1978-1979 Dodge Lil Red Express

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1978 Lil Red Express
1978 Lil Red Express Interior with Black Carpet, door panels and Dash
1978 Lil Red Express Interior with Red Carpet, door panels and Dash
1979 Lil Red Express

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The Last American Hot Rod to roll off the assembly line in the late 1970s.78 Lil' Red Truck


Dodge released the Lil' Red Express Truck In 1978 it was one of the most unique Dodge trucks that had ever been produced. The Lil' Red Express was not only a real looker but these trucks were also real performers also. In 1978 The Dodge Lil' Red Express was the fastest American made vehicle from 0 to 100 MPH as tested by Car and Driver magazine.

Because of a loophole in the emissions regulations the 1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck's did not have catalytic converters, what the Lil' Red Express did have was a special High Performance 360 C.I. 4-barrel small block engine code (EH1) which was a modified version of the 360 police engine (E58) producing 225 net horsepower @ 3800 RPM. The package also included Hemi style mufflers with a crossover pipe breathing through 2 chrome stacks located behind the cab, a special 727 transmission and 3.55:1 rear gearing.

The 1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck rode on GR60x15 raised white letter tires on 7-inch Chrome wheels up front and LR60x15 on 8-inch chrome wheels on the rear and there was no spare included. All 1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck's were automatics the interiors were available with a standard bench seat in red or black or with optional buckets and a fold down arm/rest console which was available both years. 1978 and some early 1979 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck's used the "tuff" steering With the success of the 1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck production of the 1979 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck's was increased to 5,118. Most of the features remained unchanged for 1979 however there was some changes which included a catalytic converter, unleaded gas, 85 MPH speedometer.

History:

Model Predecessor

1977-78 Dodge Warlock Truck

Model Successor

1990-1992 Lil' Red Express Dakota by L.E.R Industries


Export Versions

Related Models

Competition

  • Ford F-Series Trucks(For 1978 & 1979)
  • Chevrolet Full Size Trucks (For 1978 & 1979)


Body Styles

Regular Cab, Step Side, Short Box Only

Technical:

  • Li'l Red Truck Pkg. (YH6)
  • Equipment Sales Code 1978 Code Description Sales Code 1979 Code Description
  • Bright front bumper MD2 Chrome bumper
  • Bright rear bumper MD3 Chrome bumper
  • Exterior paint color PY3442 Bright Canyon Red PY3450 Medium Canyon Red
  • G.V.W. YW4 6100 pounds YW4 6050 pounds
  • 360 cubic inch 4BBL V8 EH1 High Performance EH1 High Performance
  • Automatic transmission (required) FA3 A-727
  • Loadflight FA0 A-727
  • Oil Gauage LB2 Electric Analog LB2 Electric Analog
  • Rear Axle AV2 3.55:1 AV2 3.55:1
the below is not very clear -- hopefully someone can tighten it up

Prototype versus - production EH-1 Specification

  • EH-1, Engine Component A / Block "Prototype Specification" A / Block "Production Specification"
  • Carburetion Holley 4160 series 4bbl .....850-CFM ThermoQuad 4bbl
  • Intake Manifold Holley Aluminum Hi-Rise Factory Spread boar Hi-Rise
  • Cylinder Heads W-2 Hi-Performance E-58 Production
  • Air Induction Dual snorkel fresh air sys. Dual snorkel fresh air sys.
  • Camshaft Duration 252 degrees w/Overlap 33 degrees Duration 252 degrees w/Overlap 33 degrees
  • Oil Pan 5qt. w/windage tray 5qt. Standard
  • Exhaust Dual 2 1/2" Dual 2 1/2"
  • Mufflers 2 A134-440 Wedge 2 A134-440 Wedge
  • Compression Ratio 8.2:1 8.2:1
  • Horsepower 230 net @ 3800 RPM 225 net @ 3800 RPM
  • Torque 295 lb/ft @ 3200 RPM 295 lb/ft @ 3200 RPM
  • 1/4 Mile Performance 14.70 seconds @ 93 MPH 15.71 seconds @ 88 MPH
  • Gas Mileage 13.0 MPG 13.1 MPG
  • Steering wheel LF4 Tuff Wheel LF6 Four Spoke Western
  • Chrome five-slot disc road wheels RA3
    • RA6 Front 15"x7"
    • Rear 15"x8" RA6 (5) 15"x8"
  • GOOD YEAR Raised white outline letter radial tires WMG F/ WMH R
    • Front GR60x15
    • Rear LR60x15

Also included as standard equipment on the Li'l Red Truck.

  • Dual exhaust with vertical stack-pipes
  • Chrome exhaust tips and stainless heat shields
  • Chrome plated valve covers
  • Chrome-plated air-cleaner cover
  • Chrome-plated side bed steps
  • Utiline body side and tailgate oak body trim panels with chrome-headed prop nuts
  • Gold 3M pinstriping tape decals on tailgate and doors.


Engines

EH1 360 High Performance Chrysler LA small block based on the car division E58 police engine with upgrades. The upgrades included a 68 340 Chrysler LA small block camshaft with a 276 duration, .484 lift and 48 degree overlap. Then a double roller timing chain and gear set was added for durability. A set of 360 high flow heads featuring 1.88/1.62 valves helped moves gases in and out. It used a forged crankshaft with 8:4:1 flat top pistons and featured a bore of 4.00 inches and a stroke of 3.58 inches respectively. It is also believed the rocker arms and springs are more heavy duty than the standard E58 pieces used. Also, Chrysler topped the package by using a 850 cfm Carter Thermoquad 4bbl carburetor with bigger primaries and secondaries than the police version of the carburetor. The engine was rated at 225 hp @ 3800 RPM and 295 lb/ft of torque at 3200 RPM.

Note: The prototype Lil' Red Express used W2 Cast Iron Heads, Holley Aluminum Intake, and Holley 4160 4bbl carburetor. Again, this was only the prototype and not the production version that featured this items like some people believe.

Transmissions

A727 Loadflite Transmission with upgrades. The upgrades included a 440 valve body install to provide firmer and positive shifts. A Chrysler 9" 2500 rpm stall torque converter was used to give quicker launches and acceleration. The gear ratios were as follows: 1st= 2.45; 2nd= 1.45; 3rd= 1.00; and reverse is a 2.20 ratio.

Specifications:

Length, width, height, wheelbase

  • Wheelbase = 131.0"
  • Overall length= 210.2"
  • Overall width= 79.5"
  • Curb Weight= 3815 pounds
  • Fuel Capacity= 20.0 gallons
  • Tread Front/Rear= 67.5"/65.2"

Year by Year Changes, Production Numbers, and Cost:

1978

1978 dodge lil red express+.jpg


Total Production for the 1978 pictured right was only a mere 2,188 units.

1979

163 0501 readersride+1979 20z dodge lil red express pickup+left.jpg

1979 .... With the success of the 1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck production of the 1979 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck's was increased to 5,118. Most of the features remained unchanged for 1979 however there was some changes which included a catalytic converter, unleaded gas, 85 MPH speedometer. The most noticeable changes on the 1979 editions was the new flat hood and dual square headlights replacing the round versions on 1978 Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck's and the 1979's rode on LR60x15 raised white letter tires on 8-inch chrome wheels on all 4 corners.


Total production for the 1979 pictured right was 5,118 units.

Wiki Topic References:

Magazine References:

External Links