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Projects Nailhead in a pre-war Buick

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bangingoldtin, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Embarking on a new project. I am planning to put a nailhead in my 40 Super with a ST400 tranny and converting to an open rear. I researched a lot of archival threads, but did not find the info I wanted, and did not get any response from a couple of PMs I sent. I want to leave the chassis and body alone as much as possible, and plan to run the original steering box. The open rear will entail GM truck arms with a 58 Edsel rear (that I understand will bolt in). Is there one engine that is better than another for this (322 vs. 401?). Exhaust manifolds? Off center the engine? etc.? I know this subject has been beat hard, but I know someone out there has done this before and can help.
     
  2. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,585

    belair
    Member

    The 55-56 322 are better than the 53(? 0Better heads, I think. If there is a difference in width of the different engines, I doubt it is much. Don't know if the SP will fit anything but a 401/425. I would avoid the 364 simply because it's not as common. Not much help from me, I'm afraid. All of the Nailheads are good, strong engines, even the 264.
     
    Baumi likes this.
  3. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    57-61 364s, 59-63 401s, and 63 425 nailheads require a crankshaft adapter/spacer to convert to ST400 nailhead transmissions. The starter needs to be a 1964-66 type.
    The rear end will also need a Panhard bar.
     
  4. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,410

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    322 doesn’t bolt up to the ST400, you’d have to use an aftermarket t adapter.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

  5. check facebook marketplace as I remember seeing a few nailheads in adds there
     
  6. The nailhead will work great in there. I’d recommend the 401 425 version for parts availability. The st400 is a good trans. The 64 st400 is the only one that is not a switch pitch and has a one year only valve body to work with the 64 only shifters that indicate a 2 speed trans even though they are a 3 speed.
     
  7. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 606

    jaracer
    Member

    If you want to run an ST400 then a 401/425 is your best choice. Find a 64 to 66 full size Buick and you've got both. I bought a 65 Electra for $800.00 and drove it home. It was a one owner, but the years hadn't been good to it.

    If you rebuild the nailhead, be prepared to spend some dough. I figured rings and bearings would put mine in good shape since it ran well. However, it was slap worn out. But it's all good now.
     

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