383 For ’78 Aspen

Tech Question


Fred, Gloucester Pt, VA, 1978, Dodge Aspen, 318

I have a 78 Aspen that I am currently thinking of beefingit up with a 70 383 Magnum from a Road Runner. Are there any othermodifications other than using motor mounts from Schumacher CreativeServices? Any help in making this easier would be appreciated. Thanks, Fred


Yes. A bunch. While this isn’t a difficult swap, certainly far easier than abig-block into an A-body, it’s far from a 2-hour bolt-in. Before gettinginto the details, let me make two observations:

> A 360 is a FAR easier swap and gives up only 23 cubes while weighing muchless than the 383. Can you say: “Crate engine?”

> A 440 is only slightly more difficult to swap in, and gains 57 cubes overthe 383.

But, okay, you asked about a 383. Here’s the short list of what’s gottachange, not including the mounts, which you have covered:

> Transmission (if automatic) or bellhousing (if 4-speed). Also, thebellhousing and/or transmission’s input bearing retainer will need majorrewroking to accept the Aspen’s overdrive A-833 4-speed.

> Radiator / hoses (One from a big-block C-body will do the trick)

> Exhaust (everything from headers back.) Pretty easy – lots of room in anF-body.

> Rear axle. If you now have an 8.25″ axle (unlikely), it will live for awhile if you use street tires. A 7.25″ will fail almost instantly.Eventually, you’ll want an 8.75 or 9.25″.

> Some wiring changes (mostly minor) assuming you have already trashed theLean-Burn system

> Throttle cable (get one from a 318-4Bbl Dippy cop car)

Your letter really gave me no insight into your skills and resources, butthe way you phrased it kinda leads me to think you might be fairly new atthis. If so, be sure to do your homework – read, plan, read, plan, etc. Anddon’t expect to get it done in one weekend. There’s always minor unforseenhangups in a non-OEM swap like this. (Don’t ask how I know this…)


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