Buick v8 engine

Nailhead V8Edit

Buick’s second variation of this V8 was also named Nailhead. It was produced from 1957-1966.

364Edit

The 364 was introduced in 1957. The Special came standard with 2bbl carb and 250 hp where all others had the 4bbl, 300 hp engine. Buick, like most of its competitors, continued to expand their durable V8 engine to larger displacements such as the 364 in³ (4.125in bore)x(3.40in stroke)= 364 cubic inches (6.0 L).

400Edit

The next member of the family was the 401 cu in 400. This was actually a 401 that had been later redesignated a «400» in order to meet GM directives for maximum displacement engines in mid-size cars.

Another even later Buick «400» engine was a member of the and was produced from 1967-1969.

401Edit

The 401 cu in (6.6 L) 401 was Buick’s big car and later midsized muscle car powerplant (relabeled ‘400’, see above) of choice, and was found in the company’s Skylark Gran Sport and Buick Wildcat, among others. As unlikely as it seems, the air cleaner for the engine is annotated with «Wildcat 375» «Wildcat 410» «Wildcat 445» these inscriptions indicated not the cubic inches displaced but the lb-ft of torque produced by the engine. The «Wildcat 410» was the 2-barrel carburated engine that was standard on the 1962-63 LeSabre. The «Wildcat 375» was a no cost option on the 62-63 LeSabre that had lower compression to run on regular fuel (another Buick V8 had «Wildcat 375» written on its air cleaner but it wasn’t a true «Nailhead», despite its appearance, it was the 4-barrel version of the 66-67 small block Buick 340). The «Wildcat 445» had a single 4 barrel carb. It was the standard engine on the Invicta, 1959-66 Electra, 1962-66 Buick Wildcat, 1963 Riviera and 1965 Riviera (the 64 and 66 Riviera models had a 425 in³ engine with a single 4 barrel carb. named «Wildcat 465» as standard equipment). These were also used as starter motors for the SR-71 Blackbird, mounted on a trolley.

In an effort to overcome the «restrictive» exhaust port design, Buick enthusiast drag racers in the sixties adapted superchargers with a custom camshaft to feed intake air in through the exhaust ports and used the larger intake ports for exhaust outlets. Perhaps this feat of ingenuity, and the unusual appearance of the engine modified in this manner, also intimidated rival racers and added to the Nailhead V8 legend that lives upon this page of US auto history.

425Edit

425 cu in425

This was the largest version of the «Nailhead». It began as an option in 1963 on the Riviera and it was later available on the Wildcat and Electra models too. The 1964 and 1966 Riviera had the 425 engine as standard equipment.

4 barrel carburetion was standard on all 425 «Nailheads» that were called «Wildcat 465». The «465» sticker on the air cleaner did not denote engine displacement as many thought, it denoted the torque rating. It was possible to order two 4 barrel carbs, which were delivered in the trunk along with the intake manifold and installed by the dealer. This version was called «Super Wildcat» and could be ordered on the 1965 Riviera Gran Sport and the 1966 Wildcat GS as RPO Y48. Toward the end of the 1966 model year, approximately May 1966, Buick offered the Super Wildcat 465 with dual 4BBL Carter AFB’s as a factory installed option. This engine is coded «MZ» while the dealer installed dual four barrel setup was a «MW» coded engine. There were only 179 1966 Riviera GS cars built with the MZ coded factory dual four barrel setup, making it a very rare car. Rarer still was the 1966 Riviera GS, MZ coded engine, in Riviera Red exterior color.

Nailhead V8Edit

Buick’s second variation of this V8 was also named Nailhead. It was produced from 1957-1966.

364Edit

The 364 was introduced in 1957. The Special came standard with 2bbl carb and 250 hp where all others had the 4bbl, 300 hp engine. Buick, like most of its competitors, continued to expand their durable V8 engine to larger displacements such as the 364 in³ (4.125in bore)x(3.40in stroke)= 364 cubic inches (6.0 L).

400Edit

The next member of the family was the 401 cu in 400. This was actually a 401 that had been later redesignated a «400» in order to meet GM directives for maximum displacement engines in mid-size cars.

Another even later Buick «400» engine was a member of the and was produced from 1967-1969.

401Edit

The 401 cu in (6.6 L) 401 was Buick’s big car and later midsized muscle car powerplant (relabeled ‘400’, see above) of choice, and was found in the company’s Skylark Gran Sport and Buick Wildcat, among others. As unlikely as it seems, the air cleaner for the engine is annotated with «Wildcat 375» «Wildcat 410» «Wildcat 445» these inscriptions indicated not the cubic inches displaced but the lb-ft of torque produced by the engine. The «Wildcat 410» was the 2-barrel carburated engine that was standard on the 1962-63 LeSabre. The «Wildcat 375» was a no cost option on the 62-63 LeSabre that had lower compression to run on regular fuel (another Buick V8 had «Wildcat 375» written on its air cleaner but it wasn’t a true «Nailhead», despite its appearance, it was the 4-barrel version of the 66-67 small block Buick 340). The «Wildcat 445» had a single 4 barrel carb. It was the standard engine on the Invicta, 1959-66 Electra, 1962-66 Buick Wildcat, 1963 Riviera and 1965 Riviera (the 64 and 66 Riviera models had a 425 in³ engine with a single 4 barrel carb. named «Wildcat 465» as standard equipment). These were also used as starter motors for the SR-71 Blackbird, mounted on a trolley.

In an effort to overcome the «restrictive» exhaust port design, Buick enthusiast drag racers in the sixties adapted superchargers with a custom camshaft to feed intake air in through the exhaust ports and used the larger intake ports for exhaust outlets. Perhaps this feat of ingenuity, and the unusual appearance of the engine modified in this manner, also intimidated rival racers and added to the Nailhead V8 legend that lives upon this page of US auto history.

