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426 RACE HEMI

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > 426 RACE HEMI

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GTO 1964-1967

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Hemi

 

 



Engine Code: A864

"I remember exactly where I was on the second floor of the main building in Highland Park," Hoover says. "Don Moore was there, I was there and a couple of other people. It was the winter of '62-'63, and the big Wedges had not done well in NASCAR. A couple of us offered up the argument, I suppose it was Don Moore and myself, 'If we're going to make a new head for the engine, let's go with what we know is right. We know the Hemi will dothe job, and we have all the A311 and Cunningham background upon which we can rely to proceed forward.' Jack Shirapar picked up the ball and he's the one who carried it right up to the executive committee. I got to carry the drawings up there for jack. He made the pitch and Townsend didn't hesitate a bit. [He said] 'Do it.'"

The decision to put a Hemi head on the raised-block 426 was borne of necessity. Lynn Townsend wanted the new racing engine in time for the Daytona 500 race in February 1964. The Hemi design team was faced with an almost impossible deadline. Thus, the decision was made to use the same basic machining dimensions as the 426 Wedge in order to use existing tooling. Cylinder bore centers were 4.80 in. Height along the bore axis was 10.725 in. Vertical height from the crankshaft center was 10.875 in., and overall length was 23.46 in. Bore was 4.25 in. and stroke was 3.75 in.

"In March 1963," Weertman continues, "we gave that assignment to our advanced engine group under Bob Dent, and the lead designer of that group was Frank Bialk. We were racin; the 426 Wedge-head engine at the time. We had the displacement set up, nov we had the challenge of trying to put the Hemi head on that engine. A critical decision was made by that group to stay with the included valve angle from the old Hemi engine, because we had a background that describes the chamber valve sizes and the performance of the engine."

With a maximum vertical separating load of 18,800 Ib. at 7200 rpm along the crankshaft centerline, durability of the bottom-end was of paramount concern. To ensure durability and rigidity, the main-bearing cap design of the 426 Wedge was abandoned.

"Steel bearing caps appeared in the early Hemi for testing Firestone tires at Indianapolis," Hoover explains. "Also, Briggs Cunningham used early Hemi engines for some road racing in Europe and the need for good structural support for the crankshaft bearings became evident during that program."

Bialk designed a new set of number two, three and four main-bearing caps that took advantage of the current deep-skirt walls of the raised-block by adding cross-bolts that went through the block walls into the bearing caps. This enabled the engine-block skirt structure to aid the bearing caps to resist the horizontal loads pushing the cap across the engine. This cross-bolt main-bearing cap design used 1/2-13 bolts vertically through the bearing cap to the block and 3/8-16 bolts horizontally through the block skirt to the main-bearing caps. Later in the 426 Hemi's development, these were increased to 9/16-12 and 7/16 bolts, respectively.

The cylinder head was a unique design challenge for a number of reasons.

"One thing that we had on the new engine that was better than the old engine was the headbolt pattern, " Weertman says. "Our B and raised-B engines had a five-bolt headbolt pattern as compared to four on the prior engines. The ability to clamp the head is crucial to how much you are ever going to get out of the engine. The problem that we faced in doing the Hemi became the solution that made a real engine out of it: how to handle the fifth headbolt. The fifth headbolt was literally in the way of the pushrods and intake port. This area would be so restricted it wouldn't have much more power than the Wedge-head engine. What Frank Bialk came up with was to bring the bolt up from underneath. It took him awhile to be sure that, indeed, we could bring a bolt up from underneath."

The juxtaposition of the intake and exhaust valve within the combustion chamber was also crucial. If the two valves were equidistant from the bore centerline in the transverse view, the resulting engine would be so wide it couldn't fit into the cars it was designed for. It also resulted in an exhaust-valve rocker arm of alarming proportions. The solution was achieved by rotating the included valve angle of 58 deg. across the hemisphere toward the intake manifold.

"We looked at that rocker arm and that thing kept looking like a huge pump handle," Weertman laughs. "We reduced its length until we thought, 'That's going to work.' That set where the valve was going to be. We had daily meetings on the board to see what Frank had, then we'd let him work for several days to come up with his best thinking. He was really an amazing guy. He would say whenever he would get into a corner, 'Sometimes I just go home and I'll have a vision. I'll come back to work and [it will be] just fine.'

"That was part of the challenge of getting the chamber design in place," Weertman continues, "to come up with just the right compromises on the top-end. The use of the rocker shafts was sort of ordained because of their use on the prior-generation engine. It was a sturdy arrangement, with forged-steel rocker arms."

Once the design for the cylinder block and heads was finalized, these two long-lead items were procured for manufacture. Chrysler's American Foundry Division in Indianapolis, Indiana, was chosen for casting the cylinder block. Campbell, Wyant and Cannon Foundry Company in Muskegon, Michigan, was selected to cast the cylinder heads. Weertman explained how Chrysler was able to get these new engine parts into production so quickly: "We took the production [426 Wedge] parts, making just the changes we needed to. Where we could, we would take an existing box, or pattern, and change it. We were able to go from our prototype design to the first casting quickly. However, many parts, like the cylinder heads, did require all-new equipment."

When the 426 Hemi engine was given the go-ahead for development, the decision was made to have a parallel design program for a drag-racing Hemi. Thus, two distinct intake manifolds were designed by Forbes Bunting at Chrysler. The circle-track single-four-barrel in-take manifold was a dual-plane design for use with a Holley carburetor. The drag intake manifold was a plenum design with two staggered four-barrel carburetors. Each carburetor sat atop a plenum chamber that fed the four cylinders on the bank opposite the carburetors. The Carter carbs on the drag manifold used 1 11/16 in. primary and secondary bores with a rating of 770 cfm (cubic feet per minute). The track-engine Holley carburetors used the same primary and secondary bore diameters. Both intake manifolds were cast aluminum.

 


 
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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

Site Description: Car Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide 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. Offers Free VIN Check, VIN Check

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.