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Technical Never had a Hemi

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by coilover, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 617

    from Texas

    But I love them. Back in the 50's I worked for a construction company that built bridges. One would build a coffer dam to build the pier footing and frame up the pier. The steel sheeting that formed the coffer dam leaked and there were two large pumps with Chrysler Industrial Hemi engines. One ran continuously and the second started up if the first shut down for any reason. Our work hours were "daylight" and those engines ran without skipping a beat for months on end. With all the wood bracing and shoring blocking escape I wouldn't be wring this if the Hemis had failed. One hears of performance but not much on durability of these great old engines.
  2. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,166

    Marty Strode

    I took this 354 out of an Airport Tug, it found it's way into a 32 Roadster. A well engineered piece. IMG_3098.JPG
    5window, VANDENPLAS, pitman and 3 others like this.
  3. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,078


    I have a 331 short bell hemi 1955? it came from the old
    Moisant Field airport in the suburbs of New Orleans.
    The motor has a interesting and well engineered
    rpm governor/ speed maintainer system that is totally
    mechanical and operates from an oil pump system that
    is incorporated with and driven from the distributor
    shaft. There are a series of copper oil lines with small
    thumb wheel valves to make adjustments for the motor
    speeds in response to the loads seen on the generator.
    It was used to power airliners sitting on the tarmac prior to flight. The motor sat for many years in a shed
    on the airport property before being shipped off to a
    scrap dealer along with a lot of other items. A friend
    intercepted the motor and removed the generator. He then stashed the motor away for a few more years until
    he heard I had a few hemis and let me have it for a most reasonable price. I cleaned it up. Rebuild the starter did the usual cylinder oil up cleaned the plugs
    and points. It had a Stromberg carb which was badly
    varnished up. Stuck a 2 barrel off of a283 Chevy
    motor and fired it up. I would like to see someone
    clean it up and use it for display. My friend mounted the generator to a diesel motor and lit up several
    dwellings on his block during one of our prolonged
    Hurricane induced power outages.
  4. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,187

    jimmy six

    To answer your question..... me neither

  5. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,986


    I detect Duntov's hand in those.
    He did earlier ones in France. The '58, .06 over 406" a friend drove in with one day, w/a 6" long driveshaft, tricked out Powerglide, in a '62 Econoline van. Built by the Bell Boys Funny Car bros, phew! Think it got 2, as in 2 MPG!
    W/ headers opened up, ahem, on back roads, felt like you had a ride in a rail.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
  6. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,175


    I’ve had many and none disappoint. Crazy mill and pure grunt. Fun stuff and history to boot.
  7. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,508


    Back in the 60's a neighbor had a Chrysler HEMI powering an irrigation pump; ran for days on end.
    Straight pipes; you could hear that thing from a mile away.

    Another guy set up a wood chipper using a HEMI. Logs came in on a conveyor and were soon made into bedding for animals. Sure did bark! But he didn't stay in business too long.

    I've got a 331 bored .030 over going into the '40 Chrysler Coupe, with a 727 behind it.
  8. I’ve never had an original one from back in the day. I wouldn’t mind one, but right now I’m not sure what I would do with it. I know it doesn’t count, but I had an O/T late model Dodge Truck with one and that sucker flat out ran!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,322


    I picked up 2 out of a pasture a few years ago for a little of nothing. Both were 331 short bell housing. One frozen the other was free. Barely got them home and unloaded when a friend stopped by. Next thing I know he had called someone who had been looking for one. The guy offered an insane amount for both of them. They were gone in less than 2 hours. Welp, the money funded something else. But, wish every since then I'd have kept one of them. Not my first mistake and won't be my last!
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  10. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,287


    Just depends on how you build it & what parts you use, just like most engines.
  11. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 519


    Bought a 54 Chrysler New Yorker in about '68 for commuting to college. It had a PowerFlite trans and it wasn't much at takeoff, but from about 25 on it would really accelerate. At full throttle, it would stay in gear until about 60 mph and just leap when it went into high. It ran the speedo out with ease. scan0088.jpg
  12. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,373


    I didnt have a hemi before 1974 but I've had a 392 ever since
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  13. yep....just saved a 354 Industrial block a week or so ago.....
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  14. Are you refering to The Bell Boys from Nashua, New Hampshire ?
  15. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,402


    I may be biased...but they are tough pieces.
    Consider that a 392 bare block tips the scale at about 195lbs and a crank at 78lbs. Blocks don't squirm around and cranks do not flex. Everything stays exactly where it should be.
    You can't say that about some 'others'......

