View topic - 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions
Page 1 of 1

Author:  RobbSmith [ Fri May 13, 2016 5:30 am ]
Post subject:  1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

Hi guys,

I bought a '56 parts car to help get my wagon on the road. The donor was last driven about 8 years ago, but we got it running. Started pretty quickly, lifters pumped up and smoothed out. No smoke. I was stoked!

The engine has 75k miles on it and appears to have never been opened up. I'm going to be going through it and doing the heads and anything else it may need.

So, the stock 4 bbl carb and stock distributor...are they worth rebuilding or should I get a new Holley and a late model dist. and Pertronix?

The purpose of this car is to drive! I want it mechanically sound and don't want to be tinkering with 60 year old technology if there are better options.

I appreciate any insight and pointers.


Author:  SteveMcManus [ Fri May 13, 2016 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

The Carter WCFB 4bbl was stock on '56 S-24 Fireflite. This is about the best 4bbl carb ever made. You could update the '56 Distributor with Pertronix so you wouldn't need to lay on top of the engine fiddling with the distributor so often.

Of course your wagon originally had a 2 bbl Firedome in it.

Have a nice day

Author:  RobbSmith [ Sat May 14, 2016 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

Thanks, Steve. I'll give 'em some love.

Author:  TimMabry [ Fri May 20, 2016 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

Go to They have a lot of updated parts for old Hemi's. I'd keep the intake and carb as stated above. The only issue with them is no electric choke but the old Hemi's usually start as is. Definitely go with electronic ignition. When I do my 55 NY I will add an alternator and modern p/s pump. Hotheads has the brackets. I'd update the p/b with a new booster and split m/c.

Author:  JohnBoyd [ Sun May 22, 2016 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

For what it's worth, I tried a Pertronix kit in my '53 Firedome with (non original) S-23 1956 hemi. Also installed the recommended Flamethrower II coil. After much fiddling and exchanging the kit once, I could not make it work and gave up. Started and idled fine, mild load OK, but missing at high engine speed, even with no load. I'm running points again. Not absolutely sure about this, but I think the problem was inadequate delivered voltage to the Pertronix. My car is still 6v.

If your car is 12v, probably the Pertronix is a great conversion. If it's 6v positive ground like mine, recommend you save your receipts.


Author:  RobbSmith [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, my car is 12v and still has the original S-23 330 hemi in it. Unfortunately, it was left unattended without rocker covers, spark plugs, intake or valley cover for 20 years?

I'm taking the donor S-24 apart now. The heads are at the shop for a rebuild, but one of them has a pretty good crack between the valves. I pulled the heads off the S-23 in hopes of finding a good one.

Tim, do you have any advise to give regarding the power booster and dual master? Is there a conversion kit, or part numbers for this?

I've spent a lot of time on the HHH site, as well as the Bernbaum site trying to research stuff.

This is my first "real car" project, after far too many years playing with VW's and LandCruisers.

I appreciate all insight, suggestions, and criticism.


Author:  RobbSmith [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

Here's the donor Fireflite and my Firedome.
A fork lift and car lift sure made it easy to pull the engine.

20150704_172736.jpg [ 1.86 MiB | Viewed 2517 times ]
20160417_190439.jpg [ 1.64 MiB | Viewed 2517 times ]

Author:  SteveMcManus [ Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1956 Wagon and 330 Hemi questions

If you need cylinder heads, I've got some.

Save all the trim and not crunched & not rusty body parts off your sedan. It looks like there's a lot of good stuff there.

Have a nice day

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group