'49 Nailhead Hudson

KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
Hey ya.

So recently I picked up a new project now my 52 Buick is complete - a 1949 Hudson Super.

Story goes I was browsing auctions with no intention of buying anything just cyber tire kicking so to speak.
"Hey a cool old barn find car has surfaced 45 mins away. Want go take a look" i ask my better half.
With a promise that we would go get something tasty for lunch we pile in the old 52.

Walking up to it & seeing the fast back shape and roof that looks chopped straight from the factory the better half mutters "I wont say no if you want to buy it"

^^ what more can i say... talked the price down for cash & shook hands with plans to pick it up the following day.
Next day swapped the fat wad of bills for the original registration papers, original ownership papers showing two owners (father then son), a few old photos from 1962 and a set of keys to a car that hadn't been started for 47 years.

Now I already have a Straight 8 in the buick and not really interested in another inline. NASCAR history big brother or not. Saying this im not into chevy swaps. I do like Buick Nailheads... rare here in New Zealand and always catch my attention when dressed up. I look at the Husdon, scratch the ol chin and go "yus sir that would be mighty fine". Nailheads have a old school look that would suit that engine bay more than any Buick ever did.

Images from the Auction & First Look.

So what the old timer said was wrong with it:
  • Fuel tank out as he has had it patched cus had a few small leaks.
  • trunk floor has a split where fuel tank mounts. guessing due to weight & old NZ roads being not the best etc
  • small patch rust on left rear skirt.
  • patch rust on right front panel.
  • front right door pillar has a split at bottom. apparently he use to chat to people leaning on the open door and thinks this might of been the issue.
  • brake Master cylinder needs put back in as its and all the drums have been redone.
  • Water pump is at a shop getting redone.
  • Rats have nested in seats.
All easy stuff really. the splits are clean stress splits with no rust or nasty to be seen.

Still trying to figure out my build. Any help or ideas are most welcome. I do know the history of Hudson and NASCAR etc but I already have a restored car and dont want another. im after a more custom look. I haven't been in a Hudson moving under its own power so im unsure of many things like suspension etc.

Plan so far:
  • worked 401 Nailhead. (hard to get here so may need import)
  • Worked 700R4 trans
  • rewire using American Autowire highway 22kit.
  • Wilwood disks all around.
  • Media blast.
  • Shave the handles. French the lights. and do all the normal custom shiz
  • Change up the grill.
  • Lower it.
  • new interior.
Thinking 9 inch in the rear to handle the Nailheads torque and power. Not sure what ratio.
Not sure for front end. I read how great the near 70 year old front end was. Maybe new hubs for disk brakes and a thicker swaybar. But then i think why not just throw in a jag IFS. comes with disks, power steering etc and is cheap here in New Zealand (cheaper than reworking the old hudsons setup)
Driveshaft - unsure. one or 2 piece...

So ideas? Suggestions?
This will be an expensive project for me. Being at the bottom of the world/New Zealand means expensive shipping. We have a lot of Holdens here and a fair few Euro cars.
Again note this is under Street Rod section im not after a restoration. im after a old school look & sound with if possible a more modern handling.

Thanks guys




  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    Forgot to add:

    Got it home & got the trunk welded up. 
    Hooked up the gas tank.
    Put the brake system back together. 
    Changed the oil, plugs and battery. 
    Suck through some gas and spat the left overs into the carb. Took a mighty sip of my favorite brew- just to wash out my mouth honest.
    Turned the key.  Started right up!!! 

    Soon noticed the exhaust pipe ended a few feet from the headers. Hard to miss once its turned on. Not that concerned as its all coming out anyway.

    Turned it off after 10 seconds or so due to no water pump but feeling confident that once i get the pump the old thing might move under its own power. Have read about the clutches can get stuck after long periods of not being used so might have to check that to i guess. Looking at the concoctions people list for Hudson clutch fluid makes me think of some demented witches brew.

    Then its just get a vid of it turned on and if possible moving and stopping under its own power.
    then rip it all out and flick it off to the restoration guys


  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,963Administrator
    I believe there is a type of ATF you can use in place of Hudsonite -- or the New Zealanders may have come up with an acceptable alternative to the original Hudsonite.  If you haven't contacted the NZ Hudson club for advice, you may wish to do so!
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    So planning of my build is still ticking away. 
    Although i have started ordering the easy bits like all the rubbers, seals, window channels etc

    Since the old water pump is still getting fixed im flushing the clutch slowly. rotating it every day as it sits with kerosen. with luck it will free the clutch if its stuck (not sure that it is but will soon find out) have ATF to pop in when im ready.

    As for the planning of the build.
    Decided i want Power steering to make the missus happy and to make life and the ride that lil more enjoyably.
    Also have decided that since i want to lower it and also want disk brakes all around that I will just buy a Fatmans Sub. Get a RH Power rack, sway bar & setup for Air bags.

    as for whats happening out the back.
    im thinking Moser 9inch houseing & axle package along with a ford 9inch.
    or maybe a currie setup.
    ideas, suggestions from any who have used would be great.
    also confirmation on length. 49 Hudson rear is 55inch?

