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Old 12-24-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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440-3 engine

Well,I picked up an engine,tranny for my Charger.I bought a stripped down 1977 Winnebago with 88,000 miles on it.Runs OK,doesn't smoke or anything.Payed $275 for it.The engine says it's a 440-3.It was really all I could find that was in my budget at the moment.What I'm wanting to know is what would your guy's suggestions be(on the cheap) to get this thing to turn aout respectable performance in a 1972 Charger?I'm sure being a '77 motorhome engine it's got low compression,wimpy cam and bad heads.I'm really hoping to see 425-450 HP(more would make me happier) which I would think would be mild for a 440 I'm just wondering being a 440-3 if I got some kind of oddball or if there's still hope for it?
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong with that engine for a start. Nice to see your expactations are realistic for a budget build and a nice street engine. First pull a valve cover and see what heads you have, then do a google search or ask here about what's best for them. Summit, Jegs and 440source.com have some good inexpensive rebuild kits with forged pistons in different comp ratios. 9-9.5-1 ratio would be my choice, a hydraulic cam in the .484 lift range should get you the power your looking for no problem, match it to your compression ratio. Get a Mopar Performance chrome ingnition box. If your going to the strip once in awhile I'd go with a single plane manifold, if it's street only a good dual plane would be my choice. Remember it's better to go one size small on the camshaft than one size too big.

What I'd do if I was you is decide exactly what you want out of the engine, ie. are you willing to spring for high octane pump gas or mid grade, what heads you have and what mods to them if any, street/strip or street only, what your budget is, rear gear, if it's an automatic what stall convertor you have or are willing to live with, in other words as much solid info as you can get and then call 440source.com and get them to put a package together for you. They've done it a million times and will take the time to talk to you. That's my 2 cents worth and I wouldn't pay anything more for it.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:16 AM   #3
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gh where did you get the -3 from, on the side of the lock right after the 440 cast numbers? if so the 3 means the casting grade on the block. the scale is from 1-10. smaller being the worse side of the scale. it doesnt mean the blocks bad, it just tells you the grade of the material mix being poured into the mold at the foundry where the block was made. If you look at the small square paad on the top of the motor on the drivers side of the block right at the end of the intake manifold youll see some numbers on that. itll tell you the story on the block. and when the motor was built at the factory. it should say something like 7T-440 then like 12-16. that means its a 77 truck block built on dec. 16`th of 1976. model years run from sept.- aug.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:26 AM   #4
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The 440-3 is a casting for RVs and industrial engines it has an extra cooling passage, it has NOTHING to do with the quality of materials used. Lots of 440-3s are used for performance builds. If you use the head that come with it you will have to get a gasket set for a 440-3, if you use other heads a regular gasket set will work but I believe you'll need a different water pump, not real sure on the waterpump but I think it has an extra fitting to the heads but I may be wrong on that. Just check it out.
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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Here's a explanation of the dash number after the casting number. This is from 440source.com

While we are on the subject of casting numbers, often there will be what is known as a "tooling revision number" or a "dash number" after the casting number. A 1968 440 block, for instance, might read 2536430-12, or sometimes there will just be a space, such as 2536430 12, or sometimes 253643012. While 2536430 would be the casting number, the 12 would be the tooling revision number, which indicates how many times the tooling (core molds) have been reconditioned back to the proper specifications or modified to include improvements. After so many "pours" the tooling gets worn and needs to be reshaped or reconditioned. So theoretically, higher numbers will be later dates and have any casting improvements incorporated into them. The only problem with this theory is that engines were produced in such volume that many many different sets of tooling were used concurrently to meet the necessary output. So while some may have lasted for quite a while, (in which case you will find later dates with earlier revisions) some got worn quickly or damaged and needed to be revised after a short time. So while in some cases, parts with later numbers may include some improvements the earlier parts may not have, on a practical level, it means nothing as far as the quality of the piece. In other words, don't waste your time looking for an early or late tooling revision number. Blocks, heads, water pump housings and many other cast parts have revision numbers as well.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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toad my bad, thanks for the info. I got that tech info from an chrysler car enthusiast mag article about those casting numbers back in the 80`s.when it was still black and white pages.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:07 AM   #7
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so basically, aside for the thin wall castings on the later 440's, a later 440 is a later 440?
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:59 PM   #8
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yes gtx, thats right, ive talked to racers that punch the blocks out big time, and they all say that when you go more then .60 over on a 74-8 440 block, the walls are paper thin, and it gets hot quick, and then over heats due to heat transfer from the water jackets, to the cyclinder walls. they also told me that on the pre 71 blocks theyve run .120 over and still had no excessive heat problems. Myself ,ive never gone more then .40 over, especially for a street pplication.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:55 AM   #9
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This is taken from 440source.com they have some great info on their site. http://www.440source.com/blockinfo.htm

First, let us address the biggest myth of all:


For many years it was thought that late model blocks were thin wall and should not be bored more than .030 over.
On page 198 of the Mopar engines manual, (the 8th edition) in the "B-RB Engines (block) section, it states: "The 1976-1977-1978 blocks for the 400 and 440 are a thin wall casting design. As such they shouldn't be overbored more then .020." This quote can now be found on page 58 of the new "Big Block B/RB Engines book from Mopar Perfomance, part # P4876825
Two pages later, (pg. 200) under "Boring and milling specifications," the manual states: "...The newer blocks (1975-1978) should only be bored .030" max., because they are thin wall castings. This quote can now be found on page 64 of the new "Big Block B/RB Engines book from Mopar Perfomance, part # P4876825
Then, in the May '98 issue of Mopar Performance News, in an article titled "The Big Block Story" on page 16, it states: "The newer production 440 blocks, '73-4 to '78 are thinwall cast, so you can only bore them .020"..."
So, as you can see, even these multiple sources of info which come straight from Chrysler engineering contain different information. What is the Mopar enthusiast supposed to think? Are the thinwall blocks from 76-78, or are they from 73-78? Can you bore them .030, or is .020 the maximum? We will answer all these questions once and for all based on scientific fact. The purpose of citing these books and articles is not to make Chrysler/Mopar Performance look bad. As racers and hobbyists, we are grateful for the resources and aftermarket parts that Chrysler makes available. However, it does demonstrate how even someone who does their research could be easily confused. So, it is to the benefit of everyone involved to help spread information which is known to be true, even if goes against popular thinking.
So what is the truth? Get ready for this.
There is no such thing as thinwall blocks. They DO NOT exist.



