Joe Coates, Valparaiso, IN, 1963 Chrysler Newport 361
This is my first Mopar and has only 45,000 miles and hasbeen in a garage for 30 years. All the gaskets are dried out and theengine leaks. Other than that, it runs like a top. Since I have to take itdown to do the gaskets, are there performance parts avalible for the 361?Nothing crazy, maybe cam, head porting and a good carb. Just some advicefor a newbie.
The possibilites are endless. First suggestion I’d make would be a pair oflater (mid-’70’s) big-block cylinder heads. These will flow way more(basicaly, ‘pre-ported!’), and have hardened exhaust seats for unleaded gas.They will drop the compression a bit – that’s the downside. But…you’llnever need premium fuel, and you’ll STILL make for power.
Any stock 4-Bbl intake and carb, from any or 400, would be fine up top.
The cam choices are also limitless. But with the low compression andsmallish displacment, don’t go crazy. Something like a stock 383/440 Magnumcam (late ’60’s) would be a good starting point.
Then you need to take out the trash. Either small headers (see SchumacherTri-Ys or Hedman shorties) or later hi-po exhaust manifolds, would do thetrick, from there back a nice set of 2.5″ pipes.
With the above done correctly, you’d be adding an easy 75 HP with almost noreduction in driveability.
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