Home Forums CCC Forum 49 Hudson Nailhead Build

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    Spring is here, sun is shining and the welder is sending beautiful sparks in the air.

    Progress is picking up.

    Engine is out as is obvious from the above pic.
    The jig that was made up way back when the Hudson was still whole to mark out the holes to mount any panel work is in place and everything is looking good. A few tweaks will be needed but other than that pretty happy with it.

    A better look at the trans mount and brace that strengthens up the frame so the whole thing dosnt collapse inwards as the sides flay outwards like some molten pudding. (im on a bit of a sweet vibe at the moment- would totally demolish a pack of licorice). Any who this shows the top hat cross sections way better than the last posts pictures. They will be out soon so the frame can be strengthen up.

    Pic above is for Hnstray on HAMB (I post this build on multiple sites). Showing the diagonal “braces” and how they are mounted on conveyor belt rubber at the bottoms so don’t really add anything in the way of bracing. From the jig you can see how they are used mainly to mount the inner guards. That bracket up top held the horns.

    A better look at the jig that marks the mounting holes.
    Once everything is marked out the front clip will be taken off. Braced up where needed at the back.
    Holes cut – both for mounting the panels and rad but also larger ones to help add a crumple zone. Part of the NZ cert rules say we must have a crumple zone to help absorb an impact. So those nice big ol holes we used when doing the rear end will be brought forward up front.
    The half pipe notching for the steering arms will also add to the whole crumple zone.
    Then weld it all together, add a lick of paint, put it all together along with the engine panels, rad etc to make sure it all fits.



    Fitted jig to locate mounting positions for front panels.

    Radiator and grill support brackets.

    Bumper mounts tacked into position.

    Notched out for radiator surround.

    Reduced front of chassis to clear front panels.

    Surround in position.

    Front panel fitted.

    Sub-frame removed for final welding & notching for steering arms. This shot can give you an idea of how we attached the front sub into what was a full chassis/uni-body car.

    All welded and bolted back in. Note xtra cross member installed, this ties the Hudson front together as there is no chassis running through to the back.

    Notched to allow full travel of the steering arms.

    Rods by Reid front end all tig welded. Looks good and is nice and strong.

    Extra bracing added to cross member. You can also see some of the gusseting that strengthens up frame. Thick plate with circles cut, welded in and out.

    Front brace and rad support completed along with the attachment points for the panels. Trans brace is lurking below on the ground.

    Done. Ready for the certifier to take a quick look this weekend. For such a project its good to have him follow along. Better to get any issues he might have delt to now than latter when its all painted up and assembled.
    Once thats done we will throw the panels on to make sure it all fits then rip em off and get the heavy old beast up on the rotisserie again.



    Some one on one of the forums I post on asked to see the gusseting a bit better.
    So images of it below.

    Outter side:

    Basically the rails are cut at 45degress there.
    Plated on the sides along with top and bottom.
    Circles cut to show the 45 joins/welds(or lack of it as you see)

    Cert chap ran his eye over everything. He is more than happy with the front and rear end. Only comment was to add a small bit of triangle bracing to the above image just under the floor pan there. Looking at the original chassis they had some thin metal sheet riveted on in this spot. Its no biggie and will do once the cars up in the air.

    I was a bit worried about the tie rod ends at the back. Being welded not a one piece. But he was happy with them. He explained the one piece are needed for certain rolls but the welded ones I have for the purpose they are being used for are fine. yey.
    So ya big tick by the cert guy for the work so far.



    Summers here and finally we are starting to get that drive to work on the car again. Winter months tend to make me like some reclusive old bear who rather stay nice and warm in his den and spring when it wasn’t raining had us touring about in the old Buick.

    To help get the enthusiasm back up and get a better picture of where we currently look it was decided to throw the panels back on. Not only would this confirm the jig and new front sub fitted up how it was supposed to fit but it is a simple easy start to getting back into everything.

    Front On. Alot of this will be changed up abit down the track.

    Nailhead lurking in the background. we didn’t put it in as it would just need to be pulled for the rotisserie.

