What is a Max Wedge?

A Little Horsepower History © maxwedge.com 

In 1951, Chrysler offered their first V8 engine for passenger car service. It was a small-block design with a I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  hemispherical combustion chamber, as opposed to the flat-head and overhead valve engines manufactured by other car makers. Chrysler engineers had plenty of experience with hemisperical head engines from their work designing the A45 XIV-2220 inverted V-16 aircraft engine in 1942 and very successful testing of the post-war Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten.  A161 DOHC straight six experimental engine. This work led to the prototype A182 330 cu.in. Hemi test engine of 1946-1948 and the production 331 Hemi of 1951. By 1955, Chrysler small-block Hemis were delivering 300 I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  horsepower in the Chrysler C-300, so named because it was the first production car ever built to reach the 300 HP mark. This was Chrysler's response to the horsepower wars that started with the Hudson Hornet and Olds Rocket 88 and would lead to the musclecar era over the next 15 years. © maxwedge.com 
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1953 Dodge Red Ram Hemi

Over the next few years, DeSoto, Dodge and Imperial offered their own versions of the Hemi. The modified Hemis in 1956 and 1957 Dodge D-500, D-500-1 and D-501 were targeted directly at the performance-minded buyer. As I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  other manufacturers increased their output, Chrysler engineers raised the bar even higher. © maxwedge.com 

In 1958 the Hemi was dropped from Dodges and DeSotos (Plymouth never offered a small-block Hemi), in favor of a wedge-shaped combustion chamber in Chrysler's new big-block 'B' V8 engines as well as small-block polyspherical 'A' V8 engines (sometimes called the "semi-hemi", later replaced by the small-block wedge LA, or Light A I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  engines). Chrysler and Imperial discontinued the Hemi in 1959 in favor of the big-block wedge 'RB', or Raised Block V8s, with a stroke of 3.75" as opposed to the 'B' engine's 3.38" stroke. Performance was outstanding without the added expense and weight of the Hemi. Almost immediately, performance options appeared on the "Wedge" in the form of higher compression, performance camshafts, dual exhausts and multi-carburetors. © maxwedge.com 

In 1960 and 1961, high-performance big-block Wedges could be fitted with a set of wild 30" intake manifold runners that crossed over the top of the engine. The left bank of cylinders were fed by a 4-bbl carb that hung to the right of the of the right bank of cylinders, and the right bank were fed by a carb hanging to the left of the left bank. This so-called "Ram Induction", invented by the Ramchargers car club of Dodge Engineers on Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten.  their rolling test bed, 'The High And Mighty', employed the same principle as the high-rise manifolds that stuck through the hoods of later hot rods and race cars, suspending the carbs over the engine. Chrysler's engineers tuned these manifolds to resonate with the Wedge engines, then bent them laterally to fit under the hood of a production car. This produced impressive low-end torque in the heavy passenger cars of the day. The I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  '60 DeSoto Adventurer could be ordered with Ram Induction, and it was standard equipment on the '60 and '61 Dodge D-500, '60 and '61 Plymouth Sonoramic option, '60 Chrysler 300-F and '61 300-G. © maxwedge.com 

It should be noted that almost all automobiles built today employ forms of this tuned-resonance induction I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  coupled with fuel-injection. The Ramchargers should get a nickle for every car sold today... © maxwedge.com 

The 'High & Mighty' 1949 Plymouth, © maxwedge.com

'High & Mighty' Ram Induction
with tuned radiator hoses for air intake, © maxwedge.com

1960 Dodge D-500 'Long Ram'

Meanwhile, Chrysler engineers were busy making plans for a Maximum Performance package, targeted at stock car racing and drag racing. As early as 1959, tests were being conducted on long-ram and short-ram inducted 413 I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  cubic inch Maximum Performance Wedge engines. The short-ram induction placed two 4-bbl carbs diagonally between the valve covers. This cross-ram design benefitted from the same tuned resonance of the long-ram, but with a simpler design. This was the design used on later Maximum Performace Wedges ('62-'64) and Super Stock Hemis ('64-'65, '67-'68). © maxwedge.com 

