Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Muscle car tip: Torquing engine fastener

When torquing an engine (e.g. head bolts), it is always advisable to torque the fastener on the last full rotation of the nut or bolt. Using a socket wrench (ratchet), tighten the fastener until you feel there is approximately one

Muscle car tip: Cooler carb

To keep heat out of the carb, use a thick, insulating-type gasket with plastic anti-crush washers built into it. Fel-Pro has them for spread-bore and square-bore carbs. They will only raise the carb about 1/4 inch, so hood clearance shouldn’t

Muscle car tip: Lube job

Thread lubricants are critical since they are the primary element when determining friction. It’s common to use good old-fashioned motor oil for lubricating threads (engine, powertrain, chassis, etc.). Unfortunately, there’s a catch. When using specially formulated, low-friction lubricants designed for

Muscle car tip: Rock around the clock

When installing an aftermarket high-lift camshaft with stock stamped-steel stud-mounted rockers, be sure to check the rocker arm slot that allows the rocker to pivot at maximum lift. According to Crane Cams, there should be approximately 0.60 inch of additional

Muscle car tip: Header help

For those one or two bolts that are nearly impossible to start during header installation, thread a 3/8-inch stud in the back hole and let the header rest on it. Thread in the rest of the bolts and finish up

Muscle car tip: Off-season

There’s nothing like jumping in your car on that first hot day of spring, flipping on the A/C, and getting a face full of hot air. This can be avoided by periodically running the A/C in winter, which will keep

Muscle car tip: Matching pickup

While we’re on the subject, make sure your oil pump pickup tube and screen matches your oil pan and is about 1/4-3/8 inch above the bottom of the pan. For some applications it may be a good idea to weld

Muscle car tip: Slightly slummered

Installing a fresh pickup on an oil pump can be a curse-especially if it’s a press-fit such as those found on most Chevy V-8s. While there are special tools available to press the pickup tube into the pump, try this:

Muscle car tip: Too hot to handle

Don’t carry a micrometer around in your pocket and expect to have an accurate measurement. Body heat can ruin this relationship. Additionally, micrometers are sometimes supplied with “standards”-they’re used to set the micrometer. When using a standard, don’t allow the

Muscle car tip: Enough steel rod info

Do not use rod bolts to draw the cap down the rod. The correct method is to locate the cap dowel sleeves into the counterbores of the rod. Then, very, very carefully, tap the cap into place. Read more:

Muscle car tip: Stay below 9

Don’t use metal stamps to number connecting rods! They may disturb the roundness of the connecting rod bore. Instead, paint toolmaker’s layout die on the rod and rod cap. Inscribe the numbers. Read more:

Muscle car tip: More solid steel info

Clean all steel connecting rod reciprocating parts thoroughly. The idea is to remove all dirt and foreign oils. Spread the rod bolt assembly lube on the threads and be sure to spread the lube under the head of the bolt

Muscle car tip: Steelies

When installing steel connecting rods, measure bearing surfaces at least twice-once at the 12:00 o’clock position and again at the 6:00 o’clock position. Remember that clearances vary, according to the application. Typically, you need 0.001 inch clearance per 1.000 inch

Muscle car tip: You are getting sleepy

Common aerosol starting fluid (like ether) makes a great grease and wax remover, after sanding, in preparing small parts for painting. Simply hang the part with a piece of wire, spray it, and let it dry while you shake the

Muscle car tip: Plugged arteries

Most cam-break-in lubricants are molydisulfide concoctions. We recommend that you use them. But remember that they can easily plug an oil filter within 20 minutes of operation. When the filter is plugged, it will typically by-pass, and the result will