426 Hemi Sox & Martin Team Engine - Win This Engine
It's Bad, It's A Hemi, It Benefits The Ronnie Sox Foundation And The Children At St. Jude, And It Could Be Yours For 20 Bucks
From the June, 2009 issue of Mopar Muscle
By Dave Young
Photography by Dave Young, Randy Bolig
Ronnie Sox and the Sox and Martin Racing team epitomized the professionalism, dedication, and sometimes sacrifice that it takes to dominate a professional sport. As a team, the Sox and Martin list of wins and championships in multiple racing classes could easily fill this magazine article. As a drag racer, Ronnie Sox was possibly the best true driver to ever stage a race car. His starting line performance and his ability to row the gears of a four-speed were unrivaled in the sport.
Rather than simply writing...
Rather than simply writing about this noble cause, we here at Mopar Muscle decided that with a little work, maybe we could contribute more. By teaming up with the Ronnie Sox Foundation, Indy Cylinder Head, Comp Cams, Holley, Eagle, Diamond, and A&A Transmissions, we were able to put together a plan to build an engine that will be raffled with all the proceeds benefiting the Ronnie Sox Foundation. And this isn't just any engine, it's a 426 Hemi. We think Ronnie would approve.
If we could ask Ronnie what made the Sox and Martin team perform so well, he'd likely give credit to many, like partner Buddy Martin, mechanics Jake King and Dave Christie, as well as his teammates, sponsors, and many fans, before taking any credit for his own role. But that's just how he was. Ronnie was humble and giving, and those qualities are sometimes hard to find in someone with so much skill and ability. Don't just take this author's word for it; ask anyone.
So when Ronnie passed away in 2006 at the early age of 67 from prostate cancer, many of us lost a role model and a hero, though Ronnie never thought of himself as such. Ronnie Sox and the Sox and Martin team were an inspiration to many who raced with or against them, and the Sox and Martin team's red, white, and blue Plymouths serve as a visual reminder of how a professional image combined with the willingness to work hard, adapt, and learn, can lead to success.
Building a raffle engine for this charitable cause really brought out the best in the people we work with. Comp Cams, Holley, Eagle, Diamond and A&A Transmissions eagerly donated their products to the project, and Indy Cylinder Head stepped up to the plate, offering not only their parts, but their time and expertise to build and dyno this Hemi. Though the Hemi had to be race inspired as a tribute to Ronnie, we also knew that a streetable engine would appeal to a wider range of enthusiasts, so we decided to build the best of both worlds. With the plan and parts in place, Russ Flagle and Ken Lazzeri of Indy Cylinder Head got to work doing what they do best, building a tough, powerful, and reliable Hemi. Follow along and we'll show you what went into this worthy project, and be sure to visit ronniesox.com or stop and see the engine at one of this year's upcoming events leading up to the 2009 Mopar Nationals to purchase your raffle ticket. Not only will the money go to a worthy cause, but you might just win this powerful Hemi as a bonus!
In Ronnie's memory, his wife...
In Ronnie's memory, his wife Diane and long-time friend Buddy Martin established the Ronnie Sox Foundation in August 2006 as a way to give back to the community. Ronnie's life was about doing and giving, and the Ronnie Sox Foundation is based around those same principles. The Foundation's goal is to support the children at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Ronnie's memory, and also to spread awareness and the importance of early detection of prostate cancer which is the most curable cancer if caught early.
There was really no choice...
There was really no choice when it came to building a raffle engine that would be a tribute to the late Ronnie Sox. The spark plug wires simply had to go into the valve covers, just like Ronnie's legendary rides.
We visited Indy Cylinder Head...
We visited Indy Cylinder Head while they dyno tuned the 426 Hemi for the Sox Foundation. Without the help of the great folks at Indy, Comp Cams, Diamond Pistons, Eagle, Holley, and A&A Transmissions, this project would have been much more difficult.
Cast-iron cylinder heads were...
