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440 or Gen 3 Hemi

Robert72

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Just bought a 72 Barracuda with a slant 6. I quickly found a 440 with everything and 727 trans, just need to rebuild. Was looking to put top end kit on the 440 with some headers and a Holly Sniper EFI.

I just saw a Gen 3 392 Hemi engine for sale and was thinking maybe that would be a better choice, although would be more expensive.

I think the 440 would have as much or more HP when done. Wondering what others have done and which way would be an easier swap. Thanks in advance for any input.
 

70chall440

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It really depends on what you want. Old school iron is cool and pretty straight forward but a G3 will be very reliable and deliver consistent smooth power. I have a 70 Challenger with a 440, a 73 Cuda with a 416 (stroked 340) but I am building a 71 Charger with a 5.7 Hemi. I grew up with old iron and while I love an respect it, I really want the reliability and drivability of a modern G3 like I have in my 2010 Challenger RT.

Either choice will be fun and I will say that the 440 will be easier overall.
 

Adam

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Cudas and Challengers are heavy cars. IMO they need a lot of torque. A 69 GTX 440 was rated at 375 hp & 450 ft/lbs torque! This was with the factory cam, cast iron intake, and cast iron exhaust manifolds. Getting over 500 ft/lbs would be relatively easy. My 440/Tremec combo is a beast and would stomp my 5.7 Challenger, which was probably the best car I ever had. You have to build it for the purpose you want it to fulfill; plus I think its easier to work on the old stuff. My 2cents.
 

DrEamer

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Three years ago I had to make the same decision and went with a stoked small block with plans to put EFI and an overdrive A518 trans in. . Everything is a lot more straight forward since they were original to the car. That said, if I were doing it now, I would give a Gen 3 much more consideration. The availability for the parts now is much greater, and better options then before. Some of the cost you will incur either way. Both need motor mounts, headers, radiator, and fuel system upgrades for the EFI. The base Holley Sniper is around $1,000, where the Terminator X ECU runs $1,300-$1,500 depending on what unit you get. The real cost difference then come down to engine cost. In my case, my stroker long block is over $6,000 not factoring in that I still need an ignition system. That cost is close to what I have seen for low mileage 6.4/392 for, and 5.7's for less. If the 440 you have just needs a basic rebuild, with a good top end kit, could be done for less. These are all just things to consider, so take it for what you will. I'll finish off by saying I don't regret going with my stroker, it looks original, but will a lot more torque to move the weight that Adam addressed above. A Gen 3 can do it, but I would think the 392 would be the best option as far as stock offerings.
 

rklein71

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I prefer more of an old school look and even though I chose a small block for my build, the 408 is strong engine with plenty of torque. It really comes down to what you prefer. I generally think new engines are ugly.
Rod

IMG_4667.JPG
 

Robert72

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Thanks for the input. My 440 has about 70k on it, stock bore and cylinders are still in spec, just need honing. I agree that with some simple mods, the 440 would have more torque and power and be legit for the era.

What top end kits does everyone recommend. Was looking at the Edlebrock or Trick Flow.

Also, what front disc brake upgrade will fit in the stock 14" wheels? or will i need to go to 15" no matter what?

9.jpg
 

Chryco Psycho

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I have done both , both have advantages & disadvantages .
The 440 / 512 is awesome , bigger than the Viper engine & a lot more torque than anything else , they do not have to work hard or rev much to make a ton of power & is more cost effective .
The 3rd gen is lighter & more fuel efficient but will not make as much power without the supercharger which all hemis are not designed for .
Forget Edelbrock , the story I tell is I replaced ported 452 heads with ported Eddy heads & the gain was 3 RWHP . go with a better head like Trick Flow .
You can use F body / 5th ave brake system , use the spindles & calipers etc , I believe this will fit inside 14 " wheels But with the power you will make you really want a 15 x 8 rear wheel & some sticky drag radials such as Nitto 555 tires anyway . The better option is the 11" Cordoba rotors , Dr Diff makes the conversion caliper mounts using the F body spindles .
 

Robert72

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Thanks. Do you think it would be work sticking with the stock cast iron heads and getting them reworked and ported? i have read some posts of the aluminum heads needing to be machined even when they are purchased new and have the potential for warping.
 

