If they can be saved, you'll need to identify your pistons and calculate the compression ratio. With a mainly strip car with a large cam like you are looking at, you'll want to push it up to around 10.5:1 to 11.0:1. You are going to have a hard time getting much more than 9.5:1 with a flat-top piston and an open-chamber 906 head. With more compression, one of the Comp cams you are considering, and the single-plane intake, you'll have a fairly well-matched combination. The 1050 Dominator was really overkill on your previous 383 combo and probably will be when it goes back together. An 850-cfm 4150 carb like you have purchased will be just about right, even run on the single-plane intake. As far as the rated rpm range of the cams, I don't put too much faith in those numbers. they are very broad ballparks at best and usually pretty arbitrary, especially when comparing cams.

I'm pretty sure the giant hydraulic flat-tappet cam (in duration), the Dominator carb, and almost 10-degrees too little total advance were the main reasons your Dart was so slow. The engine probably does not have anywhere near the compression it needs, unless the pistons have domes. The wiped-out cam was just the final nail in the coffin. This is becoming more of an issue with flat-tappet cams. I suggest breaking the cam in with GM EOS additive, Shell Rotella motor oil, and a set of low-tension (stock) valvesprings. Make sure the engine is set up so it fires right away when cranking, and then run it between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm for about 30 minutes, making sure you don't overheat it. Then remove the valve covers, inspect the works, and install the recommended heavier springs matched to the cam. This might not have been what you wanted to hear, but you can fix it and make it better than ever.


Chargin' 318
After 12 years, I am finally putting my '69 Dodge Charger on the road. It has a 318 engine with a stock 2-bbl. carb, dual exhaust, with later '80s-style (not magnum) manifolds. The transmission is a 904, and although it works well, will be rebuilt next winter with an aftermarket torque converter. The rearend gear ratio is 3.23:1, and I have fairly large 15-inch tires. The engine has a Pertronix electronic ignition kit.

What I am interested in is some bolt-on performance goodies that would give me the most bang for the buck. I already have an older LD340 intake manifold that I thought about matching with a 1405 or 1406 Edelbrock carb and one of their performer camshafts. I like Edelbrock's performance systems, since everything is designed to work together, as opposed to just throwing on a bunch of aftermarket parts and hoping they work. I was told the LD340 manifold's inherent port misalignment to my heads would not make it my best choice. I was told to use the newer performer 318/360 manifold with a 500cc Edelbrock carb, but wouldn't the ports on that manifold also be a mismatch? I like the idea of matching the intake ports.

What about an older 318 Streetmaster intake or a SP2P 318 intake? I can get either one of these for a reasonable price from a buddy of mine. I realize the Streetmaster is a single-plane, but I understand it is good for low-rpm power, which is what I am looking for. I know the heads on the 318 limit its power-making potential, but I do not want to get into swapping heads at this time. I am looking for a reliable street cruiser that I can take the wife and kids out for ice cream or have some fun with while I am out cruising the local musclecar hangouts. What torque converter would you recommend? The car will not see the track.Glenn Richter Adams, NY

It seems the emphasis of your question is on the intake manifold since you are already decided on the heads, Edelbrock cam, exhaust manifolds, and ignition. You also state you like the idea of matching the intake ports, and, as you know, the LD 340 has bigger ports than your 318 heads. The Performer intake works well on a mild 318, and the port size is quite close to 318-size. They are actually quite a bit smaller than the stock 360 port window, but will be close with a 318. The Streetmaster uses small runners and a necked-down plenum. This is an obsolete design, not as good for torque as a two-plane intake, and it will give up power at the top end due to the small ports. That said, the Streetmaster is better than the SP2P for a performance application, since this intake is a very small-port, two-plane design and is very restrictive. The Performer is the best compromise given your constraints. I would go with a 600-cfm carb. I would use a converter with a rated stall of about 2,500 rpm. Headers would be a big help, unless you are married to the manifolds. this and a good dual-exhaust system would be the biggest bang for the buck.