The Legendary Slant Six

The Legendary Slant Six

 

Few engines can truly claim the status of legend, but the Slant Six, used in Dodge vehicles from 1960 to 1987, is one of them. Some old garage hands say that if it was properly cared for, a good old Slant Six might just run forever.

 

A clean-sheet-of-paper design, the Slant Six originally took its name from its innovative cylinder layout—the block was laid over on its side 30 degrees to the right to allow a low center of gravity and a low, sleek hood profile to accommodate the futuristic body styling of the era. Many of the features of the Slant Six were equally unique and advanced: chromium piston rings, ram-tuned manifolds, and even a die-cast aluminum block on some models. Engineers reported 20 percent more power for the Slant Six compared to the previous six-cylinder engine, with a 15 percent gain in fuel economy as well.

 

Over the years, the Slant Six was produced in 170-, 198-, and 225-cubic-inch versions for use in both Dodge and Plymouth vehicles. Due to the engine’s almost indestructible nature, it was also a popular choice for agricultural, marine, and industrial applications. Introduced on the 1960 Dodge car line, the Slant Six remained in production for passenger car use until 1983, and in trucks until 1987—an amazing 27 years, more than a quarter of a century.

 

In fact, the Slant Six proved to be so durable and reliable that even as the 21st century began, replacement engines and parts were still being manufactured in Mexico for heavy-duty use in emerging markets around the world. Few mass-produced goods can claim such amazing longevity. Many Dodge owners still look back fondly today at their first cars powered by Slant Six engines that just wouldn’t quit. It’s part of the Dodge brand’s reputation for quality that stands to this day.

 


6 Comments

  • Mr. X
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    They should bring back the slant 6 and even make a slant 4 as well.

  • Michael McCloud
    Posted March 20, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I have 85 D100 for sale in Pampa, TX 79065. Still need to take pics to show the quality of this pickup. Just saying. Home phone 806-486-1649, cell 806-662-4466 for texts. If any interest, just call or text.

  • Woody
    Posted April 16, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I have a 1985 D100 with the slant 6 and want to dress it up, I found a place that has a chrome valve cover but the years say 1960 to 1980 in there a difference in a 1985? thanks Woody

  • Isaac Velasco
    Posted November 21, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Tengo una Dodge D 200 de 1966 doble cabina, el motor funciona normalmente hasta el día de hoy mi camioneta está totalmente operativa

  • Neill MacRae 111
    Posted January 13, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    The slant six is indeed near bulletproof. I failed to blow up mine in spite of…but allow me to explain..you see my dad handed over his ’64 Valiant wagon which he had purchased new. It had the 225 and torqueflite. I was a very ‘enthusiastic’ young driver and drove it for years, only making occasional tune-ups, a couple of p.c.v. valves, and one standard valve lifter adjustment. At 300,000 mi it was still running strong and crisply. Compression and oil pressure still good and not leaking or burning oil. Unfortunately by then the rear fenders were rusted away because they didn’t spray paint inside the cavity of the inner and outer fender on the assembly line. The engineers intended that they be sprayed and included large pry-off plastic plugs just for this purpose. Anyway, the last night before it was to be retired I took it out for a last test. Ran it flat out in ‘ LO’ at night on a long straight ‘deserted’ road nearby to ‘buzz’ it-again-and repeat. Headed back home and crashed. Me, not the Valiant. The next morning I went out to ‘inspect’ the car. The water pump had surrendered its’ input shaft and fan blade through the radiator and no oil showing on the dipstick , spun out and gone like the coolant. I got in and turned the key. It started instantly, as always, and ran as good as ever. Funny, I remember my dad laughing at the naysayers when he bought one of the first Valiants available to the public. Our neighbors on the tall mountain where we lived said a six would not last long. There was also speculation that its’ long stroke would wear it out quicker. No matter how cold the winter got, the little six with its’ great gear reduction starter effortlessly spun to life. I’m almost sure I once heard that the engine’s stoutness was to a degree a result of the alum. block’s dimensions being shared with the cast iron block. any one else heard this ?

  • Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

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