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TallJohn    12

Hello folks. Good to meet some of you at the Reno meet. I really enjoyed it. I was wondering if anyone knows of a reputable shop that has experience with nailheads. Preferably western states, California even better. I had a quote for a re-build from a local shop for 10k, $6700.00 from a shop in Indiana. First quote seems high, but maybe that's the going rate. any suggestions would help. Thanks

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KongaMan    169

Yank it, tank it, and start puttin' it back together yourself.  For $7 grand, you might as well try.  It ain't nothing but taking your time and double-checking your work.

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Zimm63    23

Russ Martin in Grass Valley has a good reputation.  Tom Telesco as well.  Carmen Faso redid my heads some years back, but he is in NY. 

 

No doubt there are others.  Standard advice is avoid people who are used to building small block chevs.

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JZRIV    568

West coast - Russ Martin as mentioned above. http://nailheadbuick.com/

Russ stopped in at the meet in Reno. Cost will be dependent on the current condition of engine and if you want basic stock rebuild or extras/performance

modifications.

 

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TallJohn    12

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will contact Tom Telesco for a third quote and go from there . Thanks again.

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telriv    45

You would be better off with Russ as he's on the west coast where you are. I'm located on the east coast on the opposite side of the country. At the VERY MINIMUM it would cost 3K. That's just a re-ring & new parts. NO BORING or other details. NO GUARANTEE!!!!          It can go up from there. For a performance re-build, when you're trying to re-invent the wheel it can go as high as 20K+.

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KongaMan    169

I dunno.  I rebuilt mine a while back.  Pulled it out (and put it back in) in my driveway using a chain hoist on an old swing set reinforced with 2x4s.  Sent it out to be tanked, bored, and have the heads redone.  Bought a gasket set, new rings and seals, and some Plastigauge.  Took a bunch of measurements, read the shop manual a couple of times, and put it back together in the garage.  35 years later, it's still running strong.  Either I'm that good, I'm that lucky, or -- most likely -- this ain't as hard as some would have you believe.

 

You might say you don't have the time to do it.  Ask yourself this: how long is it going to take you to make the money you'll need to pay someone else?  You already know how to spend money.  Why not learn something new?

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RivNut    1,012
1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

Before you do anything...  Why do you think the engine needs to be rebuilt?

I was wondering the same thing myself.

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jsgun    31

I've read on other sites a rebuild with good parts and someone that knows what they're doing is around $6K. Part of the reason I jumped on my 64 so quickly was that the motor and trans were rebuilt.

 

The motors seem to respond well to upgrades, I'd have a hard time not saving up for TomT's roller rockers.

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TallJohn    12

I'm at my limit of mechanical skill. Although I have pulled motors for and exchange before, I have never gotten into the guts of a motor. I have my car at a reputable local shop who have  done the diagnosis. #2 and # 8 cylinders low compression (85). According to them, not heads/valves. They are not pressuring me as they would not be doing the motor work. I have found two local shops thanks to recommendations from ROA members. So I will move forward on it next week. Thanks all.

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KongaMan    169
9 hours ago, jsgun said:

Part of the reason I jumped on my 64 so quickly was that the motor and trans were rebuilt.

 

Depending on who did the rebuild, that may not be a good thing. ;)

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jsgun    31
7 hours ago, KongaMan said:

 

Depending on who did the rebuild, that may not be a good thing. ;)

I've thought that too. No weird sounds out of the motor, and it moves under it's own power, so it's a leap of faith.

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KongaMan    169
6 hours ago, jsgun said:

I've thought that too. No weird sounds out of the motor, and it moves under it's own power, so it's a leap of faith.

It sounds like it's in better shape than I am.

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DualQuadDave    14

Hi TJ, I build them as well, I am in South Florida.  Price for "basic" rebuild fixing the few factory issues with a Nail and upgrading to ARP rod bolts is $5000.  Parts/labor have gone insane on engines, not just Nailheads, and I do several different builds from 303 Olds to LS turbo builds.  I do offer a menu for performance upgrades and I offer my own custom ground cams/head & intake porting and more.  I can provide references on request.  I am doing two 1965 LX 425's now and will have a 64 KX 425 coming soon.  Feel free to PM me with any questions.  See pics below for a few that I have built. The super clean green assembled one is Rob's on the board. Thanks!

LA 401.JPG

LS 401 4.JPG

Nailhead Heads 11.JPG

Norm401-2.jpg

Norm401-4.jpg

Robert401-2.jpg

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Rivdrivn    98

Dave built my engine and it works great. He said he built it "to terrorize the countryside". It's very torquey with the performance mods that were employed, yet reliable as a street engine so far. Of course, due to the high-lift cam, a vacuum pump is required to make the power brakes go. A small sacrifice, I'd say.

IMG_3011.JPG

IMG_3007.JPG

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RivNut    1,012

For others considering camshafts that will result in low vacuum, look into power brakes that are called hydroboost.  The boost is hydraulic and comes from the power steering pump.  Both of my '83 XX Anniversary Rivieras came with hydroboost power brakes from the factory.  

 

"Hydro-boost power assist was introduced in 1973 by Bendix as an alternative to the vacuum booster. The hydro-boost uses the hydraulic pressure from the power steering system to provide the driver assist in applying the brakes.

 

There are three reasons why a vehicle may be equipped with hydro-boost instead of a vacuum booster:

  1. There is no vacuum source available, as in diesel engines, or the vacuum source available is too weak to adequately supply a vacuum booster.
  2. There is limited space available for the power assist device.
  3. The vehicle requires more assist than is available from a vacuum booster."

Check it out.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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EmTee    614
7 hours ago, RivNut said:

There are three reasons why a vehicle may be equipped with hydro-boost instead of a vacuum booster:

 

Which begs the question: why on the XX?  :huh:

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RivNut    1,012
4 hours ago, EmTee said:

 

Which begs the question: why on the XX?  :huh:

I don't really know.  My  guesses would be that it was installed to resemble the twin turbo XX Indy Pace car for '83 or because it had four wheel disk brakes or because it was some more bling for the XX.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

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jsgun    31

I've considered hydroboost on my 64, but I've got enough to do on it as it is. I believe the HB system can give a whole lot more assist to the brakes than a vacuum booster. I suspect it's valving changes for specific cars, but it's pretty interesting.

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