331 Worth Saving?

Discussion of the 331-354-392 HEMIs.

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donny-b
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:15 am

331 Worth Saving?

Postby donny-b » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:27 pm

Hello all,
Over the summer I purchased a 1955 331 hemi powered Chrysler generator. I was told at the time the machine was used as a backup for a small building and supposedly had low hours. Unfortunately the owner let it set outside and allowed it to seize. After getting the unit home I filled the cylinders with PB and let soak for a few days. I then used a breaker bar to work it loose. It didn't take much to free it but 2 cylinders had no compression so I decided to disassemble. Everything looked good inside except for a few rings were stuck. Upon closer inspection of the block I found someone had patched the outside between number 3 and 5 cylinders by brazing in a plate! Well, this was a bit depressing to say the least. When I disassembled the engine it had clean oil and was full of antifreeze. There was no indication of water in the oil or an exterior leak of any kind. I spray checked the cylinders for cracks but found none. My question is: Should I be concerned with the patch and scrap the block or continue to re-build the engine?
Thank you in advance.

George
Posts: 636
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Fl

Re: 331 Worth Saving?

Postby George » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:38 pm

Do you mean a big chunk was busted out of the block, or they brazed a crack & put the patch over it for additional strength? If cracked you could melt out the brass & find a good welder to weld it up. You'll have to decide if worth the cost. How did the cyls mic out?

donny-b
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:15 am

Re: 331 Worth Saving?

Postby donny-b » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:49 pm

It appears that a chunk of the outside water jacket at the core plug was patched. I have not had the time to examine with a scope through the top of the cylinders but will in the next week or two. As for the cylinders, they mic within .002" of standard size. I have considered melting out the brass and having it patched and welded with nickel but would it be worth it? Since rebuild parts for the old hemi's are soooooo expensive, I may just part out the engine and sell the block for scrap. :cry:

George
Posts: 636
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Fl

Re: 331 Worth Saving?

Postby George » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:30 pm

find another one first! also does it have standard car heads?

donny-b
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:15 am

Re: 331 Worth Saving?

Postby donny-b » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:25 pm

The 331 heads are in nice condition with new valves, springs and has hardened seats. The heads were rebuilt probably when the block was repaired.

George
Posts: 636
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Fl

Re: 331 Worth Saving?

Postby George » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:39 pm

Too bad it isn't together to pressure test it.


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