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Discussion Starter #1
My 98 SST has been sitting all winter because it's too cold to work on. Now I want to get everything together that I need to work on it.

Here is the list.

Either my water pump, or the short hose behind it is leaking pretty bad. When I fill the radiator, I always squeeze the upper hose to get some air out. Well now, when I squeeze it, water runs out of the front of the motor.
So I plan to replace both the pump and the hose.

I also want to replace the plenum gasket, and while that's off, I figure I should do a modded kegger, replace my distributor cap and rotor, and plugs and wires.

My heater core isn't producing heat, so I want to flush it out. I'd like to flush the whole block, but I don't think I can do that until I fix the coolant leak.

I'm probably going to get a modded throttle body while I'm at it.

So to recap, I am going to replace:
water pump
short coolant hose behind pump
thermostat (180*?)
Distrubutor cap
rotor (I've seen "tune up" kits that have rotor, cap and wires, are those junk?)
spark plugs (not sure which ones, want to go colder than oem)
plug wires

Kegger (ebay kegger, should I get it checked at a machine shop before modding?)
plenum gasket
intake gasket set (suggestions?)
I think I read that shorter plenum bolts help?

Whats the best gasket maker or whatever for this?

I've searched the various threads on the kegger mods, and still haven't figured out what method is best for my 360. On various forums, I found a couple threads where the author promised to try different runner profiles and dyno everything, but none had followed through with it. I need to figure out which configuration of kegger I have and find one on ebay to start cutting on before I start tearing the truck apart.
 

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I think the jury is still out on the kegger mods. People say it will run better but i'm still waiting for dyno results to prove it. It was designed for low-mid rpm performance so cutting the runners may improve on the mid to upper rpm performance. Personally i think it's a waste of time. Just get a M1 if your looking for upper rpm power. I would go with the Hughes kit instead of replacing the gasket. Fel-pro gaskets, 180* stat (depends on where you live. Cold climate may not be good in the winter) Drill a small hole in the housing(1/8) before you put it in. Get a cap with the brass inserts( just ask for an oem style) a good set of 8 mm wires will do. Many here are running the Auto lite plugs (copper nothing fancy).
I think I read that shorter plenum bolts help?
You are supposed to replace the kegger bolts. I dont remember anything about shorter ones. ??? I would stay away from any "kit" you see on ebay. Most of the time is jap crap. If you want quality stuff i wouldn't look there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What eBay kits are you referring to? Plenum or Tune up? It looks like the hughes kit for $125 includes plenum and intake bolts, intake gaskets and the radiator hose I have to replace anyway. So that's not a bad deal, considering those intake bolts in a kit are $36 alone, and the gasket sets I've seen are $25.

I am having trouble finding a kegger on ebay right now. A month ago there were six of them.
 

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What eBay kits are you referring to? Plenum or Tune up? It looks like the hughes kit for $125 includes plenum and intake bolts, intake gaskets and the radiator hose I have to replace anyway. So that's not a bad deal, considering those intake bolts in a kit are $36 alone, and the gasket sets I've seen are $25.

I am having trouble finding a kegger on ebay right now. A month ago there were six of them.
Why do you need another kegger? Are you just going to get an extra and have it ready to go for minimal downtime? Anyways I see them quite often on craigslist for $50-$100. And here's one on ebay right now for $80 shipped http://www.ebay.com/itm/98-99-00-01-02-03-DODGE-RAM-1500-PICKUP-INTAKE-MANIFOLD-5-9L-3621642-/400872029324?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make:Dodge&hash=item5d55d5bc8c&vxp=mtr
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yes, minimal down time. Actually, the truck is down right now, so I'm more looking for minimal engine apart time. I only have a few hours here and there in the evenings, so it might take me two weeks to get the kegger done. I'd rather not have the engine components exposed to the air and moisture that long while the truck sits in the driveway.

I also hate to modify components without having an extra. Then if I screw something up, it's not a scramble to find another. I also have some sort of mental disorder. I can't dive into a project and "figure it out when I get there". I need to be able to pretty much visualize the process completely, so I tend to research endlessly. Which is why many projects don't get done, unfortunately.
 

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yes, minimal down time. Actually, the truck is down right now, so I'm more looking for minimal engine apart time. I only have a few hours here and there in the evenings, so it might take me two weeks to get the kegger done. I'd rather not have the engine components exposed to the air and moisture that long while the truck sits in the driveway.

I also hate to modify components without having an extra. Then if I screw something up, it's not a scramble to find another. I also have some sort of mental disorder. I can't dive into a project and "figure it out when I get there". I need to be able to pretty much visualize the process completely, so I tend to research endlessly. Which is why many projects don't get done, unfortunately.
Gotcha. One thing I'd be sure and do if you order the Hughes kit is ask them to upgrade to a felpro gasket set(sorry I don't remember the price), the ones that come with it are some chinese brand
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gotcha. One thing I'd be sure and do if you order the Hughes kit is ask them to upgrade to a felpro gasket set(sorry I don't remember the price), the ones that come with it are some chinese brand
Thank you for that. I was not aware.
 

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considering those intake bolts in a kit are $36 alone, and the gasket sets I've seen are $25.
I'd be sure and do if you order the Hughes kit is ask them to upgrade to a felpro gasket set(sorry I don't remember the price), the ones that come with it are some chinese brand
See if they will leave them out all together and save a few bucks. I'm sure they will charge you more than the parts store will. Not sure about the bolts but the kit does come with the bolts that go on the plenum(1/4 20). They may have added them. I reused mine and still not problem in 7 years or so since i did it.
 

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thats how you do it! :dev
 

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http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2768049&postcount=15

Chizzle said the stock length bolts are too short. Thats where I read it.
He (and some others) said stock plenum bolts may be "too long".

IIRC some have gently "cleaned up" keg threads with a "bottoming tap" (or was it "plug tap", i forget); some remove a thread from bolt; no matter what, it's a good idea to "dry fit" bolts to "ensure" they will not be too long when "gasket is compressed and bolts are torqued".
 

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The stock bolts are too long and bottom out prior to applying the correct clamping pressure to the belly pan.

read it again!

the stock bolts are too long :eek:
In my original post I said that I read that shorter bolts were needed. While attaching the quoted post link, and typing the description, I got that backwards. But I knew what I meant.

I see now that Hughes and a different part number for the kit with FELPRO gaskets. I already ordered the gasket set, so I'll have to call them and see if I can get a discount by leaving the gaskets and coolant hose out.

Also still looking for a 98+ kegger to mod. Many of the ones on ebay say 94-01 intake manifold, but don't specifically say the year. I'm hoping for an exact swap.

I'm also debating going with 4 hole injectors if I can find a good deal. Since I'll have that all apart anyway.
 
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