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Technical FOUND A HEMI, WHAT'S IT WORTH?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 36tudordeluxe, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
    Member

    Went to the machine shop to pick up a set of rings for my flathead and the owner says he has a Hemi his son owns and wants to sell. Owner says he doesn't know if it's a 354 or a 392 but his son would know. The engine is complete and is not stuck, is there a appreciable difference in value between a 354 & a 392? I know nothing about a Hemi, can they be identified by external differences? What would be a fair price?
     
  2. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,870

    Squablow
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    I had a really good 354 for sale that turned over smooth and was clean enough inside (in my opinion) to run without a rebuild, a complete engine with manifolds, valve covers, the whole shit, asking $2K and all I heard was people wanted a 392 and would accept nothing less. Ended up trading the engine off.

    There is a HUGE difference in value between the two, way more than you'd think for such similar engines. Everyone wants the biggest one. It's kind of a pissing constest thing, but also, it costs so much to build one, why not start with the biggest one? I guess that's understandable.

    Good core 354, assuming it's a car engine, but guaranteed no cracks, $1500. 392 same deal? I'd guess $3K to $4K.
     
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  3. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
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    Thanks for the info, didn't realize there would be such a difference in value between the two; for me personally, the 354 would be just fine.
     
  4. Otto
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 119

    Otto
    Member

    An easy way to check to see if you have a 354 or 392 is to check the water inlet at the front of the head. The space between the inlet and the valve cover....if you can fit your index finger in that gap, it is a 392. If you can't, its a 354.

    For what its worth, may of the old time drag racers preferred the 354 to the 392. Something about the intake port angle/length thought to be better on the 354's.

    ....but as the old saying goes.....no replacement for displacement.
     
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  5. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,072

    town sedan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Go to the website Quality Engineered Components and look at the listing for "Use Codes" under Engine ID 51-58. The block should have a stamped number on the top front. This # will tell you what and where the engine came from i.e. car, truck, industrial and size. Be a shame to buy a 392 and get home with a 241.
    As the Raygun use to say "Trust, but verify".
    -Dave
    (edit) Otto..., 392 with 354 heads!
     
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  6. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,870

    Squablow
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    I have definitely heard that there is a particular 354 head casting that is the most desirable of all Chrysler hemi heads, but again, buyers will want just the heads in that case. But that alone might make a 354 worth buying, those heads bring good money.
     
  7. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 959

    55chevr
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  8. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
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    Wealth of info. thanks.
     
  9. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 959

    55chevr
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    I know of a nice 392 that the owner is sitting on and he turned down my offer of $2500. If it is complete it should be worth 2K for Chrysler hemi. The 392's are tall deck blocks. 354 deck height is lower. Either would be a nice engine for a traditional hot rod.
     
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  10. There's a complete 354 on Ebay for $1250 and no takers
     
  11. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
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    Going to check that out now!
     
  12. Joatha
    Joined: Jul 6, 2008
    Posts: 184

    Joatha
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    Do you know if it is a Chrysler Hemi? A Dodge Hemi? A Desoto Hemi?

    If its a Chrysler, then it could be a 331, 354 or 392. And there are definitely price differences.
    There's a bunch of displacements for Dodge and Desotos as well. And, all of them are NOT interchangeable.
     
  13. TR Waters
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,439

    TR Waters
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    from Vermont
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Actually, it is not the 354 heads. It is the 55 331 head.
     
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  14. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
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    Am told it's a Chrysler but haven't verified.
     
  15. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
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    Based on the '55 331 having desirable heads and other than being on the small side would this be a desirable engine or are there other over riding negatives?
     
  16. Joatha
    Joined: Jul 6, 2008
    Posts: 184

    Joatha
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    Its a hemi. So of course, it is desireable. Is a 331 going to make you a ton of money if you are attempting to flip it? Not really. Biggest negative would be if it is an early model with the extended bellhousing. While that can be overcome, it makes it a bit less desireable.
     
