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Author Topic: 440 performance/economy mods  (Read 2011 times)

Offline ZR91

  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Year: 1979
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie-Winnie
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440
440 performance/economy mods
« on: June 27, 2012, 07:49 PM »
Sent: 5/21/2007

Hi,
Our family just took our 1979 24' Minnie Winnie for it's maiden voyage, after many modifications. I am amazed at the difference some parts and a lot of TLC made in both fuel economy and power to climb steep grades.
Here is a list of the major mods done so far:
Weiand # 8009 aluminum intake( EGR& exhaust crossover deleted).
Edelbrock # 1411 750cfm carburetor (with economy tune).
MSD Blaster 2 coil&8.5mm wires, Accell cap/rotor kit(no MSD 440 kit)
Electric fan(Ford Taurus 2 speed)
Hayden adjustable fan controller & 180 T-stat.
Custom ram air setup(scoop under bumper forces air into air cleaner via 4" ducting)
 
We averaged 10.4 mpg, best economy is acheived at 55mph, 2,700 rpm and 13 inches of vacuum.(60 mph =2,900 rpm and 10 inches of vacuum) Anything faster than this results in terrible fuel economy.
 
Headers and 3" dual exhaust are next on the list, and I may try a different cam this summer.
Regards,
Jay


Offline WrongWay

  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D22S
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 07:50 PM »
Sent: 6/16/2007

Jay,
 
I am planning on doing similar mods to my '69 D22s with 318-3.  I was wondering about the ram air setup. Did you purchase from ramairbox.com? Or is it a custom made setup you made? Have any pics? Is it hard to covert to electric fan?

I am a man of many questions tonight...lol

Allan

Offline ibdilbert01

  • *
  • Posts: 616
  • Creative Gadget Guru
  • Member since: 2006
  • Year: 1970
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain Deluxe, D27
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 07:52 PM »
Sent: 9/1/2007 9:10 PM

I've been busy today, I put a new throttle cable on the winnie, as the dag-gone thing stuck coming home one day and scared the soul right out of me. LOL I got it at NAPA, was an exact match. I also replaced the engine mounts, as mine were pretty rotten. If anyone has the 318 in the 1972 era and is willing to take pictures of the front and right engine brackets.  I would greatly appreciate it. I don't think the brackets that I have are right, they don't settle the engine very well at all.

Has anyone converted their rig to electronic ignition? I

Also my rig is a 72, on a 71 chassis, but the engine is stamped 72, maybe an engine replacement?
Constipated People Don't Give a crap!

Offline denisondc

  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D23
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413-1
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 07:53 PM »
Sent: 9/2/2007

I like to stick with the OEM ignition design, they are covered by the service manual, its wiring diagrams, and my parts catalog. My 72 with 413 has ignition.  Points; they are simple, and very reliable within their limits. I change points and condenser about each 10k miles, and I check the timing before each annual vacation.
Once when I had totally ignored the ignition for way over 16,000 miles (4 years of driving) the engine began stalling at traffic lights coming into Houston. We pulled into the next auto parts store ( a block away) where they had the points in stock for about $4. I installed them in under 15 minutes. I also carry spare points/condenser/rotor/distributor cap & ignition resistor with us; as well as my tools and a timing light.
I adjusted the ign. timing at the campground where we stopped for the night.

Offline Oz

  • *
  • Posts: 2834
  • "So let it be written; so let it be done!"
  • Member since: 2002
  • I own: a Motor Home
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 07:55 PM »
Sent: 9/2/2007 6:07 AM


Don't spend the outrageous amount of money wanted by ramairbox~!  These can be easily made from common automotive and household ducting. 
 
And if the ducting goes all the way down the front and under the bumper, the "ram" air effect is reduced substantially and is more of a CIA (cold air intake) set-up.  An improvement over stock, to be sure, but the ducting can be run over the top of the radiator and then canted slightly downard and then forward into the pliable cowling.  Much shorter distance for the air to travel and more direct... true ram air.  Also, less materials, less snaking around, and just easier to do.  I have a twin snorkel (OEM) air cleaner box and that's exactly how it's set up now.  Cost?  Less than $20... beat THAT ramairbox.com!
 
