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kilkm

Nailhead Pushrods

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I've never owned a classic Buick before and wasn't even familiar with the term "nailhead" until I bought my '62 Electra a couple of years ago. I found it interesting that the "Wildcat 445" was actually 401 C.I. and the 445 designated torque. When I replaced the valve cover gaskets last year I was taken-back by the rocker arm design and the fact that there was no adjustments on the individual tappets. I've recently been stripping the motor down to paint the block for a winter spruce up project. When I removed the valley cover I noticed that the pushrods on this engine have adjustment nuts just above where they contact the hydraulic lifters. Are these standard or is this a modification? This engine has had some performance upgrades, Edelbrock performer carb, electric fuel pump and the distributer has a Petronix's unit (has worked flawlessly) and an Accell Super Coil, but I know nothing of the history of the car and what else may have been done to the engine. Engine runs smooth and real strong, so I assume whoever built it new what they were doing. One other thing, I also noticed a rod near the throttle linkage that crosses over behind the cylinder head and down to the dynaflow transmission just forward of the gear shift linkage. It's not connected to anything and appears to me that it should be hooked up the throttle linkage. A freind of mine thought that it was a valve that increased line pressure during wide open throttle situations to prevent slippage in the transmission. If this is correct I'll need to look at a similar model to see how they routed the linkage. I know some of you guys out there know all about this, like to hear from you. Thanks!

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Welcome to the wonderful world of "Nailheads" Sounds like you have found a real jem. Post a pic when you can.

To answer your question about the pushrods yes they are a modified version. Stock will have no adjuster nuts on them.

Glad to hear your Pertronix unit it working well. Some of us love em others do not. You may want to carry an emergency set of replacement points with you just in case of unit failure. tongue.gif

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Hi kilkm,

The rod is a transmission kickdown linkage for the transmission that open the vanes that make the trans "blast off", officially for passing. The reason that it isn't hooked up is that the Edelbrock carb doesn't have the proper linkage that when the accelerator moves forward, the trans rod moves back. Right now basically when you floor it the engine does more work than if the kickdown linkage was hooked up. If the car drives fine now, you may not want to mess with it. I bet the Edelbrock gets better mileage. If you want to change it back to original, you may find that they removed other stuff, not just the carb. I hope this helps.

Mike

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Mike;

Thanks for the info on the transmission kick down linkage. Was this set up also used on the later dynaflows, after 1963? Could you or anyone post a photo of how this linkage is configured? I've heard the performance of the dynaflow compaired to a herd of turtles swimming through a sea of peanut butter. I think my turtles are also wearing lead boots! If anyone could post a picture of this linkage set up I sure would appreciate it.

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I honestly don't know what the trans linkage looks like on the 64 -66 when they stopped using the Dynaflow. I have a 66 manifold that you are supposed to be able to use the one year only Q-Jet carb for but I have never been able to get a definitive answer from anyone on how to readjust the linkage from my car( a 63) to the later trans. linkage, or vice-versa. I really want to use the manifold with this setup for (allegedly) better mileage and much better performance in general.

I had heard the same thing about Dynaflows for years and I believed it because I had my 55 Special with the 264 engine in it. The engine wasn't running it's best. The carb needed help, the timing was off, and I think I had a plug loose. When I bought my Wildcat with a freshly rebuilt 401 (the only good thing about the Wildcat at that time) and the balding tires it came with...I smoked 'em. After the restoration of my 55, with the linkage properly adjusted it performs very nicely. I will try to get a picture within the next week of my linkage for you.

How is your gas mileage? My 63 gets maybe 12-13mpg. (Premium gas).

Mike

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Last year on the Hot Rod Power Tour I checked the mileage and was pleased with 16.5 MPG, not bad for a '62 Electra. I'm sure the New Edelbrock carb is a lot more efficient than the original equipment. I'll be interested to see what the linkage set up looks like. The 401 in this car runs REAL strong, sure would like to get better performance from the dynaflow, and am curious what difference the kick-down valve will make.

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