318 Hop-Up

Tech Question


Al Fox, Hartford WI

I own a 4 wheel drive Dakota.The truck runs fine, but the318 is really slow! I would like about 275 horses and a bunch moretorque.What sort of problems would installing a Ram 360 bring? Would portingor differnt heads or camming be the most cost effective? I drive a lot ofhighway miles at 70 plus and would also like to not ruin the gas mileage toobad. So do you have any good answers?


Al, your 360 idea is probably the best plan. Anything you do to the heads orcam on your 318 will, if done right, increase the HP, but at the expense oflow-end grunt, which is what’s needed for most 4-by applications.

If you make the same kind of mods to a 360, you’ll still likely have moretorque than the 318 had, so it’s a win-win situation.

You didn’t say what year your Dak was, so I have no idea if it TBI or SMPI.But, since, SMPI owners don’t usually complain about “really slow” trucks,I’ll wager that it’s TBI. If I’m right, you should really consider an updateto SMPI (i.e., the “Magnum” mill.) To be practical, this requires finding ajunkyard vehicle and taking everything, esp. the wiring harness. The SMPImill will also improve fuel economy noticeably.

So, my final answer: a slightly warmed over 360 Magnum would be the optimumway to go.


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