51 Super Swap

EdwinTheKid

New member
I Bought myself a 51 Super with the intent of getting the original 263 straight 8 running, but the engine had major water damage and needs some serious machine shop work to run, and the car is in pretty rough shape (lots of dents, a bit rusty, pitted chrome) and I don't really have the budget to do a full restoration, so I'm considering putting in a v8 of some sort.

I have done some research and thinking already, so I know that a nailhead should bolt up to the dynaflow trans and I won't have to get a new driveshaft/torque tube or fabricate new rear end stuff.

What Nailheads will fit/bolt on? What is easiest/cheapest to get?

My other option is put in a more modern v8, I was thinking probably a Buick 350, as there are a few available on my local craigslist and I'd like to keep a Buick engine if possible.

How hard is it to find/make the correct engine mounts? How well/poorly does a 350 fit in the engine bay? What about transmission- fitting it in, shift linkages, etc..? Rear end: how difficult is it to put in a new rear end- new mounts and all that. What is the best rear end to put in? Is there an optimal donor vehicle for this? Theres a 68 lesabre hard top with a rusted out body that I'm thinking could work to steal the rear end/suspension from, but lemme know if that won't work.

The final option is find a new straight 8, but I havent had much luck finding one.

Thank you for reading through this monster of a post and thanks for your answers!
 

firstofeight

Active member
Welcome.


Edwin, almost always cheaper and easier to rebuild your engine. Probably just as easy to find a 263 as a nailhead.

Have I seen you on another forum?

Ben
 

EdwinTheKid

New member
Welcome.


Edwin, almost always cheaper and easier to rebuild your engine. Probably just as easy to find a 263 as a nailhead.

Have I seen you on another forum?

Ben
I believe you've seen me on the AACA forums, was thinking more about my options and decided to post here to see if I could get more info on the non restoration stuff.

Right now at least is a few nailheads on ebay, although they probably need a full rebuild at a cost similar to my 263. This is why I'm thinking about the buick 350 because theres 2 supposedly running 350's for sale on craigslist for 200$.

Sorta just thinking out loud here
 

Frankh

New member
I Bought myself a 51 Super with the intent of getting the original 263 straight 8 running, but the engine had major water damage and needs some serious machine shop work to run, and the car is in pretty rough shape (lots of dents, a bit rusty, pitted chrome) and I don't really have the budget to do a full restoration, so I'm considering putting in a v8 of some sort.

I have done some research and thinking already, so I know that a nailhead should bolt up to the dynaflow trans and I won't have to get a new driveshaft/torque tube or fabricate new rear end stuff.

What Nailheads will fit/bolt on? What is easiest/cheapest to get?

My other option is put in a more modern v8, I was thinking probably a Buick 350, as there are a few available on my local craigslist and I'd like to keep a Buick engine if possible.

How hard is it to find/make the correct engine mounts? How well/poorly does a 350 fit in the engine bay? What about transmission- fitting it in, shift linkages, etc..? Rear end: how difficult is it to put in a new rear end- new mounts and all that. What is the best rear end to put in? Is there an optimal donor vehicle for this? Theres a 68 lesabre hard top with a rusted out body that I'm thinking could work to steal the rear end/suspension from, but lemme know if that won't work.

The final option is find a new straight 8, but I havent had much luck finding one.

Thank you for reading through this monster of a post and thanks for your answers!
If you decide to get rid of the 263. I may be interested in some parts. Check with transmissionadapters.com. They have adapters for almost everything
 
I am in the middle of a nailhead conversion in a 52 Buick Super. There are no kits for this conversion, everything has to be fabricated. You will have to install a more modern transmission, a new rear differential, most likely a trailing arm suspension if you retain the coil springs. If you install a V-8 there is no room for the steering gear, a rack and pinion will work. If I were to start now, knowing what I do now I would consider finding a 53 frame that was already wider to accommodate the V-8 and the steering gear. You will have to improve the brakes. There is a lot of work involved.
 
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