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FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM

Used Car history 
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GTO 1964-1967

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Hemi

 

 



High-Performance Development

The Chrysler Hemi-head V-8 had untapped reserves of power, and the engineers knew it. The research, design and development of the engine had been slow and deliberate. Increasing performance was, indeed, the engi-neers' goal, but high performance was not—at first.

In a paper presented to the SAE at the National Passenger Car, Body and Materials Meeting in Detroit in March 1952, Zeder recalled how further development—high-performance development—came about.

Zeder wrote: "Then we met the 'hotrod' boys—or rather they adopted us with all the gusto attending induction into any other tribe of wild Indians. We, who live within the industry, have learned to accept without too much resistance the utilitarian place which our product holds in the scheme of things; but it was a pleasure and, in many ways, an inspiration to meet a group of men in whom are rekindled the enthusiams [sic] of an earlier era; men to who owning and driving a car are sport and ad-venture, and not merely a chore inherited by default from the streetcar motorman."

Zeder and his team were just as intrigued as the "hotrod boys" in learning what the maximum performance potential of the engine was, even if there wasn't a real-world application for it. Once again, two key areas were explored: compression ratio and volumetric efficiency. A production Chrysler FirePower was fitted with pistons, giving compression ratios of 7.5:1, 10.0:1 and 12.5:1. The rest of the engine remained stock. The engineers achieved a fifteen percent boost in power with 12.5:1 pistons over the 7.5:1 pistons. However, the engine required the equivalent octane rating of 130 performance number. Running double-digit compression ratios would have to wait for the advent of superior-grade gasoline.

The most dramatic gains in power would come from attacking the engine's volumetric efficiency. To establish a realistic baseline from which to work, it was decided to discard the stock exhaust manifolds for the streamlined, steel-tube exhaust type. This alone produced an 18 Ib-ft increase in torque and a fur-ther 13 hp. The other three areas affecting volumetric efficiency were valve ports, intake manifolding and carburetion, and camshafts.

While the Hemi head permitted larger intake and exhaust valves, there was room to make them even larger. The intake valve was increased 0.125 in. and the exhaust valve by 0.25 in. The ports were increased to match the increase in flow.

Chrysler engineers decided on two approaches regarding intake manifolding and carburetion. For mid-range, or high torque, they designed a manifold to accept four inline single-barrel car-buretors, each one feeding two cylinders. For high speed, or high power, the four carburetors sat atop a simple runner manifold, similar to racing designs of the day.

The standard FirePower engine used a camshaft giving 252 deg. intake duration, 244 deg. exhaust duration, with 30 deg. of overlap. Three special camshafts were developed for the test engine. The first was a 260/260 deg. design with 40 deg. of overlap. The second was 270/260 deg. with 50 deg. of overlap, and the most radical design was 280/270 deg. with 60 deg. of overlap. Lift was increased with all three camshafts,"This is one of the earliest places the electronic computer was used to design the camshaft," Welch states. "The computer came along just in time to develop a new mathematical formula that per-mitted better cam design with minimum stress and maximum performance."

Test results surprised no one. The Hemi responded exceedingly well to these modifications. With the high-flow heads and high-torque intake manifold, the engine gained 42 hp with a 30 Ib-ft boost in torque. The three camshafts were tested in this engine with the 270/260/50 cam giving the best all-around performance increase. The total increase in the Hemi's output over the new baseline engine was 60 Ib-ft of torque and 95 hp.

The high-torque induction was replaced by the high-speed carburetor-manifold setup, and the tests were run again with all three camshafts. The 280/270/60 camshaft produced the best results throughout the rpm range. Cor-rected brake horsepower was 308.6 with 341.7 Ib-ft of torque—with stock pistons! To see what a boost in compression ratio could do, the 12.6:1 pistons were installed. All previous runs were made using premium-grade gasoline; for this run they ran the equivalent of iso-octane plus 1.0 cc of lead to prevent knock. Torque increased to 385 Ib-ft with 353 hp—all this from a 331 ci engine.

In typical engineering understatement, James Zeder wrote, "the basic FirePower cylinder gives performance comparable with Indianapolis engines, which have been developed for power without regard to any other purpose." In his concluding remarks, Zeder was more enthusiastic, stating, "we remain unalterably convinced that, in the battle of the combustion chambers, the spherical segment chamber has demonstrated unquestionable supremacy.

 


 
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FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM

 CARS > MUSCLE CARS > FIREPOWER, FIREDOME and RED RAM


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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.