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DonnieT

older hemi advice

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  I am considering putting an older hemi (51-58) in my 48 and am wondering if anyone here has done such a thing and how it fits? I found a 331, the guys is thinking about whether he wants to sell or not. I appreciate all of your wisdom on this.

Donnie T

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I would really like to have an older hemi for a project.  But, I wouldn't start with one of the early ones with the extended block.  Just complicates things and raises the cost.  My 58 truck clutch housing fits the 'other' version of hemis as well a A series polys and flat 6s!  And the flat six flywheel will work.  None of that is true with the extended block.

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57 minutes ago, kencombs said:

I would really like to have an older hemi for a project.  But, I wouldn't start with one of the early ones with the extended block.  Just complicates things and raises the cost.  My 58 truck clutch housing fits the 'other' version of hemis as well a A series polys and flat 6s!  And the flat six flywheel will work.  None of that is true with the extended block.

By extended block you mean its longer than the next series of hemi's? I had heard that the early hemis were smaller in size so they would fit better in the small engine bay of the 48 ply.

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51 thru mid 54 331s had the extended block. I know the Dodge and Desoto hemis were smaller blocks than the Chryslers, but am not positive about the block lengths. There's a few Hemi info sites that has any needed particulars. Hotheads comes to mind.

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The EarlyHemi is not a bulky as some others, it is just packaged in a different manner. 

For example, the widest point on a 392 is at the valve covers and is actually a hair less than a 440 with cast exhaust manifolds.

As to the extended block, it is a Chrysler 331 and as mentioned 51-53 with some holdovers into 54. This complicates swapping transmissions. All of the Dodge and DeSoto and 54-58 Chrysler have the same block bolt pattern for the bell.

For ease of swapping you may want to consider the DeSoto and Dodge as they are physically smaller.

 

Before spending any money be sure to check the code stamped into the top front of the block just ahead of the valley cover.

List of codes here:  https://www.qualityengineeredcomponents.com/?page_id=8

 

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I attached a link with some options for the extended bell housing motors from the "Hamb" lots more information on the topic over there if you want to read up. I personally have steered away from the extended bell blocks. Picture an additional 8-10" of cast iron (estimated from memory) hanging off the back of the block.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/331-hemi-extended-block-modification.249741/  

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1 hour ago, Sniper said:

Wilcap makes adapters to put a number of transmissions behind an extended bell 331. 

 

http://www.wilcap.com/Hemi.html

 

 

Thanks for the link.  Saved me the trouble of looking it up.  That illustrates perfectly my earlier comment regarding the added cost of an early block, as compared to a later block and stock housing from a 58-60 truck.  Once you buy the adapter kit and have the crank tapped, you're in for about 1000 bucks.   

 

The stock parts approach gets you rear mount provisions too.

 

Of course, hemis are not common and sometimes one has to take what is available. 

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Wilcap has a loaner fixture to let you tap the crank.  It doesn't say if there is any cost involved, it implies there is not if you buy a flywheel.

 

Scroll down to the end of the link provided above.

 

They also have a wide variety of flywheels, both for the nut and bolt attachment and the threaded crank.  Of course you will still be knocking at $1000 if you go with their adapter and flywheel.

 

But I suspect Wilcap's availability is better than stock 58-60 truck parts these days.

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I ditto the prior remarks about the extended bell housing Chrysler.  Neither DeSoto nor Dodge had that feature.

Dodges and DeSotos are great alternatives to the Chrysler Hemi and they still have the "Hemi presence"  If memory serves the Dodge is a good 2" shorter then the Chrysler and in every case narrower than the Chrysler at any deck height.  DeSotos fall in between the two but IMO, DeSotos are the most rare and therefore even more expensive to rebuild.

I am just now starting on my second Hemi build, a 270 cu. in.  The prior 325 has just clicked over 40K miles and I couldn't be happier or more proud of an engine I built myself.

 

IMG_3830.JPG

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I own an original 53 Dodge Coronet convertible with the 241 Red Ram hemi.   It has an extended block connecting its Gyro-Torque semi-automatic transmission.  I don't know for a fact that all 241s had the same block, but this combination obviously did.  (My first car, was also a 53 Coronet hemi but with a 3-speed, and if I could go back 56 years, I'd check.)  That said, adapters are available to connect these longer 241s to more common transmissions, so I wouldn't give up if you run across one.  They're great little engines.  

