It’s not a speedy engine, but the Cadillac 365 is sure coming together fast. Davin has been cracking away over the last few weeks to clean the parts that are going to be re-used and source the parts that needed to be replaced. Now the time has come to start some reassemble processes, even though the block is still at the machine shop.

The main thing on the to-do list is to confirm the sizing on the big end of the connecting rods. The process is pretty simple, but there are a few tips that separate proper assembly from “just slapping it together.” The first is the clean and careful insertion of the bearing shells to the rod and rod cap. The final measurement is done down to ten-thousandth of an inch, and since foreign material between the bearing shell and the connecting rod will affect things, most engine assemblers will have a clean room where dirt and grime are banished to keep these precision parts exactly that—precise.

With the bearings placed, the cap is torqued in place as if it was being installed on the crankshaft. A key in this step is to make sure the threads of the rods bolts are properly lubricated so the torque spec is an accurate reflection of the clamping force between the two parts. Once clamped together, the diameter of the bearings is taken, numbers that can then be relayed to the team at Thirlby machine shop, which can cut the crankshaft to the perfect size.

The team at Thirlby has been busy while Davin was checking that clearance. The Caddy V-8 block got the cylinder mating surface decked and a 30-thousandths bore on the cylinder to match the new pistons. The next steps are to take everything back to the Redline Rebuild garage and start the real assembly.

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In the latest Redline Update, Davin gets us up to speed on the Cadillac 365 V-8 and Honda Trail 70 projects.

First off, he inventories the Cadillac parts that remain after he disassembled the mill. The lifters show varying levels of wear, with the worst offenders displaying significant dishing. Those won’t be reused. New parts will join the original camshaft, which is being reground. Davin was surprised to find a new water pump; the big casting is pretty complicated, so it’s good to know that the cooling system will benefit from fresh components.

Plenty of the original Cadillac parts will be put back in service, however, and Davin reviews some of the steps used to restore them. For example, the V-8’s pushrods went through the parts washer and then through a tumbler filled with solvent and stainless rods to remove the baked-on oil. Now, they look brand-new. The rocker shaft assembly shows what the valvetrain parts looked like before that treatment. The shaft and its components are going into the ultrasonic cleaner before it heads to the tumbler. Due to the wear on the rocker tips, the rockers will need further work, since the ridges left by the valve stems need to be ground smooth.

Besides the tumbler and other parts washers, Davin and the Redline Rebuild crew rely on a media blaster. A quick trip to that part of the shop shows the valve covers getting stripped and readied for the same paint that will eventually coat them and the rest of the engine.

On to the Honda Trail 70, Davin lists all the new parts that he’s already collected, including clutch plates and a rebuild kit for the stator, plus brake shoes, sprockets, a battery, and an OE chrome engine guard. More and more original parts are going into the bin that’s destined for Jason’s Chrome, which will re-plate all those components in addition to polishing all the aluminum bits, including the intake manifold. Other aluminum parts, like the side case, will be sandblasted and Cerakoted. We also get a peek at the stamped steel frame, which is stripped of its stickers and nearly ready for sandblasting. The rusty split rims are also ready to get sandblasted. If they’re not too pitted, they’ll be powder-coated, but Davin’s lined up replacements just in case.

Next, the video team heads to Thirlby Machine Shop, where the heads get disassembled before being thoroughly cleaned along with the block. As previously discovered, one of the exhaust manifolds is cracked from the center port almost all the way to the collector; Davin plans to drill out the crack and weld up the cast iron. Luckily, the block passes its magnetic crack check with flying colors. Mike at Thirlby will handle boring, honing, and decking the block, making sure to leave the stamping on the deck surface intact. Compared to some of the other projects Davin has brought him, this Cadillac should be a cakewalk.

Finally, Davin reconditions the stock rods by pressing in new bolts, cleaning up the rod caps, and resizing the big end. As parts continue to show up, including the pistons and back-ordered fuel-pump rebuild kit, we’ll continue to bring you progress reports. Make sure you’re subscribed to Hagerty’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss a single one.

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Grease and grime are staples of the Redline Rebuild garage, but this week is all about cleaning up. No, not the shop, but the Cadillac 365 V-8 that Davin tore down last week. This sturdy iron block is shaping up to be Davin’s main project and it’s time to fire up the parts washer.

“This engine is going back to bone-stock, unlike a lot of the other builds we have done,” says Davin. “Not that we couldn’t add a few subtle hot rod parts … it’s just that, in this case, that approach doesn’t make much sense, because the engine’s going back into a bone-stock four-door cruiser. Stock is best here.”

The mess of parts on the workbench has to be cleaned before the process can move ahead much further, and, for this step, Davin is happy to have his monster parts washer. All the bits and pieces that need to go to the machine shop get a quick bath to remove the worst of the grime before they’re loaded into the bed of the 1950 Chevrolet for a trip across town, where they are unloaded and placed in the waiting line at Thirlby machine shop.

The next step is machine work—sort of. Since both Thirlby’s facing a backlog of work, Davin shifts his focus to even more cleaning. He gathers all small parts that he’ll send out for paint, powdercoat, or CeraKote and begins washing and sandblasting like a madman.

Be sure to tune in next week to see whether Davin finds good news under all that oil and dirt. All the progress will be documented in upcoming Redline Updates, so be sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel to next miss a greasy minute.

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