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Reader Survey - What would you do?


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Hi Rivi enthusiasts......I am considering purchasing a 2nd gen. Rivi. I wish to add air ride, lower the stance, and find 18" Buick style Rallye wheels and a tuned exhaust. I want it to have a throaty rumble outside but quiet inside. My question is this.

 If money were no object would you rebuild the original engine and add fuel injection and electronic ignition? Or would you drop a modern crate engine in it?

Though I am not a hot rodder I've heard plenty of car talk and I've never heard anyone praising the Buick engine like they do Chevy engines. Why is that? And what does the term "nailhead" refer to? I assume it describes the cylinder head.

Thank you all in advance for your opinions! G.C.

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Hi Rivi enthusiasts......I am considering purchasing a 2nd gen. Rivi. I wish to add air ride, lower the stance, and find 18" Buick style Rallye wheels You'll have to have these custom made.  There are some that are close but nothing true. and a tuned exhaust. I want it to have a throaty rumble outside but quiet inside. My question is this.

 If money were no object would you rebuild the original engine You can't discuss Buicks and Chevys in the same context.  Find some older Hot Rod magazines and read about the shoot outs between a 455 powered Buick with a TH400 trans and a same year Chrylser 426 hemi with a four speed.  Best two out of three and there was no need to run a third race.  I wouldn't be relating this to you if the hemi had won.  (A 455 is a 430 with a bigger bore.)  and add fuel injection and electronic ignition? Just add a Pertronix style system to the OE distributor. FI if you pockets are deep enough. Or would you drop a modern crate engine in it? NO!  The Buick parts are out there, they're just not run of the mill, find them anywhere items. You'll have to do chassis fabrication to make an LS engine fit. Though I am not a hot rodder I've heard plenty of car talk and I've never heard anyone praising the Buick engine like they do Chevy engines. Why is that? Chevy engines are cheap and plentiful and because no one wants to be thought of as an individual and stray from the pack. And what does the term "nailhead" refer to? The size of the exhaust valves - they look more like a 2d nail than a valve. I assume it describes the cylinder head.

Thank you all in advance for your opinions! G.C.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Watch the season finale of Fast and Load. They did all this to a black '69. Can't get images off my phone, but it looked good. Rebuilt the 430, added American Racing wheels similar to Buick road wheels with original caps, added FAST fuel injection. Lowered it, but did not bag it. Made a nice ride.

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When (if) you really get into your 430/455 engine, here are links to two separate forums on the V8Buick website.  Jason Zerbini has made reference to this site quite often - they also have a separate forum for the nailhead.  The guys on these forums are engine guys - it doesn't matter to them what kind of car the engine is in.  The first link is to the street/strip engine; the second link is to the race engine.

 

http://www.v8buick.com/forumdisplay.php?6-Street-strip-400-430-455  

 

http://www.v8buick.com/forumdisplay.php?7-Race-400-430-455If

 

 If you don't find your answer here, you're not looking hard enough. :)

 

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 430  or 455 and you have plenty of performance options for adding power. There are rebuild guides and different builds out there to pick and choose from. As for adding fuel injection, the FItech fuel injection system is becoming popular. I think it has been out a year or thereabouts. Holley is coming out with the sniper at around $1000 and looks a lot like the FItech version. This is an alternative to the fast-ez efi coming in closer to $2500. That should be a decent starting point if nothing else.

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