In the latest Redline Update, Davin tackles the ratty manual transmission in the 1937 Ford that used to belong to Snowball Bishop. The Mopar-440-powered racer uses a Chrysler A-833 four-speed manual. From the outside, the gearbox looks pretty rough. Although it seems to shift OK, the case is rusty and the shift lever was the recipient of a number of expedient welding jobs. Hey, racing can be a dirty business.

Disassembly involves some light hammer work and a bit of coaxing by way of an oxy-acetylene torch. With the side cover off, Davin discovers that the clean lube he’d found when draining the transmission was no red herring; the gears look good. Regardless, there’s work to be done and all of the four-speed’s guts have to come out for a proper rebuild. Into the hot tank with all of you!

These Redline Update episodes use a totally different format than the longer-form Redline Rebuild stop-motion videos, but this one still manages to include a bit of time-lapse. So make sure to watch for some transmission tech along with some movie magic from our film crew.

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The nature of project cars is one of overcoming setbacks just to ram straight into other obstacles. This week’s Redline Update offers up one way to deal with such inconveniences, and the method is rather on-brand for our friend Davin.

The first issue at hand is the Buick straight-eight’s cylinder head. When first assembling the head, Davin learned in the last episode that there are two designs for the Buick 400 V-8 valves he was planning to source for the straight-eight. The first set that arrived did not work for his attempted retrofit due, to a step machined just below the notch for the keeper which in a prime location to tear up a valve seal. A second set of valves arrived, this time confirmed to not have the offending step, and assembly could then begin.

Unfortunately, just as fast that process got going it ground to a halt yet again. The new piston design Davin tried out out at the end of the last episode is off to JE Pistons, which will ship back aluminum pistons ready for installation. For now, the Buick project is a bit stalled out.

Davin isn’t one to sit on his hands and wait, though. How about using the lull in this build to dive into yet another project? In this case, Davin turns his attention to Hagerty’s Swap to Street 1946 Ford pickup. This pickup has logged a lot of miles in the five years since it was built, and the plan is to tack on a lot more in the coming years. To log those miles more smoothly, Davin is going to swap in a T5 five-speed transmission to replace the three-speed currently linked up to the flathead V-8.

Of course, there’s also Snowball’s Ford race car with the Chrysler 440 and a few other projects hanging around the shop—never a dull time in the Redline Rebuild garage. To keep track of it all, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel where new videos come out weekly.

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One of the fascinating aspects of large projects like this Buick straight-eight rebuild is that setbacks are only temporary; given the laundry list of smaller tasks, there’s always some way to make progress. Davin is still brainstorming solutions for the cylinder head assembly problems that cropped up last week, so this week he forges ahead by installing most of the rotating assembly into the engine block.

Of course, it never goes that easily. Davin has to chase the threads on the oil galley plug on the back of the block before he can install the adapter plate for the bell housing. Of course, with a cleaned and painted engine block, this is not the ideal time to create cutting chips; Davin meticulously removes the fragments from chasing that thread so they don’t run through the engine on its first startup. Luckily, there is an access port next to the plug opening, so a few blasts of compressed air and a small magnet take care of the dangerous material.

In go the cam bearings, and Davin measures the crankshaft and main bearings to ensure proper oil clearance. He does this to double-check that the machine work was done correctly and that the bearings are marked properly. Taking some extra time here saves the potential headache of assembling the bottom end of the engine and discovering that it doesn’t spin or that it is way too loose.

A final piece of good news is that the valve debacle has been resolved. As Davin tells it, the Buick 400 V-8 valves that he is using in this straight-eight are manufactured in two different styles, and it was pure luck of the draw that, of those two variants, the first valve order contained the wrong one. A quick phone call got the proper pieces to our doorstep in no time, and now the assembly of the cylinder head can continue as planned.

If you want to see what hurdle will pop up next on this engine—we all know it will happen—be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to receive notifications with each video that goes live and never miss a problem-solving minute.

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The Buick straight-eight is looking good after its paint job last week, but that doesn’t mean the assembly process is running completely smoothly. Davin got all his ducks in a row before starting this project—just like he does each time—and the cylinder head still presented him with two problems which weren’t immediately solvable.

“There is always a chance for a situation like this, even when using all the “correct” original parts,” says Davin as he stares at a table holding a plethora of springs, shims, and valves. “The fact we are using a few non-original pieces only elevates the chance.”

The problems arise from the retro-fit valves Davin’s chosen for the Buick 400. The seat diameter is slightly larger, which makes for better airflow, but the stem is causing two issues. The first is a slight discrepancy in length, which Davin resolves with an extra shim under the valve spring. No big deal. The second problem with the stem, though, lies in a step machined just below the lip for the keeper. The step is in the perfect place to catch on the valve stem seal as the valve cycles through its travel.

In addition to troubleshooting the valves, Davin is also confronted with an interference fit between the inner valve spring and the cylinder head. The inside diameter of the spring is just a bit too small and gets hung up on the lower portion of the casting for the valve guide. Davin has a cutter that he thinks will solve the problem, but he hopes cutting a relief won’t cause more problems.

Such are the trials and tribulations of engine building. Problems and setbacks pop up, often at what seems the worst possible time. Davin and the team will need to do some research to build this Buick correctly, but the time investment is worth it for an engine we can trust and don’t have to rebuild after a few drives. Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to discover how Davin tackles the challenges the Buick straight-eight throws his way!

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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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The Redline Rebuild series has a way of transforming the gritty and slow process of engine rebuilds into slick and quick productions. Behind the scenes, though, there is something else that is slick (but hardly quick) that Davin and the crew has to deal with—dirty parts. Luckily, Davin just got a new delivery to the shop that will make the process a bit easier for him.

