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    1. · Premium Member
      3,295 Posts
      1970 Dodge Challenger R/T and Challenger T/A

      1970 Dodge Challenger T/A

      by Kelly Doke

      In May 1969, a Chrysler product planner conceived the Dodge Challenger T/A; it was born nine months later, on February 12, 1970, and issued a "birth certificate" (Technical Service Bulletin 11). Pontiac had Trans Ams prowling the streets, so the name had to be shortened, but the car was created to run in the SCCA Trans America series, so the T/A name was justified.

      The T/A was created because automakers had to make actual retail cars to compete in some motorsports; just as they had to make real Charger Daytonas to run the supercars in NASCAR, Dodge had to make 2,400 Challengers T/As for civilians to support one SCCA racing car.

      In accordance with the Sports Car Club of America rulings, Sam Posey's #77 Classic Wax Challenger started life as a Body-In-White, meaning it was a street car that was delivered to a racing group with a unibody structure, and little else. #77 was painted FJ5 Sublime, and at first, the massive amounts of green were overpowering. Longitudal black R/T side-stripes and a black vinyl top were applied to offer visual contrast.

      The vinyl top was purported to increase structural integrity, as the Body in White was acid dipped to cut weight; and according to one report, a team member leaned on the roof during a qualifying race, and put a massive dent in the racer's roof. A Challenger from a local dealer's lot donated its normal roof, and Sam Posey went on to qualify the next day. Keith Black, of Hemi drag racing fame, built the 303.8 cubic inch LA-based motor that occupied the gloss grey engine compartment.

      Sam Posey drove the lone Trans Am racing Challenger in 1970. Drag races Dick Landy and Ted Spehar also campaigned Challengers in the National Hot Rod Association's new Pro Stock class.

      The T/A cars that ruled the streets were a different animal altogether. Starting with a Challenger Highline (JH23), the A53 Trans Am package had a special 290 horsepower 340. Carrying a unique "J" VIN prefix, the engine had increased webbing in the mains, valvetrain revisions, and the ubiquitous trio of troublesome Holleys residing on an Edelbrock intake manifold.

      The coveted Challenger Trans Am was based on the Highline, and unlike the big-motor R/T or the Luxurious Special Edition, it was not a separate trim level, but a package available on a pre-existing model.

      The A53 cars had unique spoilers front and rear, the N94 Fiberglass hood (the Pilot T/A has a regular R/T dual snorkel hood), and Hemi fenders up front to house the fat F60 series Polyglas up front. On many of these Challengers, fiberglass hood was lifted off (no hinges), and the flat black color and fender pins gave the car a unique look. (Wendell Lane wrote: "my 1970 Challenger T/A had hood hinges, with lighter hood springs for the fiberglass hood, and dual hood pins up front.")

      Out back, the cars had increased camber in the rear, and G60 tires. The antenna mast was relocated to the rear passenger quarter panel, in the belief that the lack of a steel hood impeded radio reception. The cars carried suspensions from the Hemi and 440 Six-Pack cars: the K-frame with a skid plate, thicker torsion bars and sway bars, front and rear, 3/8 fuel lines, torque boxes welded to the unibody just ahead of the rear leaf springs (the passenger's side has an extra half-leaf, like the Hemi and Six Pack cars did). The T/A cars had a fast ratio steering box as well, along with differently sized front and rear tires, and increased rear spring camber. They could do the quarter mile in 14 seconds.

      The T/As had unique striping that extended the character line of the leading edge of the C-pillar, and terminated just before the front fender trim at the front of the car. The manual 3-speed was not available, nor was a bench seat, and the only wheel options were black steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps and trim rings or the Rallye wheels. The passenger side front fender is completely unique to the T/A: it has a rolled wheel well lip like the Hemi Cars did (Hemis had 15" wheels), but no provision for the radio antenna. The T/As also carried unique exhaust (California models included) whose tips peeked out just in front of the rear wheels. Concours restorers should note that few examples had these unique mufflers (exit and exhaust on the same end) painted black, depending on the vendor.

      989 automatic and 1,411 four speed T/As were completed from late March to mid-April 1970. While the T/As were pretty much optioned alike, the rarest of those rare breed would be the lone Western Sport Special, which again, may be just a few stickers applied to a slow moving car. The rarest T/A known to be legitimate would be the one with a factory sunroof.

      William Fayling wrote: "I have had the pleasure of seeing the first one built and it has T/A striping, fiberglass hood (single scoop), rear and front spoilers."

      1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

      The Challenger R/T cemented the car's image in the hearts and minds of fans: a snorting big block, tape stripes, and the Shaker hood all made the car memorable. In 1970, the R/T package started with the 383 four barrel. Carrying a separate JH27 VIN prefix, single digit gas mileage, and neck snapping performance, the Challenger made its mark on Woodward Avenue.

      Dodge Challenger 1970-711973
      Width x Height 76.1 x 50.9 76.4 x 50.9
      Track (max) 60.760.7
      Headroom, F/R 37.4 / 35.6* 37.4 / 35.6
      Legroom, F/R 42.3/30.942.3/30.9
      Battery / Alternator 280 / 41 amp
      Trunk capacity 8.6 cubic ft
      * Hardtop headroom: 38.2 / 36.4; shoulder room: 56.2 / 56.8

      The most coveted of the R/T lineup was the 426 Hemi, rated at 425 Horsepower, and its sibling the 440 Six barrel, rated at 390 horsepower. The "R" code Hemi and the "V" code Six pack also carried a laundry list of architectural tweaks in the body structure that differentiated it from the lower performance E-bodies. For starters, both cars did not have air conditioning. Ever.

      The R/T's base 383 cubic inch engine, putting out 335 gross horsepower, was potent; options were the legendary Hemi (425 hp but only 356 buyers), the more affordable 440 Magnum (375 hp with a single four-barrel carb), and the Hemi-challenging 440 Six Pack, with three two-barrel carburetors (sold to over 2,000 people, and featuring 390 gross hp and a stunning 480 lb-ft of torque at a low 2,300 rpm).

      While the R/T had a standard dual-scoop hood, the functional scoops simply pushed air into the engine bay, rather than forcing it into the engine; for that, you needed the "shaker" hood, which was essentially an attachment to the air cleaner that protruded through the hood.

      The K-frame had an additional skid plate added to the bottom. The cars had thicker torsion bars, 3/8" fuel lines, and structural reinforcements to the floor around the pinion snubber area. Immediately recognizable is the "torque boxes", shared with the convertibles, which were situated just ahead of the rear leaf spring perches, underneath the rear seat area. Forming a square shape, they reinforced the rocker area with the rear frame rails, and after years of having jack pads and the weight of the car sandwiching them, they suffered lots of beating since leaving the factory. Also of note, most of these cars had the Dana 60 rear end, with an extra half-leaf on the passenger's side to counter the torque produced by these engines.

      Hemi cars also carried unique front fenders, due to the 15" wheel option. What made the fenders unique were that the wheel well openings were rolled more than the 14" wheeled siblings to accommodate the larger wheels. (All Challengers had a 110" wheelbase.)

      A heavy duty TorqueFlite 727 automatic transmission was standard on the 440s and Hemi engines, with a four-speed manual optional; the common wisdom was that the TorqueFlite could outrun the manual, despite the latter's Hurst pistol-grip shifter and Dana 60 rear axle. A limited slip differential was optional, but a heavy duty suspension was standard across the R/T line. Even the Hemi was restricted to 15-inch 60-series tires, which today are reserved to base model economy cars.

      While the R/T had a standard dual-scoop hood, the functional scoops simply pushed air into the engine bay, rather than forcing it into the engine; for that, you need the "shaker" hood, which was essentially an attachment to the air cleaner that protruded through the hood.

      For 1970, Dodge sold 53,337 standard Challengers; 6,584 SEs; 3,173 convertibles; a bit over 1,000 T/As; and 19,938 R/Ts (including convertibles and SEs). In all, 83,032 Challengers were sold; 60% had the base V8, and nearly 90% had automatics. Styled wheels were actually more popular than big engines; and the slant six seems to have outsold Hemi and 440 Six-Pack combined, easily.

