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318 engine rebuild #730556
December 10th 2017 12:48 pm
December 10th 2017 12:48 pm
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 21
AZ
J
Jay85128 Offline OP
stranger
Jay85128  Offline OP
stranger
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 21
AZ
I am rebuilding my stock 318 2-bbl and not too sure on what performance parts will work. More specifically what camshaft I can install to give it better performance without going to a 4-bbl carb. My van is just going to be a traveling van to take on road trips and maybe some camping trips, so I am wanting something that will perform at highway speeds and on hills. Have any suggestions on a rebuild? Something you would do if it were your engine? Any tips, tricks, or suggestions are appreciated. I have tossed around the idea of going to a 4-bbl carb, so that's not completely out. Just want to save as much money as possible since my budget is really tight.

Re: 318 engine rebuild [Re: Jay85128] #730574
December 11th 2017 3:02 am
December 11th 2017 3:02 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
If I were on a tight budget and looking to improve a stock two barrel 318, the first thing I would do is upgrade the cylinder heads to a set of late 80s 318 "302" casting swirl port heads. These heads have a better combustion chamber design for a more efficient burn and also have a smaller combustion chamber in the head to increase compression. I have read reports of dyno tests that show switching to these heads and doing nothing else added 25 horsepower.

If you are doing a rebuild you might want to look into a camshaft change. I have had good luck with Edelbrock cams. Get their basic performer cam. Don't go crazy thinking you need high lift or a cam designed for high RPM use.

Make sure your carb and distributor advance systems are hooked up correctly and working correctly. Install a free flowing exhaust (dual 2 1/4 inch or single 2.5 inch) with a free flowing muffler.

Installing a vacuum gauge and driving to maximize vacuum also helps.

I think a head swap and a cam swap should be all you need to get the motor making more power more efficiently.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: 318 engine rebuild [Re: Reed] #730619
December 12th 2017 12:08 am
December 12th 2017 12:08 am
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 21
AZ
J
Jay85128 Offline OP
stranger
Jay85128  Offline OP
stranger
J
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 21
AZ
Thanks for the advice Reed, I will certainly take it into consideration. I am going to tear down the 318 builder I have from my 1980 pickup and start with the block and go as I can afford the parts and machine work.

Re: 318 engine rebuild [Re: Jay85128] #730622
December 12th 2017 1:03 am
December 12th 2017 1:03 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,783
Fircrest, WA
If you do nothing else, get those heads. The stock parts, even the cam, aren't too bad for a cruising van. Just remember you won't care about head flow rates over about 3800 rpm. If you can, maybe track down an old Edelbrock SP2P two barrel intake manifold. This intake is designed to be used on a stock motor and improve low RPM power and economy.

The 302 casting heads and the Edelbrock SP2P intake is the combination I hope to evetually install on the otherwise stock 318 in my 82 Ramcharger.

Another cheap and easy upgrae (if your van doesn't have one stock) is a cold air intake tube hooked up to the snorkel on the stock air cleaner.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: 318 engine rebuild [Re: Jay85128] #731711
January 12th 2018 12:16 pm
January 12th 2018 12:16 pm
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 18
UK
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LazySteve Offline
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LazySteve  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 18
UK
Not really part of the engine rebuild, but as you are looking for low cost improvement I would strongly suggest you also re-curve the distributor if it's still in stock form. Pretty sure there's a thread somewhere about how to.

Like you I'm running a 2bbl 318 from an early '80s pick up and I got an improvement in power and economy that way (win-win).

Re: 318 engine rebuild [Re: Reed] #731717
January 12th 2018 2:12 pm
January 12th 2018 2:12 pm
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,002
West Texas
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Wedgy Online content
old hand
Wedgy  Online Content
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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,002
West Texas
Originally Posted by Reed


Another cheap and easy upgrade, (if your van doesn't have one stock) is a cold air intake tube hooked up to the snorkel on the stock air cleaner.


Another useful stock part, if it would fit, is a dual snorkel air cleaner. This may, or may not work for a carbed motor in a cold climate.

On my EFI '88 318, I blocked off and plugged vacuum to the air cleaner. This closes off the thermostatic warm air valve, fully opens up the main snorkel, and, Bonus! the "power" snorkel. No ill effects from losing the stovepipe. Tested. Instant cold starts down to 2 degrees.

Also, a '94 snorkel intake fits into the core support, and over the stock '88 main snorkel tube. The power snorkel is next for a CAI tube fab. Crap in the way, but it's fine for Winter.

Good Wrenching!


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