Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth
Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 6:08 PM (#480421)
Subject: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I decided to start a thread on my '56 Plymouth so that I have a central spot to show what I am doing with it. I bought the car in 2003 from "Picture Cars" in Burbank, which is a company that rents cars out to movie studios. This car brought me to the forwardlook email group at that time. I believe that one year later in 2004, the list moved to the Forum format. The car had it's original 277 poly V8 and powerflite transmission and I was just barely able to drive it home after some tweaking of the carb & timing. An electronic ignition upgrade and other fixes turned the car into reliable running car that got 17 mpg at 50mph. My quest for a cheap & better electronic ignition setup for this car drove me to create & sell the GM HEI conversion that I continue to sell today.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 7:36 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 6:19 PM (#480424 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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The 277 motor ran pretty well for as old as it was, but it began to leak quite a bit of oil from the rear main seal so I decided it was time to swap to a hemi motor. I had originally purchased the car with the intent to get a car that I wanted to put the 392 hemi into that I had installed into a '68 Barracuda as a 16 yr old kid. I didn't like the way it fit in the Cuda so I wanted a car that it would fit into better, but still be able to hotrod around in.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 6:21 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 6:35 PM (#480426 - in reply to #480424)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I don't know why I tore it apart because the 392 motor ran pretty well, but I tore it down and purchased a running 331 hemi from a '55 Imperial, straight from Memory Lane wrecking yard, and threw that into the Savoy. To get it to fit, I had to:

1. Make my own lower motor mounts ( the original V8 mounts would have worked, but they interfered with the exhaust I ended up using). The upper portion I purchased from PAW, now R.I.P.
2. Move the motor & trans over to the left 1 inch
3. Install a '57 392 center sump oil pan & pickup
4. Swap the header pipes around on the Chinese shorty headers.

Then it fit like a glove with only 1/4" extra height on the motor mounts just to clear the header pipes a little better. Custom headers would be ideal, and those are still in the plans.

You can see the old thread on it here:

http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=13584&...

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 8:47 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 6:39 PM (#480428 - in reply to #480426)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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The hemi had a lot of rust built up inside its passages so I filled the motor with a dissolved solution of Cascade automatic dish soap and ran the motor around (plugged hose to hose) without a fan or radiator until it was hot. Then I let it sit overnight, got it hot again, and dumped it. Amazing how well that worked. The water was thick with brown rust. After a couple of good flushings, it was good to go.

The motor added some weight to the car so it didn't handle as well as it used to so I decided to install a sway bar from a '56 Chrysler that was 7/8" instead of the 3/4" Plymouth bar. It was a little wider than the Plymouth, but it worked and made the car handle similar to the way it did before.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 7:25 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 6:48 PM (#480430 - in reply to #480428)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Time passed and I drove the car for 2-3 years, often commuting with it 90 miles roundtrip, but it eventually started to smoke - really bad. It became so bad that just moving it across the street would hinder the visibility for a 1/2 mile or so just getting it out of my driveway. Not good. I wish I had thought to take a movie or picture of it. It was spectacular. I quickly determined that the problem had nothing to do with the valve seals. Great, so the rings are bad. So it sat while I gussied up the 392 I wanted to put into it. I purchased aluminum heads for it, and bumped up the compression to 11:1, put in a nice cam and upgraded to a GM alternator.

But now I wish I had tried to make it look more stock. This motor is going to really ruin the nostalgic factor of my Plymouth. Too much bling on it, but I do like how light it is. I need to find a good compromise.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 7:06 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 6:58 PM (#480432 - in reply to #480430)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I decided to replace the rear axle & transmission while I was at it so I welded up spring mounts at 41" apart on a '68-'70 B-body axle with the shock mount placed in the back end of the spring mounts like the originals. I used the remains of the old B-body mounts to ensure that the new mounts would be welded on at the same pinion angle.

But looking back, I should have used the '65-'67 B-body axle I had laying around instead because there is a little too much offset required with this axle. Also, I should have used the original spring mounts from the '56 rear because they need to be very narrow in order to fit well on the splayed springs. But, it worked out in the end.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 7:02 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 7:17 PM (#480434 - in reply to #480432)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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At the end of 2014, I was finally ready to pull the 331 out and put the 392 into it's place. As I unbolted the exhaust, oil literally dripped out of it. Wow, that's a lot of oil in there. Then I drained the oil, and to my amazement, about 12 qts of oil came out of that motor! When I originally installed the motor, I didn't have the right dipstick for the 392 pan. So I used an aftermarket one and filled the motor and marked the stick with the oil that was on it. But it was registering on some puddle in the tube. I ended up lengthening the dipstick a good 5 inches to get it in the right spot.

