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


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

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?


@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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.