Also, if the cam is going to be changed, what about the valves?  What about the fuel air mixture?  What kind of change?  Minimal or radical?  What's the goal?  Power or economy?  There's a balance, and at some point, modifications are going to push that balance one way or another.
 
Tweaking an engine will provide a nominal increase in both power and economy, but significant power increases come at a price, and that price is.... yup, economy.  If you want to get maximum economy, don't expect to go roaring up hills, blowing away other rigs... we aren't talking 4 cylinder Hondas here, after all.  We're pulling TONS of weight.  Also, consider the terrain you're going to be driving over.  Running across open interstates in the midwest, or driving the lengths of basins between mountains is going to yield much better mileage than crossing mountains or long miles of hill/mountainous areas.
 
Headers?  Read the discussion on that one using the Message Search.  There's some very important things to consider when installing them, and if they aren't taken into consideration, you can end up with at least fried wiring and vapor lock, or at worst, a major engine fire.
 
Remember, a lot of novice RVers are looking at this info and may be considering like mods.  Research major modifications in depth before making your decisions. 
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

Offline ibdilbert01

  • *
  • Posts: 616
  • Creative Gadget Guru
  • Member since: 2006
  • Year: 1970
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain Deluxe, D27
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 07:57 PM »
Sent: 9/9/2007

I took a lazy weekend on restoring the RV. But I did manage to install the new electronic distributor.

denisondc had some concerns about troubleshooting it if it were to fail and where to get parts if it needed repaired. He really made me think twice. Seeing how it was only $69.00, I felt I would order it, take it apart, learn how it works, and if it seemed simple enough, I'd try it. And that's what I did.

I ordered it on Tuesday and got it on Friday. I took it apart yesterday and found it was pretty much a slighty modified version of a GM HEI Distributor. There really was nothing to it but a pickup coil and what looked to be a standard EI Module. After deciding I could troubleshoot that rather easy, I gave myself the official "go".

So I put it back together and installed it. I'm happy to say it works well. I'll keep the old one in the toolbox as a "just in case". The engine runs really smooth now, but I imagine a lot of that is due to the new wires. The old wires were shot.

Whole project took a few hours, but I also bought new wires and they were the kind you put your own ends on, so that consumed some time.

I also had some issues getting the rig timed right. Oddly enough my 318 doesn't have anything casted on the timing cover to help adjust the timing. I have a spare 318 in my garage and it has the timing marks casted right onto the timing cover about 2o'clock. I read on some of the messages on this board that some of them had sight tubes, but I can't seem to find that either.

If anyone can give any advice on how to time this rig, let me know. At this point I adjusted it by turning the distributer clocking wise till the engine smoothed out, then I turned it a tad more until she started to labor a tiny bit. I assume its close, but I would really like to find a way to put the timing gun on it.
Constipated People Don't Give a crap!

Offline jddrivfour

  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Year: 1979
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 07:58 PM »
Sent: 9/16/2007

Can you say what diameter this fan is?
I tried this before and was worse than engine driven fan. my clutch fans wear out quickly. This summer I put in a super heavy duty clutch fan and it improved but did not fix overheat problem.

I made similar upgrades as you did. The headers, in particular two cylinder almost touch the plugs resulting in very short plug wire life even though I have used hi tech insulation.

Offline ZR91

  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Year: 1979
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie-Winnie
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 07:58 PM »
Sent: 9/16/2007 7:42 PM

The Fan is a factory 2-speed  electric fan from a Ford Taurus, about 20 inches in diameter, it covers the full height of the stock Dodge rad and 2/3 of its width.
I am running it with a Hayden adjustable thermostat and have the temp probe mounted thru the rad core.
 
I am using a 180 degree thermostat, and flushed my entire cooling system 4 or 5 times to remove every last trace of scale and buildup.
 
Assuming that your cooling system has been flushed properly and your water pump and thermostat are ok, you should have no overheating issues with any fan.
In fact the only time my electric fan turns on is idleing in traffic. My temp never climbs above 1/4 on the hiway...1/3 going thru the mountains.
 
Jay

Offline WrongWay

  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Year: 1969
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D22S
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 07:59 PM »
I would love to see a pic of your ramair setup....i too have a twin snorkel air cleaner and would like to copy what you did.
 
much thanks....

