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castellan Offline
#1 Posted : Thursday, 17 October 2019 10:44:12 PM(UTC)
castellan

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Just looking at a Dyno test claiming at 275hp was really more like maybe 310hp so did our E55 Charger really go that well, I am sure that the single exhaust was a real power killer but with a good dual exhaust even tho it's only a crappy auto, but with a 2.92 diff ratio it's not all that bad.
When one looks at the same sort of year's Falcon 351's with their shit slow to respond FMX autos and you only have that stupid high 2.75 ratio diff, but with the 350 Holden's you can at least get a 3.08 ratio but the slow responding T400 or only 2sp auto in HT-G.

So what is the go was the E55 340 Charger really that good, that it could hose off every automatic car in the days or is it truly the King of the automatics in the days.

The 340 V8 that we got on the Chargers had two different types of 340 V8 tho and the early one goes better even tho it's carby is 570CFM and the next is 750CFM.

The only 351 auto we got with a low diff ratio was the XW GT with a 3.25 ratio and FMX.
HK1837 Offline
#2 Posted : Friday, 18 October 2019 5:27:23 AM(UTC)
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One of the magazines of the day tested a VH E55 with extractors and exhaust and (old memory) it was quicker than any HO they ever tested. Can’t recall which magazine or issue. The engine change was like the L48 used in HT-HQ, it changed to suit unleaded. One was an older pre ‘72 high comp engine.

HQ TH400 was a nice car to drive, TH400 was a beautiful box. I’ve had dozens of them in all sorts of cars from Holdens to Nissan Patrol 4x4. The only ones I’be ever found slow were older ones behind tired 308.

Remember also that there was really only two auto choices for GM product in the mid 60’s. Powerglide or TH400. Most 60’s small blocks around the ‘64-‘67 era were Powerglide and mostly only the big blocks got TH400. The really big power small blocks were manual only in many applications. There were some TH400 behind small blocks but only by option and I think only on full size and possibly a few others. TH350 didn’t appear until late in the 60’s (I think late in 1968 model year) and even then optional only at least initially. This is why we only ever saw Powerglide in HK-HG as these were all designed and ready to go by then.
HQ got a TH400 rather than a TH350 probably as that is how the car was designed in the US around ‘65-‘68. There was no TH350 then and the standard 3spd auto behind an L48 engine (or any other larger engine which the HQ may have been designed for) was TH400. If the HQ was designed here in the timeframe as claimed it would have got a TH350 most likely. We all know how easily a TH350 fits a HQ-WB, and GMH actually later designed HQ for a TH350, albeit behind a Chevy straight 6. This is how they were built in South Africa. I think this design must have been done here, but maybe not. It may well have been a standard engine/box for whatever the HQ was going to be before GMH took it over.

Edited by user Friday, 18 October 2019 7:49:47 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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castellan Offline
#3 Posted : Friday, 18 October 2019 9:01:33 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
One of the magazines of the day tested a VH E55 with extractors and exhaust and (old memory) it was quicker than any HO they ever tested. Can’t recall which magazine or issue. The engine change was like the L48 used in HT-HQ, it changed to suit unleaded. One was an older pre ‘72 high comp engine.

HQ TH400 was a nice car to drive, TH400 was a beautiful box. I’ve had dozens of them in all sorts of cars from Holdens to Nissan Patrol 4x4. The only ones I’be ever found slow were older ones behind tired 308.


If you have ever driven a Ford with a stock C4 Auto hard then you will know that the C4 is the best auto in the world by far, it's truly a drivers auto that you can not complain about at all as it does everything that you want and responds directly and the T Bar selector is fool proof.

The stock Holden Trimatic and T400 T Bar selector was designed by a total moronic fool that surely had no idea how to use an auto in a performance way of driving at all, I don't know why they bothered putting a T Bar on Holden's as you may as well have it on the tree with crap like that.
Ford Bragged about their C4 was for a drivers car when they first came out.

The Trimatic was a good responding auto but had nothing on a C4 to drive hard, it would go into 1st at any speed so that can be nasty for the autos health for one. but the stock T400 and T350 you can not select 1st gear until a pathetic 30KM/H that it would go in, what a total shit box ! that renders it totally useless as a box, boring as dog shit and not to mention slow to drop back, it's called same day response.
So when driving twisty back roads quickly and having fun the Holden T Bar autos are a pain to drive and the Fords with a C4 T Bar are a pleasure to use as it makes the T Bar totally at your command to be used, but the Ford BW and FMX and C6 autos are total shit, the T Bar is fine but they are just as hopeless as the T350 and T400 in responding to anything, it's called same day response.

I don't know about the Valiant's auto's 727 and 904 as I have never used them and they don't have a T Bar setup but a round knob thing that I am sure is just shit.

So I am wondering was the E55 Charger really a good thing to drive hard back in the days VS a Falcon Hardtop and Holden Monaro when it comes to the big gun engines with Auto transmissions. with a driver who will use the cars capability's as to why they were built for, as that's the whole thing, what does the cars do well and not do well, that would be the point of such a test. you would not test a LJ GTR XU-1 with your grand mother in mind would ya ! but someone who would be willing to use such a car to it's max, or why would you want to fork out to buy such a car.

