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Hot Rods School me on Buick Nailheads please.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lothiandon1940, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Garbage! I'm in the middle of a dynaflow rebuild. This is the second time it's been out. I should have upgraded to a 700r4 and open driveline when I had the chance.
     
  2. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,046

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    k13 ... yup
    My 55 ran and drove fine when I first got it but the dynaflow decided to shit itself at both ends ( from the torque converter area and out of the rear ball socket joint.

    Rebuild parts are expensive and some care and attention are required to “ get it right” also talking to a local dynaflow expert no one is repoping the internal bands for these and the clutch material for the clutch packs is suspect also.

    So for me weighing all what would be required to repair/ rebuild the torque tube and dynaflow and still be left with a .....
    MEH ...... tranny I decided to swap the torque tube with a jag irs and a th350 with a bendsons adapter.

    Thought about getting rid of the nailhead for a sbc but as has been stated the nailhead is s torque pig and probably one of the nicest engines out there.
     
  3. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 177

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Took me 3 tries to get my 53 right about 35 years ago. Its gone thousands of miles since then.
     
  4. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 636

    wood remover
    Member

    Friend paid over 2000.00 to have his 60 dynaflow rebuilt a few years ago .Wont shift into reverse now , Now over 2500.00 to tear it down and redo it .
     
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  5. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 636

    wood remover
    Member

    Vandenplas I may have a manual bell housing for your 55 , Havent seen it in a while , may have already sold it , but will look .
    If you decide to go the sbc route , I would be interested in your nailhead !!!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. Shoeboxdriver
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 268

    Shoeboxdriver
    Member
    from Holmen, WI

    I have a 401 in my 32 roadster. Used a Bendsten bellhousing to mate to tremec 5 speed. The engine looks great and the torque is awsome, and many ask, "what is that engine?"
     
    Hamtown Al and lothiandon1940 like this.
  7. ...........Pictures would be pretty cool here.;)
     
  8. linechaser32
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 804

    linechaser32
    Member
    from Iowa

    A friend of mine has a very clean 322 with a three speed stick and floor shift. I think he wants $1900 for all of it.
     
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  9. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 636

    wood remover
    Member

    Too far for me ....
     
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  10. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,119

    Gman0046
    Member

    linechaser32, what transmission is behind your friends 322?
     
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  11. wood remover
    Joined: Dec 23, 2012
    Posts: 636

    wood remover
    Member

    Possums crotch, That is just awesome !!!
     
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  12. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,119

    Gman0046
    Member

    A great place. Green, treed, rolling hills, good bourbon, fast cars and horses. If you hear banjo music coming out of the woods you best move on. Did you ever see the movie Deliverance?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  13. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 591

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    Great for setting a beer on whilst doing tune ups
     
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  14. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,830

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    The "Switch Pitch" torque converters are neat. Look for the electrical connection on the side of the transmission. Right side, I think. There's a company (can't remember the name) that makes torque converters for them...and they offer a large selection of various high/low stall speeds...any combination. Pick a switching method...toggle switch on the dash...connected to the throttle linkage...or a vacuum switch connected to the intake.
     
    lothiandon1940 and Max Gearhead like this.
  15. Hellbilly_Buzzard
    Joined: May 5, 2004
    Posts: 453

    Hellbilly_Buzzard
    Member

    LM14 I have a Muncie M20 behind my 364 mated with a Quick Time scatter shield. I found the scatter shield on Amazon and paid around $300 for it which is stupid cheap. The retail for around $800. You want to make sure you get a wide range transmission like an M20. IMG_20180919_193307_597.jpeg

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  16. Hellbilly_Buzzard
    Joined: May 5, 2004
    Posts: 453

    Hellbilly_Buzzard
    Member

    Don't rule out a 364, especially if you have time with your project. Speed parts are hard to find, yes. When you do find speed parts they also tend to be more expensive. With that said, good 364s tend to be a lot less expensive than its siblings because of the unique casting.

