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.
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.