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Build a Hot Mopar 318 for Street or Strip


Glenbrook is an online mechanics writer, who enjoys rebuilding and modding classic Chrysler cars.

The 318 engine is absolutely the best all-around small block Mopar, in my opinion. It can easily make 400 plus horsepower and still has great street manners. If you're building for fuel economy, the 318 beats the Mopar 340 and 360, hands down. The 318 was produced in three versions: polysphere, LA series, and Magnum. Each are good engines, but for performance use, you should stick with the LA or Magnum because performance parts for the 318 Poly are hard to find. This article focuses on the LA version.

Why Build a 318?

Why build a 318 when it's just as cheap to build a 360? For one thing, if you already have a 318, it's not "just as cheap" to build that 360. First, you'll need to get a 360 core, which will set you back $250 or more. The 318 and 360 engines are balanced differently, so you'll also need a new flywheel or flex plate and torque converter. Then there is fuel economy. Almost 12% smaller than the 360, the 318 should get about 12% better mileage, all else being equal.

When it comes to building for power, the 318 is also a great choice. I'm not an engineer, so I can't explain the details, but there are many aspects of an engine besides outright displacement that contribute to its power potential: bore to stroke ratio, connecting rod length, port volume, etc. Suffice to say that the stars were aligned for the 318, and all the design specifications come together to produce an engine with excellent power potential for its size. A street-worthy 318 can easily make 400 horsepower, about what a lot of street 360s put out.

When the engine in my 66 Barracuda needed to be rebuilt, I decided to replace the stock 273 with a modified 318. Forty five extra cubic inches equals lots more torque and horsepower, and the 318 is a bolt-in replacement for the 273. I'm running 302 head castings with 1.88/1.60 valves and mild porting, KB hypereutectic pistons (10.5:1 compression with my heads), Comp Cams 268H cam, stainless steel roller rocker arms, Weiand Action Plus intake, Edelbrock carburetor, and SSI headers.

This Book Tells You Everything You Need to Know

If you've never rebuilt a small block Mopar, you really need this book. How to Rebuild Small-Block Mopar Engines has all the information you need to know. It covers stock type rebuilds, so if you're looking for high performance info, it's best to consult with an engine builder who has experience with the Chrysler LA small blocks. They aren't the same as Chevys and you won't get maximum performance if you just copy what works on a Chevy. Please note there is another book available titled How to Hot Rod Small-Block Mopar Engines which I do not recommend, as much of the information is out-dated and a lot of the parts mentioned are no longer available.

Building a Strong 318 Engine

Overview: Even though almost all Mopar 318s came from the factory in low performance two-barrel trim, the 318 can be built into a great street performance engine. Blocks can be a little harder to find than 360 cores, depending on where you live, but it's worth the effort to track one down. I recently had a 318 rebuilt to replace the 273 in my 66 Barracuda. Here is how it was done.

