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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '64 Dart conv. that I want to update with a v6 and 5 or 6 sp. manual. Where can I get dimensions, weights and vehicle models using the various engines. Also any engines with specific problem areas?
 

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Kind of depends on your goals. Are you looking for better street performance, or racing, or better fuel economy with decent performance, etc?
 

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I live at 4500ft. and the current "Tower of Power" can barely get over the mountains. Since the Dart is hard to drive anyway, I'm looking for good street performance and will update the steering, etc. at the same time. Don't need speed, so 230-250 horse would be fine. That will be more than twice what I've got now. I first need to know what will fit and what will work with a manual trans.
 

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I think a good engine swap would be a Jeep Wrangler 3.8 and 5spd manual. Swap everything under the hood and it should not only fit without having to cut anything but a hole for the stickshift, but the clutch is hydraulic so easy to plumb and they have a good feel to them. One advantage, other than the size, is the electronics will adjust for high altitudes. There was a post that had the 3.8 set the highest altitude for a vehicle, something like 14,000 feet or more? Can't remember for sure, but it was way up there. Article noted that at altitude rises, the Jeep would bog out too rich, so they would shut it off, wait a minute, start back up and the computer would be adjusted until it happened the next rise in altitude. Works for me.
 

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I would recommend the Dakota 3.9L and either a 5spd MT or 4 Spd AT, would be an easier swap because it's going to share more with what's already there.. It's already based off the 318; and the entire harness and computer can be grafted in and powered up with quite a bit less work than the newer Jeep parts.. Just my opinion though..
 

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I would recommend the Dakota 3.9L and either a 5spd MT or 4 Spd AT, would be an easier swap because it's going to share more with what's already there.. It's already based off the 318; and the entire harness and computer can be grafted in and powered up with quite a bit less work than the newer Jeep parts.. Just my opinion though..
I do have to halfway backtrack about not recommending the 3.9 Dakota, Ram truck and Van (locations to find one) engine, I was thinking the first V8 was in 1965, not 1964 (it was the 273), so it would be a direct drop-in, no cutting required, but the only caveat is that I think the 3.8 is a little more fuel efficient. Might be a little different story once the 3.9 is in a car instead of a brick with wheels, 19-21mpg is the best I have ever seen with the 3.9 in a Dakota, I know the minivans with the 3.8 are in the mid 20s easy, and I think your Valiant is a little more aerodynamic and lighter, which helps.

Either one you use, think of it as a transplant vice engine swap, meaning engine, transmission, all accessories, engine wiring harness, charcoal vacuum canister and all the vacuum hoses, computer and all the lines from the fuel tank and fuel pump (or an aftermarket pump with the proper pressure, TBI is 14psi, injection is 47psi), and get the driveline (it is straight, no steps in the sides, and if the U-joint itself is the proper size it can easily be shortened a lot less than the cost of a custom driveline).
 

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My brother's first new vehicle was a new 1988 Dakota regular cab, with 3.9 V-6 and 5-speed manual. He got 25 mpg highway. So that combo would do a little better in a Valiant.
 

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Best I could ever do with my 88 3.9 5spd was 21mpg, usually it was 20mpg on highway cruises. It is a very durable power plant, and yes, it should do better in a car without a doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a '64 Dart conv. that I want to update with a v6 and 5 or 6 sp. manual. Where can I get dimensions, weights and vehicle models using the various engines. Also any engines with specific problem areas?
I still need to know what will fit in my engine compartment. Also, does anyone know what Crank bolt patterns the 3.5 and 3.6 have? I need to figure out a flywheel.
 

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The 3.9 will fit, if a 318 or 273 fits, it will fit. 3.8 V6 has been a very strong and durable engine, some rocker arm problems in the first couple years, not a problem for more than 20 years. With the 3.8, you need to use the flywheel and transmission out of a Jeep, last couple years they have had this 3.8 as RWD, which is a problem with the other V6 engines, but there is the Dakota 2.5 that is a 5speed ( I will be using one of these in a 63 TR4 Triumph in the future), and pretty sure the 3.5 will fit, charger sedan, Magnum, 300 and Challenger all have available transmissions for RWD in that department.In all these applications, I would recommend getting the full wiring harness and fuel system so as to match the whole package before modifying any, but in all cases, more power than what you have right now, and equal or better mileage, too. No idea on the 3.5 flywheel bolt pattern, someone else will have to answer whether or not there was or is a manual transmission offered with the engine, I haven't seen one, but there may be something out there, possibly Keisler.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The 3.9 will fit, if a 318 or 273 fits, it will fit. 3.8 V6 has been a very strong and durable engine, some rocker arm problems in the first couple years, not a problem for more than 20 years. With the 3.8, you need to use the flywheel and transmission out of a Jeep, last couple years they have had this 3.8 as RWD, which is a problem with the other V6 engines, but there is the Dakota 2.5 that is a 5speed ( I will be using one of these in a 63 TR4 Triumph in the future), and pretty sure the 3.5 will fit, charger sedan, Magnum, 300 and Challenger all have available transmissions for RWD in that department.In all these applications, I would recommend getting the full wiring harness and fuel system so as to match the whole package before modifying any, but in all cases, more power than what you have right now, and equal or better mileage, too. No idea on the 3.5 flywheel bolt pattern, someone else will have to answer whether or not there was or is a manual transmission offered with the engine, I haven't seen one, but there may be something out there, possibly Keisler.
I decided to go with a 318 Magnum from a 1998 Grand Cherokee. I'm giving it F-A-S-T injection and a Keisler 5speed. I'm also changing to a Magnumforce K-member with power r&P, coil-overs and 4 wheel discs on an 8 3/4 with 2.93 gears. Like I said, I don't want fast, just a good cruiser for the canyons. Right now the poor thing is stripped down and we're just ready to trial fit the tranny. By the time we're done the only original pieces will be the sheetmetal and glass. Wish me luck. I've waited all my life to build my own car and this will probably be the one and only.
 

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Actually, this is an excellent set of pieces to assemble with the exception of the rear end gearing, getting into fifth is going to be pretty rare. Check the ratio in the Cherokee, which I think were in the 3.55 range, then go down one from there, say 3.23s, give you a little better cruising rpm with the Keisler, 2.28 to 1 ratio using a fifth gear of .78 is a little bit on the low side at 65mph, which might not be very desirable, otherwise, only other thing I would do is port the heads, not for power, but for the extra torque you can achieve with an otherwise stock engine. I will enjoy seeing pictures of progress as you do this project, which seems real nice.
 

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I decided to go with a 318 Magnum from a 1998 Grand Cherokee. I'm giving it F-A-S-T injection and a Keisler 5speed. I'm also changing to a Magnumforce K-member with power r&P, coil-overs and 4 wheel discs on an 8 3/4 with 2.93 gears. Like I said, I don't want fast, just a good cruiser for the canyons. Right now the poor thing is stripped down and we're just ready to trial fit the tranny. By the time we're done the only original pieces will be the sheetmetal and glass. Wish me luck. I've waited all my life to build my own car and this will probably be the one and only.
Hi Calvan. Did you investigate the possibility of retaining the stock MPI, and how much of the Jeep's underhood 'junk' that would need to be brought with it? I also have a 1998 XJ 318, destined for a 49 Plymouth coupe. I am thinking it will be cheaper, parts-wise, to do this. As opposed to buying a manifold and aftermarket TBI or carb. (And ignition, and, and, and?). If I do settle on the aftermarket TBI, do you have any advice? What did you use for a manifold, fuel system, ingnition? Was the FAST solution as easy as it is sold as? Are you happy with the performance?
 
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