The stock T400 and T350 is good for just plodding about, they can be modified to perform well, but every stock one that I have had the dis pleasure I totally despised to drive. as I want the auto to work with me not against me and when that happens I just want to get a shot gun out and shoot the auto because they are such a pain in the arse. but with a C4 never as it's even better to drive than the shit heavy shifting 4sp manual box in the XY-A GT and that clunk clunk clunk all day long was truly a pain.
HK1837 Offline
#4 Posted : Friday, 18 October 2019 10:01:39 AM(UTC)
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If I wanted to drive a car as described I'd buy a manual, autos are for everyday driving and towing! The only 60's-70's Australian Ford I'd ever own by choice would be an XA GT coupe or XA GT sedan, wouldn't be even interested in any other. If I did own one as an original I'd be a manual anyway, if I had a replica one I'd probably put an LSA and 6L80E in it.

What Trimatic/TH400 T-bar are you referring too? There is lots of them and they all feel different to each other:

HK-HG
HQ-WB rod
HQ-WB cable
LC-LJ
LH-UC (similar to HQ-WB)
VB-VK Commodore

You've obviously never driven a TH400 vehicle with a sports or performance vehicle calibration, like one for a big block Chevy or higher power small block. GMH didn't build auto vehicles for performance like they did in the USA, if you wanted to drive them like a manual they expected you to buy a manual. This is one reason why the 350 in an auto HT-HG is a lower performance engine. Same with HQ 350, those who wanted a more powerful vehicle to cover long distances or to tow a rally car or similar in comfort bought a 350 Deville or an LS coupe, these were TH400 with tall diff. Cost far less to insure than a GTS. Those who still wanted a GTS350 but weren't boy racers bought an auto coupe or XW8 sedan. If I could order GMH cars from 1972-3 right now I'd buy a GTS350 auto coupe and an XU1 Torana.

As I said every TH400 vehicle I've owned other than those behind a worn out 308 drove great. This includes 350 powered HJ's, 302 powered GQ Patrol etc. TH400's were used in Jaguars behind V12's and also in Lambourghinis.

The VH E55 with the high comp 340 was really the last of the big banger V8's, albeit performance tamed with the 727 auto and single exhaust. GMH had stopped building cars with high compression imported 350ci engines before the end of 1970. Ford had finished building GT-HO's by then. Sure the XA still had 351 Clevelands and whatever was left for the XA GT-HO program got used up in XA, but some of those high comp 340's made it into VJ in 1973 from what I understand, before they used a second lot of later made ULP 340 engines. The bigger carby used on the later engines was an emissions carb. Some sources say that like the never built XA GT-HO (well one XA pilot was built), the engines bought into the country for an R/T 340 Charger that was never built were what was used to make the E55 cars. I guess Ford had a motive to build the RPO83 to homologate stuff, whereas Chrysler Australia had given up and had to dispose of all those engines somehow. Others deny the race angle, and that it was simply a car built that way. Doesn't explain wht Chrysler Australia used the red 1969-ish engines in a 1972 VH....

Some people swear by the 727 Torqueflite, I've never owned one though. Driven a few old 360ci Chryslers but they drove just like any other barge of their era like 350 auto Deville or 351 auto Fairlane. Heavy, tall gears, handled like a wet sponge.

Here is the original Modern Motor E55 test. 2.92 rear axle, no LSD, auto, single exhaust 15.2s quarter mile..... And this test car got one of the blue 1971-2 spec engines with 8.5:1 compression. The other engine was 10.5:1.

http://e55chargers.com/w...odernmotorfullpage1.jpg
http://e55chargers.com/w...odernmotorfullpage2.jpg
http://e55chargers.com/w...modernmotorfullpage3.jpg

Edited by user Friday, 18 October 2019 10:10:05 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Dr Terry Offline
#5 Posted : Friday, 18 October 2019 11:00:44 AM(UTC)
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I think what castellan is referring to is the T-Bar shifter which has no detent between D & 2. It makes it easier to slip the auto back into 2nd gear & then back up into 3rd without risk of accidentally going into neutral under hard acceleration. Most Fords have this.

I agree, most other T-Bars (other than Ford) including Holden's don't have this feature. The main exception was the BT1 Police pack Commodore, they have the Ford set-up. Go figure !

On the subject of autos I agree that the TH400 doesn't have enough 1st gear kick-down, except the one fitted to Jag V12s, they got a different governor which overcame this issue. TH350 on the other hand drive totally differently to the TH400. They have a slightly lower 1st gear ratio & a much better 1st gear kick-down, with less power drain overall than the TH400. They suit the 308 much better. IMHO the TH400 is more suited to Big Block V8s.

On the subject of the Torqueflite box, it has been around since the mid-50s & beat the C4 & the TH400 to market by 8 years. It was the first 'modern' 3-speed automatic. It was a very strong auto which drove as well as a C4 or TH350. It was the drag racers gearbox of choice during the 60s & 70s.

Dr Terry
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castellan Offline
#6 Posted : Friday, 18 October 2019 7:36:58 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
If I wanted to drive a car as described I'd buy a manual, autos are for everyday driving and towing! The only 60's-70's Australian Ford I'd ever own by choice would be an XA GT coupe or XA GT sedan, wouldn't be even interested in any other. If I did own one as an original I'd be a manual anyway, if I had a replica one I'd probably put an LSA and 6L80E in it.

