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331 FirePower Barn Find

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Buckle, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Buckle
    Joined: Feb 17, 2005
    Posts: 380

    Buckle
    Member

    How many of these are left in this condition?

    This guy approached me at a car show about a year and half ago and said he had the perfect motor for my 58 Plymouth. After that day, he was hard to get a hold of, details he gave me over the phone didn't make sense, like it being a 1954 354 Hemi (which from my research doesn't exist from the factory anyway) etc and on and on. Well, I hung in there talking to him like every four months or so, finally he invited me to come to where he had the motor. Man, was I glad I did. Turns out the reason he had some of the details wrong is that it was his Fathers motor, he and his Father pulled it out of a low mileage, excellent running 1954 Chrysler back in 1982. They covered it up in the garage, his Father had several projects going and would rotate the motor over every once in a while, he has since passed away.

    This thing appears to be absolutely untouched and never taken apart, and everything is there. Starter, generator, trans, all linkages to the trans, carb, power steering filter, trans cooler etc. From the numbers on the block it is a 1954 331, and the bellhousing is NOT cast into the block.

    Anyway, just wanted to share with you all, I am pretty excited about this find!!!!!!!!! I plan for this motor to either go into my 58 Plymouth which currently has the factory flat head six, or into a 30/31 model A coupe down the road when I can afford to buy one.

    Thanks for reading,

    Buckle :D
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Bob K
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,773

    Bob K
    Member Emeritus
    from Antigo Wi.

    That is cool as hell

    Persistence pays off, sometimes known as being a pain in the ass.

    Keep us updated on the progress, I think it would really be tits in the Plymouth.

    B:DB
     
  3. rustyford40
    Joined: Nov 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,168

    rustyford40
    Member
    from Mass Bay

  4. eightbanger
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 378

    eightbanger
    Member

    Thats awesome,..I'm dieing to get an engine like that. This board is full of lucky bastards.
     

  5. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,583

    krooser
    Member

    Oil it up and crank it every so often.

    You may be able to use it as-is without spending any $$$... nice!
     
  6. Did I just learn something new here? In the last 50 years,I havent ever heard of a 331 without the cast in bellhousing.Or could this actually be a 354?
     
  7. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,369

    George
    Member

    The '55 & '54 4 bbl (not 54 2 bbl) 331s are short tail blocks. To put it in the Plym you'll need a center sump pan.
     
  8. I guess I did just learn something....Thanks George
     
  9. That would look great in the Plymouth.

    Nice score.
     
  10. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,369

    George
    Member

    I've dropped a '55 331 into my current project, a '60 Plym. Needed a center sump pan & a 30 deg(stock OEM angle) oil filter adaptor, down doesn't work because of the torsion bars. At www.forwardlook.net in thier hot rod section on the second page is a article on putting a 331 into a 55-56 Plym.
     
  11. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    That is a nice score. Does look like a pretty good, well kept motor.
     
  12. Buckle
    Joined: Feb 17, 2005
    Posts: 380

    Buckle
    Member

    The information I found is that mid year 54 bell housings were not cast into the block anymore and that 4 barrel engines made up only 10% of the early Hemis produced. I am no Hemi expert at all, I just know what I found during research and from talking to the older guys that have been into it for a while. I don't believe the 354 came until 1956. Hothemiheads.com has lots of info on early Hemis. I am planning a trip to the Chrysler museum in Auburn Hills sometime soon in hopes of learning more about these early monsters.
    Buckle

     
  13. Buckle
    Joined: Feb 17, 2005
    Posts: 380

    Buckle
    Member

    Thanks guys, you guys have seen my Plymouth so you can probably visualize what I am thinking here. I did feel like a bit of a pain, and I started wondering if this would be another disappointment once I finally got over there as he was hard to deal with on the phone and seemed to get angry everytime I questioned deeper about the motor, he wanted a commitment sight unseen. I told him that I am not buying anything that I haven't seen, no offense, but I don't know you kind of thing. It was everything he said it was though, for sure and he took the time to help me strap it down safely, etc.

