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Technical Nailhead in 32 roadster fitment questions

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by nick28, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. nick28
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 378

    nick28
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Looking for some advice on 32 roadster I'm building. I'm fitting a '53 322 nailhead in 107" 32 frame. Stock style 32 firewall. I have it in a close, only about 1/4" to spare at distributor to firewall

    Questions revolve around fan clearance to radiator and fan size. I have stock 17" sbc fan laying around I put on and it's sitting about middle way over top the front crossmember. If I push radiator inch forward I have about 1-1-1/4" clearance between fan and radiator

    Just curious to how close I can get to radiator and angle of fan to radiator and maybe fan size suggestions 15" would buy me a little clearance to crossmember.

    Really don't wanna cut firewall, anyone have any suggestions, photos of similar install?

    I've checked out pretty much all of the model a/32 frame builds

    Thanks
    Here's a few pics
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1384989428.816359.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1384989443.270674.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1384989459.600089.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1384989483.066869.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1384989504.033755.jpg

    Engine is prob sitting a touch high in front


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  2. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,411

    clem
    Member

    with a sbc I've gone with 1/2 inch fan to radiator clearance and a plastic 15 inch fan that so far doesn't flex. haven't driven it far yet though!
     
  3. You could always go with and electric fan mounted to the radiator. Looks like front of motor could come down a bit. What are you building? High boy or full fenders hood etc?? I do think the 15" will be ok. You could always make a fan shroud to help with cooling.
     
  4. nick28
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 378

    nick28
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Thanks for the replies,

    Its a highboy, may run a hood top. Yeah the motor is a little high(only way the fan I had would clear crossmember
     

  5. I think you will want to keep the hood and grill shell where they belong.
     
  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,585

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Lots of old time hot rods didn't have a fan. Once you get going over 30 you don't need one. Of course if you do a lot of traffic driving you got to have one.
     
  7. imho, keep the radiator where it belongs, sitting over the front crossmember. Move the crossmember forward until you have about 1/2" to 3/4" fan clearance, or move the motor back into the firewall, or use a combo of both. As a highboy, a little longer wheelbase is no problem. Key on the firewall is that you want to be able to easily remove the valve covers and distributor when you are done without pulling the motor.
     
  8. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,661

    55willys
    Member

    I put a sbc in a stock model A, had a 1/4" from the firewall with the valve cover and a 1/4" from the radiator using a zipper high rise water pump. Worked great, the plug wire boots touch the firewall but it all fits and works.

    The hard part about a nail head is that it is long but a 32 has more room than an A and there is no high rise water pump available for it. By moving the engine up you can get the fan more centered. all that said a 1/4" is plenty of room. Jim (55willys)
     
  9. nick28
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 378

    nick28
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Thought I'd post back, I got it to fit, barely but it fits....

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1385075593.015178.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1385075613.065439.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1385075636.433227.jpg

    I've since raised the trans up a touch to put the fan on better angle at radiator

    Now on to cramming the steering box, exhaust and all that good stuff.

    Thanks for the replies;-)



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  10. Olderchild
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 476

    Olderchild
    Member
    from Ohio

    It may be a good thing your motor is a little high because of the starter location,if you don't have gray hair you may have by the time you get the exhaust past the steering box and linkage and keep ah close eye on them valve covers i'm drooling .Where can i find some like them pretty chrome things?-----------jack
     
  11. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,661

    55willys
    Member

    Great job! :D nice to see a nailhead with mechanical fan and no firewall cutting. Jim
    (55willys)
     
  12. jalopykid
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,196

    jalopykid
    Member
    from Bozeman,MT

    What size is the nailhead? I'm going to be sticking a 401 in a 32 pickup...Do the later engines get longer?
     
  13. Yes!
    Even the 322 is pretty long (Although narrow), I was going with a Nailhead in my coupe but went with a Caddy as width wasn't an issue but length was!
     
  14. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie
    Member

    I did cut my firewall to install my '64 401. I used a vacuum accumulator tank from an early '70s Firebird, cut it down the middle and welded one half into the firewall. It's a nice recess, seen over the top of the coil, where I can get my hand in to work the distributor. I run the stock Buick fan about 1/2" behind a Walker radiator. No overheat problems whatsoever.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. jalopykid
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,196

    jalopykid
    Member
    from Bozeman,MT

    Good to know. Thanks!
     
  16. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,738

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Nebraska

    Since you raised the transmission, is the carb. mounting surface on the intake close to being level?


    Malcolm
     

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