Mopar Performance has the longest running history for building Magnum muscle, with the Magnum 5.9 or 360 the basis of their small-block high-performance crate engines and short-blocks for years. Mopar's crate engines were offered in 300hp and 380hp versions, both based on the production Magnum 5.9. The hotter of these two engines featured a long duration camshaft, single-plane Mopar Performance intake, and higher compression pistons. The 300hp version was essentially the same engine as a typical Durango or Ram truck, with the intake manifold swapped over to take a traditional four-barrel square-bore carb instead of the production fuel injection. We were interested in exploring the performance potential of one of these basic Magnum motors, with the notion that the results would be representative of an effort starting with any serviceable or remanned production 5.9 Magnum, as well as Mopar's milder crate.
What was the game plan? We wanted to keep the combination street-friendly, and limit the mods to direct bolt-ons, keeping the short-block dead stock. This negated the possibility of custom machining, radical race parts, or one-off porting. We aimed our efforts towards the type of engine that would be in keeping with a typical build-up for a traditional performance application. With that in mind, the plan was to retain simple carbureted induction, and let the modifications revolve around the familiar enhancements of the induction system, headers, camshaft, and cylinder heads. What we ended up with is a 430hp powerhouse, built up around a factory Magnum 360 bottom end. The up-shot is the modifications involved nothing but straightforward bolt-ons, with no custom tricks. Want to know more? Read on for the full scoop.