      The original Dodge Challenger Trans-Am 340 Product Planning letters

      2009 Dodge Challenger | Challenge Creation Stories | Plymouth Barracuda | Forum

      C H A L L E N G E R B O O K S

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      (Note: all prices above are correct at time of publication to the best of our knowledge. Final pricing will be set by when you order.)

      Chrysler 1904-2018

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    1. · Premium Member
      3,295 Posts
      The 400 V8: Final Mopar Big Block Engine

      The first B engine was launched in the 1958 model year, in 350 and 361 cubic inch versions. Similar in some ways to the existing Hemi V8 engines, the B series used wedge-shaped heads to slash costs, weight, and engine size. Though conventional in design, the pushrod V8s were capable of high performance, and garnered a reputation for durability.

      For years, the largest "B" engine was the 383 cubic inch V8. The company created a raised block with the 1959 cars; the new "RB series" would go up to 440 cubic inches. The numerous engine sizes raised costs a bit, so Chrysler started working to standardize all the big block engines on a 4.32" bore (according to racer and historian Rick Ehrenberg). Using that bore with the 383's existing stroke would have brought a displacement of 396 cubic inches, but the marketing people felt 400 sounded better - and that's what they got, though it meant using a bore of 4.34", which some would say defeated the purpose.


      Net Horsepower
      Torque (lb-ft)
      4-barrel175 @ 4,000
      285 @ 2,400
      4002-barrel[email protected] 3600
      310 @ 3200
      225 @ 4,800345 @ 3200

      This was the largest B engine ever made; the stroke was the same as the other B engines (383, 361, and 350), but the bore was larger than any B or RB engine. Compression was 8.2:1, lower than optimal so they could reduce emissions.

      Despite its size, the 400 has often been dismissed as a low-powered "smog engine." It was basically an over-bored 383 with an 8.2:1 ratio for emissions and mildly longer cam timing events and higher lift (on the four-barrel version). However, as "CBody67" pointed out, the engine was always rated with net horsepower; many were confused by the move from gross to net, which dropped ratings by up to 50 hp. It didn't help that the first-year 400s all had two-barrel carburetors.

      In the 1971 cars, the 400 V8 used the Ball & Ball (later Carter) BBD downdraft, with a 1 5/16" venturi and 1 9/16" bore. For the 1972 cars, they used the Holley 2210 two-barrel. The huge displacement, topped by a two-barrel, gave the 400 somewhat less of a reputation than it may have deserved, but it was generally just about 25 horsepower less than a similarly equipped 440.

      In its first year, the idle speed was set to a fairly low 700 rpm; the fast idle speed, at 1,700 rpm. The automatic choke was controlled by a thermostatic coil spring, and defaulted to two notches rich. Ignition was via distributor and points at first (the points replaced by electronic ignition within two years); plugs were Champion J-11Y, gapped to the usual 0.35".

      1974 horsepower400
      2-barrel185 @ 4,000
      4-barrel205 @ 4,000230 @ 4,000
      4-barrel HP250 @ 4,800275 @ 4,400
      Police240 @ 4,800275 @ 4,400

      The camshaft intake valve duration was 260°; the exhaust duration was 268°; and the overlap was 38°. As with all Chrysler engines of the time, it used a timing chain; and to ease maintenance, tappets were hydraulic and self-adjusting. Valves were 2.08" (intake) and 1.75" (exhaust; sometimes reported as 1.74"). The crankshaft was fully counter-balanced. A later 400 High Performance engine used a cam with 268°/284°/46° (the crank on these was still forged steel, though the standard 400 used cast ductile iron).


      The engine had a traditional rotary full pressure oil pump, driven by the camshaft; it had a two-plane intake manifold. To the very end of production, the 400 four-barrels all had roller timing chains, windage trays, chrome moly rings, better bearings, and some other performance/durability features which had begun with the Road Runner 383. They were still used by many law enforcement agencies, which needed high speed durability and reliability.

      Electronic ignition was optional at first, but many dealers ordered it; then it was standard in the 1973 cars. As with all electronic-ignition Mopars of the day, the ballast resistor could fail without warning, leaving the car un-startable; veterans learned to spend $4 on a spare and kept it in the glove compartment, since the swap could be made easily at a parking space or road shoulder.

      The 1973 cars were also the first to get induction-hardened exhaust valve seats, so they could use unleaded gasoline when the supply of leaded fuel ended, around ten years later. The seats were heated to 1,700°F and then allowed to air-cool, hardening the surfaces to a depth of .05" to .08".

      4-barrel Lean Burn210305
      4-barrel HP240325

      Note: for 1976, the only California-legal 400 was a four-barrel with 185 hp and 285 lb-ft.

      Police and high performance versions used higher rate valve springs and surge dampers to prevent valve float. Truck versions used shot-peened nodular iron crankshafts for durability (the 440 had forged cranks for trucks and police cars).

      In 1974, the 400 used a Holley R-6737A two-barrel carburetor, with a 1.56" barrel; the 400 "HP" used a Carter Thermoquad four-barrel (1.50 primaries, 2.25 secondaries). This was not the same carburetor as the 440, but it was similar in dimensions and identical in barrel sizes. All the 400 and 440 cubic inch engines used premium fuel at this point, and had 8.2:1 compression. New oval intake snorkels increased engine output slightly on the 1974s by reducing air turbulence.

      From 1973 to 1978, emissions equipment continued to become more complex, as engineers tried to get carburetors to work more efficiently. Tuning chief Pete Hagenbuch asked for fuel injection, but it was rejected due to cost (most likely far less than the cost of extra warranty work and lost customers). Electronic Lean Burn, the world's first computerized spark advance system, helped - but had its own problems, many due to the lack of proper materials, and many owners replaced it. To save money, cast crankshafts started to replace the forged crankshafts of prior years.

      The 1978 cars with 400 cubic inch V-8 engines gained dual concentric throttle return springs in addition to a torsion throttle spring. The 400 was standard on the popular Chrysler Cordobas in most, but not all years.

      The heat valve in the right exhaust manifold diverted hot gases to the floor of the intake manifold which helps to vaporize the fuel mixture when the engine is cold, speeding warm-up; a thermostatic spring reduced gas flow through the intake manifold crossover passage.

      The 1978s also had an adaptor for timing the ignition magnetically; it could still be set by timing lights.

      The last big block Chrysler engine was produced in August 1978; they were still standard in the 1978 Chrysler Newport and New Yorker (the 440 was optional). In this application, the 400 had a four-barrel carburetor, had the same 8.2:1 compression, and was rated at 195 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It was also listed for sale in Dodge trucks, e.g. as a $72 option for the D100 and D200.

      1972400 cid 90° V8
      Compression 8.2:1
      Min compression100 psi
      Max variation between cylinders40 psi
      Firing order1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
      Timing2.5° BTC
      Left bank, front to rear1-3-5-7
      PistonsAuthothermic, steel struts
      Piston weight768.5 grams
      Piston pinsPress fit in rod
      Piston rings2 compression, 1 oil
      Connecting rod weight812 grams
      Tuning and other experiences

      From CBody67

      To set the base idle speed, I'd put it in gear, parking brake full on, and adjust the idle speed to just where it became a smooth flow from a flow of individual pulses - then put it in Park and see where the "unloaded" idle speed went to. Then adjust the idle mixture from there, re-tweaking the idle speed in gear.

      If things were right, it would idle smoothly all day with the a/c on in gear. There would be no real hydrocarbon smell on my hand as I checked for the exhaust pulse; it was the lean best idle that worked.

      In this process, the 400 had a much hotter exhaust temperature than the 383; the lower compression motors allegedly had higher heat rejection, which helped cook the emissions. It impressed me was that the factory tune-up specs (on the underhood decal) for ignition timing were stated as + or - 2 degrees - they were enough under the emissions requirements that they had some room to play with.

