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426 RACE HEMI

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 426 RACE HEMI

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GTO 1964-1967

Shelby Mustang

Hemi

 

 



The D Cylinder Head Program

During 1969 and 1970 Chrysler undertook a cylinder head refinement program to experiment with various aspects of design that affected intake and exhaust flow. All these heads retained the hemispherical combustion chamber, but the engineers experimented with a great many ideas; the most feasible, from a manufacturing standpoint, were designated for prototype or limited production for use on the racing engines. Hemi enthusiasts know these as the D heads.

The D1 cylinder head used the same diameter intake and exhaust valves but had larger ports. Each intake port had 3.00 sq-in and the exhaust port had 2.10 sq-in. Intake valve angle from cylinder bore centerline was 35 deg.; exhaust valve angle was 23 deg. This head was tested for the 426 race Hemi.

The D2 cylinder head was essentially the same as the D1 but used on the 429 ci displacement Hemi as permitted by NASCAR rules, using a 0.02 in. overbore. The lab engine with this setup was run in April of 1969, but the D2 program was canceled the following month because performance gains were not sufficient.

In his program report on the D3, Bill Weertman wrote, "The A864 D3 is the first of several cylinder heads designed to provide larger valves and increase flow, intake and exhaust ports." The valve angles had to be changed due to the new intake valve diameter of 2.38 in. with a 3.65 sq-in intake port, and an exhaust valve diameter of 2.00 in. with a 2.53 sq-in exhaust port. In addition, the cylinder bores had to be notched for intake valve clearance. Displacement remained at 426 ci. Two cylinder heads were prepared in March 1969, and the intake manifold modified to match the heads the following month. The first power run was made on May 9,1969, but ironically, power was less than the D1 Hemi.

Between the D3 and the D4 cylinder head design was the D3.5. It used the large intake port of the D3 head and the exhaust port of the D4. The castings for this head were ordered in May 1969 and they were machined in the engine lab that September. No records of the flow results are available.

The original write-up for the D4 head was made May 12,1969. In his program report for this cylinder-head design, Weertman wrote, "The A864 D4 design was made to investigate improvements for making the exhaust port higher with less curvature and with larger area." The head was ordered March 12,1969, but the first power runs weren't made until May 1970. The 426 Hemi with D4 heads generated 641 hp on May 1,1970.

The race group wanted to see what the D4 heads with a gear-drive camshaft would do on the Daytona Speedway, so the engine was put in the engineering test car and shipped to Daytona. The track had already been rented for May 12,1970, just to test the car. Paul Bruns, manager of the engineering race-car program, and Bill Weertman were there. The car ran a lap at 191.172 mph, which was a boost of almost 3 mph over runs with a prior engine.

The D5 cylinder head was probably the most famous of all. This was a cast-aluminum twin-spark-plug design that incorporated all the improvements in the D4 design. The twin-plug feature aided flame propagation. This cylinder head actually saw limited production for use by 426 Hemi drag-racing enthusiasts.

There were other cylinder head variations on the 426 Hemi. One of the last investigated was the D20 Magna design. In his progress report on this design, Weertman wrote, "The D20 'Magna' was a design study to provide extra large ports and valves. In order to avoid a long, high inertia rocker arm, a two-piece pushrod was devised connecting with a small tappet in the cylinder head." The D20 had a 4.00 sq-in intake port with a 2.50 in. diameter intake valve, positioned 31 deg., 45 min. from cylinder bore center. The exhaust port had a 2.60 sq-in cross section with a 2.20 in. diameter exhaust valve set at 36 deg. from the cylinder bore center. With this valve geometry, the head was wider, requiring larger cylinder-head covers. The aluminum version of this design was the D21. Work progressed from its first write-up in November 1968 until May 1969, when the program was canceled due to yet another sudden rule change by NASCAR.

That rule change ended further 426 Hemi development and production for racing. The rule change was a result of the exotic, aerodynamic body designs that hit the high-banked ovals in 1969 and 1970. For Chrysler, greater performance gains were achieved through aerodynamics than by further horse-power development. The first Mopar to reflect this thinking was the Charger 500, followed by the Dodge Daytona and then the Plymouth Superbird. Once again. Bill France put the brakes on these and other aero stock cars by requiring a maximum displacement of 305 ci powering them. This rule was to take effect for the 1971 season. This was too drastic a change to make altering the Hemi worthwhile.

"Actually, the manufacturing of the [race] Hemi stopped before the racing," Wehrly says. "The last batch of iron heads were cast around 1970. The last aluminum heads were cast in the early seventies."

Although production had ceased, Chrysler continued to offer technical support to the thousands of devoted 426 Hemi racers. Keith Black, Milodon and others took up the 426 Hemi and offered it in aluminum. A new generation of Hemi enthusiasts was guaranteed to continue the 426 Hemi's long, record-setting history.

 


 
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426 RACE HEMI

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 426 RACE HEMI


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TITLE: Muscle Car Used Car History Vehicle History Report at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory : Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Vehicle, Vehicles, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car Price

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Cars Topics: car consumer reports on automobile, brake, buying car, car care, car cost, car safety, cooling system, drivetrain, electrical, exhaust, emission, fluid check, fuel system, ignition system, lubrication system, suspension and steering.