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291 hemi in a 51 Mercury

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DjNeil, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. DjNeil
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    Toulouse, France

    DjNeil Member

    Hi
    I'm going through my Mercury and have been offered a great deal on a 291 Hemi.
    Has anyone on here put one in a Merc before and is there any cutting, oil filter,sump issues etc.
    What do you reckon it needs to be a period perfect motor for a merc and what is the gearbox to put behind it. I would like a six speed if poss but that may be unlikely. If I went auto what is the box?
    Thanks
    Neil
  2. DjNeil
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    DjNeil Member

  3. BRENT
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    Windsor,Ontario,Canada

    BRENT Member

    Im not sure about the hemi, the engine bay has tons of room. Im sure you will find a way. My fathers Merc has a chevy 454 and it fit in like its made for it. That includes room for the mechanical fan, which I have now changed to electric. Good Luck

    [​IMG]


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  4. slddnmatt
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    slddnmatt Member

    51mercules has a 55 hemi in his, looks right at home.
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  5. 73RR
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    73RR Member

    Easy enough to mount a Getrag 238 if you don't mind a low first gear, otherwise you'll need something like a Richmond.

    Personally, I would have concerns about a small displacement engine of any brand/design in a fairly heavy car.
    Now, with that said, if you were happy with the flathead then the 291 will do just fine.

    .
  6. RDR
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    RDR Member

    I have a '51 Merc project I picked up from a highschool buddy...He had put a DeSoto Hemi in it in the 60's,adapted to the 3 spd OD ...no engine in it now as that one had frozen and cracked one winter...
    At any rate, it was installed by a couple of kids with minimum tools and he drove it for a few years...
    not difficult and good choice IMO
  7. jimi'shemi291
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    jimi'shemi291 Member

    Some good points made here. And I see in your profile that you are not inexperienced with the body work.:cool:

    I've seen a 303 Rocket Olds in a '51 Merc, so the guys who say you have room (without hitting the steering knuckle) are right.

    Before I say what I'd do, or what you should do, I'd like to know what your vision is for the car.:confused: Do you want it to be a period-correct rod, suitable for fun cruising and shows? Do you want it to kick ass stoplight-to-stoplight?

    If you want it to hold the road in curves and hills, this mill and merc platform would be just as good as the Hudson 308 flatty, IMO -- and better than the Olds I saw in a '51 Merc. The 291 you mentioned: Is it a runner, or do you have to start from scratch? If running, how many miles on this motor, and is it a four-barrel?

    You seem like someone willing to spend some serious money to create a serious ride. Please fill us in on your goal/s.:rolleyes:
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  8. Chuckt6
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    bonny doon ca

    Chuckt6 Member

    Not sure if this helps but I mocked up a 354 Hemi in my 50 merc. It looked like it would fit but it had to sit a little high for my liking, but not bad. The photo's show the plastic block attached to a Muncie four speed. The rear transmission mount fit right in the stock position. I ended up installing a fatmans stub frame so the hemi fits great, and sits super low. BTW I used a Wilcap adapter to connect the hemi to the muncie.

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  9. George
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    George Member

    If you decide on an A/T I'd get a modern 727 or the newer OD one & an adaptor from "73RR" Q.E.C. Rear sump fit by buddys '51...hmmm was it a Ford or Merc... If you havent done it yet put "Hemi Tech Index" in search & start reading!

    A buddy had a '55 331 Chr hemi in his.

    I'm sure the 291 will do better than the flattie!:)
  10. jimi'shemi291
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    jimi'shemi291 Member

    BTW, since you ARE in France, do you have access to a rare Pont-a-Massoun 4-speed, such as they used behind U.S. Hemis -- up to 392-CID -- in the Facels? Now THAT would be '50s period-correct -- at least in the sense that it was REALLY done back in the day. Would be a FUN road car, too. But again, it depends on what concept you're shooting for on your project.

    Automatics? I love the GM Hydos, but keeping it in the MoPar family, the Hemi Hambers seem to say one of the various versions of the 727 and 904 Torqueflites would serve well.
  11. George
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    George Member

    S/B 727, Gary has said the 904 will have starter fitment problems.
  12. 51 mercules
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    51 mercules Member

    Here's a pic of my 1955 Chrysler 331 Hemi with a Powerflite trans in my 51 Merc.Nothing cut.

