Dodge RamCharger Central banner
61 - 80 of 85 Posts

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger, 318ci/A727/NP208 on 31's
Joined
·
24 Posts
Mark,
My '99 2500 w/a 360 Magnum got btwn 16 and 18 mpg depending on how much of a load I was haling. That's the range I observe in my RC as well. I've been tuning this way for a number of years, and it works for me. Everyone I know sets initial timing with the vacuum advance disconnected. Dialing in the full mechanical advance, then advancing or retarding it for max vacuum at idle does work, I go back and forth with the timing at idle and at 2500 until I feel it's right. The reason for doing it this way is I don't know what the factory programed into that black box, so yes I am treating it like a strip car. But I road test it on the street to check the drivability and if it's not right I start over. I have had to do this to other cars and trust me this not as hard as a Porsche with a vacuum turbo boost retard which only comes into play at full throttle underload. Hey if I had a chasse dyno and all the computer magic that goes with it, you know this would be easy.

The amount of full advance varies from engine to engine, the 318 has a 3.31" stroke with a long 6.123" rod but with a relievedly small bore, so the advance doesn't need to be that great because the 318 can burn its air/fuel charge fairly efficiently. So, 32 degrees total can do it but until tested don't assume anything. If you through 93 octane in a car turned to run on 87 you've waisted your money. Here is something else to consider, the altitude at which you tuned said engine will be operated, it could be 16 degrees at idle above 5000 feet. Then there is air/fuel mixture, and at what altitude and cam advance/retard, and dwell angle and valve lash yada yada yada. The newer cars today have programing which allows them take full advantage of higher octane fuels and figure all this out on the fly without input by the loose nut behind the wheel.

Revis
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Did a bunch of work today. Diff, trans (filter too), and t-case fluid, new oil pan gasket and fresh oil change.

Still hear a whistle so it's still got a vacuum leak. The EGR solenoid was leaking so I ripped it apart and used JB Weld to fill up the plate. Not the best solution, but if it holds I'll be happy.

Still pinging under load with the vacuum advance hooked up. Initial timing is now down at 4 degrees. More troubleshooting needed.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger, 318ci/A727/NP208 on 31's
Joined
·
24 Posts
If your RC is like mine, then it was equipped with air pump, and there are ports in the rear of the exhaust manifolds that get fed by that air pump. That whistle could be coming from there, but I can't see how that would affect your pinging issue. The Chrysler tag under the hood of my '87 recommends 6 deg BTDC at 650 rpm. 4 deg BTDC shouldn't be pinging, have you checked the plugs yet? Recommended gap is .035, have you pulled valve covers to inspect the top valve train. That may not tell you a lot but if it has sludge coating everything that could be a good indication of the condition of the engine.

Good Luck
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1778ppr

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,039 Posts
FSM page # 25-24 says 8* degrees for a 318 at 650 rpm

l,d look into the fact that your harmonic balancer has slipped , also l,d time it by ear or a vacuum gauge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,039 Posts
too time and engine by EAR [ the best way there is ] without a timing light you need two people [ now known as 1 & 2 ] 2 gets in truck and starts it up , 1 gets in engine bay with Dist wrench , 2 drops it in gear and brings rpm's up about 1800 to 2000 rpm's [ guesstimate ] as 1 turns Dist counter clock wise till it just starts to Ping and back it off a little , tighten Dist , have 2 shut it off and do a restart to see HOW it starts [ if it fires right up NICE your done , if it LABORS [ turns over hard ] and doesn't start good , back the timing off a little [ turn Dist clock wise just a little ] try the restart again , if it fires right up your done
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Vehicle brake

Dodgeboys and Rusy Bolt, thanks for your replies. Spark plugs are brand new and gapped at .035. Air pump is gone, the holes are plugged up.

I'm wondering if the whistle is air coming through the EGR tower in the manifold under the carb. Thinking about pulling the carb and plugging that since the EGR is gone on the truck. I've been using carb cleaner everywhere and can't find a leak that I haven't fixed on the top of the intake.

