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Dodge 318 engine - Printable Version

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- Free Man - 02-07-2011

<P>&nbsp;I have a 1993 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup with 140,000 miles on the engine. The engine is a 318 and has been well taking care of. My dad brought it new and gave it to me yrs later. My question is "How good is the 318 engine?'' How long do you think it will last before I start having real problems? I have had no problems so for.</P>


- akrvbob - 02-07-2011

The dodge 318 is one of the great American made engines. It should give you great gas mileage (mid to high teens on the road) and be very reliable. I think it is quite reasonable&nbsp; to expect 200,000 basically trouble-free miles. Is it an automatic? If so the tranny will probably give you problems about then, or maybe even sooner. <br><br>What are your plans with it? It's a little light for a slide-in camper, although a light pop-up camper would be fine. It would be excellant to tow a light trailer. Bob<br><br>


- Free Man - 02-08-2011

<FONT size=4></FONT>&nbsp;<br><FONT size=4>Thanks Bob for information on the 318 engine. The truck does have an overdrive in it. My plans are to build a homemade truck camper, some what like yours. I will try to keep the weight down since it is a half ton pick up. Bob, do you think a homemade truck camper, like the one you have will be light enough for my half ton pick up?&nbsp;I plan on living in the camper year around. I live in Missouri can you please recommend a good heater to use. I thought about an RV type heater that vents to the outside. What do you think? The cost for the heater is around $400.00.</FONT><br>


- oldnjung - 02-08-2011

Try My Buddy, by Mr. Heater. Lots cheaper, great heat and safety. You can hook up to large capacity tank with adaptor instead of disposable ones. But, well insulated camper won't take much to heat even in coldest climates.<br>jb<br>


- akrvbob - 02-08-2011

I should update the story on my camper. My half-ton, with everything I owned in it, was always at least 1000 lbs over gross weight. To be honest, I wouldn't do it again on anything but a 3/4 ton. If I had a 3/4 ton, it would have been 1000 lbs under gross weight. Do you know the gross weight of your truck? It should be listed on the door jamb of the drivers door. Mine was 6200 lbs and I usually weighted about 7400 lbs. Being that overweight for a long period of time creates a lot of excess wear and tear. <br><br>Another problem I had was the brackets that attach the bed&nbsp; to the frame started to break from all the weight. That caused the bed to sag and the cab-over was resting on the cab. Those are all the reasons I got rid of the camper and went to a trailer.<br><br>So I don't think I recommend the camper anymore. I think a better idea would be to find a very tall shell. But they are hard to find. So the best practical idea is to buy a regular shell and build walls under it to raise it to the height you want. The back door will no longer fit, so you will have to build a back wall with a door in it. Very much like the story on the site "Ingenuis Camper Shell" <br><br>Here is a site that custom makes very light slide-in campers:<br>http://capricamper.com/<br>They are perfect for us because if you order one with very little in they are very light and all the weight is carried on the frame, not the bed. But, they are fairly expensive and I never had the money to do it. <br>This one is only 500 lbs and costs $2155<br>http://capricamper.com/model42.html<br>The model above it has a cabover and is taller, costs $2865 and weighs 600 lbshttp://capricamper.com/ranchero.html<br>They also have the huge advantage of being able to lift it off and set it on the ground when you are staying in one place for awhile.<br><br>Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Bob<br><br>


- 4x4tour - 05-04-2011

I saw the new post and was going to respond, until I saw winters' post.&nbsp; He is right on in his assessment.&nbsp; I had a 96 ram half ton.&nbsp; The motor was great (bulletproof bottom ends), but they are slugs... They will get you there, just not that peppy. The tranny's&nbsp;usually go through a torque converter or two, and itself, but&nbsp;as long as a shift kit and a cooler are&nbsp;installed when its fairly new, it would last a long time.&nbsp; <br><br>When I put my lance camper on mine, my dana 44 rear axle would get hot.&nbsp; (axle bearings should be warm to the touch, not hot).&nbsp; I found a Dana 60 rear full floater (full floating being a must IMO) and a Dana 60 front at a local junkyard.&nbsp; Worries gone...<br>


- Khaosinc - 05-31-2011

It's an older post I know, but I happen to be a bit of a Mopar fanatic and I thought I might add a couple of tips.&nbsp; I have a '66 Dodge van and the 318 (not original to the van) has over 400K documented miles.&nbsp; I put easily 100K of that on it in the 10 years I've had it and none of them were 'nice miles.<br><br>318's are bullet proof, and the later ones&nbsp; (like yours) can actually make pretty decent power with a few easy mods and it won't effect reliablity.&nbsp; I also agree that if it happens to be convienient and especially if it is something you can do yourself, upgrading to a Dana 60 with a lower gear will be a huge improvement.&nbsp; Most likely you don't want to drag race with a camper on it anyway, but a limited slip 4:10 (or lower) with that overdrive can make a heck of a difference.<br><br>The second, is that the heads on that motor flow very well.&nbsp; Putting a more torque based cam in and adding headers will be a nice improvement in power and mileage<br><br>Third, the biggest weakness in mopar AT trannies (IME) is actually the filter.&nbsp; Its simple to clog and simple to change...&nbsp; just a wrench and a screwdriver. Adding a drain plug to the tranny pan is another cheap and well worth it mod. If you are running one heavily loaded especially in town, an external tranny cooler and filter is well worth the cost.<br><br>


- Guest - 05-31-2011

One of the problems with a drain plug in the tranny pan is that folks get lazy and just drain and replace the ATF instead of dropping the pan and changing the filter which should be changed with every fluid change. If you keep that in mind and not get lazy about it, it is a good way to drain the fluid and make dropping the pan a lot less messy...<br>Bri<br><br>