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Making V8 engines, including the Hemi, at Trenton Engine

Chrysler Trenton Engine sign

Photos provided by Dave Van Buren

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.

employee cafeteria at Trenton Engine, Michigan

And a Hemi engine from 1966.

426 Hemi engine production

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.

blocks

Testing crankshaft dimensions?

1962 Trenton Engine plant

The “merry go round,” below (with a closeup)

V8 merry go round at Chrysler plant

closeup - making V8 engines

Fresh new pistons

Mopar engines at Trenton

Crank department, below

Trenton (Michigan) crank department

Various photos we need help to label

machining

1962 making Chrysler V8 engines

machining engines

Here’s your closeup!

closeup

More fresh, shiny pistons

pistons

trenton

crankshafts

Finally, putting up the sign...

building Chrysler Engines sign

Coming up next: milestones and making V6 engines.

Other Trenton Engine pages at motales

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

Other Chrysler plants and such

  • Brampton: Making big Mopars, then STLA Medium: From muscle cars to the new midsize series

  • 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

  • Innovation factory: Chrysler Technology Center (CTC): The most advanced engineering facility in the world for years

  • Making V8 engines: Trenton in pictures

  • Dodge Main: Sturdy car creation complex: Multi-story car factory

  • Making Mopar Vans in Windsor: Dodge B-van factory photos

  • Making Cars in Canada: Factory Photos: A pictorial with some captions

  • Making Minivans in Windsor: Chrysler factory photos

  • Creating the Chrysler Technology Center (CTC): The long story of the massive complex

  • Mopar Engine-Based Windsor Factory Photos: Putting engines together in Canada

  • When Chrysler made cars in LA: The westernmost Mopar plant

  • Trenton Engine milestones: 1964 Hemi to Pentastar

  • Off the Line: People Doing Other Things in Chrysler Canada Plants: A pictorial of the labs, factory, and computer control areas

  • Trenton Engine: Building New V6 Lines in 2000: A pictorial with explanations and stories

  • Mopar plants: rumors, what they make, and what they made: Updated now and then

  • Tales From the Factory: Matching Pistons and Blocks: How the factory managed precision problems, back in the day

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