Once I had the right amount of oil in the car, I started it up and it blew a big puddle of oil from the open headers onto my driveway and instantly lit it on fire! That was pretty fun. Fortunately, the car was up on jack stands and the fire didn't do any harm. After I burned out all the oil in my mufflers, the car ran without smoking at all! So I put off swapping in the 392 for the time being and left the 331 in there.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 8:52 PM
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jimntempe
Posted 2015-06-04 7:34 PM (#480436 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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One of the cars I restored was a 69 Firebird. The bottom dipstick tube had fallen into the pan and the end of the dipstick was no longer "aimed" in the right spot. I drained almost 8 quarts out of it's 6 quart crankcase. People had just kept adding oil till it hit the no longer properly aimed dipstick.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 7:35 PM (#480437 - in reply to #480434)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I decided to go forward with the transmission upgrade since I was in between jobs and had more time on my hands. So I pulled the powerflite trans and installed a 700R4 overdrive. I had devised a way to shift it with the original push buttons, but eventually I decided to use the car for towing a camping trailer around and I needed access to 1st and 2nd gear. So I shift it with a cable mounted next to the steering column for the time being. In order to accomplish the transmission swap I needed to:

1. Cut the trans crossmember and move the mount back 2 inches.
2. Use a B-body driveshaft with a GM slip yoke (cut to length) on the end of it.
3. Use a radiator with a trans cooler in it. Fortunately, mine already had them.
4. Route cooling lines and shifter brackets.
5. Use a converter lockup unit from Ron Francis wiring and wire it up to the brake switch etc.
6. Hook up the E-brake to the rear axle by using a small connector cable & mount.
7. Mount & adjust the kickdown cable to the throttle linkage.

You can see the original thread about it here:

http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=56159&...

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 11:26 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 7:42 PM (#480439 - in reply to #480437)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Yeah Jim, not one of the brighter moments in my life. To think that I let the car sit for many years thinking the motor was gone, when it just needed the right amount of oil.
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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 7:48 PM (#480441 - in reply to #480439)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I wanted to drive my car around again, but the paint had become badly oxidized from sitting in the California sun. It was pretty bad. So I wet sanded the old paint and painted a white '56 Fury stripe on the side like I had always wanted to do. then I painted the whole car with a coat of clear.



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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 8:33 PM (#480444 - in reply to #480441)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I bit the bullet and installed 3-point seatbelts so I would feel good about driving it around on a more regular basis. A sedan is much easier for doing this then a hardtop, but it required a lot more work than I expected because there really wasn't a lot of reinforcement designed into the B & C pillars. I had to add a lot of structural metal to the backsides of the inner body to be able to secure a good mount there. I used 3/16" plate cut & bent to the shape of the inside sheet metal and another 3/16 plate behind that to put the mount into. I welded a nut on the backside of the plate and another one on the front with threads in between all lined up to each other.

I wanted to install a retractable seatbelt in the back seat as well, but I needed to modify the seat frame to keep it from pinching the belt and give it enough room to move freely. I didn't want to do that right now so I installed fixed belts for the time being. I also would have used more classic chrome buckles that are available now to better match the '50's style. But I had already purchased these belts a long time ago and will use them until I get tired of them.

My original seats had become ripped and sun-rotted so my wife and I installed some gray "Zink" seat covers on them. These seat covers are cheap and won't last long, but I keep a sacrificial cloth over the back seat area to protect them from the sun through the back window. Hopefully that will make them last long enough to give me time to figure out what I really want to do with the seats. We also replaced the carpet while we were at it. The headliner is next, hopefully soon.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-04 10:49 PM




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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-04 9:32 PM (#480450 - in reply to #480444)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I recently installed a hitch to tow our camping trailer. My mother-in-law's neighbor threw this hitch to the curb for garbage collection, so of course I grabbed it. I don't know what it went to, but it is wider than the typical hitch and was a near perfect match for the '56 Plymouth. The only problem was that it hung too low. So I cut the horizontal mount off and lowered it by 3-4 inches. It is mounted to the bottom of the frame at 3 points on each side. You can't see it in the picture, but I also mounted it to the side of the frame at one point that already had a nut in place for the front-most bumper mount.

