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Hot Rods I have a chance to buy a 392 Hemi

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Jan 7, 2019.

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  1. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,212

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My experience with these has been mostly with the 331 in my vintage dirt modified, which has quite a few modifications. I will add a couple of things, The first is that I have adjustable pushrods with an old Engle roller tappet cam. A lot of people don't like adjustable pushrods, saying they are difficult to adjust. I have found that they are no problem if you heat and bend a couple of wrenches just for that purpose. The second is that I originally ran a rebuilt stock rocker assembly with this setup. I broke an exhaust rocker arm the third time out. I was lucky enough to find seven Donovan forged exhaust rockers at a swap meet a couple of weeks later, which I bought for $35. I later found another for $75. Still, $105 for a set of Donovan's? I'll take that every day. Haven't had a lick 0f trouble since. I do try to keep the rev;s below 5500, because this is vintage racing and I don't want to build this engine again.
     
  2. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 895

    392
    Member

    I’d say that’s a good price. Once your in your in. The cost will make you think twice until your done and realize you have a badass piece. If I could tell anyone is all you really need is a good block, crank, rocker assemblys and bare heads. Yea rods can work but everything else will be junk. Adjustable push rods are fine. The tin work is a plus but usually that’s fairly easy to get or go aftermarket. I personally like the stock intake and modify as needed.
     
    racer-x likes this.
  3. I know one guy with a 392 with a blower on it, NOT FOR SALE. He has another in an old rail as well, ready to run. I'm always in awe at what people are sitting on.
     
  4. Hutkikz
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 77

    Hutkikz
    Member

    Unfortunately it looks like Muscle Motors themselves "got flushed".
    Although I hear there is still a chance "the block" survives.
     
    classiccarjack likes this.
  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,642

    Roothawg
    Member

    He called last night. Apparently I wasn’t the only one that knew about it. He sold it, but the new guy says it is for sale. For a small mark up I am sure. Dang
     
  6. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,415

    classiccarjack
    Member

    Dammit!!! Are we related? This happens to me to... I almost always have to pay more it seems. But once in a blue moon, I get lucky.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,415

    classiccarjack
    Member

    That is correct, I got a finger on that, and some hope.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,995

    alchemy
    Member

    So is it still priced well, even with the markup?
     
  9. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,642

    Roothawg
    Member

    Dunno yet. Sent the guy a text this morning.
     
  10. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,006

    George
    Member

    complete rebuildable typically runs 2K-2,500. A lot of "392s" when you look at the use codes are 331/354s. Fine engines & 1,500 would be a good price for a short tail 331/354.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,987

    porknbeaner
    Member

    The water pump can be converted to BB Chevy. Cams are higher than a cats back and the intakes. Lots of modern parts are adaptable so it is a matter of education.
     
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  12. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,415

    classiccarjack
    Member

    Your spot on George. I also buy the extended bell engines. I am not weak in the wrist, so I don't need a automatic transmission. I bought some vintage adapters, and I am thinking of maybe making some new ones to accommodate a New Process A833 Four Speed. Most of these early blocks have plenty of meat in the bores and can be converted to a 354 with some pistons and balancing of the rotating assembly afterwards...

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  13. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,578

    4tford
    Member

    I basically had the long block 392 wo the cam cover, waterpump, or intake. I used aftermarket intake, valvecovers, cam cover, oil pan etc. Using the aftermarket parts save a lot of weight from the engine and its heavy to begine with. I bought most of my parts from Hot Heads and some from PAW. Hot heads will rebuild your rockers to adjustable but I used the adjustable push rods and that worked out fine for me. Also the Chrysler 340 oil pump, oil filter adapter. IM001018%20%28Small%29%20%28Custom%29.JPG
     
  14. CAHotRodBoy
    Joined: Apr 22, 2005
    Posts: 223

    CAHotRodBoy
    Member

    I'd love a 331/354/392 for my '34.

    Does anyone know what one weighs or the difference between a Hemi and say a SBC? I read in another thread about someone replacing their Hemi because the extra weight up front made the car ill handling.
     
  15. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,642

    Roothawg
    Member

    Finally talked to the guy. He's an interesting character to say the least. He's a died in the wool Mopar guy, so he knows what they bring. I told him to think about it and give me a price. we will see what he comes up with. I don't NEED the engine, but it would be cool to own.
     
  16. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,216

    73RR
    Member

    ...if you really want a 392 then I have lots-o-stuff for sale. Fastenal is cheap freight even for complete engines.

    .
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  17. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,216

    73RR
    Member

    The EarlyHemis come in a variety of physical sizes and weights. A 241-270 Dodge is about the same as a sbc, the DeSoto a bit bigger/heavier and the Chryslers add to that. Published weights rarely indicate what accessories are included and I can tell you that an early generator is damned heavy as is an oem torque converter so don't take numbers as gospel unless you know what is on the scale. Over on the ForwardLook site, someone, a year or two back, posted photos of several engines he had hanging on a digital scale....might be worth searching there if you are in need of real numbers.

    .
     
