Engine Decisions

Engine Swaps

400 or built 318

  1. Built 318

    77.4%
  2. Nearly stock 400

    22.6%
  1. 82Cordoba

    82Cordoba Active Member

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    I need some help deciding on what to do. I have a 318 block at the machine shop now getting bored and checked out and short block put together. I have a good bit of money tied up in the motor already. KB167 pistons, rings, all new race bearings and freeze plugs. Cleaned up Magnum heads, all new seals and gaskets, new cam (I got it for cheap) new lifters, a questionable intake. What I still need is headers, valve springs for new cam, carburetor, plugs and wires, pushrods, water pump, oil pump, fuel pump, head gaskets, and a few other odds and ends. My dilemma is I just picked up a complete 400 Big block for 150 bucks. It's still stock so I would probably at least want to pick up an intake, carb, and I'll need headers and some seals and gaskets. I'll also need to find a transmission and figure out somethin for the driveshaft. I can get a tranny for 150. Maybe cheaper. What do you guys think? Finish out the small block or while i'm at it just freshen up the 400 and drop it in? I know there will be other odds and ends that add up to put the big block in but there is something way more appealing about a big block and it has alot more potential
     
  2. JGC403

    JGC403 Well-Known Member

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    Whats the car going to be used for? I love big blocks. Big blocks are heavy. You can get close to 400 horsepower out of the 318. Big Block has more horsepower potential.
     
  3. efriedrich

    efriedrich Well-Known Member

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    I have had an original BB 4spd A body for 28 years. I have beat the hell out of that car and had a blast doing it, but since I have been playing with these M bodies and smallbocks the last couple of years I have a new respect for the little engines. My only advice will be that you will spend a lot of time and money putting a big block were a smallblock used to live. Very little interchanges between the two so I don't see the reason to change up and go with the big block when it sounds like you have a nice small block practically built already.With that being said I know the heart wants what the heart wants so good luck, I voted 318.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  4. 82Cordoba

    82Cordoba Active Member

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    The car is going to be a weekend/summer cruiser. Only coming out when it's nice and dry. (Partly because the tops leak!) I have been slowly building up my arsenal of small block parts and I know with the BB I'm starting all over again. I have I think 3 complete 318s now and many other acquired small block parts. The 318 will have around 370 EST HP at the flywheel. The big block is a 1977 block from a motorhome with 58,000 miles. The heads are 1964 516 heads. They need a valve job. I have a friend that does all machine work for me for free. He is doing the 318. I also already got a center sump car pan for the BB.
     
  5. efriedrich

    efriedrich Well-Known Member

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    Is this the 82 doba that your working on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  6. Captain Caravelle

    Captain Caravelle Moderator--Mopar Maniac

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    My vote is the 318. It's pretty close to being done from the sounds of things.
    Why go back to square one.
    Like Friedrich said, not only will you be dropping money to get the 400 done
    Then it's gonna be even more to do all the mods to get it in there
    Yes it's nice to be able to say "I got a 400 under the hood"
    But I think it's a lot cooler to say "it's only a 318"
    And then smoke their ass.
    Cause from the sounds of it.
    Your 318 should do the job just fine for what you want it for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  7. 79410aspenrt

    79410aspenrt Well-Known Member

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    i would go with the 318. just my opinion.
     
  8. Shorty Thompson

    Shorty Thompson Well-Known Member

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    My preferance is small block . I just like the differance . Still got my performance parts if your looking for some parts on the cheap . Sorry about my shameful plug , PM me if your interested .
     
  9. Wagonmaster

    Wagonmaster Well-Known Member

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    Ive got a big block in mine and initial cost they arent really that much more. But since you already got all the work done with the 318 Id stick with it. The 400 is gonna be quite low on compression in stock form and would need some work to where you'll be satisfied. As far as the weight issue....Mine is on a diet and Im gonna be getting more exercise. Manual steering, brakes, aluminum intake and wp housing, no ac, headers. Probably be lighter than a stock 318 car with cats, cast iron intake and exhaust manifolds, heavy ac compressor and ps gear box, along with all the hardware that goes with them. If you got a good 318 Id go with it....Then again people tried to thwart me against going big block and you can see what I did :headbang:
     
  10. Mroldart2u

    Mroldart2u Well-Known Member

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    318, save the 400 for a later project or as money allows start building it for a swap later down the road. The 318 sounds almost done, why change directions now?
     
  11. 82Cordoba

    82Cordoba Active Member

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    Thanks alot everyone. Keep the opinions coming. Everything you guys are saying is what I have thought all along but everytime I go out to the garage and see the BB sitting there on the stand I just get a little anxious. Maybe I can just steal my brothers Dart and put the 400 in it ;)
     
  12. 78doubleR

    78doubleR Active Member

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    use the 318 and stoke/bore the 400 out to 500ci and put it in a drag car. run 10s all day long.
     
  13. bremereric

    bremereric FMJ Body Moderator

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    My Big Block is still sitting there on the engine stand.

    IMG_0554.jpg

    IMG_0555.jpg

    IMG_0556.jpg
     
  14. MiradaMegacab

    MiradaMegacab Well-Known Member

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    Nice 440 Eric!

    I voted for a built 318 over a stock 400, unless you put the 400 in and throw a big 6-71 blower on it.
     
  15. 82Cordoba

    82Cordoba Active Member

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    Thats a beautiful motor. Very clean. I thought about getting a couple really cheap turbos and making it a budget twin turbo BB! But in the end it would just be throwing money out the window. What my intentions were when I bought the motor was to build a 451 or 470 and make it a mean street motor or build it for a pulling truck. When I do anything with it I want to do everything right. But I have been searching the classifieds just in case that perfect Mopar big block candidate shows up.
     
  16. polish aviator

    polish aviator Active Member

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    i have been happy with the 318 in mine.(see race pics in welcome wagon section,I think)stock short block with "302" cylinder heads.now a 360 w/magnum r/t heads.everything fits easily,and,you can still find stuff in salvage yards in a pinch.
     
  17. 77kickinaspen

    77kickinaspen Well-Known Member

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    400's are cool but when u tell someone u have a 318 there eyes light up and stories come out "oh i love those motors,best motor i ever had,last forever"