I finally got around to swapping in the allegedly good 318 that came as part of the deal for my ’66 Dodge Sportsman Custom van, and whaddya know— it is a good engine!

Sorry about the horrible cellphone video, but I was so eager to hear it run that I didn’t want to waste time to find a real camera. Of course, the fuel tank is full of 10-year-old bad gas and the lines are clogged (it’s getting fed from a super-safe gas can rig at the moment— hey, I’ve got the pin pulled on a close-at-hand fire extinguisher; what could possibly go wrong?), the throttle linkage is wonky, the seats have butt-jabbing springs sticking out, the out-of-state registration is 10 years expired, and nothing electrical works except the ignition and the AM radio, but who cares? Good engine! Hooray!

19 Responses to “It Lives! Project Van Hell A100 Roars To Life With “New” Engine”

  1. Van Sarockin

    Time for a road trip!

  2. TexanIdiot25

    Ah, the defining moment in a build, the 1st engine fire. Brings back memories.

  3. jeremy!

    wow! watch your elbows with that radiator placement!

  4. admin

    I trust the seller, but he got the engine from another guy and hadn’t heard it run himself.

  5. Jim

    Only 8 months to BABE rally, you can have it ready 😉

  6. Chris

    Shoot… I haven’t even changed my spark plugs yet. 🙁

  7. ///Mink

    Wow, even held an idle toward the end there. Excellent!

  8. dead_elvis

    What’s up the Washington plates? You were in Alameda, relocated to Colorado someplace… there must be a good story behind the van’s provenance. I’ll have to return to the [redacted] & see if I missed it.

  9. admin

    Van came to Colorado from Washington, developed a rod knock in 1999, has been sitting ever since. Pretty much rust-free, but needs a thorough going-over before it can drive.

  10. OA5599

    I brought home my own Project Dodge Hell yesterday; a Ramcharger. It came home under its own power, but definitely needs some repairs before it gets more street use. I hope it cleans up as nicely as this A100.

  11. Serj

    I <3 the 318. i dunno what it is about it but i feel like it has more heart that a 302 or 305.

  12. Darren

    Sweet! I trust that since you pulled the pin anyway, you didn’t let that fire extinguisher go to waste? I never seem to have a cold beer when I need one…

    Or maybe it was this ‘fire extinguisher’ Be sure to wait the requisite 20 minutes before fighting any fires.

  13. Hoonatic Racing

    i love when a project starts for the first time.
    Good job Phil, but please tell me you plan on something slightly bigger than that carb?

  14. Speedycop

    That thing gives me flashbacks of traveling cross-country in a similar ’66 Ford Econoline window van. Ours was a straight 6/three-on-the-tree work van, with one rear facing seat, and then just floor space. As at least 6 of the eventual nine kids were on board with my parents, that meant the unlucky three would get floor space only. Ahh, the memories of trying to sleep on that cold metal floor… *shudders*

    Looks like a heckuva van, Phil. Nice work.

  15. mechimike

    Nice work, mr. admin. I just dragged home a ’79 Mercedes 300D parts car last night. 500 clams, and its got a straight, rust free body that’s covered in moss. The tranny is being donated to my ’78 300D, and the rest will find a home in my own personal junkyard, to be picked over slowly as needs dictate. Heck, the chassis would be a nice start to a LeMons project…

    Fellow tunachucker Rob bought a ’64 MG Midget (or ‘Spridget’) last night. Neither of us knew the other was also buying a car. We are a bunch of sick people.

  16. theeastbaykid

    Sweet. Time to add shag.

  17. EyeMWing

    Well that’s that build complete.

  18. CraigSu

    How awesome it must have been to sit in the driver’s seat, crank the ignition, and look over your right shoulder to see and hear your engine fire for the first time.

  19. RadioFlyer

    OA5599, I too have a project Ram Charger! What motor are you working with? here’s a link to me trying to get the damn thing going-

    Also, we miss you, Murilee. Keep up the good work. BTW, does my star get to be transfered over here? I mean, you gave it to me…

    PS-sorry it took me so damn long to get over here. I’ve been working on a secret project with a couple other familiar cohorts. I’ll be sure to get it too you when things are finally set in stone. I think you’ll like it.

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