  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,631

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I had one of Joe Reath's O-Ringed heads 331 hemis in 1960, 'refreshed', ready to assemble. Rich Hansen (Hansen's blower service) sold it to me dirt cheap, with a 671 and kit, (triple V belts) I planted it in my '46 Ford club coupe, car scared everybody within 10 feet of it. LOL Chet Herbert cam, ($75 then) solid lifters (Stude?) and adj push rods (Howard's) Very dependable, no problems ever.

    Good friend Dick Powell (the boat racer, NOT the movie star) passed in '94, left me his low mileage '56 354 hemi. I bought an early set of aluminum timing case and valley cover from the manufacturer when he first started, he works with my son. Hot Hemi Heads now sells these products.
    I have a Weiand 2X4 intake, and Roger Gleason converted an Olds Scintilla Vertex magneto for me, going with a Delta cam, (Spokane, Wash.)
    Hi comp pistons, stainless valves, and I was LUCKY to buy a set of stainless tube headers from the mfr., before his first run of them. ($125)

    Also have a nice 276 DeSoto hemi, ('54) bought it disassembled from a cool young mechanic that 'wanted to tear down a hemi to see what made them tick'! (gave him $200)
    LOW mileage engine has no ridge, everything is in great shape. Needed a wire loom cover on right side, looked for quite awhile. Found one by chance...hanging in a young guy's garage! (wall art) Traded him 1 Cal Custom valve cover for SBC for it!
    Intake is cast iron, 2 bbl. But the DeSotos had one casting for 2 bbl and 4 bbl, so a quick operation with plunge mill end makes a single 4 bbl a bolt-on.
    Pistons for it (9.5:1) are not cheap. But they're the only high dollar item, unless I get the new 2X4 aluminum intake...(there's also a new 4X2 four-in-a-row for Strombergs)
    Point is, search and ask; you'll probably find one. Take your time gathering parts, but be prepared to jump on a good deal.
    WORST thing hemi that happened to me was at the L.A. Roadsters Fathers Day swap:
    An older guy was trying to 'liquidate' stuff, had a set of 10:1 Chrysler Hemi pistons, J.E. .030" over, with wrist pins. $50.00! NEW! I walked 30 feet away to get a sack, should have paid him first...Two minutes, they were gone. Fat grinning guy bought 'em, walked right by. Stuffed 'em in a back pack.
     
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  19. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,624

    Ebbsspeed
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    Glad I bought my hemi's when Reagan was president. A complete pair of 392's, carb to pan, for a total of $600.

    The last one I bought (a 354) in 2002 had a 52,000 mile 1956 New Yorker attached to it.

    Before you buy, make sure you're getting what you think you're getting. Check those numbers, because every hemi made in the 1950's has been called a 392 at one time or another.
     
  20. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 845

    mickeyc
    Member

    Hey man, Mick here. I have 2 short bell 331 Chryslers
    One is a complete industrial motor. The other is a factory
    marine version. I have cranked the industrial version. The other not.
    Neither has ever been in an automobile. I would make a package
    on both. The marine was fresh water only. Not 392,s but hemis
    anyway.
     
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  21. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,642

    Roothawg
    Member

    It is definitely a 392 out of a 1958 Chrysler , number is 58C7209. we may be too far apart though on price. I live in 1980's prices.....I'm cheap.
     
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  22. bostonhemi
    Joined: Dec 1, 2011
    Posts: 625

    bostonhemi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    buy it and sell it to me. im serious
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  23. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,824

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    That was a few years ago.
    I will have to keep you in mind:)
     
  24. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,415

    classiccarjack
    Member

    The last statement is so true. So many people have looked at my 331 and asked if it was a 392. But then if you don't own one, I suppose they look all the same right? LOL

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  25. Rick & Jan
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 422

    Rick & Jan
    Member

    Hemi's, Nailhead's, Y-Block's, W's and Flatheads, They are Kool and Kool cost's MONEY!!
     
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  26. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,212

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't get the "392 chauvinists" who look down on 354's (and especially) 331's. They all look the same (except to some anal-retentive experts), and even a good running stock 331 (at a minimum of 180 factory HP) will run any light hot rod down the road fast enough to scare you. I'd buy anything that had a reasonable price on it, damn the cubic inches. They all impress the hoi polloi.
     
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  27. badgascoupe
    Joined: Jul 22, 2011
    Posts: 115

    badgascoupe
    Member

    Had a buddy offer me a 354 runner with an auto trans connected for $2800 last week.
     
  28. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,212

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you really want one, take it.
     
  29. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,259

    gene-koning
    Member

    A few years ago my son bought a short bell 331 with a 4 bbl carb for $800, it came wrapped around a 54 Chrysler 2 door hardtop! We messed with the points, messed with the carb, and filled the master cylinder and was driving the car around the block in less then 3 hours. He drove that car for a little more then a year, then sold it for $3500. We saw the car last year, it looks exactly like it did when he sold it, but the guy that had it then was the 3rd owner since my son.
    I can tell you the 200 HP in that the 54 Chrysler was pretty unimpressive, nice and smooth, but not a power house by any means. Gene
     
  30. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,100

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    A couple of years ago, I scored TWO 354's, for $1200.

    One has a 6-71 on top of it now.
     
    lilmann and Just Gary like this.

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