1970 Chrysler 440 engine teardown | Redline Update - Hagerty Media
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.
This week, Davin’s focused on the racer’s Chrysler 440 engine. Snowball Bishop acquire the block with the intention of installing in this car, but his plan never became reality. Though Bishop changed the racer’s oil pan and told his sons to paint it for him, the engine collected dust in a corner. In fact, Snowball has never heard this engine run—which makes it a great candidate for a Redline Rebuild.
Davin starts the teardown from the top, and the initial signs are promising. The casting numbers don’t match on the cylinder heads, but they are close enough that they won’t present a problem. The flat-top pistons show minimal wear, but Davin gets a quick reality check when he goes to remove the camshaft—it won’t budge.
“It is a good teaching moment, because I grabbed my hammer thinking I knew the problem,” Davin says. “Cam bearings can sometimes get a ridge worn into them which means the cam will need a bit of a hit to get out. But in this case, it was the fuel pump pushrod. If I would have gone straight to beating things with a hammer, it wouldn’t have gone well.”
Disassembly is one of the faster-moving procedures of any project, but let this Redline Update serve as a reminder to think through each and every stumbling block you encounter. Taking a moment to stop and think may save you more than a few dollars, and a lot of frustration. To keep up with other tips and tricks from this project and others, be sure to subscribe to Hagerty’s YouTube channel to receive notifications with each video that goes live.