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Technical 1956 354 Hemi

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jrvariel48, Sep 19, 2023.

  1. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    I hope this is the right forum for this, if not please direct me to the proper location. I recently picked up a 354 from a New Yorker. I don't know squat about Hemis, but I see there's lots of info here on the Hemi index.
    I have questions about all the stock parts that came with the motor.
    I'm planning on a stock rebuild for street use. I may try to squeeze it into my 35 coupe in the future so space is tight. Is there anything I should be keeping?
    Timing cover, distributer, water pump, torque converter, etc, etc. I see there's a lot of aftermarket parts that make more sense to install to save space. I listed the parts for sale, but no interest. I'd hate to scrap this stuff, but I'm not sure what to do.
    It's just like all the Flathead parts I have...no one seams to need them!
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,661

    RodStRace
    Member

    Stock parts that have an aftermarket performance replacement end up with a smaller demand. You can try to reach buyers who are looking for them by focusing on restoration groups.
    If you have the room and don't require the money to finish the project, I'd suggest keeping them around until everything is fitted and in running condition. Otherwise, you may be the one looking for that part you sold off.
     
  3. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,719

    George
    Member

    There's lots of stuff you can spend money on that doesn't accomplish much. Timing cover, the long BB Chevy W/P fits over it, don't know if you really save much using the F/P delete one & the short pump. I use the OEM 4 leg W/P on my 331. Torque converter is only of use for stock restoration of the OEM tranny, probably not much demand.
     
    Just Gary likes this.
  4. Definitely keep the water crossover & thermostat housing.
    Also all the tin too: valve covers, spark plug tubes, oil pan & valley cover.
     

  5. I try not to throw anything out, until after I've finished the build. Often times, I find a need a piece off of the original, or what I thought was available as a replacement, is no longer available(or discontinued)
     
  6. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 7,145

    73RR
    Member

    I'll suggest that if you can use the engine in the oem configuration then you will save a pile-o-money and have a very reliable package.
    All of the rebuild parts that are commonly needed are readily available, just don't expect sbc prices...;)
    Since you are new to the EarlyHemi scene you should consider tagging and bagging every thing that you remove or separate from the engine so you don't have to search for a replacement for 'x'.
    There is a lifetime of combined experience on this forum so ask as many questions as you need to get comfy.
    Good luck!:)
     
  7. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,719

    George
    Member

    The thermostat is part of the OEM W/P (if it still has it) on the 354. If he uses a chevy or 392 W/P he'll have to get a crossover/T housing.
     
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  8. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Thanks to everyone that responded! Sound advice for sure. I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions.
    I will update as the build starts!
     
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  9. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Here we go. I'd like to compare the dimensions for the stock and aftermarket water pump/timing cover. Can anyone give me these dimensions? Maybe from the block to the furthest point towards the radiator. I'll be running an electric fuel pump and cooling fan. Can the stock timing cover be used without the fuel pump? Is there a block off plate?
    Thanks Joe
     
  10. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,661

    RodStRace
    Member

    Spend a little time exploring the hemi threads. IIRC, the stock front cover has a 'bulge' for the fuel pump. this gets 'shaved' for water pump swaps. There are differences between the different hemis and years. You should research for your exact setup. The most common mod is oil pump/filter. Second is ignition, then water pump/front cover.
     
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  11. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,719

    George
    Member

    The OEM 4 leg seems to be 7 1/2" from where it bolts to the head to the fan flange. I've seen block off plates, don't remember where though...
     
  12. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 7,145

    73RR
    Member

    Block off plate is easy, go to any parts house that has 'rounders' with chrome do-dads...same shape as a shiverlay...
     
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  13. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 2,151

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    Engine.JPG
    I went with a reground hydraulic lifter cam along with later model Mopar hydraulic lifters. Clickety-clack. Tried another grind. Same result. Shipped off the rockers for adjusters, went to another cam grind and all's well after about 15 years.
     
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  14. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    I guess I'm trying to see if it'll fit in my car with the w/p set-up. I've read a bit on the oil pump and I'm glad you brought up the ignition. I can't really find anything on sticking with the stock distributor with an electronic conversion. I know Bubba used to do that conversion but I'm not sure if he's still doing them. He's helped a bit with my flathead as far as curves and timing. This will be a pretty stock style rebuild so I'm hoping the stock distributor will be ok
    Thanks for the info
     
  15. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Thanks George, that'll be helpful
     
  16. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Thanks for the response. Is there a lot of oil being thrown around in there? Just wondering how tight the block off needs to be.
     
  17. jrvariel48
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 86

    jrvariel48
    Member
    from New Jersey

    Well that's just beautiful!!. From what I can see you have the aftermarket style water pump set-up. Could you tell me how far the pump and pulley sticks out from the block?
    Thanks
     
  18. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 7,145

    73RR
    Member

    That is the usual problem...late model... The proper at812, ht812, vl-8, etc is available and is the correct part.

