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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The 1937 Ford race car has been on the back burner for a minute, but now it is blasting to the top of Davin’s to-do list. That’s because the body and chassis are headed to the sandblaster to be cleaned up. The process could potentially reveal some structural problems, but Davin is hoping the car’s bones are solid. He’s also crossing his fingers that rebuilding the restarting assembly on the Buick straight-eight will be trouble-free—and, sometimes, Davin gets what he wants.

The axle-less coupe is levered onto Davin’s flat-deck trailer and dropped off for sand blasting. The car looks pretty solid through the thin, mismatched paint. There are a few rust holes, but is that really any surprise when you’re dealing with an 80-year-old race car? It shouldn’t be.

Expecting that the Ford could be picked up later in the day, the team heads back to the shop’s engine assembly room and makes some progress on the Buick straight-eight. New pistons have arrived and are ready for their rings. This requires properly filing the rings and assembling the pistons onto the connecting rods. However, right when Davin is about to put the pistons into the block and torque down the rotating assembly, he gets a phone call that the Ford is ready to be picked up—and he had better hurry, because rain is on the way.

So off to the blaster goes the team, loading the trailer quickly and bringing the Ford back to the climate-controlled safety of the Redline Rebuild garage. There the vintage racer is safe from flash-rusting, and Davin can inspect it to see just how much welding wire he’ll be burning in the coming months. Judging from the first look, he’ll need more than a little … If you want to see the whole process, you’ll have to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and wait for next week’s Redline Update.

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