Hay Yall.....

Discussion of the 331-354-392 HEMIs.

Moderators: TrWaters, 392heminut, scottm

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Thu May 05, 2011 11:57 pm

I'm Rob. I didn't see a place for introductions and since I am going to look at a 354 hemi in the next day or so, I'll put this here. Don't know the year, but it's supposedly a truck engine. Non extended block. It's a running engine and the gentleman wants 400 dollars for it. I am a complete newbie to hemi engines, though I have turned wrenches professionally since 1974. I would appreciate any and all advice. thanks.

392heminut
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:16 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by 392heminut » Fri May 06, 2011 8:23 am

If it's what you say it is then it is definitely worth the asking price! :)
Owner of the Poor Man's Hemi Cuda

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Fri May 06, 2011 10:01 am

I think so, too. I have done extensive reading on them. I am trying to sell some parts to get the money up. If I am successful, I will post pictures when I get the engine.

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Fri May 06, 2011 7:17 pm

Welcome Rob! Definitely a great price for your 354. It's good to see there are still a few deals out there. Nice score for sure. 8)

When you get your hands on that elephant motor, feel free to ask all the questions you want. This forum is quiet, but full of the friendliest, most knowledgeable Hemi dudes on the planet. I learn from them all the time. :roll:

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

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by George » Sun May 08, 2011 4:20 pm

Should be a use code on the flat in front of the valley cover, post & we'll tell ya what it is. But @ 400 it's a good price.

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Sun May 08, 2011 7:54 pm

Yes, I have spoken with Eric @ hotheads. Extremely nice people there. He even said I could call him on the spot and give him the numbers and he would let me know what it is. Since the seller said it's a truck engine, Eric told me that the numbers for those were not on their site and I could just call him. Still have not sold everything I am trying to. I am half way there. I called the seller and he actually said he had told several people that it was alread sold so he is holding it for me. I will get it at some point and will post pics when I do. Thanks yall.

Hemi8me
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:14 pm
Location: Akron, Ohio

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Hemi8me » Mon May 09, 2011 6:05 pm

Rob wrote:Yes, I have spoken with Eric @ hotheads. Extremely nice people there. He even said I could call him on the spot and give him the numbers and he would let me know what it is. Since the seller said it's a truck engine, Eric told me that the numbers for those were not on their site and I could just call him. Still have not sold everything I am trying to. I am half way there. I called the seller and he actually said he had told several people that it was alread sold so he is holding it for me. I will get it at some point and will post pics when I do. Thanks yall.
When you picking it up?
The hemi is all I have for my Rat Rod.....1956 354 HEMI

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Mon May 09, 2011 9:07 pm

I did some work for a friend today that put me over the top for the money. I called the guy and I am picking it up some time this week. I will post pics when I get it. I am ecstatic. A 400 dollar 354. And it's supposed to run. Bellhousin, clutch pressure plate....and the large outlet 4 hole manifolds too. I have seen those right there sell for more than I am paying for the engine. This kinda stuff just never ever happens to me. I have never been in the right place at the right time. Stay tuned.

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Tue May 10, 2011 10:49 am

That's great Rob! Take your time and be safe. Those things are heavy! :o
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Wed May 11, 2011 4:33 pm

The Hemi has landed. Spent about two and a half hours on the road. I will get some pics when I cool off for a few. It is rusty and crusty. But the guy said it ran real good and if his kids hadn't yanked the plug wires out and packed the distributor with dirt, it would still run. lol He would not even let me load it until he showed me that it turned very nicely. This thing is big.

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Wed May 11, 2011 6:12 pm

Rob wrote:....This thing is big.
If you ever want a real giggle, lay a SB Chevy valve cover over a Chrysler Hemi head. It'll put things in perspective for you... :lol:
Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make. Holzwarth's Law

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Wed May 11, 2011 8:08 pm

I have a slant 6 block next to it on the stand so I can tell it's big. Here it is. It may actually not be a 354. I don't really care. I know it's not an industrial extended block. I don't think it's a Red Ram, because they were smaller and this is BIG. It even has a factory cast iron dual point distributor, the big 4 hole flange manifolds too. The serial number is not on any lists I can find. Hot Heads said they could tell me what it is if I call them with the number. I will let yall know what i find out. I know it looks rough, but it's very complete and it turns very smoothly.

Image

Image

Image

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Wed May 11, 2011 8:20 pm

There is a serial number stamped just in front of the valley pan on the block, close to the waterpump. It's stamped on the same surface the valley pan bolts to. The valley pan is the tin cover under the intake manifold. Let us know what the number is, and maybe we can help.

Here is an example of a number stamping:

Image

David
Last edited by DavidBraley on Wed May 11, 2011 8:30 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

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Wed May 11, 2011 8:26 pm

Oh yeah, I found it. It's on none of my lists. Maybe yall know sumthin. VT448

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Wed May 11, 2011 8:35 pm

My book is showing a 331 Dodge Truck engine. Even though it's from a Dodge Truck, it's a Chrysler Hemi.

