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From: Hank Dozier
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Date: November 21, 2002
You can convert that 315 from a poly to a hemi, and all the rest of the stuff transfers easily. What you need is the following: heads (use the 1956 car D500 head - casting number 1734049, or the 1957 325 KD500 and also 57 up 315 truck head - casting number 1828129), the exhaust manifolds for these heads, rocker assemblies/valve covers from ANY Dodge hemi, pushrods for a high-deck Dodge hemi (get adjustables from Powerplay or similar source). You should rebuild these heads with new valves and guides (from Kanter or EGGE), springs (see camshaft remarks below, as you need to coordinate this with cam grind), and exhaust valve inserts for unleaded fuel. The later Dodge truck engines shared the pistons (poly and hemi), so you can get either of correct bore to fit, with about 9:1 CR. Get these parts again from either Kanter or EGGE. Same for rings and bearings. Use a double roller 318/340/360 timing set (may have to dress the front cam sprocket slightly- eg: narrow - to have use of the fuel pump eccentric. The camshft you have can be used (if not worn), or preferably reground. I would use Chris Neilson in Utah. If you do, get good hydraulic lifters from him as well. The intakes exchange between polys and hemis of same deck height on Dodges, so if you don't havet a 4bbl manifold, you can find one maybe on a 56 Dodge 315 poly, or 57 Dodge /DeSoto (KDS325 engines) or 58 Dodge L325s. These manifolds can be modified to fit the later Carter AFB/Edelbrock carbs. IF you have your heart set on a 354, this will mean finding a front "chin" mount setup for one, which genrally means taking the cast iron timing cover and also cutting and welding for the frame mounts. I would stick with the Dodge. Its lighter and with a reasonable overbore can approach 330 CID.