1964 Stage III Ram-Charger 426

Beginning around April of 1962, Dodge and Plymouth offered the first Maximum Performance Wedge (nicknamed Max Wedge) in their new, light, mid-sized cars. The '62 Max Wedge had a 413 cubic inch engine. The engine was enlarged to 426 c.i. for 1963 and 1964. The Max Wedge package, which included many drivetrain and chassis modifications, was available in all 1962, 1963 and 1964 B-body Dodges and Plymouths (330, 440, '62 Dart, Polara, Polara 500, Savoy, Belvedere, Fury, Sport Fury), except 1962 station I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  wagons. Dodge called the package "Ram-Charger 413/426", Plymouth called it "Super Stock 413/426". Mid-year '63 saw the addition of aluminum body panel options including an optional hood scoop, a trunk-mounted battery to Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten.  add more weight over the rear axle and the "Stage II" Max Wedge engines. The 1964 engines were labeled "Stage III". Contrary to popular belief, neither the early '63 426 nor the '62 413 were ever called "Stage I". © maxwedge.com 

Horsepower for the Max Wedges are as follows:

1962 413 11.0:1 compression ratio: 410 h.p.© maxwedge.com 
1962 413 13.5:1 compression ratio: 420 h.p.© maxwedge.com 
1963 426 11.0:1 compression ratio: 415 h.p.© maxwedge.com 
1963 426 13.5:1 compression ratio: 425 h.p.© maxwedge.com 
1964 426 11.0:1 compression ratio: 415 h.p.© maxwedge.com 
1964 426 12.5:1 compression ratio: 425 h.p.© maxwedge.com 

Max Wedges dominated drag racing during the early to mid 1960s. The fact that they are still competitve in I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  Super Stock classes more than 50 years after their introduction is impressive. © maxwedge.com 

It can be argued that part of the Max Wedge appeal is that they were the fastest cars of their day, but, by most accounts, they didn't look the part. Some people find them downright ugly. Their outward appearance is Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten.  Plain-Jane; no stripes, no badges. With the exception of the hood scoop on some '63 and '64 models, there is no I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  tip-off to distinguish a Max Wedge from Grandma's slant-six grocery-getter. But make no mistake, Max Wedges can embarrass a brand-new Viper. They are fully capable of 12-second quarter mile times in stock trim. That's fast enough to pick off most motorcycles. © maxwedge.com 

The following is from the 1962 booklet, "Salesman's Facts About The Dodge Dart Ram-Charger 413 V-8 High- I stole this text from maxwedge.com!  Performance Engine Package":

      The Ram-Charger is one of the hottest power plants ever produced on an American assembly 
      line. It includes entirely new high-performance exhaust manifolds, valves and valve gear, 
      cylinder heads, pistons and rings, carburetors, ignition, transmission, and suspension 
      components. These specially engineered features, combined with top engine displacement, put 
      the new Ram-Charger chassis well out in front of all the new performance models.
      Every time you plagiarize, God kills a kitten. 
      This booklet tells why it is an extraordinary engine, and how it can be adapted to the 
      special requirements of high-performance driving.
      RAM-CHARGER 413 V-8 High-Performance Features
      The Ram-Charger uses many special engine parts which are specifically engineered and 
      manufactured to provide the extra stamina needed in organized competitive driving. 
      Special drive-line and suspension features are included. These give superb sports-
      car-like traction and handling characteristics which surpass even those of the standard 
      Dart.© maxwedge.com 
            This new ram-induction intake manifold substantially increases power output in the 
            competitively important ranges above 4,000 r.p.m. A series of short (15-inch) ram 
            tubes fit between the rocker covers. Tappets can be adjusted with the manifold 
            installed -- an important servicing advantage.© maxwedge.com 
            Intake valves (2.08-inch diameter) are streamlined for higher air flow. Exhaust 
            valves are made of high heat-resistant alloy. They are 1/4-inch larger than 
            standard, providing greatly improved exhaust flow. Head gaskets are of stainless 
            steel for extra durability© maxwedge.com 
            The port areas of each head are about 25 percent larger than standard for better 
            engine breathing. The exclusive deck structure provides extra-strong gasket 
            sealing to handle the extreme pressures built up in top-performance operation. The 
            heat crossover passage has been eliminated, for greater volumetric efficiency 
            under competitive conditions.© maxwedge.com 
            The streamlined cast-iron exhaust manifolds are of the long branch type for 
            greater volumetric efficiency. They have three-inch outlets, with cutouts for 
            minimum back pressure. Each tailpipe is two inches in diameter.© maxwedge.com 
            This includes two four-barrel Carter carburetors, with hand choking. Air cleaners 
            are of the dry type for high-volume intake combined with optimum filtering 
            effectiveness.© maxwedge.com 
          o NEW FUEL PUMP
            Three valves provide extra pumping capacity. High spring load provides higher fuel 
            pressure.© maxwedge.com 
            Forging provides more strength than is possible with the usual casting process.© maxwedge.com 
          o PISTON RINGS
            The top compression ring is chrome-plated, high-strength iron for scuff 
            resistance. Number two ring is of standard design. Number three ring is a 
            two-piece design, specially adapted to the lubrication requirements of this engine.© maxwedge.com 
            These are magnaflux-inspected. This assures maximum dependability under extreme 
            stress.© maxwedge.com 
          o OIL PAN
            It is equipped with anti-slosh baffles. This feature assists positive lubrication 
            under maximum take-off and top-performance conditions.© maxwedge.com 
            Mechanical valve lifters replace the standard hydraulic design, to eliminate 
            pump-up at high engine speeds. New high-strength valve-spring retainers and double 
            high-load valve springs are installed to control valve "float" at high r.p.m. 
            Rocker arms include a lock nut on the lash-adjusting screw for easier, more 
            precise adjustments. The valve gear is rated stable to 6,500 r.p.m. on the 
            standard test fixture.© maxwedge.com 