What Trimatic/TH400 T-bar are you referring too? There is lots of them and they all feel different to each other:

HK-HG
HQ-WB rod
HQ-WB cable
LC-LJ
LH-UC (similar to HQ-WB)
VB-VK Commodore

You've obviously never driven a TH400 vehicle with a sports or performance vehicle calibration, like one for a big block Chevy or higher power small block. GMH didn't build auto vehicles for performance like they did in the USA, if you wanted to drive them like a manual they expected you to buy a manual. This is one reason why the 350 in an auto HT-HG is a lower performance engine. Same with HQ 350, those who wanted a more powerful vehicle to cover long distances or to tow a rally car or similar in comfort bought a 350 Deville or an LS coupe, these were TH400 with tall diff. Cost far less to insure than a GTS. Those who still wanted a GTS350 but weren't boy racers bought an auto coupe or XW8 sedan. If I could order GMH cars from 1972-3 right now I'd buy a GTS350 auto coupe and an XU1 Torana.

As I said every TH400 vehicle I've owned other than those behind a worn out 308 drove great. This includes 350 powered HJ's, 302 powered GQ Patrol etc. TH400's were used in Jaguars behind V12's and also in Lambourghinis.

The VH E55 with the high comp 340 was really the last of the big banger V8's, albeit performance tamed with the 727 auto and single exhaust. GMH had stopped building cars with high compression imported 350ci engines before the end of 1970. Ford had finished building GT-HO's by then. Sure the XA still had 351 Clevelands and whatever was left for the XA GT-HO program got used up in XA, but some of those high comp 340's made it into VJ in 1973 from what I understand, before they used a second lot of later made ULP 340 engines. The bigger carby used on the later engines was an emissions carb. Some sources say that like the never built XA GT-HO (well one XA pilot was built), the engines bought into the country for an R/T 340 Charger that was never built were what was used to make the E55 cars. I guess Ford had a motive to build the RPO83 to homologate stuff, whereas Chrysler Australia had given up and had to dispose of all those engines somehow. Others deny the race angle, and that it was simply a car built that way. Doesn't explain wht Chrysler Australia used the red 1969-ish engines in a 1972 VH....

Some people swear by the 727 Torqueflite, I've never owned one though. Driven a few old 360ci Chryslers but they drove just like any other barge of their era like 350 auto Deville or 351 auto Fairlane. Heavy, tall gears, handled like a wet sponge.

Here is the original Modern Motor E55 test. 2.92 rear axle, no LSD, auto, single exhaust 15.2s quarter mile..... And this test car got one of the blue 1971-2 spec engines with 8.5:1 compression. The other engine was 10.5:1.

http://e55chargers.com/w...odernmotorfullpage1.jpg
http://e55chargers.com/w...odernmotorfullpage2.jpg
http://e55chargers.com/w...modernmotorfullpage3.jpg

I believe that the E55 Charger 340 V8 first came out in 8/1972 and that the USA 340 V8's were all 8.5:1 from Jan 1972 at least, I remember being on a Valiant form years ago and they were so full of shit dreaming and could not come up with all the facts about the E55. If we did get the high comp 340 it would on only of been the first batch if that.
Valiant people are dreamers, sure the 225 slant 6 2bbl went well and the Hemi 6 with a 2 barrel were good and six pack went well but if they were 2 barrels 180KM/H was top speed and with triples and the low diff of 3.50 forget it as a high speed highway car really but the E55 could be the king in that regard of Valiant's.

I am talking autos hear because of the E55 only is an auto.
I think the best high speed car in 1972 was the HQ GTS 308 auto that you could push much harder than the leaf sprung XA GT and Charger, maybe the Charger is better in the rear end than the GT over 180km/h coming through corners a bit but the HQ has it in the bag with GT 130 Shocks. but the GT is a bucket of shit due to the rear springs.

The 308 GTS auto with dual exhaust and 3.08 diff is a better car to drive all round than a HQ 350 auto as the auto was crap and the 350 just did not perform so well as with a 308 was nothing in it, not to mention the 2v head 351 did not out perform the 308's, sure the 350 and 351 had more torque but after the FMX or T400 auto swallowed that up the little 308 trimatic was right on their tail.

If you got a XA GT Hardtop auto they all only had 2v head 351. only early XA GT auto sedans got 4v head 351 and all of them autos got the crap high 2.75 ratio crap.

I would be the last person to by an 1972 auto GT, E55, GTS350 back in the day, but then I am thinking is the E55 better than I think it was ?

I loved my XB GS 351 T Bar ute but they only had the 2 barrel carby on the utes with 4 SP or auto but the 351 had the C4 auto and 2.92 B/W LSD diff was in it. and I found 4sp manual was worthless over all with torque like that, it had dual exhaust tho and only did 185KM/H flat out.

