Chevy Performance Tricks - Fast Facts

A Dozen Easy Tips And Tricks

Wayne Scraba Jan 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
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1 Get Converted
OK-you've just rebuilt your engine and you're getting ready to slide it between the front fenders of your Chevrolet. A new flexplate is part of the plan. Before you drop the engine into the chassis, test the torque converter bolts in the flexplate. You might be surprised to find that the bolts don't fit. And you better believe it's easier to enlarge the holes now instead of working under the confines of your chassis.

2 Decal-Mania
When putting event (or other) decals on your car, cover the sheetmetal with soap and water before you slip the decals in place. The soap and water allows you to adjust the position of the decals before they dry. When you have the decals in a spot you're happy with, simply blot them dry with a soft cloth.

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3 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. It's something to think about, especially if you're shooting for a specific compression ratio.

4 Zipper Bags
When disassembling various pieces of your Chevy for a rebuild (i.e. an automatic transmission), don't put all of the various little parts in one big box. Use Ziploc bags, label them with a felt marker, and store all of the parts in order. Better yet, hang the freshly bagged parts on a sheet of pegboard. The parts will be easy to find, and if you're even partially organized, very easy to locate when the time comes to clean 'em up and reinstall them.

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5 Light Headed
When dealing with aluminum cylinder heads and/or aluminum cylinder blocks, cold lash numbers can vary greatly from the hot figures. Why does this happen? Simply because aluminum moves around significantly more than cast-iron when hot. Because of this, you can understand why (and how) valve lash figures often become decidedly different with "aluminum" combinations. Although it's difficult to provide hard and fast numbers for all cam and engine combinations, Chevrolet offers this advice: "Cold lash all aluminum engines .010-inch tighter than hot lash specifications." Generally speaking, you can use this as a starting point. Some aluminum head/iron block combinations are very close to an all-iron engine in terms of cold lash, while others might be anywhere from .005- to .010-inch tighter. Your best bet is to contact your cam grinder and ask for a specific cold lash number for your particular combination.

6 I Can See Clearly Now
Many aftermarket gauges are manufactured with plastic lenses. So are most factory gauges. And being plastic, they tend to scratch and become milky with age. While there are a number of great products on the market to cure the "fog," try running down to your local motorcycle dealer. They sell a number of products designed to polish cycle windshields and helmet face masks. Most are cheap, readily available, and work quickly. Best of all, some are available in simple-to-use aerosols that can be sprayed on without disassembling the gauge.

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