I've got a service manual (thanks eBay), however the Proform instructions say start at 4 and back off if there is pinging with the vacuum disconnected. I'm wondering if this is to account for slippage on the timing mark. Once initial timing is set then hook up the vacuum and try again. If there is pinging, then I can adjust the vacuum advance. Before I mess with the vacuum timing I need to figure out the vacuum leaks.

Also, what port on the carb is to the vacuum advance? In this picture, the blue port or red port. Both show zero vacuum at idle.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger, 318ci/A727/NP208 on 31's
Joined
·
24 Posts
Hey wait one. That whistle, and I may be wrong (known to happen ask my wife) could be the normal sound of the motor running. Most cars and trucks have such an array of sound deadening properties built into them, so they can meet State or Fed sound requirements that normally you don't hear anything. When I had my C3500 GMC its 454 at idle would whistle all the time, it ran perfectly, but it had a residency cavity to "clean up" the air intake noise level when the air cleaner was installed. That whistle could be the sound of air passing through the venturis of your carb. That's the good news.

That pinging is a problem. I tend to agree with Dodgeboys but if it's not harmonic balancer: I'd begin to subsect the timing chain. Checking the cam timing of an engine is a straight and forward process, it's not hard but it is a PIA because you'll have to pull the timing cover and everything in front of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zoolander

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Hey wait one. That whistle, and I may be wrong (known to happen ask my wife) could be the normal sound of the motor running. Most cars and trucks have such an array of sound deadening properties built into them, so they can meet State or Fed sound requirements that normally you don't hear anything. When I had my C3500 GMC its 454 at idle would whistle all the time, it ran perfectly, but it had a residency cavity to "clean up" the air intake noise level when the air cleaner was installed. That whistle could be the sound of air passing through the venturis of your carb. That's the good news.

That pinging is a problem. I tend to agree with Dodgeboys but if it's not harmonic balancer: I'd begin to subsect the timing chain. Checking the cam timing of an engine is a straight and forward process, it's not hard but it is a PIA because you'll have to pull the timing cover and everything in front of it.
That's a great point. It might just be an intake whistle. I used 1/3 of a can of carb cleaner looking for the leak around the manifold and carb and can't find anything. Idle quality is good enough so maybe I'm chasing something that doesn't exist anymore. My intake is the factory intake with the plastic flex hose removed but there is a screw hole and that factory vacuum air restrictor thing in the neck still. So maybe it's just that.

Tonight I'm checking the dampner's timing mark accuracy. I'm going to pull plug #1, find TDC, and see how far off it is.

When I was timing it, the timing mark seemed to be solid. It wasn't wandering so I'm not sure the timing chain is worn. It's got 87k miles, which I've read is past due for a factory chain, however, the water pump is new and the intake has been off so I'm wondering if a previous owner did the timing chain already.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Checked the timing chain via the highly sophisticated method of watching the distributor rotor while turning the crank back and forth. About 8 degrees of crankshaft rotation before the rotor starts to move.

Timing mark is right on the money for TDC.

Removed intake, whistle is still there. Yeesh.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger, 318ci/A727/NP208 on 31's
Joined
·
24 Posts
My '69 W200, '70 Challenger, and '69 Cornett all had 318's and they were so encrusted with gunk that that you could hardly see the paint on them. I don't think other than a water pump, a starter, and a fuel pump or filters anything had ever been done on them. I do know that my Cornett had some timing issues needed a distributor because the bushings were worn out but if I got it out onto the highway and ran high octane the pinging went away. They're very reliable engines 87K sounds well-seasoned to me. But if you are getting 8 deg of slop at the cam as indicated by a new distributor well there could be a stretched chain. Remember the cam turns at half the rate of the crank and stretched timing chain would cause a lot of trouble.

