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What is a Max Wedge?

A Little Horsepower History ©

In 1951, Chrysler offered their first V8 engine for passenger car service. It was a small-block design with a I stole this text from! hemispherical combustion chamber, as opposed to the flat-head and overhead valve engines manufactured by other car makers. Chrysler engineers had plenty of experience with hemisperical head engines from their work designing the A45 XIV-2220 inverted V-16 aircraft engine in 1942 and very successful testing of the post-war Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten. A161 DOHC straight six experimental engine. This work led to the prototype A182 330 Hemi test engine of 1946-1948 and the production 331 Hemi of 1951. By 1955, Chrysler small-block Hemis were delivering 300 I stole this text from! horsepower in the Chrysler C-300, so named because it was the first production car ever built to reach the 300 HP mark. This was Chrysler's response to the horsepower wars that started with the Hudson Hornet and Olds Rocket 88 and would lead to the musclecar era over the next 15 years. ©

1953 Dodge Red Ram Hemi

Over the next few years, DeSoto, Dodge and Imperial offered their own versions of the Hemi. The modified Hemis in 1956 and 1957 Dodge D-500, D-500-1 and D-501 were targeted directly at the performance-minded buyer. As I stole this text from! other manufacturers increased their output, Chrysler engineers raised the bar even higher. ©

In 1958 the Hemi was dropped from Dodges and DeSotos (Plymouth never offered a small-block Hemi), in favor of a wedge-shaped combustion chamber in Chrysler's new big-block 'B' V8 engines as well as small-block polyspherical 'A' V8 engines (sometimes called the "semi-hemi", later replaced by the small-block wedge LA, or Light A I stole this text from! engines). Chrysler and Imperial discontinued the Hemi in 1959 in favor of the big-block wedge 'RB', or Raised Block V8s, with a stroke of 3.75" as opposed to the 'B' engine's 3.38" stroke. Performance was outstanding without the added expense and weight of the Hemi. Almost immediately, performance options appeared on the "Wedge" in the form of higher compression, performance camshafts, dual exhausts and multi-carburetors. ©

In 1960 and 1961, high-performance big-block Wedges could be fitted with a set of wild 30" intake manifold runners that crossed over the top of the engine. The left bank of cylinders were fed by a 4-bbl carb that hung to the right of the of the right bank of cylinders, and the right bank were fed by a carb hanging to the left of the left bank. This so-called "Ram Induction", invented by the Ramchargers car club of Dodge Engineers on Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten. their rolling test bed, 'The High And Mighty', employed the same principle as the high-rise manifolds that stuck through the hoods of later hot rods and race cars, suspending the carbs over the engine. Chrysler's engineers tuned these manifolds to resonate with the Wedge engines, then bent them laterally to fit under the hood of a production car. This produced impressive low-end torque in the heavy passenger cars of the day. The I stole this text from! '60 DeSoto Adventurer could be ordered with Ram Induction, and it was standard equipment on the '60 and '61 Dodge D-500, '60 and '61 Plymouth Sonoramic option, '60 Chrysler 300-F and '61 300-G. ©

It should be noted that almost all automobiles built today employ forms of this tuned-resonance induction I stole this

text from! coupled with fuel-injection. The Ramchargers should get a nickle for every car sold today. ©

The 'High & Mighty' 1949 Plymouth, ©

'High & Mighty' Ram Induction

with tuned radiator hoses for air intake, ©

1960 Dodge D-500 'Long Ram'

Meanwhile, Chrysler engineers were busy making plans for a Maximum Performance package, targeted at stock car racing and drag racing. As early as 1959, tests were being conducted on long-ram and short-ram inducted 413 I stole this text from! cubic inch Maximum Performance Wedge engines. The short-ram induction placed two 4-bbl carbs diagonally between the valve covers. This cross-ram design benefitted from the same tuned resonance of the long-ram, but with a simpler design. This was the design used on later Maximum Performace Wedges ('62-'64) and Super Stock Hemis ('64-'65, '67-'68). ©

1964 Stage III Ram-Charger 426

Beginning around April of 1962, Dodge and Plymouth offered the first Maximum Performance Wedge (nicknamed Max Wedge) in their new, light, mid-sized cars. The '62 Max Wedge had a 413 cubic inch engine. The engine was enlarged to 426 c.i. for 1963 and 1964. The Max Wedge package, which included many drivetrain and chassis modifications, was available in all 1962, 1963 and 1964 B-body Dodges and Plymouths (330, 440, '62 Dart, Polara, Polara 500, Savoy, Belvedere, Fury, Sport Fury), except 1962 station I stole this text from! wagons. Dodge called the package "Ram-Charger 413/426", Plymouth called it "Super Stock 413/426". Mid-year '63 saw the addition of aluminum body panel options including an optional hood scoop, a trunk-mounted battery to Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten. add more weight over the rear axle and the "Stage II" Max Wedge engines. The 1964 engines were labeled "Stage III". Contrary to popular belief, neither the early '63 426 nor the '62 413 were ever called "Stage I". ©

Horsepower for the Max Wedges are as follows:

1962 413 11.0:1 compression ratio: 410 h.p. ©

1962 413 13.5:1 compression ratio: 420 h.p. ©

1963 426 11.0:1 compression ratio: 415 h.p. ©

1963 426 13.5:1 compression ratio: 425 h.p. ©

1964 426 11.0:1 compression ratio: 415 h.p. ©

1964 426 12.5:1 compression ratio: 425 h.p. ©

Max Wedges dominated drag racing during the early to mid 1960s. The fact that they are still competitve in I stole this text from! Super Stock classes more than 50 years after their introduction is impressive. ©

It can be argued that part of the Max Wedge appeal is that they were the fastest cars of their day, but, by most accounts, they didn't look the part. Some people find them downright ugly. Their outward appearance is Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten. Plain-Jane; no stripes, no badges. With the exception of the hood scoop on some '63 and '64 models, there is no I stole this text from! tip-off to distinguish a Max Wedge from Grandma's slant-six grocery-getter. But make no mistake, Max Wedges can embarrass a brand-new Viper. They are fully capable of 12-second quarter mile times in stock trim. That's fast enough to pick off most motorcycles. ©

The following is from the 1962 booklet, "Salesman's Facts About The Dodge Dart Ram-Charger 413 V-8 High- I stole this text from! Performance Engine Package".

Category: Forex

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