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Old 10-03-2019, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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5.9 Magnum rebuild?

Well here goes.. hope I'm in the right spot.

Truck was running pretty stellar other than a cross fire or vacuum leak issue when on the way home from an appointment/parts run it picked up a heck of a clatter, or knock. Shut it down to restart, and could not. Thought initially it was a flex plate, or torque converter bolt issue, but received the bad news that I lost a bearing.

Kind of got my old truck more or less the way I want it, so I was looking at doing a rebuild, or maybe crate engine. I did want to upgrade the heads, intake, cam and exhaust, and looks like this pushed it up a little.

The block has about 240 000 km or about 150 000 miles. I'd kind of like to make it into a 408 stroker, with some real guts and low end torque. Will I need to change everything, or will all the "little things" be good to stay?

Because this is my DD, and hunting truck, I would probably be looking at a shop to do the work. Looking for affordable suggestions on a build or swap. Running a rebuilt, and upgraded slush box from NADP behind it, so I'd kind of like to keep it.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No one here has done a "budget" torquer 5.9/408 build?
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No one here has done a "budget" torquer 5.9/408 build?
budget and 408 dont go together

whats your budget?
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hughes Engines might be able to help you pick components:

Hughes Engines

For a low rpm torque motor build on a budget, probably would need stock compression pistons, Scat makes them (Get the Magnum specific stroker pistons, the regular LA block is a taller deck). You can re-use the stock rods, but upgrade the bolts. a new cast stroker crank isn't that expensive for the magnum. EQ heads with a mild pocket port job, and one of Hughes computer compatible cams.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I rebuilt one of these years ago using a generic ebay rebuild kit.. Didn't have any issues with it... Except I should have done the plenum plate upgrade the first time.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by montrose818 View Post
budget and 408 dont go together

whats your budget?
Well, actually having the engine go at all wasn't exactly in the budget.. But I would be willing to spend about $5000 US on an engine.

I could do a reman engine quite a bit cheaper, but I'd like to do it right.

Pondering the situation further, without switching out my transmission (upgraded, rebuilt 46RE), I think I'm limited to about 450 ft./lbs. torque.
I think if I could hit around 400 HP and that much torque, that I would be pretty happy with the improvement.

That being "the numbers", it seems that I would save a fair bit of money by keeping the stock stroke, and by spending a little money on induction, I would be maxing out the power rating on my transmission. By stroking it, I could hit the torque max at lower rpm, but probably have quite a bit less HP.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Marty, SoCal View Post
Hughes Engines might be able to help you pick components:

Hughes Engines

For a low rpm torque motor build on a budget, probably would need stock compression pistons, Scat makes them (Get the Magnum specific stroker pistons, the regular LA block is a taller deck). You can re-use the stock rods, but upgrade the bolts. a new cast stroker crank isn't that expensive for the magnum. EQ heads with a mild pocket port job, and one of Hughes computer compatible cams.
Thanks! I've been prowling Hughes a bit.

Just ran across a Hot Rod article, and it sounds like I'd need to go to a shorter piston, and perhaps there is why the cost is a bit higher. From the old article in 2002, though, the price for a stroker crank from Mopar was only $300.

Kind of leaning towards EQ heads, but for some reason one of the builders I talked to, didn't sound overly impressed with them.
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Getting a little bit of conflicting information on what will be easier/cheaper for fuel delivery. A friend (who should know) opines that a carb would be the cheapest way to go. I'm not opposed, but I'd like everything to work together without a lot of dicking around.

A builder seems to think that the stock ECU will probably handle a modded engine alright.

And finally, a tuner with a custom tune, to me seems the best option. Thoughts? And would an older Superchips be loadable with a custom tune?
I'll phone them when they are open next, but it didn't occur that my old tuner would help much.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Forget using the stock SBEC, it can't deal with much more than a very slight cam change. Dodge truck computers are notorious for their inability to deal with modifications. Any builder that would claim otherwise is one I would avoid. Keep in mind when the BR series trucks were new, straight pipe dual exhaust was popular and frequently caused detonation. The "fix" was to run a colder thermostat to trick the engine into staying in "warm up" mode which naturally killed any thoughts about reasonable fuel mileage.

A carb would normally be cheap if not for the ridiculous cost of a Magnum engine carb intake manifold unless you go chinesium junk or machine an LA intake to work. If you go EFI, go with an aftermarket setup or go custom tune if you plan on doing anything more than stock.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Forget using the stock SBEC, it can't deal with much more than a very slight cam change. Dodge truck computers are notorious for their inability to deal with modifications. Any builder that would claim otherwise is one I would avoid. Keep in mind when the BR series trucks were new, straight pipe dual exhaust was popular and frequently caused detonation. The "fix" was to run a colder thermostat to trick the engine into staying in "warm up" mode which naturally killed any thoughts about reasonable fuel mileage.

A carb would normally be cheap if not for the ridiculous cost of a Magnum engine carb intake manifold unless you go chinesium junk or machine an LA intake to work. If you go EFI, go with an aftermarket setup or go custom tune if you plan on doing anything more than stock.
Thanks. Kind of figured I'd have to do a bit more, at least for tuning sake. A custom tune seems like it would be far less expensive, than a full aftermarket set up.

Kind of thought the Magnum intakes with carb manifold wouldn't be priced so bad, as the Magnums seem to be somewhat popular with the guys hot rodding the older cars.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If you want to go carb, I understand you can get Engine Quest heads with the LA intake pattern. As far as the computer goes, what Elwenil said is right. Chrysler liked speed density systems which only do what the computer says. Other manufacturers went to mass air flow systems which will alter fueling as demand changes. With a mass air flow system, you can mod the engine and the computer will keep up, to a point. Personally, I wouldn't put a carb on something that is already EFI. That makes little sense.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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This Hughes # HUG SER1418ALN-14 cam is working well with 1998 Jeep 5.9l ZJ stock PCM (JTEC) in a friend's 5.9l TJ. The engine also has ported EQ heads ith 2.02 intakes, 1.6 exhausts, from IMM engines and a port matched stock intake with the kegger mod.
Hughes Engines

Makes about 15 inches of vacuum at idle near sea level. Idles like stock.

If you watch the lobe center, you can cam it alright. 114 degrees is what Hughes seems to recommend using stock EFI.

This cam needs a 2400 or so stall converter to work right on a 5.9. (Or manual trans) Runs really hard from 2500 on up to redline, would probably pull higher but the stock PCM limits the RPMs to 5800 or so. With a 408, it might not need the stall converter. 1800 is stock. One of Hughes milder cams would work better with the stock converter.

Last edited by Marty, SoCal; 10-15-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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Old Today, 12:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I built a 408 stroker and it is currently in my 97 TJ. I think I have about 10,000 miles on it. There is nothing cheap about it. I used Hughes Engines for just about every part. I went with an F&B 58mm throttle body, 30 lb injectors if I remember correctly, and a custom tune from Flyin Ryan using an SCT Tuner. Tune took about 10 tries I think. On the dyno, I had 310 hp and 370 torque to the rear wheels. Mine has a cast crank, forged h-beam rods and I think Keith Black pistons. 9.8:1 compression. Indy Performance heads also from Hughes.
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