Dodge 360-3 restoration

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

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Well, as I allready told I was planning to dig into it, It's time to bite the bullet and dig into the old 360.

After I cleaned the carburetor and finally got the engine idling as a 40 year old engine (still have the problem with the accelerator pump needle) I gave it a motorflush and some new oil.

Problem is that the oil again is completely contaminated and pitch black altough the engine hasn't been running for more than an hour. The story goes the former idiot had the RV in his possession for 25 years (poor thing)  and as it tells me that it has about 58000 miles on it I guess Betsy didn't get an oil change once,but just refills as she leaked oil like you wouldn't believe. The oilfilter was very old and quite the challenge to remove. There were also lumps in the flow when I changed the oil but as all flowed pretty easy I wasn't to concerned.

But now the new oil is pitch black again I also started to notice the engine is developing what we in the Netherlands call a "Diesel tick" (sounding like a diesel). as you can clearly hear in the last part of the video as the revving goes down to idle

waking up the beast on a cold winter morning

It useally means problems in the valve area, and sure enough, this is what I found opening the valve covers.

Valve Cover drivers side:

Valve Cover passenger side:

Head drivers side

Head passenger side

Starting up the engine showed plenty of oil on the drivers side rocker arms, but low on the passenger side rocker arms, so this needs to be taking care of.

I will post the progress here on the forum. in the meantime If anybody thinking doing the same to his/her 360, Here is an excellent explanation how to tear your engine apart en put it back together again: Just Mopar Joe


well, as you sometimes can make things clearer by making video's and I didn't want to make CWVRV to go over their MB's ;) I thought of a way that I could still post video's here.

As I have an account on I decided to make a channel for Betsy and post my video's there, sharing the links here.

Here are the video's of removing the intake manifold.


Dodge 360 restoration Part 1 removing the intake manifold

Dodge 360 restoration part 1,2 some forgotten information

Dodge 360 restoration part 2 Intake Manifold off.


Clearly video's are not popular here so let's do it like this then...  :D

Taking the manifold off showed that the previous idiot just can't stop to amaze me and can't even be called a hillbilly anymore. I'm pretty convinced now that the first owner took pretty good care of it and the second idiot completely ruined the poor thing because after all I found allready this is what i found when i took the intake manifold off. The idiot ruined the gasket (which is normal) and RE-USED it!!!

So when I took it off I could just lift it off the intake (boy this thing is HEAVY!!!) without sticking.
I thought all the blow-by sounds I heard was from a loose exhaust manifold and a muffler that's completely rotted, but clearly not!

At least now i also understand why there was smoke coming from the Crankcase inlet air cleaner and why I couldn't get my idle to my complete satisfaction.

But to get back to the earlier mentioned contradictive saying "every disadvantage has it advantages" the engine actually doesn't look to bad, and the camshaft looked very good without scorns and the  lifters were moving like they were soaked in butter of which i was worrying about by looking at the state of the heads as seen in the pictures earlier.

I also took the driver side head off but I forgot to take pictures of the cylinders, but I probably found the reason why cylinder 5 was low on compression.

Now the stuff I'm using to clean you can probably get for free. In my case it's diesel with petrol in it, and then more petrol then diesel. We get it from garages who cleared out the fueltank because the tank was filled up with the wrong fuel source. With prices of engine cleaners going up to $10,= per litre in Europe, I´LL TAKE IT. It's not going as easy with real cleaners but it works. Here in the Netherlands they are glad you want it as they have to pay a contamination fee to get rid of it. I just flush it thru the toilet when I'm done ??? ??? ???  (just kidding of course :D). No, as a civilian you can dump it for free as long as the amounts are not to high.

Fill up your oil drain pan with 20 litres of the stuff let it soak and then prepare to put an incredible amount of elbow grease into it and scrub away.


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


And the other head is off. Clearly the engine was running way to rich, but what do you expect if NOTHING is torqued to spec with some bolts so loose you could almost remove them by hand while others were so tight that I'm still amazed I didn't snap them off. Intake/exhaust manifold or the heads, all the same, as seen in the pictures and yes the heads were lifted by the previous idiot as i found 2 used head gaskets under the bottom of one of the top cabinets.

