Headers for late Hudson/Nash/AMC V8s

dougsondougson Posts: 683Senior Contributor
I have heard that JC Whitney made (sold) headers for the 1st gen. Nash/Hudson/Amc V8 (250, 287, 327) yeras ago. Has anyone ever seen a pair?


  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,364Senior Contributor
    This is from the hotrodforum, hotrodders.com:

    For starters, there's no speed parts available, so you have to modify some. A later model AMC intake will fit but you have to make adapter plates to match the ports and make up for about an inch in width (the GEN-1 AMC, which you have, is about an inch wider between the heads than the GEN-2 and 3). BB Mopar may fit using adapters also. AMC made a cast iron 4V intake for the 327, but it's a ho-hum piece. Does mount a standard Holley carb though. For headers find something that is close to the ports and cut the flange off. Make a new flange for the 327, tweak the pipes, and weld on. You'll have to send the stock cam out to be reground, but that's no big deal. 

    Now for the good side! The block is heavy, weighs about the same as a Ford 390 or Chevy 396. It can be bored 0.125" (yes, 1/8"!) if necessary. Bore is 4", so finding pistons won't be to much trouble. Stroke might be the same as an SBC, but the rod length isn't, so pin height may be different. I've nvere measured to find out. It's got a forged steel crank and rods -- clean up the stock parts and it's good to go. Combined with the heavy block the thing is as bullet proof as they come! The only possible weak part is the stock cast pistons. The 4" bore makes custom forged a little cheaper. Those older cast pistons are a bit heavier and thicker than modern ones, so they hold up well. I know a couple people running 20 psi turbos with stock pistons and they haven't reported broke ones yet.

    The heads are a bit restrictive because of the design, and you can't use much larger valves without having shrouding issues. Instead of bigger valves most people running one of these just clean up the ports and stick on a turbo or nitrous bottle. The stock pistons are working fine with 150 N2O shots, no one I know has pushed them further. 

    Nothing but a GEN-1 AMC trans will fit. 

    The AMC 327 was built from 1957-68 or so. It was used in AMC cars through 66, Jeep used it through 67. A few replacements were made in 68, and possibly used in early production 68 Jeeps. The AMC GEN-1 V-8 was made from 56-68 or so (as above). Started in 56 as a solid lifter 250 with 3.5" bore. The 250 was made through 1961, dropped for 62. In mid 63 a 287 (3.75" bore) version was introduced, then dropped after 66. All three (250/287/327) use the same block design (different castings for the bore, you can't bore a 250 1/2"!!). The bore size is cast into the block above the bell, just behind the right cylinder head (right where you can't see it between the head and firewall!). All three use the exact same stroke -- cranks and rods interchange. This was because of the cost to make the forged pieces. By the way, all 50s and very early 60s (61-62) engines have forged cranks because they just didn't know how to cast cranks that would take the pressure. As casting technology improved, cranks were cast as they were cheaper. AMC knew their first V-8 wasn't going to cut it later due to weight, so never bothered to develop a cast crank for it -- they developed a whole new engine instead. The forged crank tooling was already paid for, so there wasn't much cost savings for them to change.
  • dougsondougson Posts: 683Senior Contributor
    Thanks, I am restoring a '57 Rebel and always looking for information about the 327. I am aware of most you posted. There is very little room in the Rambler body for "conventional" headers, which is why I was interested about the JC Whitney information because, as you state, almost no aftermarket parts were produced for the motor. I actually have a '57 WCFB intake, the only year Nash/AMC used the Carter carb.
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,364Senior Contributor
    You might contact Headers by Ed to see if they have a flange for your engine.


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