    Picked up a visor cheap on HAMB. Adjustable width and seems only slight modifications are needed to make it fit. Will certainly make it look lower.

    Pulled it out to get a better look.

    Placed the side pipes just to see how they look.

    Pretty happy with its stance. This is air out.

    And finally a before and after.

    As you can see its dropped down a considerable amount. rear tire is no longer visible. Guessing we are looking at a 5 inch drop. so at air up fully inflated the car will be a bit higher than original.

    And as we hopped this has me pretty darn keen to get stuck back in to it. Blow it to pieces again in a few days time then get it up on a rotisserie again.



    Summer Dayz have been good.
    With the sun shining the 52 Buick has been rolling about the blacktop as much as possible.
    Haven’t really touched the Hudson much but have tinkered on the Buick.
    Decided to upgrade to an electric fuel pump. The old mechanical fuel pump still is in place with its pipes plugged up. This is not just as a backup encase the electric dies on me but because the old vacuum powered window wipers are driven off it.
    With the left over plug wires from the Hudson I made up some new sparkplug leads. We had a few issues at highway speeds on a road trip when the car would missfire. Also chucked in new spark plugs. Gave the car a good tune up and adjusted the rockers. Cars going way better.
    Have a pertronix unit on the way I will chuck in the distributor as well when it arrives.

    The Hudson is back up on the rotisserie. Below are a few pics that show the new frame work.

    Obviously the Trans support isn’t shown but you can see where it attaches in the above pic.

    Next is to strip down and wire brush the underside then rust kill, etch prime and lizard skin it.



    Did like five hours of scraping old sealer off or wire wheeling today. Got the missus to help out what kinda kept me on track what was good. Still think we have another few days or more like weeks to go to get it decent.
    Poor bird was stuck with the rear tire wells. Pain in the butt angles to deal with but she made some solid progress thats turning out good.

    Check out the sexy dirt tan lines on my scrawny arms. Similar to a farmers tan… that make it what ? a Bogan/red neck tan?

    these twisted wire wheels sure do a good job though. So good it uncover a few spots of rust >.> B@$tard!





    themoose on HAMB has worked his magic with Photoshop dealing to the Hudson.

    50 Buick grille, nosed, shaved, louvers, side pipes, tinted glass, 57 wheel covers and white walls then on top of that a scalloped paint job.



    Have not updated this for ages. So here is a bit of a ramble / catch up as to what has been happening. So this will be a bit of a long post with a spam load of pics.

    Wirewheeling like a possessed Tasmanian devil. Scrapped of the junk and old paint getting everything back to bare metal. Talking underside of the car, inner guards/panels, front guards, rad support etc. Still got more to do like the front end and other bits. I guess we didnt really need to go all the way back to shiny metal but I like to know whats what and how it all is looking under all the ancient gunk.
    Then went over and rust killed/converted it all with Brunox.

    great stuff that turns the rust a purple black.

    Found a local chap Noel the slinky man who has a big ass sand blaster they use for trucks etc. For a 24 pack of cool beers he was happy enough to do a bit of blasting for us. no flat panel stuff just the hard to wire wheel bits or sturdy bits like the rad support. Did a great job.

    Whitewalls arrived. BFG Silvertown 235/70/ r15.

    Got some custom steelies made up from Elite Wheels in Christchurch. Fraser there did a bang on job with some great looking welds. 15inch rims. 6″ wide front, 7″ at the back. centers are 4″ from the back.
    You wont see the backs due to the car being so low and has skirts. The front will have wheel covers that will hide the full steel rim. Have painted them up using Red Caliper paint. I figure the stuff is made to be resistant to road grime, brake dust, heat and what ever other stress calipers get so should be fine for wheels. The red was a bit more orange than I would of liked but yeah no matter wont see them. Got chrome valve stems on the way.

    Will edit the post later with a pic of the rims painted. But im sure you can all figure out what a red painted steel rim looks like.