          o DEEP-GROOVE PULLEYS© maxwedge.com 

            All belt pulleys are deep-groove for better belt retention at high speeds.© maxwedge.com 

          o CRANKSHAFT© maxwedge.com 

            Hardened journals, with tri-metal bearings that add additional bearing-load 
            capacity, enable the crankshaft to withstand the extra strains produced by the 
            Ram-Charger's exceptionally high power output.© maxwedge.com 

          o IGNITION FEATURES© maxwedge.com 
            A special distributor, of full -centrifugal -advance design, has a new cam and a 
            dual-breaker system. The special cam and a high spring load on the points prevent 
            "point bounce". The dual-breaker system results in increased plug voltage at high 
            speeds. Special lowresistance cables and cold-running spark plugs are designed for 
            high engine power output.© maxwedge.com 
          o SPECIAL MANUAL TRANSMISSION© maxwedge.com 

            This new floor -shift three -speed gearbox is specifically engineered for maximum-
            performance work. New shafts, shot-peened gears and extensions give added 
            strength. The outstanding engine power permits closely spaced gear ratios of 2.10, 
            1.45 and 1 to 1. Other heavy-duty features include a 10 1/2-inch clutch, pearlitic 
            malleable-iron pressure plate, extra-heavyduty torque shaft, and special disc. The 
            housing is of aluminum to save weight.© maxwedge.com 


            The optional heavy-duty Torque-Flite transmission has pushbutton controls and 
            special high-capacity components. It is set to upshift at engine speeds of up to 
            5,600 r.p.m. Maximum torque -convertor ratio is 2.2 to 1. Planetary-gear ratios 
            are 2.45, 1.45 and 1 to 1. Maximum over-all "breakaway" ratio (5.39 to 1) and 
            general efficiency are the highest of any stock automatic transmission.© maxwedge.com 

          o DRIVESHAFT© maxwedge.com 

            This is specially balanced for extra-fast acceleration and high running speeds.© maxwedge.com 

          o HEAVY-DUTY REAR SPRINGS© maxwedge.com 

            A stiffer spring rate helps absorb the extremely high torque developed by the 
            Ram-Charger engine.© maxwedge.com 
          o "SURE-GRIP" REAR AXLE© maxwedge.com 

