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Hot Rods Early poly engine bellhousing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mercjoe, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    Hi everyone,

    Just bought this thing to put in my 33 chevy project.
    All I know is that it's an early polyspheric semi-hemi engine ( 55-58) and that it was originally a marine engine.
    It has no bellhousing and Im wondering if there any direct fits for it from other chrysler engine families. if possible bellhousing including, starter, flywheel, etc.

    btw: any links for parts suppliers for these type of engines ?

    Mumbers i got from the guy
    1739429-3 ( 325 head ? )
    VT544-7I45

    Thanks for any help !!!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,906

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Since all Chrysler Corporation V8's from this period (except the '51-early '54 Chrysler hemi) used the same bellhousing bolt pattern, finding a bell housing (stock or aftermarket) should not be a problem (except maybe cost). When I have done this the, problem has been finding the proper flywheel/clutch assembly. Do you know what size (ci) this engine is? If it's a 318, parts should not be too difficult, but if it's something weird (a 270 Dodge or maybe a 301 Chrysler), things could get a bit difficult. Look for some numbers stamped on the front top of the block; there are tables on the internet that should allow you to determine exactly what it is.

    If that's a picture of the actual engine, it sure looks good.:)
     
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  3. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,531

    oldiron 440
    Member

    I believe the 318 poly will take the same bellhousing as a 318 LA .
     
    das858 likes this.
  4. 57Fury440
    Joined: Nov 2, 2020
    Posts: 39

    57Fury440

    I'm not sure which motor that is but it is not a 318 Poly.
     

  5. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    OK, all Hemis (except the long tails), hemi based Polys and "A" Polys up to '61 have the same bell. 392 adaptors work for installing a '62 & up S.B. tranny.
     
  6. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    Should be a use code on a flat in front of the valley cover.
     
  7. HSF
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 156

    HSF
    Member
    from Lodi CA

    68 smallblock Mopar bellhousing bolted right up to my 55 DeSoto hemi without an adapter. Any LA bell should work.
     
    das858 likes this.
  8. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    Thanks Tubman.

    Yeah, thats the actual engine. Im picking it up next weekend so I still dont know exactly which cid this is. I'll get some extra pictures tomorrow and hopefully some numbers.

    It's not a 318 for sure. 318s are the later "A" polys. This is an early Hemi based one ( the 301 and 270 belong to this family, so it could be easily be one of those )

     
  9. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,873

    swifty
    Member

    That looks sweet and looks like it has been rebuilt. For your sake I hope so and that it's not -as we call it here in Australia- a Lebo (Lebanese) rebuild i.e a rattle can paint job. You're going to need a water pump as being a marine engine it has had separate water supply to heads and block. Sure hope it was fresh water and not salt.
    Being in Argentina you may have to look for US wrecking yards with 50's Chryslers to get your bellhousing and water pump. Clutch and pressure plate should be readily available. Best of luck, love those Polys as I've got 2 318's in hot rods.
     
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  10. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    Thanks swifty.

    Do you know if Water pumps from other engines would fit ? Or adapted ?

     
  11. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,873

    swifty
    Member

    Sorry Joe, I'm not much help as we never got the early Polys here in Australia. We got a 313 Poly ( Canadian) in an Aussie built car called a Chrysler Royal- was actually a Dodge- then from 60 to 67 we got the 318 Poly in a Dodge Phoenix. You need to find out which division of the Chrysler family your engine came from then start looking for guys with the same engine.
    Lots of luck!
     
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  12. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,395

    earlymopar
    Member

    I know when using an LA-series small block bell housing on a later Poly engine, there is one bell housing bolt hole that does not line up with one of the holes on the block. I'm not sure if this is an issue on the earlier Poly engines.
     
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  13. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    Hot Heads has adaptors to run Chevy water pumps, you'll need to know what engine you have.
     
  14. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    The blocks are the same as the corresponding hemi. The complete head assembly & cam are different. So everything you need to do the block is available from Hot Heads, Quality Engineered Components ( Gary, "73RR" here on the board), and other suppliers. There's Dodge, and Chrysler early Polys. Dodge Polys were used in Dodge, Ply, and DeSotos. There's a '55 Chr 301 & the '57 Plym 301 "A" Poly, different engines. Put "Hemi tech Index" in search.
     
  15. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    The marine cranks don't have provision for a vibration damper, between that 7 the possibility of being a rusted out piece of junk you probably should have passed on it.
     
  16. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,234

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Chrysler polys were 301, 331 & 354 in Windsors ‘55, ‘56 & ‘57/‘58 respectively……Marine and Industrial may differ.

    You really need to look at the block stamping data at the top front of the lifter chamber for positive ID……as has been mentioned in earlier posts.

    Ray
     
  17. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    I paid almost nothimg for it. I thought it was worth the try. We'll see.

    Thanks !!

     
  18. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,273

    Truckedup
    Member

    No provision for a damper? It appears one of the photos shows what looks like some sort of damper and pulleys and a large retaining bolt?
     
  19. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    No idea what the vibration dumper is :(

     
  20. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    New pics and id numbers added
     
  21. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,652

    73RR
    Member

    VT-544 was used for 1956 315 and the 1739429 could indicate late 315 or 325 so you likely have a 315.
    It 'appears' that a pass car water pump assembly would bolt-up.
    Post-62 bell housings are not a direct fit; the alignment dowel locations changed for the 1962 model years so that it would not work because of the change in crankshaft flange design.
    Count the ring teeth; 146 indicates 1956 and 172 indicates 1957 and this only affects the required bellhousing.

    As mentioned, if the engine ran in salt water for any length of time there is likely some internal issues that will only be found upon teardown.
    With the 12-pt screws in the intake rail it has obviously been apart at some time.
     
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  22. doyoulikesleds
    Joined: Jul 12, 2014
    Posts: 295

    doyoulikesleds

  23. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    apparently a '57 truck engine. He may have lucked out!
     
  24. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    Really ??? Not marine ?

     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  25. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,906

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Upon a closer look at the first picture, are those pressure plate mounting bolt holes I see around the perimeter of the flywheel?
     
  26. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,569

    dwollam
    Member

    And if it is truly a marine engine, don't discount the fact that it could be a reverse rotation as well! If it is a truck engine, then not a problem. Dad had a 289 Ford in his '57 Owens, single engine, that turned out to be reverse rotation. Obviously a retrofit. Starter went bad so he bought a rebuilt one, then found the engine wouldn't start because it turned the wrong direction! Had to go get the old starter core back and rebuild it! That was when he discovered the reverse rotation.

    Dave
     
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  27. mercjoe
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,339

    mercjoe
    Member

    I think so. Why ??

     
  28. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,906

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    More proof it came out of a truck; boats don't usually have clutches, If you have a usable flywheel, it's a plus in my experience.
     
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  29. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,479

    George
    Member

    As was said VT 544 is a truck use code, not a marine use code. Of course it could have been dropped into a boat later & as someone pointed out there id a damper on it.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  30. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,126

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, but did it go into a boat after it came out of the truck, and did it have an isolated cooling system, or an open one?
     

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