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Mopar Slant Sixes

mminerbimminerbi Posts: 88
edited March 7 in Dodge
Any interesting stories to support the reputation
that this engine had for running almost forever?
My parents owned two, a 1960 Valiant with the 170
c.i. version, and a 1969 Dart with the 225 c.i.
displacement. Both ran over 100,000 miles before
they were sold, but I understand some ran well over
200,000 miles.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,350
    Back in those days, most engines were flat worn out at 80-100,000 miles.

    A slant six was a different story! I knew a guy who had a Dart with over 200,000 miles on it.

    He blew a heater hose on the freeway. The traffic was so bad it took him awhile to pull it over and the engine siezed up!

    He had it towed to a shop, figuring it was the end of the line.

    Not so! The hoses were replaced, the coolant and oil was changed and it ran another few years until it got rear ended and was totalled.

    It died with over 300,000 on the clock!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    I have never seen a slant six engine blow up, nor have I ever seen one with a thrown rod. I've taken some apart that were so worn and filthy inside that according to all the laws of physics it should not have been running.

    Also a simple engine to rebuild..about as many moving parts as a wood stove.

    Truly great engine, up there with Chevy 283, Studebaker 289, Chrysler 318 & 383, and Volvo B18 and B20. Virtually indestructible.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    I bought a "66 Dart GT with the 225 in 1970-for 1100bucks. Had 36,000 miles on it. The thing that we [ex-wife-bothstill in college] noticed about it was how comfortable and quiet the car was. The Darts, with their stretched wheelbase, had great legroom in back-better even than some full-sized cars. Anyway, in 1975, a young gal ran into it while it was parked at the curb-crunchin the left front fender and headlight. The damage came to a little over $600 then-close to a total-but not quite. I told them I wanted the car fixed, and took the check for $600. That night, I thought about it, and decided to just bank the money and drive the car the way it was. I wired in a new headlight, and drove it another 6 years, to a total of 167,000 miles. At this point, it needed a valve job, but was OK other wise. The car didn't owe me a thing, so one night a friend and I decided to see if we could get it to throw a rod. Stomped it continuously, holding it in first, literally beat the hell out of it for 20 minutes or so. Couldnb't break it. So, I finally ended up selling it for $200. My total cost of driving this car 130,000 miles over 11 years was--$400!
    Not bad. That car saved me a bundle when I didn't have it, and hauled us around everywhere in comfort. Now that was a damn good car!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    I worked in a wrecking yard one summer while in college and one form of amusement was to start up the old cars, put a cinder block on the gas pedal, and run away until the engine seized. We used to keep a record of which engines lasted longest...VWs ran about 3 seconds, but I recall an old Hudson flathead going something like 9 minutes. Slant-6s were also quite rugged.

    I know this sounds cruel and stupid, but these cars were recycled and are now the fenders on your Camry, so their molecules are still circulating.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Mr. Shiftright: That's a funny story. I would have laughed and laughed. Reminds me of a friend who worked in a gas station in high school. If someone he didn't like left their car for an oil change, he'd start it up and immediately race the engine after the change, and then laugh and laugh as he watched the owner drive away. That's one reason I've always changed my own oil......
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,350
    Nothing could throw a rod like an old Chevy! I'm talking about the babbitted bearing engines!

    If you didn't heed the short warning...KABOOM!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    Oh, yes, the 216 engine with (as I remember) little oil scoops attached to the rod caps to fling oil up into the cylinders....not very confidence-inspiring....splash lubrication, they called it.
    Your stories are great fun and I thuroughly enjoyed reading them. The Chrysler slant six is on of the few Chrysler products that I've ever really thought of as bullet proof.
  • lockpaullockpaul Posts: 1
    For Slant six tricks of the trade, "E" me at
  • i still have my '78' dodge D-100, stick,long bed p.u. and just bought a new Dakota with V-8,auto,
    and just can not say enough about it!I just got back from the sierra's and it performed perfectly!! 18mpg,and comfort up the wazoo! my old p.u. had almost 400M miles and is still hopping.
    in fact i will be using it as a work commuter!all that from a slant 6 that has only been torn down 2 times for repair and valves. still has 95 lbs of compression too! BUUUT the trans is losing its syncros and the rearend is howling like a banshee!
    I located a 1/2 ton van and will probably switch out the components to the p.u.all i can say, is if the Dakota lasts like my old Dodge, i'll be in heaven. {after i pay for 4 years!} SLANTS 4 EVER!
    Slant or straight sixes were never real rockets but gosh darn they do last, and last, and last. In the 60's cars weren't so complicated with all the gadgets and it really is easy to keep these very basic cars/trucks on the road forever.
  • esneedesneed Posts: 16
    Back in 1979, when Chrysler was out on the street holding out for cash and as 'rich Cornithian leather trimmed' Cordobas were stockpiling on dealer lots, the local Chrysler-Plymouth dealer in my hometown went bankrupt, and sold all their inventory back to the bank - as a result, the bank had a garage full of cars to unload quickly - including 100 (yes, one-hundred) Cordobas - at a time when gas prices were soaring, and large cars were NOT in vogue.

