Nailhead Installation Instructions  

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’53 to ’66 Buick Nailhead

 


 

 

Due to the many changes in transmissions all thru the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, its no wonder that no one has attempted to tackle the difficult task of designing engine to transmission adapter kits for these motors before. Have no misconceptions about how much time and effort went into the development of these kits. Every time the transmission changed, the flywheel changed, sometimes the crankshaft changed, and sometimes the starter changed. One of the many difficulties was trying to achieve universality so that I wouldn’t have to stock 13 different kits to cover 13 years. Success! 3 kits now cover all these years. 1 kit covers ’53 thru ‘56, another fits the ’57 to ‘63, and another fit's the '64 to '66. These kits allow you to use any Chev automatic transmission built for a V8 from 1955 to 1997. You may have to do a slight block modification on the ’57 and ’58 blocks. You have to drill an extra starter hole, and cut a small ear off of the block. Then you will be running a ’60 to ’63 starter. Try your existing starter. If it doesn't work with the supplied flywheel, then try this modification. 

One of the criteria that I wanted to achieve with this kit was NO modifications to either the block or the transmission case or torque converter. The slight modification it takes to achieve my goal is minimal. For the most part it even allows you to retain your original starter. The flywheels are custom made and balanced. All parts are CNC machined and ground. All parts are American made.

Kit contents

1. One aluminum adapter plate

2. On the ’57 thru ’63, an inner crank spacer.

3. All kits take an outer crank adapter (different lengths between kits)

4. The '57-'63 kit comes with a rebalanced late flywheel. (the other  kits retain original flywheels)

5. Bolt kit

6. Torque converter drive plate

       

         53 - 56 Nailhead Kit                         57 - 63 Nailhead Kit                              64 - 66 Nailhead Kit

 

With your transmission removed, clean the back of the block where the adapter will contact it. Make sure both alignment dowels are in place. Install the block adapter. 1953 thru 1956 264 and 322 nailhead engines retain the original front part of the torque converter that has the starter ring gear attached to it. This kit utilizes that part. Remove the bolts holding it to the crankshaft and install the provided crank adapter and supplied bolts. If you have a manual trans, we can recut our crank adapter so you can utilize that part. (’57 to ’63 only, sandwich the provided flywheel between the inner and outer crank spacers.) The weight on the flexplate goes towards the engine. Make sure you position the flywheel weight correctly in relation to the alignment hole in the crankshaft. (See below). Then bolt them to your crankshaft with the long capscrews provided. Use loctite, then torque them to factory specs. Bolt the adapter plate to the block with the 4, 7/6" x 14" x 1-3/4" socket head capscrews. Try the starter before going any further. If it looks like the starter and ring gear will work alright, install the provided torque converter drive plate using the 6 flywheel bolts provided. You should now be able to bolt any Chev automatic transmission to the back of this motor.   

Important!

'53 to '56 and ’64 to ’66 blocks retain their original starter and flywheel. All ’57 & up engines, make sure your flywheel is aligned on the crank correctly. They are balanced. Also ’64 &up will have to grind a small lip off their original flywheel so the crank adapter will bolt on flat. Stick flywheel is shown, but is the same alignment hole.

 year engines. Make sure you can see this alignment hole thru the flywheel alignment hole when installing the new flywheel.

 

 

 

 

Bendtsen’s Transmission Center Inc.  763 767 4480

13603 Johnson St NE,  Ham Lake, MN. 55304

bob@transmissionadapters.com

 

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