But will is start

The Gasser should be ready to start soon. The fuel pump, carburetor and distributor, ignition coil are on the motor and the spark plugs, spark plug wires, radiator and hoses and ready to install. I will find top dead center on #1 compression stroke and install the plug leads and set 20-30 degrees of initial advance and give it a few bumps with new premium fuel and a shot of starter fluid to see if it will turn over.

Start Up Prep and Detils

With the starter and compression checks completed its time to get ready to start the 401ci Nailhead Motor

  1. Check timing mark on balancer by finding top dead center of cylinder #1
  2. With the motor at TDC on the compression stroke install the distributor and spark plugs.
  3. Point rotor to where #1 will be on cap
  4. Label distributor cap 1 to 8
  5. Set initial advance to 25-30 degrees
  6. Install spark plugs, and plug wires to the correct cylinders
  7. Install wiring for ignition power to distributor and coil
  8. Install new fuel pump, carburetor , fuel lines etc. and test pump with starter
  9. Install radiator, thermostat and hoses to motor and fill with coolant
  10. Install exhaust headers
  11. Hook up timing light, vacuum gauge
  12. A little starter fluid and see if it will start or a least try

401 ci Buick NailHead Compression Check

Compression looks good so next week maybe it will start and even run with a little work

The Gasser should be ready to start soon. The fuel pump, carburetor and distributor, ignition coil are on the motor and the spark plugs, spark plug wires, radiator and hoses and ready to install. I will find top dead center on #1 compression stroke and install the plug leads and set 20-30 degrees of initial advance and give it a few bumps with new premium fuel and a shot of starter fluid to see if it will turn over.

A 425 for the gasser

I was able to pick up a 425 with dual 4’s in California from a wrecked 65 Buick Riviera that the owner said was running when the car was hit in the rear. I have it in the back of my pickup and will drop it into the Gasser frame with a transmission and then prep it for a test run by pulling the plugs, lubing the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil, turn it over by hand and letting it sit a few days.

I can then set the rough timing by finding top dead center of cylinder #1 and checking the timing mark on the harmonic balancer.

425 Motor on the hook

Engine Motor Mounts

The 425 needs different mounts to match the already existing frame mounts that were used for the engine that is in the machine shop. I ordered a new set of mounts from Speedway Motors that include the block mount bracket and hard rubber briskets and hardware.

Image 1 - Buick Nailhead Engine motor adapter mounts 364-401-425 1957-1966 hot rod vintage

Back to the Gasser

After a long wait for machine shop rebuild and supply chain delays I think I have found a complete 425 Nail head in Orange CA for sale. I have contacted the owner and I am going to try and get over there with cash in hand and come home with an running engine. In preparation for getting this project moving again I gave the shell a good wash and moved it to shelter under my shade area between the garage and my storage unit.

Rebuild time for the Nailhead

I ran another compression check and then a leak down test on each cylinder. There was quite a bit of leak down, some cylinders were at 50% at the bottom of the stroke and over 30% at top dead center on the compression stroke. All of the leak down was past the rings, valves looked OK so time to pull the motor and take it to the local machine shop that has done Nailheads before so off to Morrison Auto Machine in Glendale AZ for a refresh.