    Then im looking at RideTechs triangulated 4Link rear with bags.

    Has anyone used this? Being such a well known brand im taking the build quality and weight is good? will be fine for a hudson? 

    with these changes to front and rear popping on Wilwood will be no issue. Would like a break booster but unsure of placment/room issues with the 401 thats already taking up space with PS, Alt and god knows what.
    Unsure as yet about drive shaft. guess i will have to get everything in to figure that out.

    Trans will be Monster Transmisions 700R4 conversion package.  rated up to 600hp. Nailhead will only be 400ish. comes with all the extras I will need other than adapter.

    Radiator advice?

    Also going to start a new thread asking people to post pictures of there interiors so i can get ideas.

    So ya. advice please! Its going to be an expensive build and need as much advise as possible. im kinda surprised by lack of comments on this forum.


  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3,652Senior Contributor
    Lack of comments is most likely because of your intentions. You are free to do whatever you want,  but don't expect too much encouragement from those of us who prefer to keep their Hudsons original.  
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member

    Was kinda hopeing since we are all car guys and interested in keeping Hudsons on the road ( a brand i had never heard of till I saw the car I brought) that I may get a bit more advice from guys who know whats what.
    Even simple stuff like confirmation on the rear end being 55inch etc.

    Some great advice I have read on this site. People swapping out the front subs, putting in Chevy engines, upgrading to disk brakes, rewiring etc. Many of those threads have been well posted on.

    Being a fellow kiwi im sure you can appreciate that I want to get it done right first time. Importing stuff from the states aint cheap. Not like we have the luxury of so many donor cars etc here in NZ.

    Do you feel its better I leave these forums and just go to HAMB? Maybe im just use to Buick guys who say they dont agree but still help and offer advice cus they rather see an old car on the road and safe than not at all.

    As always. Thanks very much for your insights.

  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,963Administrator
    I'd suggest you continue to post the "Hudson"-pertinent questions here, and maybe poke around one of the Buick forums (the AACA has several) or H.A.M.B. for the non-Hudson questions. Not that many people here, are experts in Buick engines (though some might be).  And certainly not many people on the H.A.M.B. are going to be that familiar with Hudson body issues.

    I'd say that a fair number of our forum members here, have modified their Hudsons with Brand-X engines and / or transmissions, and there are even a goodly number of people with BOTH "stock" and modified Hudsons.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a big tent and we have plenty of room.  Get that car on the road, and to lots of car shows.  It may just occur that someone who's unacquainted with Hudsons will spot yours, get turned on, and become an eventual Hudson owner himself.  One never knows...
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    Seems Fatmans build quality often dosnt make the mark for NZ certifiers. check out pages 5 & 6 here for more info. you will soon get an idea of how hard they scrutinize the workmanship to let it be legal to drive on NZ roads. The process is hard but it has our safty at heart. Made by hor rodders for hot rodders. 
    It aint a No you cant use Fatmans but they will test the crap out of it.

    Still ordering bits. Just ordered an Eelco 2x4 nailhead intake. plan to pop a few Edelbrock 600cfb carbs ontop of it.
    Also have ordered in all the window channeling, seals and rubbers i need. Those things sure do add up when you are looking at a whole car worth. Figured since i plan to take front, back and side windows out when i blast it i should do em all.
    New Heater unit and few little nick nacks are on the way like cigar lighter and a ashtray fro rear left door. Seems at some point the old owners ripped out the heater and put in a  British smaller one made by Smiths for MGs( googling i think it was from a MG TD TF 1500 model). Sill works fine so will be up for sale for anyone who is after an old Brit heater unit.

    but ye stuck on front suspension at the moment. 
    • Risk Fatmans. Huge price tag and then i may need pay even more to get it fixed.
    • Redo the Hudsons setup with disk brakes, air bags, thicker swaybar etc. no Power steering for the better half. And risk clearance issues with the center point steering and engine.
    • Jag. Throwing something thats near 40 years old under the car. ye works but may need rebuild what would add up..
    need options and advice. 

    Looking at my suspension im thinking its going to need rebuilt if i do keep the original hudson setup. Its why im leaning towards a new weld in or bolt in setup.

    On bright side im hopeing to pick up the waterpump tomorrow. And then fingers crossed i will be able drive around the block. Remember exhaust ends about 3 feet from the engine and being right hand drive dumps drivers side. no carpets. could get smoky so cant do big drive.


