Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Tip: Short circuit

If a battery goes dead after only a few days, there may be a short circuit. For a quick test, disconnect either battery cable and connect the clip from a test light. Touch the battery terminal with the test end.

Tip: Locktite it right

Every toolbox needs at least a couple of bottles of Loctite thread-locking compound. Red Loctite (271) is the strongest and should be used on items that won’t need to be disassembled any time soon, such as internal engine components. Blue

Tip: Keep those bolts

When installing the pan on a trans that’s mounted in the car, push three or four bolts through the pan rail and the gasket. You may have to smear some gasket sealer around the shoulder of the bolts to hold

Tip: Buckle up

A hardware store turnbuckle, two bolts, and two washers can keep your engine from “torquing over.” Run it from the engine to the frame or motor mount bolt on the driver-side. Read more:

Tip: Reversal of fortune

If your car starts poorly, but idles all right and has decent power up to a point then starts running poorly again, check all the usual suspects: vacuum leaks, carburetor, points, condenser, dwell, and timing. Still without a cure? Look

Tip: Good insurance

We should all know this, but here’s a reminder: Keeping a fire extinguisher handy in your garage is cheap insurance against losing your car or entire house because of a spark that ignites a fire. Read more:

Tip: Hose inspection

When doing service work on a carb, take an extra minute to inspect the rubber hoses for the vacuum advance and choke pull. If cracked, they can leak vacuum, destroy spark plugs, and generally ruin performance and fuel economy. Replace

Tip: Grease that pushrod

When installing a stock fuel pump, use a small “dollop” of grease to hold the pushrod in the block while you insert the “foot” of the pump. This prevents the pushrod from sliding out and blocking installation of the pump.

Lock it down

In recent years nylon locking nuts have been shown to be superior to lock washers, will work on anything not subjected to extreme heat (such as header-to-head-pipe installation), and won’t back off. If you have the option of using the

A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

With RTV sealant, use only the thinnest bead that will do the job. Too much allows the excess to squish into the engine or transmission when the part is torqued. It will harden and could block oil galleys or fluid

Tee Time

Disconnected fuel lines can be hazardous. An easy way to block them is to use a wooden golf tee pressed into the end of the line. Tees have a wedge-shaped end, so they will accommodate various hose diameters. Read more: