Dodge 360-3 restoration

Started by Mlw, April 01, 2022, 03:51 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Well guys,

The project came to a shrieking holt again....

If somebody saw a few devils running around very scared.... That was me, $@!#@! $@!#@! $@!#@! $@!#@!  $@!#@!

Ripped out bolt.jpg

Now if somebody knows somebody who still has a decent 360 (preferabel) or 440 lying around and wants to sell it, I'm interested because you would't believe the price they dare to ask for the same engine like mine and then it's probably not a heavy duty, and they demand that you give them your engine which should be rebuildable. If not you pay $800,00 extra.

Dutch price 1980 Dodge 360.jpg

and of course I'm looking extra at the members in Europe.... ;)


Yeah well,

I'm a sucker for vintage and I think that when you go vintage you have to go all the way when you can.

For me it is reliving something the way it was, so in this case with the original engine as far as it would go. We will see.

I have the luxury to think this way, as I'm living in a very small country there aren't large deserted areas as in America. As i first have to learn to put my trust in the RV I will probably stay in the Netherlands with it the upcoming years to try it out. If something happens help is always nearby.


This is awesome!  There's not a lot of vintage RVs out there running the 360-3 but there are some so this is truly groundbreaking for the complete deal.
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca



So it has been very quiet around the build of the old 360 so it's about time to give an update.

The biggest reason for this is just the state western society is in right now. I know we don't talk politics here, but I do hope Í can at least ask everybody in western society to aks themselves if this really is the direction we want to go to and what we need to do to fix it. If I would have build Betsy just 5 years ago I wouldn't have had half the problems I'm facing now getting parts and would have costed me more than half less than it's costing me right now due to transportation and importing costs.

After my last message I first had to find the right 2 ½ inch socket to fix the problems I thought I had with my rear brakes BrakeJob Dodge MB400 chassis It took me about 1 month to find out the socket was sold it at summit by a tip of Jupp318 As I needed parts for the engine as well I ordered them together with the socket. I took them about a month to order the socket and it took a month to deliver.

So now it's October already. The brakes were actually in very decent condition so I went back to rebuilding the engine again. I renewed all the bearings and the piston rings. The engine turned over very well so I was very happy with myself ( for a while)
Just to check myself I watched the video from Just Mopar Joe where he installed his piston rings to find out I made a mistake.

You see, the rings came in a box without instructions and the rings divided in three white bags without any marking. So I put all my top rings in the left side of the engine and the bottom rings in the right. I can be as angry with myself as with P.O's 😉 so I called myself a f-ing moron the rest of the night 😊
So,  next morning I got everything out again, replacing all the rings and making my next mistake. I marked all the pistons with a marker but of course with all the oil and grease this got off so I got confused how to get the pistons back in again.

Then it gets dangerous, I'm building my engine at a Hobbygarage so then you get all the "experts" swirling in. one says you should do it like this, the other says you should do it like that. Listening to them got me to bind my engine solid and destroying on of the scales of the crankshaft bearings. II got one of my famous tantrums driving the engine to the waste container and ready to throw it in,  to find my cool just in time an putting the engine away for a few weeks and use the time to investigate,
Now an (Dodge) engine has several markings in which you can find how to build your engine.

1.    The piston has a marking on the side of the pistons when they are flat heads. These should always point to the front of the engine or the pistons have valve releases which should always point to the top of the engine

2.    The piston rods should have a bigger chamfer on one side. This side should always point to the crankshaft journals.  In my case there were also dots on the crankshaft which caused a lot of confusion as all the experts said they should point to the front. Ignore this and look at the chamfers, not the dots. This is very important to lube the crankshaft bearings.