  • InstigatorInstigator Posts: 16Member
    Alex - Just saw your discussion and thought you must have been reading my mind. I have a 48 Commodore 6 coupe that I have been working on for the last year or so. I am installing a 65 401, a 700R4, a Ford 9 inch and a Fatman front end. My car was in poorer condition than yours with no trunk floor, several areas of the rear perimeter frame rusted, the bottoms of both doors gone, the roof dented in many places, etc. I've fixed the roof, attached the front end, made the transmission and rear end mounts and have just about finished the trunk floor. The first nailhead I got was supposed to be running, but, upon tearing it down to check everything, found the block had an 8 inch crack behind the starter. After hunting for a month or so, I got the 65, tore it down to check it out and had it rebuilt. I got a rear out of a 59 Ford and I can get you the measurement if it will help you. I don't have any experience with Hudsons , but, will help you with what I've done or plan to do if you're interested. Ron   
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member

    Alex - Just saw your discussion and thought you must have been reading my mind. I have a 48 Commodore 6 coupe that I have been working on for the last year or so. I am installing a 65 401, a 700R4, a Ford 9 inch and a Fatman front end. My car was in poorer condition than yours with no trunk floor, several areas of the rear perimeter frame rusted, the bottoms of both doors gone, the roof dented in many places, etc. I've fixed the roof, attached the front end, made the transmission and rear end mounts and have just about finished the trunk floor. The first nailhead I got was supposed to be running, but, upon tearing it down to check everything, found the block had an 8 inch crack behind the starter. After hunting for a month or so, I got the 65, tore it down to check it out and had it rebuilt. I got a rear out of a 59 Ford and I can get you the measurement if it will help you. I don't have any experience with Hudsons , but, will help you with what I've done or plan to do if you're interested. Ron   

    haha Ron I think I may be bothering you a lot with questions! look out.

    Few to start with :
    Fatmans front sub. hows it look build wise? Thickness and weld quality good? It match up to the panels and fenders ok?
    401 with 700R4. What adapter you useing? Bendsens?

    Man must of been a heart sinks moment when you found that crack. Followed by a few choice words i would imagine.

    I have been after a 401 or 425 for over a year now here in NZ. advertising all over nationally. Its looking like I will be importing from the states one. So have decided get one that's already been gone over.

    Nailhead im looking at:
    • 1965 Buick 401 core 
    • bored .060 over
    • decked .020 to compensate for modern head gaskets(original gaskets were .017 thick, new ones are .045 thick.  You lose .5 point of compression if you do not cut the deck to compensate)
    • new cast pistons
    • new Hastings moly rings
    • balanced
    • rods resized w/ ARP rod bolts
    • crank turned .010/.010 and polished
    • oil galley plugs converted to screw in(factory are press-in)
    • new Melling oil pump
    • new Melling stock cam/lifters
    • new Melling stock valve springs
    • heads rebuilt w/ new valves, new iron guides, cut for Teflon oil seals(factory had no oil seals), milled .010 to ensure excellent seal
    • new freeze plugs
    • updated to modern silicon front/rear oil seals
    • good used timing cover
    • new stock timing chain
    • new water pump
    • pulleys, alt bracke, PS brackets.
    • stock exhaust manifolds
    • PS Pump
    • New 1wire powermaster alt.
    • original intake and carter 4brl carb.

    May get Stage 1 bowl porting(area directly under the valve) as this gives the majority of gain in airflow.  But that costs another $650 US. Thinking I rather spend that on finned  engine dress up gear. Have just ordered the Eelco 2x4 intake that gets custom made. And is supposed to be the best 2x4 intake for nailheads.

    if you could fire over the rear measurement that would be great.

    flick over some pics man. or a link to your build if you are doing one on here.


  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    anouther question how long did it take from order  date to fatmans shipping the sub?
  • InstigatorInstigator Posts: 16Member


    Fatman sub looks real nice, however, they had the front of the frame too wide. I notified them and they said they were going by the dimensions on the car they used for a pattern and were going to correct it in their file. This is only a problem if they don't make the correction and you are going to use the stock radiator support. If so, you would have to remove an approximate 1/2 inch by 4 inch cut out of the inside of both frame rails to fit . Time from order to my receiving it was around three weeks. There is an order form  that you have to fill out with measurements at various points on the stock front end.

     I'm using the Bensens adapter. It is a quality piece and runs around $1000.

     I checked the Ford rear today and it measures 53 inches from face of mounting flange to face of mounting flange. I had tried it for fit when I was mocking up the rear and it appears it may be 1 or 2 inches too wide (depends on the wheel and tire sizes you are going to use). I am in the process of having some machining done on the axles for the disc brake kit I'm using and won't know the final width for a few days.

    I'm attaching some pictures so you can see what I've gotten into. I'll post some others later.


  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    hey thanks for getting back.

    ordered my 401 today - got the stage 1 porting as well.

    looks like you got a bit of work still ahead of you. Bright side.. floor like that makes working under the car much easier lol.

    start up a build thread on here or on HAMB. I will follow for sure.

    Im going to have to get my ass in the gear and just take the tires off the rear and measure the current setup hub to hub. I admit i was being lazy and hoping some of the old pro's would quickly provide the width when i asked.