If I were to of bought a new XB GT auto I would toss the FMX out directly and toss it in the bin directly and put a C4 in with a big oil cooler, not to mention a little cam something like the 4V 351 had and the same valve springs would pep the 351 up enough and go looking for better rear springs from K Mac or Lovell ect there had to be some tricks that they used in Bathurst in the days with the rear springs and use good shocks. I know that my Holden p van rear springs were fine for high speed corners over 180km/h.
castellan Offline
#7 Posted : Friday, 18 October 2019 8:01:56 PM(UTC)
castellan

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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
I think what castellan is referring to is the T-Bar shifter which has no detent between D & 2. It makes it easier to slip the auto back into 2nd gear & then back up into 3rd without risk of accidentally going into neutral under hard acceleration. Most Fords have this.

I agree, most other T-Bars (other than Ford) including Holden's don't have this feature. The main exception was the BT1 Police pack Commodore, they have the Ford set-up. Go figure !

On the subject of autos I agree that the TH400 doesn't have enough 1st gear kick-down, except the one fitted to Jag V12s, they got a different governor which overcame this issue. TH350 on the other hand drive totally differently to the TH400. They have a slightly lower 1st gear ratio & a much better 1st gear kick-down, with less power drain overall than the TH400. They suit the 308 much better. IMHO the TH400 is more suited to Big Block V8s.

On the subject of the Torqueflite box, it has been around since the mid-50s & beat the C4 & the TH400 to market by 8 years. It was the first 'modern' 3-speed automatic. It was a very strong auto which drove as well as a C4 or TH350. It was the drag racers gearbox of choice during the 60s & 70s.

Dr Terry


Yes I am referring to the shifter as such and you are correct in all the rest.

I think it was the 1974 or 75 I think, where Pontiac firebird that came out with a 455 and T400 and there is a test on this where the auto had been set up by Pontiac factory to perform real well on them, as the tester noted just how well this T400 worked with the driver making it so much better car to drive because it responded so well to all demands.

I remember the XW GT auto being a FMX was supposed to respond ford said but the tester said that it was not modified at all as it was just as slow and dopy as std FMX, but it did have a low 3.25 diff, but it needed the auto to be kited up to turn it into a grate car only that this FMX was a mongrel bastard to use just like the T400. MOST PEOPLE HAVE NEVER USED A GREAT AUTO AND THAT'S WHY THEY HATED THEM. people would think that you are off your rocker boasting about how good a automatic can be to drive, the response is f ing slush box ! and I would say yes I know what you mean but you have never driven a C4 auto behind a 351, it's magic to drive as hard as you want, you can fang the f out of it and have a ball.
HK1837 Offline
#8 Posted : Saturday, 19 October 2019 8:17:42 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
If I wanted to drive a car as described I'd buy a manual, autos are for everyday driving and towing! The only 60's-70's Australian Ford I'd ever own by choice would be an XA GT coupe or XA GT sedan, wouldn't be even interested in any other. If I did own one as an original I'd be a manual anyway, if I had a replica one I'd probably put an LSA and 6L80E in it.

What Trimatic/TH400 T-bar are you referring too? There is lots of them and they all feel different to each other:

HK-HG
HQ-WB rod
HQ-WB cable
LC-LJ
LH-UC (similar to HQ-WB)
VB-VK Commodore

You've obviously never driven a TH400 vehicle with a sports or performance vehicle calibration, like one for a big block Chevy or higher power small block. GMH didn't build auto vehicles for performance like they did in the USA, if you wanted to drive them like a manual they expected you to buy a manual. This is one reason why the 350 in an auto HT-HG is a lower performance engine. Same with HQ 350, those who wanted a more powerful vehicle to cover long distances or to tow a rally car or similar in comfort bought a 350 Deville or an LS coupe, these were TH400 with tall diff. Cost far less to insure than a GTS. Those who still wanted a GTS350 but weren't boy racers bought an auto coupe or XW8 sedan. If I could order GMH cars from 1972-3 right now I'd buy a GTS350 auto coupe and an XU1 Torana.

As I said every TH400 vehicle I've owned other than those behind a worn out 308 drove great. This includes 350 powered HJ's, 302 powered GQ Patrol etc. TH400's were used in Jaguars behind V12's and also in Lambourghinis.

The VH E55 with the high comp 340 was really the last of the big banger V8's, albeit performance tamed with the 727 auto and single exhaust. GMH had stopped building cars with high compression imported 350ci engines before the end of 1970. Ford had finished building GT-HO's by then. Sure the XA still had 351 Clevelands and whatever was left for the XA GT-HO program got used up in XA, but some of those high comp 340's made it into VJ in 1973 from what I understand, before they used a second lot of later made ULP 340 engines. The bigger carby used on the later engines was an emissions carb. Some sources say that like the never built XA GT-HO (well one XA pilot was built), the engines bought into the country for an R/T 340 Charger that was never built were what was used to make the E55 cars. I guess Ford had a motive to build the RPO83 to homologate stuff, whereas Chrysler Australia had given up and had to dispose of all those engines somehow. Others deny the race angle, and that it was simply a car built that way. Doesn't explain wht Chrysler Australia used the red 1969-ish engines in a 1972 VH....

Some people swear by the 727 Torqueflite, I've never owned one though. Driven a few old 360ci Chryslers but they drove just like any other barge of their era like 350 auto Deville or 351 auto Fairlane. Heavy, tall gears, handled like a wet sponge.

