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I am not new to the engine game but instead of reinventing the wheel I am going to throw this out for discussion.

I have a 1979 Foretravel with a 440 cu in Dodge engine with a ThermoQuad Carb. in it. I am going to go through the engine this spring and while doing so I am going to go for some more torque in the lower rpm ranges.

:laugh: Momma wants to do some mountian climbing next summer. :clown:

The old engine is pretty strong and I was wondering if anyone has upgraded camsahfts and installed headers to accomplish this with any luck.

All my experience in the past has been in the upper rpm ranges 4,500 rpm plus in dirt track cars..

OK Archer its your turn :)

Gary B

Senior Member
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Hi Poppa, there was a fellow about 25 miles from me that had about that vintage Foretravel and his 440 was turbocharged, and I meet a fellow out in AZ. a couple of years ago that had a turboed 440 Foretravel, both claimed they had great power and they got better mileage then the non-turboed ones, there was a disscussion about changing cams in the 440 , here just recently and if I got the drift of it it doesn't work on the 440-3 engine? Good luck if it were me I'd go for the TBI fuel injection and headers or the turbo. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: ;) :approve:

Gary B

Senior Member
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Back then its a very good possibility, you could contact Foretravel, they may have some imformation on it. ;)


Senior Member
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Check out both Gibson and Thorley to see about headers. I have headers on my V-10 and it made a big difference. The problem is likely to be if anyone still makes them for that engine.


New Member
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From what I've gathered by following threads on several RV forums is that the 440-3 was pretty much a factory RV engine and the cam is similar enough to the available aftermarket cams that changing it is of no real value and that the thing about headers seems to be concern about clearance.

I've got a 440-3 in my Open Road, but haven't changed anything on it, it does just fine by me, up hill, down hill, plenty of pep and really fast on the freeway, pulls the Jeep along with it like it wasn't even there. Just know what I've read here and there, so maybe some things to look into anyway.

Good luck,
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Maybe I need to look at cam timing/timing chain and gears to make sure everything is ok with the engine. Probably need to check my compression too.

How much does you open road weigh. According to the scales i am up around 17,000 lbs, ole gal has some middle age spread I guess. :laugh:
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What about intakes? Remember the ol' Edelbrock Torker intake manifolds. Do those work? I'm not a gearhead so I don't know. Just another thought.
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I do not remember my "Surveyor" with the 440 being underpowered. I drove it down through the highway 7 in Arkansas and it climbed them quite well. It would be unrealistic to believe you could zip over these hills and small mountains like a family car - but my unit settled down to about 42 or 43 mph in the climbs - and just kept going.

My 1993 Tourmaster performs about the same - however it is substantually heavier than the Surveyor. It feels smoother though - maybe because of it's size. It is powered by a cummings 8.3 Diesel with 250 hp. I would like a few more ponies and my injector man is going to crank it up to about 300 this next spring.

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Lot Rot
Thanks for the engine info, been wondering about it. Do you know the torque and HP ratings on th 440-3 engine.

I am going to run down the Motor ID Number and find out which engine is in Nellie Bell. Does anyone know where I can Look up the number for comparison?
If everything checks out, I am going to probably replace the timing chain and gears first because cam timing will have a lot to do with the power factor. Headers will be the next on the list. I don't want to go for performance bolt ons that would increase gas consumption just the one the will increase efficiency.
Poppa :cool: :question: :question:
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Just a little update, In looking for headers for a class A with a 440-3 Dodge engine. The old tried and true Headman came thru for a $198.60 including taxes from O'Rilley Auto Parts.

Now to sweet talk Momma out of a little cash :approve: .