The Redline Rebuild garage is no stranger to interesting discoveries during engine disassembly, but the 1965 Mini has some new ones for Davin. Remember, the car drove itself into the shop, but that doesn’t mean everything inside the tidy four-cylinder is just peachy. It’s proving to be quite the opposite.

This Mini put up a maxi fight when asked to give up its engine and transmission, but with that task finally completed, it’s time for Davin to tear into the engine and get a better look at exactly what he’s working with. Compared to a few of the previous projects—like the Buick Nailhead—this engine (once out of the car) was practically giving up its parts. Fasteners backed right out and things split apart easily. Too easily. Then Davin found the thermostat and got a hint of what may be hiding inside.

“The thermostat had been gutted in what I think was an attempt to help with an overheating problem,” Davin says, looking over the greasy parts on a workbench. “It’s a common thing I see, but it’s only a bandaid and often a bad one at that.” The thought is to improve coolant flow and thus dump more heat via the radiator. Sadly, the increase speed of coolant through the block often means it actually picks up less heat while flowing through coolant passages. That’s just the first sign of bad news.

Things get more interesting when the cylinder head and gasket are removed. Two fissures on the deck surface of the block appear to be from a leaking headgasket. Combustion heat and pressure can erode the aluminum or cast iron of a block. Is there enough material left that this block can be machined flat and still be used? Davin isn’t sure, but he has his fingers crossed. If you want to find out, you’ll have to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and watch a future episode of Redline Update.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com, an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit RockAuto’s Help pages for further assistance.

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

Snowball’s Ford dirt track racer is still in process, and this week Davin is tackling the wheel hubs. It’s not an overly complicated process, although a bit repetitive. New studs and bearings need to be pressed in and the brake drums need to be cut. With a little help from Randy at the Hagerty Learning Garage, things should go smoothly and these Cerakoted hubs should be ready to get installed back on our race car.

There are certain staples in the Redline Rebuild garage, and dad jokes rank right up at the top of that short list. So, in that tradition, Davin and crew eschew “Hump Day” and labeled last Wednesday “Hub Day.” The whole week seems to revolve around Wednesday sometimes, and we harnessed that energy to make great progress on our 1937 Ford race car. It’s now one step closer to rolling again.

The hubs on this racer are aftermarket pieces from Franklin. This means that the hubs have aluminum brake drums that bolt up to them, while the cast aluminum hubs are merely bearing holders that keep the whole operation concentric. Of course, aluminum brake drums would not last long in a race environment, so there are steel liners pressed in. Before we can shift our focus to those liners, we have to first address the wheel stud that holds the two pieces together.

When the car came to Davin, the front axle had different sized studs then the rear. While functionally acceptable, it makes service a bit of a pain in the butt. For a little additional strength Davin elects to upgrade to 5/8″ studs which means enlarging the holes in the hubs and drums ever so slightly. For the task, he uses the Bridgeport since it has a nice large table and allows for slightly lower drilling rpm. Once the holes are sized properly it is over to the press to shove the studs into their final place.

With the hubs and drums together, it is time to have the CeraKote finish turned off the braking surface. Doing this also ensures the braking surface is centered to the spindle centerline for maximum brake shoe contact. Turning brake drums is less common these days because production of rotors has become relatively affordable and thus, for many applications, it is easier to replace than to resurface brake parts. Luckily the Hagerty Learning Garage has a brake lathe in its small machine shop, and Randy is happy to chuck up the drums for Davin and get them ready for mounting.

All that is going to have to wait though. There is still more suspension work to be finalized before the assembly of either axle. If you want to see this racer come together and hit the track, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and tune in each Monday for more updates.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com.

RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

Davin is particularly excited for this latest episode of Redline Update, as the Redline Rebuild garage takes delivery of a new piece of equipment. The fresh acquisition will speed up restoration involving of all kinds of mechanical parts that would previously have to be sent out.

So what is it that has Davin grinning? A new blast cabinet from Vapor Honing Technologies, of course, which gets unloaded from the truck and unwrapped to everyone’s delight.  Wait a second, are those windshield wipers? Yep, Vapor Honing uses liquid water to carry an abrasive media, eliminating blasting dust and cushioning the part from aggressive media.