  • I used a 1986 block. These have the advantage of having factory provisions for a hydraulic roller cam, but the disadvantage of thinner cylinder walls than earlier castings. Fortunately my block cleaned up with a .020" bore. Most blocks require .030" which is the maximum you should go on these thin wall blocks. Another problem with the later blocks is that they're prone to cracking between the center head bolt and the water jacket. My block was cracked. It's easily repaired, but adds about $100 to the cost of the re-build. Machine work included boring and honing with torque plates (very important), line honing the main bearing saddles, and decking the block. For a street engine, that's all you need.
  • Since this is a street engine, I decided to use the stock cast crankshaft instead of a custom forging. Mine required grinding and cleaned up at .010/.010 on the rod and main journals. The stock Mopar 318 crank is actually a pretty good piece and is good for at least 6500 rpm, far higher than I'll be spinning mine.
  • I decided to go with Scat I-beam rods. They're probably not necessary in this application, but if a rod lets go it will ruin your whole day, as well as your engine. I figure they are cheap insurance. I should also mention they're only a little more than Eagle rods but made out of better steel. If you're putting after-market rods into a small block Mopar, I'd recommend Scat over Eagle.
  • Stock pistons aren't the right choice, even in a mild build. I used Keith Black KB-167 hypereutectic pistons. These are much stronger than stock pistons and give a higher compression ratio. On my engine, the compression ratio worked out to 10.1:1. For rings, I used KB's matching moly ring set.
  • I used high swirl 318 (#302) castings. These are by far the best cylinder heads to use on a mild 318 (I know, some people prefer the 360 heads). They have high-velocity ports that give good flow with just a little work and a closed, high-swirl combustion chamber that helps prevent detonation. I upgraded from stock valve sizes to 1.88" intake and 1.60" exhaust valves. I also had the shop do a 3 angle valve job and bowl blend. At this performance level, more extensive porting isn't necessary.
  • I'm running a Comp Cams 268XE cam that has 224/230 duration and .477/.480 lift on the intake and exhaust. This should give me good power without sounding too racy. In retrospect, I should have gone with their XE275HL cam which is designed specifically for Mopar's larger lifter diameter, but the cam I have should be OK.
  • I used to think the Edelbrock Performer would be perfect for this combination, but after talking to several people, I've decided that the Weiand Action Plus is a better manifold, so that's what I went with. I had the shop block the exhaust crossover when they installed the manifold.
  • If I was going for all out performance, I would have run a Holley 750 vacuum secondary carburetor. Since I wanted some semblance of economy, I decided to run an Edelbrock 650 cfm Thunder carburetor. I also like the fact that I can tune it without pulling the fuel bowls as is required with the Holley carbs.
  • Headers are a great idea with benefits in power and economy. At this power level, though, it kind of depends. On most Mopars, headers are probably worth the money. On an early A-Body, it might take a long time to recoup the cost. However, since my engine looks so pretty, I decided to splurge on a nice set of TTI headers. Just don't ask what they cost, it's still painful to think about it.
  • Since I was kind of going all-out anyway, I replaced the stock rocker arms with Comp Cams stainless steel rollers. I also replaced the stock oil pan with a Milodon pan and matching pickup, and bought a nice set of polished aluminum valve covers. Ignition will be a Mopar Performance electronic distributor with an MSD-6A control box. Overall, it should be a good combination. If I was starting over, I would have had the heads done by Shady Dell Speed Shop and taken the time to find an earlier block.

Well, there you go, a recipe for a Mopar 318 that should give great performance and decent economy. I can't wait to get my Barracuda back and see how this thing actually runs. If you like it (or not), leave a blurb in my guest book.

Mopar '302' High Swirl Cylinder Heads

The small chamber of these heads give your 318 a higher compression ratio, which is good for both power and fuel economy. If you need to build a low compression engine, these are still the best heads to use, but run them with dished pistons. Some builders report that for two otherwise identical engines (including compression ratio), an engine with dished pistons and small chamber heads can make as much as 20 horsepower more than en engine with flat top pistons and open chamber heads.

Ten Ways to Build a Mopar 318

The Mopar 318 in my opinion is Chrysler's most versatile engine. One time I tried to think of all the unique ways to build one, and I came up with over 20 different ways. Here are my top 10. Complete recipes for each coming soon.

  1. Stealth 2 bbl—Look stock but run fast.
  2. Performance with economy—What the 318 was born to do.
  3. 273 replacement—45 extra cubic inches and the only one who knows is you.
  4. Vintage drag racing—Dual Carter AFB's on an Offy manifold.
  5. Daily driver—Just your average 13-second grocery getter.
  6. Hot Street—Yes Virginia, a Mopar 318 can run 12 seconds in the quarter and still exhibit good street manners.
  7. Ultimate Stealth 2 bbl—Like option #1, but with a twist.
  8. Improved vintage drag engine—Option #3 with a twist.
  9. That 70's Show—Late 70s / early 80s hop-up tech.
  10. Post Modern—All the latest high tech hop-up parts.

The best intake by far for a 318 running "high swirl" cylinder heads is the Weiand 8007 Action Plus Intake Manifold. Running a large port intake with 318-style ports causes a "damn" in the intake path where the intake mates to the head because of the port mismatch. Most intakes designed for the 318 ports are economy type manifolds that aren't really intended for high performance. The Weiand 8007 Action Plus is the only high-rise, high performance intake designed specifically for the 318 sized intake ports. I have one on my Barracuda and I love it.

