Complete Dodge 440 Motorhome Engine Specs, Upgrades, Guide

Modern engines have too many gadgets and components on them to be truly powerful. But when you want lots of power, you need to go back to the muscle car era and pick up one of those engines. Those motors were not restricted by gadgets and components.

The Dodge or Chrysler 440 was built to compete with the Competition. Both Ford and GM were producing a 427 engine that would rival the 427 HEMI Chrysler made. To combat that encroachment on their territory, Chrysler came out with the 440 in 1966.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the engine world to bring you the best information about the Chrysler 440. The information inside this article will help you make a good purchase decision when you get the opportunity to buy the last over 400 cubic inch Chrysler made.

When Was The Chrysler 440 Made?


You will see us using Chrysler and Dodge interchangeably throughout this article. That is because Chrysler was the parent company of Dodge and that company built the 440 engine. They also used the same engine in their Dodge, Plymouth, and their own Chrysler cars.

The lifespan of the 440 was not very long. It ran from 1966 to 1978 but its history starts back in 1958. This engine series started with the Chrysler ‘B’ engine which was a 350 cubic inch V-8. The displacement changed over the years reaching 400 until the ‘RB’ or raised B engine models were made.

The newer V-8 engines had engine displacements of 383, 413, and 426 cubic inches. That is until the 440 came along in 1966. The 440 remained the same except for one major upgrade in about 1969.

Chrysler decided to change the 4-barrel carb to 3- 2 barrel carbs and it was called the 6-pack for obvious reasons. This was the last over 400 cubic inch motor Chrysler made.

There is a very good reason why they stopped making this motor. The1970s oil crisis doomed many big engines and the 440 was one of them. With this crisis, Chrysler went to building more fuel-efficient engines, and the 440 was dropped from the lineup.

During its brief run, the 440 Six-Pack found its way into the Plymouth Road Runners, 'Cudas, Sport Fury GTs, and Super Bees, as well as the Dodge Challengers and Chargers. Plus, these cars were given a 4-speed transmission while the regular 440s only had a 3-speed transmission.

Was The Dodge 440 a Good Engine?

The original engines were designed with longevity in mind. The engineers poured a lot of heart and soul into the design to make it a very reliable and versatile motor.

It was a very good motor power-wise as it was one of the best engines around when it came to street racing. The original 440 came with 375 HP but when Chrysler added the 6-pack, that power went up to 390 HP.

The engine was so powerful that as a stock motor, it was able to do the 1/4 mile drag race in 12.98 seconds at roughly 111 mph. That was when it was in the 1969 Plymouth Road Runner.

Not to be outdone the 1970 Dodge Challenger did the same race in 13.80 seconds at 104 mph approx. This was a very good motor and according to one source, the problems were few and far in between.

RV makers of the 1970s liked the engine so much that they made sure they included this engine in many of their RV models. The high torque range made this engine perfect for hauling heavy weights and it was a natural fit for motorhomes.

As Dodge became more fuel efficient, the 440 became less powerful and was not in as great demand.

Dodge Motorhome 440 Engine Specs

The regular original 440 was a good engine specs-wise as well. It came with a 4.32-inch bore and a 3.75-inch stroke. Plus, it had a 10 -1 compression that helped produce 350 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque.

The last 5 years of this engine’s life saw that HP go down to 280 in 1972 and finally to 195 HP and 370 lb-ft of torque in 1977. The 6-pack was a little different and a little more powerful.

The compression rating was 10.3 to 1 and its HP hovered between 385 and 390 depending on the year it was made. The bore and stroke changed in 1971 to 4.125 and 3.375 respectively.

The firing order remained the same throughout its life at 18436572. Basically, what the addition of the 3 2-barrel carbs did was only raise the HP up 15 points. It was also a very torque-heavy engine.

By the time the lean burn systems came into existence, the 440 was on its last logs. Instead of being placed in cars that could be termed muscle cars, the 440 was used in the bigger more luxurious sedans like the Chrysler New Yorker, Brougham, Newport, & Town & Country.

It ceased being a performance engine long before the end of its production.

How Much Horsepower Does a Dodge 440 Motorhome Engine Have?


This rating would depend on the type of motor and the year it was built. The original 440 built between 1966 and 69 had 350 HP @ 4400 RPM and 480 lb-ft of torque at 2800 RPM.

The regular 440 engine, built with the standard 4-barrel carb, built between 1967 and 1970 put out 375 HP at 4600 RM but had the same torque as the other early model.

