What's on the Shelf this time? Plenty, if you're a restorer, Vette Rod builder, or if you need reference and tutorial information in easy reach on your shop's bookshelf.
The Small Block Book You Need...NOW!
That's a tall order...but David Lewis filled it once with his Chevy Small-Block V-8 Interchange Manual. Now there's a 2nd Edition of this must-have reference work, which is updated with the latest info on LT1 and Vortec engines.-each of which get their own chapter.
Like the first edition, it has chapters on the smallblock's history (and why this book covers only the '68-later "large journal" engines), blocks, crankshafts, pistons and rods, camshafts, intake and exhaust manifolds, emission equipment, ignitions, lubrication and cooling. There's also a chapter devoted to interchanges, for those swapping a smallblock into something that didn't have it when the factory built it.
Each chapter is loaded with photos and illustrations, plus factory part numbers (over 25,000 of them!) and aftermarket part info. In fact, the camshaft chapter has a 21-page listing of all the factory and aftermarket bumpsticks available at the time the book went to press. Those part numbers alone are a good reason to buy this book, but the info on what to look for-especially when looking for used parts-is a goldmine.
Big Block Builders: Your Instruction Book Is Here
Especially of interest to the Vette Rodder or engine builder who's yet to tackle their first Mark IV big block (396-402-427-454) is Tony Huntimer's How to Rebuild the Big-Block Chevrolet. It's packed with so much information, illustrations and photos that it would serve well as a teaching text in an auto-shop class.
Along with an opening chapter that covers the big block's history (and stuff like what's a 400 big block and what's a 402), there are detailed chapters covering the tools you'll need for the job from start to finish; removing and tearing down the engine you've picked to rebuild; inspecting the block, heads, crankshaft, rods and harmonic damper; selecting the parts to use in your build (aftermarket and GM); machine shop work, including pre-shop planning and shop services; cleaning your engine; pre-assembly, step-by-step final assembly, and how to start it up and break it in the right way. Plus, there are appendices that include a detailed listing of the Mark IV's torque specifications as well as "work-a-long sheets" to help you document each stage of your engine rebuild project.
Your steel-bodied Bowtie friends will want to borrow this book from you. Tell them they can score their own from Car Tech Books, and they'll save way more than the book's cover price the first time they use it with their own engine projects.
Swap It Out, Drop It In
Another book that the steel-bodied Bowtie folks will want to borrow from you is Jefferson Bryant's How to Swap GM's LS-Series Engines into Almost Anything. That's because it's loaded with the info needed to put The General's latest V8 family between the fenderwells of not only '96-earlier Corvettes, but GM's F-Bodies (Camaros and Firebirds) and G-Bodies ('78-'83 Malibu, Monte Carlo, El Camino, LeMans, Grand Prix, Regal, Cutlass Supreme, etc.). As a matter of fact, How to Swap GM's LS-Series Engines into Almost Anything is THE guide to swapping these engines into non-GM vehicles, too.
Its chapters cover the history of the LS engines (Gen III and Gen IV, including Vortec engines) as well as selecting an engine; engine and transmission mounts; oil pans-both OEM and aftermarket; engine management systems (ECMs and tuning software); wiring harnesses and wiring; cooling systems and accessory drives; transmissions; fuel systems (including fuel pumps), and exhaust systems.
In each chapter, there are examples of LS-engine swaps, detailing the modifications, parts and tools needed to make the swap work and result in a vintage ride with 21st-Century performance and fuel economy combined. Illustrated with lots of photos and diagrams, How to Swap GM's LS-Series Engines into Almost Anything is a book that you'll want to read first to give yourself an idea of what this kind of engine swap involves...then you'll want it handy when you start on the LS-engine swap that you'd only been dreaming about.
A Work of Current Interest
Pay no attention to the steel-bodied Bowtie on the cover....Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems is a non-brand-specific reference book that's an ideal teaching text for those who've never worked on electrical systems before-or those who want to improve their skills. All the tools and the proper equipment required for automotive electrical tasks are covered. Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems also explains how to perform tasks like adding new circuits and repairing existing circuits, installing aftermarket electronics, building your own wiring harness, and troubleshooting.
Author Tony Candela explains how to complete popular wiring projects, such as adding late-model electronic accessories and convenience items to earlier-model cars, installing relays, designing and assembling multi-function circuits and harnesses, and much more.
With this book, you'll be able to assemble, design, and build single-function and multi-function circuits and harnesses, troubleshoot and repair existing circuits, and install aftermarket systems and electronics. Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems is your essential guide for wiring from scratch, modifying muscle car electrical circuits for cooling fans and/or power windows, or adding a premium stereo and other conveniences to modern performance cars.
How to Have Fun
Corvette owners who've autocrossed their Vettes over the years might think that's a better title for this work, but How To Autocross is the title of Andrew Howe's new book that covers just about every aspect of this very popular motor sport.
Howe covers everything you need to know to get behind the wheel and start carving the course. It includes chapters that cover autocrossing basics, car control (beginning and advanced), driving, car set-up basics, plus chapters on preparing and tuning your car for stock and "beyond stock" classes. There's also a chapter on getting help via driving schools, data logging and how to get more seat time, as well as one that covers SCCA Divisional and National Tour events and SCCA's Solo and ProSolo series. You'll also see tips on how to mount a camera aboard your car, how to ballast your car even if class rules forbid adding or shifting any ballast, and the health of your wheels and tires.
Experienced Corvette autocrossers say this is the best way to enjoy "America's Only True Sports Car" to its fullest, and Howe's book is a must-read for novices and experienced autocrossers alike...
The Argument Ender
That's one term that comes to mind when you mention Mike Antonick's Corvette Black Book to Corvette lovers. That's because it contains year-by-year sections on each Corvette and the unique features, options, colors and interior trims were offered each year. Mike's updated it to include 2009 model-year info--everything except production totals for a model year that hasn't ended (as of this writing).
It also gives you the Manufacturers' Suggested List Price and production numbers for each year and body style Corvette, plus Regular Production Option (RPO) code numbers for factory-installed options and exterior/interior colors, along with how many Vettes were built with them; VIN number and casting number info for each year; facts about each year's Corvette; plus a detailed Corvette glossary, chronology, and historic dates.
The Corvette Black Book fits easily into a pocket or camera bag for ready reference away from home. With it, you'll have all the facts needed not only to verify the original equipment of that Corvette that you've spotted in Carlisle's cars-for-sale corral, but to end arguments among Vette lovers and other car people over what was offered when.