DODGE HEMI - Everything You Need To Know | Up To SpeedFeb 29, 2020
(car screeching) - It's the cross-breathing, fire-puffing, eardrum-deafening V8 that took America by storm. This absolute unit of engine has powered
everythingfrom muscle cars to your muscle dad's truck. - Does that thing have a Hemi? - Yes. (the car's engine roars) - It's such a legend that, for the first time, we dedicate an entire video to an engine. This is
knowto catch up with Hemi! - Ram loader! (electronic music) - If you've been around since the early days of Up to Speed, you
knowwe love Dodge and Dodge loves us. I have his name tattooed on my chest.
They sent me a note when I was sick. Also this Christmas sweater and these sweet Legos. And we all know that Dodge made the Hemi popular. But before I get into all the Hemi cars we know and love, I first have to give you a little history. The good thing is that this is a history show. (dog barking) Hey baby, no, no. Did you arrive lost? Cars from the early 1900s had no power, honey. Benz's patented motor wagon produced two-thirds of a horsepower. Can you imagine two thirds of a horse? Rough! If you wanted to go fast, the best way to do it back then was to jump off a cliff. (sliding sound) The main problem with engines in the days of the grandparents was twofold.
First was the location of the valve. Early engines used what is called a side valve design, where the valves live inside the engine block. The air-fuel mixture enters through one side of the combustion chamber and has to exit through the same direction. Because the air-gas mixture had to enter and exit the same side of the firebox, air could not flow freely. That limited power. The side valve design was inexpensive and easy to manufacture, making it good enough for many brands at the time. I mean, I don't blame them. The cars were only four years old at the time, and everyone was happy with them.
Except for one company, Welch. Now Welch was a small automobile manufacturer located in Pontiac, Michigan. In 1904, they abandoned the Model 4-L. A seven-passenger car with a 336-cubic-inch 4-cylinder engine that makes 50 horsepower. In 1904. So how did Welch manage to make that much power at a time when other automakers would have a hard time making half as much? Well, put on your engineering hats, Ram Chargers, because he's about to get technical for a minute. (electronic music) They didn't go for the side valve design, with its flat stock, no. The 4-L model used a
hemispherical combustion chamber. This sweeping, sweeping shape completely changed the way the engine made power, babe.
hemispherical combustion chamber increased the volume of fuel-air mixture to burn while minimizing the surface area inside the chamber. (electronic music) All the new things they
needed to add to make an overhead valve train work made the new engine more expensive to build. But, the benefits were immediately apparent. Just like my ex-girlfriend in high school showed up on my doorstep with Nolan, I became, immediately, a father. (Laughter) And while Welch only made four 4-L models, his influence extended into the automotive world. Brands like Fiat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo were experimenting with hemispherical heads. It's kind of interesting that Alfa Romeo and Fiat were toying with Hemis, and now they're all part of Dodge.
So I'm sure by now all of you are wondering, "I thought this damn video was about Dodge. When does Dodge show up?" I'll tell you. 1940, Chrysler had begun development of an engine for fighter jets, the coolest vehicles ever. They go fighter planes, space rockets, horses, NASCAR, Volkswagen golf. The engine they came up with was a gigantic thirty-six liter V16, called the Chrysler 14-2200, with Roman numerals. The engine was actually designed to run backwards, so when mounted on an aircraft, there would be room for nose-mounted weapons. The hemispherical combustion chambers were not sufficient for the engine to generate power at 25,000 feet.
At that altitude, there isn't much oxygen to burn. So they had to find a way to get more air into the engine. Do you see where I'm going with this? That's how it is. On top of a 36-liter engine, Chrysler also bolted a big old boy, made by General Electric, to the rear. The end result was a peak power output of 2,500 horsepower at just 3,400 RPM. While Republican Aviation built two P47 fighter jets with the 1422 under the hood, the war was almost over by the time the engine was ready. Isn't that always the case? The war ends right before you can use the cool stuff.
After the war, Chrysler's engine development team continued to experiment with hemispherical designs. First, on single-cylinder mower engines, believe it or not. Then on V6 engines. They were too weak, too heavy, too long, or too raw. Chrysler's next generation engine would have to be-- - The V8 engine. - Yes, and the V8 engine. - By 1950, the Chrysler team was hard at work, alone in the lab, cranking up the new engine. It was a 331 cubic inch V8 with a forged steel crank. Hydraulic lifters, and those sweet, sweet hemispherical heads that taste of war. I have a slightly hemispherical head because my parents left me in my crib too much when I was a baby. (whimsical music) Hemispherical heads may be great for motors, but they're not great for babies.
