318 Timing


ml41887
01-06-2011, 06:30 AM
I'm looking for a mud truck and have found a 1986 Ram that looks good but the guy says the engine runs but is "Out of Time." So I've never messed around with an engine's timing so I wanted someone else's input. It sounds to me like the distributor isn't on the correct gear tooth or something, but I think it could be something much more severe also. Also, if it was something easy...Why hasn't he fixed it? What could be the problem and how easy are potential issues to correct.

Thank You for any input,

Matt

theFREAKnasty82
01-11-2011, 12:24 PM
Is it valve timing or ignition timing? Ignition timing is easy, but if the valve timing is off, be prepared to pull the timing chain.

Scrapper
01-11-2011, 01:02 PM
I'm looking for a mud truck and have found a 1986 Ram that looks good but the guy says the engine runs but is "Out of Time." So I've never messed around with an engine's timing so I wanted someone else's input. It sounds to me like the distributor isn't on the correct gear tooth or something, but I think it could be something much more severe also. Also, if it was something easy...Why hasn't he fixed it? What could be the problem and how easy are potential issues to correct.

Thank You for any input,

Matt when it warms up if you turn it off can you start it rite back up or does it drag like a starter going bad? i have a 88 3-18 you cant beat these 3-18 and that was the year they quit making the 3-18 and went to the 3-60 anyway you should have a sticker under hood for the timing. and take and get piston up to number 1 and then look and see if rotor button is pointing to number 1 if not it's a tooth or 2 off. i would go out and check my sticker but not in this snow you can call auto zone and ask them if no sticker? i think it is 10 degrese bftdc not sure tho if

mikefaster
01-11-2011, 05:02 PM
If it has 90,000 miles, just change the timing chain and re time the distributor... You'll thank me afterward.... Those chains stretch but will run forever with a bad chain...

Change the intake gasket too... They always leak...

You'll swear you have a new truck!

Mike

ml41887
01-12-2011, 08:54 AM
So, how much are we talking to replace the timing chain? I had to replace a timing belt on a 4Runner several years ago and that was about $1500. A $1500 truck needing a $1500 repair isn't worth $1500 to me. Also, it has an automatic transmission. How well built were those transmissions? I don't have a very good opinion of Chrysler transmissions, but that's based on newer vehicles, were the older ones any better? Thank you everyone for your input.

Scrapper
01-12-2011, 11:41 AM
So, how much are we talking to replace the timing chain? I had to replace a timing belt on a 4Runner several years ago and that was about $1500. A $1500 truck needing a $1500 repair isn't worth $1500 to me. Also, it has an automatic transmission. How well built were those transmissions? I don't have a very good opinion of Chrysler transmissions, but that's based on newer vehicles, were the older ones any better? Thank you everyone for your input.
yes back in the day tranny was bad at slipping trannys but the 3-18 motors were good and i've owned a few dodge's back in the day. now my 88 you have to be ready to hear it because it shift's so easy.

ml41887
01-12-2011, 12:08 PM
yes back in the day tranny was bad at slipping trannys but the 3-18 motors were good and i've owned a few dodge's back in the day. now my 88 you have to be ready to hear it because it shift's so easy.

That's sounds good, did you get lucky or did you get a good rebuild?

mikefaster
01-12-2011, 07:43 PM
Chryslers were always ahead of the competition... NOBODY had what Chrysler had back then and they actually use the same basic design today(but WITH overdrive)... Chrysler's only problem is that they were SO INNOVATIVE, but they rushed everything out on the market before enough testing was done... If their trannys go bad, it's usually a bad seal or some other inferior part... Unfortunately when you have to take a tranny out, you might as well rebuild it...

The timing chain is not hard to do if you wanna try to tackle it yourself, but unfortunately mechanics still charge $100 an hour...

I used to charge $200 plus parts to do a timing chain... You have to remove the water pump and fuel pump, so usually, it would pay to replace those parts too... Then you have the belts and the fan clutch... The list can be long at times, and being that your truck is 20+ years old, it may need a few things...