    What are you going to do for the grille? Keep stock Hudson? or Kustom?

    hows it looking for clearances etc once the engine & trans will be in? foresee any issues? Trans tunnel need working? motor mounts going be easy enough?

    keep it coming man.

  • InstigatorInstigator Posts: 16Member


    Starting to order some of the rest of my parts. Who did you get your weatherstripping, etc. from?

    Sounds like your engine should give you more than enough power. Where did you order it from? I got a lot of information and parts for mine from buickrodder (Centerville auto). He specializes in nailheads and was very helpful.

    Thought about a build thread, but, didn't do anything since it's modified. Will let you know if I do.

    If you need the stock rear end width, mine is easy to get to and I'll measure it for you. Leave me know.

    The grille will probably be stock since I've got some of the pieces re-chromed already.

    Engine and tranny fit well (got the weld-in motor mounts from Speedway), built my own tranny mount, rear end mount, shock mounts and a set of frame ties. Don't know how the tunnel will fit, but will modify if necessary. 

    Will keep in touch.


  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    In the end i got it all from Wildrick rubbers http://www.wrphet.com/index.html  Also got a few other bits from him like heater unit, and a few other odd bits n peices for the interior.
    all the windows(side, front, back), doors, cowl, trunk and god knows what seals, rubbers, channels etc. The channels have the stainless beading on them as well and come ready formed.
    Steele also do them and are cheaper. But i was lazy and didnt want to order wrong sizes etc.
    For my Buick it used three different sized window channels. I thought just two of course and had to reorder more. and for that job i had to bend it all. Not a hard job at all but if you want the rounded corners nice and want to cut install time in half get ready made.

    Russ is a great guy. That guy knows more about Nailheads than pretty much anyone walking. Talked to him many times about Nailheads etc. Will be getting some finned engine dress up stuff from him. Im getting mine from Florida from a  guy who specializes in performance Nailheads. Was Russ who mentioned him about porting etc to me.

    haha yes! if you could measure up the stock rear that would be great.

    im thinking if i can find one (hard job) a 1950 Buick grill but keeping the top Hudson mustache bar with the light up Hudson emblem.
    Link to a Hudson steep down that uses a 50 buick grill. http://www.ldikustoms.com.au/gallery/hirohud/

    Another link to a 51 Hudson (in 4 TV show parts) getting customized for some lucky guy. they talk about seals among other things. http://www.powerblocktv.com/episode/SR2012-09/51-hudson-hornet-pt-i#.V6-SjZh9671 

    If you dont do a build thread then at least throw some pics up here on this one or on my HAMB thread http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/49-hudson-nailhead.1028675/ 

    Thanks for the import.

  • InstigatorInstigator Posts: 16Member


    My stock rear measures 57 inches from mounting face to mounting face on the drums.

    Like the treatment with the grille. Still kicking around ideas, but I'm keeping the light up emblem and surrounding pieces, also.

    Will check out the tv show link.

    When I can figure out how to post larger pictures, I'll put some more up.

    Keep in touch.


  • 1958kiwi1958kiwi Posts: 6Member
    HI Alex, Getting back to you too late as I may know where there is a 401 for sale in NZ.
    I am interested in the built one you are getting from the US is it from CARS ?
    Also Fatman front ends are not approved here. I have one under my Stude fitted in the US.
    Geometry was all wrong and I would not get one again.
    MY email is pat@isthmusproperty.co.nz   Cheers Pat

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    edited August 2016
    Not a huge issue  as im pretty happy with the one i have ordered in. Knowing its a good mill i dont need to worry about due to it being sonic tested prior to build. I priced out how much it would cost to get it decked, bored, ported etc in NZ. Worked out way more than just bringing it in from states. And people i talked to had never worked on a nailhead. When it comes to porting rather get it done right. Still... im always interested in old engines so will flick you an email - sure i can find a project for it.

    Its coming from one of the top Nailhead builders in states along with a lot of input from Rus Martin who is regarded as the top Nailhead man.
    Brought a bit from CARS for my 52 Buick. good bunch to deal with.

    As for Fatmans >< grrr.
    Still needing to figure out the front. the hold ups are pushing my build back. Thinking getting custom front stub made up  then a MII clip from an easy to cert brand like Heidts.
    Have already ordered a lot - will post more on that in next days.

    On a side note: Asked meh lady to look at wheels to get ideas. - nice job with lots shiny stuff so seemed like a good thing for a pinup chick.
    This is what she came back with - a 49hudson - yes. But 20inch wheels and god knows how ide! heck its no longer a unibody. /jelly. (photos TemacBuilt via instagram)
    They are custom Boyd Coddington. 

    I hadnt even thought 20s till i saw that.
    The husdon currently has 16inch rims. 28 tire thats 6 wide. kinda went wtf at 6 wide. I want more rubber on the ground for power and weight. 
    Need go out see if 8.5 or larger under the skirts. etc Any ideas guys?
    Will have airbags that may help jack it up to remove tires if needed :p

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    edited August 2016
    So got the old beast going today and went for a drive. handling is horrible but that was expected lol.