3.    All bearings should be placed notch to notch, these are very important to keep the bearings in place and stop them from slipping and binding. Next to this I could perform extra checks because the keepers for the main bearings has numbers on them with a dot in front of them. The numbers should go from the front of the engine to the back with the dot pointing to the front. In my case the keepers for the crankshaft bearings were marked as well. This way you can also see in which cylinder the piston goes. In my case I found out the PO switched pistons 3 and 5 and 4 and 6. As he did it on the correct bank, (3 and 5 on the left and 4 and 6 on the right this shouldn't cause any major problems but I put everything back where it belonged.

You should always turn your crankshaft once you place a main or crankshaft bearing. If you get a sudden increase in resistance turning the crankshaft STOP!!! Something is WRONG. I used my Torque wrench to measure the resistance but as far as I know there aren't official numbers to put that to the test.
Really TAKE YOUR TIME because there isn't any room to make mistakes. When you do your engine wil seize, something you don't want. Work Securely check yourself multiple time and when you are not sure, always remove the extra item even when is cost you more work. You will thank yourself later.

If somebody finds me making a mistake above, feel free to comment.


@ Eyes open, I did. The block is looked at by a retired mechanic who worked on American engines in his adult life. The damage done is out of range of the cylinderrun so that's a plus, but I certainly hear what you are saying.

The thing is, I took some basic steps when I bought the Motorhome. As It was sold as a fixer upper I couldn't drive it.

So I checked the fluids, they were clean as a whistle and topped off. I felt the engine if it was completely cold and it was. How it starts and runs you saw yourself in another video  I made last winter.

Starting up the beast on a cold wintermorning

Furthermore compression is OK except one but still within specification limits. The strange thing is that the engine was not always galloping, even with a broken pistonring in Cylinder 5 and following specs

Up 4.000 (cylinder with low compression)
      Mh 3.994
      Ml 3.994
      Lo 3.994

The Chassis has received a complete anti corrosion treatment at one point, and the interior was pretty decent at first glance, and that's why I bought here. This RV has spend her intire life traveling from the Bavarian mountains (south of Germany. It seems to be pretty clear what happened. The oil pump failed, probably during a climb, one of the piston rods broke off doing minor damage (says the retired mechanic) to the  cylinders above. I'll try to make good pictures of all if them next week.

@ Terry
For me you are not sounding the devils advocate. If I would have lived in America I would have seriously consider putting another block in there. But I live in Europe and i guess I'm just not ready to put a 4 or (when in luck) 6 cylinder diesel in there. Call me stupid, but i Like the sound of a V8 and whatever you put in there, that's the sound you will hear as long as you drive it  ;)

The biggest problem I'm facing is that the Previous moron was a digger, digging into things normal users never touch and completely destroying them because of his Redneck way of repairing things multiplied by a thousand.

As for your advise:
All the bearings are going to be replaced, as is the timing chain:

Pictures do weird things sometimes. The retired mechanic at the hobby garage who worked on American vehicles most of his said never to have seen a camshaft looking this well considering the miles.

As for the heads, I replaced all the valve seals. With this I removed the valves, cleaned them up and checking if they were straight, which they were, even cylinder 6

Next to check if the heads are straight as is the block. The crank i Will check too.


This may sound like a 'Devil's Advocate' reply, but are you quite certain that pistons and rings are enough? You may want to consider, as well, a crank grind, all new crank bearings, new cam and bearings, rebuilding the heads and a good check of the timing chain for possible stretching. Likely, I missed a few things - I am not a Dodge person.
I'd hate for you to go to all this work and then have to pull and strip the engine again.
Seems to me that you are at the point of either a total rebuild (assuming the block is within rebuild specs) or finding a known good replacement engine.
My thoughts only.
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are - it is our choices.
Albus Dumbledore

Eyez Open

Boy that's a tough spot to be might have a builder/machinist look at that block...It is in bad shape. then there is your crank.


I question them myself too, Dave. that's why I try to find a micrometer, or i would have to buy a China Junk one of €50,= to use only one time. It's incredibly frustrating that you just can't find the right tools here in the Netherlands to do the job.

