Build a Hemi: On Your Kitchen Table!

Chrysler Hemi Super Stock

Summit Racing's 1/4-scale Super Stock Hemi Kit Equals Big Fun

Dodge Super Stock HemiIt’s Friday and the machine shop manager tells you they won’t have your rotating assembly balanced until Monday afternoon. Your wife is glued to the TV wishing she was a Kardashian sister, the kids are hogging the other TV with video games and you can’t get on the internet because your Wi-Fi is not responding. What to do?

It’s times like this where you can still hone your engine building skills and have a little fun with this 426 Dodge Hemi Super Stock engine kit from Summit Racing. Now it’s not a full size Hemi mind you, but rather a detailed scale model kit that will take you back to younger days when you ruined your mom’s tablecloth gluing together model kits without really knowing what you were doing.  The kit is remarkably detailed and makes a great addition to your model engine collection. You do have one don’t you?

Dodge Super Stock HemiMost model racing engines come fully assembled at 1/6-scale, but this remarkably well detailed model checks in at an eye-popping ¼-scale assuring it a dominate position in your collection. From the tip of the fan to the end of the collector it is more than a foot long and stands over seven inches tall. And because it‘s a kit with more than 140 parts it will challenge your skills and keep you occupied for most of the weekend.  When you’re finished you’ll have a great looking centerpiece for your model engine collection.

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The Summit kit is manufactured by Hawk, one of the oldest model kit makers in America. The Super Stock model is the same engine that terrorized the dragstrips back in the sixties with twin Holley four barrels on a cross-ram manifold. The kit replicates these components in great detail and no painting is required because the individual pieces are already molded in the appropriate colors. The instructions are well detailed and they include a complete parts list with photos of every parts tree so you won’t have to search the whole kit for any specific part. Because the kit is part metal and part plastic builders are advised to obtain a tube of regular modeling cement and a bottle of instant super glue and accompanying super glue accelerator. Beyond that all that’s required is a small Phillips head screwdriver for assembling the block, a set of snips for clipping the parts from the parts tree, masking tape for holding things together, a pair of scissors, a small file for trimming parts flashing and some paper towels for cleanup. Oh, and of course some old newspaper to work on so you don’t ruin the tablecloth.

Assembly follows a logical sequence. The only real trouble we encountered was in attaching the front and rear sections of the block which are held in place with small screws. Minor parts warping and some tabs and matching fitment notches that required filing for proper fit presented some obstacles.  The screws did not accomplish a solid bite in the metal and a large C-clamp was required to hold the 3-piece block together while the super glue dried and the screws were set.  Besides that the assembly was relatively easy and the engine came together without much trouble because we followed the instructions to the letter.

Dodge Super Stock HemiDodge Super Stock Hemi
 Dodge Super Stock Hemi Dodge Super Stock Hemi

Some important tips include taking extra care in cutting parts from the parts trees to leave minimal flash for trimming.  If you aren’t careful you’ll leave cut marks that could require minor touch up with paint later.  The kit is designed so that the crankshaft rotates the flywheel and the front balancer and pulleys which in turn rotate the fan, water pump and alternator with an actual rubber belt. The assembly works well, but it required careful stretching of the belt to install it properly. Once in place everything spins nicely.

Hawk Dodge Hemi kitSome parts like the headers are chrome plated and builders are advised to carefully scrape away the plating in the areas that are glued to the header flanges to ensure that the glue will bond thoroughly. Fitting the oil pan was a small challenge that required minor trimming of the internal alignment tabs. The only other major challenge is fitting the spark plug wires which are made from red plastic tubing.  Instead of a nicely looped coil, the tubing comes wrapped like a figure eight with a knot tied in it. In order to properly fit the wires, the tubing must be straightened with a hair drier and cut to the proper length according to a guide printed in the instruction manual. Once the hair dryer has softened the tubing and taken the wrinkles out it is relatively easy to route it properly.  A word of caution: when cutting the spark plug tubes from the parts trees, take great care not to break off the small tips that are designed to accept the slip over tubing.  If you break one it will be difficult to glue the tubing in place later.

As you can judge by the photos the model offers good detail including the appropriate decals for the valve covers and Mopar the oil filter. Beyond minor fitment issues there is little to criticize. We found the carburetor vent tubes to be a little thick and unrealistic and may replace them with actual metal tubing from the hobby store. The completed model is really attractive. We’ve decided to follow up with further detailing by searching some hobby forums to learn the best method for adding a tint of bluing to the header tubes and how to give it that used look by adding some minor valve cover leakage and other details.

The Hemi Super Stock kit delivers a great looking engine. When you’re finished you’ll be proud to display it. For best results work carefully and don’t try to finish it all in one sitting. We stretched it out over three days, working on it a little at a time. The only disappointment at the end was that we were finished too soon and that there wasn’t more to do. Perhaps we’ll have to seek another one because it was a lot of fun. While the wife was busy living rich and famous through the Kardashians we were rubbing elbows with famous racers like Dick Landy and we’ve got something lasting to show for it. Can’t ask for more than that!

Summit Racing PN: SUM-JLI-11057