It’s no secret that the Buick straight-eight has been a bit of a thorn in Davin’s side. Each step in the rebuild process has involved some annoyance or mechanical complication. That pain might be easing, though, because this week, work progresses smoothly and the short block goes together.
“Short block” is a term used to described a milestone in engine assembly. With the rotating assembly (crankshaft, camshaft, and pistons) all fitted—and with the timing cover, oil pan, and balancer installed—Davin has created a short block. Of course, these pieces don’t just fall into place. It takes a bit of fitting and squeezing—at calibrated amounts—to get all the components to play nice with each other and perform their tasks at first startup.
“These pistons have been a real holdup on this project, so I am happy to finally have a version that works like I want it to,” says Davin. “It’s the third design I’ve tried, and the first that accomplishes the compression ratio I am after while also fitting with the valve geometry so they won’t kiss the intake or exhaust.”
Problems like this arise even when doing mild custom work, like Davin’s done on the Buick. Davin won’t let assembly frustrations slow him down, though, and his persistence is beginning to pay off. Could it be only be a few weeks before this engine fires to life? If you want to be the first to find out, you’ll have to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and wait for the video. We promise it’ll be worth it.