Offline ZR91

  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Year: 1979
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie-Winnie
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 08:00 PM »
Sent: 9/22/2007 9:05 AM

I actually just removed my Ram Air setup from under the front bumper, because we went thru deep water and down a lot of gravel roads on our last trip.
 
Jay

Offline toddabney

  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Member since: 2007
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 08:01 PM »
Sent: 11/16/2007 11:52 PM

Hi there, has anyone used "water wetter"(i think thats the name) it is supposed to make the boiling point very high.  That way your engine should never boil over. i was told at the parts store they use it in racing cars.any thoughts?
Thanks - todd

Offline denisondc

  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D23
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 413-1
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 08:02 PM »
Sent: 11/17/2007 6:26 AM

    I have never used it, since I wasnt able to tell what it really was from reading the can.    I assume the reason they use it in racing cars is because the maker of the product pays them to do so and to have the decal on the side of the car.   Thats why Richard Petty said he used STP in his car - Andy Granatelli paid him to. 
   How long has it been since the radiator of your RV was removed and cleaned or recored?  I got ten years of trouble free use on my 413 powered Winny after getting the radiator cleaned, replacing the radiator cap, the thermostat, the hoses, & with a 50% mixture of water/antifreeze.   This included plenty of driving in places where the air was over 100f (in the shade) and we were buzzing along on black pavements (in the bright sun).  In the last few years I have been using a mixture that is 25% antifreeze and 75% water, since we never drive in sub-freezing weather.  Water does conduct heat a little better than ethylene glycol.   I change the coolant it each 2 or 3 years, but never need to add any in between.
   There are lots of liquids that can be added to water to raise its boiling point, but Etylene Gycol seems to be the most stable - or else the auto manufacturers wouldnt use it. 
    You should be using a 'skirted' thermostat in your 440-3.    I got mine from www.summitracing.com.  Do a search there for their product # MRG-4377 to see what one looks like.  Without the skirt it wont work as well once the engine is warmed up; cooling will be compromised.   

Offline normstow

  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Apollo
  • Model: 3000
  • Chassis: Dodge M500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 08:03 PM »
Sent: 11/17/2007 12:51 PM

Hi Todd,
 
I add Water Wetter as I figure anything that will keep the engine a little cooler while climbing mountain passes can't be a bad thing.  My understanding of this product is that it doesn't raise the boiling point of water as eEhylene Glycol does, but rather it improves the heat conductivity of the water, thereby helping to transfer the heat from the engine to the coolant/radiator.  I think the product I use claims to lower the temperature by 5 or 6 degrees, which in some situations could be enough to prevent boiling.
Hope this helps.
 
Norm in Seattle
Also owned a 1976 Vogue - Dodge M500

Offline 13503gds

  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 08:04 PM »
Sent: 11/20/2007 5:43 PM

I'm going to have to disagree with the opinion engine modifications are pointless. Just as how these things were built the times change & so does the thinking. I too have a '74 318-3. Fuel injection over carburetor will increase low end torque & should increase mileage. Four speed transmission over the factory installed 3 speed will increase mileage. The four speed was not around when my '74 was built. Neither was the factory fuel injection or the swirl heads. My chassis was built for x amount of years. I could have restored it as it was built but their is a better way & it will last much much longer. Lots of things can be changed.

Offline Lefty

  • *
  • Posts: 533
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a 5th wheel
  • Year: 1998
  • Make: Star Craft
  • Model: Leisure Star RB-310
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2012, 08:07 PM »
Sent: 11/20/2007 9:53 PM

If I had a 318-3 engine (but I don't), I would consider doing an engine swap using a later model 360 engine from a truck. That way I could also get a newer style transmission that had overdrive in it. Also, there's no substitute for cubic inches when it comes to making horsepower and torque. As for installing fuel injection, the simplest way would be to purchase a stand-alone system such as a Holley Pro-jection unit. It has a throttlebody and a self-contained computer control.