If you're running 340/360 heads, the best intake is probably the Edelbrock Performer RPM (don't run it with 318 heads though). I really interesting option would be the single plane 2-bbl intake manifold that Mopar put on the 273 and some early 318. I think that with porting and Extrude Honing this manifold could be made to flow pretty well. Combine it with a tuned over-size 2-bbl carb from one of the low end big blocks and you'd have one heck of a sleeper.

Intake Port Mismatch

The 318 4 bbl used 360 heads, so if you're thinking of using the intake from one of these to convert your 2 bbl 318, don't. The port mismatch will kill intake flow and performance. Instead, use an Edebrock Performer or Weiand Action Plus which are sized correctly for the 318 intake ports.

318 Recipes on the Web

For an engine that supposedly gets no respect, the Mopar 318 has been surprisingly popular with car magazines. Car Craft, Hot Rod, Mopar Muscle, and Popular Hot Rodding have all featured 318 build ups in their pages. The nice thing is the articles are available on line and make very informative reading. Be sure to check them out.

Blueprinting an Engine

Blueprinting an engine is the process of measuring, fitting, and balancing all the parts of an engine during the rebuilding. Blueprinting an engine improves its fuel economy, dependability, and most importantly its performance.

An engine is a complex piece of machinery, and explaining all the steps necessary to blueprint one is beyond the scope of this lens. In fact, it is a subject that could take up a whole book. As it turns out, there is one: Engine Blueprinting: Practical Methods for Racing and Rebuilding by Rick Voegelin. If you are interested in what it takes to blueprint an engine, I highly recommend this book.

What I like best is that it's written on a level easily readable by someone with even limited mechanical experience. Instead of just stating what should be done, it also explains the "why" and "how" of engine blueprinting. It is also very clear on what steps can be accomplished by the home mechanic and what steps are better left to a competent machine shop. There is a ton of good information in this book. I wore out my first copy and bought a second.

Piston Selection

In the Good Old Days, piston selection was simple. Cast pistons were for Grandma cars and forged pistons were for everything else. Today there is a third option, hypereutectic pistons. Not all engines have all piston types available, but the Mopar 318 is one of those engines that has been blessed with a decent assortment of pistons to choose from. By selecting the right piston for your application, you'll ensure that your car runs at its best, you'll be a hit with all the babes, and the envy of all your rivals.

Cast pistons are the cheapest pistons you can buy. They are also the weakest, so you need to really consider what you're going to use your engine for before choosing to run cast pistons. Cast pistons for the 318 are made by Federal Mogul. A set will cost you around $100 from Summit Racing. Regardless of the year of your 318, use the Federal Mogul Z526P pistons which are listed for the 1985 through 1989 318. These will give you about a half point higher compression ratio than the Z285NP pistons listed for the 1967 through 1984 318 and will fit the earlier engine just fine.

  • Cast piston advantages: Inexpensive, tight piston-to-wall clearance, quiet when cold.
  • Cast piston disadvantages: Low compression, limited selection, not as strong as other choices.

Hyperteutectic pistons are most likely your best choice for a high performance street or mild (no nitrous) racing engine. Hypereutectic pistons for the 318 are available from Speed Pro and Keith Black. The Speed Pro pistons cost $147.12 for a set from Summit Racing. They are more of a stock replacement style piston, but will give you a little higher compression ratio than either of the cast piston choices for not too much more money. They are also much stronger than regular castings and have a friction reducing coating on the skirts. If I were building a budget 318, these would be my pistons of choice. For a high performance street 318 I like the KB167 piston from Keith Black. It's still a flat top, but with a higher deck height than the Speed Pro hypereutectics. It will give you a compression ratio between 9.2:1 and 10.4:1 depending on what heads you're running. They're also heat treated to T6 hardness, making them very strong. They cost $310.69 from Summit and are in my opinion the best pistons to use in a street engine.

  • Hypereutectic piston advantages: Much stronger than standard castings, tight piston-to-wall clearance, quiet when cold, better ring and oil control than forgings.
  • Hypereutectic piston disadvantages: 5/64" ring package, shouldn't be used with heavy shots of nitrous.

Forged pistons are the strongest pistons available, and therefore the best, right? Probably not, at least not for a street engine. While it's true that forgings are the strongest, they are also the most expensive. Also, because forged pistons expand more than cast pistons, they must be installed with a larger piston to wall clearance. This allows the piston to rock slightly in the bore when the engine is cold, which is noisy and also affects oil control. There are some very good reasons to run forged pistons, but most of them don't apply to a street engine, not even a really hot Street 318. Unless you're running big shots of nitrous or lots of boost, you'll probably be happier with a set of KB167's. If you DO need forged pistons for you application, I'd suggest skipping the less expensive offerings from Keith Black, TRW, etc., and going with a good set of custome forgings from Aries, JE, Mahle, Ross, Wiseco, etc.

  • Forged piston advantages: Extremely strong, (potentially) much lighter weight.
  • Forged piston disadvantages: Expensive, large piston to wall clearance, noisy when cold, poor oil control (compared to cast pistons).

When buying a set of pistons, you should always go with the smallest oversize possible. Some people think the more you over-bore the better, but with a thin wall casting like the small block Mopars use, boring too much hurts power because it lets the cylinder walls flex more under load. You should also have your block bored and honed with torque plates installed to help ring seal and power.

Even More Mopar 318 Information

If you're into Mopar engines, you will like this book very, very much. It has over 30 articles reprinted from the pages of Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines. It covers small block, big block, and Hemi engines. It has two excellent articles on the 318. The first is very useful because they start out with a bone stock 318 and then add parts to it a step at a time to increase the performance. At each step they put it on a dyno so you can see the effect of that step on power output. Very educational. The second article related to the 318 is on how to stroke it to a 348. This is a very cool modification to the 318 that I'd like to try some day. It's even easier now since Scat makes a 3.58" stroke crank that drops into the 318 (as well as the 340) without having to grind down the main journals.

Are you a Mopar fan? Do you think the 318 is under-rated? Over-rated? Let me know what you think about the Chrysler 318 or small block Chryslers in general.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

What do you think?

Randy Dressman on March 14, 2020:

Love to read about my favorite motor on the planet. Never built a 318 in my life. Alway had such great luck wirh them and its the only V-8 engine i could drive any way i wanna any get a true 20 MPG. Starting with my very first 1971 Polara 2Dr. Not to mention a 1972 24 ft winnabego class a SQUARE TANK, That got a commendable 12.2 MPG. From Walton ky to Vale NC. Thanks again and Happy Motoring to all. God Bless America !!

George on November 24, 2019:

Hi, the KB167 pistons and the 302 heads in a 318 with that cam I just bought the same set up from Craigslist. The guy copied the 400hp Article from Hot Rod to build a Dart for his wife but never happened and I bought the motor. I'm now installing that motor in a 69 Barracuda for my daughter but my 2 Mopar friends are saying that 10:1 KB 167 pistons on California 91 Octane gas will ping under hard acceleration on a hot day or going up a steep grade.. Engine builders don't build high compression motors anymore because of the ethanol and low octane in Cali gas. Has anyone done this build or similar builds and did you have to add octane additive to your gas or does your octane work fine ? Thanks

Hunter lawson on November 10, 2019:

What was your total rebuild cost im planning to buold my 1986 dodge d100 has a mild cam but that about it that i know of and need a good starting average number.

Patrick varney on September 25, 2019:

I think your reports are informative and entertaining. Easy to follow and understand. Thanks.

Joeychgo on July 13, 2019:

We have a number of threads on this on our forum -- For example -- https://www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/threads/stock...

George P Cutler on July 06, 2019:

340 and 318 trucks used same forged crankshaft.

jcwren on June 30, 2019:

Srsly? $228 to $328 for the paperback edition, and that's the only format? Lots of great information in the article, but it'd be nice if the book didn't cost as much as a set of pistons.

Chris 74 Plymouth Scamp on January 26, 2019:

Just wow! So much useful information. I recently bought a 74 scamp w/318 LA eng. I'm not a car guy, just saw it, loved it, and have been slowly learning how to fix it up. It is so overwhelming and embarrassing trying to learn what to do when I have no idea what certain names of parts are or where they go. You've given me a great base to start from. I've been googling and youtubeing everything you wrote about. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Other car guys might already know this info, especially for chevys, but for me , it was almost biblical in a sense. Thank you again!! I can easily attain most of the part mentioned, and know what its intended for and referenced to. Blessings

david on January 07, 2019:

hello im about to bult a 318 for my 1970 dodge dart

Jared Getzlaff on January 03, 2019:

how much did it cost to build

Jordan on December 29, 2018:

Absolutely love the 318. My 1972 challenger with a 318 would run mid 15 quarter miles in stock form. Got 18-20 mpg freeway too. My 1981 ramcharger with 318 ran great, but the most impressive was a lifted 91 w150. Brother drove it through college, i drove it through college. Did not get proper maintenance due to lack of funds at that time. Used and abused, sold it with over 200k on the clock and I still see it running around town. I plan on a mild build for the challenger 318. Just want a fun car for cruising.

