Out with the old, in with the new – a crazy 500-hp engine with a Chrysler block and Chevrolet heads turns a classic coupe into a muscle car. Vice Grip Garage on YouTube are back with a new classic car project. He finger points to a gold coupe sitting pretty in the grass, slowly baking in the sun. As Derek explains, he wants to turn the 1973 Plymouth Duster into a hot rod, and it will need a V8 engine swap to give it the power he requires. It will involve swapping-out the Chrysler Slant-6 (straight-six) engine and in its place, he will install a new, custom V8 engine.
It is the first custom V8 of its kind as far as Bieri knows, potentially a world-first – but to start with, the car needs fixing up. Here are the highlights of the engine swap video below that will soon turn this Duster into a muscle car.
A Chrysler Slant-6 Engine Swap For A Shiny New V8
Derek Bieri, host of Vice Grip Garage, looks at the Duster. It’s in pretty good condition with some rust and an interior that needs work, but nothing major for the purposes of the hot rod project. Under the hood sits the Slant-6, which made up to 145 hp. This engine gets named for its 30-degree ‘slant’ when installed in the engine bay and has a reputation for being ‘unkillable’ as the YouTuber says. There were other versions of the Duster available such those with V8 engines or even a trim called the ‘Gold Duster’.
Over the course of the next part of the video, he works to start it up, move it into the garage and inspect it on the lift. Seeing a fundamentally good body underneath the classic car and some minor issues, he goes ahead with the engine swap. Anyone curious about swapping an engine or even considering one, should watch the ensuing events, which explain in moderate detail how to go about the process; the cleaning segment is also satisfying to witness.
How Much Is The 1973 Plymouth Duster Worth Today?
The engine going into the Duster couldn’t be any more different to the Slant-6, although it is from Chrysler – well, some of it, anyway. This 5.7-liter ‘stroker’ comes from a mishmash of stock parts, spare parts, and new parts to form a possible first-of-its-kind Frankenstein engine. Derek says it is a Chrysler-Chevrolet engine, comprised of a 5.2-liter Chrysler block, with standard pistons and Dodge Viper rods. On top of that there are cheap, unbranded cylinder heads with Chevrolet valve trains and associated parts. Bieri describes the engine in more detail in the video.
He says it makes up to 485 hp, a big number for a classic car such as this and in its current condition. It is certain to turn it into the hot rod that he is dreaming of. The old engine comes out with some humorous trial-and-error, and the new one in its place. The Plymouth Duster got produced from 1970 to 1976