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engine ideas for my 64 rivi


donhess64rivi

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If someone went through the trouble of putting a 455 in the car I would stick with that assuming the swap was done professionally.

I see no advantage of going through the effort to install a Chevy engine. Parts for the 455 are easy to get and fairly inexpensive. Some folks want to put a Chevy engine in everything only because they aren't familiar with anything else . If performance enhancements are your thing the 455 is an awesome engine for that and there is a host of proven HP adding modifications available.

I see only benefits from staying with the 455. Maybe your friends are afraid the Buick 455 will outrun their Chevy.;)

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I see only benefits from staying with the 455. Maybe your friends are afraid the Buick 455 will outrun their Chevy.;)

Jason has hit the nail on the head with this one!

If you've had a '70 455 transplanted into your '64, I'm willing to wager that the trans behind it is the TH400 that came with the engine. The 455 can't be bolted to a nailhead. The shifter gate on the console has just a L and D put there are three speeds in the transmission. ALL TH400's have three speeds, the one that was in the '64 originally and the one that came behind the 455.

Send us a picture of the engine and let us see more of it. It might even be the original 425 and, because of the air cleaner nomenclature, it's been misidentified. No matter what, you'll want to stick with a Buick engine. People are afraid of things they don't understand. That's the case with your buddies.

Ed

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Let's hope it's wearing a 67-70 Fullsized oil pan with a center sump instead of a hacked up centerlink. There are ways to put a Buick 350 (I stuck a Buick 4.1L V6 in) in but that's more fab work than a 455 would have been.

If no pictures, tell us is the distributor in the front or the back and how wide is the intake manifold?

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Hi,

I think you should spend some time diagnosing the 455! How does it run outside of the overheat concern? Is it using oil? Smoking from the exhaust? These are some things to look at first unless you have unlimited funds! If you just need a thermostat or a cooling system flush, that would be much less expensive than replacing an otherwise good engine!

Let us know how the engine runs and go from there!

Tim

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a nice 80's Chevy Truck fan clutch retro'd on those 455's and they are usually real nice and cool running. Obvious other stuff can cause overheating issues, but that damned fan clutch mod is so awesome it would be a must even if it weren't the sole culprit. Did it on my 71' 455.

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  • 4 weeks later...

well i sold the engine and trans together im going to be driving this car alot. my last car was a 1975 monte carlo with a 350 in it stock rebuilt, about the same weight as my rivi close to 4000. since this will be my main roni ive got a machinist that is building me a 350 chevy motor 30 over cam(ill get the specs later for posting) with corvette heads and rebuilt a 2 speed powerglide. big car small engine when the time comes and my pockets are right ill try getting it back to the way it was built in 63'. thanks for all the responses and sure ill be back for more on here soon as i know it

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  • 5 months later...

Probably not what you're going to want to hear, but for the car to retain maximum value and maximum WOW anywhere it goes, you should consider putting an original 425 Nailhead back in it. Tons of torque, 465 lb. ft, to move it anywhere you want it to go.

Ed

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Before GM began producing corporate engines, Buick engineers developed their V8 for use in the '53 models except the Special, which maintained the I8. It was nicknamed the "nailhead" because the exhaust valves were so small they looked like a 16d nail. It started out as a 322 cid engine, then in '54 they made a 264 for the Special. In '57 it was enlarged to a 364, then the 401 came along in '59, and the 425 made its debut in '63. It still had small intake valves.

The nailhead has unusual valve train geometry. The pushrods push on the rocker arm at the outside of the head, and the valves are closer to the inside of the head. Hence, the nailhead's valve covers sit on a horizontal plane rather than a 45* angle like most other engines. Nailheads have the distributor at the back and the starter motor is on the driver's side. Little things like this dictate how the wiring harness is laid out. Trying to put a different engine in a Buick requires a totally revamped wiring harness as well as motor mounts, transmission mounts, radiators that have the inlet/outlet on the correct side of the radiator, etc. The nailheads had a unique bell housing and only Buick Dynaflows and the ST400's built 64 - 66 will bolt to them.

If you're an ROA member, look in the Members Only section and find the tech article on swapping a 430/455 Buick for a nailhead. It's enough to make you think more than twice about an engine swap, and this was a Buick for a Buick swap in a chassis that Buick put both in as qn original. The '66 was the first year for the new body/chassis and the last year for the old engine - many unique parts on this year.

Your Cadillac motor was a completey different motor as were the Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Pontiac engines of that era.

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Everything you have should bolt in. The only difference you'll find is that 1) the transmission for the '65 has a variable pitch torque converter "switch pitch" and you'll need to do some research as to how it is wired up. 2) The center console and shifter. The '64 had only two positions for forward gears, D and L. The '65 shifter has three positions D, 2, L. Both the shifter mechanism and the console allow for a longer throw on the shifter lever. If it comes to a point where you find you can't make the '64 shifter work on your '65 transmission the way you like, let me know. I have a complete console and shifter from a '65.

Ed

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i have a 65 i can take parts out of. soon as i get the transmission out and the engine out and can decode it i will know for sure if it was the correct engine. in the 65 there is a air breather with a 445 sticker on it. but when i looked up the heads it showed they were for a 401. the main thing i am trying to figure out is how i can replace the lights and grille.

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Casting numbers are not indicative of cubic inches. What you need to look for is the two letter ID code on the surface of the block where the valley pan is. Check other threads for a picture and codes. 445 would be correct for a 401 based on torque. 4 out of 5 Rivieras built and delivered in '65 were equipped with the 401.

If you have a '65 parts car, use the entire front clip - hood, fenders, inner fenders, header panel, grille, front bumper, head lights; in other words everything off the '65. No biggee if you do it that way. You'll need to use the front bumper anyway, the clamshells won't open if you use a '64 bumper, the headlight frames won't bolt into the '64 fender, and you need the '65 inner fenders to make room for the opening mechanisms.

Ed

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thank you for your responses they have helped alot glad i went with a nailhead they are mean looking!!! i will post pics later now im off on my honeymoon to return to my project. hope this forum also helps others. thanks again and im sure ill have plenty more future ?'s

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Besides being "mean" looking, they can be dressed to the nines. Look at Dave Gees engine in his avitar. Here's a couple of other ideas. Talk about mean, what kind of marquritas do you think could be whipped up with this blender?

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  • 3 weeks later...

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