Here is the original Modern Motor E55 test. 2.92 rear axle, no LSD, auto, single exhaust 15.2s quarter mile..... And this test car got one of the blue 1971-2 spec engines with 8.5:1 compression. The other engine was 10.5:1.

http://e55chargers.com/w...odernmotorfullpage1.jpg
http://e55chargers.com/w...odernmotorfullpage2.jpg
http://e55chargers.com/w...modernmotorfullpage3.jpg

I believe that the E55 Charger 340 V8 first came out in 8/1972 and that the USA 340 V8's were all 8.5:1 from Jan 1972 at least, I remember being on a Valiant form years ago and they were so full of shit dreaming and could not come up with all the facts about the E55. If we did get the high comp 340 it would on only of been the first batch if that.
Valiant people are dreamers, sure the 225 slant 6 2bbl went well and the Hemi 6 with a 2 barrel were good and six pack went well but if they were 2 barrels 180KM/H was top speed and with triples and the low diff of 3.50 forget it as a high speed highway car really but the E55 could be the king in that regard of Valiant's.

I am talking autos hear because of the E55 only is an auto.
I think the best high speed car in 1972 was the HQ GTS 308 auto that you could push much harder than the leaf sprung XA GT and Charger, maybe the Charger is better in the rear end than the GT over 180km/h coming through corners a bit but the HQ has it in the bag with GT 130 Shocks. but the GT is a bucket of shit due to the rear springs.

The 308 GTS auto with dual exhaust and 3.08 diff is a better car to drive all round than a HQ 350 auto as the auto was crap and the 350 just did not perform so well as with a 308 was nothing in it, not to mention the 2v head 351 did not out perform the 308's, sure the 350 and 351 had more torque but after the FMX or T400 auto swallowed that up the little 308 trimatic was right on their tail.

If you got a XA GT Hardtop auto they all only had 2v head 351. only early XA GT auto sedans got 4v head 351 and all of them autos got the crap high 2.75 ratio crap.

I would be the last person to by an 1972 auto GT, E55, GTS350 back in the day, but then I am thinking is the E55 better than I think it was ?

I loved my XB GS 351 T Bar ute but they only had the 2 barrel carby on the utes with 4 SP or auto but the 351 had the C4 auto and 2.92 B/W LSD diff was in it. and I found 4sp manual was worthless over all with torque like that, it had dual exhaust tho and only did 185KM/H flat out.

If I were to of bought a new XB GT auto I would toss the FMX out directly and toss it in the bin directly and put a C4 in with a big oil cooler, not to mention a little cam something like the 4V 351 had and the same valve springs would pep the 351 up enough and go looking for better rear springs from K Mac or Lovell ect there had to be some tricks that they used in Bathurst in the days with the rear springs and use good shocks. I know that my Holden p van rear springs were fine for high speed corners over 180km/h.


The first 100 or so E55 had an orange 340 from 1969. These were 10.5:1, steel crank etc. I remember seeing one in the 80's.

Again, I don't think you've driven a HQ 350 auto GTS. The TH400 in these works far better than those behind 308, especially the later pollution 308. A HQ 308 GTS was standard with 3.36 rear axle and single exhaust. The 350 came with 3.08 in GTS, and LSD only in manual. Even with dual exhaust it is still down 50hp and 45lbft (gross) than a HQ 350. I have the road test figures for HQ 350 auto and manual in the same article, will post them when I find them. Lots of people got to drive 350 auto Statesman but these are single exhaust and 2.78 rear axle, and heavier than a GTS. Remember a HQ 350 engine is basically the same thing as a HT-HG engine, only difference is the compression loss down to 8.5:1 which accounts for the 25hp drop. Ports, valves, cam, inlet, carb and distributor are the same specifications. One exhaust manifold is the same, the other is different.

I agree the E55 was the better car if you wanted an auto coupe. Manual coupe you'd grab an RPO83. The beauty of the HQ manual coupe though was it was easy to stick a 427 or 454 in as a crate engine, just needed a 9" or a Chev 12 bolt.

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Dr Terry Offline
#9 Posted : Saturday, 19 October 2019 8:32:25 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Again, I don't think you've driven a HQ 350 auto GTS. The TH400 in these works far better than those behind 308, especially the later pollution 308. A HQ 308 GTS was standard with 3.36 rear axle and single exhaust. The 350 came with 3.08 in GTS, and LSD only in manual. Even with dual exhaust it is still down 50hp and 45lbft (gross) than a HQ 350.


By my figures, HQ 350 had 275 BHP (Gross), 308 had 240 BHP (Gross) that's only 35 less not 50.

Dr Terry
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castellan Offline
#10 Posted : Saturday, 19 October 2019 9:32:06 AM(UTC)
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The problem with putting a big block in is that you end up with a bucket of shit as the engine weight is to much that the handling becomes shit.

The RPO83 is just shit it's no big deal.

old mate Kenny skin repair had a 1974 HQ GTS350 auto in top nick low km back in 1983 gutless as and he knew it and shit himself to have a go at a Ricks stock HQ GTS308 auto that had a 3.08 diff but not LSD and stock type dual exhaust.

