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Discussion Starter #1
I figure I oughta start a build thread to keep track of everything I've done and will do to my truck.

The truck in question is a 1995 Dakota Sport club cab short bed with a 318, automatic and 3.90 rear gears. It was left at my shop over 11 years ago with a bad transmission. Two years ago I decided to fix it up and turn it into a daily driver, so I replaced the bad tires with some junkers I had on had that held air and got it inside to a lift to begin the job of making it run.

First I replaced the battery, changed the oil, stuck a new serpentine belt on it, cleaned out the fuel tank and put in a new pump, flushed out the fuel lines and rail, cleaned the injector screens and replaced the crank sensor. It started right up! The next hurdle was the bad transmission, which I had rebuilt at a reputable shop.



I plastidipped the hood to keep the paint on until I finished everything else before having the truck completely repainted.





The truck in its current condition put down 168hp to the wheels. At this point the little 5.2 was peppy but didn't have the get-up-and-go I was used to so I replaced all 8 injectors, the MAP sensor, IAC valve and threw on an MSD ignition coil and Mopar Performance computer. This gained a huge difference in driveability but it still wasn't to my standards and realized since this is an OBD-1 computer I am extremely limited on performance modifications. I have only two options... convert the truck to OBD-2 or convert to a carbureted setup.

I picked the third, remove the 318 and drop in a 440!

I have another junk truck at my shop that the body has gone to hell on, but the motor and transmission are worth saving. Just today I fired it up for the first in 20+ years and it ran extremely well. I cut the fuel line at the pump (so it wouldn't try to suck in whatever was in the tank), poured a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil down the intake and let it soak for a few minutes before turning the motor over by hand multiple times, removed the distributor and oil pump gear to manually prime the oil system using an air drill and allen bit, replaced the oil filter, put a bottle of seafoam in the crankcase and I filled the front fuel bowl with fresh gas. Here is what happened! The gauge I have hooked up is an oil pressure gauge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVgpy7UfKsY

Now that I have run the motor for a bit and know everything is good, I am going to pull it out and stick it on a stand for a complete rebuild to replace all the seals and gaskets. The transmission is coming out too and will get a B&M shift kit and new torque convertor.

I will post more when I get further.
 

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Sub's to see the rest of the build!!

Sounds like this will be a cool project. 440 In a Dakota always sounds like a good idea to me :rck:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I couldn't justify spending a couple grand on the 318 when I knew I had a 400hp big block sitting out back calling to me for a swap :D
 

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Double Rammin'
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Yeah, I couldn't justify spending a couple grand on the 318 when I knew I had a 400hp big block sitting out back calling to me for a swap :D
Cool to see someone else on this site willing to do a BB swap into a Dakota. I know I still get a real dumbass grin evertime I drive my 413 powered RC Dak, not to mention the looks from everyone else (mines not exactly subtle...). I will be tearing mine down soon to do a complete motor rebuild as it still has the power, but I overheated it severely so now it smokes pretty bad.

Keep us updated on the build!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I rolled under the truck and got some numbers off the block. The block was cast on July 24, 1969. I won't have information on the heads until I finish pulling the motor and tear down the motor. The block casting number is 2536430-8. The thing that throws me through a loop is the identification plate above the oil pan rail on the right side of the block states the engine is out of a 1971 model vehicle, produced at the Jefferson Avenue plant with a serial number of 200931. Does anyone have information as to why a 1969 440 was put into a 1971 vehicle?
 

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Double Rammin'
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I would guess that it is either not the correct engine for that truck, or perhaps the motor sat around for a couple years before it was used? (I always was under the impression that the motors were build approx. 6 months before they were put in a vehicle). What does the little machined pad infront of the intake have stamped in it? E440 724?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The plot thickens...

The ID stamping says G440.

I knew this isn't the original motor for the truck as the shop installed it after the original 440 blew up. This one was sent to the machine shop and had a mild build done.
 

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Double Rammin'
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Hmm, G puts it at a 71. At this point why worry. Just get that bad boy rebuild and stuffed in the Dak!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Don't worry, I will! I'm ready to drop the transmission hopefully this weekend and then pull the motor out soon after that. We're going to get in touch with the machine shop after the holidays to see if they still have the invoice with what all was done... or we're going to go through our records from fourteen years ago and see if we still have a copy.

The only thing I plan on doing to the motor while I have it on the stand is replace all the freeze plugs, seals and gaskets. At this point I'm undecided on what parts to replace until I am sure of what exactly has been done to the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I wish it would warm up so I can go finish pulling the transmission out!

I heard back from the machine shop today...

- Block bored .030 over
- New pistons to drop the compression ratio to between 9.25 and 9.5
- Towing camshaft
- Crank, rods and pistons have been balanced
- Three angle valve job and steel valve guides for use with unleaded fuel
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nothing as of yet. I haven't had much free time to work on it between work and school.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I finally found some time to continue working on the project! I dropped the transmission today and have worked up a list of what I plan to do:

TCI Breakaway converter
B&M deep pan with filter extension
B&M Shift Improver kit
A fresh coat of paint

Here are some pics, hopefully the engine goes as smooth as this!













 

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older trucks ARE better!
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I'd have loved to have that duallie! what year truck (I know it's something between 72 and 80)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's a '77 club cab rusted out farm truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did some cleaning today and the pile of dirt is starting to look like a transmission.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm hoping to have the engine out and on the stand within the next week or two. My plan as of now is to get everything swapped into the Dakota so I can fabricate fuel lines, cooler lines, etc. Once it's drivable I will be able to decide what all I want to change and finalize a paint scheme. After I save up some money to get all the body work done I will pull the motor and transmission back out for part swapping and paint, then put the whole thing back together for hopefully the last time.

I'm getting giddy :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Engine is ready to come out, I am shooting for tomorrow!

 
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