500 bucks unless you happen to do your own machining or know someone to do it for cheap. 318's are good engines, and 175 hp is just with the tiny 2 barrel and crappy intake. 300 hp can happen pretty easily, 400 is a bit more of a stretch with the small valves and ports on 318 heads. On the flip side, 360 heads have larger chambers, so you'd either need to cut 'em down or get new pistons to keep the compression ratio up. The 318 in my Challenger is fun, all it has is a intake, carb, and headers. Add a decent cam and 300 hp is easy. But 400 hp in a 318 will take an intake, carb, headers, a big cam, and good compression (which will take new pistons, or decking and shaving). And you'll need bigger valves, better valve springs and rockers to go with. Ka ching.

    Mopar stuff isn't as easy to come by as SBC parts, and its generally not as cheap. That being said, I've found a ton of stuff locally for decent prices. But I also look all the time and buy things that are good deals regardless of whether I need it "right then" as long as whatever it is will fit something I have. For example, I have 3 833 OD transmissions and a standard 833 with an A body tailshaft, 4 transmissions total for less than 500. Yet you can go on eBay and find even the 833 od's going for well over 200 bucks each, plus shipping. No thanks! One will go in my Challenger here shortly, the rest can be spare for that (450 hp 340, little much for a OD, so I have back ups), plus I may put one behind my 331 hemi if I can get it adapted.

    I have a list of stuff I'm always looking for, and hit the Mopar swap meets and even non-mopar swaps on a fairly regular basis. Plus a few forums. You can really get some steals if you know what you're looking for at non-mopar swaps.
  8. I'm hoping to fire my lil' 318 this week-end, but only IF Jegs gets my thermostat housing to me by tomorrow.
    Yep, I had to go to a catalog to get the correct thermo housing to fit my Edelbrock... jeez.
    I am told by some old timers that with all said and done the motor ought to be pretty healthy and have some good longevity.
    I'm crossing my fingers... that my time and money wasn't mis-spent.
    Then its putting the body back on the chassis, and finishing up the dash and interior (shooting to have it road tested by the Mooneyes Xmas show).

    P.S. I'm still trying to find a buyer for a new Summit Stage 1 4bbl manifold I bought that fits pre-'79 small blocks (bought prior to getting the Magnum heads) if anyone out there is in need of one.
  9. Yup as state above mopar motors are going to cost you more money then the chebbies...just a fact you have to face. I'm a mopar man and will gladly pay more money to keep it all mopar then go the SBC route.
  10. 5756r
    Joined: Oct 29, 2005
    Posts: 100


    I have a good perrsonal friend with a 1960's source of small and big blocks, empty blocks, cranks, rods, valve covers and on and on. Mopar is REALLLLY strong here on the East Coast. Tell me in a PM what you're looking for and I'll check with him. He is so old school, he has no computer. He just got a cell phone 2 months ago. His daily driver is a 1962 Dodge 880 4 door, he has a streetable (so to speak) 426 Max Wedge post car and has got a factory 4-speed car next in line, after he's done with his bored, flat head valved, nitrous slant six Feather Duster. Want a good deal on a 360 crate with a 3-speed? PM me.
  11. pastlane
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,064


    Any Mopar person I have even know has been a serious hoarder (who here only has one Hemi?).

    There is a good reason you see more sbc engines than anything else out there.
  12. You gotta hit the good swap meets, get to know the other mopar freaks and learn to bowl port heads - biggest return for free I know of. Even small valve 318 heads respond nicely to this. Don't go crazy on the cam and get the compression up around 9:1 and you will be amazed.

    You can make lots of power with mostly stock parts and it will hang together for a long, long time.

    I did this whole post without dissing SBC's, I must be maturing.
  13. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 7,035

    from DFW USA

    Agreed, a 318 is hard to make power with because there have always been better options. All it takes to make 400hp with any version of a 440 is an aftermarket 4bbl intake.
  14. BigBlockMopar
    Joined: Feb 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,360


    Guilty...! of the owning only one Hemi that is... Donations are welcome!
    But I make up for it in sheer bigblock cubic inches though... ... :rolleyes: ... damn, that makes me a hoarder aswell I guess...
  15. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,864


    Buying Mopar stuff...I hope you've learned your lesson.
  16. Sphynx
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 1,142

    from Central Fl

    I have owned two mopars a 70 Cuda 340 four speed and 70 318 dart both were so much fun the cuda was mostly stock but had a edelbrock intake with a edelbrock carb and x heads ,the dart had a purple stick cam headers 360 heads 2800 stahl converter shift kit w/ a 727 , the 340 was a tough little motor as was the 318 but I would never go with a 318 again after having the 340.
  17. 5756r
    Joined: Oct 29, 2005
    Posts: 100


