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A look at the Hellcat Hemi

2402 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ply67cuda
Here's a link to an article from Mopar Muscle Magzine that goes a bit more indepth about the Hellcat Hemi for those that like to know more about the internal workings of the latest Hemi.

Below are a few excerpts from the article but for those folks that enjoy learning more about the motor catch the complete article at the link above. Lot's of good pictures at the link as well.

91 Percent New
When Dodge announced that the Hellcat was 91 percent new, a lot of questions went through our head. The word new is a hot button that we in the media (and PR guys at manufacturers) like to use to elicit interest, but to a hot rodder who likes to mix and match parts Frankenstein style, it can spell frustration. In this regard, the Dodge boys were guarded in their answers, and you'll be left to speculate on your own. Can the Hellcat crank fit in a 392 Apache block? Can you put a Hellcat manifold and blower assembly on a 6.4L, 6.1L, or 5.7L long-block? Should you use a Hellcat block for a bitchin naturally aspirated buildup? What kind of interchangeability is there between the Hellcat's parts and previous Hemi variants? All of these are great questions, and nobody will know the answers for certain until somebody tries. Nevertheless, we have some facts that give important hints about mixing and matching Hellcat parts, especially with the 392 Apache variant.

One of the questions we asked the engineering team was, "what do you mean by 91 percent new?" The answer is: Relative to the 392 Apache Hemi, the cumulative dollar value of the parts that got design changes or material upgrades is equal to 91 percent of the engine's value. Parts that got changed that were of higher value, such as the block and cylinder heads, carry more influence on the equation than small, simple stuff like fasteners. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, it turns out "new" doesn't necessarily mean incompatible with parts on an earlier Hemi variant. And while Dodge understandably won't confirm, for instance, that a Hellcat piston will fit in an Apache's bore, the evidence is that it could. That kind of speculation is our job, and we'll do our best to paint an accurate picture here.

To sum it up: The Hellcat is pure Hemi architecture, and you will immediately recognize it as such. With the large 4.09-inch bore of the 392 Apache, and the short 3.58-inch stroke of the 5.7L and 6.1L Hemi, there is much in common with prior Gen III Hemis. The engineering team added to the Hemi's already great design features like the hemispherical combustion chamber and the deep-skirted, cross-bolted block by leveraging them with evolutionary changes in materials and design. They did not change key dimensions like bore spacing, bore diameter, main and rod journal diameter, rod length, deck height, cylinder boltholes, cam location, cam journal diameter, or other critical areas. And for good reason—the Hellcat needs to package into the same space as other Hemi variants and be easily serviced, so the more that can stay the same in meaningful ways means less cost for the car, and we're all for that!

The engine block is the bedrock of the Hellcat. All 707 of the Hellcat's horsepower get transmitted through the block, which is made of cast gray iron. Outwardly, it looks very similar to the Apache block that underpins the 392, but there are two primary changes—three if you count the standard Hemi Orange powdercoat paint! During development, it was discovered that a significant change in the coolant circuit was needed in order to manage the Hellcat's increased thermal output. Specifically, the water jackets now continue all the way down to a level equal with the piston crown's bottom dead center. Second, the amount of material in the webbing between the bores and the main caps has been increased. Lastly, the piston oil squirters have been retargeted to cool a slightly different region of the piston, which itself is significantly different than the cast piston in the 392 Apache. These revised squirters also have a pressure-sensitive lube valve to shut off flow to them at low pressure; this is done to prioritize volume and pressure to the rest of the lube circuit.