The only other alternative is to use a late-model donor vehicle and strip everything you need from it. There's a lot involved with a fuel injection system, not only the intake and injectors, but a slew of other related parts.  An example would be;
Fuel pump (in tank or inline) of the correct pressure and flow rate. most injection systems use much higher pressure than a carb.
Fuel pressure regulator (controls fuel pressure)
Throttle position sensor (reads how much throttle is being applied)
map sensor (reads the air pressure in the intake manifold)
cold start valve or injector (fuel injection doesn't have a choke.)
coolant sensor for computer (not the same as one for the light or gauge, tells computer whether the engine is warmed up or not)
oxygen sensor (reads how rich/lean the engine is)
mass airflow sensor (reads how much air is passing thru the engine)
computer (the "brains" of the whole system)
Complete engine wiring harness
under dash wiring harness for installing the computer

Another often overlooked thing is providing both 5 volts positive and negative sources. Most sensors use 5 volts, not 12 volts.

Fuel for fuel injections is usually done as a return loop type. Flow is constant and excess fuel is constantly returned to the tank. You would need to modify the tank to accept a return feed, but this would be a simple and minor modification.
Can be done, and I have done it a few times myself on old hot-rods. But it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to do it right. And it will significantly increase mileage, driveability,and throttle response.
 
You can alternatively help out a stock engine by remembering that it basically is nothing more than an air pump. Any improvement you do in getting the air into and out of the engine will increase it's efficiency and power. Things like having the heads ported, and the ports matched to the block. Three-angle valve grinding, more aggressive cam profiles that open the valves quicker and further, and keep the exhaust valve open longer all help. As for headers, they are great for engines turning at high rpm's. But they actually hurt low end power by causing a drop in exhaust velocity, which causes a reduction in the scavanging efficiency of the engine. For a engine designed to pull, you want a relatively small exhaust port compared to an engine designed for high end power. Dual exhaust using 1 7/8" pipes, decent free flowing mufflers, and stock manifolds that have been port matched to the ports in the head will perform quite well.
Switching the torque converter out for one with a slightly higher stall speed (about 500-1,000 rpm higher than stock) will allow the engine to rev higher when starting out from a dead stop, which allows it to have more pulling power. You can measure the stall speed you have by holding the rig in position using the brakes, and measuring the highest speed the engine will achieve in Drive (using a tach.) Most stock converters are around 1,500 rpm. A 2,000-2,500 rpm converter would be about right.
I reserve the right to reject your reality and substitute my own...

Offline 13503gds

  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Year: 1974
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2012, 08:08 PM »
Sent: 11/22/2007 7:17 PM

i would like to reply to your answer lefty. I did have a 1987 Dodge van with a 360 cid with a the factory 4 barrel carb. I removed the carb & installed a Holley projection analog fuel injection kit. It ran 100% better. More torque, more stable when cold. Just plain smoother, better economy. As for factory fuel injection I bought a 1990 Dodge 318 out of a pickup. It has the factory throttle body injection. All the wiring for this is under the hood including the computer for it. It can be removed from the pickup & the wiring harness can be removed from the engine complete. remove the intake, heads,exhaust manifolds. This is a "packaged unit" right under the hood. No need to get into any dash wiring. I know because I have done it twice.
The 318 Magnum would be a great engine unfortunately you need the body controller to make it run. This is not a stand alone system but an integral part of the vehicle. The 1990 engine cost me $400.00. The Holley Projection was $1700.00 The out come was virtually the same and Holley OEM's the Chrysler throttle body.

Offline jkilbert

  • *
  • Posts: 182
  • Member since: 2009
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D26RT Brave
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2012, 04:57 AM »
One other thing to consider is that these engines are classed as "industrial" not automotive. So they would have been used a lot in applications such as generators where there is a constant load at a constant rpm. At least on my '77 Brave I found one obvious difference, and that's spark plugs. When I first got it I went to the Auto Zone for tune up stuff, came home with the plugs....guess what? wrong ones. Not an error on their part, my heads are set up to use the smaller plugs like in a GM motor.

john
Greetings from the steel buckle of the rust belt

Offline vacuumbed

  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Fleetwood
  • Model: Pace Arrow M-A 31'
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 440 performance/economy mods
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 03:57 PM »
Could that Dodge 318 throttle body injection be used on a 440?

 

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