Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Muscle car tip: Stay tuned

If your radio crackles every time you change the volume or the station, take the knob off and spray some aerosol tuner cleaner in along the control shaft. Tuner cleaner evaporates after it does its job and leaves no residue.

Muscle car tip: Get the mats sticked

Having trouble keeping your floor mats in place? Glue a couple of small pieces of Velcro(r) to the backside. The Velcro(r) will bite into the carpeting and keep the mat where it’s supposed to be, instead of bunched up under

Muscle car tip: The bing bang

If you’re running nitrous on your engine and you inadvertently fill the cylinders with nitrous while the engine is off, don’t try to start the engine-an explosion can occur! Remove the coil wire, fully open the carburetor throttle blades, and

Tip: Tap dance

All the engine “how-to” stories say to always run a tap through the head-bolt holes when swapping heads or rebuilding an engine. There are, however, a number of different taps. ARP offers taps that clean the threads but don’t remove

Tip: No fire in the hole

A quick test for a misfiring cylinder on a header-equipped engine is to spray a little water on each header tube up near the exhaust port while the engine is running. The misfiring cylinder will have a lower temperature, which

Tip: Light headed

Cold lash numbers on aluminum cylinder heads and/or aluminum cylinder blocks can vary greatly from the hot figures. When hot, aluminum moves around significantly more than cast-iron, causing valve lash figures to become decidedly different. Chevrolet offers this advice: “Cold-lash

Tip: Get the juice

If you’re using a GM HEI ignition and have poor performance, it may be caused by inadequate power to the HEI unit, which requires a full 12 volts to perform properly. Sometimes they’re mistakenly hooked up to the existing resistance

Tip: The acid test

You can easily prevent acid buildup on your battery terminals. Clean the terminals with baking soda and water and a fine wire brush. After they’re dry, coat the terminals with Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket. Just brush it on and let it

Tip: Ground zero

While the negative battery cable may provide enough ground to run the lights and radio, it isn’t always sufficient to provide proper ground and peak efficiency for things like hot, high-voltage ignition systems and other items. Make sure you have

Tip: Handling the hood

If you have to remove the hood, run a strip of masking tape over where the hinges attach to the hood. Then, slit the tape with a razor blade and remove the portion on the hinge. Presto! The remaining tape

Tip: In a clutch

A clutch-type fan works with a heat-sensitive spring letting the fan turn freely until reaching a certain temperature, then it engages the clutch and fan to help cool. A good clutch fan should turn freely by hand when the engine

Tip: Here kitty…

Of course, if you forget the tip above, you may want to keep a bag of kitty litter around. It’s highly absorbent and creates fewer problems than using the good bath towels to soak up the spill. Dispose of the

Tip: Squirt it out

A carbon-fouled engine can be cleaned by spraying water down the carburetor while the engine is running. Run the engine at a fast idle and squirt a fine mist of water down the primaries. The water turns to steam during

Tip: The plate ran away with

Keep your license plates! Just attach a nut to the backside of the retaining screws. Thieves seldom carry a screwdriver and a wrench and will go someplace easier if you make it tough. Read more:

Tip: Two will do

Are four-bolt main caps really necessary for your hot rod? Several companies have done some serious dyno testing on the subject. Seems the magic number for a big-block Chevy is 600 hp. Below that figure, the factory two-bolt equipment will