The difference in displacement between the 6.4L Apache and the 6.2L Hellcat is all in the stroke (3.72 inches versus 3.58 inches), so the rotating assembly is different dimensionally. The Hellcat's shorter-throw forged steel crank is actually machined from the same forging as the longer stroke Apache crank, but because of increased journal overlap, it's stronger. Moreover, the surface of the Hellcat crankshaft is induction hardened, and all journals are undercut, fillet rolled, and micro-polished to very tight tolerances. On the front counterweight you will see a laser-etched QR code; the manufacturing information for each crankshaft is unique, and the code is tied to a specific date, time, and place of manufacture. A line of alphanumeric code is also laser etched near the QR code and denotes a sequence of specific-sized select-fit bearings that are to be installed in each journal. The result is a bearing interface with extremely precise tolerances that can handle enormous amounts of surface loading.

On the end of that crank is a Hellcat-specific damper designed to withstand an impressive 13,000 rpm. That damper is fitted to the Hellcat's crank snout with a diamond-like carbon-coated washer and damper bolt that is 2mm larger than the one in the Apache. That snout likewise has a strengthened fillet radius for additional fatigue resistance. All that beefcake adds up to an assembly that can easily weather years of side-loading from the Hellcat's 10-ribbed drivebelt.

The Hellcat's forged crank is carved from the same steel forging as the 392 Apache, with a few key differences. The stroke is ground to a shorter 3.58-inch throw (the same as the 5.7 and 6.1), and all bearing surfaces are induction hardened prior to being given a fillet roll. A micro-polish finish is then given to all journals.

The Hellcat's rods—which are the same length as the Apache's—are of a forged powdered steel construction, and are upgraded relative to the Apache rod with proprietary metallurgy. The rod's small end receives a full floating pin in a bronze bushing; it has an interesting detail in that it is the full width of the rod's cheek on the compression side of the small end, but a machined taper was given to reduce its mass at the top of the small end. The Hellcat's steel piston pins have a diamond-like carbon coating, and are some of the tightest-fitting, precision-machined pins we've seen. And coming full circle, keeping those pin clearances tight at full rated power when the heat is on is the job of the piston oil squirters, which play a huge role in the thermal management on the top side of the short-block. Make no mistake, this is what we normally encounter when we examine top-shelf race hardware—there is no skimping here!

Moving up the rod to the piston, we see big changes relative to Apache. A forged piston was the only type considered by the Hellcat's engineering team. To wit: At full rated power each piston sees the force of 22,000 pounds on every combustion cycle at full-rated power. With strength a priority, the Advanced and SRT Powertrain team went to work with some very interesting tools, the first of which is a computer model called finite element analysis (FEA). This allows engineers to design a virtual piston and place virtual mechanical and thermal loads on it to identify weaker areas. It saves hundreds of man-hours prototyping and testing parts, and moves a more proven product to market faster. The next powerful tool the team used for the piston design was thermal telemetry. Advanced and SRT Powertrain built a prototype engine with thermo-couples attached to the pistons; as the engine runs through its battery of tests, it's possible to see in real time the thermal stresses across the piston. This proved out the earlier FEA work, while allowing the team to further refine the piston design.

(There is a lot more good information in the article and I recomend reading it for any that wish a more indepth knowledge of the new Hellcat Hemi)
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That's a Great Article, Jon! Thanks for posting! :rep:
That's a great article Jon, there's no doubt that the engineers did their homework on this engine and the competition knows it too!! Thanks for sharing.
Excellent article, thanks for posting!
Does anyone else find it interesting that what most of us here on the Z consider an important first mod on our Hemi's in the form of an oil catch can is addressed in the valve cover design of the Hellcat. Wonder who will be the first to slap a set of these on a non-Hellcat Hemi engine??
That was an excellent read. :smileup: After all of the thought and effort that went into building that engine, I find it difficult to think that Dodge wouldn't build a transmission equal to the task.
Interesting comment about one potential source of these engines and one that I think is true.
Good find, thanks ! :smileup:
First Jon great post I enjoyed reading all of it:smileup:
Dan the first thing I thought about after reading that article was they must have decided after years of seeing them on cars at events they must have figured it was a good idea.:shakehead:
that's a great article, jon! Thanks for posting! :rep:
x2 !!!!!!!
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