Davin is a man who sweats small details, and let’s just say that painting the Cadillac 365 engine block and starting the assembly of the shortblock called for some perspiration. Nothing is too small for Davin’s attention, and that means ensuring no bare metal is showing that shouldn’t be.
“I could assemble the whole engine and then paint it,” said Davin in a conversation while looking over the bare engine block, “but I’ve never really like the finished product of doing it that way. Painting it all separate just has a much cleaner look and I think it’s worth the effort.”
That effort involves taking the time to cleanly tape off the gasket surfaces and protect the innards of the engine from overspray that could cause premature wear and tear. This precaution ensures the gaskets themselves work properly and the paint does not interfere with a good seal. Once taped off, the block can be wiped down with a wax and grease remover and rolled into the paint booth for a gentle coating of color.
Once back at the shop, Davin unmasks the block and brushes on a coat of Glyptal paint to seal up the porosity of the engine block, and doing so also helps with oil drainback. No assembly manual will tell you to do it, but little things like this add up to a more reliable, longer-lasting package.
With both the inside and the outside painted, Davin can begin assembly in earnest. The main bearings are put in place and the crankshaft is delicately lowered into its forever home. The caps are torqued, and at long last the engine is ready for rods and pistons.
That momentous step will have to wait til next time though, as our assembly series on the Cadillac 365 continues. Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an update—include the final, full timelapse and startup of this engine at the end of the Redline Rebuild tunnel.