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Engine swap in 1955 Nash...Buick V8 Maybe?


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I have a 1955 Nash ambassador custom that originally came with a Packard 320 v8, engine was toast and tranny was locked up when I bought it. Was thinking about putting a Packard 374 in it with a T85 or T89 so it could be hooked up to the torque 

 tube, but couldn't find either. 

So I'm looking into putting maybe a Buick nailhead in it, but I don't know if it would bolt to the torque tube. Any information would be appreciated, location Madison SD.

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By some weird coincidence you are the second person with this problem. The best solution would be to rebuild your engine or another Packard V8 and rebuild the trans too.


The Buick is a non starter. Yes it has a torque tube drive but so different from Nash that nothing interchanges.


In the other discussion I suggested it would be easier to put in a Lincoln independent rear suspension than to re engineer the car for a conventional drive. If you put a gun to my head and forced me to put in a different engine, trans etc I would probably look for a Lincoln Mark VIII and transplant the whole power train. This would be a major job and not for the faint of heart but a first class mechanic could pull it off.


On the whole it would probably be cheaper just to buy a better car.

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Yea that was the plan, but there is no salvaging this block or trans, I've had it apart. This engine has been run without oil or coolant, and hard. I have never seen a engine / trans with this much damage. So it's out of the picture. I would like to keep the suspension etc the same, so I'm looking to see if anything could bolt directly to the torque tube, or if anyone has a T85/T89 Nash  transmission out there. With the T85 I could bolt up numerous Ford engines or newer amc v8s. Lincoln suspension is something I would try last 

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You could go to the forums page and scroll down to the American Motors (AMC) Nash and Rambler section.



Or try the Nash car club of America



Or maybe the American Motors Club



I found them in less than 5 minutes with a couple of Google searches. No doubt if you did some creative searches for things like nash 320 motor you could find out lots of interesting things.


My advanced Google fu skills allowed me to find a Nash 320 (Packard) engine block on Ebay


There was another engine but it was a hunk of junk.


Also turned up an ad for a rebuilt 320 for only $2995 unfortunately, from 2015. But, it was placed by well known Packard expert and rebuilder, Jack Vines.



Jack Vines

Jack Vines, 3227 E. 28th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99223 Packard V8 Limited. (01-2015)


Nash club classifieds. I don't see any 320 engines but there is a 1956 Ambassador Super sedan with air and continental kit for $6500. It would certainly be easier and quicker just to buy this car, probably cheaper too.

For Sale      12/05/2017
Name: Richard butcher
Email: richardbutcher26@gmail.com
Phone: 1155592307
Local: little falls MN
Item: car

nash ambassador super


Price Range:

Factory A/C (not used in about 2 years). Continental kit added. Coker WWWs were bought in 2016. Original 250 engine replaced with a 327. Exhaust manifolds were replaced in 2009 with a custom exhaust system. Chrome and stainless good. The transmission is automatic. Glass is good. Upholstery was redone in 2007. Brakes re-worked in 2016. Has a new front grille emblem. Has auxiliary push button starter switch. There are no power brakes or steering. Tri-tone exterior - top white paint is very good; black paint could use repaint, and the green is believed original and needs repaint.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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BCT, there is an old junkyard here in Ohio, which still has lots of really old stuff in it. All the sheet metal is rotted away, of course, but about 10 years ago a family friend went there and was able to buy all the parts needed to convert his Packard convertible from the Ultramatic auto trans to a 3-speed column shift. I am due to go there sometime before summer weather (too many ticks, mosquitoes, etc in summer), so I would be willing to look. Can you provide photos of the components, to make it easier to spot items which may already be removed from cars? 


Below is a photo of an old Nash in that yard. I realize it is not a 1955, but it's the only Nash in that yard which I had a photo of. Cheers! 


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OP needs engine and trans which were one year only, 1955 Nash Ambassador and Hudson Hornet V8. The only V8 offered that year so if the car looks like this and has a V8 that is the one.

Packard used the same engine and trans EXCEPT the Hash was set up for torque tube drive. I don't know if a Packard engine and trans will fit, maybe if you change the tail shaft, I expect someone in the Nash club would know.

Look for headlights in the grille, a unique Nash feature that year.






OP wanted help and he is getting it, just not the kind he asked for.


Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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The Ebay part is just a bare block, not much good to you. If you advertise on the Nash club site or just keep watching Ebay and doing occasional web searches you might turn up a complete engine or engine and trans. It might be worth your while to buy a complete parts car, if your car has a real good body and you find a rust bucket cheap.

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