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  #1  
Old 04-05-2014, 12:38 PM
Dodge84 Dodge84 is offline
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Default 5.9 magnum swapped for LA318 help please

I have a 1984 dodge ram w250 with an LA318, and I want to swap it out for a 360 Magnum so I need some advice from people who know their magnum engines


- I don't have the engine yet
- I'm going to make it carbed, so I'm going to get a new manifold
- I'm also going to get new Iron Ram heads
- I read my LA distributor will drop right in

1) Is there a specific year I should look for when doing this swap?
2) I know the balancing is different, what exactly do I need to get to fix this issue? I was told to make sure I get the flexplate with the engine
3) V-belt or Serpentine? I don't want A/C on it, Is switching to a V-belt difficult? and what exactly do I need to switch to V-belts
4) is there anything else I need to buy or change when doing this swap? any advice is appreciated

Most recent picture I have of the truck because I know people like pics =]

Needs body work I know, that will get done
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:32 PM
Dodge84 Dodge84 is offline
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Maybe I posted this in the wrong thread, If no one has any information is there a better thread to post this question in? Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:00 PM
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I have not done the swap however you are on the right track with the balancing thing.
If you are buying iron rams anyway get them with the LA intake pattern. You will have a much more intake choices that way, including used ones
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:57 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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Any Magnum engine will do. The 360 Magnum is externally balanced, just not a much as the 360LA. It's always good if you can get the flexplate, but not necessary. If you're keeping the stock transmission, you can use your stock 318 flexplate and converter. Just get the external balance weight for 5.9 Magnum added to the converter by any decent machine shop. Or, you can get an aftermarket flexplate already balanced to your intention. SMR, PATC, B&M, TCI. Take your pick.
LA distributor does drop in.
Use your LA timing cover, water pump, and pulleys. If you stay with the serpentine, you'll need the Magnum water pump and engine fan as they run the opposite direction as the LA's. Do not plan on using the LA intake on a Magnum engine. The spacing is different. Nevermind the bolt holes. If you use Magnum heads on an LA block, that works, but on a Magnum block with Magnum heads, the LA intake is not nearly wide enough. I learned this when converting a 2001 360 Magnum for use in my '89 Dakota. It's a Shelby, with the 318LA. The LA intake (Edelbrock Performer, as well as a 360LA 4V) just sat there in the lifter valley, didn't even touch the heads.

Last edited by Gen1dak; 04-05-2014 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:00 PM
Dodge84 Dodge84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen1dak View Post
Any Magnum engine will do. The 360 Magnum is externally balanced, just not a much as the 360LA. It's always good if you can get the flexplate, but not necessary. If you're keeping the stock transmission, you can use your stock 318 flexplate and converter. Just get the external balance weight for 5.9 Magnum added to the converter by any decent machine shop. Or, you can get an aftermarket flexplate already balanced to your intention. SMR, PATC, B&M, TCI. Take your pick.
LA distributor does drop in.
Use your LA timing cover, water pump, and pulleys. If you stay with the serpentine, you'll need the Magnum water pump and engine fan as they run the opposite direction as the LA's. Do not plan on using the LA intake on a Magnum engine. The spacing is different. Nevermind the bolt holes. If you use Magnum heads on an LA block, that works, but on a Magnum block with Magnum heads, the LA intake is not nearly wide enough. I learned this when converting a 2001 360 Magnum for use in my '89 Dakota. It's a Shelby, with the 318LA. The LA intake (Edelbrock Performer, as well as a 360LA 4V) just sat there in the lifter valley, didn't even touch the heads.
As for intakes, this is what I was looking at buying new
http://www.scramspeed.com/category-s/1858.htm
- Will my la318 timing cover and water pump bolt right on to the 360? and will I need to buy anything extra to transfer it over to V-belt style?
- I will look at the flexplate and getting it converted, although if I did get the 360 flexplate would that work with my stock transmission? I believe it's a 727
- Should I go with a better cam? or keep the stock cam in your opinion
- Do I need to do anything with the harmonic balancer?
basically I need to know everything I need to do before I even purchase the engine so I know what I'm up against