I also added 2 extra leafs to each of the springs so that they could handle the weight. They made the ride a little more harsh when it is empty, but not by much. The car no longer sags when it is loaded like it used to.

Edited by Powerflite 2015-06-05 12:20 AM




(UnderHitch.jpg)



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d500neil
Posted 2015-06-09 9:31 PM (#480997 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Nathan....do you happen to have both of the cast iron exhaust manifolds, seen above?


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Powerflite
Posted 2015-06-09 11:21 PM (#481011 - in reply to #480997)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I do, why? I am planning to use them in my '57 Windsor. I am hoping I can use them unmodified with a 392 since the car has manual steering.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2015-06-10 1:43 PM (#481064 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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The exhaust manifold is the more desirable square flange with 4 bolt holes, I believe those were used on trucks and 300s only.
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-03-04 6:28 PM (#505851 - in reply to #481064)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I purchased some new tires & wheels for the car. I didn't care for the way whitewalls looked on this car. And I wanted a wider tire with a smaller sidewall that was about the same height as the originals and could take the original Plymouth dog dish caps. So I decided to go with 17" aluminum rims to keep the weight reasonable. These are Centerline "Elite" wheels. I had a machine shop drill & tap (3) 1/4-20 holes into each wheel, evenly spaced at a 9.5" diameter circle around the hub. I then took some stainless flathead screws and ground the outside diameter of the head down to round it up more and inserted those into the wheel to mount the caps onto them. the angled portion of the flathead makes it easier to pop the caps back off and grinding it down makes it easier to get it to go on.

I really like them, but I think I would like them better if they were painted black. The extra color is a little too much for me. The tires are 225/55/17 on 7" rims in the front and 235/60/17 in the back with 8" rims. I was originally going with 245/55/17 in the back, but it was in danger of rubbing the fender and they are a lot more expensive. The way the car drives & handles is like night and day. So much better now.



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fenix
Posted 2016-03-04 6:44 PM (#505853 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Nice ride, lottta work, but Your there now, congrats.
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-03-05 12:22 AM (#505882 - in reply to #505853)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Thanks Roger, if only that were true The motor has been running since '55 without a rebuild and really should be replaced with a strong & lightened 392. It will likely never happen while this one keeps ticking on. But even if it is no hotrod yet, it has definitely come to the point that it is very enjoyable to drive and use, just like yours. So here's (glass raised) to enjoying them!
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60 Imp
Posted 2016-03-05 6:52 AM (#505894 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth


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In my opinion the new wheels and tyres really suit your car. They look great! In fact the whole look of your car is pretty exceptional. well done creating a unique car.

Steve.
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-03-06 11:15 AM (#505982 - in reply to #505894)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Thanks Steve!
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-03-08 12:03 AM (#506111 - in reply to #480450)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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For future reference, I looked up the part number on the hitch that I used on this car. It is a Towing Products or Reese No. 51024 which is made for a '97-'02 Lincoln Navigator or Ford Expedition.

Also I should list the backspacing on the wheels that I used. The front wheels have 4" backspacing on 7" wheels which give 0 offset. The rear wheels are 8" with a 5" backspace that results in a +1/2" offset. This is with the '68-'70 B-body rear axle.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2016-03-09 10:44 PM (#506367 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I think the tires and wheels (and the car in general) look really sharp.
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Mopar1
Posted 2016-03-10 10:57 AM (#506414 - in reply to #505882)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2016-03-04 11:22 PM

But even if it is no hotrod yet, !
With the 331 Chr in it, it is a hot rod!
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Mopar1
Posted 2016-03-10 11:01 AM (#506416 - in reply to #480430)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2015-06-04 5:48 PM


But now I wish I had tried to make it look more stock. This motor is going to really ruin the nostalgic factor of my Plymouth. Too much bling on it, but I do like how light it is. I need to find a good compromise.
Well...ditch the cheezy looking fake "bug catcher", put on an OEM water crossover, & adding a coat of Plastikote would go a long way to solving that problem. Ditch the Fram also & get a Wix.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2016-03-10 11:38 AM (#506420 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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The new wheels and tires look great Nathan.