      Most of the people who replaced the Lean Burn really didn't get the best results; they used an earlier carb with a Direct Connection electronic ignition kit, or replaced the distributor with a remanufactured one, resulting in a car that ran, but not well.

      In the 1976 model year, the 400 HO still had no catalytic converter, with a "Non-Catalyst" sticker on the driver's door.

      The 1978 Chrysler service manual lists converter stall speeds; the "Road Runner 383" converter was the normal 225 Slant Six torque converter, with a higher stall speed behind the more powerful 383. The normal 383 and 440s got the 11.75" converter, as the Road Runner converter was 10.75". The stall speeds quoted for the 1978 HO engines were between 2800-3200 rpm, while many GM converters were rated to 2000 rpm. These "loose" factory converters, coupled with the internal guts for the 400 and 440s, meant that Chrysler was probably the only OEM building true high performance cars with lower compression ratios, doing what they could with longer cam timing specs and such. The exhaust system was still large, too; and when Chrysler did a dual exhaust car, it had two separate converters. GM used one, with a dual outlet exhaust.

      The 400 heads' ports looked a little different and were initially perceived to be lower performance than the 906 castings of 1971 and earlier. Later, when the 906s and the later ones were ported identically, the flows were found to be the same.

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    1. · Premium Member
      3,295 Posts
      The RB Engines: 383 - 413 - 426 - 440

      by David Zatz

      Chrysler's first big block V8s were, from the start, designed with a low-deck and raised-deck series - the LB (or B) engines and the RB ("raised-deck B"). Chrysler standardized the stroke of each series: the B-engines had a 3.38-inch stroke and RB engines had a 3.75 inch stroke.

      Thanks to Eddie Hostler, Curtis Redgap, and the Mopar Engines and Chrysler Engines books.

      The first RB engine was the 1959 413 (6.8 liters), launched a year after the first B 350 and 361 came out. The RB engines were shared by all Chrysler brands, but that still left room for variety, as retired plant worker "Superduckie" wrote:

      Just in 1969, the big block V8s had around sixty variations. There were 413s with two-barrel carburetors, for school buses and dump trucks. There were six blocks, five cylinder-head variations, four camshafts, three timing chains, four flywheels, four torque converters, five different oil pans, and many different linkage brackets.
      It was still easier to manage than the bewildering array of earlier Chrysler V8s.


      The 413, a high-torque, medium-horsepower powerplant, went into the 1959-65 cars, and 1959-79 trucks. The engine was also sold to high-end European automakers, such as Facel Vega.

      See 413 dyno tests conducted at Chrysler in 1959

      Chrysler carEngine19591960
      Windsor, SaratogaRB - 38347,21952,349
      New Yorker, 300RB - 41317,02520,602
      ImperialRB - 41317,26217,719

      The 413 was quickly adapted to high performance use by racers, including the Pettys, and by Chrysler itself. In its launch year, the 1959 Chrysler 300E used twin four-barrel carburetors to produce 380 brake horsepower at 5000 rpm and 450 lb-ft at 3600 rpm.

      Meanwhile, Chrysler engineers had discovered that intake manifolds could create a supercharging effect; air/fuel coming to the cylinder would hit the closed valve, bounce off, and then return, mixing with the rush of incoming air at a higher density (pressure), pushing more fuel and air into the cylinder and effectively increasing the engine's displacement. The effect was tuned by changing the length of the intake tubes, with 30 inches being "just right" for boosting passing power. That meant a large, heavy intake with two carburetors on opposite sides of the engine from the cylinders they were feeding, and also reduced power at the highest engine speeds.

      Thus, the 1960 Chrysler 300F and 1961 300G had a long-tube ram induction system, boosting power to 495 pound-feet; it remained on the option sheets for Chrysler 300s through the 1964 cars.

      Dodge Ramcharger and Plymouth Super Stock cars could run the 1962 Max Wedge 413, displacing 426 cubic inches; sold for drag racing, it boasted an official 420 bhp at 5,000 rpm. Street legal but not street practical, cars with the same engine booked four class records in 1962 NHRA racing, and made mid-twelve-second quarter-mile runs commonplace. On NASCAR tracks the long-ram setup was less than ideal, since it traded off power at one engine speed band for power in another, and was difficult to tune, due to the huge manifold.

      Engine Specifications: 413 V8 as used in Chrysler 300F
      Bore, Stroke, Compression4.18 x 3.75; 10.1 to 1
      Max. BHP @ RPM375 @ 5,000 (std) or 400 @ 5,200
      Max. Torque @ RPM495 @ 2,800 (std) or 465 @ 3,600
      Firing Order1, 8, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 2
      Valve ArrangementOverhead, in-line, hydraulic
      ValvesIntake: 2.08" Exhaust: 1.60", with 0.430" lift; 268° open duration
      Valve Overlap48°: Intake opens 20° before top dead center, exhaust closes 28° after top dead center
      Piston and RingsAluminum alloy pistol with three rings
      CrankshaftDrop forged steel

      The next step was expanding the bore to 4.25 inches, for a 426 cubic inch displacement, debuting on the 1963 cars. Buyers could get high-performing 300J heads or normal-performance 516 heads. The street-tuned 426 Wedge was a conventional four-barrel setup, with performance not far above the similarly outfitted 383.

      The 413 Max Wedge package was replaced by a 426 Max Wedge, sold in Stage II and Stage III versions; these engines, intended for racing, had special blocks, rods, crankshafts, pistons, heads, valves, valve gear, intake manifolds, carburetors and exhaust manifolds. The 426 was rated by Dodge at 415-425 gross horsepower and 470-480 lb-ft of torque; the 413, at 410-420 hp and 460-470 lb-ft.

      The new engines dominated NHRA's Super Stock class and the Stage II motors boosted NASCAR racing wins. Ronnie Cox won Top Stock Eliminator, tying Al Eckstrand's record of the 112 mph quarter-mile trap speed (in 12.4 seconds for Eckstrand, 12.92 for Cox).

      Ads for the 1963 Dodge "Ramcharger" V8 pointed to records set by NHRA campaigners in 1962 (with the 413), with Jim Nelson setting a quarter mile time of 8.59 seconds (AA/D), Dick Ladeen hitting 12.71 seconds (SS/S), and Bill "Maverick" Golden getting to 12.50 seconds (SS/SA). An A/FX record of 12.26 in the Golden

      The 1963 Ramcharger V8s (413 and 426) had numerous performance and reliability features, according to Dodge:

      How do you identify these engines? Just to the right of the distributor is a bit of smooth steel which has a number code stamped in it. The first line has a letter for the year (D = 1968) and the three digits for displacement (e.g. 440). The date - month and day - are on a line below, sometimes with an HP denoting High Performance. If you don't find "tag," try the passenger side of the block, below the distributor, which is where it sits on B engines.

      • New short-ram intake manifold (15 inches rather than 30) to increase power output over at speeds over 4,000 rpm; tappets could be adjusted with the manifold in place
      • Extra large valves (2.08 inches intake)
      • Port areas of each cylinder head around 25% larger than with the standard 413 engines, with stainless steel head gaskets and a special deck structure for better sealing
      • Oversized long-branch exhaust with three inch outlets and cutouts; two-inch diameter twin tailpipes
      • Three-valve fuel pump with high spring load; electric fuel pumps available as an option
      • Forged aluminum pistons with a chrome-plated iron top compression ring; connecting rods were individually magnaflux-inspected.
      • Larger oil galleries, a larger oil intake tube, larger main and rod bearing oil grooves, and a fore-aft swinging oil intake in the sump to assure circulation when the oil moves to the rear of the pan (on hard acceleration).
      • Mechanical lifters for high engine speeds with high strength valvespring retainers and springs. Rocker arms included lock nuts on the lash adjusting screw.
      • Hardened journals and alloy bearings for extra crankshaft capacity; specially balanced drive shaft
      • Special distributor and dual breaker points
      • Heavy duty manual gearbox or optional automatic, set to upshift at 5,600 rpm, with highest maximum overall breakaway ratio (5.39:1) and overall efficiency of any stock automatic.
      • Sure-Grip rear axle and heavy duty rear springs standard with the Ramcharger engine.

