Da Nailhead adventures by whatever

By diyauto
( 2 )

7 minute(s) of a 57 minute read


Da Nailhead adventures

Compliments of whatever @ v8buick.com


...in Russia

Hi there,

I'm Alex from St. Petersburg, Russia and my friend brought me an engine for a rebuild.

It's an engine from a 65 Wildcat and was sent as a 425, but somehow it turned to be 401 in reality. 

We were pretty sad about that, and I was looking forward seeing some enormous diameter pistons, but a dead LS7 piston didn't get in there that easy from the first try, as I expected it to fall in the bore, so it was the time to suspect that we got a 401.

My friend wanted the engine to be finished on 15-16 of August, but that wasn't really possible anyhow after I digged into parts situation the the Nailheads. My friend said that the engine was clicking and it didn't run very well. Okay... I pre-called Russ on the west coast before I've got the engine in order to check parts availability, and he said it was gonna be okay and he had most of the parts. Anyway once I got it, I was rushing to disassemble it.

Excuse my high-tech room for engine disassembling, but disassembly is a whole another story. Especially, when the engine has oil inside as much as you'd at MAX + 0.5 in over that mark on the dipstick. 

it was about 6 quarts of oil from that point to drain.

The intake gaskets appeared to be steels, which was a little surprise to me. But I was surprised moreover with that exhaust heated intake manifold. The gasket on the left (driver side) head was placed under the head cover gasket! and was almost mismatching the intake ports.

Water pump came off with a -1 bolt and after a closer look I saw another bolt stuck at the bottom of the flange. Looked promising.

Looked good from the top.

Pretty much cooked up, but not too much.

Little surprise here!

Duh! For a second I literally thought it must be a usual wear pattern on Nailheads... Maybe... Until that rocker. All rockers felt somewhat jumpy when I checked for valvetrain flex during disassembly.

The heads looked okay. Couldn't find a headgasket for a moment 

Pretty smooth surface for a deck!

Uneven hone.

Suddenly! What's that? The crown is different! That one is flat, the other ones have cast in valve recesses.

The compression ratio must be different, then! Not good...

Guess, the coupling is dead!

The balancer came out easier than I expected.

Yeah, gotta balance with the crank assembly.

Chain helped me to drain the oil from the back. 

I pulled some of the lifters, but some of those just didn't want to get out through the top!

Is that oil on the cam?

Nope! It's wear! I guess it worned out too deep, probably ran without oil a bit, so that the oil baked in the lobes.


Looked straightforward on that side.

But pretty damn strange on this side!

I've read about plastic gears, but didn't to expect it to be so far from the factory unit.

Anyway! I'm impressed! Now that's a durable thing! It's worn out to death, but it doesn't fail!

Show time.