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When we first went into business (unrelated to working on cars) and that seems sooooo many years ago, the best thing that we realized was that we didn't know what we didn't know. It was a huge epiphany for us and was probably one of the best things that could have happened was to embrace this simple fact. We could do anything technically... anything.. but the business of doing business had a steep learning curve.
In the hobby of cars, we've all had our bumps and bruises... tried things, gotten ripped off a time or two when we blindly trusted, finished some projects and gave up on a few too. Myself, I raced them for a while, and as a friend once said, let's just draw a circle on the wall and take turns bashing our heads against it. It will hurt less. Got into having fun on the streets and a little carried away with shows for a while before starting to think about drawing that circle. Went back to just having fun with the street cars and hitting some cruise nights with my buddies and I haven't thought about drawing the circle on the wall for years now.
So it's with those experiences that all of us have, we try to help others just have some fun too. Sometimes it gets perceived wrong, but being able to accept a reality check is great and it probably goes with having the slightly thicker skin of your profession.
Just pick the shop wisely. The guys that say "bring it over this afternoon" aren't the ones, just so you know. Most of what you'll need is fab work for the motor mounts and then the rest is just tuning for the Hemi, so it may make more sense for a couple vendors. I don't know.
Thanks for the insight. I’ll never forget the mental image of the circle on the wall! Another thing I learned in the courtroom was that the value of an answer depends entirely on how you frame the question. Perhaps in my situation, I should ask “How many engine swaps have you performed on C-bodies? Any Hemis?”
It doesn't have to be. It depends on your expectations. I expect to have less than $6,000 into my Polara by the time it's "perfect" for me. I'm not trying to race my c-barge, I just want a nice cruiser.
Don't get me wrong, if I was at a car show and saw a gen2 hemi in a c-body I would be very excited. I would want to know all about it. However, as a DIY kinda guy, when I find out a car was built entirely by a shop I tune out. Just my 2¢
i spent most of my money on beer women and mopars. the rest i just wasted.
If you do ever need any pictures of how to do it I can help out for sure I have an entire album of how to build a 426 hemi c body. You can also contact me whenever so I can answer any questions.
I will throw in a couple of observations. If you have a police cruiser with the 440 pursuit package and it still has the factory numbers matching engine, you have a rare gem if it is in near perfect condition. Most likely, this car is going to be worth a lot less if you start making major modifications to it. That may not matter to you, because you want the car you want and I get that. I would suggest leaving the cruiser as is and finding another more common 4dr to build from the ground up. This method preserves a pristine cruiser for someone else down the road and if the project does not go well you still have a pristine cruiser to enjoy.
One of the most anxious things about embarking upon one of these projects is not knowing who to reach out to when things go south. I would imagine many a project has been scuttled only because the owner panicked and pulled the plug because he didn’t know who to contact for help. It’s easy to get tunnel vision in these things, and start believing you’re all alone. And even if you reach out, you aren’t certain that they’ll know what to do. All the while the clock is ticking, and your bank balance is evaporating faster than the water feature at the Bellagio.
That’s why this forum is so wonderful. The way that everyone follows all of the posts not only provides a reliable method of “self-regulating” the information, but also ensures that someone is bound to have the right answer when needed. I would never have thought that someone out there would have a notebook full of photos and information specifically on the project I had in mind, but would also offer to help with advice. Wow. What a great bunch of folks.
You are right on the money. Just to set everyone’s mind at ease, the project vehicle was already a clone to start with. It was not an authentic pursuit car, but as damn close to one as I’ve ever seen with one big exception. It sported a 360 instead of the 440. I never saw the VIN, so I don’t know if the 360 was original. Not that it matters. If it had been a real pursuit, I would almost certainly never have considered buying it to convert, as it would obviously be a bona-fide collector worth far more left unmolested.
They did make some 360 cruisers. Those were patrol class and were usually sold to municipalities for routine urban patrol use. Highway patrol and many rural counties ran the 440 pursuit class cruisers.
From the A body site, and no its not a hemi. so it may not apply to a c body in the same fashion. Perhaps a modification from this idea would be needed.
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That style of front engine mount, in the Direct Connection Race Manual, is termed "elephant ears" (as it was used on high-horsepower HEMI race cars), but without "the elephant" in this case. Perhaps they are "in training" for a later HEMI swap?
Its probably the wrong choice to make but doesnt hurt to fantasize
Using a motor plate like this from AR Engineering is probably the EZ Button solution as far as mounting a Hemi into a C Body goes.
Products | AR Engineering
It's probably way too far from you, but the V8 Speed and Resto shop in Red Bud Illinois have a great reputation and have done everything from a Classic restoration to modern engine, suspension and brake upgrades to older cars like yours.
Kevin and Kelle Oeste the owners are involved with the MCACN show in Illinois and produce the Musclecar of the week YouTube channel.
V8 Speed and Resto Shop Muscle Car Restoration Shop 314.783.8325 Red Bud, IL
If it's the Hemi look you want and not the pure performance of the engine, then a Gen 1 engine will give you that in a smaller package. I just dropped my 354 block and crank at the machine shop for some work. The 354 will go in my '66 Fury Wagon in place of the 318 Poly there now.
i cant wait to see that under your hood.
why not a 5.7 or 6.1. Lots of low mileage motors out there. Also, Holley has expanded its line of conversion parts.
You and me both!! 10:1 compression and a decent cam shaft should make plenty of street powah
For me it would be the sound. Kind of like asking an audiophile whether he prefers a digital source or vinyl.