331 HEMI BUILD

Discussion of the 331-354-392 HEMIs.

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bgreene30
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:30 am

Hi everyone,

What is the average price to pay for a complete, not stuck, supposedly "runs", 54 331 CE motor with stock 4BBL?

Model 54CE542

What about a 54 331 NE missing intake and carb?

Thanks!
Bob

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:49 pm

Either 1954 331 engine could run you between $200 to $2,000. No joke. This stuff is all over the place right now price wise.

What is a fair price? In my opinion only, I would say between $500 to $800 if it's a solid rebuildable core. Again, that's just my opinion. People have paid a lot more than that.

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

bgreene30
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:18 pm

Thanks David,

Know where I can get a complete 331 with the short bell housing for around $1000 or less? I am interested in quantity if available?

Thanks again David!

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:45 pm

Hi Bob,

So, you want to know my buying secrets, eh? No problem! 8)

Sorry for the long-winded reply.....

When I first got involved with the First Generation Hemi (about 18 months ago), I didn't know anything about these things, or any one else for that matter who did. But over time, you meet people, and learn what does and doesn't work when trying to find parts. Of course, being patient is important when finding your parts. If you're in a hurry, it makes it much harder to get things for less. Are the crazy prices you see some of this stuff selling for a bad thing? No, not really. If a seller and the buyer are happy, that's really all that matters. My biggest concern when getting involved with the 1G Hemi was not just what the core was going to cost me, but what it was also going to cost to rebuild it. These engines are not cheap to rebuild. It cost a lot more to make HP from an early Hemi than it does something like a BB Chevy. And because I don't own a couple of Banks, I need to be careful. So in my limited opinion, you really should have a true love of the era and what they stand for. You have to admit, the 1G Hemi's are simply BAD-butt! :D

I also want to stress that it's important to learn as much about what you are buying before you pull out your wallet. I have found a lot of sellers making claims about parts or engines that are simply not true. I strongly recommend two books. Leo Lindquist has compiled a fantastic collection of Early Hemi part numbers in a nice book (you can get it at HotHeads). There is also a book called, "The Complete Chrysler Hemi" by Ron Ceridono. Buy it at Amazon. It's much cheaper at Amazon than on Ebay. The more you know the better!

When I began my search, I thought I would simply go out and buy a complete engine for my rebuildable core. And because things don't always go the way I think, I recommend you be open to having it happen the way it needs to. My engine core eventually came to me from buying just parts.

Here is a list of what I find works best for finding early Hemi engines and/or parts:

First, I would head on over to the swap meet section of Hot Heads Research. I often see adds there for complete engines and parts for VERY fair prices. In fact, to me, some of the stuff there sells for the lowest I've seen in my research. Sure, there are some adds there that are a little high, but usually in about 1/4 the adds, the stuff sells for great prices. Check the listing every day for best luck. Just in case you don't already know, Hot Heads is THE PLACE for anything early Hemi when you are ready for your rebuild. Plus, from what I've learned, Bob Walker at Hot Heads is about as knowledgeable on the subject as they come. If I ever get a chance to meet Bob Walker in person, I will greet him with "Professor Hemi!" You can find Hot Heads Research and their swap meet section in the next two links:
http://www.hothemiheads.com/
http://www.hothemiheads.com/swapmeet/parts.html

Second, I've had great luck with forums. It's a great place to meet like-minded people who share your interest in the 1G Hemi. In fact, I was able to finally find a block for my project right here at TheHemi.com (Thanks again Larry!!!!!!!). So places like TheHemi.com (of course), the HAMB, clubhotrod.com, webrodder.com, hotrodders.com, ratrodsrule.com, you get the idea. They all have classified sections you can search, and wanted sections you can place adds in.

Third, I have had great luck with Craig's List. In fact, I found all of the parts I needed for my 392 Hemi engine project (except the block) from Craig's List. What I recommend you do is choose a distance you are willing to travel to get parts. Then use a tool like Tempest to do the work for you. With Tempest, you input your location, a maximum distance from that location, and a search term of your choice like "Hemi." Tempest will then return all Craig's List adds located up to the maximum distance from your location that has the term "Hemi" in the add. A very powerful tool!!!!
http://www.searchtempest.com/

Fourth, Ebay. Now Ebay is the place you will most likely pay the most for stuff. But, that doesn't mean you won't find any deals. For example, I found two complete sets of adjustable rocker arms for the 331-354-392 Chrysler Hemi engine. That's enough for two engines, for only $200. I still can't believe I found them (picture old pudgy bald guy slapping is forehead). The rockers are in need of a total tear-down and rebuild, but still, $200! So the deals are out there on Ebay, you just need to be patient and willing to spend time searching.

