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Old 05-13-2002, 07:06 AM
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Cool Old Hemi questions and comments, please

Hey all.
Im new here and want to say hi first of all.
I just purchased a 1956 354 Hemi to put into my 73 prostreet Gremlin. It was rebuilt about 4 years ago by a fellas friend who was so-so on engines and thought he could do it right. It was a complete rebuild, pistons, rings, cam, lifters, timing set, bearings, gaskets, new crank, block work, rebuilt heads.
After the work, it wouldnt turn by hand, so it wasnt ever fired up. I can see the piston tops and there bright n shiny, so I know there new and I can see the timing set also, so I know its all new stuff.
Do you think one of the rods wasnt resized right or Ive heard these Hemis are aligned bored, so could a main cap be on wrong?
Whats your thoughts on this and these old Hemis in general?
By the way, with all these new parts, the valve covers are almost excellent and it comes with 2 water pumps, generator, starter, distributor, exhaust manifolds, original air cleaner and more in a crate I havent seen yet. All for 700 bucks!!
What ya think? HemmiGremmi

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Old 05-13-2002, 05:24 PM
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Dont know much about hemi's but afew things to check,wrong size bearings,rods may have been put in backwards radius in instead of out.just a few Ideals hope this helps(wrenchturner)P.S.hope the caps was'nt put on wrong from not being marked at disassembly.
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Old 05-14-2002, 08:13 PM
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if you decide not to purchase it let me know so that I can. email me directly though. I'm thinkin that the rotating assy needs to be disassembled, rechecked and reassembled after corrections are made. man, wish I could find such deals.
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Old 05-16-2002, 04:03 PM
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Tear it down, mike everything and reassemble correctly. Great engines.
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Old 05-17-2002, 04:36 PM
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I remebered seeing a great Hemi site a few years ago and after a bit of browsing I found it.

http://www.hothemiheads.com/

JCE
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Old 05-17-2002, 10:19 PM
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Hemi guys,

I used to run these (392 with 5/8 or 3/4 arms) and 426 with 1/2 and 5/8 arms. These used to take 100 foot pounds to turn over at the blower with 60 % od, so don't be too alarmed by by high torque. I built a lot of small block chev motors that you could turn over with a small hand wrench easy. Not the hemi though. We used dyke rings as well as thin stainless top rings and pretty smooth bores and a lot of bearing clearance. The early hemi was always linebored or linehoned as the bearing bores were off quite a bit. There is a lot of friction in the valve train so a lot of force is required here.
If in doubt however take it apart and check it out as noted in the other posts. They are super easy to work on. Be carefull as these blocks are very hard to find now. We used to buy these cars for $50 and rip out the motor, strip it for the block,heads and rocker arms and throw the rest in the back seat for the return to the junk yard.
One thing I forgot...typically the cam bearings are replaced if you hot tank the block. Often these are very tight when replaced. We did not remove cam bearings unless shot. We just put really heavy black grease on them and hot tanked the block and cleaned them up. At one point I made a guided cutter tool for lightly cutting the new bearings.
Just some thoughts on a great old engine.

bentwings
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