425Edit

425 cu in425

This was the largest version of the «Nailhead». It began as an option in 1963 on the Riviera and it was later available on the Wildcat and Electra models too. The 1964 and 1966 Riviera had the 425 engine as standard equipment.

4 barrel carburetion was standard on all 425 «Nailheads» that were called «Wildcat 465». The «465» sticker on the air cleaner did not denote engine displacement as many thought, it denoted the torque rating. It was possible to order two 4 barrel carbs, which were delivered in the trunk along with the intake manifold and installed by the dealer. This version was called «Super Wildcat» and could be ordered on the 1965 Riviera Gran Sport and the 1966 Wildcat GS as RPO Y48. Toward the end of the 1966 model year, approximately May 1966, Buick offered the Super Wildcat 465 with dual 4BBL Carter AFB’s as a factory installed option. This engine is coded «MZ» while the dealer installed dual four barrel setup was a «MW» coded engine. There were only 179 1966 Riviera GS cars built with the MZ coded factory dual four barrel setup, making it a very rare car. Rarer still was the 1966 Riviera GS, MZ coded engine, in Riviera Red exterior color.

Buick «Big-Block»Edit

The company introduced a larger engine family to replace the «Nailhead» in 1967 and was produced through 1976.

400Edit

The 399.95-cubic-inch (6,554.0 cc) 400 was produced from 1967-1969. This engine had a bore of 4.04 in (103 mm) and a stroke of 3.90 in (99 mm). It was the only large V8 engine available for the A-body Buicks due to the GM cubic inch limit restriction prior to 1970. Most parts except the pistons interchange with the 430 and 455.

430Edit

The 429.69-cubic-inch (7,041.4 cc) 430 was produced from 1967-1969. This engine had a bore of 4.1875 in (106.36 mm) and a stroke of 3.90 in (99 mm). This engine was used in B-, C- and E-body (large body) Buicks. Most parts except the pistons interchange with the 400 and 455.

455Edit

The 455.72-cubic-inch (7,467.9 cc) 455 Buick V8 used a 4.3125 in (109.54 mm) bore and a 3.90 in (99 mm) stroke. It was produced from 1970–1976 and was based on the 400/430 V8. The regular Buick 455 was rated at 350 hp (260 kW), while the 455 Stage 1 was underrated at 360 hp (270 kW). In all actuality, the Stage 1 produced around 425 hp (317 kW). The regular 455 produced a rated 510 ft·lbf (690 N·m) of torque at 2800 rpm, more than any other muscle car engine. The horsepower was somewhat reduced in 1971 mainly due to the reduction in cylinder compression ratio, a change which was mandated by GM in order to cope with the introduction of new federal laws which would require new cars to use unleaded gasoline in an effort to reduce exhaust emissions. Then, starting in 1972, the horsepower rating on paper would be reduced again, down to approximately 250 hp (190 kW), this time due to the new measurement of horsepower as SAE net horsepower, rather than a gross horsepower rating. Tightening emissions controls would cause the engine to drop in power still further, a little at a time, through 1976. Most parts (except the pistons) interchange between the 400 and the 430. The 455 was one of the first «thin-wall casting» engine blocks, and because of this advance in production technology it weighs significantly less than other engines of comparable size (for example, 150 lb (68 kg) less than a Chevrolet 454).

Buick «Big-Block»Edit

The company introduced a larger engine family to replace the «Nailhead» in 1967 and was produced through 1976.

400Edit

The 399.95-cubic-inch (6,554.0 cc) 400 was produced from 1967-1969. This engine had a bore of 4.04 in (103 mm) and a stroke of 3.90 in (99 mm). It was the only large V8 engine available for the A-body Buicks due to the GM cubic inch limit restriction prior to 1970. Most parts except the pistons interchange with the 430 and 455.

430Edit

The 429.69-cubic-inch (7,041.4 cc) 430 was produced from 1967-1969. This engine had a bore of 4.1875 in (106.36 mm) and a stroke of 3.90 in (99 mm). This engine was used in B-, C- and E-body (large body) Buicks. Most parts except the pistons interchange with the 400 and 455.

455Edit

The 455.72-cubic-inch (7,467.9 cc) 455 Buick V8 used a 4.3125 in (109.54 mm) bore and a 3.90 in (99 mm) stroke. It was produced from 1970–1976 and was based on the 400/430 V8. The regular Buick 455 was rated at 350 hp (260 kW), while the 455 Stage 1 was underrated at 360 hp (270 kW). In all actuality, the Stage 1 produced around 425 hp (317 kW). The regular 455 produced a rated 510 ft·lbf (690 N·m) of torque at 2800 rpm, more than any other muscle car engine. The horsepower was somewhat reduced in 1971 mainly due to the reduction in cylinder compression ratio, a change which was mandated by GM in order to cope with the introduction of new federal laws which would require new cars to use unleaded gasoline in an effort to reduce exhaust emissions. Then, starting in 1972, the horsepower rating on paper would be reduced again, down to approximately 250 hp (190 kW), this time due to the new measurement of horsepower as SAE net horsepower, rather than a gross horsepower rating. Tightening emissions controls would cause the engine to drop in power still further, a little at a time, through 1976. Most parts (except the pistons) interchange between the 400 and the 430. The 455 was one of the first «thin-wall casting» engine blocks, and because of this advance in production technology it weighs significantly less than other engines of comparable size (for example, 150 lb (68 kg) less than a Chevrolet 454).

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