Edited by DepsilonD 2016-03-10 5:36 PM
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big m
Posted 2016-03-10 12:43 PM (#506427 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



Expert 5K+

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Very cool!!
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-03-10 11:58 PM (#506509 - in reply to #506427)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Thanks guys, I'm starting to warm up to the color on them now too.

George, that motor is now slated to go into my '58 New Yorker so it is going back to mostly stock form... I think. Unfortunately, I can't use a stock crossover with those heads because it won't fit. But I am thinking of cutting up a stock one and lengthening it to make it work, but it isn't easy to do if you want to keep the generator mount in the right spot. But I'll give it a shot when I get time to play with it.
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Powerflite
Posted 2016-03-31 2:19 AM (#508374 - in reply to #506509)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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This is a business card of the car dealer that the 2nd previous owner bought the car from. I know that this company went out of business quite a while ago because I can't find any ads from them beyond the mid 60's. I am not sure if he bought it from them new or used, but it looks like they specify just Dodge and Plymouth so it sounds like a new car dealership. Is that PLeasant 3-2401 an old type of phone number?

Edited by Powerflite 2016-03-31 2:22 AM




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Powerflite
Posted 2017-05-19 3:13 PM (#540417 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I was always planning to run dual quads on a 392 hemi for this car. Now I am thinking a single 4 with an original air cleaner would be better. I am even thinking that I may go with a 354 stroker @ 412 cubic inch just to keep it all '56 instead. That's probably more in line with it's current use for pulling my camping trailer & family outings. So I cut up the original air cleaner I had and welded a large 4bbl rim to it from the inside so I could run it with a fuel injection throttle body or a Fi-Tech setup. Watch out when you cut the lids on these things. If you catch the inside on fire, you get to smell what 60 year old burnt horse hair smells like.



(Air Cleaner Base.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2017-10-03 10:37 AM (#549678 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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This is the first time I have looked at this tag even after owning the car for 15 years. Weird that it says 607: wedge-wood blue paint. The paint on the firewall, which has got to be original, is much lighter than that, as is the paint on the underside, C-pillars & roof in the previous pictures. I had always assumed that it was painted a powder blue or turquoise blue. Does anyone know what a 505 trim looks like? I have some of the original fabric on the seats still, but now I am wondering what is original and what isn't. Since the tag is mounted with regular screws, I guess it is possible that the tag has been replaced, but that doesn't make a lot of sense either.

Edited by Powerflite 2017-10-03 10:51 AM




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56D500boy
Posted 2017-10-03 11:14 AM (#549680 - in reply to #549678)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Interesting. I doubt that the tag has been replaced.

My 56 Dodge lower paint is Wedgewood blue but it looks a lot lighter than yours. Paint codes are NOT the same (DQE- 11442- DAL for mine, DQE- 11412- DAL for yours). My firewall is the darker Royal Blue Poly.

The more I look at yours, I would say it is the original Plymouth version of Wedgewood blue (607).









Edited by 56D500boy 2017-10-03 1:55 PM
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-10-03 7:50 PM (#549719 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Interesting that Dodge calls it the same color, but is a much lighter shade.
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-11-11 11:19 AM (#552031 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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I got the filter elements and decal for the 4bbl air cleaner and put it all together. Not sure if super glossy is the look I wanted, but I'll go with it for now. If I re-do it, I may try a semi-gloss instead. But this should look a lot better than that Moroso air cleaner that I had on there.

Edited by Powerflite 2017-11-11 11:20 AM




(56AirCleaner.jpg)



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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-11 11:40 AM (#552033 - in reply to #552031)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



Expert

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Powerflite - 2016-03-31 2:19 AM Is that PLeasant 3-2401 an old type of phone number?


P = 7 and L = 5 so the phone number (pre-additional area code needs) was 753-2401

Powerflite - 2017-11-11 11:19 AM

I got the filter elements and decal for the 4bbl air cleaner and put it all together. Not sure if super glossy is the look I wanted, but I'll go with it for now. If I re-do it, I may try a semi-gloss instead. But this should look a lot better than that Moroso air cleaner that I had on there. :)


Maybe this could be an option for you:



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-11-11 11:42 AM




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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-11 12:05 PM (#552036 - in reply to #552033)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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56D500boy - 2017-11-11 11:40 AM
Powerflite - 2016-03-31 2:19 AM Is that PLeasant 3-2401 an old type of phone number?

