1987 Dodge Charger with 360ci V8 Swap and RWD Conversion

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In the 1980s, Chrysler used a familiar namesake for its fuel-sipping, front-wheel drive L platform – the Dodge Charger. Surely, the thought of a FWD economy car sharing the name of a prolific muscle car caused unhappiness among Mopar fans at the time (and probably to this day). However, Barn Finds reader Rocco B. found out that someone took it upon themselves to remedy this issue, modifying this 1987 Dodge Charger that’s here on Craigslist to utilize a V8 engine and rear-wheel drivetrain.

This custom Charger is available in Woodstown, New Jersey with a clean title. Though the vehicle needs a few small odds and ends tied up, the seller has paperwork for the vehicle from new.

The cabin is one of the best parts of this extremely unsuspecting Dodge. It appears that despite its custom nature under the hood, the interior continues the near-stock theme of the exterior, even utilizing the factory gear selector. All of the gauges work (with the exception of the speedometer), and though the radio isn’t currently working, the seller will include a new one with the vehicle’s sale.

Of course, there’s the item that everyone’s here to find out more about – the V8 swap. This conversion uses a 360 cu.-in. Dodge V8, which pairs to an automatic transmission and an 8.75” rear axle with a 3.23 ratio. The seller claims the swap has less than 2500 miles on it. Additionally, the conversion employs a rack and pinion steering setup from a Mustang II.

The seller is asking $7500 for this custom project. An article from Daily Turismo in November 2016 reveals that the original owner/builder listed the car for $4500, and when we featured this vehicle in November of last year, it was available at $10,000. We are not sure if it has exchanged hands since then, or if the seller has simply knocked a few bucks off the asking price, but they do mention that “you can’t build this for $7500,” which is likely a true statement. Would you take on this custom Charger, or would prefer one of the generations that came from the factory as a rear-wheel-drive model?

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  1. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Provided it doesn’t have the same pathetic 160 HP 360ci motor we saw in the abysmal excuse for a Road Runner (Aspen/Volare) we saw earlier, this could be a fun one to steer with the rear wheels and gas pedal!

    Don’t know if you could get a REAL Charger (2dr late ‘60’s/early ‘70’s model) with this much hoot-potential for $7500, could you?

    Like 7
  2. Bakyrdhero

    Seems like an awful lot of work for not much return. Not much profit and only 2,500 miles on the conversion. Interesting find. Probably has a few quirks..

    Like 5
  3. bobhess bobhessMember

    Either way, it looks like fun.

    Like 13
  4. HoA Howard AMember

    Who cares about the stinkin’ radio, this thing has got to be a rocket. Wonder if you can you stop it? Somebody did a nice job here, if the motor doesn’t twist itself out of there.

    Like 6
  5. jf85tr99

    I know Chrysler was in a partnership with Mitsubishi at the time but I always wondered about what the potential would’ve been if they put the new in 92′ Magnum 5.9 360 in the 93′ Stealth. The Mustang and Camaro were going through redesigns at the time, coulda been a beneficial move. Shame they never made a Stealth RT/360.


    Like 5
  6. Billy1

    All this work, and they didn’t put a stick shift in there?

    Like 7
  7. Ben T. Spanner

    A nice picture of the battery, but zero details on what if anything was done to reinforce a 4cyl front drive tub into a V8 rwd. I like the battery, I’ll buy it.

    Like 6
  8. don

    I have never seen anyone do this to one of these FWD compacts, and I like it . The power this little car has would really surprise people at the traffic lights ! That being said, I would really want to find out what was done to make this all work.

    Like 4
    • Jacob

      You could buy this conversion kit right from the dealerships parts department for converting the Daytona to a rear drive v8. I got one and used it on a 94 dodge shadow es drop top. It sounds a bit odd but that is one car that wish I would have never gotten rid of….

      Like 1
  9. Gregory Lietz

    Mopar performance offered, in the day, a factory v-8 kit to do just this. You were left to be on your own
    doing on the rest of the car. That’s why you don’t see any or hear of any. It was mostly for drag racing. Was a cool kit though. I wanted to one but didn’t have the expertise to do the rear. So I lost out.

    Like 5
    • Jacob

      There was a company in PA that has reproduced this kit, you may want to look them up as last time I checked they still offered it for sale. Exline custom auto….

      Like 0
  10. 38ChevyCoupeGuy

    Pretty cool. A local guy has a 91 Daytona Z with 340 auto, pretty cool also. Now for for my comment. In the late 80s,there was a, I believe an Arrow in Hot Rod, once again, I believe that was the mag, the builder did the complete opposite. The car looked like a pro-street car, tubbed, roll cage, pro stock hood scoop, but under the hood…. the little 4 banger that could. Not my cup of tea, but I thought it was the coolest thing ever, wasn’t old enough for drivers license yet, but still remember. Anyone else here remember this car/article?

    Like 0
  11. John R

    Shame you can’t get the rear window shade for today’s cars

    Like 0
  12. KevinLee

    I think I remember that feature in Hot Rod. IIRC, he was eventually going to swap in a V/8. A friend of a friend was doing that to a Pinto as well. It looked like a dragstrip fugitive, but retained the 4 banger, although, it too was completely hopped-up, and would embarrass a lot of V/8s in town!

    Like 0
  13. 433jeff

    I had a small block chevette(yea i know its different) was 4 speed and 8-3/4 mopar rear and wothout some kind of reinforcement things can twist. Also the short wheelbase got out of control. Maybe just a better driver than i. But this car was nicely done, someone had a lot of patience

    Like 0
  14. Troy s

    Chrysler was all into the turbo 2.2 4 banger for most of that decade, at least that’s what I remember about them. They built nothing like the muscle cars of old, they were more forward thinking, out of necessity, remember the K car that saved that brand?..!? Besides, everyone was talking about smaller fuel efficient turbo charged fours, even the Ford Mustang was always being rumored as a future fwd 4 pot. Thanks much for that never happening!
    The sight of that warm 360 here is great, bet it screams…although for some of us in certain states that swap would bring instant laughter from any emissions station.

    Like 1
  15. Tim

    I don’t remember that one, but I do remember in the early 90’s, a yellow two door Tempo featured in Muscle Mustang & Fast Fords also done up in the fake pro-street style. I loved it back then and if I’m honest I need to admitt I still do.

    Like 0
  16. Arthur

    With a custom chassis, I could see this car being powered by a Hellcat engine with a 6-speed transmission.

    Like 0
  17. C. Angell

    Mopar Performance offered a V8 k member for the k car (LeBaron, etc.?) as well IIRC
    Maybe it was a conversion kit variant…

    Like 0

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