Even at $400 for a 331, it was a fantastic deal! Some of the early truck blocks also have extra thick cylinder walls. A sonic check might show you can safely bore it out to a 354.

Hopefully george will chime in. That guy is a serial number guru.... 8)
Last edited by DavidBraley on Wed May 11, 2011 8:38 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

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Wed May 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Here's the rest of the number. There was more under the dirt. lol

VT448-1398

THANK YOU so much. This has made my day. I was hoping for a 331, 354....or of course a 392. But I am extremely happy. Thanks again.

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Wed May 11, 2011 8:44 pm

Now george or mart will correct me, but I've read somewhere that the truck heads are desirable. Something about the port shapes or sizes. They also come stock with the hardened seats. And of course, you already know that the 4 bolt exhaust manifolds are worth their weight in gold. Don't give those away, unless you're giving them to me of course. Just kidding. :wink:

Nice Score!!!!!!! Average going rate for a non-stuck rebuildable 331 is about $800. You did great.

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

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Wed May 11, 2011 9:01 pm

David, thanks for your information. Might I ask what kinda book you have? I might want to get one. I doubt seriously I will bore it. Unless it has so much clearance that the pistons are swappin holes, it's gonna get a rering. I think even just a 331 I can make it pretty formidable. Thanks again. I will update as I tear it down.

mart
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:06 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by mart » Thu May 12, 2011 6:16 am

DavidBraley wrote: "Now george or mart will correct me, but I've read somewhere that the truck heads are desirable. Something about the port shapes or sizes. They also come stock with the hardened seats. And of course, you already know that the 4 bolt exhaust manifolds are worth their weight in gold. Don't give those away, unless you're giving them to me of course. Just kidding. :wink:
Nice Score!!!!!!! Average going rate for a non-stuck rebuildable 331 is about $800. You did great." -David
----------------------
Yeah, DEFINITELY a nice score! About the truck heads - actually, they are somewhat less desirable. First, due to the truck-style water passages and wet intake, the 'passenger-car' 4-bbl and 2X4 intakes won't interchange. Likewise, all the available aftermarket intakes too, as they are also "dry" and designed for the normal passenger-car style head water passages. Secondly, *most* of the truck heads had heavy-duty sodium-cooled exhaust valves. Nothing wrong with that, except that the valves are heavy and have much bigger stem diameters which take up more space in the ports and thus restrict flow more than the standard 'passenger- car style' non-sodium cooled valves. Also, I imagine now, if you needed to replace any or all of the exhaust valves, finding NOS sodium-cooled ones would be just about impossible and the price would be fairly outrageous if you did find some! That being said, you can convert to OEM or aftermarket passenger-car style valves by putting in new valve guides to suit the smaller passenger-car valve stem diameters. You'd still have the problem of adapting a decent intake manifold though. The good news is that if you change the front cover and water pump assembly to passenger-car style stuff, you can bolt on a set of passenger-car heads. Also, since the truck, industrial and marine hemis used the same sodium-cooled valves and water passage layout, you could probably sell the heads to someone restoring a vintage boat who needs them for a marine engine, for more than enough money to buy a set of passenger-car heads. by the way too, if you go that route, along with the passenger-car heads, you can also adapt an aftermarket front cover and aluminum 'short' Chevy water pump and knock off about 50 or 60 lbs of weight and shorten the engine up by several inches.

David's definitely right about the 4-bolt truck exhaust manifold being worth their weight in gold. They were the best flowing stock exhaust manifolds used on any of the early hemis and on a street engine will probably work as good as a set of headers and without the noise, leakage, rust out and ground clearance problems of headers. Just a thought too - I'm not sure sure what your ultimate plans are for this engine, but those manifolds, with their big, 3-inch outlets and 4-bolt flanges, would be ideal for mounting a pair of turbochargers! A few years ago, I helped a buddy design and build a 2.3 liter (144 cubic inch) Pinto 4-banger 'street engine', using a homebrew megasquirt-based efi, 60 lb./hr. injectors and a single T43/T4 hybrid turbo that eventually dynoed at 448 hp on 24 lbs. boost, at a very conservative 5500 rpm. Imagine what a similar set up, but with a pair of slightly bigger, straight 'non-hybrid' T4 turbos could do on much bigger, 331-inch engine, and with hemi heads as well! It would cost some money for some *really good* internal parts and machine work (-ie - a custom-ground "turbo" cam, aftermarket steel rods, good forged pistons and probably a girdle or a conversion to 4-bolt main caps) to get it to live, but you could end up with 700 or 800 hp and about 600 ft/lbs of torque(!) all at a fairly low, 5000-5500 rpm ....and from a "little" 331-incher with stock exhaust manifolds!!:)

mart
==============================

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Thu May 12, 2011 6:47 am

mart,

Thaks for all that. One thing though. I spoke with Eric at Hot heads last week and he said all I needed for an intake was either the Weiand dual quad, or the Hot Heads single plane because the flanges on them were wide enough to cover the raised exhause crossover. Is he mistaken? Please understand I am not being arguementative here, I know absoluetly nothing about early Hemis and obviously this is something I need to know about. Thanks again.

