Davin received some pretty bad news during the last Redline Rebuild Update episode. The cylinder heads of the Buick V-8 were deemed too far gone and the block was pretty far down the same path. Already busy with two rebuild projects, now a third comes knocking. A glutton for punishment, Davin opens the door.
The trip to the machine shop left Davin questioning if the Nailhead block was going to be a repair or replace proposition. After inspection, the stock pistons and heavy corrosion left enough damage that six or seven of the cylinders would need to be sleeved. Certainly doable, but according to Davin there is a point where it just makes sense to snag a block in better condition. The reusable parts are now being sorted and cleaned to prepare for when the new iron arrives.
A Ford Model A four cylinder is another rebuild in process, but currently it sits apart on a table awaiting machine shop work. This project requires a bit more attention than your standard engine, as the main and rod bearings in this 1930s mill are poured Babbitt. This style of bearing is created in by pouring an alloy consisting mainly of tin, lead, and copper into forms where it cools and is then machined to size. It’s an archaic process, one that neither Davin nor our local machine shop have undertaken previously. As such, the team is currently looking for the right shop to do the work.
While waiting on parts to arrive for the Nailhead, Davin receives a phone call with an opportunity to undertake a project Redline Rebuild fans have been asking for since the beginning—a 396-cubic-inch big-block Chevy. This iconic orange engine is being pulled from an even more iconic orange shell—Hagerty’s employee-restored 1969 Camaro SS396.
“We restored this car about five years ago and use it for events all across the country. It’s got some hard miles on it at this point,” Davin says. “It’s drinking oil and just hasn’t been running like a big-block should. Five years is a short time for a refresh, and I built it the first time, so I’m pretty curious to see what is going on.”
Hoping the 396 would only need some repair, this Redline Update closes with the big-block being yanked from the engine compartment. What will it need? How bad are the internals? Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube page to get notifications each week when these updates go live.