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General Nailhead Information/Discussion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HotRodBen1987, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. HotRodBen1987
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 691

    HotRodBen1987
    BANNED

    Hey guys just picked up a 34 Buick and was thinking a Nailhead would be awesome to stuff down in there. However, I don't know anything about these engines so I'm hoping you guys do. First off, I know there are different cubic inch engines, but should I be looking for a certain size or staying away from a certain engine (keep in mind, this will be a cruiser, not a race car)? Also, I would like to mate this up to an overdrive tranny such as a 700R4. Has anyone done this? I'm assuming I will need a bell housing adapter and possibly special flexplate? Any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Oh, and here's a picture...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. robertsregal
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 743

    robertsregal
    Member

    You have a nice lookin car with some work ahead of you. The 401-425 nailhead would be my choice,start your search now to locate one. Transmission adapters Bendtsen's Ham Lake MN. Good Luck!!
     
  3. HotRodBen1987
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 691

    HotRodBen1987
    BANNED

    You just answered all my questions. Now I guess I need to get to lookin! Thanks
     
  4. HotRodBen1987
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 691

    HotRodBen1987
    BANNED

    So is there anything wrong with the smaller cube nailheads? Still searching around and was wondering if there were centain engines I should stay away from? Or are they all generally pretty decent engines? I want to hook this to a 700R4 overdrive and put in a cruiser. Don't care if it's got much power or not, just enough to get me down the road ;)
     
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  5. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,492

    LAROKE
    Member

    I've started my own slow . . . slow . . . slow nailhead build. Here is a link to my Project Nailhead log (so far) on my website. There are several useful nailhead links on the research page that might be useful to you.

    http://www.laroke.com/larryk4674/2012/nailheadlog.htm
     
  6. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,523

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    It all comes down to how much you wanna spend. Obviously, the 264 would provide the least amount of power... But, the 264 in my 55 Special moves it along fine... Just not very quickly. The 322 in my roadster is much better (linked to a 5 speed) but thats a much much lighter car too. Parts interchange between the 264 and 322 are plentiful too. The 364 is a bit different as its kind of an "in between" engine. Not a bad one at all, just not as many parts interchange. The 401 and 425 make the most power and there is a bunch of stuff out there to bolt on to them. But, they are usually the most expensive too.

    So... Any of them should work just fine for your application. Start searching and good luck.
     
  7. Mike Moreau
    Joined: Sep 16, 2011
    Posts: 285

    Mike Moreau
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Unless you have a specific reason to run a "smaller nailhead" (53 through 56 in cars then up through 59 in certain trucks and buses), it's best to stay away from them for parts availability and interchangability. The bellhousings are the same from 57 to the end in 66 (364,401, 425 cubes) The crank pilot holes changed in 64 to go to the better transmission. The 364s were an interm deck height so the intake manifolds are unique. Hotrodben is right on.Bob Bendtsen's number is 763 767 4480. My experience is that his stuff is top quality and his service is also very good. Keep reading and searching, there is a lot to know about nailheads.
     
  8. The Bomber
    Joined: Dec 10, 2005
    Posts: 502

    The Bomber
    Member
    from mass.

    Also go to v8buick.com and teambuick.com These sites are loaded with nailhead info, parts suppliers, etc. I ran a '56 322" nailhead in my Model A roadster years ago. Great motor.
     
  9. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    Do yourself a favor and use the search function here. You will find so many good threads with tons and tons of info. Like nailheadroadster said the 401 and 425 are more expensive, but only initially. After the fact they are less expensive as there is more readily available for them at the moment. Depending on what era you are going for your build though a 322 just may be the ticket.
     
  10. Buicks are a different breed, lots of good info on here about the little things that are extremely important to a sucessful build. We put a 425 in my friends roadster, and spent quite a bit of time figuring out cams, rockers, hidden oil galley plugs, etc. It's all here somewhere. And we got a lot of compliments at the LARS for the nailhead.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Stock 425 single 4 bbl = 340 hp , 465 ft lbs torque , throw on the dual 4 set up for another 20 hp. Now other than gas mileage, whats not to like about that?
     