392heminut
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:16 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by 392heminut » Thu May 12, 2011 8:47 am

DavidBraley wrote:
Here is an example of a number stamping:

Image

David
I've seen that number before! :D
Owner of the Poor Man's Hemi Cuda

Rob
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by Rob » Thu May 12, 2011 10:13 am

Hay mart, I called Hot Heads this mornin and talked to Eric again. He said this kit: http://hothemiheads.com/water_pumps/thermostat_kit.html will solve the truck head problem as far as water crossover. Other than that, is there any other reason NOT to use the truck heads? I don't mind replacing the exhaust valves and guides. I am able to do all the head work myself. This engine is going to be very mild. I am going to retain the exhaust manifolds and go no more than 230* duration at .050" on the camshaft and probably remain hydraulic. Thanks again for your time.

mart
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:06 pm

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by mart » Thu May 12, 2011 6:02 pm

Rob wrote:Hay mart, I called Hot Heads this morning and talked to Eric again. He said this kit: http://hothemiheads.com/water_pumps/thermostat_kit.html will solve the truck head problem as far as water crossover. Other than that, is there any other reason NOT to use the truck heads? I don't mind replacing the exhaust valves and guides. I am able to do all the head work myself. This engine is going to be very mild. I am going to retain the exhaust manifolds and go no more than 230* duration at .050" on the camshaft and probably remain hydraulic. Thanks again for your time.
------------------
If the Weiand and the Hot Heads intakes cover the raised exhaust crossover, than 'you're good to go' from that standpoint. I knew that stock Chrysler passenger-car intakes and some (most?) older aftermarket intakes don't, but if you're using a Weiand or the Hot Heads manifold, that won't be an issue. Ditto for using the Hot heads water pump & thermostat kit to allow using a 'dry' intake on the truck heads. The only other real issue I can see, is the sodium-cooled exhaust valves and their more restrictive, large-diameter stems.
I'm not sure if your VT448 331 has the sodium-cooled valves or not, but I know that other 'VT model' 331's and 354's used in the 'big trucks' had them. If you have the sodium valves and they are still usable and it's for a mild street build, you could probably keep them. But later, if you decide to up the ante and make some big power from your engine, I'd definitely suggest changing the guides and using regular 'smaller stem' valves - both - because of their improved flow and their lighter weight. On thing to be sure - if you re-use the sodium-cooled valves, be sure and let whomever is grinding the valves know that that's what they are. Chrysler used to put a a large yellow warning sticker on the valve covers of these engines to warn mechanics working on them about the sodium in the valves, because if a machinist were to unwittingly grind through into the sodium, the sodium will *spontaneously* and *violently* ignite as soon as it makes contact with air - and the subsequent fire from burning sodium is nearly impossible to put out!

mart
===========================

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

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Thu May 12, 2011 7:06 pm

Hi Rob,

I told you this place was awesome. 8)

I see most of your questions have been answered! All but one.... The data book I have here, and it's by no means complete, is Leo Lindquist, "Hemi Engine Data for 1950's Chrysler, Desoto, Dodge, Dodge Job-Rated Trucks, and Imperial."

You can get it from Hot Heads and it's worth every penny! It has saved me more than once. Here is a link:

http://www.hothemiheads.com/hemi_info/h ... _data.html

Also, I too have heard that Weiand and Hot Heads manifolds will work with the truck heads. I always thought that was a smart move by Hot Heads to modify their castings to do that. I personally would first try and run the truck heads.

But, after saying that, I'm going to support Mart's suggestion that if you get a chance to buy a good rebuildable set of car heads (54-56), do it. You will get enough from selling the truck heads to make it worth your while. If you do a search for heads, make sure they are 1954 to 1956 ONLY! Pre 54 heads have the most undesirable small ports, and post 56 are for the 392 only, and they will not fit ANY intake manifold sitting on your 331 block (with the exception of some of the log manifolds like the Drag Star). The reason the 392 heads will not work is because the deck height is higher for the 392 compared to the 331-354.

Here are some casting numbers to help if you go hunting for car heads:

1954 331 engine - 1486833
1955 331 engine - 1556157 (these are considered by most to be the best heads, sometimes called "Triple Nickel" heads)
1956 354 engine - 1619823

Keep us up to date on your progress!

Take care,

David
Last edited by DavidBraley on Thu May 12, 2011 7:17 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
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: Hay Yall.....

Post by DavidBraley » Thu May 12, 2011 7:13 pm

392heminut wrote:
DavidBraley wrote:
Here is an example of a number stamping:

Image

David
I've seen that number before! :D
Every time I walk into my home garage/shop, I look at that big hunk of iron and thank my lucky stars you were kind enough to help me find a block! :D

Thanks again Larry!

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

Post Reply