7 Double Trouble
When installing hose clamps on your Chevy, be sure that the clamp is behind the respective hose nipple. If the clamp is positioned on top of the nipple, you will almost be guaranteed to have a leak. The same applies if the clamp is ahead of the nipple. It's a simple tip, but one that stops errant coolant leaks dead in their tracks.
8 Leaky Tests
While performing a leakdown test on your Chevy, keep in mind that a healthy engine will leak less than 5 percent, while a chronic leaker can exhibit numbers near 50 percent. Some of the best-sealed engines in motorsports leak less than 3 percent. Use your own judgment when it comes to a leakdown test, but if your Chevy leaks more than 10-15 percent, it's time for a rebuild. As a side note, leakdown testers are available from a number of sources including Moroso (single-gauge model), Manley, and Tavia (double-gauge models). Aircraft supply houses are also good sources if you can't easily locate a leakdown tester at your corner speed shop.
9 Thick Is Trick
When wiring accessories under the hood of your Chevy, give some thought to the actual size of the wire. You see, wire gauge is very important. If a wire must be long, try to increase the size of the wire. You can never go wrong with too large a wire-it simply becomes a case of "manageability." Very large wires are hard to route, hard to bend, and sometimes hard to wrap. On the other hand, wires that are too small will not be capable of carrying a given load. This is a situation where bigger really is better.
10 Flat Fuel
If you have a Chevy that burns exotic fuel (race gas) and you plan on storing your car for any length of time, be sure to drain the gas tank (or fuel cell) and run the carburetor(s) dry. Gas that's left to sit for a long period of time (say a few months) will form a varnish. And if that varnish forms in your fuel system, you can be assured that the fuel pump(s), regulator(s), and carburetor(s) will have to be rebuilt.
11 Bolt Bashing
Here's a little tidbit for you: Check each bolt that is used to fasten the cam gear to the cam to ensure that it doesn't bottom out in the cam. If it does, you know what happens next: The cam sprocket wobbles and takes an unscheduled vacation. In most cases, the threaded holes in the cam are the right depth, the sprocket is the correct thickness, and the bolts are correct when they come out of the box. The problem usually occurs when a cam or gear is re-machined for a button or a thrust washer.
12 Hammer Time
Phillips-head screws are used in numerous locations on a built-in-Detroit car-and Chevys are no exception. Have you ever noticed that they can sometimes be next-to-impossible to remove-especially if they haven't been touched for 20-odd years? To solve the problem, insert the screwdriver in a normal fashion. But before trying to turn the stubborn screw, give the end of the screwdriver a quick tap with a hammer. This dislodges any corrosion and also makes the screwdriver fit the head of the screw perfectly.