Our Mini rebuilt got wrapped up just two weeks ago, but if you thought Davin would wait longer than required to clean the shop before pulling in the next project, you must be new here. For the latest Redline Rebuild, it’s something bright red, two-door, manual transmission–equipped, and absolutely rust-free—just like Davin likes them. This one is a little different than average though, for a few reasons.

Say hello to this 1993 Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0-liter inline-six. It’s the newest car to be on the receiving end of the Redline Rebuild treatment, which means there are a few pieces and processes that will be new. Those surface right away as Davin yanks the engine and transmission onto the floor to be cleaned and prepped for disassembly.

Two of the new elements of this rebuild are the catalytic converters on the exhaust, but they are rusted in place just like most exhaust systems Davin encounters. One cat is also blown out from years of use. Just because it looks good from the outside doesn’t mean it’s functioning properly inside. The transmission tells the same story, as it just doesn’t shift quite right. Another odd hurdle was all the wiring that had to be removed before the engine could be pulled. From the fiddly fuel injector clips to the air conditioning system, it all comes apart, though. Now, it’s time to get cleaning.

This might appear to be a relatively boring build, but we’ve seen Davin’s search history and suspect there will be a few fun parts going into this one. To see just what he has up his sleeve, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss a video.

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.

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Davin may not be Michael Caine zipping through Turin, but rebuilding this classic Austin Mini Cooper S brought him a few thrills. This little 1275cc engine from 1965 gave him a few headaches but that’s just par for the course when you’re constantly working on cars you aren’t completely familiar with. It just goes to prove that even the simple rebuilds can be frustrating and rewarding all at once.

This Mini rolled into the Redline garage running but still in need of serious attention. The exhaust pipe was more like a smoke machine, and in general everything under the hood could use a good cleaning. With the literal millions of 1275cc A-series engines on the road Davin had hopes that this rebuild would be a quick in and out job, but of course, the engine had other plans. During teardown, all the dirty secrets came out.

First was the gutted thermostat, which implied there were likely some overheating issues in this Mini’s recent history that someone tried to band-aid rather than fix. Then there was the two large gouges in the engine block that Davin found when the cylinder head was removed. There was no other real bad news, but when the issue at hand could require a new engine block it was obvious Davin and the team were holding their breath as they headed over to Thirlby machine shop to get the machine work done.

“The rest of the block and cylinder head were pretty good, but those gouges were pretty deep,” said Davin about the hand-wringing on if the block would be salvageable.”We got a little lucky in that while decking the block didn’t completely remove the damage it got it plenty flat enough for a gasket to take up the rest.”

Direct from the machine shop to the paint booth, a fresh coat of dark green was sprayed on the freshly machined parts and also a few of the sheet metal cover pieces. With the infamous self-peeling tape out of the way it was time to click off the torque wrench and get things put together. While noting the fact the oil pan was also the transmission case, Davin said, “Taking a lot of this apart was strange, but putting it back together was even weirder.”

Even with a few hiccups on finding just the right part, this Mini still didn’t turn into the maxi problem that it could have. The engine got its break-in and final setup in the wee-hours of Saturday morning and it won’t be long before the car rolls out of the Redline garage and over to the Hagerty Learning Garage for a complete restoration. Of course, Davin is not going to sit and twiddle his thumbs now, as he has other projects running and a new one currently in transit to the Shop. To see what that is and never miss an update, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel.

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.

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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.

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For this week’s Redline Update, it might be best to get an appropriate snack of tea and crumpets. The newest Redline Rebuild project has arrived and God Save the Queen is playing on the shop stereo. It’s dimensionally small but big on character. If you haven’t guessed it already, Davin’s next engine rebuild will be pulled from a 1965 Austin Mini Cooper S. Currently it’s got a bit of a smoking problem, but if anyone can help it break that addiction it’s Davin. First, he has to get a good look at what he’s got though.

