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Performance Tips for a Mopar 360

by John Cook

The Chrysler 360 ci motor is a powerful and drivable motor often overlooked by those looking for engines for their street rods. Even with the excellent numbers from the stock 360 ci engine there are a number of things you can do to improve performance, although they have a varying impact on the everyday usability of the engine.

Camshafts

If you're installing the motor for the first time, then upgrading the camshafts will bag you a few extra horsepower. However, going with a large and more aggressive cam can make the car significantly more difficult to drive on the street and it may have an impact on the smoothness of the idle. A good balance makes the car a little more powerful, while maintaining comfort and drivability. Comp Cams makes a number of cams and camshafts for the Mopar 360 engine.

Securing the Bottom End

One of the problems with adding power to the Mopar 360 is the weak bottom end and bottom end bolts. Replacing the windage tray and bots with units designed for performance will help increase reliability and prevent the bottom from blowing out at high rpm loads. The windage tray prevents oil from getting caught in a vortex around a fast spinning crankshaft and not making it to the oil pan. This assembly is not as crucial in lower power applications, but becomes very important for avoiding engine problems at high engine speeds, so making sure it is secure should be a priority.

Replacing the Heads

Replacing the heads for the Mopar 360 helps improve the quality of airflow into the cylinders, stopping the back-up that happens in the headers of the stock engine. The headers will make the car more powerful by allowing more air into the engine. Head upgrades are expensive though, so expect to pay several hundred dollars for headers, plus installation costs.

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