      Mopar Action's Rick Ehrenberg answered a reader's question about fuels. He wrote, "Today's 93 "pump" (R+M/2) octane is roughly equal to 97 research octane. This is just barely - just barely - enough for a dead-stock 10:1 iron-head 440 when all is correct and there's no carbon, with 180° antifreeze. If you still have detonation, make sure the TDC mark is accurate, the timing curve (advance rate) is stock, and the antifreeze is not over 180°F; and check to see if the heads have ever been milled or de-carboned. The engine probably needs more octane, a gallon or two of race gas in the tank. Any detonation you can hear is very bad and very destructive. Long term, the best fix is a pair of 440 source aluminum heads with Cometic gaskets." The reader pointed out that the engine was new, and timing was set for full advance, and Rick said that the mechanical timing curve was probably too "fast."

      The A-864 hemi was introduced in 1964 in the "light weight" Plymouth and Dodge models as a race only package, to be replaced by the A-990 hemi in 1965 (also as a race only engine). Meanwhile, the Dodge Ramcharger drivers continued to pile up records with the 426 Wedge, upgraded with larger Carter AFB-3705S carburetors (with .25-inch larger primary bores), larger air horn diameters, new larger primary riser openers in the intake manifold, a higher lift and longer exhaust duration cam, modified combustion chambers and intake valve ports, more durable head gaskets, new fan and drive unit, and optional aluminum front-end package that cut the Ramcharger package weight by nearly 150 pounds.

      In 1966, thanks to the new precision thin-wall casting techniques used to make the 1964 small 273 ci V-8, the RB block could be pushed out to 4.32 inches, providing the 440, the largest V8 ever made by Chrysler. (Ironically, the largest engine overall - the Viper V10 - was based on the little 273's engine family).

      The 440 engine was introduced in 1966, the same year the 426 engine was replaced by the same-displacement, legendary 426 Hemi "elephant engine." A large-bore version of the 413, it was used not only for performance, but also for luxury yachts such as the Imperial. Horsepower was slightly higher than in the 413, but torque leaped up, at 480 lb-ft.

      The high performance 440 was introduced in the 1967 GTX and R/T models (see Super Commando photo below); the company slotted in brand new, better-flowing heads and a more aggressive, hydraulic camshaft. The Magnum and Super Commando (A134) engines produced 375 horsepower, yet were reliable and relatively easy to tune.

      In 1968, the 383 Road Runner and Super Bee models were introduced, starting the biggest performance surge since the early 1960s; they were essentially created by taking the new head and camshaft designs and putting them into the 383.

      In 1969, the first 440-6 barrel engine package was produced with special rods, crankshaft, timing chain, camshaft, valve springs and intake system; it enjoyed a three year run. The three two-barrel carburetors were dubbed a "Six Pack." Midyear, the company added a high-rise Edelbrock manifold (this was cut early in 1970).

      It is worth noting that early 1969 440s had the same connecting rods and crankshaft as in 1968, but heavier connecting rods were introduced around three months into 1969 model-year production; to offset the added weight, a new crankshaft and rebalanced vibration damper and flywheel were used. Mixing and matching these parts results in nasty vibration problems.

      For 1970, strong "Six Pack" connecting rods were added to all 440 high-performance engines. They were used until 1975.

      In 1971, the 440-6 barrel and the Hemi were the last truly high performance cars produced in the era; the year also saw the use of a cast iron 383 crankshaft as a cost saving measure, on automatic-transmission cars.

      On July 4, 1971, four cars with 426 cubic inch versions of the 440 with ported 440 heads were entered in the Daytona Grand National race, and they finished 1-2-3-4.

      1970 3831971 3831970-71 426 Hemi1971 4401971 440+6 1977 440
      Compression ratio9.5:18.5:110.28:9.5:110.3:1
      Horsepower (gross)335 @ 5200300 @ 4,800425 @ 5,000370 @ 4,600385 @ 4,700
      Horsepower (net) 250 @ 4,800350 @ 5,000*305 @ 4,600330 @ 4,700195 @ 3,600
      Torque (gross)425 @ 3400410 @ 3,400490 @ 4,000480 @ 3,200490 @ 3,200
      Torque (net) 325 @ 3,400390 @ 4,000400 @ 3,200410 @ 3,200320 @ 2,000
      Dual 4-barrel
      3 x 2bbl
      4 barrel
      Intake/exhaust duration268° / 284°268° / 284°284° / 284° 268° / 284°268° / 284°
      Base transmission3-spd stick3-spd stick3-spd auto3-spd auto4-spd manual3-spd auto
      Gears2.55, 1.49, 1:1 2.45, 1.45, 1:1
      Standard axle ratio 3.23:13.23:13.35:13.23:1

      See the 440 six-barrel (440 Six-Pack) engines


      Net Power
      Torque (lb-ft)
      440Base225 @ 4,800345 @ 3200
      440 Dual snorkel230 @ 4,400355 @ 2,800
      440Dual exhaust245 @ 4,400360 @ 3,200
      440High Perf.280 @ 4,800375 @ 3,200
      440Cold Air Pak290 @ 4,800380 @ 3,200
      4403-two barrel330 @ 4,800410 @ 3,600

      The performance aspects of the 'B' and 'RB' engines faded from 1972 on, though not as suddenly as casual observers may expect, because net horsepower ratings were adopted in 1972 as well. This resulted in a substantial drop in rated horsepower as the effects of using an air cleaner, water pump, alternator, muffler, and other "accessories" were included. The company did provide both gross and net numbers for some engines in 1971, providing some perspective. The measurement difference was responsible for a "drop" of 50-65 horsepower.

      There were some drops in power in 1972 as compression was dropped to reduce emissions, a cheap way to meet new pollution standards. The company also switched to a ductile iron crankshaft (at some point from 1972 to 1974), replacing the forged steel crank, to cut costs. Hemi Andersen wrote that changing the crankshaft also meant the need for an eccentric weight in the harmonic balancer, and the addition of a weight to the torque converter. In short, the engine needed to be externally balanced, while the past B and RB engines did not

      By 1977, when Lean Burn system made its appearance on the 440 "for better driveability and overall performance" (until, many would say, the system stopped working), the engine was used for big luxury cars: it was standard on Chrysler New Yorker Brougham and Town & Country, and optional on Chrysler Newport, Plymouth Gran Fury, and Dodge Monaco. Performance was now to be found in the 360 four-barrel equipped F-bodies, not the B bodies.

      The last 'B-RB' engine was produced in August 1978, ending the history of Chrysler Corporation big-block engines - though it took over a year to clear the already-made engines out of stock. The 440 high-performance engine had a slight power boost to 255 hp, but it was only available as an option for B-body patrol cars. The 413 was used in medium- and heavy-duty trucks until 1979, using old stock.

      <a name="383"></a>The two 383 engines

      In 1963, Dodge buyers had a choice of the 383 with a two-barrel carb (305 hp) or a Power Pack version, with a high performance cam, dual-breaker ignition, dual exhausts, and four-barrel carb (330 hp).

      Chrysler also wanted a 383 cubic inch engine, to avoid having a smaller engine than the lesser Dodge. Trenton Engine, at the time, had a line for the B engine and one for the RB; the B line was busy pushing out 383s and 361s, while the RB line was underused, producing just the 413. Chrysler engineers created a 383 engine out of the RB 413 block, with a narrower bore - so there was a large-bore, short-stroke Dodge 383 and a small-bore, long-stroke Chrysler "Golden Lion" 383.

      The 383 RB was only available in 1959 and 1960 on the US-built Chrysler Windsor and Saratoga (thanks, Ian Smale and Bill Watson). In 1961, the plant figured out how to quickly switch from one block to the other, and they dropped the RB 383.

      Mopar B and RB engine parts

      Over 750,000 440 engines have been produced, so parts tend to be available. The RB engine size was stamped on a pad at the left front of the engine adjacent to the front tappet rail. Distributors are at the right front of the engine. Parts replacement information (such as undersize crankshaft) is next to the engine size.

