Highs and lows: The Redline Rebuild Chevrolet 216 heads to the machine shop - Hagerty Media
The Stovebolt inline-six is long departed from our 1950 Chevrolet pickup, and now we’ve dropped off Davin and the parts at the machine shop to see just what we’re dealing with. As the latest Redline Update reveals, while the block needs minimal resurfacing, the cylinder head puts Davin in a conundrum.
The block—the backbone of the engine—cleaned up well. The boring machine skimmed a select amount of material off the cylinder walls to help refresh the compression, and the whole chunk of iron was cleaned and degreased a few times over in prep for the trip to the paint shop.
Next up, the cylinder head. This was an area Davin wasn’t excited to explore this time. His research during teardown of the block indicated the 216’s cylinder head design has a nasty habit of cracking on a tight radius in the combustion chamber.
“At first glance I thought it was an odd design, but with more research it turns out it is quite a pain-in-the-butt design,” Davin says, while eyeing the parts from across the room. “I can see why so many people skip over rebuilding these 216s and just go to the 235.”
It is clear now just what Davin got himself into, but given how this pickup will be used once it’s completed and the current state of the cracks, the fix is actually quite simple. Rather than pre-heating and welding the relatively small cracks, a ceramic coating is poured into the water jacket of the block. This creates a second barrier to prevent combustion pressures from getting into the coolant passages should the cracks get worse.
With all the machine worked wrapped up, it’s time to literally wrap the parts up and head for the paint booth. Davin spends a few hours of prep work before everything is rolled into the booth and sprayed with the proper battleship gray hue.
With all the parts properly coated with color, there’s just one step left—put the engine back together, coming up in the next Redline Update. If you want to be sure not to miss a single blot of Loctite or click of the torque wrench, subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube page to receive notification as each video goes live.