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Hot Rods 392 Hemi Deal?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CAHotRodBoy, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,343


    I'm very happy with my "55 331, but will relate the story of its history told to me by the seller who said he was retiring and moving to Phoenix from here in Washington some 20 years ago now. It, he said was completely rebuilt by a GM certified mechanic working for a Chevrolet dealership in Tacoma. A hand full of receipts came with it and the mechanics phone #. (the price also included a 727 Torqueflite). I called the mechanic, he assured me it was a good build, had been in a 37 chev with maybe 1 K miles and was a good perfect rebuild.
    Well it sat in my garage for a few years before my frame was complete and ready for it. I cleaned it up, painted it twice, (different color), dropped in the frame, installed a modern electronic Hot Heads distributor, changed oil/filter, hook up temp and oil pressure gauges, change plugs, new HH wires, install radiator. Big day comes, neighbor and I turn it over, it fires right up. Sounds great, doesn't overheat, has 50lbs pressure on start up, dropping to 30/35 on warm up at idle. Let it run 30 minuets or so, starting it off and on. Pretty damned happy. Oh also run the the gears checking out both tyranny and Jag rear end.
    Aw but wait!!!!!!........... Start noticing blow by, not a lot but enough to be noticeable. OP is still where it was on start up. Third day after start up she blows while giving it a work out. Tear down reviles the nut on the cam was not installed correctly and had loosed, spun off and was laying in the cover, mixing up valves and pistons. GM certified mechanic my ass!!! Damage existed of some bent push rods, a small mark on #6 piston. I take that head down, have it repaired, button her back up. Say to myself, "I'll get to the blow by after its on the road". Guy I bought it from is long gone, can't go back on him so I chalk to another live experience, and call it good.
    BTW blow by is still there, might fix it, and at 81 y.o., might leave it for the next guy. I guess I shouldn't bitch to much, out the door, with tyranny, he sold it to me for $2500.00, but that was in the fall of 2000 also.

    Sure wish you all the best with your HEMI, there is nothing like having one, and hearing that unique exhaust sound they make.:D:):D
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  2. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,675


    Good luck with the 392 I like mine in my 40 ford it's been a great since I put it in my car. Mine came with my car as I bought it as a project. The motor was built wrong as cam bearings in wrong no oil up to the rockers and few other things. I had to tear it down replace cam bearings and also rod and main bearings. All the parts were good just the guy that rebuilt the engine was not so good.
  3. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,976

    from Ks

    Maybe if you want O.D. you could run an 833 O.D trans. You just have to open the hole up in the bellhousing. Lippy
  4. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,061

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    No way ....... ever.
  5. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 846

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    I totally agree with that line of thinking. Sometimes you have to strike when the iron is hot. Your time is worth something, and the convenience and security of having the ability to buy something rare that you want nearby so you can go inspect it and pick it up is priceless. Sure, you could keep shopping for a better deal, but one may never come along, or you could get burned in the process of a long-distance purchase. Congrats and good luck with your Hemi!
    loudbang likes this.
  6. bobkatrods
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 664

    from aledo tx

    With current prices of early 392 engines It is easy to sink 10 grand into a rebuilt engine and doesn't have to be exotic ,,key here is what was done to rebuild it,,If it got bored and all the normal stuff along with hardened valve seats,you got a pretty decent deal.
    loudbang, Desoto291Hemi and Hemi Joel like this.
  7. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,397


    You might look at the AX15 5-speed or the Getrag 236 6-speed, both alot stronger than the t5. The off-road Jeep guys love the AX15 and are not known for being gentle in a mud bog. The www has alot of info.

  8. Looking for an S10 5 speed ? Just buy two or three - your going to need back up....
    loudbang likes this.
  9. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,139


    I'm real happy I bought my 392's back in the late 1980's. A pair of New Yorker motors, one a 1957 and the other a 1958, complete from carb to pan, for a grand total of $600. The '57 was a runner with a thousand-pound cast iron TorqueFlite behind it. The 58 is now rebuilt and waiting to go between the rails of a Model A. 10.8 to 1 Ross pistons, shot-peened rods, Chris Nielson cam, hardened seats, valve job and porting by Bob Hutsler, Hot Heads intake, Headers by Ed, Holley 3310, and so on. I don't recall how much I have in the rebuilt but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $3500.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    loudbang and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,647


    AX15 if manual.

    If automatic, a fully prepped 200-4R, on a Wilcap adapter.
  11. Halfdozen
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 606


    If I were you I'd be giving these folks a call-
    NP 833 specialists, very knowledgeable, huge selection of transmissions and parts.
    loudbang and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  12. aussie oldie
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 400

    aussie oldie

    If it has adjustable rocker gear under those dimpled valve covers, there is over a grand just there. I think you did alright mate. 392's are getting harder to find.
    loudbang and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  13. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 472

    53 hemi

    I chewed up a T5 behind a 351W. For my 354 I went with a TKO 600 (ford style) using a Wilcap adapter kit. Pricey setup, but worth it.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang likes this.
  14. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 344


    Thanks. I checked out their site and will be talking to them.
    loudbang likes this.
  15. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 344


    Mopar A833 4 speed overdrive for $1400

    Or TKO600 5 speed for $2600

    TKO600 has lower 1st gear and higher overdrive plus 5 speed vs 4 speed for an extra $1200. Is it worth it?
    loudbang likes this.
  16. woodscaper
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 36


    Better check Brewers for hp rating, if that's the stock version it won't make it. Passon performance has a 4 speed od that will take it, more money than a tko though. They also have a custom 5 speed od a833 if you are willing to wait and pay more.
    loudbang and Desoto291Hemi like this.

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