Allpar Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

we recently got ourselves a 1989 B350 Maxivan outfitted as an RV by MacDonald conversion group in Canada. (Full Intro here: German Mopar fan says hi)

Lutum_Dodge02.jpg Lutum_Dodge03.JPG Screenshot_2019-11-27-10-16-16-564_se.appcorn.Blocket.png Lutum_Dodge15.jpg

I decided it is time to start a new thread up here, even though hijacking Stephen's thread is quite fun as well (1994 B350 for camper conversion?)

There's a lot of things on the list that we want to get done on the car, the first will be to get the mechanics in order and add some convenience features (backup camera ...).

We have actually not slept a single night in it, when the decision was made to take the engine out to overhaul. I was suspecting a defective head gasket, which turned out to be wrong in the end. Apparently all the oil came out of a not so great valve cover gasket. That doesn't change the leaking core plug, 30 years of grime, a rather loose chain and other signs of wear (and possible gaps in the maintenance schedule).

I'll get right into the engine pics and questions in the next post (image count limit).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So after getting the car checked, or TÜVed as we say here (ready to go on German roads, but don't have plates on it yet) we moved her into a new workshop. Quite the amazing place, owned by a guy who doesn't do a lot of compromises when it comes to his hobby (BMW racing). He and his buddies actually poured nine trucks of concrete around the place to have their own go-kart track. Complete with flood-lights, lap-timer and everything. Quite a good place to take the engine out.
One day of prepping the front end and getting that thing on the hoist (yeah, with the wastewater tanks and everything that took about 1.5 hrs)
Lutum_Dodge05.jpg Lutum_Dodge06.jpg
Another 10 hrs the next day for "taking the last few bolts off", and it was out finally:
DSC01448.JPG Lutum_Dodge08.JPG
After cleaning up and getting some order in the parts this has been the resting place for the past few weeks:
rob_20200607_212238.jpg

Next up: Disassembly and "Is this camshaft still good?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ok, so I was too slow to edit the post... Here we go with the disassembly:
We took some time to take it apart, mostly because I got distracted fixing random stuff around the shop, like the leaking air compressor or the leaking pressure washer (needed for the upcoming sandblasting of various parts.) Now there is not much left in the block. Some oil gallery plugs left, but everything else is out.

Lutum_Dodge09.jpg (I turned the picture around 180° two times, but it still comes out flipping flipped ... :(

The cylinder walls look alright, but the pistons all measure too round. The service manual specs them to be 0.010 to 0.012 larger at the thrust faces than 45° to that position. All of our pistons measure around 0.008 or less. Only one is in spec. In combination with cylinder walls that are ok, but not the best we decided we will probably bore the cylinders to +0.02" and get a new set of pistons.

rob_20200702_211341.jpg Lutum_Dodge11.JPG DSC01524.JPG DSC01526.JPG

Next up was camshaft and crankshaft.

DSC01516.JPG

The hydros look good, with signs of wear, but only visible. You can't feel it when you drag your finger across. There is some corrosion in some of the tappe guides, but I think that is alright.

Question: Can you suggest brands and/or shops for pistons? Not looking for anything fancy, but also don't need to buy the cheapest on the planet. Rockauto carries Enginetech parts, which are affordable, but will they last?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Now we get to the point that is giving me a bit of a headache, mostly because I have to experience looking at parts so deep in the engine. The camshaft shows some pitting damage, and what I assume might be signs of long standing around.

We had quickly decided "Hey, we'll get a sharper new cam then ;)", but the cost is keeping me back a little. The engine has run around 90.000 miles in its 30 years of service. The journals look good, and there is no corrosion damage on the cam. The burr on the edges are really nasty by the way. Apparently there were some budget minded folks at work for this engine assembly.

DSC01531.JPG DSC01532.JPG DSC01534.JPG DSC01535.JPG

The cam looks good, and measured true in terms of run out (caps 1 and 5 on, journals 2 to 4 measured with dial gauge, t.b.h. I did't look super close in the end, because I don't want to exchange the crank.) Last pic shows the nastyness in the water jacket. I think pulling the engine was a good idea all things considered.

DSC01538.JPG DSC01547.JPG

Next up are the heads. I haven't looked at them at all yet. Want to get the block & possibly the heads to the engine builder within the next few weeks.

