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I haven't got my Dakota with its 440 (78 RV engine) fully on the road yet so I can't offer any constructive advice. My rebuild was basically a fully 'stock' rebuild with fresh stuff including 9-1 pistons and truck manifolds, but, I also have an Edelbrock Performer rpm intake and a full Holley Sniper EFI and matching HyperSpark ignition, and I can say the thing has 'explosive' throttle response - too much for a technical rock crawler and so I'm taking steps to 'de-tune' the throttle tip-in. But, while it was designed to be 'done' by 4500 rpm I think it is going to pull like a freight trail all the way up to it. I'm not sure how much 'more' power than the stock setup, but I am confident it does not have any 'less' ;) .

Stock rebuild = fresh, reliable 440, and that = 'good' 😎

- Sam
 
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I think the stock routing of spark plug wires has 90 degree boots on the plug end, #7 & #8 come from the rear. The other wires approach from the front below the exhaust manifold.

I use solid cores but mine has a mag & no radio.

Bucky
 
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'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
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If engine is solid as it is, Maybe add pressure and controled fuel mix.
EFI blow throught carb, Sniper, Fitech, etc.
increase output by 200 Tq/Hp on a week-end. You may never open the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
If engine is solid as it is, Maybe add pressure and controled fuel mix.
EFI blow throught carb, Sniper, Fitech, etc.
increase output by 200 Tq/Hp on a week-end. You may never open the engine.
That would be fun.
 

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As already noted, compression is your biggest restriction. Although the spec was for 8.0, 7.8 was often the norm. If I had to guess, I'd say your pistons are about .080 in the hole, and that's very hard to overcome without new pistons. The three big C's (cam, carburation, compression) definitely apply in this case. I would call the tech line at Hughes Engines, and tell them what you're trying to do.


Your gearing doesn't look like a problem, my 318 came with 10.50x31's and a 3.21 gear and does just fine, but it's just my work truck.

Mark
 
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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
As already noted, compression is your biggest restriction. Although the spec was for 8.0, 7.8 was often the norm. If I had to guess, I'd say your pistons are about .080 in the hole, and that's very hard to overcome without new pistons. The three big C's (cam, carburation, compression) definitely apply in this case. I would call the tech line at Hughes Engines, and tell them what you're trying to do.


Your gearing doesn't look like a problem, my 318 came with 10.50x31's and a 3.21 gear and does just fine, but it's just my work truck.

Mark
Their name comes up a lot, I'll give them a call and chat with them. I should learn something.

Edit: I did call them, their Whiplash cam seems like a pretty good option for the low compression engines, using a narrower lobe separation angle to increase cylinder pressure. I've read a lot about them on this forum doing searches, but it was cool to hear it from the horse's mouth. It might be a good one to consider with an Edelbrock dual plane intake and a bigger carb, but like a lot of vendors right now, they're out of them and have no idea when they'll get more.

I'll do some more research, and may give one a try at some point. It won't transform it into a big horsepower engine, but would probably give it a good 50-60hp, enough to give it some nice grunt and an aggressive idle.

The rebuild someday is where I'll have fun with it, but for now I love it anyway.
 

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Not to take this thread into any new directions but did your RC originally NOT have A/C? The reason I ask is, at first I noticed the compressor didn't look like what I would expect. It looks newer. Then I noticed that trap door on your heater box. My non-A/C W600 has the same trap door. I think this was a non-A/C thing, heater boxes are being discussed elsewhere on this board. Lastly your vents are round, not the rectangular that I would expect.

Bucky
 

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Not to take this thread into any new directions but did your RC originally NOT have A/C? The reason I ask is, at first I noticed the compressor didn't look like what I would expect. It looks newer. Then I noticed that trap door on your heater box. My non-A/C W600 has the same trap door. I think this was a non-A/C thing, heater boxes are being discussed elsewhere on this board. Lastly your vents are round, not the rectangular that I would expect.

Bucky
Looks like he has the dealer add on, or aftermarket AC setup. The one in my 76 had a small evaporator mounted above the heater box, and has a new glove box liner to make room for the evap. I never could get mine to cool a truck cab. I cannot imagine it working for a Ramcharger. You can see the hose hanging below the dash going to the pass vent, and the control box mounted at the bottom of the dash by the steering column.

I wish the dealer add on would just have used factory parts. Or at least list the parts and procedures in the parts and repair manuals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Not to take this thread into any new directions but did your RC originally NOT have A/C? The reason I ask is, at first I noticed the compressor didn't look like what I would expect. It looks newer. Then I noticed that trap door on your heater box. My non-A/C W600 has the same trap door. I think this was a non-A/C thing, heater boxes are being discussed elsewhere on this board. Lastly your vents are round, not the rectangular that I would expect.

Bucky
It did come with ac, but it was a dealer add-on. It even uses a Chrysler box of some kind. I have the original paperwork, and it came with it, but not with factory ac. It's kind of an odd setup, and hopefully it works well once I get it serviced and recharged if needed. It turns on and blows (the stock blower motor on the firewall doesn't work), but with a leaky heater core I didn't run it long enough to see how cold it blows. I'm sure it will need servicing.

That's next on my list after replacing the heater core and the blower motor so that I have heat and defrost before the winter.

Musical instrument accessory Audio equipment Cable Gas Wire


You can see where the little box sits from this angle.

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Fixture Steering wheel
 

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Thanks!
That looks similar to something on a RV or van, or at least I have seen one of those boxes before.

The more pictures you show the more impressed I am with how good the shape that your rig is in.

Bucky
 

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I love the color of that interior. I have an early 74 painted in Sunstone Orange that I want to make the interior that color with a Carmel carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I love the color of that interior. I have an early 74 painted in Sunstone Orange that I want to make the interior that color with a Carmel carpet.
I do love the interior color. The 70’s weren’t good for horsepower or interior colors. 🤣

All in all I love the truck, other than a few rust trouble spots in the rocker panels in front of the rear wheels. I’ll need to address that at some point. Most of it is surface, so taking care of that in chunks of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks!
That looks similar to something on a RV or van, or at least I have seen one of those boxes before.

The more pictures you show the more impressed I am with how good the shape that your rig is in.

Bucky
Thank you! Looking at the pics, I need to tweak the glove box arms and get it lined up right.
 

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I do love the interior color. The 70’s weren’t good for horsepower or interior colors. 🤣

All in all I love the truck, other than a few rust trouble spots in the rocker panels in front of the rear wheels. I’ll need to address that at some point. Most of it is surface, so taking care of that in chunks of time.
At least those are available parts. (Rockers and lower front quarters)
 
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