And thanks!
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:05 PM
Dodge84 Dodge84 is offline
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I just read if you're planning on using a mechanical fuel pump then you'll need to buy a new cam, this is what I read
"Cam Issues
Magnum and some later LA 360 style cams do not have a snout for the fuel pump eccentric. This is only a problem if you are using a mechanical fuel pump. If you do want to use a mechanical fuel pump, you will either need to source a cam that has one, or use this Hughes cam snout kit to install it. Be advised: It is best to call and verify the details of this kit before ordering. Some combinations require the big washer to be machined .100, and it should be possible for Hughes to do this before shipping. You will likely want to replace the stock cam, and there are ways to avoid this issue with your new cam."
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:50 AM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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Flexplate isn't an issue. Any will do. The issue is the balance weight. 360LA had weight on the torque converter. All 360 Magnums had lockup torque converters, so you can't jut use one of them in the 727.

Harmonic damper. If you plan on using the V-belts of old, you will need an early Magnum damper. This is easily identified by the two piece design, meaning the pulley bolts to the damper (look pretty much like the LA setup). The later model is one piece (pulley is integral with the damper). Your LA pulley will bolt right to the early damper. Also, the LA timing cover and water pump will bolt right to the Magnum block.

Better cam? Depends on what you want. You could add a better LA style roller cam (when choosing, remember to account for the higher ratio rockers of the Magnum --1.5 for LA, 1.6 for Magnum), and that'll solve your short snout issue as well. Otherwise you'll need to do the modified snout adapter. There's always an electric fuel pump for carbs. Maintains up to around 10psi.

The Edelbrock RPM AirGap is pretty much the best thing out there for street-driven use.

Last edited by Gen1dak; 04-06-2014 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:39 PM
Dodge84 Dodge84 is offline
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First I want to thank you for helping me with my questions!

Now, for the damper, Since I want to use V-belts and my La waterpump and timing cover, will this damper work?
http://www.scramspeed.com/Pro-Produc.../scr59360a.htm

And for the fuel pump, I don't really want to use an electric fuel pump, I'd rather use a mechanical fuel pump
Now Hughes makes a cam snout extension for like 30 dollars
http://www.hughesengines.com/Index/p...=&partid=22194
But depending if the stock cam is worn out or not I might just want to buy a new cam, the snout extender is not what I'd really like to do, so do I just find a hydraulic roller cam with an extended snout for a 360 mag? And that will solve my problem?

And for the flexplate and torque converter, I'm rather confused, what exactly do I need to do to make the 360 magnum work with my stock trans?
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:33 AM
Dodge84 Dodge84 is offline
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-----

Last edited by Dodge84; 04-07-2014 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:33 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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Damper looks good for your needs.
One way to balance is this way:
http://www.bmracing.com/products/102...uth-w-360-cid/
Bolt it to your choice of neutral balance non-lockup torque converters (like the one your 318 has now) and you're done.

Or, have some of these weights:

http://chucker54.stores.yahoo.net/mopbalweigpa.html

applied by weld to your zero-balance torque converter.

Or give PATC, Turbo Action, TCI, SMR, etc and tell them what you want. They'll fix you up with a new converter, properly balanced, and you can use your 318 flexplate.

http://www.transmissioncenter.net/727transmission.htm

Scroll down just past mid-page to see an example of what PATC offers for converters. Just call 'em and tell 'em what you want.

This eBay ad explains it as well:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Torqueflite-...item56620aabaf

The cam snout extension is totally solid, but you can get a roller cam with a long snout. You're talking $300 bucks, but you'll also be getting a better cam. Don't forget the matching valve springs (more money). Just give CompCams or someone else a call and tell them what you're doing and they'll fix you up. Hughes could do that too. You're not the first to do this, so it's not like they've never heard of it.

Last edited by Gen1dak; 04-07-2014 at 10:59 PM.
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