Author Topic: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap  (Read 2993 times)

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Offline GusChiggins86

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89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
« on: May 19, 2020, 04:00:15 pm »
Howdy Folks,

After many years as a little more than a 5000 lb paperweight, I am getting around to upgrading my 1989 Ramcharger from a slug to, …something less slug like. My plan is pull the old 318, tear it down some for inspection, then likely replace it with a new 360 magnum or 408 magnum stroker. I figured this would be a good home project this summer.

Goal:
Nice reliable hobby truck suitable for city/highway/light offloading that has some grunt it has lacked. I think something at least 300+hp would knock my socks off compared to my current powerplant. Maybe some infrequent towing as well. I wouldn't mind driving it 2-3 Days a week after all this work.

The original stock configuration:

318 LA
Compression Ratio:   9:1
Camshaft:                   Stock
Lift:                           0.391"/0.391"
Duration:                   240°/248°
Intake Manifold:           Stock
Fuel Supply:           '89 TBI
Peak HP (net):           170 @ 4000rpm
Peak Torque (ft-lbs):   280 @ 2000rpm



'89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
'09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

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    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap -318 Compression Test
    « Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 04:05:16 pm »
    First Off, a Compression/Leakoff Test for the stock 318.

    The results showed that I had two cylinders that with significant leakoff.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap -318 Removal
    « Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 04:18:46 pm »
    Then proceeded w/engine removal.

    Basic Steps:

    1. Read up.

    2. Clean out the garage (wife loves this part).

    3. Photograph/Label all those mysterious hoses,wire,etc.

    4. Go about unbolting gobs of heavy, grimy, chunks of metal. (Constantly referring to Factory Service Manual &
    Haynes Repair Book)

    5. Unbolt Engine from Transmission Bellhousing.

    6. Rigged up Engine Hoist & invited friend over to help.

    7. Wrassle with engine for over an hour before realizing I forgot one bolt (Doh!)

    8. Pull Engine easily after that.

    9. And there was much rejoicing!

    « Last Edit: July 7, 2020, 01:35:48 pm by GusChiggins86 »
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 05:44:46 pm »
    please note a few things about the L/A v/s MAG motors . the flat belt mag system timing cover is much better sealed , but cant run a mechanical fuel pump ( so ?) the 360 mag uses its pcm and crank sensor to control timming , which is a large part of its improved horsepower , so putting a carb, or squirt on a mag you loose that advantage. after doing a carb /mag , I'd rewire the truck and run full mag systems next time .  I have a '93 360 and it has loads more power stock than the bored/cammed/carbed mag which will haul ass too but ...  just sayin ...
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 07:28:17 pm »
    Thanks for the advice,

    I was figuring that since whatever engine I change to would not jive with the ‘89 TBI & computer, I would need to see to that as well. I’m thinking of running a Holley Sniper EFI to solve those issues. It also run off an electric fuel pump.  All together it seems like a good solution to replace the stock setup.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 09:33:17 pm »
    you don't get the benefit of the mag's timing controll with out the mag wiring and pcm if you use a squirter . You can't run the crank sensor with out the mag pcm and wiring , if you do install the mags wiring , there's no need for the sniper  squirter
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #6 on: June 3, 2020, 11:50:07 am »
    So I now have the old LA 318 out and have been cleaning up the engine bay. What a difference a little wipe down makes!

    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap -Repaint Frame
    « Reply #7 on: June 3, 2020, 12:03:18 pm »
    Next up, I figured now would be a good time to grind off the existing frame rust and repaint the frame.

    After some time on the grinder, I was pleasantly surprised that what I thought were the worst looking spots on the frame weren't quite as bad as I they looked. Turns out what appeared to be significant frame rustage was actually mostly caked on Oklahoma red dirt (which is basically made of rust). So I've knocked off as much surface rust as I can manage to reach, and will be repainting over that w/Rust Encapsulator paint.

    Rear Bumper Aside:
    -A ran to the junkyard looking for some rear bumper brackets (no luck), but I did see '86 & '87 stand alone cruise control modules, and I think I will snag one in case my '89 SMEC wont work alongside the Sniper EFI.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline jerseybud

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #8 on: June 3, 2020, 12:41:04 pm »
    rust encapsulator MUST be topcoated.  Its just a really good (not great) primer in reality.  But not as good as a 2k epoxy primer
    1988 W-100 5.9 Magnum/NP-435/241/3.23 178,000 miles
    1992 W-250 5.9 Magnum/NV4500/241/4.10-177,000 miles
    1988/1993 W150 5.2 Magnum/46RH/241/3.55 160,000 mile
    1993 W-250 club cab CTD i/c 518/205/3.54- 301,000 miles!

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #9 on: June 3, 2020, 12:47:11 pm »
    Jerseybud,

    From Eastwoods' website FAQs:

    "Does this product have to be top coated? – All Rust Encapsulator products are UV resistant and do not need to be top coated."