The 1969 to 71 440 was given the 6-pack carb set up which boosted the motor’s HP up by 15 points. It reached a maximum of 390 HP @ 4700 RPM from the 1969 to 1970 years.

The 1971 model only got 385 HP @ 4700 RPM and both models got 490 lb-ft of torque at 3200 RPM. Then the 1971 4-barrel 440 produced only 370 HP at 4600 RPM and only 480 lb-ft of torque at 3200.

After that, the HP output went downhill as the 1972 to 74 models only produced 280 HP. The final figure we saw for this great motor was 195 HP and only 370 lb-ft of torque at the end of its run.

New EPA and other restrictions convinced Chrysler to cut back on the performance and start to produce those less powerful fuel-efficient engines.

What is The Difference Between a 383 And a 440 Engine?

The 383 was the forerunner or one of the forerunners of the 440 motor. It was one of the original displacement sizes for the ‘B’ engines being made in 1958. Then it was also one of the first displacement sizes for the ‘RB’ engines that followed soon after.

In comparison, the 383 is a much smaller engine than the 440. The earlier model had a 4.25-inch bore while the later model came with a 4 1/32-inch bore. The latter version was only made between 1959 and 1960.

The original 383 ‘B’ engine was the big bore version of the 350 and 361 and it was equivalent to a 6.3 L engine. The 440 was equivalent to the 7.2 L engine. The top HP for the 383 was only 330 and produced only 460 lb-ft of torque.

One interesting point is that the 383 Magnum used the 440 Magnum heads, camshaft, and exhaust manifolds making it very close to the 440 in design at least.

The ‘B’ 383 had a very good 20-year run starting in 1958 and ending in 1978. The ‘RB’ version was not as successful or as popular as the original 383 so it did not get a long lifespan.

What you have to watch out for is the color of the block. Some people will tell you they have a 440 block for sale but the color indicates it is a 383. The blocks were painted different colors depending on if it was going to go in a Dodge, Chrysler, or Plymouth vehicle.

One final difference, the pad for the casting numbers is different with the 440s being on the top right of the motor and the 383 being at the left front but at a nice angle.

440 Motorhome Heads

It seems that this version of the 440 received some of the same components as the car models did. They had a cast metal that provided all the strength the engine would need to pull the heavy motorhome weight.

Also, Chrysler used stamped steel rocker arms to lower production costs while maintaining high reliability. Then these rocker arms were paired with hydraulic tappets. This may have meant that the rocker arms and tappets could not be adjusted but that was a moot point anyways.

This design made the head, rocker arms, and tappets almost maintenance-free. The design of the heads remained unchanged no matter if the engine was built by and installed in a Plymouth, Dodge, or Chrysler vehicle.

The 440 was one of the best engines ever made and part of that reputation was due to the fact that it did not come with a lot of problems. Nor did it break down that often.

You may hear of a lot of modern owners complaining about this engine breaking down but they are using a 5- to 60-year-old engine and things will happen as the motor ages.

In its heyday, this was one of the more desirable motors to have under your hood if you were looking for a performance vehicle.

440 Motorhome Turbo


One of the reasons the 440 was a popular engine was because it was very adaptable. There was great after-market support and with this engine being highly modifiable, the sky was the limit as to what you could do to it.

Adding a turbo was not out of the question and the Roto Master had a draw through type turbo at the time. The company is still around but the draw through model seems to have been discontinued decades ago.

The original Roto Master turbo came in the RV Turbo Sonic kit but that may not be made by Roto Master anymore. If you contact the company you may be able to still get a rebuild kit but not the original kit anymore.

That last sentence is news from 8 years ago so double check to see if both the company and rebuild kit still exist. One model of the RV turbo was called RV Turbo Inc. And it was stamped on the side of the exhaust for the turbo component.

440 Motorhome Exhaust Manifold

By this time, the original exhaust manifold should be wearing down and it is time to replace them. But some of the original models are still in very good shape and you should be able to find them at different junk or auto wrecker outlets.

Plus, you can find them on e-Bay as we saw a lot of them for sale on that marketplace. The cost for these parts will depend on the seller but do not expect to find them for less than $100.

Then, companies are still making reproductions of this manifold so if you want to remain stock and have new parts, that is not going to be a problem. You can get these reproductions made with modern alloys and other components so that they will last a lot longer than the originals did.

The problem with the modern exhaust manifolds is that they are very expensive. You may find them for as little as $500 on e-Bay but at regular shops, you can expect to pay around $800 to 900 for them.

The nice thing about the exhaust manifolds for the 440 was that from 1958 to the end of their production they had the same bolt pattern.

