Although it seems that every little thing for your car costs money, it doesn't mean everything has to break the bank. Despite the views of some, there are low-buck tech tips that can help you build, fix, detail, and style your ride, and won't cause you to take out a loan. We've come up with 25 tech tips that we hope will benefit you for your current or future project. OK, you're getting ready to fab a sheetmetal component for your latest project, and it involves drilling a bunch of holes along its perimeter for attaching screws, rivets, or rosette welds. You could grab your drill, extension cord, and a box of drill bits. But, in the time it'll take just to grab a bit, find the extension cord, and chuck up the drill, you'd have been well on your way to being finished with the chore. These handy tools are available in a myriad of places (we got ours from the Eastwood Company, www.eastwoodco.com). They are usually equipped with a good selection of die diameters so you can punch out an array of hole diameters. This is one handy tool that no fabricator or hobbyist should be without. OK, you're getting ready to fab a sheetmetal component for your latest project, and it inv So, you need to drill and run a bolt through a piece of round, square, or rectangular tubing. Did you ever think you have a good chance of collapsing the walls of said tube if you over tighten the bolt or use it to hold something that'll generate stress? An easy way to alleviate the problem is to sleeve the hole with an appropriately sized piece of tubing. Drill the hole to match the desired tubing O.D., tap it into place, and use a washer with an I.D. that matches that of the sleeve/tube, and run your bolt through the tube. This little trick will strengthen your mounting point greatly, and it only takes a couple more minutes to complete. So, you need to drill and run a bolt through a piece of round, square, or rectangular tubi Here's a handy tool we'd never be without in our home fab shop-a bead roller. It is used so often in the course of our fabrication and restoration work that we wonder how we ever got along without it. This one was purchased from the Eastwood Company (800/343-9353, www.eastwoodco.com). The roller not only makes beads for strengthening sheetmetal, but acts as a shear and a flanging tool, as well. With one of these babies and a little practice, you'll be well on your way to fabricator heaven. Here's a hint: When rolling a bead, always start from the center of the panel and work your way out to the edges. If you don't, you'll stretch and bow the sheet, rendering it useless. Believe me, I learned the hard way. Here's a handy tool we'd never be without in our home fab shop-a bead roller. It is used s Here's another tip we learned the hard way. Whenever you're welding a piece of tubing that'll be capped by another piece of metal at both ends (effectively sealing it off), always drill a small vent hole somewhere in the tubing. As you weld, the heat causes the air trapped inside the tube to expand, and there's a good chance that at the point of the final section of bead, the pressure of the super-heated air will be great enough to blow the weld out-sometimes with enough force to shoot a small bit of molten metal your way. Here's another tip we learned the hard way. Whenever you're welding a piece of tubing that To coincide with the detail suggestions, you can finally take the time to send out the parts that you've wanted to get chrome plated or powdercoated. Whether or not you are going for an all-out show car, a little splash of the shiny stuff can really make a difference when used tastefully. Try highlighting that custom little bracket with some chrome, or powdercoat some suspension pieces for better finish durability. You can really start to set off your car and make it noticeable with some simple planning and not a lot of money. To coincide with the detail suggestions, you can finally take the time to send out the par You can get independent oiling systems for a turbocharged or supercharged car, ranging from exotic dry sumps to self-contained oiling systems that work independently of the engine oil. We found one that Granatelli Motor Sports (805/486-6644, www.granatellimotorsports.com) installs without altering the oil pan or other components of the engine oiling system, and keeping turbo or supercharger heat from the crankcase. There are numerous benefits to a system such as this that make it worthy of consideration, not the least of which is extended engine and charger life. You can get independent oiling systems for a turbocharged or supercharged car, ranging fro We don't think we could count the number of classic cars, both original and hot-rodded, that we've seen with an improperly working or broken gas gauge. We know it's a pain to drop that dirty old gas tank down and see what's going on. We spoke to Ross Ortman of Dakota Digital (800/593-4160, www.dakotadigital.com) and he says the most common reasons a stock sending unit reads wrong, or not at all, are that they may be rusty and stuck, or there is a bad ground. Many old cars relied on the tank touching the body of the car for a ground connection, which just ain't cuttin' it. For many updated cars, the biggest problem is the lack of attention given to the calibration instructions provided with the new gauges or sending unit. If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, when will you have the time to fix it? The next issue would be having a non-compatible gauge and sending unit combo. The bottom line is to talk to the manufacturers to make sure everything is compatible, and then to get off the couch and follow the instructions. We don't think we could count the number of classic cars, both original and hot-rodded, th Even a purely stock, older car should have an HEI or some other form of electronic ignition. They range from "drop-in" assemblies to the more complicated models, most of which are fairly easy to install. What you get is less maintenance and great drivability. Some can be installed to look like a vintage distributor; others are readily recognizable as upgrades. Of course, while doing that, upgrade the wiring and plugs, too. When it comes to a manufacturer, take your pick. Just by flipping through the pages of SC, you're bound to find dozens of ignition companies with an application for you. Even a purely stock, older car should have an HEI or some other form of electronic ignitio We all love 'em, but can't always afford 'em. We're talkin' about new brakes. Any one of us would love to have an awesome set of six-piston 13-inch rotors sitting behind our rims. The problem for most of us is we either have to pick rims or brakes, and of course, we're going to pick rims. One of the things that we hate about throwing a new set of rims over an old set of brakes is rusted, oxidized calipers and drums standing out more than ever. Some people try to solve the problem by spray-painting the old calipers and drums, but it doesn't take long before the paint chips or melts off. That's why Dupli-Color (800/247-3270, www.duplicolor.com) offers an Andrew Jackson fix with their High Performance Caliper Paint Kit. The Caliper Paint Kit is applied with a brush, so there's no need to remove the calipers before painting. Everything you need is included: Caliper Cleaner, stir stick, paintbrush, masking tape, and complete instruction book. The Caliper Paint features Ceramic Resins for maximum heat dissipation and it won't blister, flake, crack, or peel, and is available in several colors. We all love 'em, but can't always afford 'em. We're talkin' about new brakes. Any one of u 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!