Gary Stump on November 12, 2018:

I am MOPAR all the way. I own 1968 Barracuda, 1971 Sport Fury and 1985 D100. The truck sucks on fuel cost. I would love to build the 318s with more power and get 20 mph.

joe on August 01, 2018:

the la blocks where developed past the earlier a blocks which stood for alloy la standing for light alloy. the 318 and 340 are almost exactly the same except for bore size and the 318 used cheaper parts. to do a successful 318 build used a 340 forged crank 340 rods will fit as well

the windage tray and a high pressure oil pump use the push rods out of 340 as well stock where forged and shot peened as well. now there are fast burn 318 heads you can get to raise compression. also i would use a 340 timing cover on a 318 gives you a better high performance front main seal oh and it is a direct bolt on. port match the j heads to a eldelbrock rpm airgap manifold and some nice hedman headers. i use a fuel cooler and oil cooler as well on the car. you do this the engine will easily clear 500hp.not 400...the 340 was the base also of the nascar nhra and other race builds.

charles hollingsworth on July 29, 2018:

hello mopar fans, i am alabama born and raised, raised to help people and a a retired mechanic at 50 due to open heart surgery. i lost my home and numerous other items waiting on disability.. i gave away several engines to people to build for power like a 68 lincoln/ford 429 dove-c engine which never had the valve covers off till i pulled them perfect runner as is//(wished i still haddit lol) 1 set of 4bbl 340 mopar heads and a set of 302 cast 318 heads and a 67 413 4bbl chrysler running perfect never built engine.. now after disability had came about 30 months later you see why i wished i had all my junk back. instead of buying another 50 grand f-150 which i had to selli bought a one owner 86 d100 dodge 318 pick up. if you see where i am going i wished i had the 302 cast or the 340 heads back for the old dodge ram. i am not a indian giver and would never ask for anyone to give em back but if anyone knows of any 302 cast heads for cheap or at least reasonable shoot me an email at cjh1968@live.com. i am on a fixed income which sux after busting ass all my life but the lord let me live. my old 429 is now planted in a 72 mustang mach pushing nearly 750 hp and all my mopar stuff left the state to tennessee. thanks guys

chas miller on July 20, 2018:

yes I am 63 318 if u kiss it works cheaper and as good as 340 and a low compression 360. put it together good and carb it any way u want . with a great mixture. the 318 will out live you.

MR440 on May 30, 2018:

Reposting this original one that I thought I had deleted! ..

G'day all.

I have personally owned & built more Aussie Chryslers than anyone in the world to my knowledge (Just over 300 owned now to date since 1978) It was a "Fireball" 318 2Bbl that really got me hooked & was my 2nd Australian Valiant in 1982. An automatic 1968 Valiant VE VIP sedan 318/904 (Check some pics out online) I kept it perfectly tuned and just fitted a bigger than standard 2Bbl carb, free breathing dual exhaust with quality headers, upgraded ignition coil, electronic Ignition form a later model Val & full circuit race suspension, soft compound Yokohama 352 lower profile tyres & wider alloy wheels.

I won 98 percent of street races against much bigger engine Fords & GMs & the cops could never come anywhere near catching me even in their Pursuit Hwy Patrol manual/ stick shift V8 Interceptors!

(I didn't know it at the time but I have A.D.D. Lol) and when they would come after me to defect my car, (as they tried to regularly as I was a young bloke and I painted it black & it was low & mean looking with pro stock scoop) I would panic just floor it & then just went with it. They'd come around to the house later and give me a talking to.

John Yount on May 07, 2018:

I’m looking about to buy an older dodge truck. I’d like to haul. Some junk. I’M looking at a 5.2 motor which is a 318. Do you have any thoughts.

dillon on October 03, 2017:

I can't find the 302 heads but I found 1964-65 commando 2465315 heads, I am not sure if they are close chamber. Can anyone chime in. Are these heads the same as the 302?