    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  16. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282


    I really like the baby Hemis the little red rams
  17. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,264

    Atwater Mike

    :cool:My first hemi was gifted me thru my bud Al, from Jerry Hansen's Blower Service in Long Beach. (1962)
    The 331" Chrysler (long bell housing) came out of Joe Reath's rail, after its breaking 180 MPH at 'the Beach'.
    Into my '46 Coupe, 671 pump, 1:1 w/triple Vee belts...Fastest thing on the Santa Clara streets for some time.

    Another friend, Dick Powell (So. Calif. boat racer, and former child prodigy on acordian(!)) was feeling tired, I told him to get to the Doc... He finally did, so the nurse took B.P., sat him in the examining room for some minutes. Doc came in, Dick had passed suddenly. Massive heart attack...this was in '96.:(
    My '27 Hiboy was all set up, 455 Olds I had conspired with Joe Mondello (Dr. Olds) on; '37 Cad box, Pat Warren Quickie, Plymouth Saginaw steering.
    My bud Larry, whom Dick rented his shop from called and said Dick had made out a will, and left me his '56 Chrysler 354 engine...Sad spoils, wife Joey and I went to pick the engine up at Dick's shop.:(
    Bittersweet, they call it. Loved getting the Hemi, but would rather have seen Dick again...
    Strange thing happened on the way home...My '55 F100 runs like clockwork, always. We came 80 miles or so (from San Jose) and were in the Gustine area, along 140. Easy 70 MPH, Joey asks: "So, what're you putting the Hemi in, the F100?" My answer, "No, I think I'll put it in the roadster.":D
    Just that instant! F100 starts misfiring, then gets into an unsteady 7 cylinder 'lop' that lasted until we got home. (Just an uncanny 'strain', one I wasn't too hasty about stopping alongside the road for, with 760 lbs. of Hemi blocked up in the front half of the bed!):eek:
    We got home, I unloaded the 354 and took a look under the hood...Checked points, cap, (new) wires...
    Started it up and checked the dwell: 30*.
    Oh, and it ran perfectly. Again. (??!?) :confused:Love that 350 Vortek!:)
    The Olds gave way to the Chrysler, (I had adapter, flywheel, and all):cool:
    Chrysler looked 'majestic' in the '27. (455 Oldses don't win beauty contests, but OH THAT Torque!)

    Thanks and goodnight, Dr. Olds and Dick Powell... Another pair of heroes had passed.:(
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,264

    Atwater Mike

    Built a chassis for a friend's Model A coupe. In lieu of some of the bill, he gifted me with a 276" '55 DeSoto Hemi, complete except for ONE spark plug wire cover! (anybody got an 'extra'?)
    Engine is super nice, bearings look like new...crank Std./Std, smooth ridge, but pistons are of the 7.5:1's, have to up that compression!
    My #4 son Tory gifted me a Cragar adaptor for this one, think I have another Dodge flywheel...

    @73RR, is there a perf. cam available for this one? Pistons, perchance? PM me, please? Thanks...
  19. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,986


    Rick & Chuck, RB showed me how to 'shorten' a driveshaft.
    Starting out they were in Hollis, nearby.
  20. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,979


    All my hemis ended up in Fords
  21. I've only owned one. Bought a roachy Chrysler 4 door in about 1961 just for the 331 hemi. Didn't turn over to well so I pulled the pan and found the crank broken in half at the middle journal. That ended my hemi experience.
  22. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,402


    PM sent.
    Remember that the DeSoto wire covers are either FireDome or FireFlite and they are either Left or Right side. Which do you need?

    Desoto291Hemi and Bandit Billy like this.
  23. Its not realy my first Hemi, but Dad and I just picked this one up this weekend. I think its a 55 331, but can't tell as there is nothing stamped on the pad in ftont of the valley cover. I didn't expect to find a passenger car hemi in an old Delta airline tug, but the price was right. 15703.jpeg 15707.jpeg 15708.jpeg
  24. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,287


    Hard to see with intake on, but the casting number is between the valley cover & the head tword the back,
  25. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,287


    never thought about that before!:)

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