Question: Cam: yay or nay? How much will a new cam & lifters run me? Is there cheap power to be gained with a modified cam, and does that even make sense on a 7.000 pound RV, which will mostly see low-rpm usage? I would like some extra power, but it needs to remain streetable. I'm willing to spend some cash, because the time spent so far is worth so much more. I want the engine to last some 100.000 miles before I have to pull it again, but shopwork and heads will need some money put into them as well. I am considering porting the heads mildly, and might be convinced to put some bigger intake valves in. Any other mild Performance upgrade suggestions are much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Now we get to the point that is giving me a bit of a headache, mostly because I have to experience looking at parts so deep in the engine. The camshaft shows some pitting damage, and what I assume might be signs of long standing around.

We had quickly decided "Hey, we'll get a sharper new cam then ;)", but the cost is keeping me back a little. The engine has run around 90.000 miles in its 30 years of service. The journals look good, and there is no corrosion damage on the cam. The burr on the edges are really nasty by the way. Apparently there were some budget minded folks at work for this engine assembly.

View attachment 28983 View attachment 28985 View attachment 28987 View attachment 28989

The cam looks good, and measured true in terms of run out (caps 1 and 5 on, journals 2 to 4 measured with dial gauge, t.b.h. I did't look super close in the end, because I don't want to exchange the crank.) Last pic shows the nastyness in the water jacket. I think pulling the engine was a good idea all things considered.

View attachment 28991 View attachment 28993

Next up are the heads. I haven't looked at them at all yet. Want to get the block & possibly the heads to the engine builder within the next few weeks.

Question: Cam: yay or nay? How much will a new cam & lifters run me? Is there cheap power to be gained with a modified cam, and does that even make sense on a 7.000 pound RV, which will mostly see low-rpm usage? I would like some extra power, but it needs to remain streetable. I'm willing to spend some cash, because the time spent so far is worth so much more. I want the engine to last some 100.000 miles before I have to pull it again, but shopwork and heads will need some money put into them as well. I am considering porting the heads mildly, and might be convinced to put some bigger intake valves in. Any other mild Performance upgrade suggestions are much appreciated.
If the 318 is original, it should have hydraulic roller lifters. You can reuse those, but you need the correct hydraulic roller cam. If the cam is Ok, leave it. If it's bad, replace it with the same part - but use the HD double-roller timing chain and sprockets. You need torque down low in this big heavy vehicle, and the only way to increase that is with more stroke.

A 5.9/360 Magnum would be perfect for this application; second choice would be an '89-'92 360 LA. You'd need the correct torque converter for either engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
If the 318 is original, it should have hydraulic roller lifters.
It does. The roller lifters seemed ok so far, when we started disassembling and cleaning them. Regarding the cam: Not sure it is OK :D I'm starting to think it is, but on the other hand my time invested is worth a lot to me, so I want to make sure engine is good for another 100k miles.

Regarding engine swap: I write from Germany, so there aren't many 360s or Magnums around to pick from. If there are, they'll be a lot more expensive than in the states. T.b.h. I wouldn't want to go that route anyway, because I'd like to keep the engine in the vehicle. I assume it to be be the original one, although I did not find any numbers to match between VIN (2B6JB31Y7KK353121) and the engine (9M318 12210280 front left below head, casting number 4387530-31827, cast date 12-4-88).

If I swap the pistons for 0.02" oversize ones, I will gain a wee bit of displacement & compression. What do you think about milling the deck or heads, to get some more compression?

use the HD double-roller timing chain and sprockets
Noted. The old one seemed quite loose anyway.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
36,923 Posts
The TBI system isn’t that adaptable. I’d stick with as close to stock rebuild as is feasible - at least I assume it’s TBI and not a carb.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AHBGuru

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Any changes you make to displacement would require recalibrating the TBI system, which is no longer serviced by Chrysler. Milling the deck and heads could require changes to the valvetrain to accommodate the differences. You would almost certainly have to retard the ignition advance, and run premium fuel, in order to prevent preignition.

Valiant has it right. Keep it stock. It won't be a Hellcat, nor a fuel-sipper, but it should last a long time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
With everything basically stock, cleaning up the surfaces of the heads and the .020 overbore, is not going to alter enough that the TBI system can't overcome the difference with ease. This was tested/verified by Hot Rod magazine way back in the day, they bolted a TBI and electronics of the 305 onto a 350 and it was able to continue calibration just short of redline of the engine, so going from 318 to 320 cubic inches is going to be adaptable to the system. And a slight increase in compression won't need higher octane fuel to operate until he hits somewhere around 9.5:1 or above, everything else basically stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I figured oversize pistons and decks/heads milled to be flat (if need be) won't change so much, that the TBI can't handle it. Probably because it also won't change so much about in the overall-power department :D So stock it will be, with new parts where needed, and maybe porting the heads and cleaning up the cast flashes in the block (nasty one above the camshaft for example.)

