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Chrysler 318 checklist

Old 06-03-2019, 11:12 AM
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Default Chrysler 318 checklist

Hi all, I am looking at buying a 1978 Trojan 26 with the original single Chrysler 318. Would be my first in-board. Boat has been restored by a back yard mechanic/marina employee, he has done a good job cleaning up the boat. For what it is worth, he says he has put 100 hours on the engine, and the hour meter shows a bit over 1,000, and visually the engine looks in great shape. There is lots of good but scattered info here on THT about the Chrysler engine, my head is spinning a bit. ​​​
What do I need to pay extra attention to during pre-purchase for this engine? (Iíll probably have a mechanic take a look at it as well). Owner has pulled and reconditioned the velvet drive (and painted a nice fire engine red), as well as the starter. Engine is raw water cooled, donít know when/how long since risers and manifolds were changed. Donít know what kind of service carb has received either. Canít imagine the water pump is original but what do I know. Also read here on THT that the transmission oil cooler can clog easily and needs water strainers. What else should I make sure has been swapped out - or should automatically do if/when I get the boat? Many thanks for your thoughts-


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Old 06-03-2019, 11:25 AM
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Looks nice.

The 318 (5.2L) is also used in my '94 Grand Cherokee.

This reply shows usage of the Miller 6635 tool for proper placement of the timing chain cover, after replacing the timing chain.

A worn (stretched) chain will reduce the smoothness of the engine.

It is possible that the hydraulic lifters might not all be operating efficiently. Removal, disassembly and cleaning should restore proper operation.

A compression test will reveal lots about the engine health.

The camshaft could be swapped out for a fresh part.

The oil pump is easy enough to remove / replace for thorough interior cleaning.

The rear main seal is easy enough to replace.

Corrosion from raw water is the other big concern. Removal of the freeze plugs exposes much of the block interior for cleaning those passages.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:39 AM
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Many thanks, that is a great list.

For future thread hunters here are some good summaries on the 318 longevity:
318 chrysler engines 1982 - Good or Bad
Chrysler 318 life expectancy

Any other insights are greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:57 AM
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Those 318s are tough....block, heads and rotating parts should be good to go....check risers...lay your hand on the rubber hose at the outlet while underway....should be warm, not hot...any burning rubber smell needs to be checked out.....probably less than 1 mpg btw....
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:59 AM
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Also....keep in mind...the oil cooler on the trans is often the source of intake water blockage...causing overheating...check it first should engine run too hot
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:12 AM
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Remember, it's a 40 year old engine. Not sure I would trust the hour meter, showing 1K hours. That's only 25 hours of usage per year. Really?. My guess: the hour meter is not original. Pretty obvious that the engine has been cleaned up and painted, but that's just outside appearance. Inside? Who knows. One thing, the bilge has certainly been cleaned and repainted. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Coaster View Post
Remember, it's a 40 year old engine. Not sure I would trust the hour meter, showing 1K hours. That's only 25 hours of usage per year. Really?. My guess: the hour meter is not original. Pretty obvious that the engine has been cleaned up and painted, but that's just outside appearance. Inside? Who knows. One thing, the bilge has certainly been cleaned and repainted. Good luck.
This.

Someone says 'I've owned it since new. First thing I did was dump the coolant and fill it with plain water!" What are your thoughts?
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:15 AM
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In case it helps at all here is the old engine manual:

http://correctcraftfan.com/Downloads...e%20Manual.pdf

Looks like there may be some leakage at the riser gasket joints. See if there are invoices for last manifold & riser replacements. (Normally every 3-5+ yrs if in SW as preventative maintenance.)
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by slickster View Post
Those 318s are tough....block, heads and rotating parts should be good to go....check risers...lay your hand on the rubber hose at the outlet while underway....should be warm, not hot...any burning rubber smell needs to be checked out.....probably less than 1 mpg btw....
Ii remember family had one in a Plymouth fury 3 many years ago. Ran forever. Awesome engine. No experience with marine version personally though
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:46 AM
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Thanks again to the amazing THT community. Fantastic insight from everyone. And yes, I am mostly disregarding the hour meter, although I do happen to know the boat was on the hard for 4-5 years, and before that was rarely used (boat was forfeited to the marina for non-payment of land storage fees, so common around here!).
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