HP mods for Dodge 318 ???

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by A1 Grass, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. A1 Grass

    A1 Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    My 1988 Dodge Ram D100 (95k mi), 318, 2bbl throttle body is generally good for towing my 6x8 enclosed, but I lose a lot of speed on a steep grade. Thank God for climbing lanes. I would like to do some (hopefully inexpensive) mods to add HP. Here's what I've come up with so far. I like to see some opinions from those with the experience:

    1. K&N Air Filter.

    2. Flowmaster or Flowtech muffler for the single exhaust.

    If that's not enough, then maybe:

    3. Small 4bbl with performance intake. Or should I attempt to use a performance Throttle-Body and skip the intake?

    I'd like to try and keep my mileage around the same or better if possible. I generally keep my foot out of the pedal - no hot-rodding with the trailer.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
  2. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    I'm not dissing on your truck, but with that engine and year there's just not much you can do to your truck to make it pull much harder than it already does unless you spend big money, JMHO. Swapping in a 360 might help, and if you want to spend the bucks, maybe you could swap in a later model Magnum engine with EFI. If you are a die hard Dodge man, save up some bucks and trade your half ton for a Cummins diesel model.
  3. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Is Texas big on vehicle emissions. If not heres what I'd do if your not going to replace it with a 360 or 400. Get rid of the smog pump and ditch the catalytic converter (probably can get away with this one) go to your favorite parts store and buy a crane cam that is set up for towing, then buy a holley 600 4 barrell carb. If you want put a free flowing exhaust system and a good after market air filter.

    But I'd be inclined to swap out the 318; good motor but not much power for those years, put in a 360 or 400. If you want to get real inovative find you a 1st generation cummins and drop that baby in there. You'd then have one bad 1/2 truck.
  4. A1 Grass

    A1 Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    Can someone elaborate on the Cummins? I really don't know anything about them. What about: Straight swap out? Do I have to get a new tranny also?

    I am not a die-hard Dodge fan, but I got it for $3000 from a friend and it is in really good condition. I always heard that the 318 was supposed to be great, but then I did find out that the 1988 puts out only 175 HP:cry:.

    Right now (San Antonio) Texas is not testing at all. You just drive up and go through the basics and they slap on a sticker for $12.

    I was wondering about that stupid smog pump though. Does it rob a lot, and do I have to reset anything or just plug up the holes left by its removal?
  5. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    318 is a good engine for towing-good torque-low hp.

    I have an '87 with 318(carborated)
    -a '90 with 318 (throttle body)
    -a '97 with 360

    For about $100-$150 I'd try a throttle body spacer, K&N filter, and losing as much of the exhaust restrictions as possible (i replaced muffler with straight pipe and no-one has given me a hard time about it).

    Also, lose the throttle body if you can stand to see it go-alas '88 was the first year for it and a 4-barrel carb would be much more reliable
  6. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Anything your engine has to turn other than itself robs it of Hp. You can just take the belt off the smog pump or take it completely off. Your parts store can probably provide you with an aftermarket cover if you were to take off the smog pump. You can also put a larger pulley on your alternator, the bigger the pulley the less power it takes to turn it, old street car racer trick.

    As far as swaping in a cummins, all I can tell you is to log on to www.turbodieselregister.com. Thats the Dodge cummins site and everything you want to find is there but you'll have to join it to do searches and put up post. I think it $34 dollars a year. I'm pretty sure though you'd at least have to put on heavier front springs.

    Good luck
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If you want more power sell the truck you have and buy a 3/4 ton by the time you swap engines etc you still have a 1/2 ton that can't haul anything. Putting a Cummins in a 1/2 ton isn't going to work the engine weighs 900lbs and the frame in the truck can't take the beef.

    The old 318 was a fairly good engine but it is pretty small on the displacement scale a 360 would do a 440 even better but burns lots of fuel.
  8. A1 Grass

    A1 Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 330

    Wow. Isn't it just LOUD as hell? Is it legal? Inspections?

    If it isn't too loud I'd love to try it :D
  9. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    If you replace your muffler with a straight pipe and do nothng else all you will get is NOISE and maybe 5 hp which you probably won't notice.
  10. MOOSE

    MOOSE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    OK, I had a 91' with 318 throttle body injected and took off converter and maybe 5 more hp.

    Sell the truck.. The 318 is a good truck but not for towing long or big loads. I pulled a 12' trailer with 2 WB with no problems. But when I went with a 16' with 2WB'S and a ztr.. No Way!
    The truck did not like it for going up hills. and going over 4o no way..
    I have a 98 dodge with 360 in it.. Boy, what a difference..

    Don't swap unless u have TIME & $$.

    Find another truck. Or find a smaller trailer if u can do that..

    Just my 2 cents worth.

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