            Standard equipment, this feature provides top traction for both wheels. Standard 
            ratio is 3.91 on both transmissions. Other ratios, for special driving 
            requirements, range from 2.93 through 4.89. They are available in ring-and-pinion 
            sets through Dodge dealers.© maxwedge.com 

          o WHEELS AND TIRES© maxwedge.com 
            Standard tires are 7.50 x 14" tubeless Tyrex cord, front and rear. For 
            exceptionally rugged requirements, long life, and greater road grip, 6 1/2 K 
            (rim-width size) rear wheels and 9.00 x 14" rear tires are offered as dealer 
            -installed options.© maxwedge.com 


      Like any thoroughbred performer, the Ram-Charger has a strong personality. This gives it 
      certain mechanical traits very different from those of ordinary engines. Here are some 
      of these traits, the reasons for them, and some suggested adjustments to them.© maxwedge.com 

          o GAS AND OIL MILEAGE© maxwedge.com 

            In a high -performance precision engine, oil cleanliness is a must. So engine oil 
            should be changed every 1,000 miles -- and more often in dusty areas.© maxwedge.com 

            Since carburetors and axle ratios are designed for maximum power rather than for 
            outstanding economy, good gas mileage cannot be reasonably expected.© maxwedge.com 

            Adequate lubrication at very high engine speeds is accomplished by eliminating 
            valve-stem seals and by using low-friction, wide-clearance piston rings. These 
            special features result in somewhat higher oil consumption than is found in 
            ordinary power plants.© maxwedge.com 
          o ENGINE IDLING© maxwedge.com 

            The long-duration camshaft provides maximum power output at the expense of smooth 
            idling and low-speed response. Similarly, increased piston clearance and the 
            special valve mechanism allow dependable highspeed operation, but sacrifice some 
            of Dodge's customary engine quietness.© maxwedge.com 

          o COLD-WEATHER DRIVING© maxwedge.com 

            This engine is designed primarily for the elevated operating temperatures 
            generated by performance driving. That's why heating arrangements have been 
            removed from the intake manifold. During cold-weather operation, the resulting 
            tendency toward carburetor icing and delayed warm-up can be combatted by partially 
            covering the radiator, using a gasoline with anti-icing additives, and allowing 
            the car to stand for a few minutes with the engine off after the water temperature 
            is up to normal.© maxwedge.com 

          o FREQUENT CHECKING PAYS OFF© maxwedge.com 

            For finest performance, the ignition system should be kept in top-notch condition. 
            So it's advisable to inspect, adjust and replace spark plugs and ignition points 
            at fairly frequent intervals.© maxwedge.com 

            Automatic transmission shifting bands require frequent checking and adjustments 
            for maximum performance and long life.© maxwedge.com 


      When the car is to compete in approved acceleration trials, a little extra attention to 
      details can often bring a decisive edge in performance and lengthen the life of the 
      engine.© maxwedge.com 

          o HELPFUL HINTS© maxwedge.com 

            To open exhaust outlets to the atmosphere (when rules permit) the standard exhaust 
            cutout can be used, bypassing the muffler and tailpipe assembly.© maxwedge.com 

            For better suspension control during fast starts, additional spring clips can be 
            used to tie the ends of each leaf to the rest of the spring.
            Air pressure in the front tires may be increased, to lessen rolling resistance. 
            Tires of high butyl content can be used on the rear, to give best traction on most 
            surfaces.© maxwedge.com 
            Valve lash, spark plugs and timing should be checked frequently to let the 
            Ram-Charger operate consistently at peak efficiency. The highest octane fuel 
            available (102 or higher) must be used. Front-end alignment should be set 
            correctly. Brake shoes can be adjusted to eliminate any possible brake drag.
            A word of caution: to protect the fine working parts of the engine, it should not 
            be run over 6500 r.p.m. And it's necessary to limit wideopen throttle bursts to 
            fifteen seconds duration.© maxwedge.com 
      Serious competition in all-out performance contests offers additional opportunities to 
      bring this engine to a peak of perfection. Here are some ways by which the Ram-Charger 
      can be made a top contender in highly competitive acceleration trials.© maxwedge.com 
          o FUEL SYSTEM© maxwedge.com 
            Two electric fuel pumps can be installed for faster feeding, Since the carburetors 
            have been factory-set for maximum-power fuel-air ratio, no experimenting with them 
            is necessary.© maxwedge.com 

