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  #1  
Old 05-12-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default 5.2 vs. 5.9

i drive a 99 ram 1500 with a 5.2 in it and i was wondering what the main differences were between the 5.2 and 5.9 v8 engines. i know the 5.9 makes a bit more power but why? id also like to know if the fuel injection and emissions systems are the same on the 2 because i have access to a donor truck with a 5.9 and i need 2 injectors, a cat converter and both o2 sensors and dont want to spend big bucks at a parts store. the donor truck has a set of aftermarket headers also and i have no clue if they will match up to both the 5.9 and 5.2 heads.

Thanks, Grant
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:55 PM
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what year is the donor truck 5.2 is 318ci and 5.9 is 360ci 5.9 is just bigger motor
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:23 PM
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The blocks are the same, just the 360 is bored out to a larger displacement. I see where you are going with it and no, unfortunately the heads/headers/etc are not interchangeable. The exhaust from the header back though (I believe) is.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:34 PM
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The 360 as mentioned is a slightly bigger bore but more importantly it has a longer stroke as well so it's torque is significantly higher than the 318 even if the HP isn't. the head question depends on the motors...are they Magnums or LA?
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:58 PM
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Blocks are not the same, the 360 is cast with a bigger bore (4" even), the 318 only has 3.91". More importantly is the crank area: the 360 has bigger main journals than the 318. 318's are also internally balanced, whereas 360's are not. 318 has the classic LA stroke (3.31"), same as the 273 & 340. The 360 has a 3.58" stroke.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:33 PM
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i ended up not getting the donor truck, it was sold. thanks for the help tho everyone
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:10 PM
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The truck mentioned by the OP was a 1999. Magnum or LA?!?!?
Final year for LA was 1991 for 318, 1992 for 360.
Any head from the 1964 273 through the last Magnum 360 will interchange, per se. Whether it's a good swap or not is the question. As long as certain accommodations are made involving the swaps, it can be done. Just don't plan on unbolting a Magnum and bolting on an LA or vice-versa. As I said, possible, as long as certain accommodations are addressed. Nothing huge, but head bolts, valvetrain, and intake manifolding must also be considered.
The 318 and 360 block are in the same family, so EXTERNAL dimensions are the same. These are thinwall castings, so you will not see the 318's 3.91 bore being opened up to the 360's 4.0" bore. Early 318 blocks (late 60's-early 70's) can sometimes be opened up that far, but once the castings were tightened up around '75, you're not gonna find one with that much extra meat.
While the 3.31 stroke is common to all but the 360, I'd say the 360's stroke is just as deserving of the "classic" moniker as it was used for about 30 years. The 360 also has larger crank journals.
The 360 makes more power because it displaces more air and gas on each rotation. The whole point of engine mods is to get more air/fuel through the engine. All else being equal, a larger engine will always make more power. The 5.2 Magnum has a better cam than the 5.9 Magnum, so peak power is closer than the size difference would indicate. The 5.2 breathes a little better with the better cam, so it takes in more air/fuel relative to it's displacement than a lesser-cammed 5.9 Mag. Despite having a milder cam, the 5.9 has more power due to simple displacement. Put the 5.2 Mag cam in the 5.9 Mag and it'll pick up a few more HP. Equip the two engines the same and the 5.9 will stay 30-40 HP greater than the 5.2, right up to the next limiting factor, the heads. 400HP at 6000 rpm is about the max on stock Magnum heads. Even if the two engines are set up equally and have the same peak HP numbers, a 5.9 will have higher torque numbers from idle to around 3500 rpm due to the simple reality of the 5.9's larger displacement.
The 5.2 mag and 5.9 Mag have the same top side, meaning heads, valve sizes, intake and exhaust. Exhaust manifolds bolt right up, even match with LA stuff. A quick power-up for older LA-equipped trucks is to swap in some Magnum factory exhausts.
Headers, O2 sensors, cat converters, are not specific to engine size in this situation.
The 360LA and 5.9 Magnum are externally balance, though the Mag uses a little less weight. It's cheaper to do it that way (factory bean-counters), but the sweet deal is to have the 5.9 professionally balanced internally, thus eliminating the external weight requirement.

Last edited by Gen1dak; 05-13-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:13 PM
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i actually ended up with the truck so ill be tearing into the exhaust taking off the cat. o2 sensors and magnaflow muffler... doesnt have headers /: anyone know how hard it would be to swap the motors? mines a 99 1500 5.2 and the other is a 99 2500 5.9... also how do iknow if its a magnum or LA? neither trucks have emblems.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:06 PM
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Anything that new is a magnum engine. It will be a bolt in physically, but you will need the 360 specific TC for your transmission.
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