Chryco Psycho

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I have used a LOT of the stock Iron heads with good success but I know a lot of porting tricks to make them work well probably break even power & budget to Stealth heads unless your porting is very good on the iron heads , of course the Stealth heads can be ported also but now the budget is higher .
For low end heads I would look at 440 source where I would also get the stroker kit to 512 , these heads are good if you are on a budget . all the parts are new & they need minor work before installing them , I would go to Trick Flow if you want to spend more & make more power .
 

ctaarman

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Do a search on 440 engine rebuilds. You can wake up a 440 nicely with aluminum manifold, new heads and a mild cam. I'm not a fan of aftermarket throttle body FI, sniper or otherwise. Seen too many examples of failures after first year. And when you add up the costs of eveeything including pumps, lines, distributor, etc. uou are in for close to $2K total. If you want FI for reliability my advice is go with a complete modern crate hemi.
 

Robert72

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Thanks all. Decided to keep the 440 and do a mild build. Looking at Sidewinder or Stealth heads with comp cam. Bought a CH4B intake because I want to try to use the stock hood. And a friend is giving me an edlebrock 800 carb.
 

moparleo

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It boils down to tradition/nostalgia. Old school vs modern performance, reliability. And the modern cars are no light weights, much heavier than the old B and E-bodies. The Gen III Hemi cylinder heads will out flow most any ported head out of the box. And they are cheap/inexpensive, and readily available. They are compact light weight fuel efficient. The factory 392 specs at 485 HP and 475 ft.lbs. Proven performance and reliability. Transmission options galore. Early or late model a/t or manual trans mission. Every one makes mounts, headers etc... Almost a bolt in. The 440 was discontinued over 40 years ago so you will be dealing with a block and cylinder heads that have gone thru a zillion hot/cold cycles. Will need $$$ to rebuild for power and durability. Questionable casting quality, core shift, align bore/hone, decking, boring, honing, 2 bolt mains, crankshaft recondition (old parts) rod recon (old parts) Porting, valves, guides, springs, machine work, pistons, cam kit etc... = $$$ after you buy a good core. If you want reliable performance/economy go modern. And the modern engines don't require permanent mods to the car to install. The 392 might sound like more money in the beginning but would be far more economical in the long run. The 5.7 is really only 345 C.I. and new versions are rated at close to 400 HP in stock form. Your transmission choice is what will really wake it up. My wife's 3.6L 2019 Challenger with the 8 speed a/t will walk all over my 06 5.7 Magnum with the NAG1 5speed. Makes more HP and gets better gas mileage with Regular grade gas.
 

6PKRTSE

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440. Old school always needs the original muscle. Just my opinion but Gen III in an old car just doesn't look or sound right. I have both. Big block cars and even a 2012 Challenger with a 5.7L. I like them both for different reasons.
 

Cojohnso

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If you have a solid 440 that sonic tests out? No brainer. Half the cost. Twice the cool. And the 440 is a tough platform. Im not sure these Gen III Hemis will hold up. We need some 20 year olds as testers? Lol. My first '69 GTX when I was younger? I beat the crap out of that thing. Went thru 2 Borg and Beck style clutches. The Gen II hemi wasn't as reliable or consistent. I had a chance for a 6.4l swap for my current GTX. After some research? (Took about 40 min) I came to realize. K-frame work, fuel lines and tank work, electrical work Bellhousing and clutch mods, (Just to name the few) All to gain about 70 HP? (And that is at higher RPM that Im not sure how the stock tach would react) I can get 70+ HP gain with just some head work on a 440. Put about $10k into a stroker build to 512? Forget about it. Gen III stands no chance. Even with an added Hellcat supercharger. (Which by the way needs alot of tuning and maintenance.) Below is a quick vid of a walk around of that current stock 440.

 

Cojohnso

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Sorry. No yourtube link for video I guess. This new E-body site format SUCKS!
 

Robert72

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Thanks for all the insight. Decided to stay with the 440. Bore .030 over, heads,cam,intake and carb. Should be a nice street motor.
 
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