      1961 was the first year for the now-universal closed crankcase ventilation system, then used on all cars sold in California; it used a flexible tube to connect a valve to a carburetor fitting just below the throttle blades. The carburetor would draw the crankcase vapors in, burning them to painlessly eliminate a source of pollution.

      Chrysler wrote this about the 440, in 1978: "The combination of its large displacement, large intake and exhaust valve ports and manifold passages, 4-barrel carburetor and low-restriction exhaust system give the 440 extra power for quick acceleration at all speeds-low, middle, or highway cruising-or for towing large travel trailers. The 440 V-8 features a deep-skirt engine block, rugged cast ductile iron crankshaft and aluminum-on-steel main and connecting-rod bearings for exceptional durability and smooth operation."

      B engines: 350, 361, 383, 400Max Wedge440 Six-Pack

      RB-engine articles by Rick Ehrenberg

      More resources

      Chrysler 1904-2018

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    1. · Premium Member
      3,295 Posts
      The History of the 440 Six Pack - Chrysler's Ultimate Street Motor

      Story and photos by RICHARD EHRENBERG.
      Copyright © 1989 Richard Ehrenberg. Used by permission. First printed in Mopar Action

      Nineteen sixty-nine was a very good year for those Hamtramck high flyers; virtually every car Chrysler was producing was selling well. Stripper 170-cube Valiants and Darts, the darlings of the econo set, were being snapped up at a rapid rate. The sportier A-cars the GTS, Swinger, and 'Cuda - had already earned an enviable street reputation for maximum small-block performance. One punch and you knew that the 275-horse rating on the 340 was a bold-faced lie.

      The B-motored B-bods were also doing quite nicely, thank you. The new trim, ragtop and air-grabber options, along with a new Technicolor bird, helped give the Road Runner a shot of adrenalin. Over at the white-hat department, the Dodge boys gave us the flush-grille Charger 500. Unbeknownst to us, that Charger would soon get a triple hormone shot and grow into the Daytona, that fabled winged warrior, complete with an Arnold Schwarzenegger-sized towel bar in back.

      Only one thing was missing at intro time in the fall of 1968: new mills. The Chrysler crew was pretty much resting on their laurels, but who was complaining? The 340 was a dynamite mini-mill; the 383 was great for the buck, especially in its hot-cammed Road Runner and Super Bee incarnations. The 440 was the quintessential street piece and had been markedly improved for '68, what with a new Carter AVS jug replacing 1967's smallish AFB. The Hemi had been tuned-up, as well, for '68, receiving a warmer bumpstick grind. What could Chrysler possibly do for an encore?

      The planners apparently had one mid-year trick up their sleeves: a special street racer option package for the 440 B-cars. What'd they do? Simple. They went to California and ordered a mess of Edelbrock hi-rise aluminum intakes cast for triple-deuce carburetion. They ordered a trio of Holley's best centerhung-float 2300 deuces, totaling 1,200 cfm. In the best Chrysler tradition, the whole setup was, of course, properly engineered. The carbs were each equidistant from their respective ports, so no cylinders were in danger of going lean. This permitted center-carb jetting, which, if driven sanely (but who could?), might even have delivered passable gas mileage.

      Then, in the boldest move of all, they trashed the Road Runner and Super Bee's heavy steel hood and complex air-grabber setup and whipped up a batch of pin-on (no hinges!) fiberglass hoods. Bold decals on the Queen Mary-sized scoop announced to the competition what artillery you were packing ("440-6" on the Dodge, "440 6 BBL" on the Plymouth).

      In another move designed to endear the car forever to street rats, they equipped every car, even automatics, with that grenade-proof axle setup, the Dana 60, complete with 4.10-to-1 gears and clutch-type Sure-Grip. No other axles were available. No air conditioning was available. No disk brakes were available. This was a street beater's dream car, to be sure.

      To further the image, 15x6-inch wheels were shod with meaty G70-15
      Goodyears, but no wheel covers or custom wheel were available. "Aha!" you think. "Dog dish hub-caps?" Nope. No hubcaps. Thinking like the street racers they surely were, the folks at Mopar let the car roll into the light of the Motown day wearing only chrome lug nuts. Talk about battle-ready!

      The mill's internals saw a few mods as well, to ensure high-rpm integrity. Hemi valve springs and chrome-flashed valve stems combined with molly rings and a dual-point sparker to guarantee hi-rev action. A low-taper cam and tappet setup was designed to keep the bumpstick from acting like a GM piece and going away after a few runs. It worked.

      Best of all, this entire package could be had for roughly half the price of the Hemi's $830.65 admission ticket. Street racers went wild, ordering them like lollipops. There was one obstacle to complete success, though. Edelbrock, basically a limited-production manufacturer, couldn't keep up with the demand for intakes. This, unfortunately, limited combined Dodge/Plymouth production to just 3,384 units. Naturally, this relatively low number doesn't hurt the collectibility or value of the cars today.

      (This photo is of a 1967 four-barrel setup, not the Six Pack. Sorry!)

      Rick Ehrenberg answered a reader's question about fuels. He wrote, "Today's 93 "pump" (R+M/2) octane is roughly equal to 97 research octane. This is just barely - just barely - enough for a dead-stock 10:1 iron-head 440 when all is correct and there's no carbon, with 180° antifreeze. If you still have detonation, make sure the TDC mark is accurate, the timing curve (advance rate) is stock, and the antifreeze is not over 180°F; and check to see if the heads have ever been milled or de-carboned. The engine probably needs more octane, a gallon or two of race gas in the tank. Any detonation you can hear is very bad and very destructive. Long term, the best fix is a pair of 440 source aluminum heads with Cometic gaskets."

      The '69 'Bee deserves special mention here. Since it was the first car to wear the Six Pack label, it is, of course, the image that pops into most Mopar gearhead's minds when someone says Six Pack. Sure, we know the '69 'Runner was the same car; it just didn't say Six Pack. The
      Dodge name is the one that stuck.

      Car Life, in its July 1969 issue, sang high praise of the car -- and in more than drag action. "Decent brakes" and "superpredictable and superresponsive" are phrases they used to describe the handling of the 'Bee, but their last paragraph said it all: ". . . a drag-strip terror; a Hemi equalizer; and a 3,800-pound, 117-inch wheelbase slalom car." Did these guys like the 'Bee, or what?

      For 1970, Chrysler wasn't about to let a good thing slip through their hands again, so they tooled up for an in-house iron version of the manifold. They also vastly widened the motor's availability, making it an option for the 'Cuda, Challenger, Road Runner, Super Bee, GTX, Coronet R/T, Charger R/T and "winged-thing No. 2," the Superbird. Even land-yacht enthusiasts were happy in '70: The six-barrel monster wedge could be had in a C-body, the Sport Fury GT.

      The mill's internals received a further upgrade for 1970, with gigondo con-rods heading the list. A new externally balanced extra-heavy-duty crankshaft was required with the new rods, and that in turn brought the requirement for external balancing, for the first time ever in a Mopar. A new right-side exhaust manifold, sporting an improved heat-control valve, was introduced. For the first time, automatic-equipped cars could be had with the 8 1/2-inch axle and highway gears, and the Dana was offered with your choice of 3.54 or 4.10 cogs.

      1969390 @ 4,700490 @ 3,200 (some sources say 3,600)
      1970390 @ 4,700490 @ 3,200 (some sources say 3,600)
      1971385 @ 4,700490 @ 3,200

      1971 saw a virtual carry-over for the Six Pack setup. The engine was detuned a tad (the advance curve was fiddled with, mainly), to satisfy big brother's ever-tightening emissions noose. This backpedaling move cost only 5 ponies, not even enough to notice. The Six Pack, along with the Hemi and 340, were Chrysler's only remaining high-compression (over 10-to-1 squeeze) mills.