The result, as Davin shows, is a media blasting method that still reaches into tight corners and around complex shapes, but preserves details and underlying surface finishes. The before and after shots of the Honda Trail 70 hubs and engine castings are pretty shocking because even though the parts were not awful to begin with, just a little crusty and oxidized, they come out looking new.

Be prepared to see this latest addition to the shop get lots of use in future projects.

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

Since Davin’s balancing multiple projects, there’s always something exciting happening in the Redline Rebuild garage. Occasionally, however, a week passes without any first starts or newly-arrived parts—and Davin still finds ways to make progress. In this episode, the Honda Mini Trail and the ’37 “Snowball” race car both move closer to playing in the dirt.

The paint on the stamped-steel frame of the Honda is in pretty good shape; Davin, ever the perfectionist, isn’t satisfied. A repaint is in order but, even after Davin unbolts everything, the frame isn’t completely bare: The VIN plate remains riveted in place on the headstock. A slap-dash repaint is equally unsatisfying, so Davin opts to remove the plate and reapply it after the paint is done. Using a small burr on a rotary tool, he carefully carves down the heads of the rivets down they can be punched in and the plate pried off for safekeeping while the frame goes into the sandblaster.

With the Honda thoroughly disassembled, Davin turns his attention to the ’37 Ford race car. The engine and transmission have mounts, but the car isn’t going anywhere without its rear axle and suspension. The setup with which it arrived at the garage might have worked, but Davin isn’t a “good enough” type of guy. He wants this car to work like a race car should, so he leverages his extensive track-side experience to make the suspension function better than ever.

For starters, he locates the axle and mocks up the fit before taking the leaf-spring packs out and disassembling them. By removing, shifting, and flipping the leaves, Davin tunes the suspension to give the car the traction and handling a driver would expect from a car like this. For the uninitiated it doesn’t seem like Davin changes much, if anything; but those who know can witness to the significant effect of these seemingly minor changes. When finished, this Ford will look good—but it will be much more than a show pony.

The last item for the week is a call for help. The Chrysler 440 that came with this racer appears to be a mismatched pile of parts—the cylinder heads, for instance. One side is a late-’70s smog head and the other a 1968–70 vintage. Davin could do a little work with a die grinder to make the two match, but a coolant passage is stumping him. Mopar experts of the internet, now’s your time: Leave a comment detailing what you think is the best course of action for this engine.

Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and see the resolution of this Mopar conundrum!

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

That Cadillac 365 V-8 was a big priority for Davin, but now it’s assembled and broken in. Of course, there is no time for sitting around and twiddling thumbs in the Redline Rebuild garage. Too many projects are waiting, and one that has been languishing for a good while is the 1937 Ford Coupe. Today, Davin is fabricating the transmission mount for this Ford build and sharing some tips for those interested in tackling a similar project.

The task is simple, at first glance: Install a bar that bridges the frame rails and supports the tailshaft housing of the transmission. Easy enough, right? Well, sort of.

“This is a race car, so simplicity is king. I want to design something that makes service easy and that also has a side benefit of being the easiest to build,” says Davin. “If you threw service out the window, it would be even easier.”

The raw materials to create the final part are mundane—some simple square tubing and angle iron. Davin starts the process by laying out the design with the transmission bolted to the engine and hanging from a strap to determine the proper location. From there, he needs just a couple cuts and a little time with a welder for the mount to come into shape. If you don’t have the confidence or experience Davin does, the best way to tackle a design like this is to sketch the part on paper or mock it up with cardboard so that you can make any necessary adjustments before you grab the welding hood.

This crossmember is now burned into place, which means the Chrysler 440 V-8 is actually ready to pull. That Mopar mill is on the Redline Rebuild docket, but the Honda Mini Trail is nearer the top of the priority list. To keep up to date on all the projects the team is making progress on, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss a new video.

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

The engines that come into the Redline Rebuild garage have run the gamut. Volkswagen flat-fours in boxes and bins, running Chevrolet big-blocks, and stuck-solid Buicks have each presented their own challenges, but the latest project was a luxury. at least, it came from a luxury car.