    Turns out his Father was a stuntman performing rollovers at fairs and stuff back in the sixties and seventies. I think the early Hemis were his weapon of choice and usually built his stunt cars with one in it. This is one that never got used apparantely. Interesting story from this guy.

    Buckle

    That would look great in the Plymouth.

    Nice score.
    <!-- / message --> Roadstar
     
  14. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,369

    George
    Member

    The 4 bl engines went into '54 Imperials & New Yorker Deluxe. The standard New Yorker got the long tail 2 bl engine.
     
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,146

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Ok, so you are saying my 54 NY deluxe has a short tail 331, even though the car is an early 54? I will have to look at this. I guess the powerflites of that year ( and late 53) had a short bell housing to fit the long tail 331's, and the short tail 331's used a long bell housing powerflite. :confused:
     
  16. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,369

    George
    Member

    That was Ma Mopar's plan. With Mopar & thier do what the customer wants special orders there is always a possibility of someone ordering a 2 bl engine, or someone dropping one in or doing a mix-n-match later. If it is a OEM 4 bl installation, it is a short tail.
     
  17. edgeabilly
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 735

    edgeabilly
    Member

    What did you pay for it?


     
  18. Buckle
    Joined: Feb 17, 2005
    Posts: 380

    Buckle
    Member

    Man, sounds like you know these things pretty good. I've always found the early hemis interesting, thanks for sharing the info! I'm going to look for some reading material on the subject.

    Buckle
     
  19. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,369

    George
    Member

    look at scootermcrad's hemi tech index here on on the hamb. also tex smith's hemi book by ron ceridono. forum at www.hothemiheads.com www.thehemi.com
     
  20. Aaron51chevy
    Joined: Jan 9, 2005
    Posts: 1,985

    Aaron51chevy
    Member

    Well I think it's junk, and it's just taking up too much space in your little garage. Who needs such a big ass boat anchor like that sitting around anyway. You might as well let me take it now, so you don't get depressed on all that floor space wasted. :)

    I've been thinking about it, since you want to sit on it for a while, you should clean it up like Dearborn Aaron does, not go crazy, but a piece at a time clean it. Something to do over this long cold winter....
     
  21. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,718

    4tford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice find. It will look at home in the plymouth.
     
  22. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    My 51 still had crosshatching in the cylinders, no serial #'s, it was a 54 recall replacement block, got it from the original owners nephew
     
  23. Mopar Mama
    Joined: Nov 19, 2007
    Posts: 234

    Mopar Mama
    Member
    from Boise, ID

    Ooh you lucky ducky! Nice find! Might want to consider a different rear end if ya throw her in the Plymouth. The one designed for that teeny flat six might not hold a hemi. I'm swapping rear ends in the Desoto for the same reason, although I've only got a 318. Congrats on your acquisition!
     
  24. Ol Deuce
    Joined: May 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,188

    Ol Deuce
    Member
    from Mt. U.S.A.

    The 331 is a good engine '54-'55 and the '55 is my first choice.
     
  25. Long cold winter???????????????? You need to move South young man.
     
  26. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Mine's going in a plymouth too, 1930
     
  27. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    I'm surprised to see the chrome-plated covers. Musta been out of a New Yoprker or Imperial.
     
  28. LoBrow
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 619

    LoBrow
    Member
    from MI

    Thats awesome Buckle....but I understand if you decide you would like to trade for that Poly...:D
     
  29. CanyonCarver
    Joined: May 20, 2008
    Posts: 80

    CanyonCarver
    Member
    from So-Cal

    Congrats, Buckle. What a find. There are still treasures to be found here and there.
     
  30. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,146

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    I wish they were chrome, they are down to the raw metal if you look at the first picture.:(:eek:

    And no, NY and Imps were same ol' painted valve covers, no chrome to be had!:mad::eek:

    But they sure look good chromed. :D:cool:
     

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