    Vid showing it running.
    Smoky as its exhaust pipe is only like 3 feet long and in the middle has a big hole.

    And a walk around the old Hudson. orgional colour was Blue. someone painted it mid 60s. a bit of surface rust but on the whole its in pretty good condition.

    So the engine and everything under the hood will be up for sale soon once i rip it on out. Heck pretty much everything under the car will be for sale.

    Any restoration guys after parts let me know i guess.

  • Trevor JTrevor J Posts: 351Expert Adviser
    you tried to contact me recently however I was in the States are you able to e mail me at trevor.dot.johnson@xtra.co.nz
    Regards Trevor Dunedin
  • kiwijeffkiwijeff Posts: 181Member
    Good to see your keeping at it. I'm stuck with my 29. Went for a warrant, and failed, due to sticky front brake calipers. I've rebuilt them, but now the right set of disc pads are missing. I've searched my shed, like 24 times, and they have vanished into thin air! Guess I'll just have to get New ones.
  • jrendajrenda Posts: 92Member
    looks like scarebird has a disk conversion kit for the Hudsons now.  prelim price is 125$ but not fully tested yet.  If I hadn't just rebuilt all my drums I'd consider being a beta.  
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    havnt been on here for a bit.

    Finally finished my planing stage and most of the buying stage.

    I have or due to arrive by the months end:
    • Worked 401 Nailhead (413 now, ported, polished, bored etc etc) Should make about 1HP per cube.
    • Worked 700R4 Trans rated to 650HP along with cooler and install kit
    • Trans adapter
    • Elco 2x4 Intake.
    • 2x edelbrock 600 carbs and linkages.
    • Engine dress up stuff. 
    • Moser custom made 9inch rear end.
    • 12' Wilwood 4 piston rear, 12.8' 6 piston front.
    • American autowire highway 22 wiring kit
    • Ridetech digital 5 gallon airpod with 8000series HQ shockwaves rear and 1000 series HQ shockwaves front.
    • Ridetech trianglated 4 link.
    • Rods by Reid Lo3 front suspension with power steering. made for my car weight & ride height.
    So most of the stuff to really start the project is nearly here.
    Still need things like radiator, battery, drivesharft, steering column, lines & hoses, ignition system, exhaust etc

    but some of that i cant get until its all in the car and/or isnt hard to pickup anyway.

    Couldn't use the Fatmans front clip. wont pass NZ certification regulations on many points. So have gone for a more expensive option but way way better.

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    Well haven't updated this for some time. Yet on that note i haven't done much to the car really until now. 
    Up until this point I got it going on its old motor, gave it a bit of a drive about. took a few vids for proof that it moves & stops under its own power etc for when i would sell the heart of the old beast.
    And affectionately dubbed the car "Crudson" due to its ratty & oily crud smell.

    Well i guess that wasn't the full extent of my endeavors to date. I have gone and spent a fair bit of wedge on the mechanical side of things. Raiding the cosmetic budget (paint n panel, interior etc) to get the car setup solidly underneath where no one will likely ever see. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Said parts have enjoyed a lovely cruise on a ship around the world from the states to New Zealand then been fumigated & inspected by NZ customs and finally released for pickup tomorrow. Will do a few pics etc of whats to go in the car and my experience with the vendors once i have the goodies here and inspected. I will say Kiwi Shipping who freight forwarded nearly a tonne of parts to me was great to deal with and would go back to them any day. The shipping part (not customs etc) was only $665NZ($470USD) what i thought was bloody good seeing it had to go half way around the world & that i normally pay half that per order from Summit etc

    Happy as this certainly made me i suddenly realized i hadn't even started pulling the car to pieces to slip in my new found treasures.

    There is a certain joy in the freedom of not giving a fek about the parts you rip out of a car. Often for me its "ohhh i should keep this just in case...". But seeing everything under the car etc will be replaced i haven't had those moments and i have had great fun ripping everything out. Few choice words have been spoken yet a fair many beverages consumed to date.
    Making it better my Better half has been right besides me the whole time learning whats what and how a car goes together hands on. Got to love a girl who not only loves lipstick n heels but also lets me store parts in the spare bedroom.

    So im rambling. Heres the progress made today with various tools of destruction. 
    - started with screw drivers & sockets but soon progressed to wire cutters followed by  a hammer or two then for the finale saws etc.
    Shrunken Head was one of the first to go but he will be back. 

    Hood off and ready for destruction!

    Electricals, Rad, Bumpers, Lights and other junk out ready to unbolt the anemic inline.

    One thing i like about these old Hudsons is the large Engine/Trans/Drive shaft access panel.  Lift the carpets and unscrew a dozen bolts on the front floor gains you easy access with no need to raise the car.

    Engine unbolted and ready to go.

    Tell ya engine levelers are great if you dont have one get one!