This Cadillac 365 V-8 was not the worst project Davin and the Redline Rebuild crew has taken on. It might actually be one of the nicer ones. It was a smooth running, albeit quite tired, engine from a driving car. That didn’t guarantee a smooth rebuild process though. From the first turn of a wrench there were questions and concerns about parts, but the crew got lucky.

“I was nervous about the availability of pistons and rings after hearing from a supplier that it had recently sold off virtually all its stockpile for these engines,” Davin says about the parts concerns. “Luckily, we were able to source what we needed quite easily, and all the parts played together nicely.”

It’s easy to say the parts went together well, but the reality is there was more than a little extra work on Davin’s side than just bolting everything together. That’s the nature of engine building—not assembling. You could just bolt it all together, but the engine would not perform like it could or should. Properly fitting each and every piece means this Cadillac engine will be smooth and reliable when it returns to the four-door cruiser that it was pulled from.

The 4-inch bore block was in great shape once everything was removed, so basic degreasing and clean-up machine work were all that was needed from the experts at Thirlby Machine Shop. The rotating assembly was in similar shape, but Davin elected for new pistons, which required heating up the connecting rods and pushing the piston wrist pins through for the perfect press-fit. The cylinder heads got fresh valve guides and seats pressed in before returning to the garage for the final assembly.

The coat of Royal Blue paint really dressed up the package and made the assembly that much more rewarding to watch. It’s a stock rebuild without any crazy changes, but ask any engine builder about the first moments of startup and they’ll tell you they’re always nervous.

Davin admits “it’s not the scariest thing, but I always have at least a small amount of concern on first start of a flat-tappet cam engine like this one” referring to the style of lifters and how they engage with the camshaft. For flat-tappet engines, it is best for them to start up with minimal cranking and very quickly get to around 2000 rpm to start breaking in the lifters and make sure the lifters do not “wipe” or flatten a lobe on the camshaft. With modern assembly lubes and break-in oils, this is not as high risk as decades ago, but it still happens from time to time. Luckily, it didn’t happen to Davin this time—but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an issue with that first start.

Davin admits to checking and double checking the distributor timing, but on that first turn of the starter, a fireball from the carb confirmed that despite the careful check it was still 180 degrees off. Easy correction, and the next turn of the keys brought the humble Caddy to life and started the break-in process. It’s a sweet sounding engine and will sound even better once reinstalled its four-door home.

Another successful rebuild in the books, but there is no rest for the weary, and plenty of other projects are underway in the Redline Rebuild garage. Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel so you never miss an oil-soaked minute.

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

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.

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like

Enjoy Redline Rebuild Garage stories, opinion, and features from across the car world - Hagerty Media

Share

Davin is an expert at a lot of things, but detailing is not one of them. That might explain the lack of shine to a lot of the project cars in the Redline Rebuild Garage. The 1950 Chevrolet pickup is a prime example. It has received a lot of mechanical love over the past year, but very little in the way of cosmetics. We read your comments, and Davin decided to give the whole polishing thing a try. Not being an expert, however, the first step was calling for help. That’s where Larry Kosilla of Ammo NYC comes in.

Larry has made a living detailing cars that have lived hard lives, often years of neglect and bad storage. His expertise has turned many cars from crusty, dusty messes into show-ready pieces of art. He is certainly the man to help Davin put a shine on the Redline Rebuild Chevy pickup.

Larry and Davin talk through the process and reasoning behind the approach Larry takes to cars like this one. At the core: paint technology has evolved significantly over time, and that means you really need to know what you are dealing with in order to bring it back to life instead of destroying it. The Chevrolet appears to be wearing original paint from 1950, meaning the color coat is also the top coat of paint. There is no clear coat or protective layer, so getting too aggressive with polishing compound will burn right through to primer and metal. Already there are patches of metal popping through on this pickup, but Davin wants more shine, not more metal.

With a heavy dose of polishing compound and elbow grease, the green paint of the pickup comes back to life. Of course, there are sections where no amount of polishing is going to bring it back to showroom shine, but considering the life that this truck led prior to being towed to the Redline Rebuild Garage, it cleans up mighty nice. There are still projects on the to-do list for this truck, and if you want to see what’s next, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to get notifications with each update that goes live.

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Next episodes

You may also like