Sign in to follow this  
ericw

Continuing Saga of my 64

Recommended Posts

My 64 that blew its engine is still not running but some positive actio. I was given a 64 425 from an Electra but after checking it for compression found that it too was pretty shot. The oil pump filter screen in the pan was gone and junk had been sucked through the engine. I filed a claim against the seller and after a lot of hoop jumping they are going to reimburse me $3500.00!! The Rivvy expert that has helped me says that he can't find rebuld kits anywhere for the 425. I have seen them in Kanter. He reccomends a 401. He thinks he can find me a decent one out of his many cars. I should be able to pocket some money and look for a better Rivvy somewhere down the road. I have checked out another in the area and it wasn't that hot. Terry(mechanic0 found one that was a ground up restortation but were asking 13K which if done right isn't really out of line but the color isn't appealing and has no AC. Let alone do I have those kind of funds at the moment. Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Rivvy expert helping you needs to look harder. Rebuild kits for the 425 are available, or at least the parts are.

Try TA performance.. It will cost you 3K or so to rebuild one though in parts and machine work.

If you like the car, keep the 425 in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For all the bad mouthing the 425 is getting, they sure made a lot of them and used the motor for quite a few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

Check out Northern Automotive Warehouse in IOWA! They still carry a lot of Nailhead parts but don't advertize them in their catalog anymore. They are very reasonable and carry good quality parts. Another source is still ebay if you check under Nailhead, you can find NOS 401 and 425 parts from time to time. Should not be a significant difference in cost rebuilding a 425 to a 401. One word of caution on the 425, you should have the block sonically tested to make sure there is adequate metal present to bore the block if needed.

Good Luck!

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim, Thanks for the info; I haven't heard of that place before. If they have to re-sleeve a block wouldn't that be as good as new? in regards to the wall thickness?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got pistons, rings, bearings, gaskets, and everyting else need to rebuild a 66 425 a few years ago from PAW - Performance Automotive Warehouse. They usually run a two page spread in Hot Rod and other similar magazines. The ads in the magazines don't carry the nailhead stuff because it isn't belly button sbc or sbf but they did have it and it was reasonably priced. I got this cool decal to put in my window too. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Re-sleeve" the block????? What happened to that thing?????

They didn't have sleeves in them to start with, I don't think.

BEFORE you (or anyone else) orders pistons, you/they need to know what the unmolested bore diameter is and what the next piston oversize needed to "get fresh metal" would be. A good (and hopefully competent) machinist would be working that way, anyway. In general, unless it's been bored before, something like a .030" overbore will generally clean things up nicely.

Most engines of that era will take a .060" overbore with no issues, but if the recommendation is to get the 425 sonic tested, that can't hurt either. What it will do is tell you how thick the cylinder walls are and if the casting might have been offset somewhat during the pouring processes when the block was "born". Ideally, you want the bore centered in the casting rather than otherwise, with sufficient wall thickness to support things you desire to do in the overboring process . . . and it last.

It might be too late, and you might not get the desired answer at this point in time . . . but I hoped you chose an engine builder that is somewhat "versed" in Nailhead. AND one that has reliable access to several parts warehouse distributors that have OEM-spec parts for everything.

KEY THING is to let THEM order the parts--period! That way, if something doesn't come in or comes in wrong, they have to deal with it rather than you having to take time from your schedule to "make things right". EVEN if they tell you you can get the parts ordered yourself, let THEM do it. It might cost a little more money to do it that way, but THEY know what parts to ask for from the supplier and it's better for THEM to be involved in knowing THEMSELVES where things are coming from, when they'll be there, so they can schedule your job better and keep things flowing well if something doesn't happen as it should.

Now, it's acceptable to recommend some of the mentioned vendors as possible sources, BUT they should be able to tap into that same network (which supplies the named vendors) at a better price-point level from some of the same main suppliers, hopefully (key word). In other words, PAW and others have to get their parts from somewhere, with all due respect, and your machine shop should also have some sources into THAT supply chain, too, hopefully. Again, the orientation for the rebuild parts should be "OEM-spec" as the minimum specification, but sometimes when you try to "make it better", you'll spend more money for very little real difference in performance or durability.

Just some thoughts and observations,

NTX5467

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some good suggestions here. I have heard the part about letting the machine shop get the parts. That sure makes sense to me. The mechanic who will rebuild the engine for me(if I go that route) is 72 and has specialized in Buicks for 40 years. I think his older sources have dried up. He has 30 or more Buicks in his salvage yard in fact that is about all he has there. He has loads of Rivieras. I think he is sort of hoarding the best engines , transmissions, etc. Not sure why but they are his to do as he wishes with. He has a great 56 2 door that only needs a little work but it has been waiting 30 years for him to get around to it. I couldn't wait that long!! He has suggested that I use a used engine. He has one in good shape. He doesn't think my car is worth the money that the engine rebuild would cost. He might be right. He would do the assembly not the machine shop work. I was in one shop a month back (not one he would use) and I was amazed at hoe sloppy it was. I know the work can be dirty but orderly is not impossible. I will have to have a sit down with him. Thanks for all of the input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric,

If it is Terry that you are talking about, you might have an option of a good used 401. I would have him test compression and check the timing chain for slop, or just replace the chain and gears. If compression is good and the timing chain is in good shape or new, you may have an engine that will live a long time.

As far as sleeving goes, I have had a number of blocks sleeved over the years with good success. Any machine process has it's down side, and these should be looked at with regard to how the engine is going to be used. If it is just going to be a driver, I would say you would be OK with sleeving an engine, even a 425 Buick. If you are towing, racing or otherwise abusing the engine, I would not sleeve the block and would look for one with good bores.\

I would like to re-emphasize that the value of 1st Generation Riviera's are going up! (finally!) If it is a rustbucket (like my blue car!) the value is pretty flat, but if the body is straight and rust-free, that car will increase in value, period. You certainly don't have to do a frame off restoration to have a car to enjoy! Fix it as it needs it or when you have the time and money. Make sure you are having fun with the car!

Tim McCluskey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim, I am one way or another going to get the car rolling. I think it will make a good driver. Not being show room has its plusses, you don't have to worry about every little rock chip etc. I sure liked the way it rode and handled the 8 hours I did drive it. I am going to try to get Terry to find me a 401. I know he has them. Some of his other work will slow down as will mine and I can get down to it. Thanks, Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this