    I have a 318 in my '69 Dodge D100. It has an Edelbrock Performer intake, a 780 Thermo-Quad and Hedman Hedders. This truck is set up to Haul and tow with an 8 3/4 with gears, 5-leaf spring set with over load shocks that will pull a house of it's foundation and it still does 90 on the highway all day long. The main thing about Mopars are the bowling or blending of the heads and getting them port matched to the intake and headers, an RV grind cam and RV torque converter, a well built 727 (the RV if you can get one)......all stock stuff, just massaged a little. In ref to the SBC, they don't belong in Traditional Rods, Customs yes, Rods no. Unless of course we're talking about building them for the proper time period, otherwise, it's a bad move. Lots of guys want to drop a 340 or 360 into a '39 cruiser and go all out. If it had been done in the 70's style, that's traditional, albeit too new for most peoples taste here. As for skcracing, we don't even know what his De Soto looks like and there is pouncing......why for the redneckin?
  18. jokerjason
    Joined: Oct 18, 2006
    Posts: 356


    Hey man, I know a few guys who have alot of mopar stuff here in Northern California, PM me and I will give you a couple of guys phone numbers, One guy lives in my town has tons of performance hemi and big and small block parts and another guy has alot of stock mid 60's to late 70's mopar parts and engines, alot of 440 ,Imperial parts and motors. See ya, JOKER JASON.
  19. 5756r
    Joined: Oct 29, 2005
    Posts: 100


    Good on ya' Joker!! Way to step up Brother!
  20. hemi
    Joined: Jul 11, 2001
    Posts: 1,961


    When I switched my 318 out for a 360 I just chucked the entire thing. I couldn't give it away. has a good message board and a huge classifieds section.
  21. jokerjason
    Joined: Oct 18, 2006
    Posts: 356


    Thats funny man, one of the guys I know with the goods just got his 1st cell phone this summer!!!! See ya, JOKER JASON.
  22. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,777


    And that 305 that you see the low buck guys use instead? From Wiki

    <TABLE style="BACKGROUND: white; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 2em; MARGIN-LEFT: 4em; COLOR: black" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=305 align=right border=1><TBODY><TR><TH style="BACKGROUND: white; COLOR: blue" colSpan=2>305</TH></TR><TR><TD>Production:</TD><TD>1976–1992</TD></TR><TR><TD>Displacement:</TD><TD>305 cu in (5 L)</TD></TR><TR><TD>Power:</TD><TD>130 hp (97 kW)-250 hp (186 kW)</TD></TR><TR><TD>Bore and Stroke:</TD><TD>3.736 in × 3.48 in (94.9 mm × 88.4 mm)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    You just need to do some research before buying all sorts of stuff like a SBC.
  23. Now that's what I call "Baiting and waiting".
    That's what I like about this board, eventually the you'll attract your target audience...

    In regards to what my '39 looks like, it's posted somewhere on here from about a year or so ago, albeit it's in it's final stages of being "adjusted" to my taste. Its a suicide 4 door, dropped about 4 inches front and 2"-3" in back (top and crown chop still in negotiations with the wallet). I'll post an updated picture after I fire and tune the motor, and put the body back on the chassis.
    It's pretty much all Mopar, sans the Chevy Tahoe rear-end (hey, it was a gift and besides gotta have something back there that'll handle a full on "smoke down").

    Rough motor calculations now hope to push about 375 +/- horses out, that outta still maintain some of the original cross country driveability theme.

    By the way... Thanks to all for your input, I'll definately keep you in mind if any further Moparssitance is req'd.
  24. swi66
    Joined: Jun 8, 2009
    Posts: 16,081


    Generally speaking, the 318 stuff usually lasts forever, and generally don't sell well at swap meets so everyone leaves it home. Most are looking for big block parts.
    Sold most of my 318 parts awhile back, for next to nothing. I have 2 383's in cars, with 3 spares...................
  25. Update to the Mopar parts quest;
    Here's the "Demon" mopar engine assembled and just about ready to get fired up... finally. And as requested, a pic of the Desoto (body off the chassis, obviously) patiently awaiting to be re-united.Then comes the road time.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  26. I have done many 318s also 360s. One of the lowest cost motors to build. You have to remember if you are phoning JEGS or Summit you might as well phone yourself. Chevy guys (Like the phone guys at Jegs and Summit ) have no idea what these are or what to do to them.
    If you are serious Email me and i will give you a good and inexpensive build that will make you forget you ever had a French(Chevrolet) car with a Russian (Duntov) engine.
    $ for$ the 360 will give you the most for the effort but a good nice working 318 is easy. Also need to know what year your motor is.
  27. 29Jay
    Joined: Aug 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    from Ft Worth

    I put a 318 in a hot rod. headers, 3x2 intake and a 480 cam...

    Most stuff was simple to find at NAPA...

    Attached Files:

  28. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,665


    Looking for a stock one? I have a pair of the stock cast iron's off mine if you want them.
    Coming to the Day of the Drags in Temple?
  29. mrdodge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 335


    Unfortunately, in this part of the world, there is what is known as the "Mopar Tax". If your not building a SBC or SBF, it is going to cost more - end of argument. Having said that, why be a sheep and follow the flock. Different is good & 318/360 are good reliable engines that'll run forever
  30. tunescape1
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 25

    from toronto

    it cost me 3000.00 to rebuild and build a 300+ horse 318

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