THESE Chrysler 440 big-block motors aren’t like the more common Chev and Ford donks. Throwing together a high-horsepower Mopar combination isn’t easy, mostly because there just isn’t the aftermarket support that Chev and Ford enjoy.
“The Mopars are unique because a lot of the parts aren’t on the shelf,” says Danko Knezevic from Melbourne’s Adicted Performance. “With the Fords and Chevs these days you can build a 700hp motor just with off-the-shelf parts, whereas you still have to build the Mopars. You have to port the heads a certain way, spec the cam a certain way. It’s not just putting it together; it’s still old-school, which I really like.”
Danko had a customer bring in this 512- cube tall-deck big-block Chrysler motor, which was originally built over in the States.
“There was something not quite right with it and the owner found metal in the oil, so we pulled it down and found that the clearances were off,” Danko says. “So we went right through the whole thing and gave it a freshen-up.
“Basically we torque-plate-honed the block, honed the tunnel, machined the crank and cylinder heads and relocated the cam.
But we retained most of the original rotating assembly, so it has Arias coated pistons, Scat rods, an RPM crank, and a big Comp Cams solid-roller camshaft.”
Up top it runs Indy 440 heads, Crower roller lifters, T&D rockers and Milodon valves.
Topping it all off is an Indy single-plane manifold below a 1000cfm Pro Systems single carby.
The compression is relatively low at 11.3:1, and Danko plans to rev it up to around 7000rpm on the engine dyno. “Apparently back in the States it made 750hp, but it was never dyno-tested here so we can’t really be sure, but it should make around the 700 mark on 98-octane pump fuel,” he says.
Basically this will be a stout street motor, and the Mopar fanatics out there will be pleased to hear it’s going into a super-clean ’68 Dodge Charger. The car is primarily a tough streeter, but the owner is keen to get it out on the strip occasionally with the aim of running a 10-second pass. s