D on June 05, 2017:

David Skaggs

I have had all 3 of big company small blocks 273 318 289 327 350 . the high winding engines have always been my favorites . the horse power can be nice also . the 273 and 289 being the highest winders . I love the sound they make

Brian on September 02, 2016:

I understand the idea of using the magnum heads...however since 340-360 heads would also work on the 318, how would these compare?

Valentin on November 09, 2015:

Hello, awesome info what you post here.

What would happen if you cant get the #302 heads and you have to go with the standar ones? What things would you change of what you do and what you bought for your 318?

Im asking becouse i live in a country that is almost impossible to get a v8 and obviously impossible to get the #302 heads.

I would be very grateful if you could help me, thanks a lot.

bibhuti12 on November 30, 2013:

As the crankshaft flexes and twists, the balancer absorbs incredible amounts of kinetic energy. To ensure that the balancer is locked in position, ARP has developed these ultra strong 200,000 psi bolts that let you exert maximum clamping force. Special features include 1/4Ë thick, wide area washer and an extra tall 12-point head that accepts a deep socket and eliminates the worry of stripping the head.

glenbrook (author) on September 01, 2013:

@anonymous: Actually, I take ALL magazine dyno test results with a grain of salt:) I agree that 230 duration on the intake side is a little too much for street running. I'm running a Comp Cams 268H with 224 intake/230 exhaust and it works well on the street for me. I have a light car (66 Barracuda) with a 5 speed, not sure what the rear gear ratio is. I know I'm not putting out 400 HP but it feels at least as strong as a similarly built 327 in the 68 Camaro I used to have.

anonymous on August 31, 2013:

You have to take the West Tech dino figures with a grain of salt. What runs well on a dino may be a miserable street engine because the dino is always running higher rpm. I'll tell you right now that a .230 duration cam at 110* lsa in a mild 318 will be almost impossible to run on the street. It will take a steep gear set not to bog at every street light.

Iforgeiron on March 31, 2013:

I love Mopar. In school the classic argument always lost to cubic inches. Chrysler put a big block in just about everything just like the Chevy small block.. This lens was a refreshing twist on the Mopar small block. I enjoyed reading the lens and agree with the tech stuff. I'm adding a link to my blog and will post a link on my car classifieds site. Mopar or no car!

anonymous on February 08, 2013:

i am thinking about buying a 1974 plymouth scamp that has a slant 6 in it. I was wanting to put a 318 in it and was wondering if it will fit? I am not up on these veh. and was needing some advice thanks.

anonymous on January 13, 2013:

Hi there, John from portland oregon. I just wanted say 318 is in my opinion is a great motor. I have a 69 barracuda notchback with a 318 with a 340 cam and I put the magnum heads on it.she run very good the older 318 are better too rebuild. Mines a 68. I would for shure build a 318 over a 360 just because it is an internally balacend engine and you Can spin one high if built right. I do have a 69 340 I plan on building took me along time too get the block from a friend of mine he has a 69 340 dart had the exstra block . I paid a lot just for the block. My plans are 340 fast efi and passion performance 5speed it's a new trans there Working on. All can say for shure if have a 318 build it for performance and it will run with the best of them.

anonymous on December 04, 2012:

VERY UNDER RATED One of the finest engines ever created virtually bullet proof and 7000rpm is no problem for a bone stock bottom end believe me ive done it hundreds of times with my 318 and also a 318 will give a 340 all it wants all things being the same

anonymous on November 04, 2012:

I have a 1947 Dodge Sedan that I am building and a 1985 Chrysler New Yorker that is the donor. It has a 318 with an Auo Trans. I've had a few Darts in the past with 318's and I'm always happy with the results. This is my first attempt to rebuild one myself, so I very much apprecaite your expertise and willingness to share.

glenbrook (author) on November 02, 2012:

@anonymous: If you had it bored .030 over you'll need .030-oversized pistons. I like the KB167 pistons. With the high swirl heads they'll give you about 9.5 - 10:1 compression ratio.

anonymous on November 02, 2012:

Quick question. I'm starting my very first 318 rebuild. I bought a 1971 charger 318 and had it bored .30 over. What size of piston would I need to buy then? I also bought a set of swirl port heads; what would be the best piston combination? Thanks

PickupTrucksFan1 on October 14, 2012:

Makes me want to start looking for a 318 block.

anonymous on October 11, 2012:

I love the 318 but it can't compare to the 340 for being an all out performance engine no matter what you do to it. But then again who really needs more than 400 hp? Poly performance parts actually are readily available with the exception of an aftermarket performance intake. Let me know if you ever want poly parts and i can set you up with the guy who knows the poly like nobody else. Thanks for sharing your info!