P = 7 and L = 5 so the phone number (pre-additional area code needs) was 753-2401




1801 W Manchester is gone. Replaced by Kim's Mobil Oil station at 1803 (takes the whole corner including what was 1801). Phone 323-758-6233 (so still PLeasant)

Next door shops also have 75n pre-fixes.



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-11-11 12:08 PM




(1813WestManchesterLosAngeles.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2017-11-11 3:16 PM (#552065 - in reply to #552036)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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56D500boy - 2017-11-11 9:05 AM
Maybe this could be an option for you:


Nah, I am going for an original look even though the drive-train, wheels & paint aren't original. I decided that I want to eventually swap in a '56 354 motor and I am going to make it look completely stock for 1956. It will be as if someone ordered a transplanted Chrysler motor in their Plymouth. I am calling it the P501. That means using the stock Chrysler air cleaner and going back to silver valve covers. I will probably use the Dodge "no-name" truck covers that would be more applicable to a Plymouth, and the same covers that they used on the D501.

56D500boy - 2017-11-11 9:05 AM
P = 7 and L = 5 so the phone number (pre-additional area code needs) was 753-2401
1801 W Manchester is gone. Replaced by Kim's Mobil Oil station at 1803 (takes the whole corner including what was 1801). Phone 323-758-6233 (so still PLeasant)
Next door shops also have 75n pre-fixes.


That's cool to find out how they worked that. I just remember Andy Griffith calling up Sara and telling her to patch him into Floyd's shop. But with a bigger city like LA, that would be very impractical.

Edited by Powerflite 2017-11-11 3:35 PM




(andy-griffith.jpg)



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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-11 4:51 PM (#552073 - in reply to #552065)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2017-11-11 3:16 PM

56D500boy - 2017-11-11 9:05 AM
P = 7 and L = 5 so the phone number (pre-additional area code needs) was 753-2401
1801 W Manchester is gone. Replaced by Kim's Mobil Oil station at 1803 (takes the whole corner including what was 1801). Phone 323-758-6233 (so still PLeasant)
Next door shops also have 75n pre-fixes.


That's cool to find out how they worked that. I just remember Andy Griffith calling up Sara and telling her to patch him into Floyd's shop. But with a bigger city like LA, that would be very impractical.


When I was a kid living in Regina, Saskatchewan, the phone number of my parents house was JOrdan 9 - 1523, known later as 569-1523. That was like 60 years ago and I still remember that phone number (long since gone).

The other telephone exchange at the time was LAkeside which included 522 and 527 numbers. So that is why I knew what was up with PLeasant 3 - 2401.

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DepsilonD
Posted 2017-11-13 2:07 PM (#552160 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Screws are correct for the firewall tag. And I had to laugh at the P-501 comment. My wife and I were joking when I was looking for a 315 Hemi for our '56 Plymouth. I was also going to do all of the suspension to D500 spec for our "P500".
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-11-13 2:22 PM (#552162 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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So those screws are correct for a Los Angeles car too? I know in '57-'58 they used one-way screws in LA only. I am assuming this is a Los Angeles car, but I actually don't know for sure. But the tag codes look like LA codes from '57.
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DepsilonD
Posted 2017-11-14 12:42 PM (#552228 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Nathan, I was hunting for a picture of the data plate on my LA Built '56 Plymouth and couldn't find one so I will confirm the screws when I get home. I know that my Detroit built '56 Dodge has standard phillips screws. According to build information in the 55-56 Plymouth FSM for a P-29-2 (Savoy w/ V-8): A serial number between 15,873,001 and 22,247,00 = Detroit built; 22,247,001 and 26,552,000 = Evansville; and 26,552,001 - up = Los Angeles.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-03-13 5:09 PM (#559828 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Thanks for the info Dave. My VIN is 265568XX So this car was an early production build at the LA plant. Last summer one of the freeze plugs rusted a hole into it and started spewing coolant in a high pressure stream - while I was 250 miles away from home, towing a camping trailer on the way back from a family outing. Getting a tow truck for the car, another one for the trailer, and somehow getting all my family back home again is a huge pain in the neck so I was very motivated to make it work. We stopped every 30 miles to let it cool and refill with coolant. It got us home fine and the motor didn't overheat so that was good, but it spewed rusty coolant everywhere and made a big mess in the engine compartment. Now that I have my New Yorker movable, I have the driveway space I need to work on this car and get it going again. I cleaned everything up as much as I could with dish soap. Some of that stuff just doesn't come off - especially from the rubber parts for some reason. But it sure is a lot better than it was.