    I guess you've found otherwise?
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline jerseybud

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #10 on: June 7, 2020, 08:00:41 pm »
    In 2005 I put eastwoods rust encapsulator on the frame of the 88.  It was gone withing 2 years.

    In 2012 I put ERE on a section of the 93 frame, then a catalyzed auto paint and clear coat.  That is still there and aged better than there rust convertor which is a joke.

    If you want 1 coat protection I highly recommend fanatical surface prep and epoxy primer
    1988 W-100 5.9 Magnum/NP-435/241/3.23 178,000 miles
    1992 W-250 5.9 Magnum/NV4500/241/4.10-177,000 miles
    1988/1993 W150 5.2 Magnum/46RH/241/3.55 160,000 mile
    1993 W-250 club cab CTD i/c 518/205/3.54- 301,000 miles!

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap -Upgrade Fuel System
    « Reply #11 on: June 8, 2020, 04:14:43 pm »
    This past week I:

    -Applied 1 coat of Rust Encapsulator (Maybe another coat later)

    -Dropped the fuel tank and replaced the stock fuel pump with a 60psi Holley EFI  pump

    -Pulled the stock 5/16" fuel supply/return lines, and installed new 3/8'" hardlines & fuel filter up to the engine bay. For the time being, I plumbed a "U Turn" into the supply & return lines w/a rubber fuel hose to function test the pump. It Worked!
    « Last Edit: June 9, 2020, 11:16:19 am by GusChiggins86 »
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap -New Gauges
    « Reply #12 on: July 9, 2020, 12:38:49 pm »
    While waiting for the new engine to arrive I have tackled a few other parts of the project.

    I have installed a tachometer & vacuum gauge (at the expense of the "Message Center"). I have a friend w/a 3D printer that made a new panel to fit the 2 new gauges. He used the original Message Center panel as a guide so the screw holes/dimensions were all just right. Pretty neat!
    « Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 02:20:14 pm by GusChiggins86 »
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline pc1p

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 11:07:30 am »
    408's are fun in a RC :)

    https://ramchargercentral.com/projects/pc1p's-1993-ramcharger-le-1ton-build/

    Still working on the tune and OBD-II conversion but even with the factory ECM, it's 10x more fun to drive vs stock and make me disappointed every time I mash the gas in my Jeep or wife's Grand Cherokee.

    As others have said though, the factory EFI on the Magnum's is a solid performer and worthwhile to add to your rig. Converting from TBI to Magnum MPFI isn't as hard as it sounds. Here's how I did my '90 W150: https://ramchargercentral.com/projects/pc1p's-1990-w1ton50-rcsb-restomod/msg3470850/#msg3470850
    '93 RamCharger LE | 408 cid stroker | Built 46RH | Dana 60s | TrueTrac Rear | ORD Crossover Steering | 37" Milestars | 17x9" Method 101 Beadlocks

    Link: https://ramchargercentral.com/projects/pc1p's-1993-ramcharger-le-1ton-build/

    98 Jeep TJ | 4.0/AX15 | 4" RE Super Flex | D30 30-spline | D44 CM shafts | E-lockers | 5.13 | 35" KM3

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 08:14:06 am »
    I'm looking forward to it! Engine should arrive in about a month.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #15 on: October 1, 2020, 04:02:43 pm »
    Engine has arrived!

    It came as a mostly assembled short block. I've installed the heads and done some touch up painting, but I still need to preload lifters, install the intake, valve covers, & EFI before it goes back in the truck. I also still need take a quick look under the hood to see if there's anything left to do in there before it gets a lot more cramped.

    « Last Edit: October 1, 2020, 04:05:56 pm by GusChiggins86 »
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #16 on: October 2, 2020, 01:42:41 am »
    don't forget the lifter "keepers"  so they can't turn around in their bores :)
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline Mopar572

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #17 on: October 2, 2020, 08:41:07 am »
    Engine has arrived!

    It came as a mostly assembled short block. I've installed the heads and done some touch up painting, but I still need to preload lifters, install the intake, valve covers, & EFI before it goes back in the truck. I also still need take a quick look under the hood to see if there's anything left to do in there before it gets a lot more cramped.

    What is it?  Unless I missed something we went form removal to the new engine has arrived!
    1985 W250, 318, 435, 208, 44/60
    1991 W350, 360, 435, 205, 60/70
    1991 D250, 360, 518, 60

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #18 on: October 2, 2020, 08:48:34 am »
    Well the Subject line does say "Swap".

    The new engine is a rebuilt '95 360 Mangum block stroked to a 408.