HomeDecorKnight on September 30, 2012:

Good lens, informative lens, I like this.

anonymous on September 09, 2012:

very good information for all mopar guys. thank you

anonymous on August 09, 2012:

The mopar 318 suffers from a bad image just like the 307 chevy does. Its a mindset and if you hear someones opion (spelt that wrong) long enough you begin to get brainwashed. A car with a 340 in it will always get more money if the person sells it because on the image and reputation, the 318 is mopars best motor ( in my opion) but because chysler never meant it to be a high performance engine, everyone buys into the mind set. The 318 if you corrrect it 3 major concerns which is cam, compression and flow (heads and carb) it BEATS THE 360 hands down because it has the same stroke as the 340.I have beaten many 340s and 360s with my 318 and i hear all the EXCUSES, well my 340 0r 360 just wasn't running well that day. BS its all reputation and mindset, someone tells us that a 318 can't beqat a 340 or 360 everyone believies it because they want to be led and they are looking for answers and are brain washed went to comes to the 318.. Its a great engine with a very bad rep when it comes to performance, WHY BECAUSE CHRYLSER GUYS SAID SO A ND YOY BELIEVE IT

anonymous on July 11, 2012:

I have built the 349 for my 95 dakota with the factory efi and all the RT parts from when I work at DODGE .. And with the performance comp.etc 5 speed this truck its the most fun for the money .. Crane has the perfect cam for this build .. and you can drive this every day!!!!

Svdharma LM on May 02, 2012:

I found this article very interesting. I have been writing a serries of articles about engine rebuilding check it out:


anonymous on April 23, 2012:

I'm looking at buying a 1976 Dart with a 318, but I like it to become my summer daily driver. With high gas prices, I was trying to figure out a way to convert it to Port Fuel Injection. Therefore I would get performance (stability) and fuel economy. I haven't been able to find a complete system out there. Is there something (intake manifold, etc) I can get at the junkyard to build a system myself. Which manifold would you recommend? The electronics I can get from EZ-EFI, but it's the mechanical side that seems to be a problem with the 318.

anonymous on April 21, 2012:

I built my 318 with 9:1 compression and a regrind roller hughes engines cam. It urns 14 sec quarter and gets 16 mpg.

anonymous on April 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Doesn't matter.

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

I am switching a 1988 318 fuel injected motor to carburetor. I have an air GAO aftermarket alum intake.not looking for performance just driveability. Do I need large port or small port gaskets?

anonymous on April 08, 2012:

Great lens!

KimGiancaterino on March 27, 2012:

Very nice ... congratulations on your purple star!

imlifestyle on March 27, 2012:

Thanks for the info on the Mopar 318 Small Block. Great lens

anonymous on March 19, 2012:

@anonymous: Yeah it' s a used engine...long story... so now I'm setting it up with Hooker Headers, Edelbrock Performer Manifold and 600CFM (#1406) Carburetor, a Richporter Electronic Ignition and Distributor and a few other goodies! I had to fabricate P/S pump bracket, lower radiator hose, and Xmsn cooler lines... everything else should bolt on...

anonymous on March 19, 2012:

@glenbrook: I won't ask why, but I can imagine. Sounds like a fun project he has going. :)

glenbrook (author) on March 16, 2012:

@anonymous: The 318 is a nice upgrade over the 273. If the car has been sitting for awhile make sure to drain the old gas from the tank before running the engine (don't ask why I know...).

anonymous on March 16, 2012:

@glenbrook: I am building a 67 Barracuda convertible for a friend...body is clean and straight but the guy pulled the 273 and dropped 318 in it missing the intake manifold and a few other critical components... so now I am basically piecing it together... Lightening holes? OK.. thanx

glenbrook (author) on March 16, 2012:

@anonymous: It's just a lightening hole around the exhaust crossover port. AFAIK all factory small block Mopar cylinder heads have it. What is your 318 going in to?

anonymous on March 16, 2012:

Looking for some help here...I have an older 318 year unknown and a Edelbrock

2176 performer intake everything looks like it matches except for the exhaust ports to the manifold... the Cylinder heads have an upside down u shaped cut out over and around the exhaust port that the intake manifold and gasket doesn't cover completely... is this u shaped cut out a water jacket? do I have the wrong heads? is it a lightening hole? what the heck??? any smart MOPAR folks to help me out here...

dixiebliss on March 02, 2012:

I've known many 318 motors that just ran forever. It's pretty bullet proof and my favorite, as well. Thanks for this!

anonymous on January 27, 2012:

Returning with a congratulatory front page feature blessing!

Edutopia on January 26, 2012:

Any engine that can harness a high hp/volume ratio is a winner in my book. Whether they do this in the old American way of raw output or in the Japanese/European way of clever engineering doesn't matter. As such the 318 falls directly into the winner category for me!

Rebeljohn on January 23, 2012:

Well to me i like the 318 but for the over all Hp you need to looking to building a 340 you get all the goodies from a 318 but you can add 360 heads to it as far as cost goes you can put together a really strong 340 for about the same as you can a 318 .i use to race Dirt Track and have run both but got better performance out of the 340 .

Rebeljohn on January 23, 2012:

Great info about the 318 a lot of people don't know it's a sleeper. If the right one pulls up beside you at a light don't laugh it mite just mess your day up .

anonymous on January 18, 2012:

I have owned several 318's (large and small block) over the past 50+ years and have always been happy with them. Now, I can look forward to doing my next rebuild job to get the power I always thought should be there, along with the economy that I was always worried about losing, putting me in the same boat as my one son and his 340 and 440 cars. Thanks so much for the 'read'.

Iudit Gherghiteanu from Ozun on October 09, 2011:

i did not know much about the Mopar engine, and your lens did put me in a better position, thanks for such an info.

anonymous on October 09, 2011:

Very good information for those exploring the world of Mopar and wanting to learn about the 318. well done!

anonymous on March 28, 2011:

Thank You. I am in the market for a 1972 Ply Duster as a project car. Looking to use the 318 if I have to get a duster with a slant six. This info is very helpful and I saved it to my favorites.

javr from British Columbia, Canada on January 04, 2011:

@javr: Returned to give this lens a Squid Angel blessing.

javr from British Columbia, Canada on November 02, 2010:

I had headers on a 1969 Barracuda. Since they passed below the steering arm, they cut down the ground clearance. They kept hitting speed bumps which flattened them. I took them off and put in a stock 340 dual exhaust system. Worked great.

Rebuilt-Engines on June 14, 2010:

Always been a fan of fan of Mopar. This is a great lens. I can't find a lot of good muscle car and big block engine info on Squidoo. I added this lens to my favorites. It not fluff, good solid info here from a source that knows their stuff. And that's coming from someone who works with rebuilt engines and transmissions for a living.

anonymous on May 31, 2010:

Yes, I'm a Mopar fan... my family has had a string of 318-powered cars and trucks, and are still impressed that it is possibly the most tolerant and reliable powerplant we've dealt with. Torquey, good mileage AND it makes gobs more power with a little attention.

I do think you'll have cause to regret one of your changes though: Part of the 318's efficiency comes from heating the fuel, which is facilitated by that exhaust passageway you blocked off. That's why the performance intake kept that layout.

cypruscar on October 22, 2009:

Well done. Great lens with great info!

cyprus car

anonymous on June 09, 2009:

Hi I have a question? I rolled you book marked you and put you on 3 of my lens. and gave 5* Good Job! A question about a friend of mines motor.

Suzie-Shine on June 09, 2009:

Well I was impressed. Okay must admit that most of it went way over my head but that's just me. Okay again, must admit when I saw the title of this lens I had no idea what it was about. You certainly seem to know what you are talking about though!


Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on June 09, 2009:

Well done! A genuine, great lens in the autos category, just what Squidoo needs. Squid Angel blessed!

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