You are absolutely right about the oil starvation. There is a new oil pump placed by the previous idiot and I found parts of the old one in the oilpan.

I noticed the oilstarvation in the passenger side valve case when I removed the valve cover and that was also the reason I took the engine apart, and there we go.

ALL the cylinders on the passengerside show the same marks, with number six as the worst obviously because of the reasons you mention.

SO if I have to buy new pistons I will, but then i would need the right measurements of the cylinders and so I keep running around in circles.

We'll get there eventually. But it's going to take some time, which is a shame because when it keeps going like this it will be next year before I finally can go on a trip with Betsy.


QuoteThe thing is, I measured the pistons today, also with a digital caliper and some seem like 1 to max 3/1000's of an inch larger than the Cylinder wall.

Unless you have a very expensive digital caliper I simply suspect the accuracy of it is questionable for this sort of measurement.

Based on the damage your seeing on the block (piston replaced, cylinder wall pieces broken off, etc.), I would say the scratches and such were due to the engine was ran low on oil at some point such that it threw a rod.  Lack of oil film on cylinder wall resulted in lots of scratching.



Again, many thanks for your help and the copy's

The engine is a 360, it's stated on the block, but also in the brochure and the manuals but I'm glad you are acknowledging my confusion.

The thing is, I measured the pistons today, also with a digital caliper and some seem like 1 to max 3/1000's of an inch larger than the Cylinder wall.

That can be off reading, because I don't have a micrometer, at the moment but It would explain why there are scratches in the form of the piston skirts in the corresponding cylinders and the skirts are scratched as well. What you see below is a bottom up picture of Cylinder 6

However I am looking if I can lent or rent one somewhere, because I want to be absolutely sure but the main reason I'm doing this is to see if things are in spec and they seem to be.


Here is the Dodge service manual that shows the actual specs:

EBAY Source.  I typically purchase the BISHKO DVDs for reference if available because they are normally the best value for one offs and much easier to store.

Chapter 9 Page 75
Chapter 9 Page 76
Chapter 9 Page 77
Chapter 9 Page 78

Either your micrometer needs calibration (yes they can be calibrated) or you possibly have a worn 318 (3.91" Base).  A digital caliper is not the best tool for this operation. 

You should be using a Telescoping Gauge Set to measure the bore.  You use a Calibrated Micrometer Set to measure the gauge.

Using a feeler gauge to measure ring end gap is used to verify you do not have to much space resulting in excessive blow by  or to little space resulting in ring and/or piston lan breakage.


After honing the cylinders i took time to measure the cylinders. Now as said before, we don't have stores like autozone here in the Netherlands so no micrometer so I used a trick learned from my old mechanic colleague.

Now mechanics that would like to measure as precise to get 1/1000's of a horsepower extra will probably get a heartattack for me telling this, but I'm NOT building a race engine or an engine that is in high rev areas all the time. the engine run pretty decent and compression was in spec except for one cylinder. I just want to make sure the pistons are in spec so they don't do any damage anymore because all cylinders were scarred. However, that's what you get when you never change the oil like the Major Idiot.

First you measure your upperside of the cylinder with a digital caliper. Go for the highest number and write this one down.

After this you stick one of the piston rings in the cylinder at the same height as you measured with the digital caliper. align the ring by sticking a piston in the cylinder without all the rings. Use the same ring for all the cylinders.

When the ring is in place you measure the gap with your feelergauges. Write down the number. In this case I worked as precise that the feelergauge absolutely didn't fit anymore, and writing the number down of the one before. Then I took 4 measuringpoints in the cylinder.

This gave me the following numbers.

