Chrysler B engine

Chrysler B engine

Chrysler's B and RB engines are a series of big-block V8s which in 1958 replaced the first-generation Hemi engines. The B and RB engines use wedge-shaped combustion chambers.

Design features include 17 capscrews per cylinder head, a cylinder block that extends 3 inches (76 mm) below the crankshaft centerline, an intake manifold not exposed to crankcase oil on the underside, stamped-steel, shaft-mounted rocker arms (race versions used forged steel rockers), and a front-mounted oil pump driven by the camshaft.


B engines

All B-series engines have a 3.375 inches (85.7 mm) stroke. Plymouth called their version of the early B engine the Golden Commando. It produced 305 brake horsepower (227 kW). DeSoto's B engine was named Turboflash. It put out 295 brake horsepower (220 kW). Dodge's variant was called the D-500 and produced 320 brake horsepower (240 kW).


The 350 cu in (5.7 L) B engine, produced only in 1958, had a bore of 4.0625 inches (103.19 mm). Called the "Golden Commando" by Plymouth marketers, it could be had in any 1958 Plymouth model and also came in the 1958 DeSoto Firesweep


The 361 cu in (5.9 L) B engine was similar to the 350 except for a wider 4.125 inches (104.8 mm) bore. The Plymouth version was called the Commando, variants of which included the Golden Commando and SonoRamic Commando. In 1962 the Dodge Polara 500 came standard with a 305 hp version of the 361 that had a four barrel carburetor, dual-point distributor, and dual exhausts.


The 383 cu in (6.3 L) short-stroke B engine—not to be confused with the earlier RB version used a 4.25 inches (108 mm) bore and was introduced in 1959 for the 1960 model year. Over 3,000,000 B 383 engines were produced between 1959 and 1971.[citation needed] Dodge's version, the D500, had a cross-ram induction manifold and dual 4-barrel carburetors as options. In some Dodge applications, this engine was labeled as the Magnum, while the Plymouth's version was called the Golden Commando. The "Golden Commando" came with a special[vague] dual-point distributor, a drag-racing derivation.


The 400 cu in (6.6 L) B engine was introduced in 1972. It shares the B family's 3.38 inches (86 mm) stroke, but is bored out to 4.34 inches (110 mm). There were standard- and high-performance options.

RB engines

The RB engines, produced from 1959 to 1979, are raised-block (taller) versions of the B engines. All RB engines have a 3.75 inches (95 mm) stroke, with the bore being the defining factor in engine size. Bore center distance is 4.84 inches (123 mm). All RBs are oversquare.


This engine—not to be confused with the B-block version described above—was produced from 1958 to 1960 with a 4.031 inches (102.4 mm) bore. This engine was also used in Fargo military trucks in Canada until 1961.


The 413 RB had a 4.1875 inches (106.36 mm) bore and was used from 1959 to 1965 in cars. During that period, it powered almost all Chrysler New Yorker and Imperial models, and was also available on the lesser Chryslers, Dodge Polara, Dodge Monaco, and Plymouth Fury as an alternative to the B-block 383 and/or the 318. It was also fitted to some European cars such as the later Facel Vega Facel II

In the 1959 Chrysler 300E the 413 wedge was fitted with inline dual 4 barrel carburetors; it was factory rated as producing 380 bhp (283 kW) at 5000 rpm and 450 ft·lbf (610 N·m) at 3600 rpm.[1] In 1960, a long-tube ram induction system was made standard on the Chrysler 300, it continued as standard on the 1961 300-G, it remained on the option sheets for Chrysler 300s through 1964. In 1962 a special version known as the "Max Wedge" was made available for drag racing and street use, this version produced 420 bhp (313 kW) at 5000 rpm. The 413 remained in use in medium and heavy duty trucks until 1973.

1959 - 1961 with 4 Barrel Carb Max Brake Horsepower - 350 @ 4600 rpm Max Torque - 470 @ 2800 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 10.0

1959 with 2 X 4 Barrel Carbs Max Brake Horsepower - 380 @ 5000 rpm Max Torque - 450 @ 3600 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 10.0

1960 - 1961 with 2 X 4 Barrel Carbs Max Brake Horsepower - 375 @ 5000 rpm Max Torque - 495 @ 2800 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 10.0

1962 - 1965 with 4 Barrel Carb Max Brake Horsepower - 340 @ 4600 rpm Max Torque - 470 @ 2800 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 10.1

1962 with 2 X 4 Barrel Carbs Max Brake Horsepower - 380 @ 5000 rpm Max Torque - 495 @ 2800 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 10.1