The Mini drove itself into the shop but has multiple signs that it has not lived a life of careful pampering. The tailpipe could be a fog machine while the engine is running, and more than a few parts and pieces are visibly tired. With a flurry of wrenches, Davin gets right to work taking parts off in prep to pull the engine and transmission. There are plenty of interesting finds, but the starter is one worth mentioning. At some point, a non-correct starter was made to fit by enlarging the holes in the mounting ears. It’s not stupid if it works, right?

The four-cylinder engine is a small package, but the Mini is also quite small. That means that getting the powerplant out is not as easy as, say, a 1937 Ford race car. At first lift Davin found that his plan was maybe not the best, but with a few more parts pulled off the engine finally left its cozy sheet metal home and gets bolted onto a nicely fabricated engine stand mount.

If you are itching to see this tidy little package pulled apart, you are going to have to wait ’til next week. For now, you should subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and then go out and work on your projects.

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.

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Last week, you saw Davin tear out the transmission of our 1946 Ford pickup and get our junkyard T5 transmission ready to swap in. This week, it’s full steam ahead as we complete this modern upgrade. There are some bumps along the way, but nothing a little time and determination can’t solve. So, watch along and see what it takes to bring this 1940s relic a little closer to modern times.

The process has been moving along smoothly, but that was all just disassembly and cleaning. Now it’s time to start putting things together, and that means little problems can pop up easily. From ensuring everything is properly lubed to removing burrs to allow the throw-out bearing to function smoothly, it’s not “just throwing parts together.” If you keep everything organized and follow the proper assembly plan, your project will probably fly along just like Davin’s.

A new driveshaft is the last piece to assemble and goes in nicely. That’s probably because it is a brand new driveshaft Davin had made for this project. With all the bolts tightened underneath, it’s time to look inside and get to the custom bits of this swap. The shifter was for an S10 pickup, but the angle is all wrong for the fixed seat in the Ford. Luckily, that is easily fixed with some heat and muscle. Fabricate a quick transmission tunnel and it’s time for testing. Engine running and wheels in the air the transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears.

This is a fairly complicated project, but you can also see how every complex thing is a just a punch list of easy tasks stacked up. Now Davin can cruise in comfort in the 1946 Ford pickup, but he says you should get out and get your project done. Before you go though, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss a fun project or update.

— Kyle Smith

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.

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Davin is a man of focus, striving to improve his surroundings and make objects more usable. In that spirit, this week kicks off a three-part series focusing on one of his favorite pickups in the Redline Garage fleet: the Swap to Street 1946 Ford. It’s a truck that is no stranger to highway miles, but the original-type three-speed transmission has left both Davin and the flathead under the hood wanting more. Now, it’s time to see about an upgrade.

This truck was assembled in just four days at the 2015 Hershey fall swap meet, from parts purchased on the grounds. It was a tough challenge, and since then Davin has been making metered improvements to the truck. The flathead got the Redline Rebuild treatment, wiring was cleaned up, and a small amount of insulation was placed inside the cab. It can run down the road at 65 mph without much issue, but the flathead is turning nearly 3200 rpm at that speed. Not ideal.

The plan is for Davin to give the truck two more gears by swapping that original three-speed for a T5 five-speed. It’s a common and durable transmission that has a better spread between the gears, not to mention an overdrive. Of course, nothing just bolts right in, so Davin has a few tasks to tackle before he can pilot the ’46 Ford again.

First up is disassembly and removing all the items in the way of test fitting the T5 while also getting the “new” transmission ready for installation. That means changing out the speedometer drive, cleaning the case, and inspecting the internals to ensure that it’ll function as expected once installed. Sounds simple, but this is just the first part of the three part series that will wrap up this swap. (To never miss an update or project, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel.)

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!

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The Redline Rebuild team is in the midst of some “show and tell” right now, in case you haven’t been watching for a few weeks. Davin learned about a 1969 Mustang Mach 1 that had been in storage for 30 years and determined that rest period was just too long. That’s when he decided to both show you the find and tell you exactly what it takes to bring a car like this back to life. So far, he’s dragged the car out of storage, inspected it, and convinced the engine to run. What more is there? Well, a good bit.