    Hydraulic Roller Camshaft 230*/234* 110*LSA
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #19 on: October 2, 2020, 08:50:25 am »
    don't forget the lifter "keepers"  so they can't turn around in their bores :)

    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline Mopar572

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #20 on: October 2, 2020, 10:18:06 am »
    Well yes I know its an engine swap but I was saying you said "engine should arrive in a month" to new engine is here.  Is it one you sourced and had a local machine shop do the work on?  Purchased form a company that builds strokers?
    1985 W250, 318, 435, 208, 44/60
    1991 W350, 360, 435, 205, 60/70
    1991 D250, 360, 518, 60

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #21 on: October 2, 2020, 10:38:23 am »
    I ordered the an assembled (level 2) Magnum short block from Hughes. They sourced the block (I didn't have a 360 block), cleaned it and installed a Scat 408 Stroker kit w/4.030" KB Pistons (9.4:1).
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #22 on: October 12, 2020, 09:09:23 am »
    Just dropped in the new 408.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline Lzed

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #23 on: October 12, 2020, 09:21:01 am »
     
    Just dropped in the new 408.


    Very awesome, I want to throw a 360 long block in my 89. I hear you have to change the torque converter though since they’re weighted differently from a 318.

    Let us know how much of a difference this makes for the truck!
    1989 Ramcharger LE 150 - 318 Magnum
    2019 Challenger R/T - 345 Hemi

    Offline pc1p

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #24 on: October 12, 2020, 12:05:06 pm »
    Just dropped in the new 408.

    Awesome!

    Just an FYI, you can run 2nd Gen shorty headers if you relocate your brake proportioning valve (or get a 92-93 valve and mount that gets bolted to the master cylinder bolts). This allows good routing around shifter linkage and around the bellhousing.
    '93 RamCharger LE | 408 cid stroker | Built 46RH | Dana 60s | TrueTrac Rear | ORD Crossover Steering | 37" Milestars | 17x9" Method 101 Beadlocks

    Link: https://ramchargercentral.com/projects/pc1p's-1993-ramcharger-le-1ton-build/

    98 Jeep TJ | 4.0/AX15 | 4" RE Super Flex | D30 30-spline | D44 CM shafts | E-lockers | 5.13 | 35" KM3

    Offline thegert

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    89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #25 on: October 12, 2020, 01:39:22 pm »
    Man that 408 will be a lot of
    Fun


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #26 on: October 12, 2020, 03:46:15 pm »
    The nice thing about going from a 318 to 408 is that the rotating assembly is internally balanced, so you can use the same unweighted 318 hardware.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #27 on: October 12, 2020, 04:45:42 pm »
    These manifolds are just temporary to make up to the current exhaust. Once this thing is mobile, I'll tootle down to the exhaust shop and have them put on a pair of '92 Magnum manifolds I've picked up, along with some new pipes.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline KurtfromLaQuinta

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #28 on: October 12, 2020, 10:23:19 pm »
    Nice job!
    500 c.i.- Scat Crank, Scat Rods, Indy Aluminum heads, Comp XR280HR Cam, Six-Pack, Milodon 8 qt. Pan, 727  (reverse-manual, low band apply, 5 clutch disc, 3 qt. xtra. pan), N.P. 205, Ford 9" rear axle (4:11, 31 spline axles, Detroit Locker, converted/ disc brakes). Dana 44 front (converted/ disc, 4:10, Tru-Trac limited slip). Hydra Boost Brake Booster, Gear Vendors OD. 600+ ft. lbs. of torque

    Offline W_A_Watson_II

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #29 on: October 13, 2020, 07:20:50 am »
    Indeed very NICE.  Just one point, the end "bolts" on those temporary manifolds need to be switched to stud's unless you intend on draining the antifreeze before doing a manifold swap after getting her running.
    Thanks,
    Will
    http://wawii.com/
    1984 Dodge Ramcharger, 318/727/2WD.

    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #30 on: October 13, 2020, 10:21:04 am »
    magnum heads ? end stud water ?
    78 to 93 parts trucks
    91 w250 318 518 44/60 single 9 foot driveway plow locked
    87w150 44/corp727 kandy w/ ghost bats/summer
    86-D/W100 44/corp/318mag/carb/4500/aka shit box/winter
    93w150short/44/corp/360/le/mag "caddie"
    93w250LB51844/60posi 318"New Truck"
    93w350 6 tire CC 60 c/a flat bed dump

    Offline GusChiggins86

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #31 on: October 13, 2020, 04:45:53 pm »
    Magnum heads.
    '89 Ramcharger 318/4x4/727/ 3.23 GR
    '09 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi 4X4

    Offline Jeffy45

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    Re: 89 Ramcharger Engine Swap
    « Reply #32 on: October 16, 2020, 07:23:48 am »
    No water, on end holes of magnum heads
    1988 Ramcharger LE 150 318 TBI 727 non-lockup.                   
           " If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it,   
                    he is obligated to do so"                                                   
                                                                 - Thomas Jefferson

     

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