1963 - 1965 with 4 Barrel Carb Max Brake Horsepower - 360 @ 4600 rpm Max Torque - 470 @ 2800 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 10.1

1963 - 1964 with 2 X 4 Barrel Carbs Max Brake Horsepower - 390 @ 4800 rpm Max Torque - 485 @ 3600 rpm Stroke - 3.75 Bore - 4.1875 Compression - 9.6


Not to be confused with the 426 Hemi, the 426 RB was a wedge-head RB block with a 4.25 inches (108 mm) bore. Produced from late in the 1962 model year to mid-1964, the 426 wedge served as Chrysler's main performance engine until the introduction of the 426 Hemi. It was initially offered as a "non-cataloged" option S42 in Chryslers (the number of such produced is uncertain), offered with 373 or 385 bhp (278 or 287 kW) via a single 4-barrel carburetor (11.0 or 12.0:1 compression ratio, respectively), or 413 or 421 bhp (308 or 314 kW) via ram-inducted dual-4-barrel carburetors (same compression ratios previously mentioned).[2] For 1963, horsepower ratings would slightly increase (see below), and it became optional in B-bodied Dodges and Plymouths. After 1963, it would be used only in Dodges and Plymouths.[3]

The Max Wedge was a race-only version of the 426 wedge engine offered from the factory. Known as the Super Stock Plymouth and Ramcharger Dodge, the Max wedge featured high flow cylinder heads developed through state of the art( at the time) airflow testing.[4] They had 1⅞ inch exhaust valves that required that the cylinder bores be notched for clearance. The blocks were a special severe duty casting with larger oil feed passages than other RB engines and the blocks were stress relieved by the factory. Induction came by means of a cross ram intake manifold tuned for peak power above 4000 rpm and two Carter AFB-3447SA 4 barrel carburetors. The Max Wedge also included high-flow cast iron exhaust manifolds that, on the later versions, resembled steel tube headers. The Max Wedge was factory rated at 415 or 425 bhp (309 or 317 kW) (depending on compression), and 480 ft·lbf (650 N·m) at 4400 rpm.

Before the end of the 1963 model year Chrysler introduced the Stage II Max Wedge with improved combustion chamber design and an improved camshaft. The last performance year for the Max Wedge came in '64 with the Stage III. The factory advertised power rating never changed despite the Stage II and III improvements.

There was also a "426-S" available in 1964 and 1965. It bears little relation to the Max Wedge except for basic architecture and dimensions. The "426 Street Wedge" was available only in B-body cars (Plymouth and Dodge) and light duty Dodge D Series trucks, it was little more than an increased-bore version of the standard New Yorker 413 single 4-barrel engine.


440-6 Barrel RB V8 in a 1971 Plymouth 'Cuda

The 440 was produced from 1966 until 1978, making it the last version of the Chrysler RB block. It had a cast iron block with iron heads and a bore of 4.32 inches (110 mm)

From 1967 to 1971 the high performance version was rated at 375 brake horsepower (280 kW) (370 brake horsepower (276 kW) in 1971) at 4700 rpm with a single four barrel carburetor, and from 1969 to 1971, the highest output version had a 3-2 bbl. intake setup ("440 Six Pack" for Dodge, "440 6 Barrel" for Plymouth) producing 390 brake horsepower (291 kW) (385 brake horsepower (287 kW) in '71).

In 1972, changes were made to the system of measuring power of vehicle engines from gross (engine only, without air cleaner, exhaust system, alternator, or other power-consuming components) to net (with alternator, air cleaner, mufflers, and other vehicle equipment installed). The new rating system produced lower, more realistic numbers for any given engine. At the same time, emissions regulations were demanding cleaner exhaust. Engines including the 440 were made with reduced compression, modified cam timing, and other tuning measures to comply with the newly-tightened emissions regulations. The 1972 440 produced 335 bhp (250 kW) (gross) at 4400 rpm; the new net rating was 225 hp (168 kW)—which very closely coincided with period German DIN ratings and TÜV measurements.

The high output 440 was marketed as the Magnum in Dodges, the Super Commando in Plymouths, and the TNT in Chryslers.


  1. ^ Mopar Performance, Atherton, Larry. S-A Design Publishing CO: 1978.
  2. ^ Collectible Automobile, Dec. 1994, pg. 57 Article: 1960-62 Chrysler "Positively No Jr. Editions", by Jeffrey I. Godshall
  3. ^ Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1960–1972 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2004), p.220.
  4. ^ Mopar Performance, Atherton, Larry. S-A Design Publishing CO: 1978

See also

  • Chrysler engines

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