  17. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,506

    saltflats
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    from Missouri

    I gave 1200 for a running 58 354 Dodge and don't feel bad about it.
     
  18. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,696

    Ebbsspeed
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    Aren't they all 392's when they're for sale?

    "Damn straight, my uncle's second wifes ex son-in-law knows a guy who's neighbor has a himmi for sale, and it's a 392."

    Back when swap meets were more like swap meets than flea markets, I bought a runner 392 out of a 58 New Yorker for $400, and at another that same year bought a 57 New Yorker 392 core for $200.
     
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  19. not locked up a plus.....check for the code on the front top behind the water pump - like was said.....that will tell you what it is.....again....not locked up - a BIG plus no matter what motor....
     
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  20. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,018

    lippy
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    from Ks

    I would rather have a 354 myself. The main webs are stronger, the 92 has holes in the main webs the 54 doesn't. I'm talking for racing on nitro not cackling. Even on the street making power still rather have a 4 inch 354. JMO Your results may vary. Lippy
     
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  21. rkldesign
    Joined: Apr 21, 2013
    Posts: 15

    rkldesign
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    from Napa, Ca

    Did someone say hemi, I could use one in my Mopar Route Van! Hook me up.
     
  22. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,869

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
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    I'd wager the Son knows what it's worth and has the books on hand to run the #'s for you. Get with him and look it up. More importantly, if he does good work and you have a good working relationship with him, maybe you can make a deal to buy the engine AND have him cut you a deal on going through it, doing any needed machine work and possibly assemble it too if that's not your bag. If you're not in a hurry for it and he can work on it during slow periods, he may cut you a deal on the labor as that will keep him working whenever there's a slow period.

    FWIW, here's a 392 that just sold on the HAMB. It's minus crank, rods, covers.
     
  23. mystic_cobra
    Joined: Sep 16, 2016
    Posts: 3

    mystic_cobra

    it's only worth what someone will give you for it
     
  24. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,072

    town sedan
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    My, how times have changed. In '91 I bought a rebuildable 325 out of a 1957 Dodge for $200. Of course rebuild parts were few and far between back then. In recent years I've seen 315 & 325 cores advertised for $2000 to $2500.
    I bought mine to used..., and someday I'll have something worthy to putting it in. What are your plans if you get this Hemi? Build it and use it, or look for someone who wants it more? All Hemis are worth something, if only for the "cool" factor.
    Good luck to you whatever you end up doing.
    -Dave
     
  25. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,545

    Jimbo17
    Member

    I had a friend who bought a Hemi from a guy who said he did not know much about the engine.
    Buying an engine can be a very rewarding experience or a nightmare!!!!!

    In my friends case he only had the motor a short time in his car when it let go.
    Turns out the engine was 065 over which I thought was kind of weird until the guy at the machine explained to him the the previous owner had them clean up the bore so he could sell the the car.

    Now he had a Hemi that either needed to be sleeved or have special pistons made for it.
    It's a Buyer Beware world we live in today and I see guys buying someone Else's JUNK all the time.

    Jimbo
     
  26. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,224

    73RR
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    ...how many do you want? Which one specifically piques your interest? Let's chat......;)
    Love your van BTW.

    .
     
  27. DOCTOR SATAN
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 419

    DOCTOR SATAN
    Member
    from okc

    Chrysler without extended bell housing 1500-3000 for a good core...I've got some
     
  28. DOCTOR SATAN
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 419

    DOCTOR SATAN
    Member
    from okc

    392 with 354 Heads was a hot setup...
     
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  29. 36tudordeluxe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 496

    36tudordeluxe
    Member

    There seems to be a difference of opinion as to what year head is the most desirable, the '55 331 (post #13) or '56-'57 354 or am I splitting hairs here?
     
  30. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,506

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    What would you be doing with said engine?
    If you are putting a blower on it may not make much difference.
     
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