Cams, Cranks, and Pistons: Assembling the short-block of our 283 Chevrolet | Redline Updates - Hagerty Media

Anyone who has built an engine knows that Davin’s double- and triple-checks of each part aren’t just for fun. Each of those examinations serves a purpose, and this week is the example of exactly what he hopes to catch. While it’s not exciting, this process is critical to get all the little details right. Especially the spinny bits.

The block of this 283 Chevrolet is finally ready to begin assembly. That starts with the camshaft, in Davin’s case; he likes to do the cam before the crank because it allows just a bit more access if you need to help guide the camshaft through its bearings. Once he shifted his attention to the crankshaft, however, things got interesting.

The bearings pop right into place. Then, he slathers a little Red Line assembly lube in place before nestling in the nicely balanced crankshaft, retained by the bearing caps. Where’s the drama, then? The video you are seeing here is the second time Davin’s run through this process. The first time left him a little stumped: The caps were torqued, but the crank would no longer turn.

Back to the machine shop, then, for the block to be line-honed.

Line-honing removes minute amounts of material from the block and main caps so that the bearings will be perfectly aligned when installed. This is just one example of how fractions of an inch can completely ruin an engine if it were to be put together instead of meticulously assembled.

Luckily for Davin, he only encountered one problem this week. The rings go right onto the pistons, which slide happily into the cylinder bores. It’s satisfying when assembly is pain-free. Hopefully the rest of the build will be similarly smooth, but whether it’s a dream or a nightmare, you’ll get another update next week on the Hagerty YouTube channel.

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