    Assembled the rear end.
    It had been mocked up for testing so pulled the axles etc and got it all together.
    The whole rear came from Moser engineering. Top crew if you ask me. Support was great. Welds and quality of material is top shelf.
    Kit included:

    Bare 9″ Ford Housing (54.7” AF to AF)
    Moser Axles w/Bearing Pkg 5X4 ½ With Screw in studs
    Moser Performance Nodular Case
    Trac Loc Posi 31 spline
    Nodular Pro/Street Support
    Setup Kit
    1350 Pinion Yoke-steel
    P/S Gear – 3.50
    Wilwood Pro/Street 12.19″ 4 pot disks with internal Park brake.
    Fill & Drain Plug. Screw in breather.
    Lokar E-Brake Cable kit & Braided Caliper Hoses
    Further info on Moser custom Centers/pumpkins.
    Further info on Moser custom 9″ housing and axles package.
    Further info on Wilwood brake package.

    Throwing it altogether was easy enough even though we couldn’t find the instructions. Have since downloaded them from Moser just so I have the torque settings and will go back and tighten everything up next time im out there.



    Haven’t really updated this that much this month so thought I would jump on and fire up my normal belch of images etc. (yip belch, im using the classy language today boss)

    Started off with a pretty good local car show for charity (Hospice) that spanned across St Paddys weekend. Timaru’s Rock n Hop. Friday had a street cruise and the turn out was good. Being St Paddys Friday the place was packed with people. Check out that Kreepy ride at 2:03 and 3:03 \m/(-.-)\,,/ cam whore. You yanks might like a look at some of the RH Drive Brit and Aussie cars.
    Youtube Vid Here

    Saturday had about a thousand cars show. Open to all.

    Need to do the Kingpins on the Buick so may be the last show for a bit. Kinda thinking I may rebuild the whole front steering as its a bit lose. Need to get under there and take a look. /procrastination active.

    Now I have my wheels and tires all painted up and together I have started thinking of wheel covers. Wont see the rear wheels due to the Hudsons skirts and height so I figure no point wasteing wedge on anything back there. Up front its a different matter. Have some 15″ Moonies but they are dull and a bit boring for my taste and plans. So HubcapMike.com sorted us out with some 57 Cadillac wheel covers. Big shiny buggers that cover the whole rim not even leaving a millimeter of paint showing. Popular with custom cars overseas but I hardly ever see them at a car show. None at the show above.
    They came minus a center cap. Fine with me as I wouldn’t of wanted the old Caddy logo. This leaves me with a few options. Bullet in the middle like most people use or try and change it up a bit.
    Off to summit and I ordered in some Dodge Lancer (59?)centers. They had two types listed with the same description and pics but one at like $60SUD and another at $10USD per cap just different part numbers. Support told me they are identical. So ordered the cheapies. Arrived and turned out to be the center logo area cover for the Lancer caps. Summit told me to keep them and sent over two of the more expensive ones for free to NZ. ^^ Thanks Summit.
    God am i really talking so much about wheel covers o.0′
    So long story short. I got the dremel out and massaged the lancers to fit the Caddys.
    Unsure if i like the bullets or lancer centers more. Lancer looks over the top by its self but once on a wheel it balances way better.
    Your thoughts, ideas and suggestions are welcome.

    I know I should of taken the pics on the wheels with the whitewalls. The Lancers give me that “Greese” Scorpions vibe and those dudes I always thought where way cooler than the other goodie two shoe sing along bunch.

    So moving along!
    Out to the Hudson we plugged up the old factory drain holes in the floor. Simple job when you got the right kit. Plasma cutter to cut the disks. Lathe to make up/adjust some dies. Hydraulic press to quickly press the disks into nice little flat bottomed bowls to fit int he holes. Glue em in place and done. Now if we can pop them out if ever the need arises.

    Flockie then moved in and fixed up the few rust holes. Took him about an hour to cut it out and weld in a few plates then grind it all off whilst tapping away with the hammer. And that was most of the rust done in the car, one other spot has been spotted that we will get to at a latter date. Unbelievably I missed getting a photo of this. I know I seem to take a bizzillion photos of everything under the sun and I somehow missed getting a few snaps. But im sure you have all delt to rust and can guess the scope of things due to how fast Flockie delt to them.