Be sure to rotate your baby at least once every hour or two. (whimsical music) Chrysler was on top. They called this little baby beast the Chrysler Firepower. Yuck! No head of power knows him by any other name. The first generation Hemi (car engine roars). Hemi firepower debuted in Chrysler cars like the Imperial, New Yorker, and Saratoga to amp up the claim, naturally. People love high-powered Hemis, and the success convinced Chrysler leaders to share the love of Hemi across all of its brands. But instead of using the firepower engine, Dodge and DeSoto designed their own Hemi engines for their cars. - Announcing the new DeSoto Firedome 8. - A 276 cubic inch V8 that makes 160 horsepower - This is their new Red Ram V8 engine. - Ram chargers! - Made 140 horsepower. (Car engine roars) In the late 1950s, Chrysler Imperials and New Yorkers were available with a 392-cubic-inch Hemi with 10:1 compression that produced 345 horsepower.
Get out of town. (car engine roars) But as cool as engines were, it was getting harder and harder to justify putting them in passenger cars. I mean, having three companies design their own engines was getting expensive, and their complicated overhead valve design, remember, was really expensive to build. So Chrysler phased out the Hemi in 1958. An additional factor in the death of the early Hemis occurred in 1957. The Automobile Manufacturers Association, also known as the Scrooge McDucks of the automobile world, banned all manufacturers from getting involved in racing. Wouldn't you know? Just a few years after the ban, Ford and Shelby started building fast engines again. - That?
I thought we all promised. - They're like, "Do you believe in that little gentlemen's agreement?" - Yeah. I thought we were all boys, dude. - Yes, friend, we are boys. But that will not stop us from trying to be the best. - I should have known. I have to go to train. Ram Chargers, scroll on. (Car engine sounds) - Chrysler President Lynn Townsend enters. The guy had two sons who spent a lot of time on Woodward Avenue, which was a hotspot for street racing in Detroit. So Lynn's kids told her that her cars were kind of boring and they get banged up a lot on the streets.
Not that it's something you want to hear from your kids. She decided that the Chrysler family needed a total makeover. Chrysler engineers quickly went to work on a new engine called the B-Engine or Wedge. The engineers did a great job because Wedge was a dominant force on the race track, but not so much on NASCAR ovals, which was basically the biggest marketing tool automakers in America had at the time. Lynn's race engine group leader Tom Hoover, who probably also invented the vacuum cleaner, had a suggestion. - If you want to go to Daytona and go like shit, let's adapt the hemi head for the Wedge engine. - And Lynn was like- - You're crazy, you're crazy. - They had 10 months until their work debuted in the 1964 Daytona 500.
The team used the 426-cubic-inch Max Wedge engine as its base. These things used crazy looking crossover air intakes and huge valves for excellent airflow. The Wedge boasted incredible compression ratios, peaking at 13.5:1 available. Just hearing one of these things going on is enough to send your rivals running for the hills, or causing small loot to crumple. (car engine roar) After 200 grueling laps, they came in first, second, third, with Richard Petty, the king, in the number one position. The Hemi was back. (birthday blower) The engine development team also built a 426 Hemi optimized for drag racing. Obvi is fucking.
Duh, that's what they do. In pursuit of NHRA drag racing dominance, Chrysler built turnkey race cars from the factory. Built to work in the 1964 superstock class. I wish I had one. The new rules called for no fiberglass or aluminum bodywork to be allowed. So Chrysler stamped the bodies of these cars out of super-thin steel. As imagine the thinnest steel you have ever seen in your life. Ok, are you doing it? thinner. And the weight loss did not end there. The interiors were basically stripped down. They made the intakes out of magnesium and the cylinder heads out of cast aluminium.
These cars were known internally as A-864 cars, available in Plymouth Savoy form. In 1965 these cars received the designation A-990 and can be heard as Dodge Cornets or Plymouth Belvederes. (car engine roars) Now all this success would be meaningless if Chrysler didn't make the hemi available to the people. The Hemi street engine was tuned for reliable everyday driving. The camshaft was smoother, the spring rates were softer, everything was better for low RPM driving. But the valves, lifters, rods, rocker arms, and crankshaft were all carried over from the A-990 engine. This was a 425 horsepower race engine for your daily driver, back in the fucking '60s. (car engine) By 1966, the street hemi was available in Dodge and Plymouth, B-Body cars like the Coronet, Belvedere , Satellite and the Charger, if you can afford it, mate.
The hem was a $1,105 option, which is the equivalent of nearly $9,000 in today's money. When most of their cars were redesigned in '68, including the beautiful new Coca-Cola bottle carrier, customer interest in the Hemi was greatly renewed. I mean, these cars look amazing, and all that power, it goes without saying, man, it's easy. (car engine roars) Through the rest of the '60s and into the... I'm sorry. Friend, come here. What's in your mouth? (cushioned) The second-generation Hemi peaked in 1969 and 1970 when Dodge and Plymouth used it to power their spiky factory race cars. The Daytona and the Superbird.
These cars were so far ahead of the competition that NASCAR had to nerf them in 1971 to make racing even remotely interesting. (car engine roars) In the NHRA, the Hemi Superstock Darts and Barracudas continued (beep) for everyone else, something they still do today, in the Dodge Hemi challenge, which is held every year in the NHRA US nats. (car engines roar) With a legacy like that, it's no wonder the 426 Hemi is one of the most iconic engines of the muscle car era. So how do you follow it? Emissions regulations killed the 426 Hemi in 1971, but luckily Hemi fans didn't have to wait long for the new Hemi on the block.
Unfortunately, the resurrected Hemi wasn't quite what they had in mind. (car engine start) The 1981 2.6-liter Hemi, available in the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant, was a 4-cylinder engine built by Mitsubishi and peaked at 92 horsepower, which was slightly less than the power of the previous Hemis. But this little Hemi was technically a Hemi because it had hemispherical heads. Naturally, Chrysler sent that Mitsubishi Hemi to live on the farm with my childhood pets. So the Hemi name lay dormant for 16 years, until 2003, which is the same year a little movie called Lord of the Rings Return of the King came out.
Coincidence? In my line of work, there is no such thing. The Dodge Ram was available with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 for the 2003 model year. The Hemi made 345 buff horsepower in375 pounds (mumbles). Those BV numbers had people from all over the world coming up to Rams and asking, "Does that thing have a Hemi?" - Yeah. (car
speeding up) Soon, the Hemi wasn't just for trucks anymore. Cars from the entire Chrysler family were getting the Hemi treatment. I'm talking about Dodge Durango, I'm talking about Chrysler 300c, I'm talking about Dodge Magnum, I'm talking about Jeep Grand Cherokee, I'm talking about Dodge Charger. (car
speeding up) But this new Hemi was a little different than the Hemis of old.
The heads were no longer half sphere shaped. By comparison, the combustion chamber was much shallower and flatter. There were still only two valves per cylinder, but now they had two spark plugs. The second plug now fired shortly after the first, which helped with emissions. The 5.7-liter Hemi might not have been exactly the same as the legendary 426, but it's still a damn Hemi, and people were excited. But when the Dodge and Chrysler SRT8 models came out in 2005, they needed something with a little humble power. (speeding car) Three hundred CSRT8, Magnum SRT8, Charger SRT8, and the rest of the SRT8s were equipped with larger 6.1-liter Hemis.
Changes like more displacement, a bit of casting on the intake, and a forged crankshaft allowed the 6.1 to hit 425 hrs, the same as the old 426. The Hemi got another boost in 2011, with the introduction of the 392. The 392 had been available for years. years as a great engine for race cars, but it became widespread under the hood of SRT8 cars like the Charger and Challenger. The beefier engine now produced 470 to 485 horsepower, far surpassing the legendary 426 and being smaller and more efficient. But you know, the best was yet to come. (snaps fingers) Thank you. Throughout this entire history, the Hemi has remained naturally aspirated.
Relying on your big Displacement to do all that power baby. But what if the Hemi was-- I don't know, it just spits balls here (mumbles) What if it was supercharged? That's exactly what we found out in 2015, when Dodge released the Hellcat, a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi. Making a monstrous 707 hrs. (car roars) Chrysler didn't limit the Hellcat to Dodges. In 2018, the Jeep Trackhawk put all 707 hrs to the ground, with all-wheel drive. I've driven one with a bigger fan, it's one of the craziest cars I've ever driven. The launch, man, we pulled a supercharged Huracán for two gears. (car roaring) (laughing) One hundred and four miles per hour.
You should know by now that 707 horsepower wasn't enough, man. So, in 2018, Dodge gave us the Challenger Hellcat Demon, which used a larger 2.7-liter fan that bumped horsepower to 808 91 octane, 840 100 octane. (speeding car) We did a whole episode on that car, so if you want to learn more about it, check it out right here. I also drove one in something else, and unboxed it too. It comes with a damn box. Plus, it's not even the craziest you can buy anymore. What (beep) is going on here. Are there no rules anymore? Last year at the SEMA show, Dodge introduced the most extravagant Hemi yet.
A thousand horsepower. 950 pound-foot crate engine for the price of $30,000. They call it the Helephant because yeah, these guys are the best at naming trash. - What are you going to call your car? - I don't know, the Taurus. - What are you going to call yours? - The hell cat. - The demon. - Elephant. Most metal (beep) ever. This thickest, fattest 7-liter boy has an aluminum engine block, forged pistons, the Demon valvetrain and an updated supercharger. Dodge has yet to put the Helphant in a production car. (car engine roars) I don't think any outro I can write is as good as hearing a Hemi one more time.
Colby. (car engine starts) Just like when my ex-girlfriend in high school showed up at my door with Nolan, I immediately became a father. (Laughs heartily) I love you.
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