    The Melling M-50 is readily available and is a direct fit. NO adapter needed...
    The post-72 Mopar electronic ign is as good as you can get. Yes, you can spend more but you will not get more.
     
  19. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,661

    RodStRace
    Member

    73RR, you have proven over the years you are one of the go-to guys for this stuff.
    I have a question out of left field. I half remember that there was an AMC lifter that was able to be used for some reason (taller?) on a mopar. Was that BS? Which apps?
     
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  20. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,241

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @73RR tagging you on RodStRace post to make sure you see it.
     
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  21. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 7,145

    73RR
    Member

    There are actually many lifters that share similar dimensions but the operating height varies some. I am of the opinion that the location of the oil feed groove is the most important. Literature generally only indicates the overall length/height at 1.9".
    The original VL-8 and later XX-812 lifters are correct for the EarlyHemi as well as B&RB up to 1967.
    Note that Comp Cams uses an -812 part number for sbc...:eek:
    The A-812 lifter has an OD of 0.90375-0.90425"
    The HT-2011 (LA series) has an OD of 0.904-0.9045"
    The other 'odd-ball' applications of the -2011 include AMC, Jeep, Navistar/International and Kaiser
    Then, there is yet other 'odd-ball' application, of compatible OD, called the A879 which includes AMC, Hudson, Packard and Studebaker. Whew...:confused:

    The correct -812 could be any of the following:
    Topline-Hylift A-812
    AC Delco HL32
    Dana 213-1635
    Eaton VL8
    Elgin HL1812
    EngineTec L812
    FM HT812
    Moresa H306
    Pioneer VT812
    SB int'l VL8
    Stanadyne 12306
    Wolverine HL1812
     
  22. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,661

    RodStRace
    Member

    Yep, that's the guy who's answers you pay attention to!!!
    Also, another reason to prefer older stuff to modern stuff. Figure out the best case dimension, and don't reinvent the stupid thing each year. Who needs 10 more different plastic snap fasteners on the new model!
    Just like if this engine is going in this chassis, design and account for stuff like being able to reach the fasteners and damn it, fluid drains down, have a clear path!
     
    HemiDeuce likes this.
  23. I used the Chevy pump on my '54 331 (same as the 354) and modified the stock tin timing cover to fit. Built pretty stock except had to use Hot Heads pulleys 'cause mine didn't come with them and to fit the Chevy pump. I suggest using a remote oil filter connected to the engine with hoses. The old factory cartridge filter and can are old tech and hard to fit into a chassis.
    IMG_0048.JPG IMG_0050.JPG IMG_0052.JPG IMG_0148.JPG IMG_0161.JPG IMG_0163.JPG IMG_0200.JPG
     
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  24. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,719

    George
    Member

    Hot Heads has oil filter adaptors that don't involve hoses....
     
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  25. 301/roadster
    Joined: Feb 25, 2012
    Posts: 42

    301/roadster
    Member
    from australia

     
  26. 301/roadster
    Joined: Feb 25, 2012
    Posts: 42

    301/roadster
    Member
    from australia

    Hi sorry for butting in this is interesting I bought a hemi a while ago from over there I am in oz at has been going about two years now 301 with hemi heads goes well for what I want but the lifters have been noisy since day one try adjusting but no difference might be up for new set ? Thanks for part number’s
     
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  27. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,874

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice lookin' engine, but I'm afraid the statement "a '54 331 (same as the 354)" is not correct. I have a '54 331 out of a '54 New Yorker in my dirt modified and can tell you that a '54 originally had a "wet" manifold and no coolant "crossover". It may seem like "nit-picking" but I like to keep things straight.
     
  28. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 2,151

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    . . . in answer to an earlier question -- The middle of the belt is 4-1/2 inches from the top of the block.
     
  29. I don't use Hot Heads adaptors. I use adaptor plates and remote spin on fitting. That way I can put the filter in a much more convenient location.

    [​IMG]

    IMG_1437.JPG
     
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  30. Strange. I know 331s up thru early '54 had no X-overs but all passenger 354s and later 331s have them. Maybe you have a truck 354? They don't have X-overs but only have 2bbl manifolds and water manifold heat risers. In fact I put truck heads on my '52 long bell 331 for the big valves, big ports. Bored the 331 1/8" over and made it a 354. Trucks came with large diameter sodium fille exhaust valves too but that is fixed with new guides. Regardless there were variations as the changed model years but after mid '54 everything but trucks were X-over.

    Early 331 heads.
    s-l1600 (2).jpg

    No-X-over 354 truck heads
    IMG_1501.JPG
     

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