The timing mark is right on the money because the crank has a mechanical attachment to the piston. And for now, I'll assume that harmonic balancer is not the issue. I'm not going to say there is no way to inspect the timing chain without removing the balancer. You may be able try to rotate the cam by hand, I've never tried it, so I don't know if is possible.

Good Luck
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zoolander

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #71 ·
My '69 W200, '70 Challenger, and '69 Cornett all had 318's and they were so encrusted with gunk that that you could hardly see the paint on them. I don't think other than a water pump, a starter, and a fuel pump or filters anything had ever been done on them. I do know that my Cornett had some timing issues needed a distributor because the bushings were worn out but if I got it out onto the highway and ran high octane the pinging went away. They're very reliable engines 87K sounds well-seasoned to me. But if you are getting 8 deg of slop at the cam as indicated by a new distributor well there could be a stretched chain. Remember the cam turns at half the rate of the crank and stretched timing chain would cause a lot of trouble.

The timing mark is right on the money because the crank has a mechanical attachment to the piston. And for now, I'll assume that harmonic balancer is not the issue. I'm not going to say there is no way to inspect the timing chain without removing the balancer. You may be able try to rotate the cam by hand, I've never tried it, so I don't know if is possible.

Good Luck
New timing chain on it's way. Double roller Melling from Summit for $45. Not bad. I'll get it changed out and see what happens.

I'm still trying to figure out which port on the carb to hook the dist vacuum advance too. Right now it's still unhooked. No pinging but only set to 4* initial. Runs decent enough. Maybe I'll give 89 octane a shot. I only drive 10-12 miles a day in this thing.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Update. The damper slipped. My super scientific method of lining it up to TDC wasn't as accurate as I thought.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wood Rim Automotive wheel system


I'm about to take the timing case cover off and see what's going on in there.

Also, the A/C bracket was on wrong. Not sure how it's supposed to be attached.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Looks to be over 1/2" of play. Getting ready to put the new on one.

Crankset Gear Automotive tire Bicycle part Rim

Crankset Automotive tire Gear Bicycle part Wood
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
61,006 Posts
Wow!, you still have the factory plastic gears intact. Good thing you are changing it. Yea, I would also get a new dampner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,039 Posts
yup for and OLD truck to still have it's "plastic" teeth is amazing

you dont hafta get a new balancer if you just remember your 4 degrees or so off
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zoolander

·
Moderator
'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
Joined
·
4,794 Posts
yup for and OLD truck to still have it's "plastic" teeth is amazing

you dont hafta get a new balancer if you just remember your 4 degrees or so off
True but if it slipped once it could slip again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zoolander

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #77 ·
I marked the new spot. As long as I get close. Final tuning will be done by ear and vacuum.

The carb is my vacuum leak. Rebuild kit in the way.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #78 · (Edited)
So, it still pings under heavy throttle at what I think is 4* initial and the vacuum line unhooked to the distributor.

It also blows a puff of smoke (I think black) out the tailpipe when I floor it. This is when it pings too.

Upon start up, there is a big pile of soot that comes out of the tailpipe.

I know the carb has a vacuum leak between the floor plate and the body.

New plugs are already covered in soot.

I'm thinking it's running rich. But the pinging has me scratching my head. Could it be pinging because there is so much soot in the cylinders?

Carb is a Holley 2280 without the emissions stuff.

Edit: Bowl vent has a cap on it...this is bad, correct? If it can't vent, then from what I've read it can cause excessive fuel going to the motor...hence my rich condition?

Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Aren't you kind of chasing your tail if you have a known vacuum leak?

Not trying to be a jerk, just pointing it out.
 

·
Registered
1987 Ramcharger. 318, auto, 4x4.
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Aren't you kind of chasing your tail if you have a known vacuum leak?

Not trying to be a jerk, just pointing it out.
I know, but don't vacuum leaks make it run lean, not rich? The carb rebuild kit is on its way. My fridge is starting another collection of magnets from Rockauto. Lol.
 
61 - 80 of 85 Posts
Top