This is a 1952 or 1953 Dodge truck. As best as I can tell, the hemi V8 was first available in Dodge trucks in 1954 (1954 Dodge truck CC here). Chrysler also built some really big flathead sixes, for the big trucks and other industrial uses. That family started in 1937, and went from 282 cubic inches all the way to a mighty 413 inches, in ’53 – ’54 trucks. These were physically much larger engines than the Chrysler automobile and light-medium duty truck flathead sixes, and they had 12 ports and dual carbs. The 413 was an absolute torque monster (424 lb.ft.), and was rated at 177 hp, almost the same as the 331 hemis in these Chryslers. Here’s a picture of that mighty flathead:
As I said, it had 12 ports, unlike the passenger car sixes, and genuine split manifolds for both the intakes and exhaust. On the 413, bore was 4 1/16′ and stroke a mighty 5 5/16″. It had a rep for a bit of a drinking problem.
Of course that Dodge truck could be sporting the 111 hp 250 six; there’s no easy way to tell from this picture.
Is that a power steering pump on top? I knew Chrysler had power steering for its big cars in ’51, but I wouldn’t expect to see it in a truck in those years.
Looks to me like an air compressor, presumably for brakes.
You are correct Daniel, definitely a two cylinder air compressor.
Power steering in big trucks back then was only a distant dream. Most over the road trucks didn’t start getting it until well into the 70s or later.
that is an Air compressor for the Brakes
I went looking for an RPM to go with that torque rating; found this AACA thread with some great pics and info about these big sixes.
(I’m not done looking, though along the way so far I’ve found a claim of 171 bhp at 3,200 rpm 343 lb·ft at 1,500 rpm for the 413 with dual 1bbl carbs and 6.5:1 compression. I’ve also found this guy’s site, with pictures of appreciable craftsmanship.)
Here’s what I found at a forum:
Some 413 specs:
Bore& Stroke 4 1/16 X 5 5/16
171 hp @ 3,200 rpm
424 ft. lbs. @ 1,200 rpm
8.5 to 1 CR
head 9″ X 30: 33 studs
Overall length Dampener to trans 48″
Bell housing to timing cove surface 33 3/4″
Pan sump to top of carbs 34″
Geeze o’ Pete…maximum torque at a fast idle!
It probably idles at 300 rpm.
Seriously, I wonder what the flywheel on this weighed.
Actually, I’m more surprised at the 3200 rpm for its power peak. Higher than I expected. But then this is a hot rod truck motor!
It’s fascinating how big truck engines were designed back then to have higher specific outputs than car engines, like the legendary Hall-Scott big sixes, with aluminum OHC hemi heads and big valves and ports; they looked just like a race car engine of the times, except scaled up. They were the king of torque back then.
I wonder if the higher rpm range was to help for top speed on more level surfaces.
Top speed on these things were probably barely 50mph (if even that) and higher speeds meant more money for fleet owners and private drivers.
These things were widely used as industrial engines. Peak power at higher RPMs was an advantage for turning things like generators and pumps.
That trailer at least has a cut out for the driver’s door to open and a driver to exit and enter. Many of the other early trailers we’ve seen that had the sides like this seemed to be solid making me wonder how someone was supposed to get in or out of it.
I think the average (read: non-car-enthusiast) person would be surprised at how little horsepower heavy trucks actually have. even the biggest 18-wheelers are probably only sporting about 400-450 hp.
Average for over-the-road trucks is between 400-600 hp. Around 500 is quite common, not surprisingly, as it’s in the middle of that range.
The key benefit is being able to maintain higher road speeds on grades, which was always a big issue out West. Which is why the Hall-Scott gas engines were mainly used out west, despite their outrageous thirst. But back then diesels typically only had around 150 – 165 hp.
Scanias biggest engine, a 16 liter V8 produces 730hp and Volvo’s biggest engine a 16 liter straight 6 produces 750hp (they had to beat Scania). I think they are the strongest trucks on the market today and common among timber trucks in Sweden today.
The sound of a Scania V8 on full throttle is really something.
Yes, but these are not offered in the US, although Mack had their rebadged version of the Volvo 16.1 liter for a while (Scania’s V8 is 16.4 liter displacement).
Did a bit of searching, the biggest engines for on-highway use in the US these days must be the Cummins X15 (14.9 liter) and the Detroit DD16 (15.6 liter), maximum power output up to 605 and 600 hp, respectively.
yes but they have a range of engine options from ~10 liters to 16 liters along with multiple calibration options, and I doubt the majority of trucks on the road are sporting the high end X15s or DD16s.
In the gasoline engine big rig era, some grades on US 99 going north out of Los Angeles were even steeper than the current I-5 alignment. Southbound “grapevine” is the same punishing climb as before.
