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Tech Question

Quint Baxter, Oregon City, OR, 1974 Plymouth Gold Duster 225

I bought this Duster a couple weeks back and I feel itneeds a V8. I think because of how often I want to drive it that a nicereliable crate Magnum 360 with 380 horses and 435 ft lbs will do. Myquestion is what all as far as suspension, rearend, and tranny will I haveto beef up to take all of that and make it handle relatively well? It’s aproject car so I’m prepared to take a little time and do it right. It’s astreet car so I want it to handle well enough to stomp more than a fewimports. Any help you could provide as far as a direction for me to go withthis would be greatly appreciated.


Basically, EVERYTHING’s gotta change. We did a series on engine swaps about5 or 6 years ago; lots of bootks out there (some good, some not), we alsosuggest the MP “Chassis” book for starters.

The short list…at a minimum, you need:

  • Decent A-772-A TorqueFlite trans (assuming automatic) and varous linkagebits and correct balanced converter or B&M drive plate
  • 8.25″ or 8.75″ rear axle
  • prop shaft to connect above
  • Exhaust manifolds from 68-70 340, or headers
  • Exhaust system to fit above
  • Radiator w/trans cooler, hoses, etc.
  • Engine swap mounts ( or stock 340/360 mounts and aK-member swap. Stay with 73-up stuff if you swap K’s
  • Disc brake swap if not already so equipped (see our tech archives)
  • Suspension upgrades (T-bars, leafs, sway bars, shocks, etc.)
  • Decent wheels and tires. 15×7″ cop wheels are suggested as a startingpoint.

This is really a pretty straightforward swap, don’t let the above listintimidate you. The outcome will be worth the effort and expense. With a 380HP crate engine, and, say, 3.55 gears, and sticky tires, this would be aneasy low-12-second, full-streetable ride.



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