Tom Telesco, working on GOOD pistons for the Nailhead!

Discussion in ''Da Nailhead' started by SpecialWagon65, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. 66BulldogGS

    66BulldogGS Platinum Level Contributor

    Come on Walt! Hop to, Chop Chop. We got pistons to order!

    Machine shop just called. I now have my finished bore size, 4.233. They tried to clean it up at 4.210 and it looked pretty good, but there were some rough spots he wasn't thrilled about. So he took it out further to clean up and get me on a 1/16" ring size. I am having head issues though. Supposed to get a call back on what we are going to do with the heads, may be taking another set down to him. Then will hopefully be able to get all the dimensions needed to get these pistons rolling.
  2. tone65riv

    tone65riv Member

    Tom, My name is Tony Lipare out of Novi, Michigan, owner a 65 Riviera 401 nail head, in the process of getting my motor rebuild, I don't do the work on the motor myself, my friend does rebuilding of motor. had the piston holes at .030. I have read the entire thread on your custom pistons, and would be interested in buying them or if you could recommend a brand to go with .

    Tony Lipare
  3. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Furthering the "NailHead" movement we are now offering FORGED pistons for the 364 & '56 ONLY 322 engines. All the same facts apply as for the 401/425 pistons. For the 364's I will still need ALL the specs. nec. to make each set custom. I will be making a mold for the '56 combustion chamber/cylinder alignment soon unless someone can do it sooner.
    To ALL that haven't sent in their specs. yet PLEASE DO SO ASAP. Things are being held up as I need to order 5 sets at a time to get this special pricing.
    The costs have only gone up only slightly to $825.00 much less than I was told would happen.

    Tom T.
  4. Marty World

    Marty World Well-Known Member

    Hello Tom.

    Marty from California.

    How do you measure "deck height"? I have the crank and rusted pistons out of my block. It is a 1964 Riviera 425 KX engine.

    I am ready to send my engine out to be bored and honed, and any other machining operations required.

    I am planning on buying your pistons. I am looking at a ratio of 11.0.

    Thank you for all you do for us.

  5. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Marty, send me a PM with your number & I'll give you a call.

    Tom T.
  6. slappy1eye

    slappy1eye Member

    I'm excited been an expensive ride but these things are getting closer! Tom you've been a great guy to work with, sure do appreciate the help and incite, you know so much about these old Buick's I wish I knew all that you've forgot!
  7. 66larkgs

    66larkgs paul 66gs turbo nailhead

    Hey tom, what type of material are the rings made out of. i am running a 1/16 ring and having some issues breaking them in. Talked with ross today and said when finishing the cylinder to 625 you really have to beat the bag out of the motor and load it up to get them to seal. i have a little under 300 miles but i havnt been making any full passes. i do drive it normal but not babying the motor. These rings where real hard because we had to use a dimond file to file fit them. What is Ross recommend finish for your cylinder bore. They also said with a 1/16 ring 1 to 2 quarts of oil is normal for 2500-3000. how are you recommending for breaking in the rings?
  8. m1nt55

    m1nt55 New Member

    Hi Tom,

    My name is Chris an I'm from Melbourne, Australia. I have just discovered this forum and I have a 425ci nailhead on its way over from the states as we speak. My question is, are these pistons still available?
  9. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    Yes they are, but unfortunately since your not on the original order the $$$ amount has increased to $895.00. But, this includes pins, pin fitting, rings & lightened at no extra charge. This is less $$$ than most forged pistons ALONE cost. I will need to know ALL the specs. Best to give me a call for what you desire & we can go over it, I need to order five sets at a time to get this reasonable pricing.

    Tom T.
  10. whatever

    whatever Well-Known Member

    I'll try to answer some...

    Lower drag on the Nailhead would definitely increase performance! However, a smaller ring may not be able to adequately control the huge bore diameter. But it's worth to try!

    Piston to head clearance shouldn't be less that 0.035-0.040in due to rod stretch at higher RPM (if you happen to rev some).
    Main bearing bores should never be align bored, most likely you'd end up with a worse than OEM quality.

    .927 would work, but would require new con-rods.

    Sure! But again, you can reduce compression height and piston pin diameter - that'd be a cool way to exctract some HP, but you'd also need to rebalance your crank, which is again some extra $$$, just as some connecting rods would be.
    If you don't make the pin diameter smaller, there won't a chance to dramatically decrease weight of the piston. For its huge dimensions it may be considered somewhat light.
  11. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    No worries. They'll seal a 4.600 bore BBC to any power level yet.

    Although little advantage here with a Nail, you can run them quite a bit closer without worry.
    Align boring is preferred. You can take most of the cut from the cap side by offsetting the bar.
    OEM quality isn't great to begin with.

    It's mostly done to be able to utilize existing parts, like with stroker combos.

    Spending $900 on pistons but trying to save $150-200 on balancing?
    If the objective is to save $$ just buy cast pistons.
  12. telriv

    telriv Well-Known Member

    I'll post replies later. Have work to do.

    Tom T.
  13. whatever

    whatever Well-Known Member

    You can use stock con-rod length with bushings on a stroker. But the way to decrease weight on a piston is to make it smaller in compression height! Small compression height makes a piston lighter AND stronger! Plus you can save more weight on steel parts, rather than aluminum ones, because of the density. If you want to stick to stock parts, I know you can stretch iron connecting rods, but not many people are badass enough to actually do this.
  14. gsgtx

    gsgtx Silver Level contributor

    most all custom pistons like toms the pin is way lighter then a stock a stock pin no need to mess with a smaller size pin for weight. if you are going to stroke a stock crank you can not use the stock rods. the 364 Buick nailhead rods would work but there even shorter the the stock 401-425 rods. a longer after market rod would be very useful. the stock rod journal is 2.25 you would need to get it down to 2 or 2.10
  15. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    Not to stay on a tangent but what I meant by using existing parts was that there are more choices when using sizes from more common platforms.
    It would be better to use a custom piston to fit an off-the-shelf rod.

    .927, .980, and .990 wrist pin applications are more common. The rods that go with these are close enough with their dimensions to only require a bit of trimming here and there to work.
    Machine work is already being done on the crank for example, so it's no big deal to use a different dimension.
    What it takes to make this stuff work for strokers is very simple machining.
    BBC rods have enough available lengths and journal sizes to accommodate stroking.

    A 6.535, 6.6 or 6.625 rod opens some doors by getting the CH of the piston in the 1.555-1.645" range with the stock stroke, also potentially lightening things up.
    Your not going to see that much of an acceleration difference from bobweight reduction until you get it into a light, deep geared vehicle.
    It is much better to drill holes into a crank than add Mallory though.
    With a custom piston a 6.625 Pontiac rod becomes a "drop in" part, using the same bearing a Nail would use.
    Going from a 1.7 to a 1.8 rod/stroke ratio only slows piston speed by a bit over 1% through the engine's rotation, so there's very little lost there in terms of reducing the draw on the carb and it's affect on mixture motion (or raw cfm demand).
    Depending on your usage and rpm range, this would normally have an effect on how your heads might be ported or what cam you might use, unless you are just picking parts out of a catalog.

    If you are familiar with various platforms' dimensions, there can be some $$ saved along with a better quality part to use.
  16. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Yes there are also aftermarket LS rods that are 6.560" that are available in the 2.100"/2.00"/1.889" rod journal sizes for different stroker combos that could be made with a Nailhead crank using those rods with custom pistons.

    With the Honda rod journal size a 3.64" stroke Nail crank can be stroked to 4.00"! With a 4.250" bore and a 4.00" stroke you could make a 454 Nailhead if you wanted to test the strength of a NH crank. Being that the NH crank is forged I would say that the crank would handle having that small of a rod journal no problem because a NH with that many cubes would probably only be able to spin about 3,800 RPM. LOL

    Even if there was heads to make a NH breathe, that rod journal size would still be fine as long as when it is stroker ground it doesn't get into the oil holes. If I were to do a 454 NH I would probably use TA performance heads modified to work on a NH block but then it wouldn't be a Nailhead anymore, would it? Not sure but would probably run like a mo fo so who cares! :)

  17. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    I like the way you think Derek.

    I didn't want to go nuts with the possibilities, not too many folks would do crazy stuff with a Nail these days without their own machinery. Or really deep pockets.

    Just showing why certain sizes are used for practical reasons.
  18. gsgtx

    gsgtx Silver Level contributor

    you can not use a 6.625 Pontiac rod on a nail head stroke crank,
  19. gsgtx

    gsgtx Silver Level contributor

    where are you getting the 4.250 bore from? a 446 cubic inch stroke nail head can make 400 HP at 5500 RPM. don't sell a nailhead short even with a 1.50 exhaust valve. LOL:Brow::)
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  20. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    A 401 bored .063" over, of coarse more cubes are possible with a 425 bore size. If its true that some 401 blocks can be bored to the 425's bore then 4.250" should be a safe size to shoot for? Would be a good idea to sonic test the block if someone wants to go that much though.

    Why can't Pontiac rods be used in a NH? If they'll work in a 400/430/455 they will work in a NH just need to machine less off the big end because a BBB rod is narrower than a NH rod. Just have to machine the big end slightly narrower(-.029" off the big end's thickness) and if you want to use the 1.00" Buick pin the small end bore needs honed or bored bigger. Of coarse a custom piston would probably be needed anyway so the pin size on the piston could be ordered as the Pontiac size.


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