Enigne upgrading


Asked by Jan 31, 2010 at 09:08 PM about the 1998 Dodge Dakota

Question type: Car Customization

I have a stock 98 dakota with the 318, (5.2). Within a few years I want to rebuild it and make it a true off-road tool. What are the best or good ways to gain some serious power for that truck? Should I swap the 5.2 with a 5.9 and bore the 5.9 into a 408CI stroker? Or keep the 318 and use that?

13 Answers

engine wize the 360 is a direct bolt in. just transfer the manifolds and asserries from one to the other.


can i get hemi heads with the 360?

if you can then you have to do some enginebay measuring. picture a caddy northstar in your truck. tiny block with huge heads.


well i would end up doing both a body and a suspension lift anyway so space isnt an issue. you see i want to make a huge amount of power with this thing so...supercharging, hemi heads, good flowing exhaust headers, etc anything but NOS i want to do for this truck.


your 408 stroker idea would be much better than a hemi more power and theorectically all mopar engines are "hemis" they all have the trademarked hemispherical combustion chamber style head. you can actually fit a 440 under the hood if yo ugot the cash, but a 408 stroker motor with worked magnum heads and a 50psi shot would put that truck in the 11s. however changin the motor and not the rest of the driveline will cause probs.

if you wanna go that route then dodge has a 630 hemi crate engine based off of the gen 2 426 hemi. just to let you know not all dodge v8s are hemis.


yeah i know that about not all being hemis. when i do this i already have to replace the whole driveline. im practically redoing the whole truck; interior, differentials/axles, frame, transmission, everything i want to replace with different equipment. the little things that i've done to it so far is destroying parts. im just fixing it for the time being until i get done with school.

damn this must be your toy. post some pics when youre done. by the mine is a 95 and im turning it into a camping rig.as soon as i get a good camera ill post some pics of it and my toy, my amc eagle.


well for now its a daily driver, but in a few years when i buy my dream truck im going to make it the ultimate hunting, offroad, you know whatever truck.


no they aren't where did you hear that?... even actual "HEMI"s don't have hemispherical combustion chambers anymore. And what's a 50psi shot? Nitrous shots are hp not psi. As for the original question, a built 318/390 or 360/408 is gonna be your best/cheapest/easiest solution. Unless the rest of the drive line is shot already there is no reason to replace it. Although building the trans is a good idea if your going to all that effort. If your willing to spend the money and do all kinds of work you could put almost anything you can think of in there.

you made a few good points there and i knew you would pop up again.


I should also mention that the 318 and 360 share nearly everything except the rotating assembly..... the accessories, heads, intake manifold, distributor, etc.... all the same


alright thanks guys

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