It’s one thing to get a car driving, and another to get it driving safely. Davin is pursuing the latter. That’s why the leak on the passenger rear wheel gets addressed as part of a thorough chassis inspection. When he first discovers it, Davin estimates the leak is due either to an axle seal or to a wheel cylinder. Luckily, the culprit is the axle seal—a far easier fix than the wheel cylinder, since opening up the hydraulic brake system often produces a can-of-worms situation.

Since the axle seal requires him to remove the brake drum, Davin takes the opportunity to replace the brake shoes, even though all signs point to those components being healthy. Why? It’s cheap peace of mind to replace those parts now and also saves time compared to disassembling things twice, if a stopping problem were to emerge once this pony was back on the road.

With fresh brakes installed, it’s time for a test drive, a challenge which the Mustang passes with flying colors. Then, a little surprise: Davin has been working on the car in secret, behind the back of the car’s current owner. Cam was the one who brought Davin to the car and gave us some of the story behind it, but Cam’s grandmother has the most history with the ’69 Mach 1. She was the one who drove it into storage so many years ago, and she gets one heck of a surprise when she sees Davin and Cam rumble into her driveway.

Even when life gets in the way and delays projects for a long time, it is always worth the effort to get back to work and revive those long-stored machines. It only took Davin a couple days of focused effort to bring this Mustang back to life, so make sure to take his advice and get out in the shop and work on your projects. Of course, if you want to see what Davin is working on next, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an oil-soaked minute.

— Kyle Smith

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 the Help pages for further assistance.

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The Honda CT70 is looking beautiful after its Redline Rebuild treatment and, of course, it’s running like a top. Davin is not one to keep secrets about the work that’s been done and what challenges arose along the way. There were  plenty of updates along the way, but sometimes the best time to talk particulars is when looking at it reflectively. So Davin and lead videographer Ben sat down to talk through the nuts and bolts of this big little project.

First, Davin explains why he chose a Trail 70. “We’d been getting messages about doing something other than an engine for awhile, and motorcycles always rose to the top of the conversation. Between my personal experience with the Trail 70 and its nearly legendary status with enthusiasts, it was the perfect choice.” Of course, when it came time to pick up a restoration candidate, Davin fell back on an old maxim: Purchase the best example you can find to restore. In this case it meant a running and riding bike.

“That machine was pretty tired though. Complete, but tired.” That often makes things a lot easier for a restoration. Documenting how parts fit together during disassembly is a lot easier when they’re all there. Also it can make better financial sense to buy something with parts that can be restored rather than swiping the credit card for each missing piece. Davin guesstimates there are about as many parts into the entire Trail 70 than a single V-8 engine, which means this project might look fairly simple, but it  can also be deceptively complex—mainly to keep organized once it’s all apart.

In that blown apart phase it was all about cleaning and acquiring parts. Luckily, Davin had the experts at Trail Buddy on call to help find and advise on just what he needed. They also helped rebuild the front forks and sprayed the tri-stage candy paint, a paint that surprised Davin both then and now. “It really blows me away that Honda would have done such a complicated paint process on what amounts to a kids bike. These were often used and abused, and that paint makes touch ups really difficult.” No matter when he was re-spraying the entire frame.

Then it came down to assembly, which is where this man thrives. Between Davin’s trusty shop manual and the guys at Trail Buddy, the bike slipped together quite quickly. Now it’s ready for some off road adventures—right after someone puts the first scratch in that beautiful paint. Davin is still a bit squeamish, but he knows that after that first ding, all bets are off. This bike was made to have fun, and that’s what it’s going to do.

To keep track of this and other projects in the Redline Garage, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel. — Kyle Smith

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 the Help pages for further assistance.

