Keep a fire extinquisher in each classic/antique car that you drive. It's a small price to pay to save your car! Bob-"mr409"
Keep all reciepts and take plenty of pics along the way when working on your Classic Chevy. You'll be glad you did especially if you sell it. Bob-"mr409"
If possible, keep a set of "sharp", original keys tucked away. Carrying keys in your pocket will wear them down and eventually, they get so rounded that they no longer work properly. If those are your only keys, copying them later won't do any good as the key machine will only follow the damage. By keeping an original "sharp" set, you can go back and get copies made that will be precise. Bob-"mr409"
Ever wonder what that little letter was on your keys? (A, B, C, etc) Every year, GM would change the key code to help prevent your key from working in other cars. Each coded key had a subtle difference such as thickness or shape. Also, every few years, the codes would start over again. Example: 1969 cars used the "H" and "E" coded keys. In 1973, these codes were used again. Bob-"mr409"
Rounded or stripped out phillips head screws or small bolts? Take a hack saw or cutoff wheel and cut a slot in the head so you can use a straight screwdriver to remove it. "unknown source"
Frozen door lock or gas cap lock? Use a lighter or match to heat the key, then insert. It may take a few times but the heat will transfer from the key to the lock parts and will unfreeze it. (keep any lit flames and sparks away from gas tank opening) "unknown source"
You go to the parts store for wiper blade refills but the size you need is sold out! Doh! No problem, just buy a larger size and snip off the unneeded portion!Bob-"mr409"
Rounded bolt or lug nut got you down? No problem...tack weld a good nut onto the bad one and remove. Bob-"mr409"
If your like me and do most of the work on your car(s) outside during the warmer months, do yourself a big favor and build a nice sturdy outdoor workbench/table. Here's mine:
I constructed the legs from some old pressure treated 4X4 posts that I removed from a fence job I did, the support members were some old 2X4's from a carpentry job and I purchased some pressure treated 1X4's for the top. (use what you have) Once you have one of these, you won't ever do without one again! It sure beats working on the ground and is great for jobs such as; rebuilding parts, painting and detailing parts, body work, welding, fabricating and so much more... Mount an old vise to your bench for even more convenience. Bob-"mr409"
When engine parts such as fuel pumps, water pumps, master cylinders and alternators, etc, wear out on your classic/antique Chevy, you have two options, you can rebuild them or replace them but if these parts are original to your car and you choose to replace them, it's best to keep the originals for later use especially if they contain the correct date codes for your car. Even if you don't plan on rebuilding these parts yourself, having the original parts increases value and are nice to keep with the car. Note-auto parts stores carry replacement parts that are meant to function as original but most times, they are not correct in appearance.
Storing a project (or future project) car outside? Mother nature is the worst enemy for our beloved Chevy's but here's a few things that you can do to limit her destruction. 1) Park car in a shaded area if possible. 2) Avoid parking under trees that leave sap or pine needles. 3) Place a foldable shade on the inside of the windshield to keep sun off of the interior. This will help prevent fading and also keep temps down too. A shade with a foil face is best. Keep it pressed as closely to the glass as possible as heat can build up in between the shade and glass. You can use these on the side or rear windows if sun hits that area the most. 4) On hot days, roll down a window or two and be sure to roll them up at the end of the day and when it rains. Just because your not driving it now doesn't mean you should neglect it. 5) Moisture is constantly rising from the ground and parked cars will rust/rot from the bottom up. It's a good idea to park over plastic or on a paved surface. 6) Avoid tarps! Tarps usually start leaking the second day after you open the pack and are only good for two things; trapping moisture and rubbing the paint off your car. Movement of the tarp from wind will rub the paint off of all the sharp edges of the car. Your best to leave uncovered or cover just prior to a rain/snow storm, then remove again. By leaving the vehicle uncovered, the air will dry the car much faster. 7) Clean out areas such as cowls, hood, doors & trunk jams frequently. Leaves, dirt and debris will collect here and remain wet which will cause rust. 8) Check the cars floors and trunk for leaks occasionally. If the car has leaks, keep up with drying them on a regular basis until you fix the problem. Remove items such as rugs, floor mats and trunk mats as they will hold moisture in. 8) Keep up with any new rust. Don't let a small rust spot turn into a huge one. Sand and touch up with primer and paint right away. It doesn't have to look pretty, it's just for protection. 9) Occasionally clean chrome such as bumpers to keep them from rusting. 10) If the car runs, it's good to run it once in a while but only if done correctly. Don't start it once a week for 5 minutes as you'll be doing more harm than good. Run it until the engine is up to operating temperature. This does many things such as dries all moisture from engine oil and the exhaust system and is good for keeping seals from shrinking such as those in the transmission. Drive car around a bit if it's drivable and work all moveable parts such as the emergency brake, vents and anything movable.Bob "bobs409"
If you have the original key code for your cars keys, you can still get new keys punched out at your local GM dealer or locksmith by simply supplying that code. This will produce an exact key that is better than copying an old key that may be worn which will transfer that wear to the new key. Note however that the GM delaer probably won't have the exact old key blanks laying around any longer but do have replacement type that will work. Bob-"mr409"
Want to get new keys made but don't have your cars original key codes? Check on the lock cylinders for a 4 digit number. (see tip above and below as well)
If the keys for your old Chevy have seen better days, consider buying NOS key blanks over aftermarket replacements. These are inexpensive (about $2.00 each) and are just one of those little touches to make your car stand out over the rest. These can be found on ebay and swap meets. If you have any old dealerships or locksmith shops in your area, you might check with them to see if they have any original blanks in stock yet.
Need to remove the ignition lock cylinder on your 1968 or older Chevy? Insert the key and turn to the ACC position. Insert a paper clip into the small hole on lock cover and press in firmly while turning key to the left, further past the ACC position. (counter clockwise) Then cylinder will pull out. If your not successful on the first try, keep at it, they can be sticky. Also, be sure to lube everything up well before re-installing which will make next time a breeze.
Need or just want to make your own rubber gaskets such as door handle, door lock etc? Find a roofer in your area and try to seperate him from a piece of the rubber roofing material. It's tough stuff! This has lots of uses and nice to have around the garage.
If your wanting to add a shop manual or assembly manual to your collection to help aid in fixing that old Chevy, consider buying good used repro's or originals. Books such as this are mean't to be used so a few smudges or "dog eared" corners are no big deal. Shop manuals are on ebay regularly so check there often. Assembly manuals are a bit tougher to find but they do surface from time to time.
Try using "White Out" when transfering marking holes from one item to another to be drilled out such as metal brackets, etc. The white out is fast drying and makes it very easy to see the mark.Jim-"dq409"
While most of us do our own work, if there is a time when you need to take your car for repairs, here's a few good tips. First off, do not allow car to be parked outside over night. If you have classic/antique car insurance, it most likely will not cover loss or damage in this case. I recommend taking car on the day the work is to be performed. If you have to drop car off the night before, make them put car in their garage. Car will be away from thieves and should be covered under the garage owners policy in case of fire or theft.
I don't know about you, but I do not trust garage mechanics to drive my classic/antique car. My suggestion is to stay with your car the whole time. If they need to test drive it, go with them. If they don't like it, go somewhere else!
To remove a headlight knob, pull headlights knob to the “on” position, reach to the back of the switch and depress the small button, then pull knob completely out. To reinstall, simply push the knob back in.