To be honest, all of the manufacturers had CRAPPY trucks back then... It may seem "OK", but if you every wanted to drive it on the highway, you have NO overdrive... If you want to put a snowplow on it, the chassis is NOT boxed and the frame usually takes a beating... NO FUEL INJECTION, equals poor gas mileage... And who is gonna rebuild that carburetor when it goes???- those guys are a dying breed, so then you have to buy a $400 carburetor from Summit that will get even WORSE mileage!

So you will be buying a gas guzzling, rust bucket that will not be able to stand the abuse you're gonna give it... Not to mention brakes, shocks, and front end parts that may go bad on ANY vehicle you buy...

Get my point???

If you want a beater, and if you like Dodge trucks, save your money or scour the internet for a good deal... The 1994-2001 Dodge trucks are basically the same... The 94 and 95 trucks are less computerized, probably cheaper to an extent... The 96-98 get higher because of the start of OBD2.. Then 99-01 start costing a bit more...

You will be buying a truck that is SOLID, even if it's a bit rusty, chances are the frame is in good shape... Even if it is a 1500 series truck, it will have a boxed frame... Even if you need to put a few bucks in the front end, suspension or brakes, it will be worth it because that truck will stop better, steer better, ride better and overall it's like driving on air in comparison to ANYTHING from 1986... Not to mention, it has fuel injection, no pumping the gas; runs smooth, better gas mileage, you can idle in the car without it dying from the fumes because you don't have rotted floors... The windows close nice, no air leaks; the list goes on and on... Even the radio is better!!!

2 years ago I bought a 99 2500 HD Dodge pickup with a V-10 engine for $2600 and I have put about that much more into it... I have a snow plow on it now, and the truck drives like a Cadillac WITH the plow and there are no creeks, no fumes, and no displeasures that are normally associated with a "work" truck... And ever since I started driving it, I would say to myself, "I can't believe I drove all those pieces of crap for all those years!!!" LOL...

Just my two cents on buying something that old... I feel that it's better to put your hard earned money into something that is worth it...

It used to be that people bought BRAND NEW vehicles, and then they would say to themselves, "Gee, I REALLY miss my OLD vehicle..." It really isn't like that anymore... Usually when they come out with something newer; it's usually better that it's predecessor...

Hope that helps...
Mike

ml41887
01-12-2011, 11:56 PM
Yeah man, I got your point, and I appreciate the input. I also don't have a preference for Dodge trucks just need another 4x4 cheap and it looked decent on Craigslist. I called the guy and he said he had someone look at it and they said the chain had probably jumped a tooth, but that he started pulling spark plug wires one at a time, and 4 of them didn't change how the engine was running??? I've never even heard of someone doing that but could it just need new plugs and wires? Is there a way that the distributor could stop firing 4 plugs, or what does that sound like? He said that it idled fine, but didn't have any power when the accelerator was depressed, so it could be any number of problems other than timing. I don't think I'm going to pursue this one. I really would prefer a Ford with a 300 Inline 6 if I was going to gamble on a 25 year old. I just need it to start twice a day and go up and down my long icy driveway so I can get to and from work and not take the only 4x4. I currently have a GMC Sierra 2500 4x4 which I love, so maybe I'll hunt another one.

Thanks again to everyone who posted. Any other thoughts or does anyone have something reliable for sale in the South East?

mikefaster
01-13-2011, 06:29 AM
The 318 had a metal chain with metal gears, up until 1972... They went bad at 90,000 miles... In 1973 they put a little "oil slinger" (a piece of metal shaped like an arrow behind the cam gear) and then it ran like shit after 90,000... (the extra oil protected the chain from breaking... Then in the late 70's, early 80's, they put a partially plastic gear for the cam gear, and then they would eventually jump a tooth... So yes, it probably is a jumped tooth... That used to happen frequently...

I hate Fords and hate to work on them especially, LOL, but the Ford 300 was one of their best engines... I'm a Dodge guy, but I'll tell you if something is good...

I DID purchase a 1986 MILITARY K5 blazer 2 years ago; bought it directly from the Army!

For $800... All it needed was a jump! FULLY MAINTAINED and in GREAT shape for a 1986... 92,000 miles!

