Author Topic: 78' Dodge 440 rebuild?  (Read 7473 times)

Offline MarsellaFamily

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« on: March 30, 2006, 02:35:11 PM »
I just purchased a 78' with 89,000 on it.  The interior and exterior are perfect condition.  Everything works on the inside as well.  I am planning on taking a bachelor party to Vegas in June and then my family to Denver, CO in July.  

The engine fires up right away and idles just fine.  When I get up in the RPM's the engine vibrates a little like your tires do when they are out of balance.  What do you think this is and what is anyones experience with the cost of rebuilding the motor?

Thanks,

Darin

susan-y

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Re: 78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2006, 02:17:10 AM »
Quote from: "MarsellaFamily"
.  what is anyones experience with the cost of rebuilding the motor?


I had my engine checked out and had bad compression on a couple of the cylinders (not your vibration), lines needed replaced.  Decided on a rebuild (for peace of mind), 10,000$+ later... found out a couple new rings probably would have done the job.  But... lessons learned I guess. It is spendy unless you are a do-it-yourselfer.. (like almost everyone else on this site!!! :? )

Offline Rodney

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 06:47:19 AM »
Ouch!! 10 K for a 440 engine guess I am in the wrong business.
90 k is a lot of miles for an engine in a clipper they do get a work out.
with that many years one the engine valve springs and rings  loose spring pressure and tension with time. I have built several 440's for less than 5k with some HP parts included. best advice is to have someoe with  a love for the old mopars do the work. I have several 440 cores I could build for less than 5 K.
good luck.
21 SK-FC  1978  440 Dodge
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susan-y

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440 rebuild
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006, 02:20:38 AM »
I checked the paperwork.. about 4000 for parts 4000 for labor, the rest was "while we have it out lets do... blah" .  Yeah IF I had a buddy that just happened to rebuild old mopars I wouldn't have supported the local economy like I did.  But hey, it's all good.   :wink:

Offline MarsellaFamily

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440 rebuild cost?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 03:57:03 PM »
Wow! I had no idea parts were that expensive.  I guess its not like working on a Chevy 350.  

Thanks for the reply and I will keep that in mind.

Offline MarsellaFamily

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440 rebuild cost?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2006, 04:01:39 PM »
Rodney, your Clipper is exactly the same as the one I have.

Offline Rodney

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 11:43:38 PM »
Yes the parts are more money than a SBC but you are getting more.... every thing is larger pistons, rings, bearings ect. and of course there are more Chevy parts being built and sold which helps keep the prices lower for these parts. I wouldn't let that stop you from getting your clipper rebuilt if that is what she is in need of and you plan on keeping the Clipper around for a long time. there is nothing like fresh Mopar power to put a grin on your face when setting out on your journeys and the last thing a person wants to worry about on a vacation is.... will I make it with out any mechanical problems. That takes ALL of the fun out of it.
best of luck!!
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Offline MarsellaFamily

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440 rebuild cost?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2006, 02:40:34 AM »
So, should I get a compression check?   How long does it take to rebuild this motor if someone has experience with these motors?

Thanks,
Darin

Offline Rodney

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 03:12:55 AM »
yes that would be a good place to start.
would take a couple weeks or if the engine is already built just a few days for remove and replace. things all seem to take longer that expected tho.
there are lots of variables to deal with

I was curious so walked over to the machine shop to price a build on a 440
block and head labor 450
parts  1367
long block build 375

comes to about 2200 for a fresh engine
thats still not to bad heads could cost more depending on condition but other that that it's covered

bfnRodney
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Offline brianthelion02

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2006, 12:23:59 PM »
Hmmm,mine runs great,very strong,but going downhill with my foot off the throttle the motor smokes.It has 48,ooo miles!!!!Bummer,LOL!!!
976 dodge 440,21ft rear kitchen with 48,000 miles

Offline Rodney

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2006, 11:24:42 PM »
Quote from: "brianthelion02"
Hmmm,mine runs great,very strong,but going downhill with my foot off the throttle the motor smokes.It has 48,ooo miles!!!!Bummer,LOL!!!


Sounds like stuck oil rings or possibly broken piston rings could be valve guides?
My father in law believed that Quaker state motor oil would stop about any engine from burning oil :?: worth a try I guess.
21 SK-FC  1978  440 Dodge
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Offline brianthelion02

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2006, 12:21:49 AM »
On the next hill i switched to neutral and the problem was gone,so i was thinkin valve guides or seals!!!! We have a trip coming for memorial weekend then after ill tear into it and see what i find,woohoo!!!
976 dodge 440,21ft rear kitchen with 48,000 miles

Offline Rodney

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2006, 01:38:19 AM »
Quote from: "brianthelion02"
On the next hill i switched to neutral and the problem was gone,so i was thinkin valve guides or seals!!!! We have a trip coming for memorial weekend then after ill tear into it and see what i find,woohoo!!!

not meaning to hi jack this thread with your engine troubles...
one thing I found is that with that few miles on the 440 I can't imagine it being anything to seroius. I once had a 383 engine intake with a leaking intake to head gasket causing oil to be sucked in to the cylinders from the valley it was a sneeky one to figure out but a new tin tray and proper tourqe on the bolts solved the  problem.
21 SK-FC  1978  440 Dodge
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Offline MarsellaFamily

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78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2006, 03:51:26 PM »
Thank you Rodney and Susan-y for your help.   I think I will rip into it after Washougal trip or if something happens on the way to Washington I will have to look you up Rodney for some help.

Thanks,
Darin

Offline John Eversoll

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Re: 78' Dodge 440 rebuild?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2009, 08:50:26 PM »
Yea I just know this is an old post but here I go ...  IF your motor has been sitting for a LONG period of time
1 yr or more.... Or even if you have excessive miles on the old girl.

You can save yourself a lot of money by doing some things yoursaelf..

1> pop the heads off and take them in for a valve job

2   Unbolt the trans from the block and yank the motor out with some friends help.

     when you do this you will be rebuilding a short block and Not the whole motor.

     saving yourself about 600 bucks.
     Just remember when you start the motor you wnt a 20 / 50 motor oil on that bad boy
     Mine is a screemer, they had to go 20 over when I did the short block.  I pass everybody
     on hills....

     Give it some thought and see if you are up for this task.

John