Getting Started

Getting Started

A late spring cold snap brought howling winds outside the garage doors as I wrenched on the old hemi late one evening, I couldn’t help but feel a certain amount of anticipation to finally making the last connection and bringing life back into the “old girl”. A mental checklist was gone over and over again, tighten this, check that, and don’t forget to hook-up this, as memories of past engine start-ups came rushing back to me. Over the years, there always seemed to be a certain amount of fiddling with the engine to eventually having it running it’s best, and almost always some small detail that was overlooked but easily remedied. A vacuum line left unattached, a block drain plug left uninstalled, or a distributor dropped in 180-degrees out. But eventually, with a little time, patience, experience, and a little advice from friends, they’ve all roared back to life.

Similarly I felt that same level of anticipation as I sat down to write my first blog post here for the “Classic Car Restoration Club”. Much like wrenching on that old baby-Hemi, we’ve built a checklist of sorts, of those items that should not be over looked. Of course we’re trying hard to ensure nothing is overlooked, however, experience tells us there will likely be some fiddling before we have it running it’s best. That’s where you fit in, after all it’s your club, and much like seeking the advice of friends to get your old motor running, we’ll need your advice and suggestions to ensure the club runs its best. Whether it’s project ideas, video topics, or site features and functionality, just let us know, together we’ll have the club purring like a kitten. Drop us a note, we’d love to hear from you, contact us at:

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14 Responses to “Getting Started”

  1. Chuck Emanuel

    Summer of 63 spent rebuilding 57 Plymouth frozen engine. New rings, bearings, valves were installed. Wouldn’t start until pushed. Drove all over the neighbourhood, parked in front of house and left running. Wasn’t paying attention – sometime during run, rotten lower heater hose let go and coolant ran out. Engine was toasted and I learned a valuable lesson: always change hoses and belts when car has sat for an extended period of time!

    • Mark Simpson

      Great Story Chuck, I took my ’35 Chevy out of storage this spring, started it up and walked over to the other shop while it warmed up. soon the whistling from the radiator overheating called me to return… the ignition switch had become sticky over the winter and the key did not return fully to the “run” position. The electric fans never came on… car is fine… just glad I didn’t go into the house.

  2. Mark Simpson

    Jerry, The engine is a relatively stock 341 DeSoto Hemi, although it has been bored to 352 cubic Inches, and currently has a compression ratio of 9.75:1. This car is being built for my wife, so performance wasn’t the overriding concerns during the engine build as she still wanted it to run on “regular” pump gas.

  3. Rafael

    Greetings. Can a Chevy LT4 be used to replace the original 322 Nailheadin a ’55 Buick Century (66C)

    • Customer Service Techs

      Great Question, and one that feeds the hot rodder in all of us!

      “Can a Chevy LT4 be used to replace the original 322 Nailhead in a ‘55 Buick?” The short answer is simply, Yes! But nothing is ever quite that simple when making huge performance upgrades to vintage cars.

      Chevrolet produced two engines that carry the LT4 badge, the first was used in 1996 Corvettes and ’97 special edition Camaro/Firebirds, it produced 330 HP and 340 TQ. With a few modifications these engines easily exceeded 400HP, although they are relatively rare with fewer than 6,500 production cars ever offered with this engine. The second Chevy LT4 of course is the current Corvette Z06/ZL1 engine that produces 650 HP and 650 TQ. Those alone are impressive numbers, and would move any 50s Buick down the road in a hurry. Although the sticker shock on one of these impressive engines would likely make most second guess the choice and although not available from GM yet it’s anticipated to have a MSRP of close to $20,000, and the LT1 version coming in at $11,000.

      Assuming the LT4 you are referring to, is the current version; finding an LT4 engine is just the start of this upgrade. Nothing in the driveline of your ’55 Buick can hold up to putting that level of power to the ground. The transmission, driveshaft, and rear axle would all require upgrades, the fuel tank would need to be replaced to accept a high-pressure fuel pump and return lines, and new motor/transmission mounts would need to be fabricated. A new radiator would be needed to cool all those horses down, and don’t overlook the braking as well; going fast is cool but you want to ensure you can stop once all that horse power is rolling.

