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Old 12-31-2008, 06:59 PM
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Low Buck solution to early hemi front covers.

I know there aren't that many early hemi guys here but I'll throw this out for anyone who can use it.

Anyone who runs an early hemi generally will go with the BBC water pump conversion. This is a great solution since it fits by simply using an inexpensive adapter kit that is available through PAW or HotHeads and gives you the ability to replace a faulty pump at almost any auto parts store. We all know that finding a new water pump for an early hemi is almost impossible, although I do have one for a DeSoto hemi on my parts shelf, still in the box.

Anyway, converting to the BBC water pump means that you will have to run an aftermarket front cover like this one from HotHeads. Very nice looking but a bit expensive at $139.



So the low buck solution to this problem is to modify a stock front cover to fit behind the BBC water pump. The hemi I'm building for my Deuce will represent one that was built back in the early 60's and it is unlikely that a cast aluminum front cover would have been used back then (unless you were running mechanical fuel injection) so I think the '60's look will be better served just by modifying what I have to fit the parts I'm using.

Here is a stock Chrysler hemi front cover. Notice the fuel pump boss on the side.



On early hemis the fuel pump is driven off a concenteric that mounts to the front of the cam. Unfortunatly the fuel pump concentric has to be deleted in order to fit things behind the BBC water pump and the rest of the upper portion of the cover is about a quarter inch too high to fit as well. This means I'll have to use an electric fuel pump but I knew that going in.

What I did was to cut the upper portion of the cover off and replace it with a 16 ga. section at the proper height to fit behind the water pump and yet allow enough room for the timing chain and sprocket. Here you can see the modified version compared to the stock cover.



And here is how it will sit on the front of the block.



1/8" clearance is all that is needed. A quick way to save $140 and as expensive as early hemis are to rebuild every penny saved helps.


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Old 12-31-2008, 07:28 PM
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i read somewhere that you can use a chevy water pump on a big block 383-440 mopar. ever heard of this?
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:39 PM
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I just use the two piece timing covers where the front pannel comes completely off without breaking the oilpan seal. Much easier to service and make cam changes.

But I like all polished billet aluminum stuff covering up my Milodon gear drives.

Here is one on the stand now right behind the belts..


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Old 12-31-2008, 09:56 PM
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:51 AM
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If the BBC pump adapters were spaced out the necessary additional 1/4", would the pump clear the Hemi cover with the mechanical pump mount still intact? At any rate, if it won't that is STILL the way to go...cutting/welding the Stock cover. VERY good Tech...
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 345 desoto
If the BBC pump adapters were spaced out the necessary additional 1/4", would the pump clear the Hemi cover with the mechanical pump mount still intact? At any rate, if it won't that is STILL the way to go...cutting/welding the Stock cover. VERY good Tech...
There's no way the stock cover will fit behind the BBC water pump. There is a little less than 1 1/2" spacing from the block to the back of the water pump including the 3/4" thick adapters. The stock cover with the fuel pump boss is well over 2" tall.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:18 AM
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So the fuel pump boss is most of the clearence problem?...
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 406 ss monte
i read somewhere that you can use a chevy water pump on a big block 383-440 mopar. ever heard of this?
Interesting but why would you want to put a BBC water pump on a 440??? The ONLY reason to ever put a Chevy part on a Mopar would be because the original Mopar part is not available. Water pumps for BB Mopars are still available just about everywhere.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 345 desoto
So the fuel pump boss is most of the clearence problem?...
Actually no. The entire cover sticks up about 1/8" too high. Although it looks like it might fit.....



When you take a close look you can see the entire top section of the cover needs to be trimmed down to fit behind the water pump's rear cover bolts.

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:59 AM
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Okay...got it. That last set of pictures did it. I's Bookmarked for my "Hemi" file...
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