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1988 Dakota - Swap in 318 Magnum

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1988 Dakota - Swap in 318 Magnum

Old 12-27-2018, 06:34 AM
SlantSixSullivan is offline
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Default 1988 Dakota - Swap in 318 Magnum

Hey everyone, new to the page but I've been eavesdropping on some conversations here regarding the issues that come with swapping small blocks into first gen Dakotas.

I have a 1988, first year for TBI on these things. It is a 3.9 two-wheel drive automatic.
I am planning a Magnum V8 swap once I finish my other project.

The info I gathered is this:

I can use the same motor mounts for the Magnum and 3.9

The serpentine belt setup on the Magnum will allow me to clear the radiator without modification.

The transmission bell housing is the same for both engines.

Now I have questions.

How will I make the spark and fuel systems work with the Magnum?

Did any year Magnum use a throttle body?

Will my stock fuel pump be sufficient for the Magnum?

Will the Magnum oil pan work?

Thanks in advance for any information provided. I will keep in touch and give thought to anything else you guys may think of that I haven't considered.

Old 12-27-2018, 10:38 AM
RalphP is offline
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You can order LA pattern heads to bolt to a Magnum block, so you can use the intake from a LA TBI unit.

HOWEVER - What !I! would do, would be to rewire to use the SEFI/MPFI from the Magnum, and drop the throttle body.

Second choice would be to build a carb'ed Magnum, and drop a sniper style EFI (Holley, FAST, several others) unit on it.

The BIGGEST problem staying TBI is you'll need a V8 ECU ANYWAY; I'd rewire to use a Magnum SBEC instead of trying to force a V8 SMEC into the chassis.

Of course, this snowballs ... the 88 transmission doesn't have the notch for the crank sensor the Magnums use, so you're looking at either hogging out a hole, or swapping to a newer transmission anyway (Hint: If you've got the 3 speed, swap to a later 4speed, a 42RH or a 46RH, ANYWAY.)


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