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Recognizing 56 D500 and D500-1 and 57 Dodge D500, Super D500 and D501 engines
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-11-23 1:47 PM (#574025)
Subject: Recognizing 56 D500 and D500-1 and 57 Dodge D500, Super D500 and D501 engines



Expert

Posts: 3997
20001000500100100100100252525
Location: Lower Mainland BC
I am putting this together to consolidate some info and hopefully help when people are trying to figure out D500, D500-1 and D501 engines. More below.

(NOTE: I am open to making corrections if my research is faulty and valid references to the correct info can be provided).

The 56 Dodge D500 engine was a 315 cu in hemi with 9.25:1 compression ratio, a single 4 bbl carb and solid lifters. 260 hp from the factory. Because of the lifter adjustment screw, there were clearance bumps in the valve covers that are only partially hidden by the spark plug wire covers. The engine numbers started with D500-1***. I have some info that shows a 56 D500 engine with D500-7*** so at least 6000 engines were built.

Although there were some internal differences in the 56 Dodge D500-1 engine, e.g. cam shaft, it looked the same as the normal D500, except externally there were 2, 4 bbl carbs. Either 276 or 285 hp from the factory depending on who you believe. I think it might be possible to throw a 2 x 4bbl manifold on a D500 and fake a D500-1. (Sometimes we call the D500-1, the "Dash 1")

The 57 D500 engine was a 325 cu in hemi with 9.25:1 compression ratio, a single 4 bbl carb and hydraulic lifters. 285 hp from the factory. I honestly don't know whether the valve covers had or didn't have the solid lifter bumps but they certainly weren't needed. The blocks were stamped KD500-1***. I don't know the highest KD500 engine number.

The 57 D500 engine with 2 x 4 bbls was not called the "Dash 1" like it had been in 1956. The brochures called it the "Super D500". It still had a 325 cu in displacement and 9.25:1 compression ratio but with the 2 x 4bbl carbs it now made 310 hp. The AMA Questionnaire called this the "Power Package". The valve covers were the same as the regular 57 D500 single 4 bbl engine.

So up to this point, the valve covers are pretty much the same. Now it gets a bit interesting

There was 57 Dodge D500-1 also known as the D501. However, this was NOT a Dodge engine. It was a Chrysler 354 cu in engine with 10:1 compression and 2 x 4 bbl carbs. It was only available in Coronet sedans and convertibles. It made 340 hp. It was basically the 1956 Chrysler 300 B engine and, as such, was larger and had different valve covers. The engine numbers might be 3NE561001 and up (based on the 300B numbering system). The valve covers were not embossed with Chrysler Firepower as in the 300 B. Whereas the 56 and 57 D500 engine valve covers were pretty much symmetrical above and below the spark plug wire covers, the D501 engine valve covers have a much larger section "above" the wire covers, i.e. towards the intake manifold. I am sure that the 57 D501 valve covers were red with black wire covers similar to the 56 D500, 56 D500-1, 57 D500 and 57 Super D-500 engines. When a D501 engine shows up with Chrysler 300 B gold valve covers, I am very skeptical that it left factory like that.

REFERENCE (for the 300B engine numbers): http://www.chrysler300club.com/uniq/id/id.html

Skeptical doesn't mean that I am right, just that I find it difficult to believe unless shown the error of my ways.

Now for some photos and info:

Edited by 56D500boy 2018-11-23 6:39 PM




(315HemiValveCoverRenewal_6.jpg)



(DaveFsD500EngineWithFaked315HemiHeadVinylSticker.jpg)



(TimDupontsD500Dash1EngineBay_1.jpg)



(57DodgeD500CRLConvertibleEngineBay.jpg)



(Supposed57SuperD500EngineStampedKD500.jpg)



(AMA57D500QuestionnairePart1_Page1.jpg)



(57DodgeD501EngineBay_Upsized.jpg)



(57D501EngineIn57Convertible_small.jpg)



(SupposedD501EngineIn57Dodge.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments 315HemiValveCoverRenewal_6.jpg (199KB - 6 downloads)
Attachments DaveFsD500EngineWithFaked315HemiHeadVinylSticker.jpg (174KB - 7 downloads)
Attachments TimDupontsD500Dash1EngineBay_1.jpg (131KB - 7 downloads)
Attachments 57DodgeD500CRLConvertibleEngineBay.jpg (236KB - 5 downloads)
Attachments Supposed57SuperD500EngineStampedKD500.jpg (173KB - 7 downloads)
Attachments AMA57D500QuestionnairePart1_Page1.jpg (166KB - 6 downloads)
Attachments 57DodgeD501EngineBay_Upsized.jpg (180KB - 6 downloads)
Attachments 57D501EngineIn57Convertible_small.jpg (177KB - 8 downloads)
Attachments SupposedD501EngineIn57Dodge.jpg (105KB - 8 downloads)
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57burb
Posted 2018-11-26 10:40 AM (#574147 - in reply to #574025)
Subject: RE: Recognizing 56 D500 and D500-1 and 57 Dodge D500, Super D500 and D501 engines



Expert

Posts: 3434
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Location: DFW, TX
Some notes around the D501 cars.

