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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I joined the board a couple days ago and have been kinda lurking a little longer then that.

Anywho, I just bought an '84 Ramcharger this weekend. I'll be picking it up soon (hopefully today). One I get it though MD state inspection, I'll be using it for some light off roading and a good winter vehicle. My daily driver is a 2000 Ford Taurus. I like my taurus, but being that it is historicly a grociery getter and there are so many electronics and such to worry about, I don't have much to "play" with on it.

I did recently purchase an '88 Bronco II, but this truck turned out to be more hastle then it was worth, so I'll be looking to get rid of it. Meanwhile, I came accross this Dodge on my way to work. It was sitting up on a hill overlooking the road I take every day. Beautiful black with chrome trim pieces. It's got the carburated 360 ci engine in it. 4WD of course. In pretty good shape physically and mechanically. one of the bottom edges of the rear QP are rusted out, but it's all below the trim line. I'll probably get that fixed somewhat soon.

Anyway, I've got some automotive experiance/background through messing with the taurus and the bronco, but this is my first carburated car and second car with a mecahnical distributor. Also my first V8 (whoohoo!). It's mind boggling when you realize that this truck has the displacement of the bronco II and my taurus put together.

Anyway, I've been doing some reading, but don't have a very good ground understanding so to speak to build on. So far I've read that the 360 is a relitive of the 318, which has been around since the 60's. From what I read the 318 and it's 60's-70's relitives are members of the "A" engine family. The 360 and other 70's+ engines are considered "LA" family. Also, from what I read the '84 was offered w/ either the "LA" 318 or "LA" 360. I think I also seemed to gather that the 318 had a stock 2BBL carb and the 360 had a 4BBL carb. There seems to be lots of different intake's available to bolt on either engine, though most seem to focus on bolting a 4 BBBL carb to a 318 block. I have seen some information about an old intake (offensomethinorrother), a early model AMC vehicle, which had a 360 or 318 engine w/ a dual 4 bbl carb intake. I don't know if these would work w/ the '84 or if you'd even want to.

I think I've also learned that the truck as a Dana 44 front axle and some kind of 9.5" or so rear axle?

Also my truck has a 4 inch suspension lift and 33" tires. The guy who's selling it just had a blow out so there's a donut on one wheel right now, but I'll be taking the set of Cragar rims and 33 X 12.5 Super Swampers I just put on the Bronco and put them on the dodge. I *think* it's the same bolt pattern... which makes sence because these tires and rims were on a '96 cherokee I found in a salvage yard. (tires are in great shape BTW). Cherokee... Ramcharger... all mopar, right? :)

So anywho, I'll be hanging out here quite a bit now probably. I tend to be slow in actually doing anything with my cars, but I'll probably ask a lot of questions, so please bear with me.

Thanks everyone!

-Dan
 

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dant98 said:
OK, now I'm just kinda talking ot myself, but I wanted to add a quick question... Was there any kind of Posi-traction system in the '84 Ramcharger?
Mopar limited slips are called 'sure-grips'. It is possible your RC has one, but more than likely it does not. Easiest way to check is to jack up the rear end, and spin one tire. If the opposite tire spins the opposite direction, you have an open diff. If you can't turn it (leave in park) or if the opposite tire turns the same direction (in neutral) you have a posi.

I believe offenhauser is the manufacturer of the intake you were describing. I think before you go making any carb/intake changes, you need to drive the RC for a little while. A 360 with one 4 bbl is thirsty enough for petrol....with two 4 bbl carbs you could probably watch the gas gauge drop as you drive :eek:

I am unsure of the bolt pattern for an '84 4x4, it will be either 5 on 4.5" (small BP) or 5 on 5.5" (large BP)...someone will have a better answer here.

Welcome to the site :)

-SM
 

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Dan, "A" engines are called 318 polyheads and were around until 1967 when they were replaced with the "LA" 318. I have a few of the old poly's. They are good motors. "LA" engines consist of 273,318,340,360's. The 273 was the first LA engine and it was around at the same time as the poly "A" engines.

The dual 4bbl intake that i think your talking about is for an "A" engine poly 318 which came on 1958 plymouths. (AMC motors are not the same as Mopar so their intakes wouldn't interchange.) It wouldn't fit on your 360 nor would you want to put two 4bbl's on it unless you built it for racing (and in that case, they do sell aftermarket dual 4bbl intakes for it). Just stick with your single 4bbl and upgrade to a better carb like a holley (my opinion - they are better than carter/edelbrock).


Your ramcharger has a larger bolt pattern than a jeep cherokee. Yes, cherokees are mopars too. Jeep (AMC) was bought out by Chrysler in the mid 80's.