Specifications cylinders in inches

   1. Up 3.996
      Mh 3.996
      Ml 3.995
      Lo 3.996

   2. Up 3.995
      Mh 3.995
      Ml 3.996
      Lo  3.995

   3. Up 3.997
      Mh 3.997
      Ml 3.997
      Lo 3.996
   4. Up 3.999
      Mh 3.999
      Ml 3.999
      Lo 3.998
   5. Up 4.000 (cylinder with low compression)
      Mh 3.994
      Ml 3.994
      Lo 3.994
   6. Up 3.995
            Mh 3.996
      Ml 3.995
      Lo 3.995
   7. Up 3.998
      Mh 3.996
      Ml 3.995
      Lo 3.995

   8. Up 3.995
      Mh 3.996
      Ml 3.994
      Lo 3.995

Now I'm a bit lost here as several Sources (and the piston page at rock auto) says the cylinder bores should be 4 inches i think it's a bit strange that an engine over 40 years old give specs that are beneath that.

Can someone shine a light on this for me?


Now today i actually had a very productive day. I replaced the valve seals in the other Cylinder head. I treated the Chinese junk valve spring tool like it was made of glass. It took some more time but it actually survived and is still in good condition.

because I treated the valve spring tool like glass, i had another problem and that was that i couldn't remove the keepers the way you see in the video.

I found that my mini cutter was my big friend again. I could press the valve spring tool down and wiggle it around and get the keeper out with my mini cutter instead of fiddling with a magnet.

Then I got the same problem putting them back in again, but you can solve this by putting the keepers in as straight as possible, put a screwdriver on top of it and give the screwdriver a few light taps with a plastic hammer and delicacy of course.

Now I had the same problem like in the video that the keepers were stuck in place. I found placing a socket under the valve

and one on the top ring and wack this one with a hammer a few times was an excellent remedy to break them loose before you apply the Valve spring tool so it's not in the way or jumps loose. In this case also: delicacy, so I used a plastic hammer.

Furthermore I cleaned all the valves and the valveseats with a scotch and brite pad and WD40, greased the shafts so they run smooth in the valve guides m.and put a blob of grease on the top side where the keepers are so they stick in place when you place the keepers back.

After this job was finished I got the engineblock out of storage and measured the cylinder walls. I forgot to take my phone so pictures will follow.

After seeing the cylinderwalls gave simular numbers everywhere, even cylinder six that caused a piston rod to brake. Or they placed new cylinder sleeves (which I don't believe because it would be the first thing repaired in this RV professionally, so the hundred thousands guardian angels on the Previous Idiots shoulder have done their job again.  I really just don't get it how somebody who presents such stupidity like the Previous Idiot walks away unscathed every single time.

So altough the cylinder walls were OK mathmatically they were realy glazed so I gave all cylinders a light hone the so they have a nice crosspatern again without eating away to much of the cylinder walls.


Nope. That kind of service we don't have here, Not so bad living in the USA isn't it  :D :D :D

We can go by a garage and ask if they want to lent these tools but understandably they are not keen on it.


Too bad you don't have AutoZone or Advanced Auto chain stores.  You rent those kind of "one use" tools and get all your money back when you return it.
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


So after a few major setbacks by the Previous Idiot finding the nice surprises in the enging and him finding a new heat source by running the rear wheel bearings red hot, I really needed some time to repack myself. Really nothing the moron touched with his paws is a easy repair.

Also getting the right tools for the job seems to be a challenge nowadays too. Or you get professional tools that you will use only once but you have to sell your kidneys for to pay for them, or you get chinese junk that breaks when busy. Guess what of the options happened to me.

A way inbetween just doesn't seem to exist anymore in the Netherlands so I exchanged the Chinese junk for a new one, and if it breaks again... That's the way it works nowadays. I got 1 1/2 cylinderhead done, so let's hope we can get the rest done next week.

I used the same tool as this guy. It is really a very handy tool but also very dangerous so never put your fingers between the tool and the spring and always check the jaws are completely on.  I made a photo serie that I will place later for future reading.

the replacement of the valves starts at 4:13

Eyez Open

Unless your crank is worn out it won't hold pressure I'd stay away from such things....high volume water pumps run in the same vane. They only mask problems... Just a personal opinion.