    My parents purchased a 1978 Plymouth Volare 2-door, with a 225 ci Slant Six. In the history books, the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare went down as one of the most trouble-prone cars built - ironically, this car was the opposite. The car was entirely new, and stickered for $6500; my parents purchased it from the bank for $3900. There were MANY exterior flaws with the car when we picked it up - fenders out of alignment, horrible paint job... but we took the car to the local Dodge dealer, insisted on repairs, and all was fixed to our liking - from that day forward - that car NEVER quit! My dad drove the car to Colorado and Nebraska on business very often - through snow storms, heavy rains, heavy winds, etc. - and while other cars would be off the road, my dad would keep chugging in his Plymouth - he put 275,000 miles on that car!!!... and the engine was still running reliably and smoothly when he sold it in 1992 for only $500 - The car had only 1 dent and some minor rust on the lower doors... yea, the Slant 6 engine wasn't quick or sophisticated, but it did its job and then some. it was, by far, the best car my parents ever had.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    Did I already tell me Slant Six story? Stop me if I did....

    I was helping a friend track down a clicking noise which I thought was coming from a badly adjusted valve I took the valve cover off this greasy, beat-up, neglected, 200K mile pig of a slant six engine and...and...the entire valve train was stuck in a kind of grease-jell...a solid, square-ish, quivering blob of gunk just stuck there, shaped exactly like a glob of jello after you take the tupperware off.

    And I stuck my socket through this mess, tightened down on the valve lifter, without a gauge, until to got quiet, jammed the cover back down as best I could, torqued the bolts to something or other, and it ran great...might still be running, who knows?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,350
    For the youngsters here, it has to be remembered that back in the sixties, cars didn't go 100,000 miles without major work!

    They needed valve jobs, ring jobs, rebores, etc.

    But not the slant six! For some reason, they were indestructable! Even the automatic transmissions (torqueflites) were bulletproof.

    Where did Chrysler lose it?

    Putting new points in, though was a B***H! Remember, Shifty? The distributor was tucked away alongside the engine and it was easy to drop(and lose) the screws!
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Posts: 219
    I seem to remember, that if you didn't poke a hole in the oil filter you ended up creating quite a mess.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    I used to just take the distributor out, that was easier in the long run. I remember these engines came with different color valve covers to help identify the CID...there was red, blue and yellow as I recall.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,350
    The early slant sixes were either 170 CID or 225's

    They both had red painted engines. You could tell the differnce by looking at the length of the bypass hoses. The 225 had a hose about 3" long. The 170's were very short.

    There weren't nearly as many 170's as 225's.

    Yeah, pulling the distributor was probably the way to go. Once, I had a distributor pulled out of an old Buick. While it was out, somebody decided to push the car a few feet. It was a stick shift, and it was in gear! I didn't know it had been pushed when I re-installed the distributor.

    Mr. S...You KNOW what happened!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641
    Oh, yeah, and on those the distributor could go in about 90 different ways...but it was an easy fix....take out #1 spark plug, stick your finger in the hole, spin the engine with a remote starter until you felt compression, install the distributor with the rotot pointing to #1 wire on the distributor, and bingo! You start it up and a ten foot flame leaps out of the carburator. Then you do it all again, this time correctly.

    Let's see...I distinctly remember yellow valve covers, but that may have been the slant six truck engines, which were beefier in CID.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,350
    Yeah, I think some of the trucks had the yellow valve covers. I also seem to remember a 198 CID slant six in later years.

    Too bad they went away...
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    The only disappointment I remember was gas mileage. My '66 Dart 225/Torqueflite would get as little as 15 mpg, and usually only 17-18. I expected more. I later had a Dodge Van with the 318. It delivered almost the gas mileage my Dart did, and was also nearly indestructible. I sold that Van with nearly 200,000 miles on the original engine and Trans-the Torqueflite had only been serviced once, and it delivered 18mpg on the road...
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