If the VH E55 Charger that came out on Aug 1972 got the orange 340 that does not sound right because the Sep 1971 built were blue in USA, so you have a engine that was built at lest 12 months before we got it in our E55 Charger. I asked for the proof of the block casting dates ect but no ! the idiots want to hide all info on such. sho me the proof of a 10.5 or 10.2:1 engine the 1968 to Sep 1970 is a 9.5:1 and then it's 10.2:1 to Aug 1971 and then blue 8.5:1 their is however a 1970 10.2:1 340 that came with 3x 2V carbys with a stronger block ect.
I am sure that some E55 could of got the 11.2:1 engine but then again I have had some say that the Blue engine was panted orange hear as under this paint was blue.

So what I could make out of all this years ago was that the Valiant people were only trying to create the myth to boos their own egos, just like the ford XA GT-HO P4 as the fact is such is not truly worthy at all because they never came out in reality, sure some 3 existed lets say but so what the public never got them so such is worthless to talk about really but sure one can talk about such but fact is they were not produced for the public, so it was a dead duck.

As for the 10.2:1 E55 Charger maybe some were made, just like some early XB GT 4sp got the 4V 10.7:1 engine as fact is that all (dot 4) 4V GT engines were 10.7:1 even tho Ford Aus did not state that. they were all fully imported as is, so how can they change compression here.
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#11 Posted : Saturday, 19 October 2019 10:49:24 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Again, I don't think you've driven a HQ 350 auto GTS. The TH400 in these works far better than those behind 308, especially the later pollution 308. A HQ 308 GTS was standard with 3.36 rear axle and single exhaust. The 350 came with 3.08 in GTS, and LSD only in manual. Even with dual exhaust it is still down 50hp and 45lbft (gross) than a HQ 350.


By my figures, HQ 350 had 275 BHP (Gross), 308 had 240 BHP (Gross) that's only 35 less not 50.

Dr Terry


I was using the 226hp SAE gross figure from GMH's dyno plots. 240hp is the advertised figure, like all HQ engines other than the 350 they were telling lies. The "real" figures for the HQ engines other than 308 appear in HJ figures, all down to what they really should have been other the 250hp HJ 5.0L. The HQ 350 was rated at 270hp straight off the GM dyno plots. GMH gave it 275hp which is easily accounted for by the use of Super fuel (rather than the US lower octane fuel) and the extra timing that the HK distributor gave it.
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#12 Posted : Saturday, 19 October 2019 11:02:24 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post
The problem with putting a big block in is that you end up with a bucket of shit as the engine weight is to much that the handling becomes shit.

The RPO83 is just shit it's no big deal.

old mate Kenny skin repair had a 1974 HQ GTS350 auto in top nick low km back in 1983 gutless as and he knew it and shit himself to have a go at a Ricks stock HQ GTS308 auto that had a 3.08 diff but not LSD and stock type dual exhaust.

If the VH E55 Charger that came out on Aug 1972 got the orange 340 that does not sound right because the Sep 1971 built were blue in USA, so you have a engine that was built at lest 12 months before we got it in our E55 Charger. I asked for the proof of the block casting dates ect but no ! the idiots want to hide all info on such. sho me the proof of a 10.5 or 10.2:1 engine the 1968 to Sep 1970 is a 9.5:1 and then it's 10.2:1 to Aug 1971 and then blue 8.5:1 their is however a 1970 10.2:1 340 that came with 3x 2V carbys with a stronger block ect.
I am sure that some E55 could of got the 11.2:1 engine but then again I have had some say that the Blue engine was panted orange hear as under this paint was blue.

So what I could make out of all this years ago was that the Valiant people were only trying to create the myth to boos their own egos, just like the ford XA GT-HO P4 as the fact is such is not truly worthy at all because they never came out in reality, sure some 3 existed lets say but so what the public never got them so such is worthless to talk about really but sure one can talk about such but fact is they were not produced for the public, so it was a dead duck.

As for the 10.2:1 E55 Charger maybe some were made, just like some early XB GT 4sp got the 4V 10.7:1 engine as fact is that all (dot 4) 4V GT engines were 10.7:1 even tho Ford Aus did not state that. they were all fully imported as is, so how can they change compression here.


Not with a 1965-9 L88 style 427, these had alloy heads. And with alloy intake and water pump they weighed pretty much the same as a standard HQ 350, especially if you eliminated the AC compressor. You could buy these cheap in the 70's when the $AUS was worth $1.25 US.

The RPO83 went like stink. My mate had a black one he called Black Betty. It was totally stock down to the Holley and the headers other than a better exhaust. It had 10" rims on it and used to lay rubber on both tyres like no tomorrow. It was the fastest stock Aussie car I had ever driven. I would have owned it when he got rid of it, but he was up in Cairns at the time and some local indigenous lads trashed it with 4x2's, so it wasn't fit to bring it back down (he flew back). If that hadn't happened I'd have a black/silver RPO83 coupe still today. It was all US engine, not one assembled here. Probably one of the QC engines not used in PhaseIV.

They were definitely made, Chrysler Australia had older 340ci engines that they used in VH E55. I've seen them. How and why they had them is conjecture. It is not unusual to have old imported engines though. The 307's used in HK and HT were mostly built between August 1967 and May 1968. Most HQ manual 350 engines used right up until they stopped building manuals were built in late 1970 or 1971, most prior to August 1971. For whatever reason Chrysler Australia had pre 1970 spec 340's on hand and they had to use them so they made the E55 to do so, but needed more engines later on to complete the build.

