Admittedly, 2020 hasn’t gone “according to plan” for most people. But for aftermarket Hemi engine block manufacturer, Bulldog Performance in Indianapolis, IN, it’s been a heck of a mixed bag. The first few months welcomed a rush of orders from customers wanting Bulldog’s high performance iron blocks for second generation Hemi, 440 Wedge and low-deck 400 engines. Then the worst happened. And no, it wasn’t COVID-19 (although, yeah. That’s pretty bad too.)
Rather, an unexpected change in management at the foundry that pours Bulldog’s blocks (whom Mopar Connection Magazine personally visited to witness the process) resulted in process changes down the assembly line.
These changes manifested in a run of bad engine blocks poured too thin around the #2 cylinder. For some, nothing would’ve become of it, but for many of Bulldog’s customers – mainly blown tractor pullers and monster trucks – the weakened blocks were unacceptable.
So alas, the batch was scrapped and thus, several months’ worth of customers were suddenly back-ordered. A few more patient customers understood, but others working under a deadline couldn’t wait and were refunded their deposits.
“We’re trying to make the best of a bad situation,” Bulldog owner Dick Bradshaw told Mopar Connection Magazine Wednesday morning. “We’re paying close attention to each block as they come out of the mold.”
On the bright side, Bradshaw did hint at something coming over the horizon. “The first of the final design aluminum blocks are done.”
When pressed for more details, he revealed, “First, it’s a solid deck. We shortened the water jackets for a stronger bottom end. Also, the three center mains are 6-bolt, with four vertical and two cross-bolts. The rear main includes the rear seal, too.” When asked when the new aluminum blocks will be ready, Bradshaw emphasized, “We need to take care of our iron block customers first. They’re Priority #1.”