          o DRIVE LINE© maxwedge.com 

            Faster shifting with the manual transmission can be achieved by installing a 
            spring-loaded straight-through shifting mechanism (HurstCampbell or comparable 
            device). And a higher numerical axle ratio will enable the engine to reach its 
            power peak before the car reaches the end of a performance run.© maxwedge.com 

          o COOLING© maxwedge.com 

            Cool air can be routed to the carburetors by whatever means competition rules 
            allow. A smaller fan can be installed to ease the load on the engine when weather 
            permits.© maxwedge.com 
          o SPARK PLUGS© maxwedge.com 
            The standard Champion J9Y plugs should be set at .025" electrode gap.© maxwedge.com 
          o VALVE ADJUSTMENT© maxwedge.com 
            Valve spring heights should be set to the proper specifications.© maxwedge.com 
          o SUSPENSION AND BRAKING© maxwedge.com 
            Optional rear wheels can be used. The pinion bumper .should be contacting the 
            floor pan when the car is at its ready-to-run height. Heavyduty rear shock 
            absorbers can be used for optimum wheel control. An optional right rear spring 
            installation will improve traction. The automatic brake adjusters may be removed 
            and the brakes kept adjusted manually.© maxwedge.com 
          o OPERATING TIPS© maxwedge.com 
            Experimenting with tire size, compound and pressure -- combined with sharp 
            starting techniques -- will help achieve top performance. And a final word of 
            warning: the 13.5:1 - compression- ratio engine must never be run at top speeds 
            for more than fifteen seconds at a time.© maxwedge.com 

      The Ram-Charger 413 is not only a high-performance engine that is second to none in 
      stock-car ranks, it is an entire automobile designed especially for competitive-type 
      driving -You'll see in the information listed below.© maxwedge.com 
          o ENGINE© maxwedge.com 
            Piston displacement, cu. in.............................. 413© maxwedge.com 
            Bore and stroke, in...............................4.19 x 3.75© maxwedge.com 
            Compression ratio................................(13.5 to 1*)© maxwedge.com 
            Horsepower.........................................410 (420*)© maxwedge.com 
            Torque, lb.-ft.....................................460 (470*)© maxwedge.com 
            Carburetor.....................................Double. 4 bbl.© maxwedge.com 
            Cooling system...........................17 qts., with heater© maxwedge.com 
            Crankcase capacity (oil)...............4 qts., plus 1 qt. for© maxwedge.com 
                                               filter when it is changed.© maxwedge.com 
            (*Maximum-performance option)© maxwedge.com 

          o TRANSMISSIONS© maxwedge.com 

            Standard 3-speed heavy-duty manual, floor shift. Ratios: 2.10, 1.45, 1 to 1.© maxwedge.com 

            Optional 3-speed automatic heavy-duty Torque-Flite. Water cooled. Ratios: 2.45, 
            1.45, 1 to 1.© maxwedge.com 
          o EXHAUST© maxwedge.com 

            3" Dual. Aluminized muffler and tailpipe.© maxwedge.com 
          o AXLE RATIOS (Sure-Grip differential standard)© maxwedge.com 
            Standard - 3.91 to 1.© maxwedge.com 
            Optional - 2.93, 3.23, 3.55, 4.10, 4.30, 4.56, 4.89 to 1.© maxwedge.com 
          o ELECTRICAL© maxwedge.com 

            Alternator - 35-amp, 6-diode© maxwedge.com 
            Battery - 12-volt, 59 amp-hr. rating© maxwedge.com 
          o SUSPENSION© maxwedge.com 
            Torsion bar, front© maxwedge.com 
            Leaf, rear (heavy-duty) 55" x 2 1/2" - 6 leaf.© maxwedge.com 
            Shock absorbers - Oriflow, hydraulic, double-acting, telescopic.© maxwedge.com 

          o BRAKES© maxwedge.com 

            Lining area - 195.2 sq. in. Internal expanding, duo-servo, self energizing, 
            selfadjusting.© maxwedge.com 

          o TIRES© maxwedge.com 

            Standard -- 7.50 x 14" Tyrex cord.© maxwedge.com 
            Optional -- 9.00 x 14" rear.© maxwedge.com 