I found a project from a big mopar parts dealer who operates pretty close to where I live. The guys overhauled their B300 with a 318 and brought it to some 300+ horses. But they also put a >3k $ Edelbrock multipoint injection on (and stroked it, and put headers on, and and and). Link here, but it's in German.

Anyway, I contacted them about options, also because I'm considering having the short-block assembled by a professional. That way they might be able to test it, before I put it back in the van and then notice I messed something up. Classic time vs. money thing ->I would love to take the van for a test ride (in terms of RVing) in September maye be ...

Also on the pro side for stock: I should better invest the money into a decent propane (lpg) setup. At 5$ the return on invest comes quickly ...

Thanks for all the tips so far. Keep 'em coming!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
There is also a little bit of a "cheat" you can do with the camshaft to help it breath a little better, and not interfere with the TBI. The rule of thumb that seems to very accurate with the older engines and, if you get the logic, still legal for street use or smog legal, go through any and all camshaft specs and you will see that the roller cams and O2 sensored cars, no matter what brand it is, the specs never ever go with a duration greater than 214. This degree amount means that anything greater will have too much overlap and the O2 sensor will run faulty, so, find a camshaft with more lift. When the newer engines are running stock with lifts greater than .500 all over the place, when you have yours doing maybe .440, .480 would give you a mildly noted improvement.

Gonna do porting? Make sure to remove all the machined or sharp edges inside the combustion chamber head gasket ring. Not only will she run cleaner, but the chances of pinging is reduced because sharp edges are ping spots and they will be gone. You will feel more from this than the cam itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So for a few weeks I did not get much done on the Dodge. I was busy with work and getting the tech check done on the Grand Voyager:
- changed the strut mounts and bearings -> noises got a lot fewer. And found this:
rob_20200710_163234.jpg
- spent half a day wiring my right fog light to the trailer outlet, and then wiring from there to the left fog light and took the bulb out of the right one (...)
- got my headlights aligned totally wrong and then realigned halfway right (The guy who did it said a day later "No man, this is super misaligned. No way I would do it like that." (He had done it like that, but showed me the measurement thingy showing it should be correct actually...)
- fixed a propane leak

Now I have two weeks of vacation. I already stripped all the rest of the block, every last plug (except cam-insert), did some grinding work to get rid of the casting flash (nice training for the porting of the heads, looking forward to that now with the air pressured grinder), hacked away the rusty nastyness, and pressure washed the block. Now I am happy with the state of the block!

Before
rob_20200724_182520.jpg

During
rob_20200724_200150.jpg

After
DSC01713.JPG

Aah, nice
DSC01715.JPG


Took the heads, cam and crank to the engine shop to have measured, polished and the heads taken apart. I found out I'm a bit out my depth here in terms of "Do I put back in? What size bearings do I need? Does a cheap outside micrometer tell me anything of use?" . So I wanted a professional opinion. He told me he would probably even keep the pistons, but I think they will be swapped for one oversize and the cylinders bored. Camshaft looks ok and will stay. Will take the clean block in next week and checked out.

I ordered a ton of engine paint (VHT / primer, no clear coat, I think a few good coats will suffice.) Ford dark blue for the covers, oil-pan, water-pump, intake manifold / cast-iron gray for block, heads, etc.

Also some chassis & roll bar paint for the cross member and control arms. Once the engine is at the shop I want to take out the complete front axle, paint it and put new joints and bushings in.

Now I really need to get some parts ordered. Might take a while for the load to get here I think ... :/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
The bearings will be determined if the crank itser lf needs to be turned down .010 or greater, ring size if overbored, so if turned or bored, they will tell you what size bearings to get. Good job of cleaning the flashing on the block. Now, you should be able to find what and how to put mesh screen and kind of epoxy over the cam holes you cleaned, it has been discovered that by doing so will keep the cam from spinning oil around inside the lifter valley and throwing oil onto the underside of the intake manifold, keeping it from long term oil burning and sludge from developing on the underside of the intake itself, which isn't a good thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave Z

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
We've arrived at the point of busy work. 4 of the 8 pistons are cleaned. After discussion and checking them out with the engine builder, we have decided to keep them in the end. Almost all part are glass-blasted, and valve covers & oil-pan are already painted. Now the rest of the engine parts need to be cleaned and painted.