      1972? Yeah, we've seen the option sheets and brochures showing that the Six Pack was alive and well. It wasn't. Oh sure, maybe two or three sneaked out, but where are they? If you've got one, pump your garage full of nitrogen, then call us! We'll be right over!

      Six Pack Rebop: Everything you need to know to rebuild the Six Pack on your 440 motor

      BY RICHARD EHRENBERG. Copyright © 1989 Richard Ehrenberg. Used by permission of the author. Part numbers and availability may have changed since this article was written in 1989.

      Just five short years ago, trying to replace a missing Six Pack setup for your 440 muscle Mopar was a frustrating experience. Manifolds and carbs were swap-meet-only items, usually commanding big bucks for less-than-pristine merchandise. In recent years, though, the situation has improved radically. Holley has seen fit to reintroduce enough carburetors (six, in all) to be usable for every application. Edeibrock also saw the restoration/nostalgia scene coming, so they retooled to reproduce their '69-style aluminum manifold. The iron '70 to '71 manifold is gone forever, but since the '69 piece is lighter, looks almost identical and works as well (or better), so what?

      Many of the fuel line, linkage and air cleaner pieces are, incredibly, still available from Chrysler. Anything else you might need -- including coil brackets, throttle cable and spring brackets -- is readily available from the various repro merchants.

      So, today you can do what would have been impossible just a few years ago: assemble a Six Pack setup using all-new components. But you will have to make some compromises. For example, although the air-cleaner base ("retainer," in Mopar jargon) can still be had, the only one available are the later "splash shield" version. The shaker and 'glass-hood variations are history (but, hey, there's always the swap meets).

      Holley is supplying the correct carbs for most '71s, but for both '69 and non-California '70s, they're substituting the '70 California Evaporation Control System (ECS) carbs. This represents absolutely no problem as far as performance is concerned, with one exception: As our carb-specification chart shows, the replacement center carb for the '70 to '71 cars is a bit on the lean side, especially for fresh-air cars. You should, therefore, probably consider rejetting the center carb to stock specs (if not a step or two richer) for your make and model. The bit of extra fuel at cruise can help prevent the lean-surge condition that bothered some of these cars when they were new.

      Holley jets are readily available, and it's a five-minute job if performed before everything's bolted together. If the gaskets aren't reusable, be sure to use the new-style black cardboard gaskets (from Holley). They're unaffected by today's witches' brew gasoline.

      The ECS carbs (especially the center carb) cause one minor annoyance, though. They look a little different from the original, non-ECS carbs. However, there's a simple remedy for that: Leave the air cleaner on at car shows!

      If you're using the Six Pack setup in a non-stock environment (e.g., 310-degree cam, open headers), the stock jetting will need to be tinkered for maximum performance. Your best reference for this is Mopar Performance's Engine Performance Book, part No. P4349340. Holley also publishes and sells a whole library of tuneup, rework and parts books. An order form for these will be packed with the new carburetors.

      One dark cloud has recently drifted into the otherwise-sunny parts scene: The air cleaner elements have been discontinued by both Mopar and Fram [Mike S. wrote that Chrysler also used Wix]. [Unless a new filter has been released since this was written], the only alternative is the reusable K-N oil-bath element. Now this is really not a bad idea anyway, especially on the 1969 cars, where one rainstorm and your $30 paper element was trash!

      In the last few years, we've seen Six Pack setups find their way onto everything from pickup trucks to luxury Cordobas. The Six Barrel was flexible, street-smart inductions setup that performed as well as it looked. Pop the hood at Burger King and crowds gather. Take your Six Pack and attack the Bowties!

      Relevant books

      Relevant links

      Quick 440 story (by Bob Marks)

      Years ago, around 1986, I acquired a 1985 Dodge Ramcharger with the 360 engine. As an old hot-rodder, I wanted more. So I went on a quest.

      I had a friend who had an old (1973 - not 1976 despite the photo caption ) Chrysler Imperial sitting in their driveway with a blown trans. They had decided to not repair it, but replaced the car, leaving the Imperial to just sit. Well, I did some investigation. It had a 440 RB engine in it with a 4-barrel. I made a deal with them, bought the whole car for the drive train, and then had another friend tow
      the car to my house, where we removed the engine and trans, and I then gave the car shell to my

      I bought an engine stand from PAW to store this behemoth on, but after I got it, and put the intact engine on it, the stand bent! When I called PAW up, they said that the stand that they had sent me was intended for small-block Chevys, not the big Chryslers! So I sent them back the stand, and they sent me a HUGE 4-wheeled stand that they said was rated for 1000 lbs. When I put this engine on the new stand, using extra bolts at the bell housing, the front of the engine still
      did a dip, so I had to put a prop rod under the crank damper to keep the front up, for insurance!

      I had wanted this particular engine for my hop-up because my research informed me that it was
      the last of the thick-wall castings, with dog-bone shaped water passages, that had been added for motor-home use, and was the last of the forged crank, forged rod engines built in this size by Chrysler.

      Also see: Low-Buck Bolt-On Upgrades by Rick Ehrenberg

      Chrysler 1904-2018

      Spread the word via <!--Tweet or--> Facebook!

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    1. · Premium Member
      3,295 Posts
      The B Engines: 350, 361, 383, and 400

      Thanks to Eddie Hostler and Hemi Andersen, and the Chrysler Engines book.

      by David Zatz

      Chrysler Corporation's first V8 engine tapped expertise in creating high-performance airplane motors; it was efficient, durable, powerful, costly, and slow to build. Soon, GM and Ford were selling cheap V8s hand over fist; and Chrysler rushed to design a new series of big-block V8s, ejecting hemispherical heads and other niceties.

      Volume was key. Originally, Chrysler had figured that the next best thing to Hemi was a polyspherical head - but it turned out those had little, if any, advantage over the wedge design. They added complexity, weight, and bulk, while their lack of a "squish" area restricted compression. Chrysler followed GM with the wedge design.

      Before making its own wedge engines, Dodge advertised the polyspherical design.

      According to Willem Weertman, later head of Chrysler engine development, creation of the B series of big block V8 engines was led Robert S. Rarey, starting in 1955 - with a deadline of production for the new 1958 large cars. They had to be capable of class-leading power, so Rarey specified the largest space between cylinder centers of any Chrysler engine, ever - 4.8 inches. The basic design allowed for a 3.75 inch stroke, partly by having both a low-deck block (the LB series, usually just called "B," with a top deck around 10 inches high) and a raised deck block (the RB series, with a 10.725 inch top deck height).

      Used by DeSotoPlymouthDodge and DeSoto
      Horsepower (gross)280305305
      Carburetor2-barrelDual 4-barrel2-barrel

      Source: Chrysler Engines, by Willem Weertman

      To prevent flex, they used a deep skirt design and a five-bolt head bolt pattern for each cylinder, rather than the old four bolt setup, with five main bearings. At the same time, they tried to reduce weight, using short exhaust ports (which also cut heat rejection to the antifreeze) and side-by-side intake ports (1.95 inches in diameter in 1958; the exhaust port was 1.6 inches).

      Past V8s had the oil pump and distributor in the rear of the engine; now, they went up front, to make clearance easier. The oil pump had a die-cast cover that also mounted the spin-on filter. Engineers tried to prevent steam pockets in the water jacket design, and let oil from the valve rockers flow directly into the tappet chamber into the sump, without drilled drain holes in the head or block.

      The new engine used stamped steel rocker arms, which Weertman called "unprecedented;" they started with flat steel stock rather than machining it. They also had hydraulic tappets, to avoid the need for regular adjustments (most of the original Hemis had used hydraulic tappets, too).

      The "B" series wedge engines were launched in the 1958 cars, just seven years after the original Chrysler V8. Compared to the Hemi and Poly engines, it was light, simple, and cheap to build, yet still tough and sturdy.

      For this one year, they were produced in 350 and 361 cubic inch versions, both large-bore, short-stroke designs, with 10:1 compression and identical valve diameters; the Plymouth dual-four-barrel version had a unique camshaft, but the DeSoto two and four barrel versions shared a cam. Made in a newly repurposed plant, they started rolling off the line just in time for the 1958 cars.