Cast-iron cylinder heads were filled with 2.25-inch intake and 1.94-inch stainless steel valves, Comp Cams springs, retainers and locks, and Indy roller rocker arms. The valvetrain from Comp is centered around a .546-inch lift hydraulic camshaft.
|0-4235||’64–’65 426 Wedge and ’68 426 HEMI “right side” carburetor|
|0-4236||’64–’65 426 Wedge and ’68 426 HEMI “left side” carburetor|
|RHACRIM||Aluminum cross-ram intake|
|CLKH||Complete linkage for Holley carbs|
Indy Cylinder Head
MP BlockMP heads: 2.25-inch intake/1.94-inch exhaustIndy Rocker gear: 1.6 ratio intake/1.55 ratio exhaustFirecore spark plug wiresChampion No. 71 spark plugsMopar electronic distributor
|444037506760||3.75-inch stroke crankshaft|
|CRS6860C3D||ESP H-beam rods|
|24-292-4||Hydraulic, flat-tappet camshaft|
Nothing but the best parts...
Nothing but the best parts were used for this build. For starters, how about a Mopar Performance cast-iron water block, and Milodon street Hemi pan and oiling system. Diamond forged pistons and an Eagle forged crankshaft and H-beam rods form the stout bottom end, and a Comp .546/.529-inch lift and .244/.244-degrees duration hydraulic cam actuates the valves.
To top this engine, nothing...
To top this engine, nothing but multiple carburetion would suffice. Fortunately, A&A Transmissions reproduces a beautiful cross-ram intake manifold and throttle linkage for the 426 Hemi, and gladly offered one for this build. Check them out as they offer the cross-ram intakes for Hemi and Max Wedge engines in aluminum and magnesium.
This Hemi was built with a...
This Hemi was built with a 10.0:1 compression ratio, which ensures this motor will run great on pump fuel. Timing was set to a conservative 35 degrees total advance for the dyno pulls.
After breaking in the camshaft,...
After breaking in the camshaft, Ken made a couple of easy pulls on the engine to break in the rings. He then pulled the handle for three easy pulls to measure the engine's output. At just shy of 6,000 rpm, the Hemi made nearly 550 hp. With its broad power and torque curves, this engine will be at home in a street car or a bracket racer. Man, we wish we could win this thing.
A pair of 770-cfm Holley Super-Stock,...
A pair of 770-cfm Holley Super-Stock, cross-ram carburetors was installed with light secondary springs and brackets and linkage from A&A Transmissions. These are new, nearly-exact reproductions of the originals. While tuning on the dyno, minimal changes to jetting and secondary springs put the air/fuel ratio right on the money.
Engine builder Ken Lazzeri...
Engine builder Ken Lazzeri from Indy Cylinder Head paid special attention to this engine, building and tuning it himself. After some simple idle screw adjustments, the Hemi idled with ease and an impressive lope.
Though Ronnie is not able...
Though Ronnie is not able to be with us, we feel fortunate to contribute to this project in his honor. With all the proceeds going to benefit the children at St. Jude as well as prostate cancer research, we are happy to see that Ronnie, through his wife Diane and his many friends, is still giving back, just like he did his entire life.
Want to win this Hemi? It...
Want to win this Hemi? It will be on display at several Mopar events this season leading up to Saturday at the 2009 Mopar Nationals, and you can either purchase your raffle ticket there or online at ronniesox.com.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made at St. Jude have completely revolutionized the way the world treats children with cancer or other catastrophic pediatric diseases. At St. Jude, the research and patient care facilities are collocated under one roof, allowing some of today's most gifted researchers to perform their science more quickly.
St. Jude is a place where many doctors throughout the world send some of their sickest patients and toughest cases because they know St. Jude can often help. As a place where cutting-edge research and revolutionary scientific discoveries happen every day, St. Jude researchers are published and cited more often in high-impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology research institute in America. Having built America's second largest health care charity, the science at St. Jude never stops.
We encourage you to support the research and help the children of St. Jude by making a charitable donation either through the Ronnie Sox Foundation at ronniesox.com, or directly to St. Jude at stjude.org. By giving to St. Jude through the Sox Foundation, you'll know that your generosity will directly help our most important resource, our children. Ronnie would certainly be happy to know that his friends, fans, and supporters are helping a cause that was dear to his heart.