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Nailhead Identification


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 That looks like the engine serial number, by the colour it must be a 60's car. There are casting numbers along the back the engine casting where the distributor is. I have a list of nailhead casting numbers somewhere. There are quite a number of nailhead variations from '53 to '66, and they all look about the same!

Meantime I'll try to find the list.

Keith

 

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Disregard the color Keith. It was yellow with chromed covers when I got it. Seems to have different stuff on it, but its an early one. Casting #'s don't seem to narrow it down enough and that # is unlike any I can find.

Matt

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-  The location of the stamped Engine Serial Number pictured above, between the middle branches of the driver's (left) side exhaust manifold, is correct for 1953 thru 1956 Buick V8 nailhead engines.

-  Starting in 1957, the stamped E.S.N. location was changed and engines were now stamped on the top surface of the crankcase, just forward of the valve lifter cover, viewable by standing in front of the car facing the engine.

 

-  The format of the E.S.N. in the picture above is incorrect for 1953 thru 1956 Buick passenger cars with the V8 nailhead engines.

-  The format of the E.S.N. in the picture above is correct for 1957 and later Buick V8 nailhead engines, whereby the first character is a digit (9 in this case) representing the Buick series, the second character is an alpha-letter designating the year (B in this case = 1955) and the third character being a digit (1 in this case = Flint, Michigan) representing the assembly plant at which the car was built.

 

Here are my WAGs: 

-  The first digit "9" most likely represents a 9000 series commercial vehicle and not a passenger car. It's a known fact that Chevrolet and GMC used Buick V8 nailhead engines in some of their heavy-duty series vehicles . . . buses and trucks . . . thru 1959. 

-  This engine is of 1955 vintage.

-  This engine was originally installed in a heavy-duty 9000 series Chevrolet or GMC commercial vehicle.

 

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

 

 

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Very interesting. Digging thru old threads and other forums seems Chev/GMC used them 56-57 then buses only 58-59. 

 

So my engine may have been built 55 then installed 56-59??

 

Thanks for the help so far!

Matt

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My info says a 53-56 322 would have a casting number of 1169165 and an early 364 would have be 1173201. Also the spacing between the heads on the intake is slightly different from the early smaller ones, to 364/401, and 425. Only certain intake manifolds will interchange because of this. I don't that info at my fingertips right now though.

Keith

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Alright, this is some more info for you, the 264/322's are 8.25(1/4) in from bolt centre to bolt centre, the 364's are 8.625(5/8") and the 401/425 are 9". This is measured across the width of the bolt holes. That should at least narrow it down a bit.

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