A special note about Ebay: Ebay is a funny place. It's typically where you will pay more for stuff. But like I said above, the deals do sneak through. Now, at the risk of sounding like a complete cheap-butt slime-ball, there are some things you can do to find those extra special deals. :wink: A listing on Ebay is only as good as the listing title and item description. A lot of stuff goes either unsold, or sells for too little simply because the item was improperly described in the title or item description. For example, the smoking deal I got on my adjustable rockers? The title for the listing was "Dodge, Desoto, Plymouth Rocker Arms," listed for a buy it now of $200. Well, that listing title doesn't say much. I also learned here on thehemi.com that there are no single rocker sets that fit all the 1G Hemi's of the era. Luckily the listing had tons of good pictures, and I was able to determine in a few seconds that the rockers where not only adjustable, but for the 331-354-392 Chrysler Hemi. I never pressed the "Buy It Now" button so fast in my life! So what I'm trying to get at is this, you need to be creative when crafting your search strings on Ebay. If you where to search for a "57-58 Imperial Engine," you might find a 392 Hemi where others will not see it if they are searching for a "392 Hemi" in their search string. Craft your search strings like you are a seller who has no clue what they are selling. You will be surprised what comes up. Also, don't be afraid to mis-spell words in your search. People mis-spell their listings titles too. I hope that all made sense. You can actually use this idea to find just about anything on Ebay. :roll:

Anywho, there you have it. My best advice for finding your dream engine. :D

I hope this helps. Good luck and take care,

David
Last edited by DavidBraley on Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:47 pm

Bob,

Right now there is a 54 331 Hemi for sale on the Hot Heads swap meet for only $800! Even comes with the original tranny if that means anything to you. :wink:

As of this posting, it's only five listings down...

Here is the text from the add:

"This is a 1954 Hemi 331-2V taken from a 1954 Chrysler New Yorker. Model C541-8 (marked on the engine). I was told it was running when it was pulled. Includes Transmission, and 6-volt accessories. Non-extended bell housing. Rolls over smoothly. Oil is still clean. Have original car registration and inspection stickers. Includes extra 4-barrel manifold. $800.00 obo."

http://www.hothemiheads.com/swapmeet/parts.html

Sounds like a good deal to me.

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:11 pm

Here is another one Bob if you're anywhere near Kansas:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1954-Chr ... ccessories

Car heads, so would make a great engine for the street I bet. Some claim the 1486833 heads are the same as the 1556157 (555 heads), but without the water outlet on the front.

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

George
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Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by George » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:53 am

DavidBraley wrote:Here is another one Bob if you're anywhere near Kansas:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1954-Chr ... ccessories

Car heads, so would make a great engine for the street I bet. Some claim the 1486833 heads are the same as the 1556157 (555 heads), but without the water outlet on the front.

David
The '54 heads have the bigger ports like the '55s, but the smaller 51-3 valves.

DavidBraley
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:54 pm

Thanks George! I didn't know that. :wink:

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

bgreene30
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:13 am

Thanks everyone!

How do you all feel about an S24 Desoto motor vs. a similiar rated (HP, torque and cubic inch) crysler motor?

NE57
Posts: 192
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Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by NE57 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:02 am

There's more stuff available for the Chryslers than Desoto or Dodge. But sometimes the smaller dimensions of the Desoto/Dodge may make a meaningful difference depending on the car.

DavidBraley
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:20 pm

bgreene30 wrote: How do you all feel about an S24 Desoto motor vs. a similiar rated (HP, torque and cubic inch) crysler motor?
I would think the 330 Desoto Hemi (S24) would be fine. It has a longer stroke than a 331, so that might be more fun for a street engine.

It says here in my handy dandy little book:

The Chrysler 1954 331 has a bore of 3.810", and a stroke of 3.63". It was rated at 235HP at 4,400RPM, 330FtLbs of torque at 2,600RPM, and weighed 710 pounds.
The Desoto 330 has a bore of 3.720", and a stroke of 3.800". It was rated at 255HP at 4,400RPM, 350FtLbs of torque at 3,200RPM, and weighed 670 pounds.

So, a 0.060" overbore pushes the S24 to about 341 cubic inches. Offset grind the crank to a 2.000" journal diameter to use a pre-68 SM Chevy rod (not sure if the SB rod big end is as wide enough to work), and that would yield something around 364 cubic inches..... :roll:

Not sure how the heads flow, but I think I read somewhere that the taller deck Desotos had the more desirable heads, flow wise that is. The S24 IS a taller deck Desoto.

Like NE57 mentions, parts are a little harder to come by. But hey, being creative and making things work is what Hot Rodding is all about! :wink:

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

bgreene30
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:27 am

Thanks David. The De Soto is different and that's not always bad in my book. Complete rebuild kits are readily available and actually quite nicely price. Take all the old parts out of the internals except the crank and replace with brand new for under $1700 or so, less machining. I know a set of old codgers in old town orange than can machine like machinists' used to and machine anything from old british cycle motors to American muscle so I may strike a deal with a fella on an S24 and let the chips lay where they lay. What I need to investigate is securing that mill in the 67 Dodge D100 engine bay and adapting it to the 3 speed automatic A727 transmission. I guess hot heads would be the first call for these parts and some advice on cross members, engine mounts, adapters and all the other bits and pieces I will have to learn along the way! Thanks again for all your help david and I will be sure to post photos along the way. Here is one of my truck that will be so luck to have her 225 1V set aside for a while and in replace a nice FIRST GEN HEMI!! I cannot wait!