  12. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,113

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Re: General Nailhead Information/Discussion

    General Nailhead - a good name for the car.
     
  13. HotRodBen1987
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 691

    HotRodBen1987
    BANNED

    Thanks everyone I appreciate all the input. Keep it coming!
     
  14. GearSlammer
    Joined: Feb 27, 2013
    Posts: 203

    GearSlammer
    Member

    53/54 were the first year nailhead for buick "264", and only year then out came the 322..imo id shy away from the 264...
     
  15. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    322s were available from '53-'56 (in cars) and 264s were available in '54-'55 Specials only.
     
  16. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 176

    CLM
    Member

    The only way to run a overdrive trans is with an adapter. But '63-64 swapped over from a dynaflow to a sp400/st400 trans. Which you can run th400 internals in.

    There are several differences when that swap was made (crank, flywheel, etc) so a lot of people usually go after the 401/425 with the sp400.

    Also check out. http://nailheadbuick.com/ specifically the tech part. http://nailheadbuick.com/tech-info

    I bought his "how to build buick power" book and talked with the guy on the phone for a while. Tons of knowledge and willing to answer any questions.
    Good luck, its a sickness! I have 4 nailhead blocks sitting in my garage, one is about to become a wine rack, lol.
     
  17. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 176

    CLM
    Member

    Also, there are about 3 different styles of manifolds. The most common dump pretty much straight out the back and don't work well for swaps. One of the other kinds dump straight down and usually point at framerails when swapped into something earlier (remember these came out of BIG cars). The third kind dump down but angle in towards the oil pan, this is what you want!! I have two sets and they are the only ones I have seen.

    Another odd Buick feature is the driver side starter, which interferes with most floor style pedal systems.
     
  18. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    I hear he fixed the mistakes in the latest version of the book. Jeez I hope so.
     
  19. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 176

    CLM
    Member

    Lol, haven't looked much into it yet. What should I watch out for?
    Ended up buying a running motor, so won't be building from scratch, but will do a little work on this one.



    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  20. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    First off don't let anyone try and talk you into hardened seats.
     
  21. BOBCRMAN
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 846

    BOBCRMAN
    Member
    from Holly

    ""Another odd Buick feature is the driver side starter, which interferes with most floor style pedal systems ""

    Also interferes with steering boxes..

    They usually don't need the hard seats, there isn't enuff material in the casting.. Look out for excessive rocker arm and valve tip/guide wear. Water crossover manifold rots away at the O-ring. Make sure if you buy a camshaft that it is actually ground for a nailhead and not a small block Chevy spec copy regrind.. Nailheads need a lot of help on the exhaust side and the correct nailhead specific cam can make a world of difference.

    Stick flywheels are like hens teeth but are out there. Offy used to make belhousings for more popular trans combos.

    Used many 401-425 nailheads back in the day..
    They used to be stacked like chord wood along Dort hwy. in Flint, Mi. and I used to buy them for $35.00 exchange.. Imagine that today.. 300 + horsepower for thirty five bucks..

    I used one a Studebaker Lark, bad starter interferance, learned to off set engines.. Used one in a 47 Merc coupe. My good friend Old Swede had one in a T bucket. I also had a 425 in an Anglia and a Stude pickup. Several old Riveras and Wildcats..

    Great old motor. FEEL that torque!!!!:D
     
  22. BONNEVILLE BOB 95
    Joined: May 1, 2010
    Posts: 1,087

    BONNEVILLE BOB 95
    Member

    Nice sedan. I prefer the 364,401,425 myself. And listen to zman. He knows his Buicks.
     
  23. HotRodBen1987
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 691

    HotRodBen1987
    BANNED

    Awesome again guys thanks for the input!
     
  24. Wicked50
    Joined: Apr 14, 2008
    Posts: 882

    Wicked50
    Member

    If you have any questions contact Russ nailheadbuick.com he's the nailhead guru and has just about any nailhead part you are looking for
     

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