Tire Cleaning: 101

This may seem like a super simple little project, but believe me, when your tires have been coated in primer overspray, it’s not.

Our project Chevelle was in the shop undergoing bodywork, primer, more bodywork, more primer, some finessing bodywork, a little more primer…well, you get the idea. The car was moved around in the shop (a lot) over the course of the months, and quite often, our wheels and tires were the unlikely recipient of some nasty overspray, rubbing compound, etc.

Read more

A/C: Converting To 134A

Until 1995, most cars with air conditioning used R-12 Freon refrigerant that is said to have a negative side effect of damaging the ozone layer and is no longer produced in most countries. Now, the industry standard is R-134a, which is an efficient absorber and carrier of heat without the ozone layer-damaging issues of R-12. Contrary to popular belief, most cars originally equipped with R-12 can be converted to 134a and still keep you just as cool.

Read more

Carburetor: Dual-Feed Conversion

Time: 1 hour (approximately)

Tools: socket set, flat-blade screwdriver, small putty knife or scraper, adjustable wrenches (optional).

Cost: (varied) approximately $100-$300

Tinware: center-hung float fuel bowls (if needed), metering block and hardware (sold as kit), metering jets, replacement gaskets, dual-inlet fuel line.

Tip: transfer the carburetor from the engine to a clean, open workbench. If you don’t have a carb stand, simply slide four bolts of your choice through the mounting holes in the bottom plate, and “nut” them up at the top. All you need is enough clearance for the levers and protruding linkage. (see photo #1)

Performance gains: increased fuel delivery and tuning accuracy.

Read more

Car Wash Tips

After washing your car, let the water flow heavily over the car. The water will sheet off and it will be much easier to dry as well as help avoid water spots.

Recommended: Heavy flowing water will help the excess water dissipate faster, making it easier for drying.

Not recommended: A light final rinse will leave plenty of water droplets to wipe down. If they’re not wiped off fast enough, water spots can result.

Read more

Water Pump and Pulley Install

Time: 2 hours

Tools: standard socket set, standard wrenches, gasket scraper, long screwdriver or pry bar

Cost: approximately $50-$150 for the pump, $25-$50 for the pulley

Tinware: new performance water pump and gaskets (supplied), deep-groove water pump pulley (optional).

Tip: never reuse old coolant. Over time it can chemically breakdown and actually harm and attack the internals of your cooling system.

Performance gains: a lighter (aluminum), more reliable, higher-flowing cooling system

Read more

Master Cylinder/Power Booster Conversion

Time: 2 hours (approximately)

Tools: standard socket set, standard wrenches, brake bleeder (optional)

Cost: $250 and up

Tinware: master cylinder/power booster

Tip: Always bleed the brakes repeatedly anytime changes are made in the brake system.

Performance gains: A new, dual circuit master cylinder and power booster will enhance the ease and safe operation of your brake system.

Read more

Engine Break-In Procedures

Time: Approximately 2 hours

Tools: crankshaft socket, breaker bar, oil primer shaft, power drill

Cost: $50 for supplies

Tinware: fresh engine oil and oil filter

Tip: Use quality engine oil and filters that are well suited to your needs  (geographic locations, economy, performance, etc.)

Performance gains: The correct break-in of an engine is just as important as its components and assembly. Without taking the necessary steps, the performance and longevity of your engine is severely compromised.

Read more

Water Pump and Coolant Tip

When installing a new water pump, or after flushing out your system, never reuse old coolant. Over time it can chemically break down and actually harm and attack the internals of your cooling system.

Also: Old gasket removal is highly critical to obtaining a good, leak-free seal. Using a putty knife, lightly scrape the water pump mounting surface until the bare metal of the block is clean.

Read more