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Hemi Tips and Tricks

Early Hemi Conversion for B- and E-Bodies

Contributed by Mopar Charlie
Written on June 21, 1997

Below are the instructions for installing an early Hemi into B-Body and E-Body Mopars. Note that all 1962-75 B-Bodies and 1970-74 E-Bodies had the same engine bay dimensions.
  • Stock 318 motor mounts can be used, with only minor modification. (Charlie may sell you the parts.)

  • K-member from a stock small block (273-318-340-360) can be used with no modification. Stay with a model year prior to 1972.

  • Center sump oil pan is needed, it will have no clearance problems with a 354 Hemi.

  • Power steering cannot be used, you will need a manual box. Any manual box will work (they are all the same), but use the steering column from the same type car. The only part needed is a 1973-76 Dodge Dart pitman arm, TRW part # 18759, made by Federal Mogul and available at any auto parts supplier.

  • The power steering column can be retained, if you purchase the "One-Piece Column Adapter" from Firm Feel, Inc. at 1-800-347-6426. The adapter just attaches to the steering shaft.

  • Power brakes will not work, as there is no room for the booster. You will need to use a manual brake master cylinder, which requires the pedal push rod to be modified. (Charlie may supply this part.)

  • Stock Hemi exhaust manifolds will work, if you want headers they will have to be custom made. The Sanderson Block Hugger Headers will not fit, they will interfere with the steering box, K-frame and even the starter motor.

  • There is a slight clearance problem, on Charler's '70 Barracuda, on the passenger side of the inner fender. The exhaust manifold just about touches the sheet metal, but this is not a problem. Do NOT ding in the innder fenderwell to solve this!

  • For an automatic transmission, you need a small bloack 904 and 727 Torqueflite adapter. The driveshaft will need to be shortened 2" and the transmission crossmember will need to be modified back 1".

  • The front suspension requires no modifications. You can use the stock 318 torsion bars, there is no problem with the added weight. The Hemi weights 690-lb, the same as a big block. The small blocks weight 525-lb.

  • When using a small block radiator, have the inlet or outlet moved to the correct side. 3 or 4 core radiator is needed for max cooling. NOTE: You need to use a fan blade on the water pump. Electric fans will not pass enough air to cool the radiator, engine and transmission.

  • For the transmission kick-down, Charlie uses the cable kick-down available from Bouchillon Performance at 1-800-744-6559.

  • Charlie strongly suggests using an automatic transmission cooler, and do not forget to connect this, inline, with the radiator transmission cooler, usually located at the bottom of the radiator.

  • Using the stock shifter may require some modifications.

  • Charlie recommends using Fram fuel filter # FRM-HPG1 from Summit.

  • This is a great time to slap on a front disc brake conversion!

And here are some modern engine mods for early Hemis.
  • Stock 318 oil pump with adapter and new custom oil pump shaft. (Ask Charlie about this.)

  • Small block electronic ignition distributor from Mopar Performance.

  • Stock Mopar alternator, no modifications necessary. (Ask Charlie about this.)

  • Carter AFB carbs, can be bought new from Jegs.

  • Spin-on oil filter adapter, or possible a remote oil filter assembly. The stock Fram PH43 filter is the only one that Charlie will use.

Last Updated: 2002-11-09

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