Last week, Davin gave a quick recap of the projects that he’ll be tackling this year. This week it’s time to get down to work. Up first: returning the Buick to the Hagerty Learning Garage, which means Davin gets to play with a new toy that recently arrived—a forklift.

“It might seem like overkill, but a forklift is one of those tools you don’t think you’ll use until you have one, and suddenly you find all kinds of uses for it,” Davin says. “For example, it’s a whole lot easier to lift this whole engine run stand into the pickup than to take the time to disassemble it all carry it piecemeal.”

Once loaded, the Buick straight-eight took a short blanket-covered trip to be reunited with the 1951 Buick that it will be bolted back into. The car, covered in fresh paint and nearing the finish line of its customizations, has been waiting for the engine to arrive. It should come together quickly now, but Davin is not at the shop to lend a hand with that; instead he’s there to pick up the 365 V-8 from the ’57 Cadillac that has already been stripped down to its frame, right next to the Buick.

The 365 is next up in the Redline Rebuild series, but if you want to see it torn down you’ll have to wait until next week. Davin says there are some interesting tidbits about this engine, and he’s going to dive into all that on a future episode of Redline Update.

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Anytime the engine run stand leaves its home in the corner of the garage, Davin gets excited. This week there might be even more excitement than usual, because it means our Buick straight-eight is that much closer to finding its forever home in a car. First, Davin has to figure out how to pick the darn thing up.

The name of the pick-up game is to find a sturdy tie point. With the intake and exhaust manifolds occupying the entirety of the left side of the engine, it’s more chess than checkers. Davin settles on using the transmission mounting bosses on the rear and a strap around the generator up front. The only fear with this approach is that the engine might want to roll, with the strap positioned off-center; luckily that doesn’t prove to be a problem.

With the straight-eight off the rotating stand and settled into the run stand, the next step is getting all the ancillary systems in place to get the fuel, air, spark, and cooling that are necessary to start and break in the cam.

Of course, just pushing the button and the watching the engine just take off would be way too easy. Davin initially gets hamstrung with a starter that’s not spaced properly, and thus binds on engagement with the flywheel. On top of that, he discovers that the distributor is set 180 degrees off. Both issues are easily remedied, along with a water leak.

Ready to see the straight-eight light off? We know, it’s more than a little cruel, but that final moment comes next week. (This engine has been more than a little cruel to Davin, so he is merely passing along the authentic Redline Rebuild experience.)

Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and be ready for next Monday’s video. We promise it’s worth the wait to hear this hot rod roar.

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There are many milestones in the engine assembly process, but when the pile of parts becomes something that actually looks like an engine, you’ve passed one of the most formidable checkpoints. Davin and the Buick straight-eight cross that threshold in this week’s Redline Update—not, of course, without a hiccup or two.

Even with all the documentation and guidance you can gather, sometimes the assembly process comes down to simple trial and error. Bolting down the Buick’s cylinder head is straightforward, but sliding together the shaft rocker assembly proves more challenging. The rocker arms are marked with “I”s and “O”s to designate which is intake and exhaust—at least, that’s what Davin thought. Turns out those marks actually tell the direction of the slight bend in each rocker arm that accounts for the offset between the pushrod and the valve.

“Sometimes you just have to assemble it and see if you are right,” says Davin about the valvetrain. “So long as you look at it with a critical eye and make sure you’ve got it right, it’s not a bad thing to make progress, even if it requires one step back to make two steps forward.”

The project did indeed take a step forward. While it’s not quite a long-block, the straight-eight is shaping up and will start to progress quickly. Items like the custom timing pointer Davin assembled will make that first startup much easier. If you don’t want to miss the next big step for this engine, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and tune in for each new update.

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It’s no secret that the Buick straight-eight has been a bit of a thorn in Davin’s side. Each step in the rebuild process has involved some annoyance or mechanical complication. That pain might be easing, though, because this week, work progresses smoothly and the short block goes together.

“Short block” is a term used to described a milestone in engine assembly. With the rotating assembly (crankshaft, camshaft, and pistons) all fitted—and with the timing cover, oil pan, and balancer installed—Davin has created a short block. Of course, these pieces don’t just fall into place. It takes a bit of fitting and squeezing—at calibrated amounts—to get all the components to play nice with each other and perform their tasks at first startup.

“These pistons have been a real holdup on this project, so I am happy to finally have a version that works like I want it to,” says Davin. “It’s the third design I’ve tried, and the first that accomplishes the compression ratio I am after while also fitting with the valve geometry so they won’t kiss the intake or exhaust.”

Problems like this arise even when doing mild custom work, like Davin’s done on the Buick. Davin won’t let assembly frustrations slow him down, though, and his persistence is beginning to pay off. Could it be only be a few weeks before this engine fires to life? If you want to be the first to find out, you’ll have to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and wait for the video. We promise it’ll be worth it.

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Period-correct custom parts were part of Davin’s plan for the Buick straight-eight, and he has enough experience to know that, given that decision, some components won’t bolt together perfectly right out of the shipping box. The first example was the valves. Then, the pistons presented the same problem. Now Davin’s wrangling with the fitment of the period-correct Edmunds intake manifold and tubular header. It’s nothing a little time with the press can’t fix, though. (more…)

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The Buick straight-eight has languished in a corner over the last few months, but now it’s returning to center stage as Davin takes the block to the paint shop for a coat of Buick green. Of course, it’s not as easy as putting the parts in the booth and fogging on the paint, so Davin walks us through the process in today’s Redline Update.

The best part about this video is the 1950 Chevrolet pickup, which gets put to work for the first time. The long-box’s new bed floor handles the big Buick block and other parts easily, but unfortunately the Redline Rebuild Stovebolt inline-six under the hood is still sorting out some kinks. The Chevy’s ignition fails on the way to the paint shop, requiring a quick truck transfer before the show can get back on the road.

Once in the paint shop, the name of the game is cleanliness. Davin even uses grease remover over areas of the block which he plans to cover with masking tape; good adhesion is essential so the pressurized air of the sprayer doesn’t catch a loose tape edge. The masking is time-consuming, but painstaking tasks like this separate the best from the rest. The essence of good paint work is attention to detail.

With the tape in place, the color is shot, and it looks pretty sharp. Hopefully Davin used the Redline Rebuild-famous self-peeling tape to save a bit of time when the parts get back to the shop. After all, once that tape comes off, it is time for assembly. If you want to see how this hot rod Buick goes back together, be sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel to receive notifications with each video that goes live.

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