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Am I overbuilding?


    I’m unable to cut and paste your links, but I’ll tell you about my own experience with PU trucks.
    I’ve “built” (rebuilt and modified) several V8s for heavy cars and PUs I’ve owned and I had many friends, some of whom I have helped, who have done the same. I had a ’57 Chevy street rod PU and a ’72 Chevy 3/4 ton capable of carrying two tons of material. The 57 was probably overpowered with a 350 V8 (about 320 hp). The 72 with a similar 350 V8 and a 4.11 rear end was fast, but not overpowered when unloaded, but needed that 4.11 rear end when loaded. Without that 4.11 it would be a good idea to forget the 350 and step up to a “big block” for more torque.
    If you’re building the 318 for hauling light loads, and the PU is a light weight 1/2 ton, that’s probably a good engine size. Old Dodge PUs have some peculiarities. They made a few that were rated for very light loads, 1/2 ton PUs that were rated at well under a half ton, and that includes the passengers. Do you know what the “payload” rating is for your PU? (GVWR minus the curb weight). The rear end ratio? What load will you haul ordinarily?
    There’s a lot of variation in Dodge V8s. When I was a teenager in the late 1960’s, a fellow with a 59 Plymouth and a 318 two barrel carb would run away from Fords and Chevys and Pontiacs with 4 barrel carbs and dual exhaust. There are bigger Chrysler V8s that are total dogs. The difference is cylinder head design. Some Dodge V8s are worth keeping if they run, but not worth rebuilding, and certainly not worth the additional expense of modification.

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