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The ‘Sold Out’ Crate Engine Hit A Quality Snag Earlier This Year

Mopar Hellephant Crate Engine

Mopar officials have told Muscle Cars & Trucks that production of the Hellephant engines will begin before the end of the calendar year, after catching and rectifying a quality issue beforehand.

Full details of the issue were not immediately disclosed officially, but sources confirmed to MC&T that the primary issue revolved around too much camshaft tension, leading to failure of the critical part. FCA looked to fix the issue before beginning engine production and shipping them to customers.

Output for the mammoth engine is 1,000 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque, beating the Dodge Demon engine’s output of 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque.

On April 26, 2019, Mopar celebrated 426 Day by announcing that customers can begin placing orders for the 426 cubic-inch, 1,000 hp Hellephant crate engine at a price of $29,995. The crate engine comes assembled with a water pump, flywheel, oil pan for the front sump, supercharger and throttle body, coil packs, and fuel injectors.

“The response was pretty overwhelming. They ‘sold out’ a year’s worth of production in two days… I can’t speak to the delay, but of course with anything we bring to market we want to make sure that it’s fully validated and appropriate for customer use,” said head of Mopar performance and accessories Kim Mathers to MC&T.

Mopar declined to disclose on sharing production volume of the Hellephant crate engine, which is hand-built in Indiana.

Another $2,265 adds the Hellephant “plug-and-play” engine kit for nearly any pre-1976 vehicle, which Mopar claims would make for “a relatively simple plug-and-play by experienced installers.” This package includes an unlocked powertrain control module (PCM), power distribution center, engine wiring harness, chassis harness, accelerator pedal, ground jumper, oxygen sensors, charge air temperature sensors, fuel pump control module and cam bus interface device.

The Hellephant crate engine made its debut last year at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. the supercharged 6.9L V8 engine features 4.0 inches of stroke and a bore measured at 4.125 inches. To save weight, the Hellephant utilizes an all-aluminum engine block, which was validated in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race vehicles that dominated the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class via racing superstar Leah Pritchett, Don Schumacher Racing, and others.

Also for the 2018 SEMA Show, the Hellephant crate engine was dropped into the Dodge Super Charger Concept muscle car, pictured below. We haven’t seen any radical builds surface featuring this insane crate motor from third parties, but we imagine that it won’t be much longer with this being the case.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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