Dodge 318 Valve Covers are the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to dress up your engine compartment. Fancy valve covers are like six pack abs, you'll always be looking for reasons to show them off. At the very least, you'll smile every time you check your oil; and at the very most, you'll be begging your friends and family to look under your hood at every stop.
Several manufacturers make valve covers for the 318 Dodge engine, ranging from the hard-core racing brands to the more economical makers. Be prepared to pay extra for your favorite racing brands (such as Edelbrock, Holley and Weiand), though in the overall spectrum of engine accessories and parts, these are still a steal - as these companies make small block Dodge valve covers for less than $100. And if you want some simple chrome valve covers without the fancy names, you can usually pick up some durable ones for about $25. I'll go over some of the most popular ones further down this article.
Any Small Block Dodge Valve Cover Will Fit The 318 Engine Heads
For decades, Dodge used the same dimensions on its small block engines, known as the "LA Small Block Series." That means that the same valve covers that fit a 318 will also fit the 340 and the 360 engines. Why is this important? Because many manufacturers don't market to the 318 crowd, mostly because the 318 engine was designed as a base model, where the 340s and 360s were the "power" models. In their experience, 318 owners aren't typical engine builders (though there are many Dodge 318 Performance Upgrades to get even more power out of this so-called "base model"), so they laser-target their marketing and labeling to attract the owners of the bigger displacement motors.
Long story short, any valve cover designed for the LA series Dodge small blocks will fit your 318.
Note: For those not familiar with engines and are wondering what the heck valve covers are, they are lightweight "bubbles" that sit on top of the engine heads (there are two heads, hence two valve covers). Other than the air filter and intake manifold, valve covers are probably the most visible parts of your engine when viewed from above.
Now lets get to the good stuff: The various valve cover brands to choose from.
Cheap Dodge 318 Valve Covers
These chrome steel valve covers from CFS Performance are durable enough to handle any application, look great, are simply to install and cost less than $25 at the time I'm writing this. These chrome valve covers have a simple, clean look, without any brand names, logos or lines. If you're looking for a very cheap way to dress up your engine, you'll be hard pressed to find anything cheaper or easier than these units. And considering how much "pizazz" they'll add, they might be the best overall investment you could make regarding the looks under your hood.
CFS Performance valve covers are available at Amazon and other online retailers.
Edelbrock Dodge 318 Valve Covers
Edelbrock is one of the most popular names in aftermarket engine performance, and they make several different models of valve covers for the small block Dodge engines, including the 318. The one pictured here is from the "Elite Series", but the company does offer other stylings, such as the Signature Series, Classic Series, Victor Series and Race Series. All models feature the word "Edelbrock" in prominent lettering.
Edelbrocks has built its reputation making quality parts for the high-performance crowd. Their valve covers are built in that same tradition. While valve covers won't affect the performance of your engine (though lighter-weight ones might reduce total weight, thus helping overall vehicle performance), knowing they're made by one of the world's leading aftermarket manufacturers might make some people rest easier.
Plus, they look very cool. And if you're an Edelbrock fan, there's nothing more "showy" than proudly displaying your favorite brand.
Edelbrock valve covers are available at specialty engine shops and boutique auto parts stores.
Mopar Valve Covers
If you're a tried-and-true Dodge fanatic, you probably know that "Mopar" name by heart. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this name, it's actually the offshoot performance division of Chyrsler/Dodge itself. Mopar has been the "racing name" of Dodge engines for decades, and gained popularity on racing strips and streets throughout the country during the muscle car era of the 1960s, and ever since then by decking out Dodge race cars, like the infamous Dodge Hemi (a legendary racing engine that still delivers today).
All history aside, Mopar valve covers look great and show your devotion to the Dodge brand. These aren't cheap compared to the budget-priced models I mentioned first, but they look very sharp and come with the added bonus of keeping your engine "Dodge pure." You should be able to pick up some Mopar valve covers for your 318 Dodge engine starting at about $125, but they go up from there.
You won't find Mopar parts at your local auto parts shop. You'll need to order them through your local Dodge dealer or boutique parts shop. They are also available online at places like SummitRacing.com.
Other Valve Covers For Dodge 318
While I've listed some of the most popular Dodge 318 valve covers currently on the market, there are even more choices available, should you choose to keep looking. The reason I haven't listed these is because they are either discontinued, or a variation of what I've already mentioned. For instance, there are several other "generic" brand valve covers for small block Dodge engines, but I chose to list one of the cheapest. I figured that if you're looking for a simple, generic pair of valve covers, you're probably looking for the best price - but know that there are other similar products available for a little extra money (though the looks and performance won't be any better than the CFS products I mentioned.
Other companies have produced small block Dodge valve covers, but have discontinued them, including popular aftermarket companies like Weiand and Holley. If you're interested in one of these brands, you should be able to find a pair of used ones online or in your local wrecking yard.
Slap On Some Valve Covers On Your Dodge 318 And Enjoy The Ride
While valve covers won't affect your engine's performance, they can certainly make your engine compartment look great. So while they won't produce any extra horsepower, they will produce some serious pride of ownership on your part. Even if your vehicle is a base model station wagon, you'll feel a little pep in your step knowing your engine looks great. You might even invent excuses to open your hood.