“All those parts that are pretty and clean during assembly don’t just magically get that way,” says Davin. “It’s easy to forget about the grimy mess on the tables when it disappears after a few seconds in the time lapse, but that is a stack of dirty parts that typically haunts me for quite awhile.”

Instead of laboriously hand-cleaning those parts, Davin now has a big ol’ Gladiator parts washer to do most of the work for him. The new shop is not lacking in floorspace, but a parts washer of this size is still a big investment in both space and capital. The time it saves allows for more productive things to be done, so if the Redline Garage were a for-profit shop, this big acquisition could end up saving money.

The Gladiator is massive, no way to ignore that, but that size means Davin can load it up with everything that will be reused from a given engine, set the timer, and walk away to get something else done. Now and again there will still be a need to do some labor-intensive cleaning on very gooped-up parts. That is to be expected though; no automated parts washer can get everything removed from a complex casting like a cylinder head or engine block.

We could watch this big beast run all day. It almost makes us want to buy more dirty things just to clean them up. For now, Davin is going to stick to getting the Chrysler 440 ready for the machine shop. Always nice when you can make progress while drinking a cup of coffee.

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Most folks tend to think about a rebuild as comprised of two phases: taking it apart, and putting it back together. The facts often tell a different story, and rarely is a rebuild that simple; but regardless of what percentage of the rebuild Davin accomplishes in today’s update, he’s making solid progress on the 1937 Ford dirt track racer that he and Tom Cotter began to tear down last week.

(more…)

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The Barn Find Hunter and Redline Rebuild crossover continues as the 1937 Ford moves to the tear-down phase. Tom and Davin divvy up the projects to get the front suspension and rear axle stripped down to nuts and bolts. Of course, it’s never that easy. (more…)

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It’s a matchup for the ages as Tom Cotter takes a break from hunting roadside treasures and helps Davin tear down the ’37 Ford racer in the Redline Garage. If there were ever a perfect project for Tom, it’s this one—for a multitude of reasons.

First off, Tom was the one who found this particular car. Years ago, as Tom was traversing the countryside prepping to write his book about barn finds, Tom stumbled upon the property of Snowball Bishop. The grounds were packed with a seemingly endless supply of interesting cars, but something about this particular race car piqued Tom’s interest. It never really left his mind, and when he returned with the Barn Find Hunter camera crew, Tom made sure to discuss the vintage racer.

A second reason is the smorgasbord of parts which comprise the car. While we call it a ’37 Ford, that is a bit misleading. The chassis is from a 1955 Chevrolet, the solid front axle is from a Ford, and there is a smattering of race-car-specific parts throughout the chassis. The “wide-five” front brakes from Franklin, for example, are not a factory piece for anything.

Which is where Davin enters the scene. Over the last 20 years, Davin honed his racing skills behind the wheel of a dirt modified race car on tracks across the Midwest. Tom is no slouch as a racing driver—he holds his SVRA racing license—but dirt tracks are new territory for him. Davin plans to leverage both his and Tom’s knowledge to create a car that does more than just look the part—it also can tear up some dirt.

With a Chrysler 440 V-8 under the hood, the racer certainly won’t be lacking for horsepower. Davin also notes that viewers have asked for a car with a slick paint job, and that wish is about to be fulfilled. The Redline Garage hasn’t had something shiny on its lifts in awhile, and it time for that to change.

Tom and Davin get the car stripped down to its most basic components; next, the heavy lifting will begin. While it doesn’t seem like there could be much left hiding on the body and chassis, Davin is sorting out a way to blast off the remaining corrosion and paint so he can complete some reinforcement and re-engineering. To see this racer return to the track, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to receive updates with each new Redline Update that goes live.

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The Redline Update Chevrolet 3600 pickup is all but done, but Davin is not one to clean his tools and sit on his hands for any amount of time. That might be why there was already another project waiting in the wings, ready to spring out to center stage. This project has already gotten some screen time on our channel before. Tom Cotter found a great stash of cars including this racer on episode 44 of Barn Find Hunter, but this car stuck to everyone involved in such a way that is had to make a comeback.

Davin is tackling a late-30s Ford that lived life as a short track racer before getting stashed away on the property of Snowball Bishop. A wreck put the original build on its lid, and the crew put it out to pasture in the woods. That’s when Snowball schemed to rescue the old body and build a new frame for the car.

Bishop and his son got to work re-framing the car using a 1955 Chevrolet as the chassis, and powering it with a Ford flathead V-8. The then-aging flathead was Snowball’s engine of choice simply because everyone else was running small-block Chevrolets—and he could still beat them. When that tide turned, he starting calling friends to find a new powerplant. A Ford Y-block 312 took up residence between the framerails for a short time, but Snowball neglected to service the engine as the builder recommended, and the connecting rods let go and sliced the block to pieces. That was when the 440 Mopar that is currently with the car came into the picture.

The circle-track history of this car is the main part that brought this Barn Find Hunter and Redline Rebuild crossover together. Tom has spent time on track in a number of vintage cars, and Davin still tracks in the heavy clay from the dirt tracks around Michigan into the office on Monday mornings. This tube-framed Ford captured both of their interests and prompted Davin to hitch up a trailer and pull the car back to the new shop in Michigan.

Now, the only part left is the hard part; Davin is primed to get his hands greasy, and Tom is headed out on another hunt. The project phase begins, and if you want to see what Davin and the team has planned for this car, stay tuned in the coming weeks. The easiest way to keep in-the-know on the latest videos and updates is to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel and receive updates with each video that goes live.

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