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Depends on your goals. If you want to light up the tires, the slant-6 is not the best choice. If you want a balance of halfway decent gas mileage and being noticeably quicker, you can keep the 6 and make some minor, inexpensive modifications. When I had a 72 Dart Custom, I put a capacitive discharge ignition in it (keeping the breaker points), and between that and carefully cleaning and rebuilding the carb, got it to give me 22 mpg highway, and even 24 on long trips. The CD ignition gave it more and smoother acceleration in the 30-50 mph range.

You can be more aggressive with the slant-6 with a performance cam, a 4-bbl carburetor and headers.
 

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jd_1138 said:
The original engine that came in those was the small inline 4 cylinder "Hurricane" engine. They only put out about 75 hp. If I had the Willys, I'd probably just try to keep it as stock as possible and use it as a grocery getter "run to town" type of car. If you put in a larger engine, you will have to beef up the suspension, and there'd be less room to work on the engine once it's inside. Maybe the Dodge 2.2 inline 4 cyl or the GM 2.5 "Iron Duke" might be something nice to put in it? Those Iron Duke 2.5's were put in Postal Jeeps from the 70's until 80's, I believe. According to the Wiki, these 2.5 Iron Dukes were backed by a Chrysler 904 transmission. Interesting.

But then again, you want a more powerful engine so you could rock crawl and do off-roading. Slant 6 would be better of course, for more power.
??? There was never a 4-cylinder in the original Darts. Did you mistakenly post in the wrong topic?

There was no Chrysler automatic behind the Iron Duke, except in Jeeps at one time.
 

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Ah, see, I wasn't looking at the original post, I answered the one above mine about the Dart, that's what confused me.
 
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