My goal at this point in the build is to get the newly rebuilt engine started, but I am having some part’s fitment issues.
The old poly 318 engine came out of a 63 model vehicle and of course the truck is a 71 model. When I bought the engine it didn’t have many of the external components like the pulleys, alternator, throttle linkage, starter etc.
Now that I am in the process of putting things back together I am hitting some speed bumps. The first problem was the radiator hoses. I installed a new water pump on the rebuilt engine and I ordered a new all-aluminum radiator from Genesis Auto Parts. When I went to install the radiator hoses neither of them worked. My first thought, for the lower hose was that the water pump was different from the original. The water pump outlet was on the driver’s side and needed to be on the passenger side for the radiator hose to work. But when I checked the old pump the outlet was on the same side as the new one. Next I thought maybe a water pump from an LA 318, with the outlet on the passenger side, would work but it had a different bolt pattern.
There is no radiator hose made for a small block mopar that goes from the lower passenger side radiator location, under the engine and back up to the water pump on the driver’s side. I was driving myself crazy trying to sort this out when it occured to me to look at the original radiator out of the truck. There was my answer to the mystery. The original radiator had both top and bottom radiator hose locations on the driver’s side. What really bothered me about this is the Genesis Auto Parts website stated these radiators are exact fits with no modification required. Not only did it not bolt up to the original radiator mounting holes on the truck (it was about 1/2″ off and I had to drill new holes) but now I need to “modify” the lower radiator hose to fit somehow. I thought if I called the company they would have the correct radiator in stock. I was informed the majority of radiators used on older Dodge trucks had the outlets on opposite sides so that is the radiator they stock. When I asked about getting a refund I was told I could only get a store credit. The problem with a store credit is there is nothing in the store for my 71 Dodge Power Wagon! If you purchase a radiator from Genesis Auto Parts make sure it is an “exact fit” before you pay for it.
The radiator hose issue is still unresolved while I search for a bottom radiator hose solution, and I ran into a couple other fitment issues too like the crankshaft and water pump pulleys and the starter. Hopefully I can sort this stuff out soon so we can finally hear it run.
I’ll keep you posted on starting the engine.
Read about the full build HERE
Auto Education 101