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Thread: 64 300 to 63 Riv 401

  1. #1
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    64 300 to 63 Riv 401

    Hey group,

    I had an offer that came up for me to purchase a 63 401 w/ trans for $450. My only questions is how hard is the swap into the 64 Skylark engine bay? Can I use the same mounts/pads/manifolds, etc? Also, would the oil pan fit? Or is it too much of a headache? I know the price is good but.....

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Chris
    Last edited by cobopguy; 07-26-2018 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    it's kind of important to know WHAT you're putting it in.

    in general though, a Nail is not a very straightforward swap for a 300ci.

    the starters are on opposite sides.

    the distributors are at opposite ends of the block.

    they don't have the same bellhousing, although that doesn't matter since you're getting the Nail + trans as a combo.


    if you decide to go the Nailhead route, you want to get all the mounting equipment for a 1965 Skylark Gran Sport 400 ( actually a Nail 401ci ). the first generation of the Skylark ran from 1964-67 and 1965 was the first year that a Nail was available in the car.
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
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    Bob,

    Thanks for your response. I have edited my post. I have a 1964 Skylark with the 300 hp motor. I wasn't sure if there were any crossmember changes from 64 to 65 to accommodate putting the 401 into the GS?

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    i believe you have to slide the cross member back. and you might need to drill new holes in the frame rails.

    call www.TAPerformance.com, they should have all that info, as well as the parts.
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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    Thanks Bob. I will reach out to the them.

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    Chris,

    You will NEED a rear sump oil pan & matching pickup. GS specific exhaust manifolds. Re-wiring of engine compartment. Bigger radiator & cooling fan & shroud. GS specific motor mounts & frame pads. Move the cross member. Shorten, (best to have a new heavy duty one made) the driveshaft & MANY other things I'm forgetting about at this moment. You need the skills & the $$$$ to source the nec. parts & make the installation. IT'S NOT JUST A BOLT-IN.

    Tom T.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
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    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
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    Many other "Nail" parts
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

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    Tom,

    Thanks for the additional info. I spoke with TA Performance this morning as well. They informed me of the same things and there is really no aftermarket for it. I have the know-how and $$$$ but wasn't sure if it was worth it. It would be a cool swap but think I may stay with the hp 300 and swap in a TH350. This will probably give me the output I am looking for to cruise with my family. At least until a 455 comes up.

  8. #8
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    I have a 1964 Skylark with the 300 hp motor.
    ...
    I may stay with the hp 300



    sorry i didn't notice you were doing this earlier. the engine is 300 cubic inches and 310 lb-ft of torque, not 300 hp. the highest rated 300ci in 1964 was 250 hp and 355 lb-ft, and that was rated in Gross Power not SAE Net Power like we use today.

    back in the 60s, Buick was labeling the air cleaner with the engine torque rating, not the HP or displacement.


    and swap in a TH350

    better would be a 200r4. you not only get a shorter 1st gear, you also get a highway OD gear.

    and it's the same bell housing pattern. or includes it, anyways.

    if you're looking for swaps, the 455 is definitely the best bang for the buck. it shares the BOP bell pattern and oiling circuit / distributor layout of the 300ci. you need Big Block frame pads, engine mounts and fan shroud.

    otoh, a Buick 350 is very close to an exact drop in. it's got a deck that's a bit taller than the 300 and a slightly larger bore and swapped valve / cam lobe order, other than that it's the same.

    AND FOR THE CRAZIEST OPTION

    you could keep the 300ci block and put a Buick 350 crank in it. that turns your engine into a short deck 340ci.

    https://www.hotrod.com/articles/hrdp...od-any-engine/
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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    Thanks and sorry for not calling out everything properly in the beginning. When I typed hp I meant high performance. I have the Wildcat 355 with aluminum heads and intake.

    I think adding a different trans will give me the intended results without spending a bunch of time fabricating. A 455 would be nice but not realistic at this point. The 350 would be a good choice but man, you can't find them anymore the way you used to be able to. At least not out here in CO or in a close radius.

    The 349 would be a great build and may be the eventual path for the engine. I read this article before and the numbers that it put down sound like a lot of fun.

    What year(s) were the 200r4 used? I see that they can be bought online but would prefer to pull one and have it rebuilt locally in the event I had any issues.

  10. #10
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    pretty much any small block auto mid size GM from the 1980s has it.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Turbo-...atic#THM200-4R

    they are dual pattern cases, so they should have both the Chevy and BOP patterns and it won't matter which engine you pull it off of.

    if you don't know what i mean, check out my transmission bell thread.

    there are a couple of different OEM grades of 200r4, and the Buick Turbo 6s and Pontiac Turbo Trans Ams will have the heaviest built stock units. pretty much any rebuilder can exceed factory specs though.
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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