Many know Trenton Engine as the place where V6 engines have been made for decades, but the first engines made there were V8s, built from 1952 to 1978. In early 1952, plans were to only make truck and industrial engines including the blocks and heads; but the immense popularity of V8 engines brought an expansion of both the plant and the plans. Trenton ended up making the original “double rocker” engines, now called first-generation Hemis, for both cars as well as trucks; then came the “poly” designs, and then the B and RB engines moved in (one line for each, at first), and then the 426 Hemi. Most of these photos are from 1962.
But first, here’s the cafeteria.
And a Hemi engine from 1966.
The photo below shows the final inspection line of Department 72 Main; they made the B engines (350, 361, 383, and 400). After the inspection, the blocks were put onto the final assembly line. You can see letters spray painted onto the blocks (look just below the girder of the line), C, B, etc, which represent slightly different widths of the bored cylinders; these were matched to pistons, which were likewise made and then measured and sorted into size classes. These measures were needed to deal with manufacturing variations, which finally disappeared for good during much later V6 production.
Testing crankshaft dimensions?
The “merry go round,” below (with a closeup)
Fresh new pistons
Crank department, below
Various photos we need help to label
Here’s your closeup!
More fresh, shiny pistons
Finally, putting up the sign...
Coming up next: milestones and making V6 engines.
Building Trenton Engine
to Make Classic V8s and Air Raid Sirens
Building and Running the Slant Six Line at Trenton
Making the legendary Leaning Tower of Power
Making V8 engines
Trenton in pictures
Trenton Engine milestones
1964 Hemi to Pentastar
Trenton Engine: Building New V6 Lines in 2000
A pictorial with explanations and stories
Tales From the Factory: Matching Pistons and Blocks
How the factory managed precision problems, back in the day
Books by MoTales writer David Zatz
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