          o FUEL TANK CAPACITY© maxwedge.com 

            20 gallons.© maxwedge.com 

          o STEERING GEAR RATIOS© maxwedge.com 

            Manual - 24 to 1. 5.3 turns, full right to full left.© maxwedge.com 

          o TURNING DIAMETER© maxwedge.com 

            Curb-to-curb, 40.3 ft.© maxwedge.com 

          o WHEELBASE© maxwedge.com 

            116 in.© maxwedge.com 

          o COMPRESSION RATIO© maxwedge.com 

            Combustion chamber volume:© maxwedge.com 
                  Minimum 83 cc© maxwedge.com 
                  Maximum 86 cc© maxwedge.com 
            To reduce the volume of the combustion chamber 1 cc, .005" must be milled from the 
            head surface. For each 0.01" removed from the cylinder head, 0.0122" must be 
            removed from the intake side of the head.© maxwedge.com 
            Distance from the top of the lower flat of the piston to the block deck:
            		11:1 C.R.	13.5:1 C.R.
            Minimum 	.0155"		.018"
            Maximum 	.0455"		.043"© maxwedge.com 

          o BOLT AND NUT TORQUES© maxwedge.com 
            Cylinder head bolts, 75 lbs. ft.
            Main bearing bolts, 85 lbs. ft.
            Connecting-rod nuts, 45 lbs. ft.
            Intake manifold bolts, 30 lbs. ft.© maxwedge.com 

          o CLUTCH FREE-PLAY ADJUSTMENT© maxwedge.com 

            Minimum 1/2"
            Maximum 3/4"
          o AXLE SHAFT END PLAY© maxwedge.com 

            Minimum .013"
            Maximum .023"© maxwedge.com 

          o OIL© maxwedge.com 

            Any name-brand oil "For Service MS" may be used.© maxwedge.com 

© maxwedge.com 
            6-8 p.s.i. at 1500 r.p.m. engine idle.© maxwedge.com 

          o ENGINE IDLE© maxwedge.com 

            Speed - 1000 r.p.m.© maxwedge.com 
            Vacuum - 10 inches of mercury.


            105 p.s.i.

          o VALVE LASH© maxwedge.com 

            			Intake	Exhaust
            			Cold	Cold
            Normal driving		.026"	.032"
            Acceleration trials 	.026"	.032"© maxwedge.com 

          o IGNITION
© maxwedge.com 
            Spark Plugs:
                  Electrode Gap -- .025"
                  Comp. Ratio 11:1 -- J9Y
                  Comp. Ratio 13.5:1 -- J79© maxwedge.com 

            Ignition point gap - .018" or .014"-.0191" dwell.
            Timing-36° at 3,000 r.p.m. or 120 at 800 r.p.m.© maxwedge.com 

          o PISTON CLEARANCES© maxwedge.com 

            			Comp. Ratio	Comp. Ratio
            			11:1		13.5:1
            Normal driving..........0035"-.0045"
            Acceleration trials.....0035"-.0045"	.008"-.010"
            .013" - .035"
            Minimum - 1.83" Maximum - 1.86"
            Main bearings, .001" -.0035"
            Connecting-rod bearings, .001" - .0035"
      RAM-CHARGER 413 V-8 GENERAL INFORMATION© maxwedge.com 
      The Ram-Charger engine is for automotive enthusiasts only. The special thrills of owning 
      it are reserved for the relative few who can appreciate and properly care for the finest 
      kind of high -performance stock automobile.
          o BREAK-IN PERIOD© maxwedge.com 
            This is the same as on the standard Dart (see owner's Manual) except that oil 
            should be changed every 1,000 miles.
          o SPECIAL PARTS READILY AVAILABLE© maxwedge.com 
            A full complement of precision parts are available through Dodge dealers. Dealers 
            can write or telegraph Chrysler Motors Corporation, Centerline Parts Plant, 7000 
            E. 11 Mile Road, Centerline, Michigan, P.O. Box 300 -or phone JE 9-3000, extension 
            7593.© maxwedge.com 
          o NOTE:© maxwedge.com 
            If this engine is to be used in acceleration trials, participation must be limited 
            to events sponsored by a nationally established governing organization.
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