During the low-compression, long-stroke era, torque @ rpm was what was the primary consideration to move the vehicle. A 413 big six producing 424 ft lb at 1200 rpm didn’t need high rpms in combination with the right gear selections. Speak with any of those old truck drivers, they’ll describe what it was like to drive such rigs
The torque is of course what creates the hp, but from my experience driving a number of gas trucks back then, they were typically revved right up to their governed to speed to extract maximum hp, and then often run very close or at top rpm once on the road. Given that max speeds were a lot lower then and the hp so low, there wasn’t much opportunity to spend time cruising at lower rpm. Mostly flat out.
Ultimately hp is what counts in a truck unless its got gobs of power and doesn’t need to utilize its max power much. The torque curve being very fat helps the acceleration through the gears, but it’s the hp that kept them moving at their rather modest top speeds. Never mind climbing any sort of grade, which always required max revs.
I saw this in practice, the equipment shop I worked at circa 1990 had a Ford Louisville flatbed with a 429 V* that was replaced by a new Louisville with a New Holland diesel. The new truck was noticeably slower revving and easier to drive since it required fewer shifts
the way I like to put it is “horsepower tells you how much work the engine can do, its torque curve tells you what gearing you’ll need to do it.”
a 400 hp 6 liter LSx V8 can move the same load as a 400 hp 13 liter turbodiesel; but the LSx would need insanely low gear ratios to get things moving and would be screaming its head off constantly.
Considering the hubs tires and wheels, I’d say this fleet Dodge was “Job Rated” for its expected 24,000 class of work, and thus had the common small powerplant.
Why feed and water an extra 15-30 thousand pounds of capacity?
I’m pretty sure, not positive, that the “big” Dodge had a longer fender, ahead of the axle.
Wow, a hardtop and a convertible to two sedans – the body style mix of no year of Chrysler ever.
I wasn’t sure,so I did some research and Chrysler Marine did offer marinized versions of the 377 and 413 six engines.Can’t say I’ve ever seen one in an antique boat although I’ve seen lots of the Chrysler Ace (217 cu in), Crown (250 cu in.) and the 331 Hemis with an occasional 323 straight 8.
Those 413 flatheads also had a reputation for running hot when worked. The big Dodges with the 377 and 413 had ventilation louvers in the front fenders to help cool them:
I took a few years off the original photo…
I I have one of these drugs with the big 6 / 2 carbs 1951 Dodge air brake tractor for sale
Great commentaries! Thanks from an old truck salesman. Anybody ever shift a five=speed with a two-speed rear axle? Ever try one that after 3 Hi, you shifted 4 Lo, then 5 Lo, THEN 4 Hi and 5 Hi?
I’ll raise my hand for that. Particularly with a 750 Ford wrecker where sometimes every cog and every last rev counted.
Spicer 5000, and others I’m sure, used that pattern.
If it “fell on its face” too hard you could skip the 5-4 lever shift and just “button down” for a fast bigger rato drop and try to recover.
When I was in the Army National Guard back in the eighties our 2 1/2 ton trucks had a five speed transmission with a two speed transfer case. If the truck was unloaded or even lightly loaded we would put the transmission into 3rd gear/low range to take off, then shift the transfer case into high range, and from there go directly into fifth. Since these were tactical vehicles designed to use off road they were geared really low; maximum speed in first gear/low range was in the neighborhood of 6-7 MPH. Also, the shifts were much smoother if you double clutched, you could (in theory) shift directly to the wanted gear but most of the time this resulted in grinding the gears.
That Dodge car carrier is most likely a 1953 2-1/2 ton tractor truck.
The reason….six stud wheels..chrome park lamp bezels..(1953 only)
The engine could be a single carb 265 six but because I see the air horns and air hose spring hanger it.probably has the optional twin carb/and dual exhaust option engine…new for 1953 2-1/2 ton trucks.
The 1948 -55 30″ big Nickel/Chrome moly block engine trucks 281,306,331,377 and 413ci were installed in trucks using only 10 bolt Budd or cast spoke Dayton wheels.
Also the 30″ engine trucks had a 6″ longer nose than 2-1/2 ton medium duty trucks as shown by the OP.
The 413 engine shown above is one I own.
Same engine as in a 1952 to 54 Chrysler.
Except sodium valves, tri-metal bearings etc.
Wish the picture didn’t end up upside down…no way to correct it.
I was wondering if the engine would start! Nice design though.
Have a customer with a 1952 377 that needs water pump. Uses carbon seal that has been obsolete for over 10 years. Our rebuilder cant rebuild it. Any sources for a rebuild kit? A little pricey to machine for new type seal.
Watch your email.