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Davin and the crew in the Redline Rebuild garage love a giant project, but they love a tiny one, too. Especially since even their small-scale projects are pretty involved. The latest full rebuild to begin is also the first to be finished. That’s right, the 1973 Honda CT70 is done. Might have something to do with the number of parts … Or maybe the fact that Davin used his phone as much as he did the wrenches.

The CT70 is better known at the Trail 70 and served as a literal and figurative jumping-off point for the lifelong passion of many gearheads. Honda introduced the little trail machine in 1969 and produced it until 1981 without changing much. With a lay-down, single-cylinder four-stroke engine, the CT70 is easy to maintain and has enough power to scoot around most adults, although with slightly less vigor that it would a lightweight kid. The easy-to-use, clutchless three-speed gearbox most models featured meant that just about anyone could operate one—and get hooked on the fun of two wheels.

Davin enjoys a motorcycle ride as much as the next guy, but the shop is his happy place. He didn’t hesitate for a second when this bright orange model popped up for sale in the Traverse City, Michigan, area. It was more than a little tired, but the pint-sized bike was complete. “It was really a perfect restoration candidate,” Davin says, sitting atop the finished bike in the Redline Garage. “Everything was there, and it hadn’t been cut up or really abused.”

That made for a quick teardown that left only the bare stamped-steel frame on the workbench. Davin then realized this machine was a little bit outside his normal piston-powered projects. Out came the phone and soon on the other end of the line was Trail Buddy Inc in Zeeland, Michigan. The crew there served as the expert resource for Davin throughout the Trail 70 restoration process. In fact, it was Trail Buddy that helped rebuild the front forks and sprayed the frame with three-stage orange-candy paint.

The 700cc thumper was all Davin, though. “A little engine like this is great for beginners to learn, and really fun for experienced folks, too. There aren’t a lot of parts but they all work just the same as they would in a bigger and more complicated engine,” says Davin. Add in that most, if not all, parts you will need for a rebuild are available and fairly affordable, and you have a great project candidate.

The paint was not the only item for which Davin called in the experts. From the final cam-chain tension adjustment to his dad stopping in to re-cover the seat, this project evolved into a serious group effort. Davin admits the process was more involved than he expected, but he’s still adamant about telling folks to undertake similar projects themselves. “There is nothing wrong with phoning the experts or reaching out in-person to someone who knows more than you do. No one knows everything, and the friends you will make in those conversations can last a lifetime.”

With any luck, this Honda CT70 will last just as long. Where will Davin take this little adventure-ready bike? We don’t even know, but if you want to find out, and discover what is next for the other projects in the Redline Rebuild garage, subscribe to the Hagerty Youtube channel and wait for the weekly updates like the rest of us. We promise it’ll be worth the wait. — Kyle Smith

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 the Help pages for further assistance.

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We all have when been waiting in suspense for the return of the Redline Rebuild CT70, and Davin is breaking the suspense with a suspens—ion project. The front end of the little Honda is pretty simple, but there is one special tool that—in true Redline Rebuild fashion—Davin elected to build himself rather than wait for the mail.

The first steps are a mock-up of the front-end assembly. A small amount of paint needs to be removed to allow the fork tubes to slide into place in the triple trees, but a small flap wheel makes quick work of that. From there everything slides together and confirms not only that it all goes together as designed, but also that Davin has all the parts ready for final assembly onto the frame. He might have all the parts, but he doesn’t have all the tools.

That’s right, his massive shop full of ratchets and drivers lacks the tool he will need to torque down the triple trees on the Honda. Rather than wait for a tool to arrive in the mail, Davin fires up the Bridgeport to make his own. Some tubular steel chucked in the vice followed by a few careful measurements allows Davin to mill away just enough to create the perfect four-prong tool to engage the top nut of the steering stem. A lug nut welded in place gives him something to put his torque wrench on when it comes time to assemble.

The project is rolling now—well not quite—but at least progress has returned. To never miss an update on this or the other projects in the Redline Garage, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel.

Thanks to RockAuto.com for sponsoring this week’s video. 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 Rock Auto 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!

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