ROOM FOR THE ELE­PHANT

STUFF­ING A GEN II HEMI INTO A CLASSIC A-, B-, OR E-BODY IS SIM­PLI­FIED WITH TTI EX­HAUST HEAD­ERS AND SCHU­MACHER CRE­ATIVE SER­VICES EN­GINE MOUNTS.

Mopar Muscle - - Contents - BY DAN FO­LEY • PHO­TOS BY THE AU­THOR

Stuff­ing a Gen II Hemi into a classic A-, B-, or E-body is sim­pli­fied.

Pack­ing a sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Hemi into your classic Mopar is a long­time dream for most Pen­tas­tar en­thu­si­asts. But just get­ting the en­gine and car isn’t an end in it­self. Get­ting it un­der the hood and tear­ing up the tar­mac is the ul­ti­mate goal.

The ’60s/’70s wedge and Hemi share the same bolt pat­terns at the front, rear, and bot­tom of the block. This makes a wedge-to-hemi swap sim­ple. You can bolt up the same bell­hous­ing or 727 trans­mis­sion. On the front of both engines, the wa­ter pump hous­ing and ac­ces­sories are an­other easy swap-over. The oil pan and oil pump also in­ter­change, but that’s where it stops. It’s the top end of the Ele­phant en­gine where in­ter­change­abil­ity ends. Those wider, im­pres­sive, bet­ter-breath­ing Hemi heads have dif­fer­ent in­take and ex­haust man­i­folds, and the en­gine mounts bolt up to­tally dif­fer­ent.

Here’s where the good folks from TTI Ex­haust and Schu­macher Cre­ative Ser­vices come to the res­cue. They ad­dress th­ese dif­fer­ences and help make your Hemi dream a re­al­ity. Un­like be­fore, there’s no need to search and pur­chase an ex­pen­sive Hemi K-mem­ber and en­gine mounts.

Though swaps to the Gen III Hemi engines are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, we’re happy to go the old-school route for sim­plic­ity’s sake. Let’s not for­get all the tech­nol­ogy that in re­cent years has gone into the Gen II Hemi. Who­ever thought 10-plus years ago you could have a pump-gas, nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Street Hemi with over 800 hp. To make our 383 wedge to 528 Street Hemi swap a walk in the park, we’ll be us­ing Schu­macher’s Hemi en­gine con­ver­sion mounts and TTI’S 2¼-inch head­ers.

Here you’ll see the mi­nor fit­ting ad­just­ments we needed to make and a few tips to help make a Hemi con­ver­sion an easy

task. Most folks per­form­ing this Hemi swap into an early B-body (like us) will not have to mod­ify the shock tower if uti­liz­ing stock Hemi valve cov­ers. We had no choice but to beat in our right-side shock tower roughly a half-inch for clear­ance with the taller and wider Ray Bar­ton valve cov­ers. Sure, we could’ve in­stalled an A-990 shock tower, but that’s ma­jor surgery most of us can’t per­form. Folks with the ’66-and-later B-bod­ies or a ’70-’74 E-body won’t find this mod­i­fi­ca­tion nec­es­sary. Fol­low along to see how sim­ple a Hemi en­gine con­ver­sion can be. There’s still more to do to get our Hemi run­ning and driv­ing, but we are close — very close.

…just get­ting the en­gine and car isn’t an end in it­self. Get­ting it un­der the hood and tear­ing up the tar­mac is the ul­ti­mate goal.

We de­cided it would be eas­ier to check and set the valve lash on our Street Hemi be­fore drop­ping it into the tight-fit en­gine bay. Hemi valve cov­ers — es­pe­cially our taller and wider Ray Bar­ton units, are eas­ier to re­move and re­in­stall while on the en­gine stand. Check out the Ray Bar­ton rocker sys­tem. It has val­ve­train sta­bil­ity up to 10,000 rpm.

We found the re­pro­duc­tion Street Hemi dip­stick fits nicely. It only re­quired mi­nor bend­ing to pro­vide good clear­ance away from the ce­ramic-coated TTI 2 1/4-inch head­ers (PN HEMI625214C4, TTI, $977) and Schu­macher Cre­ative Ser­vices con­ver­sion Hemi en­gine mounts (PN B625H, Schu­macher, $259).

