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Date: February 28, 2002
Graham (?) I will try and awnser your questions. I've always wanted to 'build' one of those 259 inch '55-'56 Plymouth motors. I wanted to take a 325 Dodge Hemi and bolt everything from the Hemi, cam up, take the 'smooth' Dodge Hemi valve covers send them to some 'good metal shaper' Jessy James, West Coast Choppers, Troy Trepner, someone like that, and have the '55-'56 style 'Plymouth' embssed into the covers, and say, Lookey Here! A expermintal Plymouth early Hemi.he,he. The 260 inch class record at the salt flats was held for 20 some years by one of those 259 Plymouth motors converted to a Hemi. But unfortunatly since my job situation has been nothing since November. I'm concetrating on saving change towards the making of my 'dream car.'I'm not getting any younger. You're in luck, you can use almost ANY transmission you want to behind the 259, 315 Dodge/Chrysler poly(ONLY). It has the same 'bell' bolt pattern as the early Hemi's. The transmission adapter aroud $350. You can use anything form the Power slide, Hemi 4-speed, any GM Turbo 350/400, down to the 4-speed Hydromatics out of '55-'56 Cadillacs. The ONLY MoPar trans that will bolt up to the early Hemi adapter is the 'A'-727, and the overdrive equivalant. The 'B' (383) 727, the starter is too high and cannot be bolted on the much wider poly/Hemi blocks. I did a '55 DeSoto motor and had to take a die grinder and smooth away the rough casting so the 'A' (late318) 727 starter would bolt up. Any of the Early Hemi outfits sell those adapters. If it means anything to you, the later 318 motor mounts will 'bolt on' the 'ears of your block. You can ALSO move the mounts on either side of thos 'ears'. Meaning you can moove the motor fwd/aft 3/4" just by which side of the 'ears you wanna bolt the 318 mounts to. Now I'm Not sure about your block, but late 'A' 318 timing gear set bolts on the eary Hemi's. Same with the 318 bottom pully. (one bolt hole in the pully has to be elongasted/wallered out) I'd check THIS out to be sure, but on the early Dodge Hemi, the late 318 electronic distributer is a 'drop in' On the other early Hemi's you need an adapter. If you are gonna use yer A-727 tranny, use the OM rear mount/drop out member and make it fit your existing rear crossmenber. You do that Hemi comversion, get the right cam, you will have one 'tourquy' little motor! Have fun!