77 Must-Know Muscle Car Tips And Tricks - Tips O' Performance

Here Are 77 Ideas That Belong In Every Enthusiast's Databank

Super Chevy Staff Sep 1, 2002 0 Comment(s)

Enough Steel Rod Info
Do not use rod bolts to draw the cap down the rod. The correct method is to locate the cap dowel sleeves into the counterbores of the rod. Then, very, very carefully, tap the cap into place.

Too Hot to Handle
Don't carry a micrometer around in your pocket and expect to have an accurate measurement. Body heat can ruin this relationship. Additionally, micrometers are sometimes supplied with "standards"-they're used to set the micrometer. When using a standard, don't allow the heat of your hands to heat the standard. You'll influence the calibration.

Slightly Simmered
Installing a fresh pickup on an oil pump can be a curse-especially if it's a press-fit such as those found on most Chevy V-8s. While there are special tools available to press the pickup tube into the pump, try this: Spray the end of the pickup tube with aerosol lube and slide it inside your freezer for an hour or so, after which you slip the bare oil pump body in a pan of water and household cooking oil. Bring the pump to a boil and (with the help of oven mitts) quickly slide the cold pickup tube into the hot oil pump body. It's a slippery fit and usually doesn't require the use of a hammer or any special tools.

Matching Pickup
While we're on the subject, make sure your oil pump pickup tube and screen matches your oil pan and is about 1/4-3/8 inch above the bottom of the pan. For some applications it may be a good idea to weld the pickup to the pump body or add a support bracket to make sure the pickup can't fall off.

Off-Season
There's nothing like jumping in your car on that first hot day of spring, flipping on the A/C, and getting a face full of hot air. This can be avoided by periodically running the A/C in winter, which will keep all the lubricants circulated through the compressor and prevent a seal from drying up. The same thing applies to the heater in the summer. The heater core should be flushed with fresh coolant to keep it from developing a leak that can quickly ruin your car's carpet.

Header Help
For those one or two bolts that are nearly impossible to start during header installation, thread a 3/8-inch stud in the back hole and let the header rest on it. Thread in the rest of the bolts and finish up by installing a nut onto the stud.

Rock Around the Clock
When installing an aftermarket high-lift camshaft with stock stamped-steel stud-mounted rockers, be sure to check the rocker arm slot that allows the rocker to pivot at maximum lift. According to Crane Cams, there should be approximately 0.60 inch of additional travel left in this slot when the valve is at maximum lift. At the same time, be sure that the rocker arm contacts only the valve tip, and not the valve spring or retainer.

Lube Job
Thread lubricants are critical since they are the primary element when determining friction. It's common to use good old-fashioned motor oil for lubricating threads (engine, powertrain, chassis, etc.). Unfortunately, there's a catch. When using specially formulated, low-friction lubricants designed for a specific task, the required torque can be reduced as much as 20 to 30 percent. The reverse is also true. The folks who make Oliver connecting rods point out that if the recommended tightening specifications are based on the use of a special lubricant, the use of motor oil or other non-specified lubricant will result in insufficient pre-load. Engine oil is a good hydraulic-bearing material, but it is a poor extreme-pressure lubricant. If used on bolts, the torque required will actually increase, due to galling which makes the surfaces rougher. Essentially, the torque must be increased to compensate for the added friction induced by the non-specified lube. If a specific assembly (a good example is a connecting rod fastener) demands the use of a specialized thread lubricant, don't use motor oil-use the proper lube.

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