    It took me a few years, but I found a Weiand 3 deuce. Overall I am in it for less than a stock 322 with the holy grail intake.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  17. Hellbilly_Buzzard
    Joined: May 5, 2004
    Posts: 453

    Hellbilly_Buzzard
    Member

    Forgot the pic Screenshot_20181025-234249.jpeg

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  18. JohnyT
    Joined: Oct 2, 2017
    Posts: 1

    JohnyT

    As I recall from my youth, GMC used a Buick nailhead with a Oldsmobile hydramatic transmission, I used a GMC cast iron bell housing for my build in 1962, fresh from the jimmy dealer! Check it out!
    JT
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  19. If you can find an older Olds or Caddie transmission, it will bolt to the standard bellhousing, and then you can use an open drive line.
    Back in 1961, I put a Buick 322, 3 speed, and the torque tube rear end in a 47 Chev Coupe. The swap worked great, and like everyone states, it had tons of torque. The one problem with the older Buick, Olds, Caddie, transmissions, is that it does not shift the same as most 3 speeds. It has a shift lever and a selector lever, and you may have difficulty finding a shifter for the tranny. However, it is not that difficult to make one.
    The nailhead is one of my all time favourite engines. I kissed a piston with a valve on the highway during a holiday when everyone in the world was going someplace, and finding a wrecker was going to be impossible. I thought, well the engine is toast, so I will just pull the plug wire and drive it to the next town. I got to the next town, and the engine was running fine on 7 cylinders, and because we had to drive over 300 miles, and had to be at work the next day, I carried on. I got all the way to Vancouver, and had to drive it for a week before I could pull the heads and the pan to see how bad it was.
    I pulled the heads and pan, found that everything above the piston pin bosses was blown into the crankcase, but there was absolutely no damage to the cylinder. I put a new piston in and the engine ran beautifully until I sold the car 2 years later.
    Yep, I love Nailheads.
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  20. buickvalvenut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 637

    buickvalvenut
    Member
    from Rialto

    Nailhead Guru Matt Martin said otherwise,they funcion just as good as a 322
     
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  21. buickvalvenut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 637

    buickvalvenut
    Member
    from Rialto

    Im making patterns and ill be casting goods for all nailheads,so that will change. Search for my nailhead valve cover post on here,..
     
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  22. iafraser39
    Joined: Aug 2, 2009
    Posts: 138

    iafraser39
    Member
    from Warmland

    Here's mine, 401 with switch pitch in a 28 model A. Soon to be changed to a 425
    built by Centervill Auto. Its a great combination and good on gas too. P1010002.JPG
     
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,119

    Gman0046
    Member

    The valley and spark plug covers a great addition to an already outstanding looking engine.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  24. There are a couple of 364's available locally but I am not sure I want to start messing with all the adaptors and everything needed to get one hooked up to a decent transmission. The cost really starts adding up especially with the 25-30% hit we take on the exchange rate and then tack on crazy shipping costs.
     
  25. Too bad I live too far away, I would love to get another nailhead. I would prefer a 401 or a 425, but I would have no problem with using a 364.
    I have an 47 International that needs a new heart.
    Bob
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  26. That's what I'm putting in my 27 t coupe on an a frame is a 56 322 trying to find a 56 Pontiac 3 speed for the tail shaft good luck i had a 401 in my 59 wildcat and sure did like it

    Sent from my SM-G920V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  27. Back in 1962, I was calling the insurance adjusters once a month to see if I could get my hands on a 401. I loved my older engine, but I wanted more the easy way. Unfortunately, it never happened.
    Bob
     
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  28. If there was a reasonable way to get a decent transmission on one I would grab one for myself for a future merc project.
     
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  29. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,554

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    ^^^^^thats the biggest hurdle with Nailheads. But they are awesome engines, worth the effort.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  30. Back in the early 60s, I drove a 56 GMC semi that had the nailhead installed as a factory option. I imagine that the bellhousing for this combination would be scarcer than hens teeth.
    I have heard of, but have never seen, that GM also made an adapter for trucks that matched the older nailhead to a hydramatic transmission.
    I have the 55 Chev truck Shop Service manual, and the repair and rebuild instructions are included, but the book doesn't state the engine/transmission combinations.
    I also have an old parts book and am going to look tonight to see what I can find.
    Knowing the parts might exist would be one thing, finding the parts would be a whole other story. I could happily live with a Buick engine mated to a Hydramatic transmission. I had one behind an Olds engine in my 34 Ford, and it was awesome.
    Bob
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

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