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A Blower Manifold for a ’54 Chrysler Hemi

by Dave on January 21, 2013

Blown Willys 1

Our friend Tim Edwards has built a lot of hot rods, but he’s long had a hankering for a dragster. When the opportunity popped up to score a ’40 Willys, Tim was, excuse the pun, off to the races.

The Willys came with a Cad motor, but Tim also had a Hemi he’d been wrenching on for his son Landon’s ’33 tudor. He’d already done a lot of work on Landon’s Hemi, but oh man, it would be perfect for his new Willys. Landon, a very generous kid, agreed to a swap.

If the Willys was getting a Hemi, it would have to be blown Hemi — but like every project, there were issues. The motor was a ’54 331 and the heads were a one-year-only design. They’re clean and free of any water-crossover plumbing, but they’re also saddled with extra-tall heat risers. No blower manifolds were ever manufactured for them. 2×4 manifolds were available, but they’re rare. Since a 2×4 set-up would fit under the hood of  Landon’s project, Tim had tracked one down. He’d also totally rebuilt the heads. They were ready to bolt on.

So, committed to the heads, but determined to run a blower, Tim dropped by the shop. Could we weld a flat plate to the 2×4 to accommodate a blower plate? There was a ¾ inch slope from one end of the manifold to the other, but if a thick enough plate were welded on, could it be milled level? Tim chased down the materials and turned them over to Gary. We thought you’d like to see how he made it come together.
Blower Plate 1Gary perimeter welded an inch thick plate to Tim’s manifold. It took a lot of stick and a lot of juice, but when completed it provided a surface Gary could mill flat. He also added a pop-up valve. You can see in the photo above the fixture Gary built to do all the machine work.
Blower Plate 2
The welded plate was milled flat, then temporarily drilled and tapped to hold the blower plate in place.
Blower Plate 4Blower Plate 5Blower Plate 6Blower Plate 7The blower plate manifold mounting holes were sunk and flat-headed bolts used to clear the blower.
Blower Plate 8Blower Plate 9Blower Plate 10Here’s the manifold installed, back in Tim’s garage:
Hemi Engine 1Hemi Engine 2

From → Past Projects

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