Fit­ment with the Milodon dip­stick worked best when mounted and routed as seen here. Rout­ing/mount­ing it any dif­fer­ently made pulling and putting in the dip­stick very dif­fi­cult, if not impossible.

With our Hemi on the en­gine stand, it’s also much eas­ier to check clear­ance be­tween the head­ers to starter, dip­stick, en­gine mounts and block. We dis­cov­ered try­ing to bolt on the left-side head­ers that the ra­di­a­tor pet­cock was in­ter­fer­ing with header fit­ment. A stock coolant plug was put back into the block for our first clear­ance cor­rec­tion.

TTI Ex­haust sug­gests us­ing the Milodon stain­less braided dip­stick (left) (PN MIL22070, Sum­mit, $62.95) with its head­ers. Mancini Rac­ing of­fers this new re­pro­duc­tion Street Hemi dip­stick (PN MREMS225G, Mancini, $65.95). We de­cided to also try fit­ment us­ing the re­pro­duc­tion dip­stick with the TTI head­ers.

The newer Mopar Gen II Hemi blocks are beefier than the orig­i­nal fac­tory cast­ings. To line up the starter bolt­holes, we’d need to clear­ance grind the block or starter. TTI Ex­haust rec­om­mends use of this clock-able Pow­er­mas­ter XS Torque starter (PN PWM-9523, Sum­mit, $308.99) for fit­ment with their head­ers.

Now, with the starter be­ing able to be bolted up in po­si­tion, the head­ers were hit­ting the starter where the pen is point­ing. To rem­edy this clear­ance is­sue, we only needed to clock the starter clock­wise one po­si­tion out of the four avail­able on this clock-able starter.

The con­ver­sion en­gine mounts from Schu­macher Cre­ative In­dus­tries helped us ease the mas­sive Ele­phant into this sit­ting-pretty po­si­tion. The Coronet’s orig­i­nal V-8 K-mem­ber was pow­der­coated in a pre­vi­ous story while us­ing PST’S Poly­graphite front end kit and sus­pen­sion com­po­nents when we re­built the front end.

Want­ing to keep fly­ing metal chips away from our ex­pen­sive Hemi, so out­side our garage with a die grinder, we shaved an 1/8-inch from the starter’s mount­ing block. No fear, the mount­ing block of this pow­er­ful starter is made of strong bil­let alu­minum ver­sus the cast alu­minum of cheaper units.

Most of the af­ter­mar­ket and stock Hemi/wedge oil pans are de­signed for fit­ment with the ’66 and later B- and E-body. Us­ing the afore­men­tioned oil pans re­quire the early B-body K-mem­ber to be notched. Not so with this deep 7-quart Moroso oil pan (PN MOR-20760, Sum­mit, $199.99). This stronger-than-stock oil pan pro­vides plenty of K-mem­ber clear­ance in an early ’62-’65 B-body with a wedge or Hemi en­gine in­stal­la­tion.

We’re glad we straight­ened out the afore­men­tioned clear­ance is­sues be­fore im­plant­ing the Hemi into the en­gine bay. It would’ve been much more dif­fi­cult and time con­sum­ing to work out the fit­ment of the head­ers to starter, block, en­gine mount, and dip­stick in­side the en­gine com­part­ment.

Here’s where the taller and wider Ray Bar­ton Rac­ing Engines valve cov­ers were hit­ting the shock tower. If we used stock valve cov­ers there wouldn’t be any clear­ance is­sues, but we must use th­ese fat valve cov­ers to clear the Ray Bar­ton rocker arm sys­tem. The Bar­ton rocker setup gives you su­pe­rior val­ve­train geom­e­try for more power and rpm.

We’ll em­ploy this Schu­macher polyurethane trans mount (left) (PN TMEB, Schu­macher, $99) to firmly hold and line up our A&A built 727 and Hemi en­gine in proper po­si­tion. The Schu­macher en­gine mounts are also tough polyurethane to pre­vent our driv­e­train from shift­ing around. Us­ing the stock rub­ber mount could’ve caused fu­ture clear­ance is­sues.

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