      From the start, Plymouth, Dodge, and DeSoto shared the B-engine; Chrysler joined in a year later. This was part of a decision to have a single corporate engineering department for engines, after a bewildering variety of parts were created by the divisions as each produced a similar, but different, first-generation V8 engine with the same basic features.

      Both the 350 and 361 had a fuel injected version in 1958 only. Very few "fuelies" were made, and precious few remain, since most had carburetors fitted.

      The smallest, least potent B engine, the 1958 350 two-barrel - a one-year wonder used only by DeSoto - was rated at 280 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, roughly matching the 1957 Plymouth Fury's 318 V8 (290 hp, 325 pound-feet), equipped with two four-barrel carburetors. That was a good sign.

      The Plymouth 350 four-barrel had 305 hp; the DeSoto Turboflash produced up to 295 hp; and the Dodge D-500, went up to 320 hp. The closely related 361 four-barrel, meanwhile, hit 305 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. This engine would last for many years, used in trucks long after the cars had moved on.

      B engines were designed from the start to handle ever-increasing amounts of power, with drop-forged steel connecting rods and a forged crankshaft. Maintenance and repair were eased by the external oil pump, dry intake, and front-mounted distributor, along with an easily changed water pump.

      Plymouth versions were called Golden Commando and Sonoramic Commando; Dodge versions, Super Red Ram (formerly used with the Hemi name) and D-500; DeSoto versions (starting in 1959), TurboFlash. These names were not necessarily used by anyone but marketers, but were, in some cases, emblazoned on the valve covers.

      In 1959, the 361 was bored out, creating the most common Mopar performance engine for the next decade: the 383. The big bore allowed for larger (2.08") intake valves, and the relatively short stroke helped it to be a free-revving engine as well as a free-breathing one. It launched on the 1959 DeSoto and Dodge cars. This first-year 383 had the same cam timing as the 1958-59 350 and 361 (except the Plymouth Fury version).

      1959361 383
      Carburetor2 barrel2 barrel

      The DeSoto two-barrel version of the new 383 provided 305 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, an inauspicious beginning. The four-barrel version, coded D-500 by Dodge for that year, was rated at 320 horsepower. DeSoto's four-barrel (standard on the Fireflight) had an extra five horsepower and an extra five pound-feet, at least according to advertising; there may not have been any actual difference.

      There was, though, a new attraction for the 1960 cars: a dual-four barrel version of the 361 and 383, with a long cross-ram setup.

      The first major performance engine in the B series was the 1960 dual-carburetor D500 ram induction package, bringing up to 330 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque; it used a "cross-ram" manifold (the carburetors were on opposite sides of the engine from the cylinders they fed, crossing the valley, to gain the required tube length).

      The tubes had an internal length of 30 inches at first, for an added boost while passing on the highway; this was altered to 15 inches later, in some engines, for racing purposes.

      The compression ratios for the 361 were dropped from 10:1 to 9:1, for the 1961 cars, so owners could switch to regular fuel instead of premium. Power dropped somewhat, but the 383 was available for those who wanted more. The four-barrel 361 only lasted to the end of 1962; and the two-barrel was only used in cars through 1966.

      Dodge V8s
      Red Ram
      D500 (1)D500 (2)Ram-Fire
      Cubic Inches361361383383
      Bore x Stroke4.12 x 3.384.12 x 3.384.25 x 3.384.25 x 3.38
      Gross hp
      295 @ 4,600320 330 @ 4,800325 @ 4,600
      Max torque
      390 @ 2,400420460 @ 2,800425 @ 2,800

      Carburetion in 1961 was supplied by a two barrel Stromberg model WWC carburetor (3-188). This carburetor had a rubber-tipped needle valve in the float bowl, to prevent small dirt particles from causing problems; it had a two-stage set-up jet for good fuel flow at cruising speeds. The 1960 cars gained a three-stage metering rod.

      1961 was the first year for the closed crankcase ventilation system used on all cars sold in California, designed to painlessly reduce smog. A flexible tube connected a valve and a specially calibrated carburetor; the carburetor had a fitting just below the throttle blades into which the crankcase vapors were drawn by suction. From here they were drawn into the intake manifold for burning, leaving fewer vapors to be discharged into the atmosphere. All cars now use this system.

      Engines did not really have chrome-plated fans, oil filter covers, valve covers, or air cleaner housings.

      Just as the 361 had been converted to run on regular gas in 1961, the two-barrel 383 was made compatible with regular gas in the 1965 cars, with compression dropping to 9.2:1. (Later, it would fall further - to 8.7:1 in the 1970 cars, and 8.5:1 a year later - to drop emissions).

      In 1966, the truck 361 was rated at 186 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and included induction-hardened crankshaft journals, trimetal main and connecting rod bearings, hydraulic valve lifters, sodium-filled exhaust valves with Roto-Caps, and a chrome-alloy cast-iron block.

      A special version of the 383 was created for the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner; it had heads, intake, camshaft, and exhaust manifolds from the 440 Super Commando. Those changes made it the fastest 383 ever, with 335 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque; the engine had a 9.5:1 compression ratio, single four-barrel carburetor, and a dual-snorkel air cleaner... and that was the base engine. The options were a 440 with three carburetors or a twin four-barrel 426 Hemi. This version of the 383 did not stay exclusive to the Road Runner for long.

      Starting in 1970, the 383's peak power started to drop, as compression was lowered to cut back on emissions. The first drop was to 8.7:1 in 1970; then to 8.5:1 in the 1971 cars. The lower compression dropped horsepower ratings - but not nearly as much as changing the way horsepower was measured.

      1971 383 four-barrel
      (Road Runner)

      Net horsepower ratings, adopted in 1972, caused many to think that horsepower took a sudden dive; in reality, horsepower was now measured with the air cleaner, water pump, alternator, muffler, and other "accessories." The transition year, 1971, saw both gross and net numbers published for some engines in 1971 (see the charts).

      In 1972, the Trenton Engine plant's "B" line switched to a single new bore size, 4.34 inches, bringing the 383 up to 400 cubic inches; compression dropped down to 8.2:1 at the same time. The net power of this new engine was 190 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque with the two-barrel, and 255/340 with the four-barrel - a decent gain in power over the 1971 383. (Rick Ehrenberg of Mopar Action wrote that the original idea behind the 400 was to standardize all B and RB engines with a 4.32" bore; Marketing believed that the 400 would sell better than a 396. Hemi Andersen pointed out that the 360, which had been introduced in 1971, may have been too close to the 383 in displacement; the 400 would provide a better gap.)

      The 400 had a ductile iron crankshaft, replacing the forged steel crank; this cut costs but, under normal conditions, was durable enough.

      Hemi Andersen wrote that changing the crankshaft also meant the need for an eccentric weight in the harmonic balancer, and the addition of a weight to the torque converter. In short, the engine needed to be externally balanced, while the past B and RB engines did not.

      Starting in 1973, exhaust-valve seats were induction-hardened to allow use of lead-free fuels. In the hardening process, seats reach a temperature of 1700°F and are then allowed to air-cool. This hardened the valve seat surfaces to a depth of .05" to .08" which gives them greater resistance to wear than unhardened seats. The addition of the Chrysler electronic ignition system, which had been launched in some 1972 cars, eased maintenance requirements and increased reliability.

      From 1973 to 1978, emissions equipment continued to become more complex, as engineers worked minor miracles to get carburetors to work more efficiently under all conditions. Fuel injectors were suggested, according to Allpar interviews, but rejected due to cost (which was most likely far less than the cost of the extra warranty work and lost customers). The 1975 addition of Electronic Lean Burn, the world's first computerized spark advance system, helped somewhat.

      Two-barrel 400s were dropped in 1976, by which time their output was 175 hp and 300 pound-feet. In the 1978 cars and trucks, the 400-cubic-inch V-8 engines gained dual concentric throttle return springs in addition to a torsion throttle spring. Like all Chrysler V-8 engines, it gained an adapter so mechanics could use a magnetic probe to set the timing.

