My first new car was a 1978 Dodge Magnum that I ordered in November of 77 and took delivery in February of 78. It was a 360ci 2bbl leanburn with power windows, AC, tilt, and floor console – and that’s about it. I put 126,000 miles on before selling. I’ve owned about 10 Magnums since then.
I bought this car in the 90s in Tuscan, AZ. It was a granny shift with the original 400ci. Over the years I’ve replaced the motor with an ex-pump gas race 400ci motor with forged internals. The Lean Burn was replaced with a Performer Intake, 750cfm AFB (and two different Holleys) and Mopar Performance electronic ignition. The belt system was replaced with March Performance Serpentine, Sanden AC compressor, and a 1-wire cage alternator upgraded to 100 amps. The stereo is new Pioneer speakers and a Infinity stereo out of a Durango. The 8.25″ rear end was replaced with a rebuilt 8.75 (Suregrip 3.55:1 gear) from a 71 Charger. Schumacher Headers to a Dual 2.5″ exhaust with X-Pipe and Flowmaster 40 mufflers. The heads are now Edelbrock RPMs with Jessel roller rockers. I’ve stripped and repainted the car in black urethane. I’ve replaced the carpet. The front seats are after market leather that I glossed to look period correct. I dyed and repainted the door panels. I converted column shift to floor shift. Th hand crank windows converted to power. Redid the dash with modern gauges. A Gear Vendor’s overdrive keeps the RPMs lower and trans fluid and coolant temperatures lower. My latest conversion was to a Holley Sniper Throttle-body style EFI, with an in-tank fuel pump and braided fuel lines.
Today I took it out for a 50 mile drive to get the computer to do some learning. I might have lost a little quickness compared to the carb – but it is smooth through all situations – from start, to idle, from taking off at lights, cold weather, hot weather, hard acceleration or soft acceleration… I could get three different carbs to do some of it well but fail on some. I’m very happy with what I have so far – and hoping for more quickness to come with Tuning/Calibration/Learning. I can cruise at 80 mph at 2700 RPM and temperature stays 195-200 with the AC on Max.
The below is a 5-minute video I took of how the car drives.