As an avid Mopar fan, I tend to keep spare stuff laying around. I have had an extra 340 LA engine and 440 short block for some time, and I’m always looking for more parts to pick up. Recently I acquired a 392 HEMI BGE (Big Gas Engine) truck short block and a complete 392 HEMI from a Scat Pack Challenger. About the same time, I had heard about a new book by Larry Shepard from Car Tech Books about rebuilding the Gen 3 HEMI. Talk about perfect timing!
Upon receiving the book, I dove right into it. The book starts with an excellent history lesson about the Chrysler HEMI engines and then gets right to identifying the different production versions of the Gen 3 HEMI. The first thing I did was note some of the specifications and part numbers for identifying the engine blocks and heads. It just so happened I was helping a friend acquire another engine, so this info was extremely helpful as he was offered a set of heads, but we did not know which heads they were… turns out they were HELLCAT castings, awesome!
I read through the disassembly instructions and began some of the teardowns of my complete 392. The pictures and step by step instructions in this book are absolutely fantastic. I was able to follow along easily making notes in my notebook as I went along. This is the first time I have taken apart a Gen 3 HEMI thus having this information at my fingertips was extremely helpful. I got my 392 partially torn down and found the cause of its failure… a bad rod bearing. This was expected, and the confirmation is good for me. I followed some of the assembly instructions and got the engine back whole again and put it in storage. I know the problem, and I will take care of it when we decide what the plan is for the engine.
Overall, I am very impressed with this book. It lays everything out in a way that whether you are mechanically minded or not you can follow along. I am a technical guy, and I like the details. I like how it lays out specs like the different rod and piston weights, lengths, and widths. Ever wondered what the different factory cam specs are for the HEMI engines? All the cam specs are listed including the various part numbers for cams to help identify which have variable valve timing (VVT), muti-displacement (MDS), both, or neither. The book is excellent for the beginner and explains things in detail like how to calculate rod length, compression ratio, and cylinder head cc’ing.
If you are planning to build a Gen 3 HEMI anytime in the future, I highly recommend this book. The detail taken to explain the little things and even review aftermarket replacement components is really nice. Everything from bolt-on components like high capacity oil pans and headers to full on stroker kits is discussed in this book. How To Rebuild New HEMI Engines 2003-Present is available at all the online book vendors including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. You can so get it directly from Car Tech books for $29.95 USD.