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Davin breaks out the 396 big block in the latest Redline Rebuild Update

#1

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.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/04/16/redline-update-396-big-block-introduction
#2

I am of the opinion that if it can be saved, save it. Trashing a block that can be resleeved is waste. There may be some of these blocks available now, but in thirty years there will be someone looking for a block and will not be able to find one because savable blocks were thrown away. When I rebuilt my Nailhead, I kept all of the parts I replaced because you never know what will happen?

#3

@theeccentrics - You make a good point. The Nailhead block is not being thrown away, rather placed off to the side for a potential future project. Sourcing a different block made sense this time, but it might not next time.

#4

The Ford A rebuild sounds interesting. As I prepare my '27 T for the coming season, I am surprised a shop as this has elected to keep the internals stock (poured Babbitt). The pouring of Babbitt is a dying art with only a handful of shops around the world still performing the service. Improved (balanced) crankshafts and parts to convert to modern seals and insert bearings are readily, and economically, available.
Trivia: Of cars built before 1950, what car has the best availability of parts to maintain and repair it? If you guessed the Ford Model A you are wrong. It is the Ford Model T. Join your local Model T club and learn to drive a “real” car.

#5

Thanks for the info Kyle. Glad to hear that it will be saved. I was going to volunteer to take it if it was going to be trashed.

#6

I’m not up to speed on the Nailhead in question. Can someone tell me what size/year? I have 2 364s, a high compression version for the Limited/Roadmaster, a lower compression version for the specials. My project plans changed and I have no use for them now. I have a number of accy parts for them too like exhaust manifolds, water pump/s, pulleys, etc. One still has a Dynaflow attached. I’d sell em for a reasonable sum.

#7

Looking back at the original article to verify, it is a 401 from a 1965 Wildcat. The link is below.

#8

This was the best explanation of how to determine if you need to repair the the heads or rebuild the engine i have come across. Wish I had seen this or had this information before I sold my numbers matching engine and put a new one in. I did not test far enough.