    Attached Files:

  13. jimi'shemi291
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    jimi'shemi291 Member

    Thanks, George, for noting that! Pain in the butt when you drop in a motor.:( THEN, the starter won't go on right!
  14. 73RR
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    73RR Member


    ...or NOT at all. In stock form the 904 starter sits about ½" higher (relative to the block) than does the 727, so on an EarlyHemi the starter will crash into the block.
    In order to use a 904 type, the transmission bolt pattern (on the adapter), will have to be rotated CCW to effectively lower the starter.
    And no, I do not offer this mod on the current inventory of adapters.
    If this route is chosen/necessary perhaps Tom can help.

    .
  15. DjNeil
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    DjNeil Member

    Hi
    looking for the shiny stuff for the motor, any pointers appreciated. Always liked tri power. Does anyone do a polished manifold and carb set up for a 291, what's all this about a chevy waterpump. I'll dig out a picture of the motor and post so we know where we are.
    The motor should make about 360hp and i need it spot on looks wise.
    What six speed manual would go behind.
    I may have to kill the wife and collect the insurance if anyone says Tremco
    Thanks
    Neil
  16. cracker head
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    cracker head Member

    Weiand made a 4X2 manifold.
  17. 73RR
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    73RR Member

    360 hp is a stretch for most 291 packages....easy with a Chrysler...

    getrag 238 is a 6-speed, 2005-2008 Dodge

    .
  18. moparmonkey
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    moparmonkey
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  19. Shaggy
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    Shaggy Member

    You should be able to get an adapter to hook it to the stock 3spd too, My dad has 2 but he aint parting with them

    Also the same adapter will go to a 1960's ford topload too...
  20. budd
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    budd Member

    there are no normal looking 3x2 intakes for a low deck desoto, there are some bolt together intakes and welded ones.
  21. Shaggy
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    Shaggy Member

    As for auto, Ive always thought it'd be cool to throw a push button torqueflite into somethin....

    Intakes are a pain as said above there are intakes but nothing i'd personally run other than super rare vintage stuff, even my stock single 4 bbl was hard to find and cost an arm...
  22. 73RR
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    73RR Member


    The 'button-flites' are getting harder to find almost every day. If you think you want one you should be looking/buying.

    .
  23. DjNeil
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    DjNeil Member

    I'm trying to find a Getrag 238 here in Europe but no luck. Anyone know if any of the other Getrags mate up to the 291 with an adapter.
    Thanks
    Neil
  24. falcongeorge
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    falcongeorge
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    X2. I would think an olds or cad would be better suited.
  25. falcongeorge
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    falcongeorge
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    Oh yea, JUST the thing for a 4000+ lb merc, in all likelyhood pulling a high 3 series gear.:rolleyes:
  26. DjNeil
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    DjNeil Member

    If the flatty pulled it a Hemi will.Both got bags of torque. I'm not looking for a wheelstander
    90 thou bore to 305, 4 deuces and cam grind H-216:3027 int H-222/3114 exh 110
    Not got my glasses to hand but think that's it
    It'll tow an airstream up the side of a house if I could find a box.
    Most of my driving is at 60mph which is why I want a 6 speed and I won't tell you what petrol(gas) costs in Europe. They think it's milk and sell it in litres.
    I'm thinking of fitting a tow bar to the Merc. I've never seen one on a Merc before.Means i'll have to bag it.
  27. Tnomoldw
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    Tnomoldw Member

    :)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getrag I remember Hemi engines were of the first swaps done to 49-51 Mercs back in the 50 - 60. I had a friend who had a Hemi in his 51 Lincoln Cosmo. Another friend had a Hemi put in his 51 Plymouth ,that was not so good , it was so heavy :eek:.
  28. Tnomoldw
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    Tnomoldw Member

  29. DjNeil
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    DjNeil Member

    That's fair comment (I read that as well)if you want to use it hard but fine for my application.
    If there are any other suggestions for a six speed i'll happily take them on board.
    Anyone on here know what to expect from that cam grind
    Thanks
    Neil
  30. Tnomoldw
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    Tnomoldw Member

    Going to be a big mistake to use that engine, waste of time even if it was all free.....

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