I'm really amazed the engine was running so well and started so easy, but I allready thought the idle screws were open really wide (3.5 turns) and standing at the exhaust outlet really wasn't fun. It just has been way to long that I was in the neighborhood of a carburated V8  :P

But not only the previous idiot give me headaches but Chrysler as well. First you bolt your heads to spec, then you hang a alternator on the head which need to be driven by a belt under pretty high tension. Does anybody know if there are known problems with that?


Engineering designs... I swear they did a lot of things knowing the headaches they would cause.... and laughed.
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca

Eyez Open

Chrysler has always been a bit of a weird duck, with that being said they have made some outstanding engines. From a slant 6 to a 426 hemi..but still a odd duck.


Thanks for confirming I'm not the only one thinking it is a bit odd, guys  :D



So yesterday was the big day. the engine is out. It actually was a breeze compared to the preparations with (solid rusted) bolts in places that are ALWAYS 1/1000s of an inch to narrow to put your wrench on with ease. I really think sometimes that Betsy is actually really hating me for putting her back to life.  :D ;)

But I got everything loose breaking only one bold for the bumper I actually didn't need to remove as it connected the bumper to the brackets  W%  O well, mistakes will be made.

The biggest worry for me  was to separate the engine from the transmission, and here REALLY is a lesson to be learned for everybody.

I disconnected a lot of tails of outboard engines to renew the seal of the distributor, and boy are you into trouble if you just don't have the magic fingers that puts everything just right so you just put the tale back on the engine with ease. I just don't have those, so i guess you can understand my worry hear as you can hold the tail of an outboard under 100 HP in your hands without force. This is however not the case with the engine and transmission in my beloved Betsy.

Then you get advise from experts. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate every bit of information given but the problem with experts is that they have dozens of experiences with different engines and transmissions and they are going to warn you for every problem they ever found.

So I did the right thing, went on youtube, Just put "how to remove a 727 transmission from a Dodge 360 and there we go:

Basic How to Remove 727 transmission 1980 Dodge D150 2WD *Drag Truck

Mopar TF727 360 Removal

The BIG advantage: You see for yourself how it's done, but most importantly, You can compare parts with yours and when things look the same you'll pretty safe you can work the same way.

The only thing I did different: I drained the transmission oil in advance to avoid the mess showed in the second video, because when you do this in the Netherlands the Greta lunies will literally go like this:

Put an oil drain pan under the transmission pan and loosen the bolts. What I did was loosen the bolts on the engine side just enough so the transmission pan can move freely and the bolts at the back as far as possible. Keep the one of the bolts in the middle of both sides tight to remove last. The bolts at the sides you can remove.  Open the last bolts on both sides the same way as the others and now pry the pan loose on the back side where the bolts are loosened the most. Doing it this way Will give you a controlled flow of the transmission oil on just one side and not all over the place  :)ThmbUp

Changing the fluid/filter on a Torqueflite A727 Transmission

Now draining the oilpan showed me something I really wasn't happy about. If you were looking for gold and found this in your goldpan you would jump and land on the moon, but in this case...

So would love an experts opinion on this. I don't know what happened with this transmission but I do know that the transmission oilpan was pretty clean compared to the video underneath, and the filter was pretty new. Also the previous idiot has shown he was in here because of the big blobs of liquid sealant everywhere.

So another issue to fix, but that's for later.

I went on and remove the bolts that keep the transmission to the engine and after that it went pretty smoothly.

You need to support your transmission because else it will fall down to the floor probably damaging the tailend of your transmission or breaking off things. I did that by replacing the oilpan with just a few bolts to keep it in place, support the complete bottom of the oilpan with two wooden beams and then keeping it in place with a jack.

Then removed the engine with a engine jack lift and this actually was the only part i needed help with.

There just really isn't a good place where you can support the back of your engine so it will buckle when you use the brackets for the alternator and power steering for lifting the engine out.

So first i freed the transmission from the engine by letting a second person move the engine jack stand forward. while supporting the back myself by hand. But warning, I removed the heads and the intake manifold remembering they were allready very heavy, so be prepared that the block is extremely heavy, so I removed the engine in steps setting the engine on its oilpan in between. with the following results.

Now I said I would place one more video. For everybody who would like to know how the inside of the A727 transmission looks like:

727 Transmission Tear Down - What's Inside The Legend?


The videos are an excellent addition!
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


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


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 didn't place a new timing chain:
How you timing chain shouldn't be moving.

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.

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...


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

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!


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.


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.

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.


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


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


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.


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.


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?


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.