    Garage Kitty El Spokecamino (so named due to his ripped up ears and he can be a mean lil b@$#ard) supervised under Kreeps our 52 Buick for most of the time.

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    So did the 6 or so hour round trip with the trailer to collect my new found treasures.
    Sun was shining, my bird was looking top shelf and i do believe i had a grin on my stupid face the whole way. felt like Christmas from when i was knee high to a grasshopper. Eager dosnt begin to describe the feeling.

    As the three pallets got loaded up we had the pleasure of checking out a number of old cars that people are bringing in from around the world. One being this sweet 54 Buick convertible.

    So loaded we head back home. constantly catching my self speeding in my eagerness to arrive home and unload. Have i mentioned the feeling of Christmas day when i was a kid yet?

    Throw a few brews to the neighbor to get his tractor with forks out to help unload and im golden.
    Popped of the engines crate - will note here that my cordless drill died recently and i had to undo all the screws by hand. Frustrating to say the least. LET ME IN! <insert xmas day remark>

    Pictured is  most of whats needed to get the car updated and running. Some things like drive shaft, rad, steering column etc i need to wait to get measurements. Other things like ignition system, 2x4 intake etc are still on there way.
    But new front end by Rods by Reid, New rare from Moser, Ridetech 4-Link along with air system, Wilwood, worked 700R4 Trans and of course the worked 401 nailhead along with other bits are sitting there ready to find there new home in the Crudson.

    Missing one package from Ridetech. Have images of it packed in the crate from Kiwi Shipping USA. But wasnt included on pickup in Christchurch New Zealand. Need those airbags for the rare and Kiwi Shipping are looking into it as i type.
    <Insert excited Christmas quote here>

    So its time to finish ripping the car apart.
    How it sits currently:

    Exhaust system, driveshaft, fuel cell, engine & trans etc all out. Time to get those front panels off so we have easy access to the front chassis rails so Flockie can do his measurements and then cut em off and make up a new set.

    Got a few good vids of the missus hard at work on the car. Think she would kill me (or worse deprive me) if i was to post them. Still funny stuff to look back on.

    To the garage and general mayhem i go.


  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    edited November 2016

    So have been asked via PM a few times about my choice of front ends etc and thought i would quickly post a quick rant on it.

    So yes. For its day 70 odd years ago the old Hudson had state of the art suspension that helped the Hornets win so many NASCAR races over so many years back when it was done on dirt tracks. 

    I had seriously thought about keeping it and reconditioning what i had then updating it with disk brakes, larger sway bar and power steering.
    The center point steering coupled in with issues installing airbags, decent brakes, finding a PS system and then clearances with the nailhead soon turned me off.
    If i was going to spend alot of wedge i would rather get an updated system.

    Looked in to Jag IFS - similar weight cars. still would need rebuild and would need change up the rails due to the old unibody chassie.

    So i would have to cut up the front end rails no matter what i would fit in. Looking about I saw Fatmans Fab did a full front clip. weld in  jobbie that had all the holes in place for panels, rad etc etc.
    Problem was they seem to fail NZ cert so much. My local Certifier wasnt keen so no point wasting the time and effort bring one in from the states. 
    Also note Fatmans no longer sells to NZ or Aus due to our vehicle regulations and they dont meet the standards. So if you are after some junk from them then send it to a freight forwarder state side.

    So started looking closer to home. Holdens HQ- HZ looked like a good option. Started searching for a HZ as they had slightly better suspension (RTS) compared to HQ. A wrecker i have alot of time for told me he new of a HZ 1 tonner with PS up for grabs. Excellent i think. problem solved. Take it away and unload it. Then on close inspection i notice the front suspension dosnt look right. turns out it was a HQ ute. Took it back and started looking again.
    Soon found out they can be a bitch to bag and shockwaves just wont fit in them as they are to wide (6.5inch wide). weight wise the front clip may not handle the job either.
    Cross off Holdens and mutter a few choice words.

    Now by this time I had been trying to figure out the front end for near on two or three months and was starting to get a tad pissed at my seemingly lack of any solid progress and constant setbacks.

    hmm i should also mention one bright side I had. That coming in a package of a Hotrod builder and ticketed welder with decades of experience on a huge range of cars. Better yet it was the certifier who recommended him(anything he says i do pretty much as he is god in the end). 
    Wayne Flockton hence forth and forever more dubbed "Flockie". He has had cars featured in a number of magazines including Hotrod. His shed is a vehicular wonderland of awesome. Chassis in various stages with all kinds of parts grafted on to them. Airbags, Engines, custom grilles all sit amongst pickups and hotrods that he is building for people and himself.
    Options, ideas, suggestions and everything happily supplied.
    One being Rods by Reid. A NZ hotrod shop ran by John Reid. Making NZs only pre approved for cert front end. Also a life time honorary member and top ranked man in NZ cert crowd. Also had many mag cars along with winning rides at a number of yank events like Goodguys. 