II tried posting a photo but it would let me. Hmmm?

bgreene30
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:28 am

Ps David. i sent you a private message. Did it get to you?
Cheers

Bob

bgreene30
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:31 am

The photos!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

George
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Location: Fl

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by George » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:35 am

I like Gary's adaptors @ Quality Engineered Components. I've seen a '54 331 in a Dakota, so a DeSoto in your's should be easy compared to the Dakota.

392heminut
Posts: 488
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Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by 392heminut » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:40 pm

That's a NICE truck!
Owner of the Poor Man's Hemi Cuda

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:24 pm

bgreene30 wrote:Ps David. i sent you a private message. Did it get to you?
Cheers

Bob
Hi Bob, I did get it and I replied to your message on Sunday afternoon. I sent it to your email address. I'll resend it to you via PM here on the board.

Oh, and, NICE TRUCK! 8)

I don't think you're going to have any problem finding room under that hood. :wink:

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

bgreene30
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:51 pm

Thanks! Well, It's official. I own a hemi. I purchased a 56 330 desoto off of the hot heads swapmeet section from a nice guy in Mississippi. Everything needed for a complete bore and rebuild is available and not too badly priced. Like they say in the B.O.A.T world...Bust out another thousand!! hahaha

All right all you stockpilers of used parts I need some someone to sell or barter some. Anybody have any of these parts they want to part with that will fit a 56 330 desoto?
1) 4 barrell intake and if it's an original piece the carb as well? (consider original 4v set up or aftermarket aluminum)
2) Mopar A727 trans adapter
3) Chevy water pump coversion
4) headers or the best flowing exhaust manifolds

Thanks everyone!!

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:56 pm

That's great Bob!

I don't have any Desoto parts, but Hot Heads has everything you need! The Hot Heads swap meet, the HAMB, and Ebay are also good places to search for early Desoto Hemi bit's.

Hot Heads has a water pump adapter that is also a nice aluminum timing chain cover. It uses a SBC water pump. I have seen these used from time to time on Ebay selling for about $100:
http://www.hothemiheads.com/desoto/cam_ ... 52-57.html

Hot Heads has a nice trans adapter. Just a note, I read on the HAMB that any early Hemi to 727 will work. The bell housing pattern is supposed to be the same for all three first gen Hemi Chrysler, Desoto, Dodge, except the 51-53 extended bell Chrysler Hemi. I do know that some adapters use the more modern Mopar starter, so make sure you know what starter it uses, and which flex plate if you get one used. I have seen adapters come up on the Hot Heads swap meet pages before. TrWaters also has a nice adapter, but I'm not 100% sure if he has a website. Here is the Hot Heads adapter:
http://www.hothemiheads.com/transmissio ... flite.html

Hot Heads 1x4 dual plane intake is nice. Again, also check on the HAMB and the Hot Heads swap meet for the earlier ones too:
http://www.hothemiheads.com/desoto/inta ... plane.html

Hot Heads also has a nice block hugger header. The header is something I'm guessing will be the hardest thing to find used. If you are a welder you can always make one. I remember reading someone on here took a Ford header and modified it to work on a Chrysler Hemi. Anywho, here's the Hot Heads item:
http://www.hothemiheads.com/desoto/head ... ugger.html

Hot Head and Egge Machine Company would be a good source for your master engine rebuild kit. Not sure if you have heard about Egge Machine:
http://www.egge.com/

Because I waist a ton of time looking at adds for stuff I can't buy (I'm sure there is some psychological term for this kind of sickness), If I see something come up, I'll PM you with the listing. :wink:

David
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

DavidBraley
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DavidBraley » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Bob,

I found TrWaters website! I have read threads over on the HAMB that his transmission adapters are the best in the business. You should also check them out:

http://home.together.net/~twaters/index.html
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

DHEMI
Posts: 100
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Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by DHEMI » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:16 pm

I used Tom's adapter on my engine.It's the ONLY one that will allow you to use stock sheet metal flywheel covers
to be used.I'm totaly satisfied with it.

bgreene30
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:03 am

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by bgreene30 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:42 am

Thanks so much David. Please keep them eyes and ears open and if you ever need something looked at, inspected or sorted in so cal gimme a ring!

I definately will check out the adapters guys. Thanks much!

George
Posts: 645
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Fl

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by George » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:50 am

I like the tranny adaptors that Quality Engineered Components makes. If you use the HH timing cover you have to use elec fuel pump.

wayfarer
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Location: Central Ory-gun

Re: 331 HEMI BUILD

Post by wayfarer » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:04 pm

Thanks for the plug George!

FWIW, my adapter also uses the oem inspection cover as well as any post 67 type starter.
We also can provide forged pistons and will be [u]very[/u] competative on price.
Send a note if you have questions. hemi.parts@yahoo.com

.
www.qualityengineeredcomponents.com
Early Hemi Parts and Pieces,

INVENTORY CLEARANCE IN PROGRESS. See website for details.

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