Fabricating the Exhaust
Mounting Engine Accessories
When it comes to exhaust there are several ways you can go. Headers, stock manifolds, custom home built headers, duals, single, etc. I chose to go with the stock high performance C-300 exhaust manifolds and duals with a cross over pipe followed by turbo mufflers. For the most part, that's what I wound up with. The mufflers are a different story.
In this shot you can see the header pipes and the "H" pipe. The system is fully welded and I didn't take a lot of time to make it pretty. It's functional which is all this truck needs since it's not a show truck and will be a driver.
Here's a better look at the "H" pipe. It also does double duty as a front driveshaft safety loop.
The entire system was fabricated from 2 1/4" mandral bent tubing. I purchased several 45, 90 and 180 degree bends and a couple 7' lengths of straight pipe and wound up with a few pieces left over when I was done.
The exhaust will exit through reproduction Dodge Challanger chrome tips routed through cut-outs in the rolled pan. The exact location in the rolled pan has yet to be determined so I left the exhaust unfinished about 18" short of the pan.
My muffler choice was originally a set of inexpensive flowmaster knock-offs. Unfortunately when I opened the box from Summit Racing although boxes were the same the mufflers were constructed differently both inside and out. Needless to say I sent them back. It should be noted here that Summit Racing is excellent to deal with and even though it had been almost 9 months since they had shipped them to me they took them back without any questions. Not wanting to wait for another shipment I opted to use a couple brand new (used only for a couple days) Thrush Turbo Tubes that had been laying around the garage for about 6 years. As you can see from the photo these mufflers are 3" chambered pipes and are about 30" long. They give a very nice "muscle car" sound but I must admit they are a little on the loud side. Thrush no longer makes these mufflers although I believe they did sell the rights to another company because they are once again in the Summit catalog. I had this set on my '41 for a couple days years ago but changed to turbos because with the big block they just made too much noise. With the 343 cu.in. Hemi these mufflers should give just the right sound.
The first order of business was to re-plum the fuel pump. I didn't really care for the way I had the fuel line exiting the tank and run to the Holley electric pump so I made some changes.
An additional stock crossmember that was mounted behind the fuel tank between the tank and the rear crossmember was cut out and a new crossmember was fabricated and the tank mounting location was moved back about 8". This did two things. First it allowed more room for the exhaust and second it allowed me to fabricate a new mount for the fuel pump. As you can see in this photo the pump is now mounted to the crossmember in the center just behind and above the rear end housing. The intake of the pump is on the same level as the bottom of the tank. These pumps perform best if they just have to push fuel rather then suck and push so allowing fuel to gravity feed the pump works much better in most applications. A hard line now exits the tank and runs to a filter and then to the pump. The line then exits the pump and runs to the shock crossmember and back over to the frame rail where it is routed up to the engine compartment. It's important to keep the fuel lines away from the exhaust, or any heat for that matter and in this application the closest the exhaust gets to the fuel line is a little more than 4" which is plenty of clearance. Some cars come from the factory with less clearance than that.
The fuel line changes to flexible line and runs up to another filter before reaching the Edelbrock 600 CFM carb. Using dual filters keeps your carb clean and extends the life of your pump.
A full weekend was devoted to fabricating air conditioning and power steering pump brackets. HotHeads makes an air conditioning bracket for this engine that mounts the compressor low and to the right (passenger's) side of the crank pully. Unfortunately I didn't have enough room between the mounting location and the frame to be able to use it. The solution was a bracket that bolts to the intake manifold and the head and mounts the compressor above the front of the head roughly opposite the alternator mounting location.
This shot shows the AC compressor, alternator and power steering pump installation. There is an adjustable rod that ties the AC compressor and alternator together. Turning the rod moves them apart and is an easy way to adjust the belt tension before tightning everything down. The AC compressor will run off one belt diven by the crank and water pump while the alternator and power steering pump will run of the crank and water pump using a separate belt.
Here's a shot of the power steering bracket. I was not able to find anyone who made a PS bracket for the pre-'55 hemis so I made this one. Its made from 3/16" steel plate and mounts to the front engine mount bolts and to the front cover. I'm using a GM pump and under the pump you can see the braded stainless lines running to the Ford Mustang II rack.
I'm using a Locar TH-350 kickdown cable so it just made sense to use thier throttle bracket and cable. This setup makes for a clean and simple installation. You can see the electronic control unit for the MOPAR 340 electronic distributor mounted to the firewall as well. This should give you an idea of what will be included in my next update.... Wiring and insulation.
So there you have it. Most of the mechanicals have been installed. All we need is some wiring and a few other minor things (like a radiator) and we can breath some life back into this classic old motor.