    Love of my life then donned the white ninja suit/painters overalls. Restrained my self here from calling them overies like I normally call overalls due to a chick being in them got to be all politically correct and all right… anywho she then proceed to sling some black etch primer under the car. First time she has shot paint with a gun and I personally think she did bloody good. Gave it three coats and tarted up the diffs pumpkin as well. Once that has had time to harden up all good she will be back under there to lay down the Lizard skin.

    And a quick before/after of the underside.

    Now whilst she was busy under there shooting it the old school way/in the shed I helped Flockie put the body on the chassis of the coup he has been working on. Was a heck of an unsafe mess underneath and he has done a stella job that not only is stronger but looks bloody good as well.

    And body on.



    Alex a top guy from one of the schools I look after got me sorted on the blast cabinet and over the Easter period we went to town cleaning up some small parts and other bits with odd angles etc that would make wire wheeling a pain in the butt.
    Just has glass media but it did the job.

    Here is a few quick pics of just the hood latch.

    And as I have mentioned before my bird has been right beside me through this build learning the in’s and outs of cars and what makes em tick. So its only right she gets dusty blasting.



    Im a creature of comfort I have came to realize as I grow older and my waste band wider. So it goes without saying that I want a ride that is quiet enough to think and warm enough to have my gal showing off her legs in a short skirt next to me on the bench seat.Well quiet when I want it to be/ side pipes are capped.

    To help achieve this level of sloth I chose “Lizard Skin” for my heat and sound deadening. Inside and out. Part of the attraction admittedly is the fact its so bloody easy to apply, cleanup and will go anywhere you can spray it even under the dash with its 90′ nozzle.

    Write ups of the stuff all sounded promising. The ceramic heat one  has a video of a hot plate. Half coated in LS and the other untreated. ice on either side with the treated side not melting at all.

    Anyway to cut to the point we sprayed the under side first with the sound deadening Lizard Skin. Has a special gun with a large nozzel and sprays about a softball sized pattern. Layed a few coats of this down the first day with cleanup being simple as a wash n wipe down with water.

    Next day went in with the ceramic heat coating and again it splatted on nice and easy.

    You can find out more about the stuff if you are interested here.

    Went in and hooked up the diff and chucked in the bags front and back.

    With that done we threw on the Fuel, Brake and Air Lines. Bolted down with Rubber insulated P clamps every 300mm.

    Currently trying to figure out what to do for drive shaft.Thinking two piece. front section fixed. Then D shaped bearing and the second piece sliding to allow for the diff travel as it raises and lowers from the bags.

    Also working out where we will run the exhaust. Looking at 2.25″ pipe. more on that latter though unless anyone has some insight.



    Time for an update as more nutting out, shelling out, figuring out and cutting out has been happening.

    Starting off with the driveshaft.

    I wanted a two piece. Front will be locked static from trans to center bearing. then I wanted a slider second section due to airbags changing the length by over an inch of the second section.

    Had looked at a heap off options and discarded them all. Jag, Holden, Land Rover, HiAce, 4WD and list goes on. Sure I could get a dirty old thing & get it cut up and balanced. Recondition it. but in the end it was decided that everything else is new under the car & I like the piece of mind knowing a custom made one to my engine and requirements should last with any abuse thrown at it. Besides the car will be to low to want to go feking about with driveshafts ever again. Aint cheap to get all new components and shaft made up but its made for a nailheads low rev high torque and not a high rev/hp BBC/Ford.

    Now this was not some over night decision. Spent weeks solidly thinking about options and going to wreckers & talking to those in the know around the country. Heck the drive shaft had been sitting in my mind from the start & Flockie all so had been thinking it over from the time he got his hands on it. You will note in some old pics various driveshafts laying about. learnt a heap and Fraser the chap who made it up at Circle Track Engineering in Christchurch NZ was a top bloke to deal with. Showing us abut the shop & explaining everything.

    Next step was to get the darn thing in the car.

