PETER Haravitsidis may be best known to Street Machine readers for his nine-second, 855hp aspirated XY Falcon (SM, Oct ’20), but this hot Mopar Hemi six proves he has a talent with other brands, too.
First published in the December 2021 issue of Street Machine
“I do a few engines on the side, and I built the Hemi for a friend of mine, Phil,” says Peter. “There were a few issues with the engine, so we tore it right down and went through the whole thing.”
Peter began by grout-filling a seasoned 265 block to the bottom of the water pump to provide longitudinal strength and support the bores. It retains its two-bolt mains, though they’re supported by a custom steel girdle with ARP main studs. The Dandy Engines team handled the machine work and also helped set up the fire rings to provide better sealing with the copper head gasket.
“We had to put a new standard 265 Hemi crankshaft in it, which has its big ends machined to suit the Scat H-beam rods,” says Peter. “If you know the right Hemi guys, they’re hoarders, so they have the right bits, although some bits and pieces are getting harder to find these days.”
The slugs are custom forged flat-tops made by Special Piston Services in Dandenong, providing 11.8:1 comp. A Savy external oil pump with a custom 7.5-litre sump was given the nod due to the huge oil flow appetite of 265 Hemis and their notoriety for breaking stock oil pumps and camshafts.
The custom solid-roller cam was reground by Marty at Crow Cams to Peter’s specs, though it isn’t quite what he’d call the perfect match to this engine. “The cam has been toned down to get more reliability and make the engine more efficient for its intended street application,” he explains. “It was just too much a race engine before, so I took 10-12 degrees duration, nearly 100thou lift and a bunch of valve spring pressure out of it. It’s hard to come by these cam billets, so this cam isn’t the perfect spec for this engine, but the wait time for new billets is too long, so we were limited with how small we could take this camshaft down.”
The alloy CHI Hemi head has been carefully set up by Peter to make it run sweet on the street. “We’ve got some nice, lightweight Ferrea stainless valves, tool-steel retainers and PAC valves in there, as I tried to get the valvetrain as light as possible,” he says. “This is to reduce spring pressure and maximise reliability. It also has custom Crower Hippo solid-roller lifters, which ride in bronze bushes in the block. We have oil control holes for reducing oil supply upstairs, too, as we want to keep as much oil as possible in the bottom end.”
With a pump 98 unleaded tune tapped into the Holley Terminator X ECU, the six-in-a-row showed its go with 420hp at 6600rpm on the engine dyno at Dandy, holding that power all the way to 7000rpm. It also made a peak torque of 386lb-ft at 4100rpm through the split-branch tri-Y manifolds.
“It’s going into a four-door VG sedan that is very customised, and we’re hoping to be at Mopar Nationals at Heathcote,” Peter says. “It is a tough streeter, but we have built it to do Drag Challenge if need be, so it has a McDonald Brothers four-link and tubs, Rod Shop IFS and lots of fabrication.”
The Hemi was put through its paces at Drag Challenge Weekend Victoria, powering the tough VG in the Speed Pro Six Cylinder class.
Both donk and Val survived the drag-and-drive slog, recording a best of 8.22@82mph over the eighth-mile on Day Two. Adjusted to the full quarter, that’s a 12.78 E.T. Not too shabby for an aspo six in a relatively fresh car!
AT FIRST glance, the Hemi six appears to wear classic triple Webers, but these are actually EFI throttlebodies from Jenvey in the UK. “We went from 55mm DCOE Webers to 48mm Jenvey throttlebodies, which I upgraded with stock LSA injectors,” says Peter. “At the moment we’ve tuned the engine for pump 98, but we have enough injectors for E85 if we want to turn it up.”