25th Oct 2008, 14:17

I own a slant/6 dodge 1980 van with an automatic 727. The engine was rebuilt 10 yrs. ago, but before the rebuild thier was well over 100,000 miles., as it was a Pac Bell van before I owned it, so there is no telling how many miles. before. It gets 28 hi-way & 20 in the city& runs like a bat out of hell. There are some stock tricks added to get this kind of performance. One I can tell you of is to eliminate the thermostat to cut the temperature,& save water hoses& over heating depending where you live. The other secrets are simple, but can't disclose. The rear end is a 355, it gets off the line great with no wheel spin& cruises to 100mph easyly. I leave it needing a paint job to get more respect. And I do, living in Ca., with are the new foreign junk they see me coming and get out of the way. I did have the transmission rebuilt with teflon bands, steel plates,& a shift kit 2 yrs ago. Still running strong, but recommend putting a new harmonic balancer on with rebuild, for now have a leaking main seal. Fix the front, but the rear cost is not worth the labor with going all the way. So I now have 2 complete rebuilt marine truck engines. One for replacement,& the other to make into a diesel. 6 in a row to make them go. No foreign expensive repairs for me.

16th Mar 2009, 10:13

I bought my van in 1974. It has the slant 6 and 3 speed. I have had the engine rebuilt twice, it just now turned over 500,000 miles. I put snow tires on it and drive it all over the Lake Tahoe area. It is a great vehicle and I will always love my "first" car.

12th Sep 2009, 16:31

Oh please can you tell me where you found the wiper linkage bushings? I have a 1979 B200 318 2v.

11th Dec 2010, 15:56

I've got a 1972 Tradesman 100 that's been through three teenagers and has over 400,000 miles on it. That 318 with a three on the tree, just won't quit.

25th May 2011, 11:45

I'm considering buying a 72 318. It's a bit rough but think it's still got a lot of life in it.

Can someone tell me what the common problems are with it? I really like it but the lifters make a lot of noise. But I heard that Dodge Vans (318) have that common trait, so all you Dodge Van buffs out there, please let me know the pros and cons.

My e-mail is rigginray@yahoo.com.

26th May 2011, 07:01

The sky is the limit on how many miles you can put on a 318, if you take care of it. All of ours routinely went over 200,000 miles, and when I retired my Ram because of rust, the 318 was still running fine with 260,000 miles.

Common issues above 200,000 miles are:

* The valve guide seals (the little rubber caps) crack, so you'll get a puff of smoke upon start up, and possibly at idle.

* You can expect to add a quart of oil every 500-1,000 miles as the seals and gaskets shrink, especially if the engine is over 200,000 miles.

* The original nylon-coated timing chain is probably ready to skip a cog, if it hasn't been replaced already.

* You may have mysterious stalling or non-start issues with the electronic ignition, because either the magnetic pickup in the distributor, or the big, fat plug-in for the electronic ignition wires to the distributor have degraded from the heat and corrosion. The big, rubber plug rests on the intake manifold, and after decades of heat degradation, it gets hot and there is too much electrical resistance to let the signal from the Electronic Control Module reach the distributor.

* Be aware that in 1972, the heads may not have hardened valve seats, because the engines were made to run on leaded gasoline, so the valves may be already burned, or you may have to use a lead substitute.

* If you're over 200,000 miles, you should expect to have to change the alternator and starter, and probably the water pump, before too long. It would also be amazing if the heater core wasn't leaking, at least a little.

11th Oct 2011, 19:04


I recently picked up a 72 Fargo Sportsman Royal with a 318 auto, which is in excellent shape for its age (83,000 miles and not winter driven).

Does anyone know if the oil pan can be removed without jacking the engine or removing front end cross members? The oil pan gasket should be replaced.



5th Jul 2016, 16:11

I gotta agree with this response. I have an 85 van with a slant six and 833od 4 speed manual. It has a very truckish axle ratio (3.90) and is pretty fun and peppy around town. It gets up to highway speed just fine, but it runs out of power around 65-70mph. It does get great mileage on the highway, and is very reliable, but it's no rocket. It's the only slant six I've ever driven, but I'll bet the slant is pretty quick in a smaller Dart.

24th Aug 2016, 14:21

I have a 72 B30 tradesman with the rare 383 in it. I had to lift the motor up and turn the crank by hand to get it in. You'll also find getting the gasket in is a bit of a trick too. Be patient and don't rush it like I did the first time. A tiny tear in the gasket will become a total failure when you torque it down.