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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all... First of thanks for the wealth of information everyone has provided in my newest project. This is only my 2nd Dodge i've ever owned in my life (53 years old). I'm still learning the Chrysler world. I know my 1980 corvette inside and out but am essentially starting all over with my Ramcharger !

I'm reading about this Lean burn system and trying to figure out if that's what i have. it's a 1989 Ramcharger 4x4 with the 5.2 (318) TBI engine. I don't see that box on the air filter, but also do not recall seeing a vacuum advance on the distributor?

When i bought the RC, the previous owner had the smog pump belts removed. I'm hoping to replace the exhaust system from the manifolds back (Muffler is completely shot) and am hoping that by doing this if i do have the lean burn this wont mess it up. The truck starts cold or hot very good, but seems to be lacking in the power.

If i do have the lean burn system, I see there is an Orange box setup from Summit racing which includes a new distributor. Can that be used and still keep the TBI ?

If not, what are my options.
 

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you should have a sbec ( single board engine controller ) later called a pcm ( powertrain controll module ) look behind the battery in the left front fender , see a black box? its the computer . Look at your distributor , find the harness coming from the dizzy , there should be ONE , with a 2 wire plug , the "lean" burn would have 2 harness , 1 w/3 wires 1 w/2 wires ........... your dodge is NOT much different from a Chevy , in operation , so don't forget all ya know ...  yeah there is NO advance on your dizzy , that sbec does the timing adjustment , so if/when you Do adjust / set base timing , you must unplug the sensor for engine temp, adjust , reinstall connector .. its a TWO wire sensor near the thermostat .. ( which is in the same place as yer cheby, upper rad hose outlet IIRC) 
 

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Lean burn are all carbureted models, all 318s '88 and up and all 360s '89 and up are fuel injected.
 

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You have TBI and can't do much with it. Your options for upgrading are - change to the 360 intake/throttle body/computer, go aftermarket, go carb (a step backwards imho).

If it's lacking power now, you should make sure everything is optimal. Check fuel pressure, air/fuel filters, plugs/wires, compression, and check/increase base ignition timing (you have to disconnect the 2-wire temp sensor to get to base timing).
 

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Getting the exhaust system fixed may help with the power.

A restrictive exhaust system kills power. Likewise, a MISSING or OPEN exhaust system robs low end torque. You get  a whole bunch of noise but not much propulsion relative to racket you are making.

Make sure the parts of you ignition system that you can fiddle with (plugs/wires) are up to snuff.

Bucky
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
dodge82273 said:
you should have a sbec ( single board engine controller ) later called a pcm ( powertrain controll module ) look behind the battery in the left front fender , see a black box? its the computer . Look at your distributor , find the harness coming from the dizzy , there should be ONE , with a 2 wire plug , the "lean" burn would have 2 harness , 1 w/3 wires 1 w/2 wires ........... your dodge is NOT much different from a Chevy , in operation , so don't forget all ya know ... yeah there is NO advance on your dizzy , that sbec does the timing adjustment , so if/when you Do adjust / set base timing , you must unplug the sensor for engine temp, adjust , reinstall connector .. its a TWO wire sensor near the thermostat .. ( which is in the same place as yer cheby, upper rad hose outlet IIRC)
Phew... confirmed. There is a computer box behind the battery. So firing order is the same as chevy. I'll plan to do all the usual stuff this long holiday weekend. Plugs, wires, oil, compression test. etc.

Thanks for the quick reply !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ToxicDoc said:
You have TBI and can't do much with it. Your options for upgrading are - change to the 360 intake/throttle body/computer, go aftermarket, go carb (a step backwards imho).

If it's lacking power now, you should make sure everything is optimal. Check fuel pressure, air/fuel filters, plugs/wires, compression, and check/increase base ignition timing (you have to disconnect the 2-wire temp sensor to get to base timing).
Thanks and will do. Timing is easiest to do. Compression will be next and while the plug wires look good, I'll probably replace them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
712edf said:
Getting the exhaust system fixed may help with the power.

A restrictive exhaust system kills power. Likewise, a MISSING or OPEN exhaust system robs low end torque. You get a whole bunch of noise but not much propulsion relative to racket you are making.

Make sure the parts of you ignition system that you can fiddle with (plugs/wires) are up to snuff.

Bucky
I definitely suspect the exhaust. It's all original and the muffler is simply shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Couple of questions. So exhaust is now gone and replaced with new. When the installer removed the airpump line into the cat, he say water poured out of it !

I set the timing at 10 degrees BTDC per the label under the hood. 

Still need to pull the distributor cap and check it and the rotor. So far this all has helped the power, but still not where i feel it should be. So more work to come.

I was thinking about the SBEC system. What all does it control ? Is it just the TBI and timing ? Just wondering if in time i were to change out to the Holley Sniper if it would be possible ?

I just replaced my carb on my 383 chevy in my 1980 Corvette which was a huge difference ! Even though it dyno'd at 460 crank horsepower, that Sniper definitely gave it more umph ! After that was installed and tuned i added the Hyperspark system which gave it the full package. I'm not sure they offer the Hyperspark for the 318, so if not,  I'm not sure how i could integrate the two if at all !
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, Holley does offer they Hyperspark setup for the 318, so back to my original question. If I were to go this route, the Sniper ECU controls the sniper and Hyperspark, what would be left to be controlled by the factory computer ?

Also, i pulled one of the plugs today just to see how they look. Doesn't this look kind of lean ?
 

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voltage regulator built into by pcm , do you have an overdrive automatic trans ?
 

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Darinm said:
Okay, Holley does offer they Hyperspark setup for the 318, so back to my original question. If I were to go this route, the Sniper ECU controls the sniper and Hyperspark, what would be left to be controlled by the factory computer ?

Also, i pulled one of the plugs today just to see how they look. Doesn't this look kind of lean ?
It does look lean, but with fuel injection you can't always tell.

I suggested you check fuel pressure. Check it before you burn a valve. You can also bump up your timing a couple of degrees to help with power (once you're sure you have enough fuel)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
dodge82273 said:
voltage regulator built into by pcm , do you have an overdrive automatic trans ?
no overdrive so far as I can tell. Still learning how to ID the transmission. The shift indicator only shows 1,2 and D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ToxicDoc said:
It does look lean, but with fuel injection you can't always tell.

I suggested you check fuel pressure. Check it before you burn a valve. You can also bump up your timing a couple of degrees to help with power (once you're sure you have enough fuel)
okay can do. The previous owner put in a new in tank fuel pump which is quite noisy so it definitely needs validation. What PSI should I expect to see?
 

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there would be a button in dash , says OD OFF if you had od
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dodge82273 said:
there would be a button in dash , says OD OFF if you had od
Definitely no OD then. Thanks
 
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