Dodge 440 Motorhome Alternator

Unlike the exhaust manifolds, you may not find original alternators anymore for this engine. There are many that are re-manufactured and price-wise, that will be the best option if you have a tight budget.

While not being sold on e-Bay, there are a lot of companies around that sell new alternators for big block motors like the 440. The big difference between these two options is that the re-manufactured models sell for under $50.

The new ones start at around $180 and go up from there depending on many factors. What you have to watch out for is how you connect the wires. It is easy to make a mistake without a wiring diagram for the specific year of your make and model of RV.

Also, another problem when you replace the current alternator in your Dodge RV will be pulley size. You cannot eyeball it and think you can match the pulley size. A difference of 1/4 of an inch in pullet size can change the belt size by up to 3/4 of an inch.

Also depending on your RV’s year, you will find either a diode isolator or a relay-type regulator as part of your electrical system. Check those to see if they are needing to be replaced as well.

Dodge 440 Motorhome Spark Plugs


Spark plugs are going to be easier to find as they will be at almost all auto parts stores from Napa to Auto Zone. Summit Racing Equipment recommends the following spark plug model- ACCEL C-Cut Performance Spark Plugs 0416S-4.

The description for this spark plug is- Spark Plug, Shorty, C-Cut Electrode, Gasket Seat, 14mm Thread .750 in. Reach, Projected, Resistor, and it comes in a set of 4 for roughly $34.

But you should be able to find a cheaper set of plugs made by long-term spark plug makers like Champion. The key to getting the right plug for your 440 is to make sure it has a gasket design to it.

One thing to watch out for is that the 440 engine made for a motorhome may not be exactly the same as the 440 engine made for muscle cars. The spark plugs are said not to be interchangeable.

The reason for this, it is said, is that the heads are not exactly the same for motorhomes as it is for cars. The suggestion was to find spark plugs made for a Winnebago for the model year of your motorhome.

Double-check with a qualified mechanic or a very good auto parts store clerk to make sure before you buy.

Motorhome 440 Upgrades

There are no real factory upgrades available. The only one Chrysler made that we have found was that it changed the carb system. They went from a 4-barrel to a 3- 2-barrel set up that produced far more power.

The upgrades that we have come across have all come from after-market support and different individuals made different upgrades to their 440. For example, one owner used older, standard-bore Speed Pro forged, flat-top pistons to upgrade his 440.

But these pistons were a bit smaller so he went with "915" casting cylinder heads to make everything fit. But he also did some other modifications and we will let him describe what he did:

After we cleaned up the heads, we cut the exhaust seats and installed a set of stock exhaust valves from some 906 heads, a set of Comp 928-16 valves springs, and performed a simple port-match job and a valve job to make them serviceable. With a closed chamber design and a measured chamber volume of 82cc, we calculated the static compression of our 440 using the 915 heads to be 10.18:1, so our 440 will run great on pump gas: (source)

You would have to go to that website to get all the details as they rebuilt the old 440 motorhome engine with a lot of upgrades which are too many to list here.

If you are going to move the motorhome 440 to a truck or a car, then you will have to change the pulleys and motor mounts. That would just be the tip of the iceberg for the upgrades you will need to do.

Since the 440 is highly modifiable, you should have no trouble finding and adapting new components and making them work with this motor.

Finding a 440 Motorhome Engine For Sale

The first place to look would be e-Bay. There are a lot of these engines for sale on that marketplace. The price will depend if it is older or if it has been rebuilt with new parts.

The cost there is ranging between $1000 and $8000 approx. The next best place to go would be the different discussion forums for motorhomes, and cars that have the 440 under the hood. There will usually be someone selling an engine through those forums’ classified ad threads.

Another good place to check would be those outlets that specialize in selling used or rebuilt engines. If you are looking for a motorhome motor for a motorhome, the engine should be stamped 440-1 and 440-3.

The former engine model is the regular 440 engine while the latter number is the more heavy-duty model. The 440-3 have been said to be indestructible with their with double roller timing chains, six pack rods, and more cooling passages in the cylinder heads.

There are plenty of these engines around that are on sale. A good internet search will help you find the independent shops near you.

Some Additional Words

Dodge and Chrysler have a history of making great motors. This one, like the Slant 6, was one of the best engines ever made. They were built for longevity and their components provide the evidence for that objective.

But no matter how good this engine was, people have experienced different problems with it over the years. A good rebuild should keep it working fine for a long time to come. Just pick up the best parts that you can find to do the work.

Then watch the color of the paint on the block. Different Chrysler brands and models had different paint colors on them.

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