Yes, they offered Trac-lok limited slip rear axles in your ramcharger. To check to see if you have one, lift the rear of the truck by the center of the axle (so both rear tires are off the ground) and turn one of the wheels. If the other wheel turns in the same direction as the one you are turning, you have some sort of limited slip or posi rear axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info folks. As for as the wheels, if the wheels I have now don't bolt up, with those super swampers, it's deffinatly worth it to have a shop pull them of the Cragar rims and mount them on the american racing rims that are on the truck now. I was just hoping to keep it cheap at the moment (not planning on any real upgrades probably till after winter). And thanks for the info on the intakes. Again, I'm certainly not doing anything right away and any changes I make to engine performance will be to increase torque, not HP. I don't intend to drag this beast or anything, but I like having that low end power in a truck. I just wondered why the HP rating seemed so low on it. IIRC, the stock numbers were like 170 HP, 275 ft/lbs torque. My taurus only puts out 200 ft/lbs torque, but also puts out 200 HP. That's on a 3 ltr V6 engine rather then a 5.7 V8. It just seems like a ratical difference even if my taurus has much newer engineering (and fuel injection for that matter). Seems to me these big iron block engines should be capable of number in the 300's without too much effort.

-Dan
 

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dant98 said:
Seems to me these big iron block engines should be capable of number in the 300's without too much effort.

-Dan
They are. :) The key to your Taurus' V6 power numbers is they are made for the most part upstairs (at high rpm's) and the engine is built with a shorter stroke and higher revs in mind. It does not need a whole lot of low end torque, it only has to pulla 3000-3500 lb car around, not a 2 to 2-1/2 ton beast. ;)

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I know the taurus probably revs higher and produces torque and HP further in the RPM band. In fact, my taurus kinda bogs off the line, but she'll cruse at 90 at like 3K RPM's all day long.

My buddy is building a '68 mustang at the moment. I think he intends on making it his primary transportation in the future. It'll be a 302 w/ a T5 five speed tranny (converting it from the auto). We're hoping we can work in this Explorer 5.0 block w/ GT40P heads, but we're bolting on all the carb / mechanical ignition stuff. So in any event, we're going to work through his mustang first, then work on the Ramcharger. Hopefully I'll learn a lot about pushrod, carburated engines while working on the 302.

-Dan
 

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Well, I have a 93 sable wagon (same as taurus), and it weighs 3,950 lbs...on the scales, without my fat butt in it. It will freely rev to 5500 before shifting (no redline on tach), and has plenty of power for a car. Yes, it will cruise all day long at 3000 rpm, but it ain't 90 mph. More like 80. It even gets 29 plus mpg @ 75 mph......

The bronco II weill fit the 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern, but will not do so good enough to drive safely. I have a set of bronco II tires/rims I put on so I can get my truck in the garage, but that's all I use them for. The center register (hole in the middle of the rim) is the wrong size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your sable is probably either the 3.8 Essex or the 3.0 Vulcan. These I don't think rev as high as the Yamaha engine in the SHO's or the Duratec 3.0 DOHC in my taurus.

Thanks for the wheel info. Is that hole issue a problem just with stock bronco rims? The rims on my bronco are the Cragar rims I got off the Cherokee. They should be these: http://www.uniquewheel.com/catalog_pg3.html There's the black ones with the red stripe.
 

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where you will seew the biggest difference in performance with a RC, is to change the gear ratio in the differentials. your RC will most likely have 3.23 gears with 3.55 being optional. when the 33's were installed on it it drasticly changed the final drive ratio of the truck. ........ is you swap in gears in the 3.91 to 4.10 range it will make all the difference in the world. it will put you back in the rpm range the truck was designed to operate in and give you much better acceleration . ......... true you will be turning a higher RPM at highway speeds (but prob not far from what the truck does with stock tires and present gears) but not obsenely so. David
 

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i do agree with david on the gears. he has driving my truck since i swapped in the 3.55s, he can attest to the difference they made just with 31s. with 33s, a gear swap would help out a lot.

Duane
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another thing... There may have been modifications already done to the truck. Apparenlty a previous owner had it as a registed ORV and used to take it out on the sand or something. He was the one that put the 4 inch lift on and probably was running 33's. I know the guy I bought it from put the American Racing wheels on it, but I don't know if it's the first time it had 33's or not. I'd guess not if it previously had the 4" lift.
 

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It's a 3.0, and it will rev high enough to bury the tach if I chose to do so. the highest i have sen it rev to is 5900 rpm......that was on a kickdown shift at 60 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The duratec 3.0 shifts at 6-6500 RPM. It's just made to rev higher. In fact, your Vulcan makes max torque earlier then my duratec. The pushrod based Vulcan makes it's power band lower in the RPM scale. Of course the vulcan engine has been around since like the late 80's where as the duratec was introduced in '96. It's a more modern engine. I've been an active member over on the TCCA boards for years. It's amazing how much you learn when you're active on a forum that long. http://www.tauruscarclub.com/.

Anywho, I should have my truck today. They guy whose selling it leaves for a vacation in florida today. He'll be leaving the keys with his father in law at the house. The problem is he still needs to sign the title over to me. I might try to call him this morning and swing by on my way to work. I'm so ancious! I've always liked Dodge. Expecially the new dodges. Since 95/96 ish they've really maintained a pretty sleak and sexy body style on thier trucks. If I were buying a brand new truck, I think a loaded Dakota would deffinatly be in the list to consider. Of course I think Ford makes a good truck too, but hey, I'm traditionally a Ford guy. Of course if I were looking for a mini truck, I'd go Toyota I think. Those little Tacomas look bad as hell. A stock Tacoma TRD off road has all kinds of ground clearence.
 
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