Transmission / Drivetrain

Free Horsepower Tips

If you’re in the planning stages of building your Chevrolet, or even if you have finished and are driving it, there are lots of free or inexpensive things you can do to make your Bow Tie faster and/or more efficient. This month, TheAutoBuilder gives you 25 of those ideas. Most of these free tips simply involve putting your car on a diet. Every 100 pounds of weight removed from your car equals dropping 1/10th of a second at the strip. Even though you may not be racing, the same theory applies to the street, and also to the extra weight you must lug around.

Transform Your Transmission: Adding Easy Maintenance with Mag-Hytec!

OK, we all know that it is easy to ignore automatic transmission maintenance—its messy and time consuming and no one really thinks about it until the trans starts to slip. Most transmission pans are simple stamped steel and do not have a drain plug so draining the fluid makes a big mess on your garage or shop floor. If maintaining your automatic trans was easier and less messy you would probably stay on top of the maintenance wouldn’t you?

Significant Parts At The NATS

Delve into the world of street rodding with a glimpse into the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, where cutting-edge products steal the spotlight. From Lokar’s award-winning lighting solutions to Speedway Motors’ stainless steel exhaust manifolds, find out which new releases are revolutionizing the street rod scene.

A Tough Act to Follow

Though clutches rank below power-adders on the desirability scale, they are every bit as important. In fact, you’d be better off not spending the time and money on a trick blower or turbo kit if you do not plan on upgrading the stock clutch assembly. Sure, it is possible on some applications to improve the performance of your motor without a clutch and pressure plate upgrade, but you can only take things so far. Eventually, the engine will let you know by racing to the moon when you least expect it. Your clutch will likely slip under full throttle, and most probably at the highest load. Better hope you have a rev limiter or things can really get ugly. But have no fear … Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has come up with a variety of effective combinations to cater to the needs of performance enthusiasts and racers.


Explore the intricate process of installing a high-performance ZR1/4L80E powertrain into a 1956 Chevrolet half-ton truck chassis. Cimtex Rods in Jarrell, Texas, shares the meticulous steps involved, including fabricating engine mounts, an adjustable transmission crossmember, and a custom aluminum driveshaft. Witness the thoughtful decisions, like setting the engine back for optimal weight transfer and accommodating essential components like intercoolers and superchargers.



Our old 350 Chevy-powered ’47 International was running a three-speed 350 Turbo trans with 4.11 gears, which, as you know, is not a great combination for this type of highway cruising. It is fine, however, for those who absolutely love in-town, short-?distance, stop-and-go cruising, as it does prove great low-speed throttle response. On the highway, however, it spins up the engine and uses more fuel. We decided that after having our low-speed fun, we were using too much fuel and weren’t comfortable listening to the whine of the small block as we approached 70 mph. It was time to make a change. We looked around for a number of answers and talked to many classic truck owners who had either installed a new set of gears, an overdrive trans or a Gear Vendors overdrive/underdrive unit. We figured that the new 700R4 trans best fit our application budgetwise, although future plans may call for a Gear Vendors unit, as it represents the best of both worlds. But we first wanted to start with a newer, more modern trans.



Embark on the extraordinary journey of the “F-This” F-100, a groundbreaking collaboration between Chip Foose and Super Rides by Jordan. This radical pickup, born from a 12-year project, captured attention with its rapid 12-month transformation. Uncover the intricacies of the custom-fabricated chassis, boasting elaborate plumbing systems for air suspension, fuel delivery, hydraulics, and brakes. Experience the thunderous power of the 850hp 540ci ZZ 502 GM big block and the innovative design elements, including a tilting front end and reversed suicide doors. Explore the meticulous body modifications, the eye-catching House of Kolor Spanish Gold paint, and the handcrafted interior adorned with leather and snakeskin. Immerse yourself in the accolades earned, including “Best Radical Pickup” at the ’05 Autorama, as “F-This” emerges as a triumph of automotive artistry and innovation.



Fluids are the lifeblood of the vehicle. We need to contain those fluids yet still be able to monitor the fluid levels. Our older readers can remember the days before aftermarket flexible dipsticks or silicone caulk were available. The only option in those days was to use an OEM dipstick and dipstick tube. If you needed to shorten the tube, a hacksaw was the tool of choice. If you cut 4 inches off the tube, you then cut 4 inches off the dipstick and ground a couple of notches in the side of the dipstick to note “full” and “add.” Gaskets could be sealed with Permatex, but they had to be used as there was no such option of placing a bead of silicone caulk on the mating surface and assembling the parts.


There’s a lot to like about vintage engines. Just the sheer fact that it isn’t a small-block Chevy is enough to inspire many hot rodders. Now, don’t get us wrong; the small-block Chevrolet is nothing less than awesome, but it is also the default engine of most hot rodders. Often, there is no thought involved as many rodders simply want the 350/350 treatment. That’s probably fine for most hot rodders, but there has been a real resurgence in putting vintage motors in vintage hot rods, and we love the concept. The Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Buick Nailhead and Hemi are all great candidates for powering a vintage hot rod. Parts are still available for most of these engines, some being tougher to find than others. A surprising amount of speed equipment survives for these engines, too, and companies like Offenhauser still produce a lot of vintage speed equipment.


The showroom is what every auto parts store dreams of being: diced in checkerboard black and yellow tile with a heap of pegboard. Up front, the sales counter is the hub of business, fueled by eager customers that keep the phone ringing off the hook. Bob, Sam and Robin deal one-on-one with customers, keeping all 50 states Moon-equipped.

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