While I am messing with the motor, I decided to eliminate 35 lbs from my front end by installing the Hot Heads intake and hopefully make it perform a little better too. The carb sits higher than it used to, even with the 1" spacer that I had under it, but not by much. This car has a huge amount of hood clearance so that isn't an issue. I had to fabricate a bracket for the rear generator (now alternator) mount because the new intake doesn't come with anything to support it there, but other than that, it was really easy to swap in place. I also removed the down-draft tube and attached a PCV valve setup to the back of the carburetor. My newly installed '56 Chrysler air cleaner looks a lot better on there than the old Moroso job I used to have! When I get a 354 stroker motor built for it, the valve covers will be painted silver like a stock '56 Chrysler motor, but I am going to leave them gold until then. Now I just need to replace all those freeze plugs!



(FreezePlug Failure Filth.jpg)



(HH Intake & Chrysler AirCleaner.jpg)



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56D500boy
Posted 2018-03-13 5:33 PM (#559831 - in reply to #559828)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Nathan: Your engine bay is much improved. Must have been a lot of work. (Nice paint job on the air cleaner BTW)

A couple of questions:

1. Are you running that 56 Chrysler air cleaner as an oil bath or did you convert it to paper like I am trying to do (based on Dave Homstad's hints)?

2. When you removed the old intake did you have much trouble? I have several reasons to remove the intake on my 56 D500 hemi but I am concerned that I will open a can of worms by snapping off a bolt (or two) in the process.

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Powerflite
Posted 2018-03-13 7:12 PM (#559837 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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If you look further up this thread you will see this air cleaner dangling in primer and you can tell that it has been converted to use paper filters. The black paint on it is the same paint I am using to paint the '57 New Yorker, much better quality than the old paint on the oil cap and wire covers. It is a polyurethane paint and is a little thicker than most paints - which is good and bad.

The only issue with removing the intake is that there is water in the ports so you have to drain some of your coolant before you do it. But none of the bolts sit in coolant so I don't think you should have any issues with broken bolts. I removed the intake before I installed the motor because I had to fix a couple of cracks that were in it. So this isn't the first time it has come off.
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-03-13 7:25 PM (#559839 - in reply to #559837)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2018-03-13 7:12 PM
If you look further up this thread you will see this air cleaner dangling in primer and you can tell that it has been converted to use paper filters. The black paint on it is the same paint I am using to paint the '57 New Yorker, much better quality than the old paint on the oil cap and wire covers. It is a polyurethane paint and is a little thicker than most paints - which is good and bad.


Thank Nathan.

Okay I went back up the thread and found this:

Powerflite - 2017-05-19 3:13 PM

I was always planning to run dual quads on a 392 hemi for this car. Now I am thinking a single 4 with an original air cleaner would be better. I am even thinking that I may go with a 354 stroker @ 412 cubic inch just to keep it all '56 instead. That's probably more in line with it's current use for pulling my camping trailer & family outings. So I cut up the original air cleaner I had and welded a large 4bbl rim to it from the inside so I could run it with a fuel injection throttle body or a Fi-Tech setup. Watch out when you cut the lids on these things. If you catch the inside on fire, you get to smell what 60 year old burnt horse hair smells like.


Sorry. That primer photo wasn't enough for me to figure out that you converted it. Any chance of a photo of the inside?

Thanks for the paint info. Good to know.

Powerflite - 2018-03-13 7:12 PM
The only issue with removing the intake is that there is water in the ports so you have to drain some of your coolant before you do it. But none of the bolts sit in coolant so I don't think you should have any issues with broken bolts. I removed the intake before I installed the motor because I had to fix a couple of cracks that were in it. So this isn't the first time it has come off.


