35Joe

1957 Buick Dover Drag Car Frozen Engine

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Does anyone have any "glory days" info/pics of this Dover N.Y. Drag strip car. The owner parted her out and I later read some posts online

that it was under protest because of the history. I have the frozen 1957 364 engine.

I cannot yet get her to turn so I can remove the bell housing in order to get her on the engine stand. The spark plugs, 3 Rochesters, Spearco injection, intake, water pump, valley cover etc. all came off without a problem. I loaded her up with MM oil and Mineral Spirits. I would like to flip her over to open the crank for further inspection. Can the stand be safely installed in front of the block. Please advise. Thx.

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what an awesome piece of custom Buick history. Good luck in finding additional history and in getting the nailhead unstuck and running.

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@35Joe  so what all did you get from the car

 

transmission?

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12 hours ago, 35Joe said:

Just the engine.

Would have been interesting in knowing what transmission was used? Original synchromesh???? 

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The torque converter is still on the engine. I read somewhere that there was some sort of "short shifter" in the car. The creator left no rocks unturned. Must have been something to see a car so big and heavy go down the track!

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The ad is still up on Barn Finds.  I just Googled "Barn Finds 1957 Buick" and found a picture of it.  Clicking on the picture pulled up the ad.

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Just now realizing I have 1961-66 heads on the 57 block. I bought the "Best Gasket" set. Not sure yet if and what is properly matched up.Good reading material from 2017 about the port matching. 

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I copied and pasted some info from Russ Martin's website on nailhead heads.  From what I read, it just looks like the heads on your engine have bigger exhaust valves.

 

Cylinder Head Info ..

The 53 322 heads and pistons are all by themselves, nothing can be upgraded, it was a bad design, best to use the 54-55-56 heads and pistons (re-balance a must). Many 53’s were upgraded that way in the 50’s by the dealers.
The 54-55-56 heads all have the same castings but different machining and or valve sizes. Casting #’s do not tell you much. The 264 and 322 share the same heads in the same years.. If you have a 54 264-322 always use the larger 55-56 exhaust valves. If you have a 54-55 322 it is easy to make them into 56 heads with 15 minutes and die grinder, we can supply template with valve purchase from us. The 56 heads were designed for the 322 4″ bore so these mods should NEVER be used on the smaller bore 264 (except the larger exhaust valves).
The push rod holes in the 53-54 and early 55 heads are very small so when upgrading to new tube type push rods enlarge those holes to 15/32 for clearance. The mid 55 and later have the larger holes.
The 57-58 364 heads are the same as later heads except for smaller exhaust valve heads and shorter valve spring installed height.. One other thing, the coolant sender hole is different size and thread type.
All 59-66 364-401-425 heads are the same except the 66 California ones that had A.I.R. holes in the exhaust ports for smog equipment.
NEVER machine your heads for larger or taller valve springs, it puts the spring into the push rod hole it will chew up your push rods !
Always check for piston to head clearance, some of the new pistons will hit the combustion chamber with the piston dome top corners opposite the valve reliefs. At best it will knock a little, at worst it will shatter the piston!
Read the 15 most Common Mistakes and Boring limits and Upgrades for other head and valve info. If you have the 56-59 GM Torque Master you basically have a 56 Special 322 engine with lots of HD parts including a roller timing chain.. We have a few nos chains left but no sprockets.

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Good stuff! Thank you.

update: cylinder bore is stock size. Going 20 over for one scratch in one cylinder

crank just needs a polish

haven't gotten in heads yet

may be the wrong shade paint from Bill Hirsh but it's growing on me.

 

 

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Edited by 35Joe (see edit history)

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Hirsch paint is the correct color.  Lookin' good.

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After doing a total engine tear down I couldn’t find a reason why the car went to the graveyard. After reading an article by Russ Martin about how crappy the 57-58 oil pumps are, I took apart mine only to find a sleeve dislodged itself blocking the flow of oil from the pick up! 

 

 

Edited by 35Joe (see edit history)

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