      Bottom-line, Old Buicks are cool! If you have deep pockets there is little doubt this combination would be a showstopper. However, Nailheads are cool too! If it is added performance you’re after, you can’t beat the high torque of a Nailhead, I would consider replacing the 322ci. with a newer 425ci. Nailhead. With 465 foot pounds of torque in stock configuration, the 425 engine should prove more than potent enough to deliver a great ride with a fraction of the expense, and there’s nothing cooler than a Buick in a Buick!

      Wrench Safe, Mark Simpson

      • Randy

        Stay with the Buick 425 , lots are still around, or 455 . Stock engine,anew FI system and you are good to go.

  4. Loren

    Hi everyone, I’m new here, so bear with…I have a build project, 55 F100, total frame off build…sand blasting and the whole bit…..So…My question is…I’m at the point where i have installed my power brake booster and Master..I am about to run new lines…I have a after market TCI front end..Any flags I need to know about as I run my brake lines, Oh yeah I have a CCP Brake booster kit installed. Clearance questions mostly…Any comment would be cool..Thanks

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Loren. Great question, as I have seen my share of cars with poorly routed brake lines. You failed to mention if you mounted your master cylinder on the frame or on the firewall. But the process is pretty straight forward and common sense driven. First check out a couple videos we’ve done on the subject: Brake line planning And Cutting and Making line flares

      It is best to route your lines on the inside of the frame rails, and my preference is to run the front lines trough the frame rails. They can be run over the top of the frame rails to get to the front brakes although I would avoid running them beneath the frame rails as they are then subject to damage.

      It is best to use line clamps at a minimum of 18-inches apart, and secure the lines to the frame rails. If you suspect your brake line will be subjected to vibration wear (i.e. The line between both sides of the rear axle) you may want to cover you brake line with a spring wrap, this also is a good idea in areas where the lines pass over and through the frame.

      Buy yourself a few line benders, and try them out on scrap tubing first, so you know where to make the bends in your line and how much line is used to make the bends. Some benders work better than others, and every car guy has a couple of favorites.

      Route your lines away from moving parts and heat sources for obvious reasons.

      And one last tip, put a drop of oils on the outside of your line flares, as this will keep the line from wanting to turn as it tightens, ensuring a better seal.

  5. CARL T.E.

    I am not impressed !
    I got tired finally of all your incomplete video’s so I joined to get full video and find out they are the same incomplete videos to advertise companies and not showing anything !
    Free video BS !
    Free advertising !
    No info what so efin anyware !
    Carl (PRFCT)

    • Customer Service

      Hello Carl,

      We are sorry to hear that you are not able to access the Premium Videos. To access the Premium Videos you will want to make sure that you are logged into your account prior to watching the videos. After you are logged into your account you will have unlimited access to all our Premium videos. Please feel free to give our customer service team a call at 1-855-706-3534 and they will walk you through logging into your account.

      Becky CCRC Video Membership

  6. Daniel Hyatt

    I own a 1953 pontiac pathfinder with a flathead six cyl . with torque tube driveline. Wondering if you have any videos and tips on servicing torque tube front U Joint and seals behind torque ball. Also the okie bushing as they call it removal and replacing. How do you adjust valve lash on the flathead six cyl.

    • Customer Service

      Hello Daniel,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      While I hate to send you off our site as we have not done a video on servicing a torque tube axle.
      But in the interest of getting a fellow car guy the information he needs check out the following.

      While we have rebuilt several torque tube axles, our good friend Jay Hawker had the good sense to film his Axle rebuild and rather than explain it, you may find these videos easier to follow:

      If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-706-3534, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!


      Classic Car Restoration Club Video Membership