Dodge considered the D501 to be a separate model entirely. Yes they were based on the Coronet, but there was a different body code on the tag for a D501 2dr sedan versus a Coronet 2dr sedan. There were three D501 body codes; one for 2dr sedan, one for convertible, and one for 2dr hardtop. Carl Kiekhaefer special-ordered his D501 hardtop (built with engine KD501-1001) and he specified it be built with a convertible frame.

The 15" Imperial wheels used on the D501 did not have the mounting tabs for "dog dish" hub caps. So they were all built without wheel covers at all, or with full wheel covers (some have speculated they used '56 15" 4-bar spinner caps, though the road test D501 convertible had some no-name aftermarket ones).

The 2x4 354 Chrysler engines were not 'leftover' 300B engines at all, and did not use the 3NE56 engine coding scheme of the 300B. The IBM cards show "KD501-1xxx" as the engine stamping, but located engines have all been stamped as just "D501-xxxx". Dodge division did their own development for the D501 program and there are some significant differences from the '56 Chrysler 354. For example, you already noted the D501 uses the flattened '57 300C intake for hood clearance on the '57 cars. The blocks were cast in 1957, which makes sense as Dodge still had 354-based (poly) engines in production. D501s had unique carburetor part numbers. The D501 used sodium filled exhaust valves. Camshafts were unique. The D501s could be a thread of their own... or in reality, they already have been several times.

Here are some very good threads, with input from many people that have some of the elusive information about the D501s.

http://forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=33429
http://forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=36883
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1959 Belvedere Conv
Posted 2018-11-27 11:21 AM (#574211 - in reply to #574025)
Subject: Re: Recognizing 56 D500 and D500-1 and 57 Dodge D500, Super D500 and D501 engines


Elite Veteran

Posts: 1060
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Location: Arvada, Colorado (NW Denver Metro Area)
<p>Danny (57burb), Was there a special or unique cylinder head part number for the 1957 D501 354 with Sodium exhaust valves in it or were they re-worked 56 C-300B heads with this change to them? Just trying to drill down deeper into this subject matter. John</p>

Edited by 1959 Belvedere Conv 2018-11-27 11:29 AM
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-11-27 11:08 PM (#574257 - in reply to #574025)
Subject: RE: Recognizing 56 D500 and D500-1 and 57 Dodge D500, Super D500 and D501 engines



Expert

Posts: 3997
20001000500100100100100252525
Location: Lower Mainland BC

Swept57 (David O. D.) has a D501 and therefore has direct knowledge of the D501 engine. He has said that the D501 valve covers came from Chrysler-based Dodge truck engines, e.g. a D900 354 hemi. When I expressed confusion about the lack of apparent solid lifter bumps showing near/under the hemi spark plug wire covers, he said:

Swept57 - 2018-11-27 11:47 AM
The Chrysler (and Chrysler-based Dodge truck engine) bumps are completely hidden under wire loom covers.


I did not know that.

Furthermore, he then posted photos of D501 valve covers:

Swept57 - 2018-11-27 7:44 PM

Here are my D501 valve cover sets, the left set is off engine 1080, the right off of 1021. Interestingly, the 1080 engine block and heads are painted red and the valve covers are black. I have a fairly complete history of the engine and it seems to be original colors, but who knows after 60 years.




REFERENCE: Pg. 2 of this thread: http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=67112&...



Edited by 56D500boy 2018-11-27 11:08 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-11-30 2:01 PM (#574419 - in reply to #574025)
Subject: RE: Recognizing 56 D500 and D500-1 and 57 Dodge D500, Super D500 and D501 engines



Expert

Posts: 3997
20001000500100100100100252525
Location: Lower Mainland BC
56D500boy - 2018-11-23 1:47 PM Whereas the 56 and 57 D500 engine valve covers were pretty much symmetrical above and below the spark plug wire covers, the D501 engine valve covers have a much larger section "above" the wire covers, i.e. towards the intake manifold. I am sure that the 57 D501 valve covers were red with black wire covers similar to the 56 D500, 56 D500-1, 57 D500 and 57 Super D-500 engines. When a D501 engine shows up with Chrysler 300 B gold valve covers, I am very skeptical that it left factory like that.


Here is a photo of Lee Smith's D501 posted by Wayne G. (StillOutThere) from a long running D501 thread from 2009:

http://forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=28504&star...

I see the "classic" D500 (56 and 57) valve cover paint scheme (so gold = "I don't think so Tim")



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