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Complete 1974 360HP engine

Started by NoCar340, November 05, 2023, 09:29:17 PM

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NoCar340

I recently stumbled across the scattered remains of a 1974 Challenger Rallye that was rolled over in 1979 with only 18,000 miles on it.  The father/son pair that bought it from the scrap man saved just about everything: the complete Rallye dash, engine compartment with the complete front suspension still on it (minus cowl/firewall), manual discs including master cyl & prop valve, complete Pistol Grip shifter, 3.23SG center section, rear swaybar, most of the underhood bits, and a ton more.  All this stuff had been stored for the last 44 years.  I bought all of it in a package deal with a solid, running '71 Challenger 318/3-speed AC car (R26, power discs, 3.55SG, F/R swaybars--it's a weird car) and another '74 Challenger. That one's a rusty, tree-damaged parts car (stripper 318/auto).  Anything I didn't get from the '74 Rallye was crushed in '81 or '82.

Under a shelf in the father's shed, I found the complete 360HP from the car.  What's there?  More like what's not there.  It's missing the water pump, front accessories/brackets, distributor cap, coil, plug wires, and... well, that's really it.  A few minor bits are gone like the fuel pump/line and idle-stop solenoid (but the threaded bracket is still there).  The carb is partially seized but has never been off the intake, nor have the OE choke stat or EGR valve.  The factory flywheel, clutch, bellhousing, and fork are still there, and have never been removed.  They removed the 4-speed before they pulled it, but it was included.  The same for the engine mounts, still with the factory restrictors.  The freakin' factory PCV is in it, though the hose is gone.  The exhaust manifolds were removed in 1980, but they were (and are) with the engine, as were the air cleaner and valve-cover breather, all in great shape.  I found out later that I know the guy that bought the car new and rolled it six years later.  It was his first new car and never saw a winter.   "All I did was put gas in it and chase girls."  He didn't remember the exact mileage, of course, but verified that it was below 20K.  "It was still a new car."  Sadness.

Make no mistake, the engine's a core.  The shed wasn't 100% watertight.  Water didn't leak on it, but the humidity took a toll.  The valve covers, oil pan, and bellhousing cover are still in very good shape; most of the rust is on exposed cast iron.  Did you know rodent urine removes paint?  It turns over but would need to be rebuilt.  It's the time-capsule nature of this engine that makes me ponder its value.  Every nut, bolt, washer, etc. is OE on this thing.  It's restoration gold.  If someone's got a 1974 360HP car with no engine, particularly a 4-speed, this would be a good one to have.  It's not someone else's numbers engine; I have both the title and any numbers that escaped the scrap man.  Those are not for sale, period.  If I approved of that kind of crap, I have a rust-free base '74 318/auto that could miraculously become a E58/D21 car.  It won't, nor will anyone else's.

What's an engine like this worth?  I realize the '74s are the redheaded stepchildren--hell, I have one myself, two if you include the parts car--but the 360HP/4-speed was the last hurrah for the E-body.

The engine is the only thing I'm considering selling, and that's not definite.  Everything else I'm keeping, including the 4-speed.

chargerdon

Interesting...not to insult but...   

In 2020 i bought from a salvage yard a 1973 vintage 360 4V that came out of a wrecked 73 plymouth satellite.   It was frozen..so bought the complete engine as a core for $100.   I think even today 360LA engine cores are going for $100.  Only thing i kept from it was the block, oil pan, timing chain cover.   I still have the x heads from it sitting in my garage. 

In case your wondering, i took two days to strip it down to bare block... had to beat the one piston out with a sledge hammer to get it to break free.   Then brought it to a local machine shop where they bored it to .030 over (barely cleaned up at that) and put in a stroker kit.   Its now a sweet running 408 in my 74 Challenger backed by an A518 4speed overdrive automatic, and a 3.23 sure grip.   started life as a 318 LA with 509 auto and 2.76 open dif.   

NoCar340

I completely understand what you're saying.  Normally I wouldn't give a plug nickel for a 360 myself, but I've also got ten 340s in stock.  There are dozens of 360s in the local yard.  Regardless of which makes the better street engine, come sale time there are very few instances where a 360 will out-dollar a 340.  I know it'd be worth a lot more were it a '68 4-speed 340, but it is what it is.

