Thursday, March 23, 2023

Bad News Buick. Is our 401 Nailhead too far gone? | Redline Update #4

Main Bad News Buick. Is our 401 Nailhead too far gone? | Redline Update #4

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
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  • #21445

    Off to the machine shop we go! Thirlby Machine Shop in Traverse City, MI, cleaned up our Buick Nailhead block and heads. What’s going on under all that gunk …


    Hell yeah! U guys do some amazing work. Keep it up!


    Id like to see a nail head motor build but this engine seems to be dead af I wouldnt mind a sleeved block since it is not cracked but if you can find a usable Donner id do that instead


    Don't waste time and money. Straight to a 455.

    overbuilt automotive

    muggy weld

    Sam Iam

    someone nailed that nailhead, they don't flow well anyhow

    Simon Cabron

    We need more on the Nailhead build!!!


    Good video.

    John Hull

    Nailheads are not that rare…find another one


    In 1960 I was 15 and bought my first chevrolet v8. it was a 56 265 that had been bored 1/8 of an inch and fit with 283 pistons. IF, the builder had fit the wrist pins correctly it would not have self destructed. Cost me 400 bucks in 1960(a lot of money then). I got screwed and learned a lot. have owned lots of chevys since and now own an LQ4 6L silverado 2500 ALL cast iron engine. great vehicle and will keep it forever.


    hope you find it

    Bert Grau

    A good machinist could FIX it.
    Unfortunately not many good machinist these days

    Dan W

    My first hunch on another video was correct, unfortunately. At this point, you'd be much better off sourcing another complete engine out of a junkyard somewhere (preferably in the south-western part of the US where the precipitation isn't such a big factor). Anything you find in the 'rust-belt' is going to be exactly that.๐Ÿ˜œ Even with shipping costs, you'd probably be ahead of the game to get something usable from out in this area of the country.๐Ÿ˜‰

    traffic czar

    I know where there is a beautiful 401 nailhead all built.

    Air Strike Technologies

    Great Video, love them Buicks and I know when to open the dumpster lid and when to open the wallet. This one is a dumpster lid special.

    Shane Singleton

    Dang. She's an even bigger mess than originally suspected. ๐Ÿ™

    Doug Strong

    Check out the newest Barn Find Hunter video for a replacement nailhead!


    It wont be a high performance nailhead but the clearances are enough for a beat up truck.

    Kevin Rogers

    dam that sucks guys… but thats how she goes when you are dealing with old iron! mabey some newer aluminium heads for the old girl?

    Bruno Tulliani

    Great video!

    OldSkool 55F100

    If you start out thinking negative it won't work… If you start out positive things will go much better.. I wouldn't want you working on my stuff…

    John Chrysostom

    Oh bad news but the suspense is good lol can't wait for the update now


    your best bet for finding a nail head that can be rebuilt would be Florida or California the old hotrodders and the cholos still run the nail head and would know about the availability of and were to find heads and blocks . 20 years ago I could have gotten a few dozen of the engines in running condition but have since lost all my contacts after being disabled and having to stop working on cars

    Will Goebel

    This week on Redline coffee table builds!

    Jeb Sails

    Real life problems. As my little brother was fond of saying "excreta occurs"

    Bud White

    I was thinking that most vintage blocks were getting sleeved anyway, I know it must be expensive, but I guess if this is some sort of budget build off then I guess money saved is optimum. As for the heads, I suppose I might understand why there isn't enough metal,….maybe from water jackeet erosion,…if I am understanding that right, but I suppose if that was an ultra rare set of heads then build up by spray welding, if I remember the term rightly, could build it up. I suppose its all about time, and someone else getting paid to do the work. Welding the valve seat areas, well, I saw a video of a guy who built up such an area that was over ported and some other mishaps, on some rare heads, I guess its all about how to get more metal on the back side on the water jacket side, I guess I sound full of it as a layman with minimal training and experience, but aspire to have more,….somehow.

    anthony c phillips

    needing block & heads = new engine.

    Dave vonAnderseck

    With the heads I would try to find a better set where you will have more stock parts to work with.

    Dave vonAnderseck

    I guess it depends what your going to do with it. If just a 8.5 to one compression driver so what the cylinders are not a 100 percent. Or go max bore with thinner cylinders and use block cement or donโ€™t run the rpm high.


    Sleeve all eight and new seats all around, seems crazy but otherwise you arent resurrecting a basket case, your just building a parts engine. Go for it, it's only money, and it's gonna hurt regardless, mind as well have a fun story.

    MD Spaghetti

    No pistons, bad block, and bad heads UMMMMM I'm not a rocket scientist but it sounds like you have a cam, crank, and rods left ๐Ÿ™

    Nick Ferraina

    Can you heat the heads and add metal? Or is that method not strong enough/ or only for aluminum heads?

    LDN Wholesale

    That block seems very rusty. And may be corroded out. Sonic testing measures rust. Been there done that. Though those old blocks have a lot thicker walls to start with unlike most 70s and later engines. Some of those strike water at .030.
    And yes those exhaust seats are stuffed. And those old soft iron blocks crack when you hammer inserts into them. Seen that time after time. Problem is getting uncorroded 60 y/0 blocks and heads

    Johan Sidรฉn

    I like this style of video, updates. Sad to see you having such bad luck both with the block and the heads!


    Had similar fears when building my 401, so I bought two engines, just in case I needed one good block. Luck of the draw sometimes. Also, cutting Nailhead valves are a no go, there just isn't enough material in a stock head.


    Easy fix can be welded up and machined, we fixed much worse.


    Just do another Hemi and forget the Nailhead


    forgive me for being such a ass..but why do this video documentary on a clapped out 401? at least put the energy into something more venerable as the 425 dual quad version..meanwhile you do that fireball build which was awesome btw..but the 2nd vid left us both amazed and shaking our heads..wanting to see and know more about it like your doing'on a 401 REALLY? a Pontiac sprint engine is more interesting..

    AIO inc.

    Break out the dingle baller and get to work then

    Fentanyl funk

    i would have tried welding the valve seat,then machine it……………rob Peter to pay Paul.

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