Well, the anger has subsided somewhat.

In the Netherlands we have the saying "luck is always with the stupid" and as The Idiot is a special kind of stupid he seems to have something like a hundred guardian angels lookings over his left shoulder and another hundred over his right. Surely we would see the world come to an end by the volumes of stupid The Idiot has shown allready if the guardian angels weren't there.

So that's out of my system  :D

After a good nights sleep I've calmed down again, put the piston in the cylinder again and investigated the travel of the piston. If the piece that broke off was 1 mm (0.04 inch) higher It would have been over and done with. As it is now The Idiot has walked away from disaster... AGAIN...

I also found another or the real reason for the low compression in Cylinder 5

Cylinder six has a complete diffrent piston so is a replacement. Al the bearings with the exception of no/ 5 and no 6 are in good condition.

And here is the reason why you should change your oil regularly. if this was done the whole engine probably would have been in excellent condition.

But stupid is as stupid does, so I have to deal with it. The restoration is going to be a rebuild so I have taken the complete engine apart, clean the whole block, replace all the bearings and gaskets, measure the cylinder walls and see where to go from there but if necessary i will replace them.

However, we have to keep in mind that the compression was OK so let's just hope we don't have to take such drastic measures.

Then there is a last question. As said the Idiot has meddled with the oilpump. Partnumber on the casing of the pump is 2264548.

Now can anybody tell me if this is the correct pump for this engine as I know there is a high volume pump and a normal volume pump. It seems to me that a high volume pump is in order here  due to the weight of our beloved RV's and it would be just the thing for The Idiot to put in a normal volume pump when it should be a high.


Thanks for the excellent tip. I know this tip from my time at the yacht broker but didn't know it can also be used for this. 

How about the oilchannels and the block because you can't believe the smell of old dilapidated oil in this engine. It really is horrendous and confirms my suspicions that poor Betsy never had an oilchange once in the time she was in the claws of the former idiot

The fact that there is also a new oil-pump put in by the idiot tells it all, next to the fact i started to tear the engine apart because the oil starvation I noticed in the passenger side Cylinder head, but it obviously didn't stop there. Notice Cylinder 5 and six

This engine has thrown a rod!

With all the things earlier mentioned probably caused by dilapidated oil which eventually caused the oil pump to fail which caused oil starvation till a rod blew. When you look at the scarring at all the cylinders this probably is what happened here.

I guess it becomes time that I call my lawyer. because honest people will mention these kind of things and adjust there price accordingly because originally the asking price for this RV was $6800,=  I didn't pay anything near to that, but still way to much for a RV with so many problems to have piece of mind.

to be continued.

Eyez Open

Quote from: Oz on May 11, 2022, 07:46 AM
Nice tip!

There is a irony to that video, he state's the paint looks cleaner..Had he wetted the trailer in the same manner as the boat...all the rust on the trailer would be gone...and the paint would not be effected in any manner. D:oH!


1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca

Eyez Open

Just passing a old cure for oxidation in a radiator/block. Oxcyliac acid also woodbleach, it once was the go to cleaner for the big 3. It also cleans a hull with little or no work...barnacle excluded  of course. Not to toxic at all, just don't breathe the stuff when mixing it can sting a smidge. Below a video with great humor, it gets real about 10 minutes in...


Something tells me it was a very good decision to take the engine out.

My suspicion the RV has stand still for a very long time has again been confirmed, because this is what I blew out of the waterchannels with a compressor. I think i also understand the rock hard hoses now:

Next the former idiot placed a new timing chain:
How you timing chain shouldn't be moving.

And the oilpump has been in his paws too:

So going on a holiday with Betsy this summer is definitively out because the  $@!#@!idiot has shown plenty of time to be an absolute master of destruction so we are not talking restoring but rebuilding the engine. Luckily parts still seem to be reasonably priced.


Yep, Why re-invent the wheel if somebody has done it for you allready and the results are the same.  :)