We have sonic checked over 50 blocks, and have found absolutely no evidence that later model blocks have cylinder walls that are any thinner then earlier blocks. In fact, we have found later blocks to have less core shift, meaning the cylinder walls are of a more uniform thickness all the way around. This makes perfect sense, considering that B engines were in production for over 2 decades. During this time, it would be expected that there would be small improvements in the technology of casting processes, quality control, etc, which would help create a better product.
In case you still doubt our findings, check out this article from Mopar Action magazine: http://www.arengineering.com/articles/sonicbig02 In it, they sonic check 20 blocks and come up with the same findings we did. They also explain how statistically 20 blocks is enough of a sample to estimate the rest of the 440 blocks out there. We've tested over 50 with the same results. This article also has some great info regarding hardness of the iron used, in which they find that the earlier blocks do have slightly harder cast iron, by about 10%.



Honest RR69 I'm not trying to pick on you, it's just I passed up alot of good blocks because of the info in the Mopar Performance book. The thin wall blocks have been pretty much proven false over the last few years by many different tests. BTW the big bold lettering is from their site, I tried to tone it down but couldn't figure out how.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:14 AM   #10
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interesting
very interesting
good read too
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:45 PM   #11
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I was afraid the '77 block wasn't going to be real great but hopefully it'll work out ok for awhile.The tranny was probably worth most of what I gave for it anyway.Well,if you guys already had bought a '77 440 would you put anymore money in it,and run it awhile or just try to sell it and get something else.I really haven't got alot of money to put into it right at the moment,might have later.It starts and runs,doesn't smoke and seems ok for what it is.Tranny shifts good.I drove it in.I'm new to Dodges,up until now I've had mostly Camaros and a Porsche 944 so I'm still learning about the mopars.I'll probably get some head work done,what size valves and also what cam would be a good choice for this engine?I'm going to change the pistons too to try and get the compression up..I'm wanting a good fast street car that I can still have a little fun with,so I was wondering what you guys recommended.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:29 PM   #12
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gh32, go to the link above at 440source.com and read up on that block, you'll find it's as good a block as any made, if not better. Use it, it will be great. That block has extra reinforcing ribs around the frost plugs and better casting methods than earlier blocks. You've got a great start on your build.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:31 PM   #13
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Thanks,I just checked out the link,it was a good read.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:11 AM   #14
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great info toad, and no sweat, I didnt take your posts as an attack. Im old school. and am not much into new tech. Ive been building mopes for 25 years now, so I fit into the old dog cant pick up new tricks catagory. you learn something over time you stick with it. I know of other fallicies that were goshpel and then proven to be wrong when the next generation came on the car scene. You take it in stride and rethink your methods. especially when your shown with factually info. I really appreciate your teaching. thank you. Thats why Im here, to help and more so to be helped. i think we older moparites glean alot of you younger guns.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rr69half6bbl View Post
. Thats why Im here, to help and more so to be helped. i think we older moparites glean alot of you younger guns.

Thanks guy, at 56 it's been years since I've been called a young gun!!! I'm going to go jump the ole lady for the second time this month!!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:59 AM   #16
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well how bout this GH32...why dont you throw out a monetary figure out there about what you wanna spend to upgrade the engine and maybe we can come up with a list of suggested parts that would make the biggest difference and go from there?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:21 PM   #17
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Well he said what he wants in his OP and that he's on a budget, so give him an idea of the cheapest way to get his 450 hp.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:48 PM   #18
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I agree with the "no thin wall blocks" explanation. Back in the eighties, a friend of mine sawed (big, big band saw) a 77 440 block right through several section of it including the cylinder bores. (dont worry, it was junk to start with). What we found was that the cylinder walls were at least as thick as a 69 block. (that one was easy to measure cause of the rod sticking out the side of it, {@ 6800 rpm's}). My friend at the time operated a machine shop that specialized in Mopars. He was curious so he sawed it. So I agree. I think the motorhome blocks had a couple of extra holes drilled in the deck/head to help the heat around the exhaust valves. You could plug 'em if you wanted.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:16 PM   #19
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Kudo's to you toad! I love to see myths and hear-say, replaced with facts! Similar info as yours is also on the Musclemotors website.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:10 AM   #20
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I want to use a 440-3 for a 1966 Dodge Monaco...

I just picked up a 1966 Dodge Monaco that is very clean and original, but the engine was removd for another project. I just want to put in a used engene and get it on the road again ASAP. I found a low miles 440-3 from a 1974 motorhome. My question is will it bolt up to the original 727 out of the Monaco? I heard there may be a difference in the back of the crankshaft, something about an extra lip or somrthing like that? Also, I got a set of 906 heads with the Monaco, would I be better off putting them on this engine perormance wise? I'm a newby at this and to this forum, so thanks for any help you can give me, BIG STEVE.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:11 PM   #21
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Where did you get the motorhome? Several years ago my dad had a Winnie in storage- So Cal, Gave it to the storage Co. Would have stripped it but did not have anywhere to do it..
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:11 PM
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