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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a Shelby Dakota and want to upgrade in the power department. I don't know too much about Mopar so I figured I'd put it out to the more experienced. I was told about the stroker kit by a friend but can't seem to find it anywhere. I once had a 70' Challenger with a 440 6 pack, but I know it won't fit this truck. If anyone has any other suggestions besides these 2 options, please let me know.
 

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Do It In A Van
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I would recommend a Mopar 360 crate engine if you have the funds. You can use factory mounts to install the engine since Dakota came with V8's (not sure what year they started that).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dodgevanman said:
I would recommend a Mopar 360 crate engine if you have the funds. You can use factory mounts to install the engine since Dakota came with V8's (not sure what year they started that).
I thought there was some kind of issue with the external balancer of the 360
 

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The 5.9 is externaly balanced .But now they put the weight on the flexplate.So you can change engines without having to change torque converters.
 

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A 440 in a Shelby may be a tight squeeze.

They do make big block swap kits for 91-96 daks, I'm not sure about 90 and older. In 1991 the front frame was extended to accommodate the 318 better. The shelby has a pusher fan I believe because the clutch fan would not fit.

I think a better option would be to grab a magnum 360 and drop it in and either keep the MPFI or go carb. Depending on your money, you can punch and stroke a 360 to a 408.
 

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yea it all depends on the money you want to spend, there are the stroker kits you can buy, or go with a crate 360, 408, 440 small block, mopar makes a 360 crate thats bored n stroked to 440, makes huge power like 400-500 hp, but with 12.0-1 compression pump gas would be tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't really afford a new crate engine. I was looking to build up something over time and just drive what's in it for now. I'm looking to get as close to 400hp as I can while being on a tight budget. If anyone can point me in the right direction i'd really appreciate it.
 

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A budget and 400 hp out of a 318 don't go well together.

Your best bet would be some sort of forced induction for best bang for your buck.

Still, 400 hp out of an engine that doesn't even make 200 is asking a lot. You should try to at least get a magnum top end. You can get stock magnum parts for cheap enough and still get a nice boost in power. If you do this you'll have to do it all at once since the parts aren't inter-compatible.

You'll need:

Magnum Heads - Stock ones from a bone yard, or H.D. replacement which flow better then the R/T 1.92 heads that MP offers (source: Hughesengines.com.) Money to burn? Get the eddy magnum heads, about 1400 bucks.

Rockers - You can use the magnum stock stamped rockers and upgrade to rollers later.

Pushrods - Oil through type, again, just use stock.

Lifters - You'll need ones with holes for the oil through pushrods (buy new, about 80 bucks.)

Intake Manifold - You'll need to get an M1 2/4 bbl or an Edelbrock intake to run a carb. If you feel so inclined, you could probably make some sort of adapter plate to run your TBI on top of a stock magnum intake. But then height becomes an issue.

That should be about it. You'll go up to about 240hp/300tq. That is about a 45 hp increase over stock (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not terribly familiar with LA block 318's with TBI.)

Total price (stock parts) - You can do it with about 400 dollars, hell, probably less then that if you look around for some deals. That's relatively cheap all things considered.

The beauty in this set-up isn't the the power you'll gain, but how cheap it is. I wont lie though, it is a lot of work.

Once you get to roller rockers, cam, exhaust (LA block exhaust manifolds/headers bolt up to Magnum heads) better fuel induction (carb, tbi, or mpfi,) ignition and head work, you can easily get up to 350 hp. In your lightweight shelby though, 240 hp will really get it moving. Good for probably a mid 14 1/4 mile pass.

Maybe there is a better way for your 318... I just haven't seen any hi-po TBI 318 LA blocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks alot for the info. Your plan sounds fine to me and I think i'm gonna go with it. Would you know where I can order headers from ? I've been looking online but haven't found any to fit my vehicle. Also what size cam should I get ?
 

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Hooker headers PN HOK-5803HKR. They are long tube headers that should fit no problem. I know a guy (scatdak) who is running them in his gen I dak after he did a LA block v8 swap in it. They do cost $380 but fabbing up your own exhaust with them is much easier since you wont need any complicated bends (money saved) and you'll never have to worry about your exhaust again.

I can't give you too much help in the cam department.
 

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1baddak
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stoked shelby

go with the stroker. if you go with the crate engine you will have to change several things. i own #102 and run a stroked 340. i think it cost me around 3500 to have it all built including the stroker kit from mancania i think i gave about 1500 for the kit. it includes all rotating parts, so you dont need much else a good set of heads or have yours worked.
 

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1baddak
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stroker

i forgot to tell what cam i used. i used the lunati voodoo cam. unlike the crate motor with the voodoo cam you wont lose your vacume.it has a good idle also.
 

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Troubleshooter
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I would save up and go for the Crate, either a 360 or a 440, seen a couple Daks with a 440 and a 727 trans. Just my $.02
 

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I Built a 360 magnum with a 4 inch stroke for 408 cubic inches.I only had about $1200 in the whole thing.Ran like a scalded dog.I have to run right now but I will get back later and give all of the details.
 

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This is a very old thread and I'm not sure if this guys is even on here still, but I'd say there are many ways to go, it all depends on how much he wants to spend. I spent quite a bit on my stroker motor, but I have a dyno proven 500+ ponies with 500+ ib/ft of torque without the spray. On spray it is well into the 600's and still very streetable with a stand-alone. None the less it all depends on this guys pockets and how bad he want's 400 ponnies. Just my .02.


Jay
 

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Jay,I agree. The motor I built was pretty decent but probably closer to the 375-400 HP range,a real torque monster though. I didnt want to get real exotic because this was my everyday street driver.The basic parts were MP cast 4 inch crank,Kieth Black step dome hypereutectic pistons,and Eagle H beam rods.And let me say up front that I buy and sell at a lot of swap meets so I got my parts cheap.The basic package was zero deck the pistons for .040 quench, neutral balance the short block,back cut the valves and do a little bowl work on the stock heads.I used a 518 lift crane cam.Other parts that were already on the truck were MP single plane mpi intake,Gibson headers,flowmaster exhaust,Marsh pulleys. The truck was real fun to drive right up to when someone hit it and totaled it.
 

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Hemichuck, I hope you still have the block... That sounds like you had one heck of a street piece. Good luck with your next build and it's great to see more 390 guys on here.

Jay
 
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