      The performance aspects of the B and RB engines had faded from 1971 until the last one was produced in August 1978. The last vehicle built with a Chrysler big block was a pickup truck made in 1979.

      Mopar B and RB engine parts, and engine identification

      Over three million 383 engines were produced through 1971, and over 750,000 440 engines were made, which makes many parts readily available.

      Which engine do you have? Check the passenger side of the block, underneath the distributor, for a bit of smooth steel with a number code.

      The first line has a letter for the year (D = 1968), followed by three digits for displacement (e.g. 440). The date (month and day) are on a line below, with an HP denoting High Performance where applicable. The tag will be just to the right of the distributor on RB engines. Special information (such as undersize crankshaft) may be next to the engine size.

      Most B series engines have parts interchangeability, with a few exceptions. The RB, on the other hand, had a wider intake manifold, larger crankshaft main bearing, and various changes to allow for the longer stroke.

      The two 383 engines (by Curtis Redgap)

      The Chrysler 383 RB was an odd engine, created because Chrysler wanted a 383 but the factory could only produce enough 383 "B" engines for Dodge, Plymouth, and DeSoto. However, the new RB assembly line was under-used; so an RB 383 was created, in two and four barrel versions, for two years. When capacity constraints were removed, the RB 383 was replaced by the "normal" 383.

      Other articles

      Low Block4.063.38350High Block4.183.75413
      4.253.38383 4.323.75440
      4.343.38400 4.03.75383

      Specifications for
      1958 Dodge models
      Red Ram
      (325 Poly)
      Super Red Ram
      (350/361 B engine)
      Type90 deg V890 deg V8
      Valve ArrangementIn Head Single Rocker Shaft
      Bore3.69"4.0625" (350)
      4.125" (361)
      Piston Displacement (cu. inch)325.0 Cu350 and 361
      Taxable Horsepower (AMA)43.952.81 (350)
      Compression Ratio8.5 to 110 to 1
      Compression Pressure (minimum 150 rpm,
      plugs removed, wide open throttle)
      90 (min) - 155 (max)150 (min) - 180 (max)
      Maximum Variation Between Cylinders15 lbs25 lbs
      Firing order1-8-4-3-6-5-7-21-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
      Cylinder numbering (from drivers seat,
      front to rear)
      1-3-5-7 left, 2-4-6-8 right
      Engine Lubrication: Pump TypeRotary Full Pressure
      Camshaft drive
      Rotary Full Pressure
      Camshaft drive
      Crankcase Capacity (qts)54
      Minimum Pump Pressure at 500 rpm15 psi15 psi
      Operating Pressure at 40 to 50 mph 1500 RPM50-65 lbs45-70 lbs
      Oil Filter TypeShunt; replaceable
      Full Flow; replace
      Cylinder Bore (std)3.6875-3.6895"4.0625-4.0845"
      Cylinder Bore Out-of Round
      (max. before reconditioning)
      Cylinder Bore taper (max. before reconditioning).020".010"
      Max allowable over bore.060".040"
      Camshaft DriveChainChain
      End play.002-.006"002-.006"
      Max allowable.010".010"
      Radial clearance.001-.003".001-.003"
      Max allowable.010".005"
      Camshaft chain
      Number of links6850
      Width1 1/8".88"
      Camshaft Journals Diameter and Length - #11.998-1.99 x 7/8"
      #2 1.982-1.983 x 3/4"
      #31.967-1.968 x 3/4"
      #41.951-1.952 x 3/4"
      #51.4355-1.4365 x 15/16"
      Crankshaft TypeFully Counterbalanced
      BearingsSteel Backed Babbitt
      Thrust taken byNo.3 main bearing
      End Play.002-.007"
      Max allowable.010"
      Radial Clearance.0005-.0015"
      Max allowable.0025"
      Finish at rear Oil Seal SurfaceDiagonal Knurling
      Main bearing Size Diameter and lengthNo.1 2.50 x.73"
      No.2 2.50 x.73"
      No.3 2.50 x.72"
      No.4 2.50 x.73"
      No.5 2.50 x 1.19"
      Main bearing Journals Diameter2.52.625
      Max Allowable Out of round.001".001"
      Max Allowable Taper.001".001"
      Center Bearing Run-Out
      (total indicator reading)
      when supported at front and rear main bearing
      Crankpin Journals
      Max Allowable Out of round.001".001"
      Max Allowable Taper.001".001"
      Connecting Rods
      Length (center to center)6.626.358
      Weight (less bearing shell)22.528.6
      BearingsSteel Backed BabbittSteel Backed Babbitt
      Diameter and Length2 1/4 x 13 /16"2.375 x .927"
      Max allowable.0025".0025"
      Side Clearance.009-.017".009-.017"
      Connecting Rod Bushing TypeSteel Backed Bronzenone
      Diameter and Length1.110-1.125-.9217-.9220____
      PistonsConformatic with Steel Strut /
      Horizontal Slot with Steel Band
      MaterialAluminium alloy tin coated
      Land Clearance (in Bore).027-.033".042-.047"
      Clearance (top of Skirt).0005-.0015".0005-.0015"
      Weight (Standard through all oversize)18.6 oz705 gram
      Ring Groove Width (upper).032".032"
      Valves (intake)
      Head Diameter1.84"1.95"
      Length (overall)4.31"4.81"
      Stem Diameter.37".37"
      Stem to Guide Clearance.002".002"
      Max. allowable.004".004"
      Face angle45 deg45 deg
      Valves (Exhaust)
      Head Diameter1.47"1.60"
      Length (overall)4.31"4.81"
      Stem Diameter.37".37"
      Stem to Guide Clearance.003".003"
      Max. allowable.006".006"
      Face angle45 deg45 deg
      Valve guides
      TypeCast in HeadCast in head
      Valve Springs
      Pressure when compressed (Valve Closed)1.69"-72 lbs1.86"-75 to 85 lbs
      Pressure when compressed (Valve Open)1.31"-166lbs1.47"-173 to 187 lbs
      Valve spring installed height
      (spring seat to retainer)
      1 5/8 - 1 11/16"1 55/64"

      R E L E V A N T B O O K S

      Chrysler 1904-2018

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      Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved. Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

    1. · Premium Member
      3,295 Posts
      Mopar (Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, etc.) Engines

      Quick-find guide:

      Currently made or future engines

      Hemi engines

      426 Hemi - the Elephant Engine

      The other V8s (in decreasing size)


      LA V8 engines (273, 318/5.2, 340, 360/5.9)
      Six Cylinders

      V6 engines

      LH family:

      2.7 - advanced little 1990s V6
      3.2 - midrange LH engine, 1990s
      3.3 workhorse V6, 1990-2010
      3.5 V6 - top Chrysler V6 in the 1990s, 2000s
      3.8 V6 - stroked 3.3, 1991 to 2011
      4.0 V-6 - stroked 3.5, 2007 through 2011

      Truck engines:

      3.9 truck engine, derived from the 318/360


      Straight-six engines

      GME straight-six - Tornado?
      4.2 and 4.0 I-6 - Highly competitive AMC/Jeep engines
      Flat-head engines (pre-1960s)

      Four Cylinders

      In rough chronological order

      <a name="diesel"></a>


      Alternative engines and fuels
      Repairs and such

      Designing Valiant axles: the 7 1/4 axle comes to life

      General Engine Information

      * Allpar is not affiliated with Chrysler, owner of the Mopar trademark.

      Where does Chrysler get its engine names from? In recent years:

      F-15 Eagle = 5.7 V8
      Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat = 6.2 V8
      AH-64 Apache = 6.4 V8
      F-20 Tigershark = 2.0L and 2.4L I-4
      WC-135 Phoenix = Original name for Pentastar 3.2L and 3.6L
      Hawker Hurricane (UK) = Upcoming GME turbo four
      Panavia Tornado PA200, GR4, MRCA (UK) = Upcoming GME straight-six
      Fairey Firefly (UK) = GSE four cylinders (Fiat)


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