Technical Q&A for Classic Cars

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Looking for specific help on a current challenge, or just want some information that you’ve had trouble finding? Let us know! Our Club experts and editors may be able to help. See below for selected questions from Members, and helpful answers. To submit your classic car restoration question, send a detailed note to us at When you submit your Question, you give us permission to post it on our site.

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Q: I have a 1953 Chevrolet pickup. Since I have not had much time or money to work on the old truck, it just sits in my backyard. Recently, I moved it, and when I tried to use my brakes, it seemed as if the master cylinder was dry. I know it is hot out…

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Q: How would I trace the VIN number of my car to find its history? Glen Williams El Paso, TX A: Your best bet would be the DMV. It’s possible they might have registration and ownership records for your car going back to when it was originally purchased, but how much of this they can…

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Q: I have a 1954 Ford Mainline two-door sedan, and my husband is restoring and updating it. We want to change engines since it’s got the original 223-inch 6-cylinder. We’d like to install a later 302-inch (5.0-liter) Ford V-8. We cannot find any information on this swap, specifically regarding motor mounts. Can you help? Also,…

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Q:How many miles per gallon should someone expect from a ’68 Ford Shelby GT-500? Eric Wehner Goldbeach, OR A:The majority of ’68 Shelby GT-500s came equipped with 428ci engines, but some had 427-inch versions. Both of these engines were healthy, and fuel economy was not what they were designed to excel at. With the 428…

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Q: I just got an adjustable timing light, the kind with the dial on the back. I’m not quite sure how to use it. For instance, if I wanted 10 degrees of initial timing, do I set the dial at 0 or 10 degrees? Where do I read the actual amount of ignition advance? Keith…

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