so i havent got too much knowledge on my hands, but enough. i want to do a performance build on my ram for a good budget. i was wondering if it would be cheaper to buy a crate performance engine or to go with a rebuild. i would like to run a 408...but i dont think i'd be able to afford it. right now its my 2001 dodge ram with the off-road package. as soon as i get some money i wanna start building it. i dont know if i want to supercharge it or not. but i wanna get some pointers so i can start doing some research on this. i wanna see some good horsepower increases for a lower budget. its the labor im really worried about though. any help would be appreciated. thanks guys!
I've been shopping 408's for a while... Here is about all I can share with you:
If you were to buy a 360 longblock built to OEM standards (360's have stout OE bottom ends), and cam it with at least a 210, port some iron ram (or equiv) 2.02 heads, gasket match a good intake manifold (M1, FI Airgap, Modded Keg) and gasket match some good longtube headers running a good breathing exhaust (I'd rec 2.5~3" duals) + a good tune, decent throttle body, and upgraded ignition, you'd turn similar numbers as a (lets call it 'standard') 408.. And, you'd have roughly 75% of the $$$ in it as you would a 'standard' built 408.. With this you could get possibly 375~380hp/425~450tq at the crank, and after you address the slushbox (if you're running a 46RE), 325hp/400tq to the ground... respectable, in other words- and have a pretty reliable ride that's plenty capable of what most of us would need it for...
If you build a 'standard' 408, you'll see roughly 400~450hp and 425~450tq at the crank; and roughly 325~375hp 350~400tq on the ground..
the difference being you're topping out (short of boost) what you can do to the 360, but you're just scratching the surface of where a 408 can go.. A bad arse 408 build will put every bit of 450hp/525tq on the ground with no boost.. but then you're talking high compression, high octane, custom tuning, lots of fidgeting ect..
I'd drop in a 408 in a heartbeat if I could find a machine shop to mod out the block for a reasonable price- and build it strictly for reliability getting the numbers associated with a 'hot' 360.. And drive that rascal 200k without a problem if it were me (and it will be me before too long).. If I got bored with it, I could go the 'bolt-on' route and jump it up..
No matter what you do though- if you're riding with a 46RE, you're going to hafta address that too with either build, because those trannies just won't hold up to either of them.. PATC Mega-Viper is the route to take.. it's expensive @ $2800, but you'll never have to look back..
I was wondering about this carb thing also?? I thought I was the only one who still ran a carb on a newer truck?
I run a hot 360 with a holley double pumper and love it.
Faster starting in the winter then any fuel injection and yes I can drop it in drive and drive away smoothly.
For a transmission I used a well built 46HR
those links were to LA blocks too.. fwiw, I've seen several builders offer Magnum blocks built to a long block for as little as a $200 up charge..
there is no way I would ditch FI for a carb though, just a personal position.. As much as I sometimes despise the PCM, being able to adjust to environmental changes, or throw on a torquey program on it in as long as it takes to open the glove box and grab the tuner and hook it up can't be beat.. Getting codes that direct you exactly where to go when something ef's up, tightening up the duty cycle of injectors to gain the best fuel economy, retarding timing when you get some bad gas that wants to ping.. all of those functions is too much of an expected luxury for me now.. there is no way I would want to go back to a carb or an engine without a ECU or PCM at this point..
not to mention, those same builds quoting 375/460 carbed, will easily bump up to 425/500~ish w/ fuel injection..
Not busting on those running carbs- more power to you and I'm glad you like 'em.. But, there are huge advantages to running FI..
the learning curve is way over my head.. I do know that it requires the use of software that is pretty expensive and has to be learned.. using a wide-band a/f that collects at different ranges of operation have to be part of the equation.. then you have to reconcile that data against the PCM's tables for a/f and alter the duty cycle at varying temperature range before closed loop is reached, and then do the same for closed loop when the o2 sensors start trumping the PCM's 'hard' programmed tables..
It is way over my head.. I have a computer program that captures all of the engines monitored functions, but that program is just for observing.. To get one that observes AND allows you to make changes and custom tune is floggin' expensive, and most require a subscription- which makes it way to dang expensive for folks like us to use.. unless you run a race shop or something that is..
HemiFever sells SCT tuners for $265 w/ three canned tunes.. or you can spend $100 more and get unlimited tunes for future upgrading, or customized to your engine and purpose.. they are only good for OBDII trucks though- if you're running a OBDI, your pretty much confined to a Mopar PCM and programmers at your local Dyno shop.. And a tune is only as good as the writer..
I grew up with carbs, and I'd like to say I can tune them- but damn, it's all guess work- given somebody like you who is good at it can get it really dang close- but with a computer, a monitoring system, and the ability to go in and turn ridiculously minute alterations to timing, and FI duty cycle while making an exact science of it is hard to beat... and it can be programmed for varying environments/purposes.. If you want to lower your power curve? Slap your programmer on it and load a pre-staged program on your PCM- ten seconds later your running an engine giving you more low end torque.. and it's a precise program.. Want to blast through the mud at WOT?.. ten seconds.. Want to drive home and conserve that floggin' expensive liquid in your tank? ...ten seconds..
I EFFIN' hate the fact it takes all the $$ and time to get to a point where you can do it yourself, and I REALLY hate the fact I hafta involve somebody else (a programmer)... but damn.. It's worth it.