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For technical questions or advice, contact our technical advisor;

Rocco Scotellero

Tech Tips From the Trenches!

Advice from the

Shade Tree Garage!

Went to the meeting today and as often occurs I hear someone’s car misfire at idle.  Occasionally I’ll get asked what I think…without my tools it doesn’t matter what I think since it’s just an opinion.

 The easiest way to check for an individual cylinder misfire I know of is with a cheap spark tester.  I have scopes and all sorts of stuff but on our cars with one coil, cap and exposed wires you cannot beat a neon tube.  I recommend a Lisle spark tester LIS19380 which can be purchased for around ten bucks.  Hold it against the wire and every time the plug fires the tube lights up.  The cylinder with the problem will be immediately identified.  Pull the plug, ohm out the wire, check the cap, whatever but the good news is before any parts get replaced we know which cylinder is the culprit.  For us cheapo’s we just swap the component from one of the know good cylinders and if the problem moves then that verifies our diagnosis.

I figured I’d share this with you to throw it up on the  website.  Let me know if you think it needs more detail or clarification.

John O’C


Rocker arm studs
Pontiac used a 7/16 by 14 thread at the base with a 3/8 24 thread on top.  This is considered a “Bottleneck” rocker arm stud.  If you break one or are building a fresh engine, these can be upgraded to 7/16 x 14 thread base and 7/16 x 20 thread on top or “Straight” stud. These are stock on Big Block Chevrolet’s. This will strengthen your valve train, especially if using a higher lift camshaft.
ARP part numbers are:

ARP 135-7101 for HP
ARP 235-7201 for the pro series
ARP 300-8242 for lock nuts.  These will ensure that your rocker arms do not come loose.

Cleaning Discolored Brightwork

OK, you're restoring your Pontiac and now you're up against scratched and discolored aluminum brightwork. You would like to buff it out to bring out the luster but there's a hard anodized coating that will have to be removed before any polishing or buffing can take place.
The first time I tried to rectify this I used emery cloth, but it was dusty, time consuming and somewhat frustrating. I'll never do it that way again! Here's a neat, clean and fast way to overcome the problem:

1.Trot down to your neighborhood grocery store and pick up a can of Easy-Off Oven Cleaner and a pair of rubber household gloves. Spray the oven cleaner liberally over the anodizing and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

2.Rinse with water and wipe the part clean. Voila! Pure uncoated aluminum. Re-anodize if you wish but I prefer mine uncoated and polished.WARNING! - Remove the part from the car prior to applying the cleaner. This stuff can ruin paint and upholstery although it has no effect on rubber or glass!

Fixing Idle In your Driveway!!!

30 No-Buck And Low-Buck Pontiac Mods