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1953 dodge b4 pilot house engine swap


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May 18, 2023
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i have a 1953 dodge b4 pilot house truck. this is my first project. i was going to swap from the original flat head 6 218 to a 5.3l 318 dodge engine from an 1975 to 1985 into it. is their any modification to the frame needed?

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First of all welcome aboard! And nice project. So first in short, no....the v8 won't just drop in, you probably have a hour glass shaped frame in the front of the cab, modifications will be required. Hear is my advise take it for what it's worth. Many years ago I started a project like yours, mine is a 56, I was told " stop now, put your body on a later modle frame and you will have everything your going to need" did I take that advice? No...I proceeded to modify my frame to except the new to it 318, then I thought are those old drum breaks going to stop it? How do I upgrade to disc? I proceeded to make adapters, then I thought, do I really want a stiff front axle with leaf springs? No...so I installed a Volare front clip, but it didn't really fit right. Then what about the old rear end? Will it hold up? Probably not, so I installed a 8 3/4 rear. You know what? I wasn't happy with it at all, so......I bought a complete chassis from a 81 S/B Dodge and put the damn body on it! Now I had independent front suspension, I kept the upgraded 8 3/4 , I had a more modern a833 trans, a proper parking brake, not one mounted on the trans, etc, etc. The moral of the story....I should have just took the advice I was given and the truck would have been finished many Years ago! Why didn't I listen, ....I wanted nostalgia, a " old school " hot rod. 31 years later, two kids, and two grand kids I finnaly just got paint on it and hopefully on the road soon! Now one more bit of advice...use a early 90,s Dakota, a lot less work than a full size truck as the fit is better with a narrower chassis. I wish I had done that but I didn't know better and I'm not going back now.

Oh , and BTW, one year after going to the body shop, I'm still waiting to get the box back hence why it isn't in the photo, I'm going there tomorrow to light a fire under the painter, lol, good luck with your cool truck, feel free to hit me up with questions if you have any!
All learn from our mistakes. Nice looking truck. Staring out on 1954 Fargo with my son. Guess I’ll be looking for Dakota. Funny thing is used to have a 93 we got new but long gone lol.
well my 60 d100 was a labor of used cast off parts , and it's a phank n dodge for sure . you must keep go records on where n what the parts came from . and making a change to the design is at your own desire . here some pics of my 60 d100 , i'm still in a redesign mode , got a different rear setup and rear rims and a blower setup for it . it's just a street pu










Does anyone know if a 318 will bolt directly to the bell housing where a 251 was in a 69 WM300 export version of a power wagon?
will i'm not sure of that fitment , but in the late 50's and 60's poly headed v8's uses the same bolt pattern as a la engine , and also /6 had a dual pattern bell housing for la or poly , both mounted to a crossmember .
If you install a 318/360 make sure you use the oil pan etc. from a pickup- they have a rear sump oil pan, cars are mid sump