What to check when your classic car is losing water

What to Check When Your Classic Car Is Losing Water

If your classic is losing water, the first thing to check is underneath to see if it’s escaping through a perished hose or water pump gasket. If it isn’t you could be forgiven for jumping to head gasket failure as a probable culprit, but don’t assume the worst too soon. First, top up the radiator… Read more »

How to cure starting problems

How to Cure Starting Problems

If your classic is reluctant to start, here are some top tips on how to get it going. Get an assistant to pull the choke out. Look underneath the carburettors and check that the main jet holders are being pulled down by the choke mechanism. Investigate if they aren’t. Disconnect the fuel hose to the… Read more »

What to do if your classic car is losing water

What to Do if Your Classic Car Loses Water

If your classic is losing water, the first thing to check is underneath to see if it’s escaping through a perished hose or water pump gasket. If it isn’t you could be forgiven for jumping to head gasket failure as a probable culprit, but don’t assume the worst too soon. First, top up the radiator… Read more »

upgrading your brakes

Upgrading Your Brakes

A brake servo in certain circumstances, can be a great upgrade for a classic car. However, many people use an aftermarket brake servo as a sticking plaster solution to mask an underlying problem. Before you even think about fitting a servo, you should fully inspect your brakes. Remove the wheels, with disc brakes, pry the… Read more »

How to Trace a Charging Fault

On alternator-equipped cars, the ‘ignition light’ (more correctly described as the no-charge warning lamp) should extinguish as soon as the engine starts and shouldn’t be seen again. With a dynamo it’s quite normal for the light to glow at idle, though it should go out by about 1500rpm. If your warning light is on, indicating… Read more »

Prepare Your Classic for Winter Driving

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t run a classic through the winter if it’s first prepared by thorough inspection and rustproofing. First of all, make sure the tyres are in good condition and have at least 3mm of tread. If you cover a lot of winter miles, a set of winter tyres is a worthwhile… Read more »

How to Strip a Car to Metal in Preparation for Paint or Welding

There are a number of ways to get your classic ready for restoration. Traditionally, shells were sanded or sandblasted back to bare metal. In recent years, chemical dipping and high-temperature baking have both become popular ways of removing paint, under seal and rust. Each method has advantages and pitfalls and it’s hard to say which,… Read more »

How to stop pinking

How to Stop Pinking

You’ll probably have heard pub experts discussing ‘pinking’ in relation to ignition timing on a classic. This problem occurs when the mixture in the cylinders ignites too soon, hammering the piston and con-rod into the crankshaft as the crank web is still pushing the piston up the cylinder. This is heard as a light rattle… Read more »

How to fit an ammeter or voltmeter to your classic

How to Fit an Ammeter or Voltmeter to Your Classic

Before fitting a voltmeter or ammeter to your classic, there are a few things you need to know. Any car fitted with an alternator is best suited to a voltmeter. The alternator charges adequately under almost all conditions and the voltmeter can simply be used as a cursory check of the regulated charging voltage and,… Read more »

How to cure overheating

How to Cure Overheating

There are many ‘sticking plaster’ solutions often applied to an overheating classic. However, in truth, auxiliary fans and special coolants should seldom, if ever, be necessary if a standard engine and standard cooling system are in good condition. Overheating is the result of an underlying problem. First, check that the engine’s correctly set-up. If it’s… Read more »

How to grease your nipples

How to Grease Your Nipples

Grease nipples were used in the days before sealed-for-life suspension ball-joints. Not only do they allow extra lubricant to be applied, but the unsealed joint allows old grease and crud to be pushed out as the new grease is forced in. Unfortunately, neglect causes problems as the old grease solidifies and becomes contaminated with water,… Read more »

How to Avoid Paint Reactions

Paint reactions are usually caused by solvents in the new paint penetrating the old coating. To avoid them, it’s important to understand a little about the solvents used in common paint systems. High-order solvents such as toluene (an ingredient of cellulose thinners), have a sickly-sweet smell and evaporate quickly. Low-order solvents like white spirit have… Read more »