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Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

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  • Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

    I started building this little A Bone over the winter two years ago. My intentions were always to make it a Hemi car, trouble was I didn't have one of those. I did have a completely unknown Small Block that I had come in a trade with a lot of other stuff. I knew nothing at all about this Chevy engine but I was at the point were I needed an engine if I was ever going to drive this car, so in it went. No one was more surprised than myself when it actually fired up. It has been in the car for two years and has proven to be a great little engine. Last winter it sat for almost 7 months with nothing done to it at all. Wanted to drive the car this spring after it has sat for that 7 months, gave it a shot of starting fluid and she fired right up.
    In the mean time I did find a Hemi and it was local to me about 40 miles or so. Guy had built the motor for a friend, as the story goes, and was going to put it in a 1966 Barracuda. Well the friend had passed away and the engine just sat in this guys shop for 8 years. We strike a deal and I haul it home. I needed to get it apart after it had sat for 8 years so I tore it down. It did have a brand new set of Jahns pop up pistons and fresh .010-.010 crank and a new solid lifter roller cam. The heads needed to be redone as there was some rust around the intake valves, but all in all not to bad. For some reason I decided to mic one of the pistons, they were unmarked on the top so I assumed they were standard in size. Turns out they were .120 over size. Yea that's correct this block had been bored almost a full 1/8th of an inch. Tried my best to find a machine shop that would sonic check the block. Man they all looked at me like I was crazy, what I heard from most of these guys was
    "Why do that?"
    I would say because it has been bored .120 and they would respond
    " Well them its no good just junk it and get another block"
    My response was " you do realize that this is a 1958 392 Chrysler Hemi and were do you suggest I go to get another block?"

    I ended up buying my own sonic tester, and found that this block was going to be just fine, and while there will be no more boring on it, it will do for a mild street engine. In the mean time I found another complete 392 and bought it, then there is another one for sale and in the end I now have a shop full of Hemi's I ended up with five. Four 392's and one 354, so I am now Hemi poor. I took the second one I bought and built it. It was ready to go, all the machine work done, bored .040 with a .010 .010 crank and a new set of Egge 10 to 1 pistons. These old Hemi's are pretty heavy at 720 lbs. I was a little worried about all of that weight in my Model A chassis, so I set out to lighten it up some. I bought a set of Aluminum heads from Hot Heads replaced all of the cast iron parts on the front of the block with polished aluminum that alone saved 124 lbs and another 165 lbs was saved with the heads. I mean the intake on these old motors weighs 96 lbs by itself. In the end I got that 392 down to 485lbs and that is close to Small Block Chevy weight.

    The motor is together and ready to install, but it was driving season and I didn't want to be without a Hot Rod while I did the swap. That choice ended up costing me a ton of money. You see I am looking around on the internet and I see an ad for a complete 6-71 blower set up for a 392. I says to myself " self why not put a blower on that critter?" So I buy that blower and go back to work. The Egge 10 to 1 pistons sure wont work so I buy a set of custom built Ross forged pistons for the blower, and the lists of parts that had to be changed got bigger and bigger. But I got it done and now once again I am ready to do the swap. Here are a few pictures you guys tell me what you think.
    Attached Files
    malc and Deaf Bob like this.
    Protected people will never be able to know the intensity life can be lived at. To do that you must completely understand the meaning of the word "DUCK"

  • #2

    Re: Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

    I like the way your project has progressed!
    Hombre likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

      I'll see if I can get a pic but your car reminds me of the first street rod I was ever around and it hooked me for life. Chopped sedan body like yours though channeled a few inches. Red Hemi engine with the body in '60 Chrysler Mediterranean blue. To this day when someone says "street rod" that car shows up in my mind. It was built by Marshall Sanders and he's still building rods at the age of 74 (or so). BTW - this was 1964 time frame. So you KNOW I love your car!

      I was friends with his younger brother and we're still friends though my friend's health is failing. Many in the family went on to build interesting cars starting with their Dad.

      EDIT: Oh, Marshall's was not blown - we were in HS!

      Dan
      Last edited by DanStokes; June 26th, 2018, 07:55 PM.
      malc and Hombre like this.

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      • #4

        Re: Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

        I'll see if I can get a pic but your car reminds me of the first street rod I was ever around and it hooked me for life. Chopped sedan body like yours though channeled a few inches. Red Hemi engine with the body in '60 Chrysler Mediterranean blue. To this day when someone says "street rod" that car shows up in my mind. It was built by Marshall Sanders and he's still building rods at the age of 74 (or so). BTW - this was 1964 time frame. So you KNOW I love your car!

        I was friends with his younger brother and we're still friends though my friend's health is failing. Many in the family went on to build interesting cars starting with their Dad.

        EDIT: Oh, Marshall's was not blown - we were in HS!

        Dan
        Dan, I have to tell I am just almost as old as the Mr. Sanders you speak of. This little Model A is a car I always wanted to build. When I was a kid growing up in East Texas the old Barber I went to used to save for me all of the car magazines after they had been out in the shop for a while. The cars that I liked the best even at that young age were the Comp Coupes. That was a drag racing "Class" There were a lot of sedans as well as coupes in that class. Sadly Comp Coupe is long gone but the memories of that old class are still with me today. I finally got the chance to build a car like that and I am pretty happy with it so far. It will be shiney just as soon as I get the Hemi in it. The interior is coming along as well.

        Funny thing about the interior. I wanted old school individual pleats, not the sewn pleats you see so much of today. I talked to a couple of interior guys and none of them would do that for me. So I though why can't I learn how to do that? Bought myself a really good upholstery machine, and about a 100 yds of cheap vinyl upholstery material and got to sewing. After I had made every mistake possible you can make I finally kinda got the idea of how that was supposed to work. I did my door panels and seats for this car myself. As a matter of fact this was my first. I also really like this car Dan so thank you for the kind words...Click image for larger version

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        Deaf Bob, DanStokes and malc like this.
        Protected people will never be able to know the intensity life can be lived at. To do that you must completely understand the meaning of the word "DUCK"

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        • #5

          Re: Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

          The A screams "I am hot rod".....looks just right.
          Time to get the Hemi in it......
          Hombre likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

            malc, Thank you man. I agree completely it is time...
            Protected people will never be able to know the intensity life can be lived at. To do that you must completely understand the meaning of the word "DUCK"

            Comment


            • #7

              Re: Modeel A and A Hemi Swap

              Wow.... one hell of a cool project!
              Hombre and like this.
              Patrick & Tammy
              - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

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