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Deleting all electronics on a 3.9 V6

3363 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  donram360
I'm going to put a v6, from an 87 Dakota, into a 1939 Dodge 2DR. I don't need, or want, all the electronic crap. It is a carbureted engine. I want to keep it as simple as possible...
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It's not really carburated; that carb is an electronic feedback carb.

You may have to find a close enough V6 distributor; the 3.9 never had any advance at all in its distributors, 1987 included in that (all done electronically.)

I'd look for that older 318 instead; it'll be easier to get running.

Might want to consider a 46RH/A518 transmission; those are basically 727s with OD and lockup torque converter, and the OD and TQ can be handled with a vacuum switch, two pressure switches, some tubing, and some wire; no need for switches or a computer of any kind.

not necessarily. The ones I had weren't feedback carbs. the only thing they didn't have was the ported nipple for a vac advance. Only Cali and hi altitude ones were feedback. My 87 Dodge van w/a 318 was the same way. No feedback. and a 318 2 barrel Carter BBD or Holley 2280 will definitely bolt directly in place of your 87, 3.9 carb. NO doubt about that.
As I remember, Mopar Perf did offer a vac advance distributor, headers, a 4 bbl intake, and a couple of cams for that engine at one time. the long block was the same from 87-91 on the early 3.9s.
I think either COMP or maybe it was Schnieder, offered 1 step and 2 step above stock cams for that original 3.9 too you might talk to Ken at Oregon cams about regrinding your original cam into something special. You'd definitely need new lifters with a new or reground cam. Easy, as they were same lifters as a 318.

. For that matter, other than having 2 extra holes on account of being a V8, the block deck height and such is the same as a 318 so a 318 dist will physically fit into a 3.9 like it was made for it. The question then becomes if a 3.9 cap will fit a 318 dist housing...... and no, an old slant 6 cap wont work because of the 3.9's "odd fire" design. It would have to be a cap designed for a 3.9..... there is more space between dist towers on a 6 cyl cap than there is on a V8 cap.... You'd need a reluctor under the rotor made for a 3.9 (again odd fire design) Then, if an 87 3.9 cap would fit on a 318 dist body youre home free..... I think it might, considering (again if I remember right) a v6 and v8 take the same rotor.....
you might have to do some custom fabrication/machining to build your own..... tuning and such (vacuum advance, mechanical advance) would then be just like building a custom advance curve for an old 340!!!!!!
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Not on all vehicles..... mostly on California ones.
and, no. I mentioned teh reluctor/ and even said "some custom machining might be needed".... to make a reluctor that WILL work.
and also if his particular carb IS a feedback version, bolt one on from an older 318 that isn't a feedback version.
Most of the "lean burn" type systems in this part of the country, weren't feedback style all the way back to '76 when that ignition system came out.
again the biggest difference in a "lean burn" carb vs a non lean burn carb is the lack of a ported vacuum source within the throttle body. Maybe things are different on vehicles primarily designed down your way... Louisana right? All I can go by is what I have actually seen on vehicles built back in that day and sold/used on roads in the Chicago area. Ive been working on cars and trucks since right around 1987 for a living, and having never owned anything that wasn't built by Chrysler Corp, nor have I ever owned anything front wheel drive, I have seen what I have seen under these hoods.
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