Hot Rod Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a chance to buy a 1955 354 hemi power giant from a truck, the man says it has the short bellhousing, extra crank, rods,timing cover and a stock cast 4bbl intake.
It would need a rebuild, my question is, is there a difference between the short and long bell with respect to adapting a 727 to it, is it one of the motors to stay away from or jump on. He's asking 800.00, after doing a search on the forum, I'm more confused...most of the parts have already been media cleaned and he has two nos water pumps....
What say you!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
$800 probably isn't too bad. Just keep in mind that the rebuild will run around $3000 so you'll have close to 4 grand invested when you're done. Hemis aren't cheap to build but the "cool" factor is definitely worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
As far as I know the 331 was the only one with the extended bellhousing. What you're looking at is the one that ill adapt easily to the 727. The price sounds reasonable for the package and there is the possibility that int might have the the deseriable adjustable roocker arms (on the industerial engines, just because it has the dimpeled valve covers doesn't always mean it has adjustable rockers).

Centerlines estimate on a rebuild is close if you farm everything out and it needs a complete rebuild.
 

·
just passin' thru
Joined
·
327 Posts
I did a quick check of my references and it seems that the 354 Hemi was available in Dodge trucks from '56 to '59. The 331 was available from '54 to '56. But there may have been variations, especially if it was early or late in the model year.
My point is, make sure which Hemi you are looking at by getting the serial number off the front of the block by the valley cover. If you can, also get the part number off of that extra crank. Post those numbers here, and they can be verified by any number of us here on the board...
Don't just take the seller's word that it's a 354 from a truck. There's been many a time that someone is selling a 392 Chrysler (because that's the only one they've ever heard of) and it turns out to be a 331 or 354 or Dodge or Desoto Hemi. If it is indeed what you think, then it sounds like a good deal.
Hope this helps,
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, I found another 354 hemi complete, dirty and it's a Chrysler, the guy wants 1k for it. The other person called me back with the 354 Dodge, another guy passed on it because of the heater riser tubes? I guess they need to be welded off? Anyway, he's down to 700...
I'm thinking I should sit on my hands until I learn a bit more, might loose a finger...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
The guy with a Dodge really has a Chrysler. All 354's were Chryslers..... they just put some in Dodge trucks. The heat risers in the heads have to be welded some so they will seal on an automotive style (and aftermarket) intake. That is the simple solution. The correct solution is to stick "car" heads on it.

If I was you, I'd go for the other guy even if the price is a grand. My bet is if you show up with $800 cash you'll buy it. Face it, you're going to have to rebuild it anyway so why not start out with an automotive application rather than having to convert a heavy truck version. If you do some judicious shopping and you don't want to squeeze too much horsepower out of it, you can cut a rebuild down to a couple grand, but you'll have to do the assembly yourself and no fancy custom machine work, just the normal stuff.

I paid $500 for the 331 in the pic below 15 years ago and it sat in my garage till last year before I started rebuilding it. As you see it there, in my deuce frame I have just about $5000 invested including the 3 deuce setup and the home made headers. I put another 331 in a '53 Chevy pickup a couple years ago and that one only cost about $2500 to rebuild. Simple single 4 bbl and pretty much stock innards except the cam. You can spend as much as you want, just remember horsepower costs $$$$.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Again yes what CL said :D

The basic build with nothing to fancy in the motor (I would include the oil by pass to full flow filter mod and adjustable pushrods) will run the in 2K area.

The external parts can be what kills you on one of these builds. The chevy water pump adaptors are pretty cheap (and will work with a stock BBC long water pump and stock timing cover) but if you add the timing cover you need for the short waterpump and the aftermarket lower pullies you’re looking at a couple of hindered bucks.

Valve covers are another good example. Aftermarket aluminum ones can go for 300 and up a pair, but depending on where you are chroming the stock ones could be as little as $150.

Here are my two. I happened to get real lucky on both the Tri-Power and 6X2 setups which helped keep the cost down. The 354 (tri-power motor) is in my 57 Plymouth and started out as a 354 Dodge truck motor and the intake is actually based on a 2BBl industrial intake (which alleviated the heat riser passage problem).

The 6X2 331 is from a 55 Chrysler New Yorker and was also treated to a pretty basic rebuild. If you go with the passenger car engine as your starting point I think you're going to find that the crankshaft has not been drilled for a pilot bearing. While the engine is apart I would suggest you have your machine shop drill it for one even if your current plans are for an automatic (you never know what the future holds).

As they sit, I have a bit less than $3k in each motor.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
Here's the '54 331 I put in the '53 Chevy pickup. Nothing fancy, simple stock 4 bbl. intake (opened up for a modern AFB), mild cam with matching springs and stock exhaust manifolds. I picked up a set of truck valve covers (no name) and had them powder coated wrinkle black similar to the 426 style. Probably turns out around 275 hp. Its also fitted with AC and power steering. Does have the aftermarket HotHeads pullys and a SB Chevy water pump conversion.



That hemi is hooked via a Wilcap adapter to a TH-350. However I agree with 57plymouthhemi that if you're crank isn't drilled for a pilot bearing you need to have it done. Also have the crank bolt holes tapped because it makes it a lot easier to bolt the flywheel or flexplate up. That said Hotheads sells an early hemi to Chevy manual trans flywheel that is drilled for a pilot bearing so if you don't have it drilled and decide later to run a manual you can still do it.



I'm using that very setup on the hemi in the deuce (which is hooked to a Chevy 4 speed). HotHeads adapter, HotHeads steel flywheel with pilot bushing, Mopar 340 10.5" B&B pressure plate and Chevy 10.4" clutch. The whole thing goes together very easily and just uses a stock Chevy bellhousing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to both of you, good info and pics. The complete 354 was sold this morning before I got to it. Guess I'll start searching again, the guy with the truck 354 says it needs a sleeve in one cylinder, so if he's telling me this much, who know's what else. There's a Dodge 271 hemi listed on craigslist right now? I can't imagine there's much aftermarket for it..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
Actually there is almost as much aftermarket stuff available for the Dodge hemis as Chryslers. Not a whole lot available for DeSoto's but it is improving. Check HotHeads and you will see a lot is available for the Dodges.

If you're not hard over on producing a lot of power and want a nice reliable hemi one of the Dodge early hemis might just fit the bill. If the Dodge is a 270 stock it cranked out 183-193 hp depending on carburation. With an aluminum 4bbl. manifold, decent cam, and a set of headers you could easily bump that up to 250 plus. The Dodge's have a lot going for them simply because of their size. They are the smallest physically so they'll fit in smaller engine compartments with little fuss, they're lighter and just like all early hemis, (with the exception of the long bellhousing 331), they have the same bellhousing bolt pattern so with the available adapters a myriad of automatic and manual transmissions can be bolted up.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top