Good news about the intake bolts. However, I am confused about the coolant in the ports (!!??). Might be true of a 392 but I don't think that is true for a Dodge 315 or 325 hemi (which is all good). And then again, I am a hemi newbie.



Edited by 56D500boy 2018-03-13 7:30 PM




(55-57GenericHemiEnginePartsDiagram.jpg)



(1956DodgeCustomRoyalD500StockEngineBay.jpg)



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Powerflite
Posted 2018-03-13 11:52 PM (#559853 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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The Dodge has water at the intake too. It is located at the 2 round ports between the intake ports as I have circled. I will post a picture of the inside of the cleaner when I get it apart again.



(55-57GenericHemiEnginePartsDiagram.jpg)



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Mopar1
Posted 2018-03-14 10:33 AM (#559864 - in reply to #506509)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2016-03-10 10:58 PM


George, that motor is now slated to go into my '58 New Yorker so it is going back to mostly stock form... I think. Unfortunately, I can't use a stock crossover with those heads because it won't fit. But I am thinking of cutting up a stock one and lengthening it to make it work, but it isn't easy to do if you want to keep the generator mount in the right spot. But I'll give it a shot when I get time to play with it.
Wasn't aware that the HH heads wouldn't take the OEM crossover.
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Mopar1
Posted 2018-03-14 10:35 AM (#559865 - in reply to #552033)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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56D500boy - 2017-11-11 10:40 AM


Maybe this could be an option for you:

Any idea where the air cleaner decal came from?
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-03-14 10:47 AM (#559866 - in reply to #559865)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Mopar1 - 2018-03-14 10:35 AM
Any idea where the air cleaner decal came from?


I'm not Nathan but I know of a few places to buy those or similar decals:

https://www.classicindustries.com/shop/1965/dodge/all-models/parts/e...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mopar-1962-1963-Stage-I-Max-Wedge-3447-Air-...

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Powerflite
Posted 2018-03-14 11:00 AM (#559868 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Hello George, the decal came from Ebay. They have an earlier version of it too for '53-'55.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-DODGE-CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH-DESOTO-IMPERIA...

The Hot Heads won't take the OEM crossover only for the 392. For the 331 or 354, there shouldn't be an issue.
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1960fury
Posted 2018-03-14 4:31 PM (#559888 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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nice little bomb. have you ever measured 0-60 times?
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-03-14 5:35 PM (#559893 - in reply to #480421)
Subject: RE: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Thanks Sid. No, I haven't taken it to the track at all. The motor has never been rebuilt so it still has the original '55 Imperial cam, rings & 8.5:1 pistons in it. Originally it was rated at 250hp, now with the better intake, exhaust and carburetor, it might be around 270hp, but it has also been running a LONG time. Nevertheless, it will easily break the tires loose from a standstill if you nail it, so it is pretty decent, but not as impressive as other cars that were built for power. I mainly use it to tow my camping trailer around and take it on family outings. The low 1st gear of the 700R4 trans is really nice with a trailer behind you in the mountains, but the 11" disc brakes are a little small for the extra weight. I may end up converting the rear to disc and/or going to 12" rotors in the front to handle it better when fully loaded.



(Teardrop Camping.jpg)



(SavoyTeardrop.jpg)



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Mopar1
Posted 2018-03-15 11:07 AM (#559936 - in reply to #559868)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Powerflite - 2018-03-14 10:00 AM

Hello George, the decal came from Ebay. They have an earlier version of it too for '53-'55.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-DODGE-CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH-DESOTO-IMPERIA...

The Hot Heads won't take the OEM crossover only for the 392. For the 331 or 354, there shouldn't be an issue.
Actually referring to the "331 hemi Head" decal, obviously modeled on the 426 decal.
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-03-15 11:36 AM (#559938 - in reply to #559936)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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Mopar1 - 2018-03-15 11:07 AM

Actually referring to the "331 hemi Head" decal, obviously modeled on the 426 decal.


I'm guessing that was a one-off, just like the one I made for my 315 D500 Hemi. I started with a 426 Hemi decal image.


Edited by 56D500boy 2018-03-15 11:38 AM




(DaveFsD500EngineWithFaked315HemiHeadVinylSticker.jpg)



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Mopar1
Posted 2018-03-15 11:49 AM (#559939 - in reply to #559938)
Subject: Re: Hemi Powered '56 Plymouth



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nice!
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