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#13 Posted : Sunday, 20 October 2019 10:37:15 AM(UTC)
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RPO83 is nothing that anyone could of done themselves toss on a 750 Holley and extractors and that's it power wise.

All 4V Cleveland's were built in USA and only the GT-HO P2 and P3 were them engines that were pulled down here and modified, the 3 so called P4 are not worth talking about really.
No XA GT RPO83 got the P4 spec engine. the P4 engine was to be a smaller Cam and less compression than the P3 but such a one would still have a lumpy idle that anyone could pick was not a GT engine directly,.
Even if it got the Boss Block with 4 mains so what, that does not make it perform any better.

I would just say that it was a good jetted 750 Holly and in tune 351 with good flowing exhaust that was driven hard from new.
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#14 Posted : Sunday, 20 October 2019 11:14:34 AM(UTC)
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I thought they were a 780 Holley?

There was only one Phase IV not three.

This thing went very hard, harder than any normal GT.

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#15 Posted : Sunday, 20 October 2019 6:26:25 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
I thought they were a 780 Holley?

There was only one Phase IV not three.

This thing went very hard, harder than any normal GT.



Yeah, I'm quite sure that Holley was 780 CFM.

There was only 1 Phase 4, the other 3 are XA GTs which were fitted with Phase 4 upgrades for racing, post production. They left the assembly line as (& are plated as) regular GTs.

If you fit a 780 Holley & extractors to any 4V Clevo, properly tuned they go like stink.

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#16 Posted : Sunday, 20 October 2019 7:13:55 PM(UTC)
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Of course they do. Change the cam and extractors back exhaust on an L34 and they go like stink too. My point was this was a standard RPO83 with bigger rubber and from memory something changed on exhaust like maybe mufflers (it was loud). It had the RPO83 headers and engine pipes though. This was a seriously quick car for an essentially standard car.
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#17 Posted : Monday, 21 October 2019 11:34:45 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
I thought they were a 780 Holley?

There was only one Phase IV not three.

This thing went very hard, harder than any normal GT.



Yes 780CFM it was. I was thinking of my 750 Double pumper as I think of 780 as being an Automatic carby mainly. even the 700 DP works real well.

They always talk about the 3 claimed XA GT-HO P4 don't they for years. but I don't regard any of them.

The old 351 Cleveland can really hammer if done correctly, my mates 351c XW ute had some mild Cam nice lumpy when cold but smoothed out well when up to temp but grunt right from down low, too only say 5500RPM 4sp manual and Holley 700 Double Pumper 3.0 diff and at 60KM/H in 4th over take like a steam train amassing Angel at 1500RPM at 60KM/H I would think, what a torque monster ! you did not need to go back a gear at all regardless as it would do the job so quickly, very impressive and that was back in 1985.
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#18 Posted : Monday, 21 October 2019 12:43:59 PM(UTC)
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Any 350-380 cube engine with a 4” bore will go just as hard as each other with the right heads for the desired outcome, all other factors relatively equal. Even a humble 327 done right is really quick. I got hold of Wheels (Peter Robinson’s) road test of Dave Bennett’s GTS327 the other day, will add the figures here when I’m at the PC next. It was pretty much stock GM parts and there would have been nothing in Australia in 1968-9 (or even in the 70’s) that would have even come close to it in top speed, quarter mile, 0-100mph or anything else. I doubt even one of the 308 engined LJ GTR’s that NSW Police had in 1972-3 would have kept up with it.

Here is the basics of the article, it was December 1968 Australian Motor, not Wheels. Off topic somewhat but good stuff.

Dave Bennett got the car on August 2 1968. It was a 3.08 axle car. He ran it in for 1200 miles over the next week and then tuned it to factory specs on his chassis dyno and achieved 167rwhp. As a comparison Dave properly tuned an XT GT to 146bhp, just so you can get a real world comparison.

He then ran it at Calder, using 4700rpm as the shift point it did 15.44 on the original D70 Sovereigns.
He then removed the exhaust from the resonator back, richened it up and fitted Michelin XAS (optional HK GTS327 tyres) and got 14.92s.

At this stage it was still unopened, and then was run at Sandown where it was crashed.

As the car was repaired, Dave got hold of an imported L76/L84 327 short motor. This is the 1964 high performance 327 that was rated at 365hp (Holley carb) or 375hp (injected). It was a solid cam engine with over 11:1 compression when fitted with Fuelies (this info about getting the Corvette engine was in another article, this magazine just talks about the parts).

Dave rebuilt the Monaro's original bottom end using the forged L76 pistons and 30-30 "Duntov" factory mechanical camshaft and lifters, crank will be the original HK 327. Flywheel was left stock other than balancing. As B/S class had to retain the factory heads, the original HK 327 heads were modified to take larger valves and screw in studs. As the HK heads were 69-70cc and fuelies 63-64cc, the engine was 10.64:1 static (quoted by magazine). Perry made Dave some extractors with 4" collectors that could be uncapped for drag racing, and he changed the diff to 3.36 ratio.

He then dynoed it and it made 332rwhp on 100 Octane fuel. It then set a new B/S class record of 13.61s at 6500rpm shift points. When the exhaust was capped and the aircleaner refitted for road use it made 285hp at 5500rpm, magazine says it was not peak power as power was still increasing at 5500rpm they just didn't take it any further.