    Orgional plan was to bolt up the center bearing in the Hudsons cross brace where the old shaft ran. Whats that saying about best laid plans of mice and men… Basically the bearing was a lil to tall to get in the hole with no cutting and of course a tad to wide to also allow the exhaust. No biggie when you come armed with a cut off wheel right.

    Tunnel Mark1.

    Keep the Hudson one piece design and C- notch the top for the exhaust.

    As you can see. Not the best looking solution (yes I know who will ever see under there anyway right). Also not that strong really even though it was done in 6mm plate. So scrapped that idea.

    Tunnel Mark2.

    Goal: make it stronger whilst tucking everything up more & allowing more room for the exhaust.

    Cut out the whole first idea. Measured & welded up some box section that is way stronger than what originally was in place. Drilled and tapped the center to mount the bearing straight up to the body thus getting it up further.

    As you can see much more room and a much tidier looking structure.

    Trim off the ends and added top plats to mount a 6mm plate that will add further strength to the overall area whilst adding an area to mount the exhaust from.

    With the driveshaft mounted it was time to start thinking exhaust. Will carry that on in the following post.

    Pretty stoked how its all fitted up and Flockie did a great job fabricating it all up. Stronger and more room than stock Hudson.



    We all pass gas. Cars are no exceptions right. The louder it is the better it is. And I like a good deep tone.

    Time to tackle how to get the stinking unwanted gas out the backend of the car.

    0.0′ to much?

    ok seriously I will stop farting around. First off a general run down on the plan for the exhaust system overall.

    Running 2.25″/57mm pipe. Seems to be the favored max pipe size performance Nailhead guys use. Fine with me as I dont have much room to go larger.

    Shiny headers up front that Tee off to 2″ chrome sidepipes. Single exit not triples. These will be capped most of the time but will be functional.

    H to balance the gases and get a better sound and maybe better low end torque all going well.

    Couple of big ol mufflers.

    Exiting out the back through a Kaiser overrider.

    Christ it looks simple enough on paper right. How come thats always the way of things?

    So picked up the Headers and Lake pipes from the states at a sale way cheap.
    Pipes are 80″ single exit chrome 2″ jobbies you see all over the place.

    Using Patriot Tight Tuck headers. Reviews on various sites only showed good things – better than Sanderson and TA Performance. The ceramic chrome finish looks good.

    Mufflers im going for Flowmaster Super 40 series delta flow center/center. I know what a bloody mouth full.

    Big monsters that are 5inch thick. Always hard to tell when getting the right muffler even after watching/listening to so many sound bytes and youtube clips of Nailheads with the same muffler. Still they didnt seem to be to droning whilst still giving a nice deep sound. Only time will tell if this is the case. Always will have the side pipes to uncap and roar if we really want to let people know we are coming.

    Got some flanges laser cut up. Came with gaskets and bolts and worked out cheaper than off the shelf.

    Went for the thicker tube & bends pipe wall than standard. Easier for welding, sounds a bit better(apparently?), and with luck will last a bit longer. Also using Rubber bobbins/cotton reel style mounts through out the exhaust system.

    Starting in the middle at the hardest point. From bearing to muffler then over the diff.

    Many cuts & welds made the custom exhaust sit nice and snug whilst still allowing good clearances of about half an inch at the closest points to any other structure. May sound simple but took forever to get it to sit just right & point in the right direction whilst not dangling lower than the frame. Bloody happy how it turned out. Originally we had thought we might need to roll the pipe to flatten it a bit as we didnt think we would get it through the old Hudson center driveshaft hole.

    The mounts will carrying the exhaust load not hanging it.

    No matter if at Air out, ride height or Air up all looks good. Took ages getting it just right with so many tiny tweeks its just silly. But do it right and do it once. Very happy with the work Flockie did here.

    So ya. Thats where we are up to at the moment. Next weekend will C notch the rear frame to allow the exhaust to pass through so it can go through the stock Hudson bumper then through the Kaiser over rider.

    Similar to the below.



    WOW !!!!!


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