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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i've
built chevy cars and fords but never a mopar & I are why parts are not easy to come across or maybe i'm looking in the wrong spot lol , anyway I have a dakota 318 all stock would like to do something different , maybe some advice from you mopar guys out there
 

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Hi Ben, what if any type mods does your Dakota have now ? If none, why not start with some motor mods, and move on to the rest of the drive train components. This will give you some time to get acquainted with Mopar, and give you time to decide just what major mods your Dakota needs to make it different. Just my thoughts ! ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
me to lol, but I think I would lose all my gauges only one that works is speed , tach, & volt I just don't know were to start in this thing I would like a 440 but i'm no fab guy
 

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If you're not a "fab guy" it may be very hard to build your truck in the style you've described. A better method would be as Steve described and build up what you have. Gauges not working is pretty minor, as you can easily remove the whole gauge cluster and build up a new insert with after market gauges connected to the engine. I also don't know anything about newer computer and electronic controlled cars, so I'd swap it out to a carbureted intake, and make it all old school. But you'll have to decide it's no longer a daily driver if you plan to make it into your hotrod. Need to also check your local laws to see if changing all these things will make it impossible to license once you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with that, wouldn't a 360 just bolt right up? I was thinking of doing that swap but id like to do hemi heads (not just cause of the name either) carb is what i'll most likely do but it still needs to be drivable, I don't work far from home so gas isn't much a issue
 

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Hi Ben. I haven't seen a hemi head swap to a 318 or 360. I have seen it done to a 440. I think if it was mine I would go with the 360. They are easier to find performace equipment for than the 318. Also the 360 (Maybe stroked to 400) should motivate that truck pretty well also. You can find crate motors from most of the bigger speed parts houses. A 440 would be a challenge to put in there with limited space, tools and fabrication experience. But not impossible. There are some pretty good Mopar sites that talk about truck engine transplants, check em out before you decide. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks do you have the name to these sites ? & what would the technical name for the dash witch after market gauges be call I may look at doing that first it bothers me not having any working gauges
 

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I think I would start on the web, type in dodge dakota dash and see what you get, or try for dash upgrades. The other sites, put in 318/360 dakota engine swap. You should find some sites to read. Have fun.
 

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I agree with Mike; the 360 wedge motor would be a good choice as it is a bolt in. As for dashes, you could find an aftermarket that just bolts in place of the original, but the closer you get to finished plug and play, the more money you'll take out of your wallet! If you were to remove the stock instrument panel and get some aluminum sheet metal, you could make up your own panel and gauges, and save $400-$500 most likely. Considering the nice rectangle shape of the Dakota dash, a filler panel would be pretty easy to cut and fit to it.
The instrument panel in my Falcon cost me $140 to build. A flat sheet of aluminum fitted into the old gutted gauge panel, then new Equus gauges fitted to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
so would a edelebrock intake from any 318 work with me? & would I have to swap to hei or can I keep my old dizzy? had my fuel pump die on me makes me miss the pump on the block lol
 

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Check the edelbrock site for application. I would say probably would fit, but you never know. Especially if there is one with and one without EFI, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks i'm going back to basic carb no efi , I looked at them on summit they look like they will fit for my application
 
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