Video: Turning the key on the 318 Valiant ute!

In this episode of Carnage, Scotty finally hits the key on the VE Valiant ute

Photographers: Matt Hull
Videographers: Matt Hull

That’s right, we made it! After months of battling lockdowns and parts shortages, the freshly rebuilt 318 small-block Chrysler is ready to come to life in the VE Valiant ute.

This episode sees Scotty tidying up a few odds and ends before that though, including sorting out the wiring. These old Valiants have very basic wiring, but the new thermos fan controller kit meant a last minute test couldn’t hurt.

Another part of the wiring was sorting out plug leads. Scotty opted to make his own by cutting and terminating his own leads to suit, fed spark by an Edelbrock distributor and coil.

Fuel is also important to the recipe of a first fire, so the Edelbrock parts catalogue got raided once again for a mechanical fuel pump. Scotty chose the correct size pump that doesn’t require a separate regulator, so it can feed straight into the brand new Edelbrock AVS 2 carburetor with no problems.

Priming a freshly built engine with oil before turning the key is always a critical stage of any first fire, but particularly important given the 318 Chrysler is running a flat-tappet camshaft. We’ve had issues in the past with these things in the past – notably with our Dodge Phoenix – so Scotty was pedantic about getting oil throughout the engine, and rightly so.

Using the right oil was also important, so Scotty got some high zinc oil and even used a Lunati zinc additive to ensure the camshaft in particular was lubricated for the first break-in.

Thankfully with the help of a priming tool and our every faithful Ryobi power drill, we saw perfect oil pressure with the aftermarket oil gauge Scotty fitted in the last episode.

With everything else hooked up, there was nothing more to do than to throw some fresh coolant and fuel into the Valiant and hit the key – but Scotty is a tease, so we’ll have to wait until the next episode of Carnage on Monday to hear it finally roar. Bastard!