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View Full Version : nailhead swap help please



eddiefite68skylark
02-22-2013, 09:47 PM
I have 2 60s era buicks a 65 electra with a 425 nailhead with the super turbine 400 transmission my other car is a 68 skylark with a 350 and a th350... I want to put the nailhead and super turbine in my skylark because it is in much betterrer shape so I am curious what all I will need to customize to achive this.....new motoer kounts a shortened driveline and drilling some holes in my frame? or will I need to swap some front crossmembers?and a custom tranny crossmember or what

Dr. Frankenbuick
02-23-2013, 05:43 AM
This is going to be harder then you think as the Nailhead was never fitted into the 68+ A-body. This means there are no mounts or frame pads available to make it a direct swap (like it will in the 64-67 A-body). You will need to fabricate a mounting system for the engine loosely based on the 65-66 GS Skylark. The driveshaft will need to be shortened and balanced with a ST 400 yoke. You will need stronger front springs. You will need to move and extend the wiring (starter and battery on opposite sides). You will need exhaust manifolds (possibly 65-66 GS will fit). Your radiator in the Skylark has inlet/outlets on the wrong sides for a Nailhead. You will need a rear sump oil pan and rear sump pick-up tube (difficult to come by). Those are the first things that come to mind. I am sure others will jump in with more. It would be a very neat project, but there is more to it then you think at a glance.

eddiefite68skylark
02-23-2013, 08:03 AM
so I also have a 75 buick le sabre that had a 455 in it would it be a little easier to swap thenailhead into this car since it is already designed for a big block?

Dr. Frankenbuick
02-24-2013, 03:49 AM
so I also have a 75 buick le sabre that had a 455 in it would it be a little easier to swap thenailhead into this car since it is already designed for a big block?


Exactly: The motor mounts/frame pads already exist, correct big block Buick springs already exist for that year/car, most 455s used rear sump oil pans to start, the wiring is on the correct side (but will need some extension), larger radiators are available in the correct size and shape, exhaust manifolds clear the steering/frame, fuel lines are on the correct side and in thew correct place (maybe a little small though) and the transmission crossmember slides back. You should be able to find a rebuildable big block Buick equipped A-body driveshaft from 68-72 (check the Hollander for exact matches). This is a much easier road, although I am very partial to Nailheads!

eddiefite68skylark
02-24-2013, 07:12 PM
the stock drive line for the lesabre is in the trunk. could I have it shortened with a yoke for the st 400 and use it?

Dr. Frankenbuick
02-25-2013, 03:38 AM
the stock drive line for the lesabre is in the trunk. could I have it shortened with a yoke for the st 400 and use it?

Some of the big cars came with a two section driveshaft with a center hub. All of the A-bodies used a single shaft. I am not sure what shaft the LeSabre you are referring to has. I also recall that the big car rears have a different size yoke. There are possibly conversion U-joints that would work, but you would have to measure and research it. Your best bet would be to shorten the Skylark driveshaft and install the ST 400 yoke on that.

eddiefite68skylark
02-25-2013, 02:05 PM
the driveshaft is a solid with constant velocity ujoints ....

thankyou were all the info can't wait to get at it