It has a 6.2L Diesel with a Turbo 400 tranny... NO OPTIONS though, but a real work horse!

I got it from liquidations.com and then I think I had to the register with governmentliquidations.com... It was a several week process including a background check, plus you HAVE to be a citizen of the USA to buy it...

It may be worth your time, and they may have something else that you'd like...

Hope that helps,
Mike

mikefaster
01-13-2011, 06:33 AM
Well, that stinks, I guess liquidations.com stopped selling or finished selling vehicles for the government now... government liquidations doesn't seem to exist anymore...

Oh well...

mikefaster
01-13-2011, 06:41 AM
I found it! Govliquidation.com!

ml41887
01-13-2011, 08:45 AM
That's a great idea, I was in the military and shouldn't have any problem with a background check. I'll check that out... thanks man. What do you think about the Chevy you picked up, or is it just a disposable truck? My dad was always been a Chevy guy, which has kind of carried over, but I've never known anyone that had very much luck with an old one, not even my dad. They all seem to be bored 30 over, and I think that that was for a reason. Also the diesels weren't that hot either, but fo $800 bucks, who cares.

Thanks again.

mikefaster
01-13-2011, 09:48 AM
Most of those trucks have 30,000 to 50,000 miles, but the one I picked had 92,000, because I could see in the pictures that mine had a new diesel injector pump, new shocks, a new alternator (it has 2 alternators) and new batteries (24 Volt starting system-everything else is 12 Volt)...

Just the fact that it was maintained so well, it was worth it...

The chevy trucks are easy to work on; the parts are still available (although diminishing, that's why I suggest something newer)...

Anything you buy from an owner will probably be a rusted out piece of crap... Granted they are all disposable trucks, but when you see an older vehicle that was so carefully taken care of with such low miles and hardly or NO rust, it makes you want to take care of it too... So "disposable" applies to a lot of trucks in those eras, but not so much these trucks... They are a little more special...

I bought it in July of 2008 and EVERYTHING had dates on it... The rear end covers were painted black and had "11-07" stamped on them, so I gather they changed the rear end fluids regularly, or least before I got it... The oil filter had a date (I believe the same date), and so on...

The batteries were "Proudly made in the Philippines", but all I had to do was charge them up and it worked fine!

The only problem was that I bought it in July and then I drove it in November and I got about 2 blocks and it died... I figured that the military used Haas Diesel (basically the red home heating oil) for diesel fuel in the summertime... The truck would NOT run in the cold winter!!!... Since the fuel gauge didn't work, I dropped the tank, got a new float, got rid of the fuel, and then I installed a bigger tank! It was cheaper than buying the smaller tank and float! (Go figure...)... Ran great after that...

A year later it needed one U-Joint...

Granted, I got lucky... I bought them when the military was auctioning them off in abundance not too far from where I live(hardly any near me anymore-gotta travel to get one)...

ALL the trucks have the SAME keys... They got my door open with their key, but they had NO key for the ignition; it was replaced, which was rare... When I got there, they told me that the chances were that a higher ranking official drove my truck, because he had the ignition key changed, so no lower ranking personnel would be able to drive it... I popped out the igition in 15 minutes while I was there, and they were VERY NICE and jumped the truck, because all of those trucks have a special "jumper" plug that starts the truck instantly when you have another truck and cables... They say, "Buyer Must Load", but they are very nice with helping to get it started so you can drive it on a tow dolly... They did tell me that a lot of people have attitudes when they pick up these trucks and EXPECT them to help, and that's when they get angry, LOL...

The whole thing took about 3 1/2 weeks from when I won the bid, to getting it to my house...

I actually paid $693.00 and then a 10% fee for the auction website, and then sales tax... Roughly $800 total...

ml41887
01-13-2011, 11:46 AM
Sounds good, thanks again bud. I've already looked and it appears promising. Maybe I'll buy a deuce and a half...just kidding. They have all kinds of stuff on there, even a mechanical bull...WTF? I should be able to find something.

mikefaster
01-13-2011, 01:55 PM
Okay, good luck...

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