I spent a ridiculous amount of shipping at rockauto (the "minimize shippping costs"-feature was a bit overwhelmed with international shipping, methinks). But that means soon pretty much everything we need will be at hand (hopefully, also, not bolts yet ...)

Intake Manifold, took 2 hrs, sweet difference thou:

rob_20200804_145137.jpg rob_20200804_172147.jpg

Pan & covers (2.5 days of glass-blasting later ...):
rob_20200807_213824.jpg rob_20200807_224500.jpg

Exhaust manifolds, we'll see if the paint sticks. (Shoulda taken the O2 sensor out before painting, as the paint needs to be baked out.)
rob_20200814_170233.jpg rob_20200814_181014.jpg


Now, you should be able to find what and how to put mesh screen and kind of epoxy over the cam holes you cleaned
While I get the point of it, I think I am too scared of the mesh falling off and destroying everything :D Also, the underside of the manifold doesn't look nasty actually.

Next up: Mild head porting (not going to gasket match I think. Want to keep the air velocity up at low rpm, and also need to keep things moving ;)

Question: Anybody know of a good place to get complete bolt-sets? Found the Gardner-Westcott stuff, but they were sold out at Summit, and apparently they are not the best quality either. Looking for functional, not chrome-plated or logo-stamped.

So long,

Robin
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
The only bolt replacement things I would be concerned with would be head and main bolts, maybe rod bolts. One doesn't normally need them unless there has been a problem or the engine has been apart more than once, and unless the external bolts are rusty and horrid looking, the torque on them is not enough for them to be of much concern. Oh, the exhaust manifold bolts can be a sore spot, studs on the ends, use a #2 sealer on them because they go into water jackets, and if you want, use brass nuts to keep them from seizing to the studs is always a good thing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
One thing you noted that I was thinking about with your porting and a misnomer, porting does not harm or hurt bottom end power or torque, port matching is actually the most beneficial at low rpm because the mismatch steps of the intake manifold and intake port causes great turbulence and the matching actually improves the bottom end. It's one of the reasons why some engines are more powerful when you hit a certain rpm, usually around 3000rpm, and a little doggy below that. The key is not to polish the surface but use a carbide burr cutter to match the ports to the gasket. The carbide cut marks keep the fuel suspended in the air flow and prevent them from sticking to the surfaces, whereas polished surfaces are great for racing and high rpm, fuel easily separates and sticks to the sides of the ports.
Did a test many years ago with carbide ported surface and polished surfaces, tearing the two engines down after a year of driving on the street to see the difference. The polished surfaces had evidence that fuel was sticking and coking on the surfaces and slightly dirty, whereas the carbide burr surfaces were spotless clean. I have a set of heads I ported and left the carbide burr cutting surface on them, eight years later and 70K later I thought the valve guides were going bad so I took the heads in to get new guides and cleaned up, machinist thought the heads had a few thousand miles on them they were so clean. The heads actually had 195,000 miles on them, the 70K was after they were ported.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Funny, just when you wrote I was sitting in the shop grinding away at the heads. As hard as it was to take decent pictures of what I've done, as easy was it to get a feel for what should stay and what should go.

The exhaust port e.g. has a hard edge, that is easy to get rid of. Also opening the bowls up is quite intuitive.

PXL_20200828_153114444.jpg PXL_20200828_153411313.jpg

I was mentally finished with the task, so when I read your post, I decided to gasket match to the previous gasket line. Hoping that the gaskets are quite similar at that point in the engine. My goal was to get the heads to the engine builder the next day, so that the project moves.

PXL_20200829_100219888.jpg

I tried to get rid of the edge that is nastily machined into the chamber before the valve seats are ground. In some of the chambers there is none, in some there is an edge close to 4/10 of a inch. I stopped doing that, since it was the end of the day and I was done. Also the big grinder is not the best tool for that.

I couldn't live with not doing it thou, as I read (and can imagine) that this is a very nasty edge to have around. So the next morning I took the dremel to it, and very carefully rounded off what I could get to. This was by far the most sensitive part, and I didn't feel very comfortable there. But I managed to not nick any seats.

PXL_20200829_100236789.jpg

If anyone has more suggestions please say something like "You could also have done xyz, but it's not necessarily worth the effort ..." The heads are at the workshop now to be completely assembled, so I don't want to feel that I should take the valves out again :D

Thanks for the extra input!

P.S.: Link to a decent porting article, I think:
Porting Small Block Heads (at https://www.sense.net/~blaine/porting.html )
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top