Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Tip: Body trim

Along the same lines as reproduction factory graphics packages is reproduction body trim. Since many of the cars we own have lived long and not-so-charmed lives, it’s likely that much of the factory-installed brightwork has either been damaged or removed.

Tip: Engine

Once the hood is up, it might be apparent that paint and a few new accessories aren’t going to cure the real problem. Maybe it’s time for a new engine. But instead of replacing what was already there, this might

Tip: Lights out

If your taillights or backup lights are doing some weird things, and you’ve already checked all the wiring, then there’s one thing more to check. The ground between the light’s housing and the car’s body may not be good enough.

Tip: Bearing down

If you suspect you have a rear axle bearing about to give up the ghost, but you’re not sure which one it is, there’s a simple and reliable test: If it makes noise on a right-hand turn, it’s the left

Tip: Having a seizure?

As technology and engine materials have changed, it’s almost mandatory to use an antiseize compound on the spark plug threads in an aluminum head. So what’s stopping you from using it on the plugs in your cast-iron heads as well?

Tip: The distillery

If the water in your area is hard or contains lots of mineral deposits, use distilled water to fill the cooling system of your car. It will prevent deposit buildup and keep everything running cooler and longer. Use it to

Tip: Step up to the pump

If your Carter AFB or AVS develops a hesitation after the car has been sitting for a while without being run, blame it on the leather accelerator pump. The material dries out, contracts, and no longer seals properly to the

Tip: Header fix

If you cut the header-to-cylinder-head flange in one or more places, between the bolt holes, it will help the flange conform to the head more evenly and reduce gasket failure. Once the bolts are tightened, retorquing them after a few

Tip: Little squirt

If you know or suspect you’ve got a vacuum leak but can’t seem to locate it, try this: Mix three parts water and one part dishwashing liquid together. Put the mixture in a toy squirt gun and squirt all the

Tip: Up up in the air

When it comes to jetting, there’s another rule of thumb that states for every 700-800-foot change in altitude, the jetting should be adjusted. Basically, this is the same thing as an increase in temperature. As altitude increases, the available air

Tip: Jet set

Air density decreases inversely with temperature. Hot air is less dense than cold air. The air/fuel ratio in the engine has to be changed to compensate. This is accomplished by reducing the jet size or jet number (lean the engine).

Tip: Changing faces

If you have a close look at all V-8 engines (Chevys included), you’ll find the connecting rods can be installed in one of two ways. The big end (crank pin) of the rod has one side finished with a healthy

Tips: Pressure points

How much oil pressure is required in a high-performance application? Here’s the guideline used by several successful engine builders: A typical Chevy needs 10 psi for every 1,000 engine rpm. So, if it runs a maximum of 7,500 rpm, it

Muscle car tip: Last degree

When degreeing a hydraulic camshaft, don’t attempt to run through the steps with a hydraulic lifter in place. The clearances inside the lifter are too large. As a result, accuracy is impossible. You can make a special “solid” test hydraulic

Muscle car tip: Chamber maid

How much volume will a head lose when milled? Generally speaking, a Chevy engine will lose 1 cc of volume from the combustion for every 0.004-0.005 inch of material removed through a standard milling operation. Something to think about. Read