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Car Building Tips - Engine and Transmission Prep
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Car Building Tips - Engine and Transmission Prep
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Below are some ideas on engine and tranny prep that may help your car to run longer.

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Engine & tranny prep

Cooling system prep:

Wrap wire around the radiator to hold it down if the bolts or welds break. Wrap duct tape around both radiator hoses for extra strength. Take out the thermostat and cut the guts out of it. This will leave about a 5/8" hole for the water to flow through. Install the thermostat back to its location. The reason that you don't leave it completely out is that if it is left out it allows the water to flow too freely. This doesn't allow the radiator to cool it down as much. Cut the heater hose about 4" above where it hooks on to the block. Find some old metal tubing and connect the two pieces of heater hose together or you can just unscrew the pipes from the block with vise-grips and plug them. I have been doing this on my last 3 cars. It leaves less things that can break or get pushed into the distributor. One thing that I always do is to leave the air conditioning cooler in front of the radiator for protection. If the car doesn't have one, find one and put it there.

Engine 01

Engine prep:

Take the air cleaner assembly off and cut the air intake off at about 1" from the air cleaner. When it is put back on, turn it as far towards the firewall as possible. This will help to keep water out if the radiator hose bursts. Wire the choke wide open, or take it completely off. Turn the throttle up so that the engine will not die on hard hits. Run an extra hand throttle through the firewall to the driver's area. The cruise control cable works well for this. Retard the timing so that the car starts easily when hot. Replace all spark plugs. Use a silicone sealant spray and coat the distributor and all plug wires. I also put silicon on all of the plug wires where they connect to the distributor cap. A big glob of it works best. Be sure to chain the engine down on both sides. If there is a lot of space between the fan blades and the radiator, use the fan. I cut the blades down a little bit to prevent them from hitting any hoses or belts. Disconnect anything that is not directly related to the engine's running. Leave the air conditioning and alternator brackets to protect the distributor. I change the oil and add one quart of Duralube to each engine that I run. I have never had engine troubles to this point.

Transmission prep:

Get rid of the stock transmission linkage and install a floor shifter. Chain around the transmission at the cross member that it is connected to. Wrap an old innertube around the transmission before the chain is put on. Tighten it snug, but let it have a little bit of give. Run the lines to a tranny cooler of some type. I also put a Duralube transmission treatment in. I've never had transmission problems, either.