    So after talking to him i settle on the LO-RIDE 3 with wilwood & bags made to my ride height, weight, width etc

    Flockie will be cutting off the old hudson front clip and welding in a new one with the above setup. 
    Exciting times.

    God I hope thats the end of the nightmare the front ends been. But I have a sinking suspicion that was the easy bit and the real hard stuff is only about to begin. ><

    Anyone here used a Rods by Reid IFS?

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    A client said to me "got to make Hay whilst the sun is shinning" the other day. 
    Fek the hay give me a wrench and a cool bourbon i thought and promptly went home to rip into the Crudson.

    With a tag team effort my better half and I removed the front panels. 
    Was told when we brought the car it was brought into NZ by a farmer. Im guessing he lived on a gravel road by the accumulation of dirt and stones inside the body and rails. Said dirt would rain down into the hair and down the back of the neck as you try to unseize old bolts under those big ol guards.
    The amount of dried old gorse was a tad unsettling and made me wonder what the fek he actually used the car for. Visions of drunken paddock missions chasing sheep and running over fields of gorse flickered through my head as i plucked thorns from my hands.




    The patch of rust up the front looks easy. Cut off, form up a new bit of metal and weld back in jobbie. that whole lower panel under the doors unbolts and is currently full of dirt and stones. i think by the end of emptying the car of road dirt n gravel I will have enough to build the small wall out the front like i have been wanting to do. Should also lighten the car by a bit as well i would imagine what would be a bonus i guess.

    The missus also did some fine devastation to the old brake lines, some wiring and god knows what. Most amusing & I wouldn't have it any other way.

    about ready i guess to get Flockie involved.

    guess i should get the engine and trans painted up and put together so we can work out placement etc

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    edited November 2016
    Well it seems i have swapped clouds of dirt & dust for paint spray mist and vapors. Really need to upgrade my mask i think. Still a happy trade i must admit - was getting sick of the dirt, oil n rat shit.

    Before i get ahead of myself i should do a quick splat on whats what regarding the new heart of the beast.

    1965 Buick 401 or as most affectionatly know them by "Nailhead"
    Came out of an Electra or Wildcat i think.
    Sonic tested prior to any work being done.
    Had huge issues finding one that was in decent shape here in New Zealand - ones i did find hadn't been turned over for 15+years or had been in parts for about the same amount of time.
    Price to get one of these old things back in shape soon made me look to the states. I could get one already tested, worked and landed here in NZ for cheaper. Now i use to run an online business and brought most of my products in from the states so already had my customs client codes and was familiar with the process etc. So naturally i tracked down a good builder with a reputation to suit and went from there.

    And the work done by Dual Quad Dave reads as:
    • 1965 Buick 401 core  
    • Bored .060 over to 413
    • Decked .020 to compensate for modern head gaskets(original gaskets were .017 thick, new ones are .045 thick.  You lose .5 point of compression if you do not cut the deck to compensate)
    • New cast pistons
    • New Hastings moly rings
    • Balanced
    • Rods resized w/ ARP rod bolts 
    • Crank turned .010/.010 and polished
    • Oil galley plugs converted to screw in(factory are press-in)
    • New Melling oil pump
    • New Melling cam/lifters
    • New Melling valve springs
    • Heads rebuilt w/ new valves, new iron guides, cut for Teflon oil seals(factory had no oil seals), milled .010 to ensure excellent seal
    • New freeze plugs
    • Updated to modern silicon front/rear oil seals
    • Good used timing cover
    • New timing chain
    • New water pump
    • Included pulleys& alt/ps brackets. 
    • Included stock exhaust manifolds
    • Stock Power steering pump.
    • New Powermaster 1wire alt.
    • Stage 1 porting.
    • Polished chambers.
    • cleaned up castings.
    • Adjustable pushrods.
    • Stock 4brl Intake
    • Media blast & prime.
    think thats about it. no doubt i missed stuff. I will blame the multi coloured paint boggers clogging up my brain.

    Now i know what you are thinking... Cam. 
    Its on the list to down the track. The nailheads came out with for the day a rather aggressive cam - today i guess it would be classed as mild but still decent. First i want to drive it and hear it. if i want a more lumpy cam then no problems. if im happy with it but would like a different tone to the sound then i will fiddle with the exhaust.
    Also another large factor was the porting. Nailheads main issue is breathing. Heck its why they are called nailheads as the valves are like nailheads. I could pick a cam up easy enough but to get porting done by someone who is experienced on the old motor here in NZ would be harder. So put my cash towards porting. Should help it breath a lil better.
    Power wont be an issue no matter what cam i use. The old Nailheads are known for torque. heck Buick use to lable the engines by the torque rateing not HP and they listed some impressive numbers from the factory floor.

    Currently its sitting about 360-370HP and  475-485lbs add anouther 20HP with the Eelco 2x4 intake when it arrives then anouther 20-30hp from headers i should be up around 400HP or 1HP per cube.