Here's the thing: You weren't restoring your car, i.e. returning it back to 100% as-delivered condition.  The '73 Satellite engine you bought had already been both hot-rodded and swapped, since there were no 360-powered 1973 A-/E-/B-bodies, no '73 360HP engines (all were 2-barrels), and no 360s built with X heads.  Your engine was seized; this one isn't (I wouldn't attempt to start it after 40+ years of sitting, though).  You weren't concerned with a "numbers" carburetor or distributor, casting dates/numbers that all align, that sort of thing.  Neither am I; my '74 Challenger will be the same way.  No worries about being correct, show judging, etc.--where little items like bolt-head markings make a big difference.  If not to you or me, that stuff does matter to a lot of people.  My best friend spent hours where I bought this stuff going through coffee cans full of hardware.  He bought half a 5-gallon bucket's worth of original Mopar screws, bolts, nuts, clips, whatever.  He obsesses over such details, and he's far from alone.  A lot of board members are the same way and might better appreciate this engine's value to the right person.  That's why I posted the question.

I'm not asking what "a 360" is worth.  I have a low-mile 300HP MP crate 360 Magnum I'll probably end up giving away or scrapping, and I've heard that one run.  I'm asking what a 1-stop restoration solution is worth to the right person--someone who cares about the little factory details, like my friend.  If he had a '74 anything, he'd be all over this.  The air cleaner, carburetor, and bellhousing are each worth more than what you paid for your core engine.  I know it's worth more as parts, but I'd rather make less money if I can help out one guy who really needs everything this engine still has with it.


jimynick

Interesting. My 74 has the same driveline, 360 E58, 4 speed that came with it and are still running together. Like you, I couldn't give a damn about the bolt heads nor that other kife either. Nice of you to offer it to one of the "true believers" so as to let them have their fix. Let us know how you make out and GLWS.  :cheers:
In the immortal words of Jimmy Scott- "pace yourself!"

MoparLeo

The engine show is definitely not an 18,000 mile engine. Nothig leake that much when new. It would have had less than 6 oil changes done on it.
Pull the valve covers. Unless it was open the the weather or had dirt poured in it, it should be very clean inside the covers and still have the original spark plugs in the heads.
360's are just cores, epecially low compression, smog motors.
moparleo@hotmail.com  For professionally rebuilt door hinges...

NoCar340

Gary only drove the car between Memorial and Labor Days.  It was five years old when he rolled it.  He sold the car in '80 (technically his brother did; he had a junkyard).  He hadn't even thought of the car in over 40 years.  It's amazing that his lie would correspond closely to the mileage on the original odometer after all this time (he said it "didn't even have 20,000 miles" on it). 

Why would he lie about it?  The car itself is long gone, and I didn't buy anything from him.  I bought the stuff from the son of the guy that bought and parted the car in the early '80s.  He was a 383 & 440 guy, as was (is) his son.  Neither one of them had any use for the engine.  It never got installed in anything else, per the son.  Pulled, stuck under a shelf, and stored.  I'm sure it's impossible for the engine to have leaked when the car was, y'know, upside-down, or possibly that some oil dripped off the intake when they pulled it to remove the engine.

No matter.  I'll definitely take your word over that of the original owner and the mileage showing on the Rallye dash that came out of it.  I'll also let people know that original, date-coded factory 1-year-only HP parts are worthless if they're on a 360, E-body or otherwise.  Man, the Li'l Red Express guys are gonna be bummed.  I mean, if those parts are worthless, so then must be the cars or trucks from whence they came.

Boy, I'm sure glad I asked this question on a forum where the only cars that matter are 1970 and '71 models.  Thank God for guys like you that know everything, too.  I guess I'll just scrap all this worthless 1974 junk.  As soon as I finish this post, I'll call my body man, have him stop work on my Challenger, and tell him to take it to the crusher post-haste.

MoparLeo

I don't want to hurt your feelings.  :notsure:
Take the heads off. If it is really less than 20K miles it should still have the crosshatch pattern on the cylinder walls and the bearings should have little to no wear.
Unless it was filled with dirt and water and then sat 40 years the bearings, oil pump rotors and pan, under side of valve cover areas should be just dirty, not crusty or worn.
Don't take my word for it, I have no dog in the game.
Just over 50 years of Mopar experience with several engine builds under my belt. Many cars owned, self serviced and over 40 years experiance in the automotive repair/service industry. I don't care what year it is/was.
I don't know you or your friends, But I know engines pretty good.
You are going to need a little thicker skin if you want to ask questions on any forums.
Not everyone will agree with your personal feelings.
Just have a Mopar day. :ohyeah:
moparleo@hotmail.com  For professionally rebuilt door hinges...