The road tests of the car in this state (with exhaust capped and air cleaner back on, with Michelin XAS 185R14 tyres) are:

0-60mph 6.8s
0-100mph 14.6s
1/4 mile 14.1s

Speed in gears (6000rpm shifts):
1st 51mph (6000rpm)
2nd 70mph (6000rpm)
3rd 90mph (6000rpm)
4th 142.7mph+

The 4th gear speed was measured at 135mph at 6000rpm but it was still accelerating and they ran out of speedo. So they tried using the tacho which was correct and used the whole test track. They said they saw 6700rpm which equates to 142.7mph by extrapolation. They say "we ran out of road with plenty of throttle left. I have no doubt this is a genuine 150mph motor car, given a long enough road".

As you can see this was one impressive car for 1968. It retained the factory GTS327 intake, Quadrajet, air cleaner, mechanical fan, fuel lines and pump (you can see it all in the photos). Only the extractors look non standard. Sure it was balanced, and stock GM 327 cam/lifters and pistons. Heads were the original small port 307/327 heads with bigger valves and screw in studs. Bennett would have ported them a bit, but you cannot open these castings up to even as big as a stock fuelie. If he'd used stock L76 fuelies (2.20/1.6 valves with screw in studs) he probably would have made it go even quicker and cracked into the 13 second quarters with it with exhaust and air cleaner. You can even see the HK 290 head casting mark in the photos! Just shows you what GMH could have done with the GTS327 if they had bit the bullet and even fitted the 275hp L30 327, a Saginaw would still have been OK with this engine but should have got a 12-bolt (although they kept a 10-bolt in the HT whereas both of the HT 350 engines should have got a 12-bolt). Imagine if they'd fitted the 1965-68 L79 to it? The L79 was basically an L76 but used the performance hydraulic cam. These were rated at 325hp with 2" exhaust manifolds or 350hp with Corvette exhaust manifolds. Supercar scare come early!

Edited by user Monday, 21 October 2019 6:53:42 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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castellan Offline
#19 Posted : Tuesday, 22 October 2019 9:33:29 AM(UTC)
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I would not drive a LJ Torana with a V8 in it let along bother to get in one than to do any high speed chasing in one that's for sure.

You will make more torque out of a 380 over a 350 but I think you are right about power with such I would go for the 350 then and the 327 is the one for a lighter body car for sure with manual, the 350 and auto is fine but I would not go 327 auto.

I think that a HK 327GTS with a L79 would of been a death tap back in 1968-9 with the tyres they had back then and the roads that we had in QLD back then, remember they did not have even ventilated disc brakes.
But the XW GT-HO from 8/1969 at least had ventilated disc brakes and them alloy finned dear drums ! and when the big gun P2 came out in 7/1970.



Hear, rear leaf springs in the HT Holden's I think that they were much better than the Falcons crap. I have a HT-G sedan up in the bush and it has only 3 leafs so it's really only 2 with a helper on the bottom, I remember years ago in a mag with a old Falcon having HK rear springs fitted to it.
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#20 Posted : Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:52:43 PM(UTC)
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The LJ with a 308 actually drives better than one with a 202 supposedly. Although heavier the centre of engine weight is back further. On a HJ an L31 (5.0) over a L20 (3.3) is 60kg. This includes 12kg extra of disc brakes over drums and 4kg for the M21 over the M15. So in an LJ where the car's brakes and gearbox don't change (other than gearbox input shaft) you are only talking 44kg, and set back further in centre of mass by probably 6". HDT found this out with tests at Bathurst Easter 1972 using an old LC XU1 race car as a mule. It had a stock 308 in it and lapped many seconds faster than the series production cars (that won Bathurst 500 that year). Perkins drove it to the track and it was capable of over 140mph too.

Yes, 377 makes more torque assuming it is a 4" bore. A bigger bore engine with the same basic stroke as a 350 or 351 will make more power, all else equal. 327 auto are fine, and L30 (275hp) 327 with a TH350 is a nice combo. I building a 377 for my HK (will actually be 385ci as it is 40 thou over) as I want a strong street engine that make peak torque and power at street friendly revs as it will have air and steer too. Has LT1 alloy heads, air gap dual plane, hydraulic roller, Holley Sniper EFI and spark and a serpentine type setup. It should in theory produce 400-420hp, will have to wait and see.

Robbo makes the point about the brakes. He says the suspension is fine, he says it handles extremely well, just have to be careful with too much power on exit or it will power slide. He says it will wheelspin in all 3 gears with ease and even if you plant the throttle in top gear it will spin on a wet road regardless of speed. He even says if you owned this car, leave it at home and catch a train if its cloudy! The Cleveland GT-HO cars probably needed better brakes too, although as a dead standard engine they were not quite as powerful as an L76/L79 or 1970 LT1. I doubt there were many places in Australia you could even buy fuel for an L76/L79/LT1. You'd probably have to take out timing to even run on 100 Octane Aussie fuel!

He does say the brakes aren't up to the performance. GMH knew this, that is why they were working on oil cooled brakes for the HT and for possible use with the 1970 LT1 engine (370hp), but they were a failure. The Hurricane concept car has these brakes.
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