    Some pics of the engine:

    As you can see the old Nailheads are semi hemi.

    and loaded up in the states:

    So thats what others had done to it.
    Today i masked it up, took off the intake and exhaust manifolds etc.
    gave it a bit of a sand and another prime then sprayed it Gloss Black.

    Still unsure what color we will paint the car whats a big issue. Originally satin black with pinstriping, then dark red or purple. then offwhite with tinted windows. Already have a matte Black car. White looks good next to it but still unsure. Ideas?

    Anyway we figured black goes with anything and would look good with the finned accessories etc. 
    Engine will be out again once we have done the mock ups. when we strip it down and do the panel n paint. So if needs be can repaint it again then.

    Will get some pics of the engine tomorrow in its current black state.
    Im off to chase up my new intake then watch some custom car shows online. 
    post ideas for paint!
    ohh and post some good hotrod, custom etc car shows.
    like Fast n Loud, Counting Cars, RoadKill, Full Custom TV etc

  • didusay39didusay39 Posts: 27Expert Adviser
    Thank's for the read. More power to hard work and imagination.

  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    edited December 2016

    Works been flat out this week so haven't had time to get in the garage much.

    Engine is sitting waiting for me to pull my finger out and hook the trans up to it.
    And talking of the Trans. Its a 700R4 from Monster Transmissions worked up to handle 650HP & 600ft/lbs torque. Medium firm shift kit. Wasnt happy with the service from Monster trans. Order took 6 weeks to build, test and ship. During that time they didnt answer a single email and only a few Facecrack messages.
    Still it was very well packaged on the crate and looks to be of decent build quality. Time will tell though how it shifts and handles.
    They have discounts every day from 5-20% off with free shipping USA wide along with cash discounts. I was able stack like 3 discounts to get it at a reduced price by just checking back every day for a few weeks.
    Comes with pretty much everything needed to install other than fluids, cross member and driveshaft.
    Kit contains:
    •  700R4 SS Mega Monster Transmission, rated up to 650hp/600tq 
    What's Inside The Transmission:
    What's Included With Conversion Package:
    •  Performance Torque Converter, your choice from 1650-2500 Stall
    •  Universal Fillertube with updated Locking Dipstick 
    •  Updated Universal Fit Throttle Cable with metric bolt 
    •  Metric Linkage Nut
    •  2 Brass Coolant Line Fittings
    •  Metric Torque Converter Bolts
    •  Universal Transmission Mount with bolts
    •  Speedometer Drive & Driven Gears
    •  Speedometer Housing & Support Bracket
    •  Speedometer Housing O-Ring
    •  External Lock-Up Kit 
    •  700R4 Chrome Throttle Cable Bracket 
    •  Hayden Transmission Cooler Kit 
    •  700R4 Universal Dust Cover 
    •  700R4 Stock Depth Chrome Pan
    Painted up to match the engine:
    Using a trans adapter to mate the old Nailhead bolt pattern to the 700R4. Seems well made but the manufacturer ( Bendtsens ) is a jerk. Total ass hat and i wouldn't ever go back to him.
    Once i get down to the shops to get some locktight i will get it all together.
    God i hate those annoying hold ups. already to go but cant find my locktight after ages of searching. frustrating to say the least.
    On a different note the Hudson is away at Flockies kustom chassis hotrod shop. 
    Moving the car about is a breeze with the tractor.  /Jealous.
    His boy is following close in dads footsteps it seems. Even though he is young he is out there helping wrenching along side his dad learning the skills. Till he gets to an age to use the welder seriously he is stuck with cardboard and making some serious customs and hotrod models from scratch. Kid has some great ideas and sure likes to chat about them to any who will listen.
    Exciting times i tells ya. just wish i had more time to tinker.
  • KustomKreepsKustomKreeps Posts: 346Member
    As often is the way life and work are getting in the way of what i really want to be doing: saving this heap of steel from restoration.
    Time of the year i guess with Christmas fast approaching and clients suddenly deciding its the end of the world if XYZ isn't done like yesterday.
    i just stand there baffled as there mouth is moving wondering to myself "yes all very good and nice but come on surely they must agree the old car is more important... LEADSLED GOD DAMN IT!!!!"
    Its really starting to get out of control. I take it for granted its completely normal and sane if not even healthy for a guy to dream of cars n shift like that. But my dearest the other morning commented she is dreaming of cars. Cool i think to my self but whats that say about us o.0 - should note here we do live in a Bogan town so this may be common with in the local female populace..(you yanks think redneck i guess just dont youtube Bogan please) 

    Anyways with said working life getting in the way i haven't done sweet jack all.
    Popped on the Trans adapter, ordered a few small parts i needed is about all.

    Dropped more stuff off to Flockies Chassis Shop. Some of the projects the maestro is tinkering away on:

    Not much room at the moment but with luck he will have some of the projects cleared soon and the Hudson chassis etc on its way.

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