346.JPG

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On 5/16/2020 at 5:23 PM, kencombs said:

I would really like to have an older hemi for a project.  But, I wouldn't start with one of the early ones with the extended block.  Just complicates things and raises the cost.  My 58 truck clutch housing fits the 'other' version of hemis as well a A series polys and flat 6s!  And the flat six flywheel will work.  None of that is true with the extended block.

I would recommend same.  More trans options without the enblock bell housing of the earlier engines

Edited by Sharps40

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...sorry but, Dodge engines do NOT have the same block extension as the early 331 Chrysler.

There are a variety of bellhousings to accommodate the various fluid drive couplers and torque converters

and likely what is seen from above or below.

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   Lots of great info and links shared guys. Thanks so much. I'm very intrigued.

   I was also considering the Super 6, but that may be a different thread.

   I hope to find just the right engine/tranny combo (hemi or Super 6) by the fall and let that be my winter project.

   I appreciate all of your knowledge and wisdom. 

DonnieT

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I have started a build thread for my Baby Hemi for anyone who would like to question or comment.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/poly-begets-a-hemi.1194565/

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On 5/16/2020 at 6:46 PM, wayfarer said:

The EarlyHemi is not a bulky as some others, it is just packaged in a different manner. 

For example, the widest point on a 392 is at the valve covers and is actually a hair less than a 440 with cast exhaust manifolds.

As to the extended block, it is a Chrysler 331 and as mentioned 51-53 with some holdovers into 54. This complicates swapping transmissions. All of the Dodge and DeSoto and 54-58 Chrysler have the same block bolt pattern for the bell.

For ease of swapping you may want to consider the DeSoto and Dodge as they are physically smaller.

 

Before spending any money be sure to check the code stamped into the top front of the block just ahead of the valley cover.

List of codes here:  https://www.qualityengineeredcomponents.com/?page_id=8

 

The number i found on the block in front of the intake(or behind the water pump doesn't look like any of the numbers on this page. Not sure if I'm looking in the wrong place or what?

20200521_164013_resize_95.jpg

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I don't know guys. Is this too far gone? Its been sitting quite a while. The $400 price tag is tempting though just to try to pull it apart. I shudder to think of how many bolts I may bust off. Lol

20200521_164124_compress33.jpg

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I see tape on the plug tubes on the driver side and a tarp that may have covered it.  Hopefully protection from internal water damage.  Beware!

On closer look, maybe that's note tape.  More beware!

Edited by mrwrstory

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How much is scrap metal going for these days?

While loving the early hemi's is a given, I believe I would be more interested in the model A or T motor that leaning against the hemi, though I am not.

 

JMO

 

DJ

Edited by DJ194950
sp

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36 minutes ago, Sniper said:

If it says Red Ram it's a Dodge Hemi, which the D553 supports, in this case a 1955 Dodge Super Red Ram, top of the line 270 Hemi for Dodge then.

 

http://hothemiheads.com/hemi_info/hemi_engine_id.html

It does say super red ram on the valve cover.

Thanks I didn't even look at that.

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22 hours ago, DonnieT said:

I don't know guys. Is this too far gone? Its been sitting quite a while. The $400 price tag is tempting though just to try to pull it apart. I shudder to think of how many bolts I may bust off. Lol

20200521_164124_compress33.jpg

 

Too much of a gamble at $400 unless you need a crankshaft as that is the only part with some guarantee of being usable. Sitting uncovered like that in North Dakota Winters offers plenty of opportunity to bust blocks and heads. Now, at $100...…..

 

 

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1 hour ago, wayfarer said:

 

Too much of a gamble at $400 unless you need a crankshaft as that is the only part with some guarantee of being usable. Sitting uncovered like that in North Dakota Winters offers plenty of opportunity to bust blocks and heads. Now, at $100...…..

 

 

You are right. Too go through all the work of busting it all apart, only to find out the block is cracked. The search goes on.

Thanks,

DonnieT

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11 minutes ago, DonnieT said:

You are right. Too go through all the work of busting it all apart, only to find out the block is cracked. The search goes on.

Thanks,

DonnieT

You might make a conditional offer.  $100 bucks, with more payment after it is thoroughly checked out.  If I had it, it would be sold that way, but the price would be $500 or more since you would be assured of usable parts.

Edited by kencombs

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