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Restoration of the heads and intake on the big Buick 455 cui V8 engine.



January 2001 - Heads and intake manifold



The engine, as you can see, was not looking to good. First of all, the engine should be red, not blue.

The whole compartment hadnít been kept clean and the exhaust manifolds ware leaking.  

I had to make the best I could, without lifting the entire engine out of the car. I didnít have the tools or the experience for such a job at the time. So I decided to lift the intake manifold and heads for an inspection. 

The inside looked better then the outside, with no clogged oil residue, often seen on engines that havenít been serviced regularly.

This was a good sign.
Some time during the years, the engine got two new pistons, otherwise I couldnít see any major faults.






After a closer inspection of the heads, I noticed the valves had some play and I decided to let a professional shop take a look at them. The valve shafts were ok and therefore the valves didnít have to be replaced.

The heads and valves got machined to the correct specifications. As you can see they mounted new valve shaft inserts in the heads.

I then painted the heads and manifold in a red engine paint that should mach the correct color of the Buick engines. Later on I discovered that the color was to dark, despite what was said from the supplier of the paint.

This got later corrected, as you will see if you keep on reading this site, when I finally lifted the engine out of the car.


The painting and assembly of the heads was done on my kitchen table.

Then everything was mounted on the car along with new springs, lifters, push rods, rockers and gaskets.

I painted every other part of the engine that I could reach, in the same color so it would look ok when lifting the hood. It had to do for now anyway.





I also painted some other parts in black as they should be and you can see the final result on this photo. Not perfect but a lot better than before.




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The restoration began in February of 2000



Most parts of the car were restored by July 2006, but as many of you know, there is always something to improve on a project like this.


In this section of the site you will be able to follow some of the various restoration steps of my Boattail.


2000-02  The carburetor


2000-05  The floor


2000-07  Vinyl roof & interior


2001-01  Heads and intake


2001-11  Lifting the engine


2002-01  Engine detailing


2005-01  Body restoration