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How to Identify a 318 Dodge

by Floyd Drake III

The Chrysler Corporation's 318 cubic-inch engine is one of the top performing Mopar engines of its generation, demonstrated by a 35-year run, from 1967 to 2002. Used in most Chrysler models, including Dodge, the 318 is identified by locating the casting numbers found on the engine block. According to Year One's Engine Casting Number Page, "Each engine displacement had a unique, or set of unique, casting numbers on the block. A 318 will never share a block casting number with a 273 or 340." A casting date is also present, indicating manufacture date.

1

Locate the casting number. According to My Mopar, the casting number is located on the driver's side of the engine block, usually near the freeze-plugs. It is a seven-digit numerical code that needs to be referred to a casting number listing.

2

Reference the casting number to listings similar to those found on My Mopar, Year One and Mopar 1 (see References). There is no method to the Mopar coding system, so the numbers must be referred to a listing. The casting number identifies specifics such as the displacement, matching cylinder heads, carburetor and camshaft applications, as well as other specs particular to that engine.

3

Find the casting date code. Usually found on the passenger side of the engine block, it may also be on the driver's side. Look for an easy to read date code, 8.5.74, for example. This code indicates August 5, 1974. as the date of manufacture. A casting clock may also be present. Visually resembling a clock, the hour pointed to is the hour of manufacture.

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About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.

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